On November 20th 2016, the Edinburgh Christmas Market opened for the 20th year.
If you can make it out to the Edinburgh Christmas Market this year, which I highly recommend, simply start from Waverley train station. The entrance to the European christmas Market is right across Waverley Bridge. There are three paths of stalls, plus the Christmas Village at the bottom of the gardens. Continue through the stalls next to the National Portrait Gallery, and then cross over Princes Street and up to George Street. A few minutes down the street you’ll find the Scottish market. Use the map below to find the key destinations, including the musical Five Guys Named Moe.
Filled with the smells of mulled wine, French raclette and German pastries, the European Christmas market is open until January 7th. The Scottish Christmas Market up on George Street is open from November 26th to December 24th.
Since the European market opened, I’ve been back half a dozen times to roam the stalls, feasting upon the eye candy and a particularly delicious sausage on a French baguette covered in melted raclette. It was a hard choice between all the different sausage stalls, but I simply couldn’t refuse one covered in the iconic French cheese. Accompanied by a cup of hot mead, it was exactly what I needed in the freezing Edinburgh temperatures.
A large group of the stalls are from a German company selling candied nuts, donuts, chocolate-covered marshmallows and Christmas drinks. Other food stalls include Hungarian lángos and chimney cakes, Finnish sausages and Swedish smoked salmon, not to mention local fish and chips.
Not all the stalls are directly Christmas related. Craftsman have come from all over Europe to sell their wares at the Edinburgh Christmas Market. One that really caught my eye was Celtic Fusion Design. Artisan Regina Tierney from Clare County in the west of Ireland designs all her garments and blankets and then gets them produced by hand from natural cloths with FairTrade workers. I’ve always been a fan of Celtic clothes, and these are some of the best I’ve ever seen. I look forward to getting the shirt and vest to wear to the many Celtic festivals I enjoy attending in Scotland.
The Scottish Christmas market on George Street isn’t as big as the European market, but it offers local products such as whiskey, Scottish fudge and wool products. The stalls are built around the Street of Lights, a castle constructed of lights above the street. There are 20-minute shows every night at 6 and 8 pm from November 21st to December 24th. You’ll want to get there a few minutes before the hour if you want a good spot, as it fills up.
Last but not least, in St Andrew Square there’s a skating rink. In short, there are plenty of activities in Edinburgh for Christmas. Don’t forget to dress warmly. This is Edinburgh in the winter after all. Now all that’s needed is some snow. These hedgehogs just aren’t the same without it.