For a Christmas that's truly merry and a Hogmanay that's one of the best, enjoy Winter in Edinburgh. Scotland's capital has a feast of festive treats from wonderful, world class attractions, sparkling shopping, fabulous food and drink with the best shows, theatre and cultural events to keep you warm this winter.
For news, updates and special offers, please sign up below.
For everything you need to know to embrace Christmas in the capital, our Winter in Edinburgh Guide is now available for download - or pick up a copy in November's The List Magazine and at outlets around the city.
Follow our events listings for all the best gigs, shows, attractions, events, theatre and pantomime.
Disney’s The Lion King
Disney’s The Lion King is a worldwide theatrical phenomenon, seen by over 70 million people. Enjoy the Scottish premiere of this spectacular production at the Edinburgh Playhouse. Dazzling staging and highly imaginative costumes, masks and puppets, The Lion King explodes with glorious colours and stunning effects. The story of Simba’s epic journey to reclaim his kingdom is set to the enchanting rhythms of Africa combined with breathtaking theatrical magic. Some tickets still available.
Location : Edinburgh Playhouse
Time : 7:00 PM
Start date : Fri, October 11, 2013
End date : Sat, January 18, 2014
There's nothing which evokes the spirit of Christmas more than the magical sound of carol singers. Concerts and church services take place in venues throughout the city at various times of the day. For a festive family event then the panto at the King's Theatre is a must - oh yes it is! And of course santa will be visiting the capital with an extra special appearance at an enchanting grotto in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for some traditional festive story-telling.
View next →
Nothing gets you in the mood for Christmas like music. The spirit and sense of Christmas is captured in The Queen's Hall - expect great songs, seasonal favourites, fun and frolics.
Highlights include A Christmas Celebration with the Edinburgh Kevock Choir, Harps of Gold Christmas Concert, Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook. For a truly traditional Scottish Hogmanay party, ring in 2014 at Afore the Bells!
The Usher Hall delivers a packed festive programme. The vocal wonder, The Sixteen at Christmas, returns on December 15th with a breathtaking Christmas concert. Other Christmas highlights include Christmas With the Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas and CLIC Sargent Carol Concert. Treats from the RNSO include The Nutcracker, Christmas Wonderland (with Children's Classic Concerts) and the Christmas Carol Concert.
As well as traditional community carol services, St Cuthbert's Church at West Princes Street Gardens will be hosting Scotland's most exciting orchestra, Scottish Sinfonia Concert on November 24th and A Ceremony of Carols with the National Youth Choir of Scotland on December 15th - a beautiful start to the festive period.
See the St Cuthbert's Church Calendar for more special events this winter.
The spectacular stage musical of Bing Crosby’s classic 1954 movie White Christmas is at the Festival Theatre from November 29th to January 4th.
Brimming with Irving Berlin hits, it has broken box office records and won critical acclaim across the UK. Starring television favourites Graham Cole, Steven Houghton and Wendi Peters. Happy Holidays!
Ideal for families - The Polar Bears Go Wild at the Traverse Theatre from December 5th to 21st, 10.30am and 2pm.
Brave explorers wanted to join two friendly (but slightly naughty) polar bears on the adventure of a lifetime, packed with music, laughter and a lot of cheekiness. Where are they going? What will they get up to next? And have they got enough sandwiches?
Cadenza is a small, mixed-voice choir founded in 1992, which perform regularly throughout Scotland and beyond with a wide-ranging repertoire which includes folk, jazz and popular songs as well as Renaissance church music, major choral works and contemporary classics. They will be performing a festive mix of new carols and old favourites in a Christmas concert programme. Ticketed and free events.
Escape the cold weather this Christmas and visit the Scottish National Gallery for some classic Christmas movies in the comfort of our own cinema. A fantastic affordable family day out - bring the kids along to watch family favourites such as Polar Express and Miracle on 34th Street.
Book tickets here. Extend your visit and enjoy some fabulous festive food in The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant.
Christmas time is extra special at the historic city centre church of St Andrew’s and St George’s West. The Christmas Tree Festival returns from December 7th - 28th, the popular Carols at Six with orchestra and choir is on December 20th and Christingle candle-lighting on Christmas Eve.
Enjoy the beauty of St John's Church during its programme of Advent and carol services throughout December. Find out What's on at St John's.
The grounds of the 19th century church at Edinburgh's West End encompass shops, the Cornerstone Cafe and regular arts and crafts exhibitions.
On Wednesday 1 January Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will present Scot:Lands – a journey around nine atmospheric venues – both well-known and less discovered - in Edinburgh’s Old Town, each curated and customised by notable artists and arts organisations from all over Scotland.
Following this cultural feast of free events, the businesses of the Grassmarket will be welcoming the visitors and many of the participating artists to join them for ‘One for the Road’. Marking the end of the three day festival there will be free live music, craic and a dram or two into the evening.
Book early to 'Hook' the best seats for another outstanding King's Theatre panto, Peter Pan from November 30th to January 19th. An action-packed production which features magnificent scenery, beautiful costumes, an abundance of comedy and stunning flying sequences. Enjoy the adventures of Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and Grant Stott as they head to Neverland. This unmissable story features crocodiles, lost boys, pirates and fairies!
Admire the notable collection of stained glass windows of St Giles' Cathedral as you enjoy the various Christmas services including Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas on December 22nd and the popular Christmas Eve Watchnight Service.
View the full programme at the St Giles' Concert Diary.
This December, Santa is coming to the Botanics. Join him and his audience in the enchanting grotto for some traditional festive story-telling. Each child (recommended age 3+) will have the chance to meet Santa and they will also receive a small gift.
Santa will be at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on the following dates: 13, 14 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 23 & 24 December.
Book early to avoid disappointment!
Treat yourself to a generous helping of traditional Christmas fayre with the classic tale, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, November 28th to January 4th. This much loved story perfectly captures the magic of Christmas and positively sparkles on stage with an ensemble cast playing the many memorable characters.
Experience the extraordinary sights and sounds of this UNESCO World Heritage city when exploring the fascinating cobbled streets of the medieval old town, view the Scottish crown jewels in Edinburgh Castle and discover the history of Scotland in the National Museum of Scotland. Cross Princes Street Gardens to the elegant Georgian New Town and marvel at James Craig's stunning architecture. Enjoy the city's expansive green space at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh or head to Edinburgh Zoo with Giant Pandas and more...
Edinburgh boasts a great variety of tour options from bus tours, to walking tours about our literary history and our ghostly past.
Wrap up warm and experience the city from a different perspective, on board an open-top bus with entertaining and informative guides or commentary. For the kids - City Sighteeing has a Horrible Histories option!
Rediscover the Highlands with Rabbie's Small Group Tours. Get off the beaten track and explore Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle and Highland Perthshire with some drams of whisky thrown in.
A great day out for any Christmas guests - while you put your feet up!
The Scott Monument is the largest monument to a writer in the world and commemorates the Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott. Climb the 287 steps to the top and enjoy breathtaking views of the city and surrounds.
It's not often you hear of a 169-year-old movie star, but the monument recently took centre stage in the Hollywood blockbuster Cloud Atlas!
Play Christmas Carols on the new Musical Stairs or get crafty with a Victorian Thaumatrope Illusion this December at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.
Enjoy a memorable day out and entertain all the family with 5 floors packed with amazing interactive illusions! Open 10:00 - 18:00 hours every day in December, except 25th.
Celebrate the festive season at Scotland’s favourite visitor attraction, situated at the top of the Royal Mile with unparalleled views of the city. Enjoy a mouth-watering Christmas lunch or a special festive event from Renaissance music to Charles Dickens - there's something for everyone.
Marvel at Scotland’s Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny; admire Mons Meg, the world’s oldest cannon; and hear the One O’Clock Gun being fired from the ramparts.
Visit the official residence in Scotland of The Queen and learn more about the Royal Family and the palace’s legendary former inhabitants. The Historic Apartments include Mary, Queen of Scots’ Chambers and the Darnley Rooms, the setting for many dramatic episodes.
Combine your visit with the current exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson, one of the leading caricaturists of Georgian England - the exhibition examines life at the turn of the 19th century.
Hunting the Higgs boson or come face to face with Kabuki theatre’s most famous warriors, villains, heroes and heroines - explore the diversity of the natural world, world cultures, art and design, science and technology and Scottish history, all under one roof at the National Museum of Scotland.
Daily gallery and themed tours for adults and family events with Christmas Crafternoons and a Hogmanay Family Ceilidh on 31 December.
In winter, the landscape of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh takes on a different character. Yews and conifers play a dominant role, together with winter-flowering trees and shrubs. For colour and warmth, visit The Glasshouses!
This December, meet Santa at the Botanics in the Garden's enchanting grotto and enjoy some traditional festive story-telling.
The ultimate thrill-filled journey through Scotland’s murky past. The Edinburgh Dungeon is the black comedy of attractions; dark, ironic and very very funny. Live shows and 80 minutes of laughter, screaming, theatre, history and special effects.
This winter, meet the Ghosts of Christmas as part of the tour in a special show December 9th - 26th.
Now berthed in Leith, The Royal Yacht Britannia was the seabound home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years, sailing over 1,000,000 miles around the world. Take the audio tour and follow in the footsteps of royalty to discover the heart and soul of this most special of royal residences.
Celebrate the spirit of Christmas aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia. The State Apartments are adorned with beautiful garlands and decorations, and a Christmas tree is placed on the Bridge, a long-standing naval tradition. Over the 7th & 8th December from 10am-3:30pm, visitors will enjoy complimentary mulled wine and shortbread served in the Chief Petty Officers’ Mess.
Founded in 1446, Rosslyn Chapel took 40 years to complete and its ornate stonework and symbolism have inspired - and intrigued – visitors ever since. A new visitor centre tells the story from its medieval origins to the Da Vinci Code and present day.
The Chapel is now free from scaffolding following completion of a major conservation project which began in 1997.
Buried deep beneath Edinburgh’s Royal Mile lies the city’s deepest secret, a warren of hidden streets which have remained frozen in time since the 17th century. Meet the infamous Mary King and others in a new interactive gallery room and in the company of an expert guide, explore and experience what it was really like for the people who lived, worked and died here.
Celebrate Christmas on the Close on December 22nd from 10am - 5pm.
Take a journey through our planet’s past, present and future at Our Dynamic Earth, with interactive exhibits and impressive technology.
Beginning with the Big Bang, children and adults alike can witness the creation of the Earth, follow the planet through its evolution and even catch glimpses of its future.
Edinburgh is home to three of the National Galleries of Scotland: National, Modern and Portrait. Fascinating permanent collections and exciting visiting exhibitions make for a fantastic day out. Highlights this winter include Tickling Jock, a celebration of Scotland’s masters of mirth from Sir Harry Lauder to Billy Connolly; Viviane Sassen, In and Out of Fashion, one of the most exciting figures in contemporary fashion photography; and Rodin's The Kiss, the spectacular sculpture on loan until February.
Celebrating 100 years, Edinburgh Zoo has a special Centenary Exhibition on display until 31 December.
Home to over 1,000 rare and wonderful animals, popular attractions are the UK’s only koalas, the cheeky chimpanzees on the Budongo Trail, Penguins Rock - the new revamped outdoor penguin pool, and of course giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang! With daily talks, animal presentations and free hilltop safari there's a lot to enjoy!
Keep your flock happy in all weathers at the award-winning Scottish Seabird Centre. A world leader in remote wildlife viewing, in the 5-star Discovery Centre visitors can get up close and personal with amazing wildlife, including interactive live cameras on the Firth of Forth islands.
Be inspired by the wonder of nature in a photographic exhibition until 6 January by Laurie Campbell, one of Scotland's leading wildlife and landscape photographers.
The historic City Church of Edinburgh, St Giles' Cathedral stands on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Famed for its crown spire, the Gothic style building from the 15th century contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland's chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen).
Enjoy a special programme of events at St Giles' in November and December.
Scotland’s 5-star premier visitor attraction, the Scotch Whisky Experience celebrates 25 years. Learn all about Scotch Whisky, take a swirling, bubbling barrel ride through a replica distillery and view the world’s largest private whisky collection.
At a special Distillers' Fair on December 29th & 30th, meet Whisky Distillers from the far flung corners of the country. Slainje!
There's a world of imaginative shopping in this cosmopolitan city. The revolving doors of Jenners and John Lewis Edinburgh will whisk you into their intriguing embrace and the delights of Harvey Nichols will mesmerise you. The second-hand emporia of Stockbridge or the fine art and antique showrooms in the New Town await the adventurous shopper. Your favourite designer names are all here as well as some unique shops you won't find anywhere else, including Romanes & Paterson and Kinloch Anderson, where you'll discover a little bit of Scotland to take away with you. You name it, Edinburgh's got it!
Lothian Road is the main route into the west side of the city centre and hosts great restaurants, bars and shops. Into Tollcross, Real Foods is an excellent health food store. Around the corner there's Pekoetea for a proper brew, or into Brunstfield, drinkmonger for a lovely bottle or two. Miss Dixiebelle is a 50s inspired vintage shop. Outdoor shops sit on every corner to kit you out for a morning run across the Meadows!
Leith Walk, stretching from Leith up to the east end of Princes Street, is lined by a highly eclectic collection of shops, including bakeries (try the Sicilian Pastry Shop for great cakes) , food shops and charity shops. World of Pine and Crawford’s offer interesting second-hand pieces whilst book and music fans should check out Elvis Shakespeare and Vinyl Villains. Delis like Valvona and Crolla, and Chinese supermarkets afford food lovers ample opportunity to pick up something unusual.
There's free on street city centre parking in the run-up to Christmas on many streets from 5pm. Alive after Five is back from December 2nd until December 28th inclusive.
Enjoy late night shopping and take advantage of some of the fantastic new attraction that make up Edinburgh's Christmas with no need to rush home as you can park for free. Full details of the streets included coming soon...
Spend a leisurely Saturday in the Grassmarket with discounted Saturday parking at NCP Castle Terrace from November 9th until December 21st. Buy fresh, local produce from the weekly Farmers Market or choose the perfect Christmas presents in the independent shops and boutiques.
Park at NCP Castle Terrace for up to 24 hours for £8. Parking tickets need to be validated at the information stand in the Grassmarket, open Saturdays 10am to 5pm.
Close to George Street, just off St. Andrew Square is Multrees Walk, home to Harvey Nichols and a huge range of designer labels including Armani, Mulberry, Boss, Louis Vuitton and Calvin Klein plus some high end brands including Kurt Geiger, Reiss, Firetrap and G Star. For gifts chose from Links of London, Pandora or the Pen Shop, and when the shopping is done you can unwind with a treatment in Sassoon Salon or have a champagne cocktail at Vin Caffe.
The floors of our city centre department stores including John Lewis, Jenners and Harvey Nichols are steeped with great gift ideas ready to be turned into perfect presents. You’ll find all your favourite high street brands on Princes Street – Zara, Primark and Topshop to name but a few. For higher-end shopping head for George Street where you’ll find Hollister, Jo Malone, Anthropologie and Brooks Brothers. It's Multrees Walk for Louis Vuitton, Mulberry, Armani and many more.
Thistle Street is a hidden gem just behind George Street to the north. It's home to some of the finest boutiques in the city including cosy wee bars and restaurants. There’s top fashion with Jane Davidson, Kakao and Pam Jenkins with fantastic handbags and accessories in Covet. For stylish modern kilts for men and women try 21st Century Kilts.
Edinburgh’s West End is only a few minutes’ walk from Princes Street. It has a vibrant and electric mix of highly individual shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Try William Street and Stafford Street for unique boutiques including Sam Brown, Frontiers, The Extra Inch, Odyssey and Arkangel & Felon. For unusual gift ideas and homeware try Studio One.
Broughton Street, at the east end of the city centre, is well worth a visit. It has some great one off boutiques, friendly bars and award winning cafes. Try Concrete Wardrobe for high quality handmade items for you and your home or Beyond Words for books and cards. Artisan Roast the coffee shop and cafe, roasts and sells coffee beans at 57 Broughton Street.
Stockbridge, to the north of the city centre, feels like a village. It has a great mix of jewellers, galleries, second hand & gourmet food shops complemented by cosy cafes & restaurants. Try the Sheila Fleet Gallery for beautiful jewellery, inspired by Scotland’s landscapes & Mary Portas’s Living and Giving Shop. The Stockbridge Market is held every Sunday from 10am -5pm with fantastic fresh produce & artisan bakers. I.J Mellis, on 6 Bakers Place, sells high quality cheese.
Leith is the old maritime centre of Edinburgh. Its shipping heyday is behind it now but with its dockside restaurants, bars and shops, Leith is now a vibrant place to hang out. For shopping Ocean Terminal, designed by Terence Conran, houses all the big names. Much like its bars, Leith’s shops tend to have a charm all of their own. Off-beat eco-friendly shop Flux and Easter Road’s Eero and Riley are top spots for unusual gifts, whilst Georgian Antiques affords ample opportunity to browse one of Scotland’s largest antique emporiums.
The Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s most historic street, stretching from Edinburgh Castle all the way down to Holyrood Palace. It’s a great destination to pick up souvenirs and quality Scottish shopping. You could buy an authentic kilt from Geoffrey (Tailor) Kiltmaker, visit Ragamuffin for beautiful knitwear or pop into The Tappit Hen for jewellery and gifts.
George Street is home to some of the most fashionable and stylish stores in the UK. From fashionista's favourite, Harvey Nichols, in St. Andrew Square and designer shops such as Cruise, Hollister, The White Company, LK Bennett and Phase Eight, to star studded jewellers such as Rox, Hamilton & Inches and Laing the Jeweller, George Street has it all going on.
On the south side of Edinburgh, Bruntsfield and Morningside have a relaxed village feel and a unique mix of original boutiques, interior design and furniture stores. You’ll find artisan bakers and chocolatiers as well as great cafes, bars and restaurants. Try Rosie Brown for beautiful jewellery, Coco of Bruntsfield for amazing chocolates and Ooh Ruby Shoes for, you guessed it, the latest in shoes.
Rose Street is a quaint, cobbled street nestling behind the bustling Princes Street. It plays host to a number of cosy bars, try Element for a cocktail or The Black Cat to sample one of their 100 whiskies! On the shopping front, there is an eclectic mix of fashion, sports shops - try Tiso for snow boots, music shops, jewellery stores (The Rock Candy Gallery) and usually some talented buskers!
The Grassmarket sits behind the Castle. Its historic cobbled streets are jammed with Scottish designers and independent shops selling unique gifts, antique books, speciality food and fantastic fashion. Try Fabhatrix for unique hat designs and WM Armstrongs,THE Edinburgh institution for vintage clothing. Demijohn on Victoria Street, is great for bespoke bottling of high quality, locally sourced handmade liqueurs, spirits, wines, and oils.
Edinburgh has a wealth of fantastic places to eat, catering for all tastes in this cosmopolitan city. Each year the number of quality eating experiences increases at all levels, from cool cafes to multi-course tasting menus. From converted police boxes to Michelin-starred decadence, the dynamism of Edinburgh’s food and drink scene is increasingly spilling out from the boundaries of conventional restaurant spaces and familiar menus, while the city’s various farmers and produce markets are among the best in Scotland.
There is more to eating and drinking in Leith than ticking off the Michelin stars. Stop in at the Roseleaf Bar Cafe for a drink surrounded by chintzy charm; make sure you try their famous cocktails in teapots, fantastic home made pub food and crayons come with the kids menus! The Water of Leith Bistro brings French flair to this part of the city and is well worth seeking out for dinner. If you love Chinese food head over to Chop Chop, the local favourite Chinese endorsed by Gorden Ramsey himself on the F-Word!
Indulge in some fine dining - Edinburgh has more Michelin star restaurants than any other city outside London.
In Leith, a stroll along The Shore will take you to the gastronomical establishments of Martin Wisharts and The Kitchin. In the city centre, Jeff Bland at The Balmoral, Paul Kitching of 21212, and Dominic Jack at Castle Terrace each hold a Michelin star.
Dining in Edinburgh can be luxurious and enchantingly romantic as you will discover at any of the restaurants in the James Thomson collection - The Witchery by the Castle is magical (ask for a table in the secret garden for a truly memorable experience), Rhubarb Restaurant at Prestonfield is a stunning mix of opulence, grandeur and comfort and the Tower Restaurant combines exceptional food with spectacular views of Edinburgh's Castle and the city skyline.
Street food is on the up in Britain and there's a growing number of quality food carts about the city. The Elephant Juice Food Company has a permanent pitch in George Square, serving ethical, healthy food with all ingredients sourced locally. Jones & Son Bespoke BBQs serve up pulled pork from a converted beer barrel at St Mary’s Market, Broughton Street. At the top of Middle Meadow Walk, Tupiniquim, is an upbeat Brazilian kiosk serving phenomenal gluten-free crepes with an extended hot food menu, Brazilian music and capoeira performances at the weekend.
Sip an early evening cocktail in The Living Room to the tinkling of the ivories on the baby grand. The beautiful Christmas decorations will get you in the spirit at The Dome or enjoy the flare and fun of mixology brought to your table at Tigerlily. For chic, modern cocktails shaken and stirred to perfection, indulge at The Balmoral Bar. Try Tempus for a unique list of classics and modern contemporary blends or chase the day away with a choice from the extensive cocktail list at Ricks Bar.
Explore Edinburgh's Grassmarket - the restaurants and bistros are always buzzing and range from modern Scottish fine dining to casual French and family-style Italian. Enjoy old favourites such as Maison Bleue, The Grain Store and Mamma's Pizza or experience a new arrival - Oink specialise in delicious Scottish hog roasts, Mary's Milk Bar is a cosy space for you to enjoy the best quality gelato and chocolate or discover "sunshine in a cup" at Hula Juice Bar, serving delicious smoothies and ever-changing art on the gallery walls.
Try the Spanish influenced and homely Rafael's, just over the bridge into Stockbridge. Hamilton's is worth a visit for gastro pub food as is The Scran & Scallie, the latest venture from the team behind the popular multi award-winning Michelin star restaurants The Kitchin and Castle Terrace Restaurant. The New Town Deli, on Henderson Row, towards Canonmills, is brilliant for that morning roll and coffee. Peter's Yard, also just over the bridge, is a coffee house and bakery, worth your custom.
For a selection of pubs with great grub and hosting some of the best live music - both jazz and traditional - head to the historic Grassmarket and enjoy a real ale at The White Hart Inn, Beehive Inn Last Drop Tavern or a guinness in Biddy Mulligan's. Nearby on the Cowgate is Brew Dog, serving excellent draught beer from its own range. Or rediscover Rose Street, famous for its bars but also many good places to eat, and on Thistle Street, the Bon Vivant is a favourite after-hours cocktail stop, closely followed by the award winning Bramble, just down on Queen Street.
For informal dining, there's simply nothing more relaxing than gathering round a table to share home-cooked spanish tapas - La Tasca brings alive the real Spain in the West End. For fine Indian cuisine, the Indian Cavalry Club is an elegant 'jewel in the crown'. In Leith, award-winning Mithas, provides a unique experience with refreshingly simple food, matching local ingredients with exotic spice, and is the newest addition by the family who opened Khushi's in 1947, the first Indian restaurant in Edinburgh!
Recent openings include Pompadour and Brasserie de Luxe by Michelin-starred Galvin brothers at The Caledonian Waldorf Astoria; Jamie's Italian in the refurbished Assembly Rooms; the imaginative, creative Restaurant Mark Greenaway now located at North Castle Street; One Square, inspired by the grand cafes of Europe; the rustic style Timberyard, a bold, forward-thinking concept, featuring organic local produce; Kyloe Grill & Restaurant for gourmet steak or award-winning Sunday Roast and the best burgers or hotdogs can be found at The Huxley.
Edinburgh has the best access to Scotland’s seasonal larder. For food as fresh as it can be, visit the award-winning Edinburgh Farmers' Market, open every Saturday at Castle Terrace, with primary producers, selling their fresh produce directly to customers including specialities such as wild boar, ostrich and water buffalo, fish, free-range eggs, cheese, and seasonal fruit & vegetables. On a Sunday there’s the Stockbridge Market, selling antiques to cupcakes at Jubilee Gardens, from 10am - 5pm.
Warm up this winter in SCOTCH, the new whisky bar in The Balmoral or select from over 200 whiskies at The Angels Share. Pair a rare dram with food at Amber Restaurant, offering the best in Scottish cuisine at The Scotch Whisky Experience, sample the best single-cask, single malt whiskies available at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society - although this is a private members club, the Dining Room on Queen Street is open to non-members or relax in the whisky snug or cigar bothy at Hotel du Vin & Bistro Edinburgh.
As well as popular chain coffee shops, Edinburgh has some great independents. Enjoy a freshly roasted brew at Artisan Roast, at Dovecot Cafe by Stag Espresso serves great coffee in this one hundred year old tapestry studio. On the go then pop into Razzo, the glass coffee shop in St Andrew Square or need cake - then take time out at Mimi's Bakehouse. And for tea lovers, visit Eteaket - leaf tea experts, dedicated to ethically sourcing exceptional loose leaf teas great for gift sets and vouchers too!
The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant at the Scottish National Gallery promises a spectacular setting for your Christmas celebrations and a chance to have a relaxed festive lunch with some of Scotland’s finest produce.
On December 12th and 19th be dazzled at the Rat Pack Party Night with all the Sinatra classics or spend a night with the Easy Orchestra on December 14th. Tickets limited so please book early.
After a hard day's shopping, put your bags down, your feet up and treat yourself to Afternoon Tea! Add a glass of champagne to the menu as a reward for all your hard work hunting out bargains... Some of our favourite spots are The Balmoral, One Square, The Scotsman Hotel, Hotel Missoni and Harvey Nichols Forth floor restaurant, with floor to ceiling views of Edinburgh Castle and the Forth Estuary.
Think you know all about Edinburgh’s winter celebrations? Well think again. This year, there’s a lot more to the capital than just amazing fireworks and rousing renditions of Auld Lang Syne. For 2013, the celebrations are expanding across the city with new venues and bigger events than ever before, featuring gigs, clubs, markets, parties, concerts, attractions and family shows.
Theatre goers in Edinburgh are spoilt for choice. From the Edinburgh Playhouse, this winter hosting The Lion King, to the decorative Victorian Royal Lyceum, modern Festival Theatre, recently refurbished King's Theatre and Scotland's new writing theatre,the Traverse Theatre. With such a mix of productions from music to drama there's something for everyone this winter!
Edinburgh's landmark concert venue, the Usher Hall, embraces the widest range of music and events, including rock, pop, jazz, world, blues, comedy, talks and more. The Queen's Hall on the southside of the city centre is a former church and 900-capacity music venue with an ambience all its own and offers a wide range of events all year round - classical, jazz, blues, pop, rock, world, folk and comedy, and is also home to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Edinburgh boasts a range of gig venues which host top name bands through to smaller rising stars. The Caves - is an atmospheric subterranean space for intimate gigs. The spectacular Usher Hall hosts all the big names whilst the Wee Red Bar, attracts an artier, edgier crowd. The Liquid Room hosts many upcoming bands in a compact, lively space.
The best clubs and live music venues in Edinburgh pull in everything from dance to indie and rock to jazz. The Cabaret Voltaire is a subterranean labyrinth of musky warrens and caves located in the Cowgate. Espionage is a multi room bar and club venue over 5 floors with varied nightly entertainment. The Liquid Room draws some big names featuring club nights and hip hop artists, while the Bongo Club is easily the most bohemian of the capital's venues. For a sophisticated evening, the Voodoo Rooms is a plush club, restaurant, cocktail bar and gig venue with live soul, jazz, folk, indie rock & hip-hop.
See and do even more this winter in Edinburgh. It may be cold outside but we have a wealth of exhibitions, theatre and concerts for you to enjoy and keep you warm this winter.
The collection of Scottish and international art at the National Galleries of Scotland is among the best in the world and the collections at National Museums Scotland span millions of years representing diverse cultures across the globe, from tiny insects to whale skeletons, microchips to Concorde.
The absurdities of fashion, the perils of love, political machinations and royal intrigue were the daily subject matter of Thomas Rowlandson, one of the leading caricaturists of Georgian England. Several of the works were purchased by King George IV, ironically often the butt of the caricaturists’ jokes! The exhibition is at The Queen's Galley, Palace of Holyroodhouse, November 22nd 2013 to March 2nd, 2014.
An enchanting, contemporary light-based art installation Field of Light, by British artist Bruce Munro, will make its Scottish debut in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh from February 3 to April 27, 2014.
This striking and unusual exhibition of 9,500 lighted glass spheres will rise from the ground on slender stems to create a natural and otherworldly effect through the volume of spheres, the glow of the lights and gentle shapes.
History like you've never heard it before! Previously... Scotland's History Festival is back from November 13th - 30th. Look out for talks, performance poetry, live music and theatre productions. Storytelling, great authors, exhibitions, food and drink. Get active with 3 weeks of guided walks, bus and cycle tours. Graveyards, dungeons, homes, castles, streets and alleyways to explore.
An unforgettable theatrical experience, War Horse tells the powerful and uplifting story of young Albert, his beloved horse Joey, and the unimaginable obstacles they overcome both individually and together.
Filled with stirring music and some of the most innovative stagecraft of our time, life-sized puppets bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage at the Festival Theatre from January 22nd to February 15th, 2014.
The National Galleries of Scotland has three galleries in Edinburgh and the collection of fine art is amongst the best in the world. As well as the permanent collection there are changing exhibitions throughout the year. This winter why not visit Rodin's The Kiss, Viviane Sassen | In and Out of Fashion, Tickling Jock, New Acquisitions, Modern Portraits and children will love Picture Hooks.
A unique chances to come face to face with Kabuki theatre’s most famous warriors, villains, heroes and heroines through 61 of the finest Japanese woodblock prints from the collection at the National Museum of Scotland until February 2nd, 2014. Meet the larger-than-life characters to find out why these rare and beautiful prints became a cultural phenomenon in 19th century Japan.
Image: 54. Kunichika, Night Business at the Yoshiwara Enclosure 1866
Explore the legacy of Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), the Scots-American industrialist who used his private wealth for public good and his philanthropy in the fields of education, peace, politics, science and culture. The exhibition is at the Scottish Parliament until January 25th, 2014.
Prepare to be surprised by the extent of Carnegie’s philanthropy when you see Sesame Tree puppets and McBlare, a robotic bagpipe player, performing each Saturday at 12.30pm.
Exciting galleries, interesting objects and new events means there's fun to be had for all! This winter go Hunting the Higg's Boson, scientists have been searching for this invisible particle since the mid-1990s. But how, and why? Or see objects from the time of the Picts and Gaels brought back to life through innovative technology and traditional craft skills in Creative Spirit: Revealing Early Medieval Scotland.
A spectacular season of the biggest Christmas celebrations the city has ever seen, taking place in St Andrew Square and East Princes Street Gardens. Featuring a host of shows in the Spiegeltent, the all-new Big Wheel and the 60-metre high Star Flyer, ice skating, Christmas markets and lots more. With an opening ceremony featuring special guest Sir Chris Hoy. www.edinburghschristmas.com
An international festival hit, Hot Dub Time Machine returns to Edinburgh after a huge sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. DJ Tom Loud presents the world's first time travelling dance party, with a song for each year from 1954 to present day, all powered by YOUR dancing. At Summerhall from December 4th - 21st. Best. Party. Ever.
Hosted by Forth Radio's Arlene Stuart and with special guest, six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy turning on the lights, the opening ceremony for Edinburgh's Christmas is set to be an unmissable event. Free for all to attend, Light Night features performances from schools and community groups up and down George Street, and takes place on Sunday, November 24th.
Planning a Christmas party? Experience the ultimate night out at Edinburgh's Christmas with your own private Spiegeltent booth, drinks, canapés and a sumptuous meal from the award-winning chefs at the Scottish Cafe. Plus a dazzling performance of circus hit-show LIMBO. A fantastic night out for you and your friends or colleagues.
Take your seat in the awesome 60-metre high Star Flyer, with 360-degree views over Edinburgh, or have a ride on the all-new Big Wheel. Don your skates and take a turn on the glittering ice rink, or get lost in the magical Christmas tree maze! Plus carousels, Santa's Grotto and lots more rides and attractions for everyone to enjoy.
Following an acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Les Petits return with their award-winning, family friendly, action packed show from November 24th - December 15th, based on the award-winning book. Join Flinn as he discovers a Pirate hiding in a cupboard, hold on tight as the cupboard falls away and together we tumble into a real life adventure.
There’s plenty for all the family to enjoy at Edinburgh's Christmas this year. Highlights for children include the magical Christmas Tree Maze (find the elves' workshop at the centre!), the Santa Train, kids' workshops and Edinburgh Toys Galore at the Children's Market. And Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to the main man himself at Santa's Grotto!
At St Andrew Square, the Scottish market showcases some of the best food and drink that Scotland has to offer, and the Children's Market is the perfect shopping destination for child-friendly shopping and festive treats. At East Princes Street Gardens, the European Christmas market offers a large range of arts and crafts, gifts and gastronomic surprises. The markets are open from 10am - 10pm, November 22nd - January 5th.
The show so hot, Madonna's seen it twice! Following critically acclaimed seasons in Adelaide and London, this spectacular new production comes to Edinburgh for a strictly limited season. Witness heart-stopping illusions, mind-bending manoeuvres, breathtaking dance moves and thrilling live music from a coterie of highly skilled international performers. Welcome to the greatest party ever between heaven and hell.
The creative team behind the hugely popular Hairy Maclary and Friends stage show present this family friendly tale from December 17th - January 5th, featuring live music, catchy songs, charismatic puppets. Prepare to be transported to a magical, make-believe land, as you journey through the forest to Grandmother's house, but wait... is that a wolf behind you?
The world-famous Street Party welcomes the world to celebrate at the ‘Home of Hogmanay’. 80,000 revellers from over 60 countries will party into 2014 with the very best in live Scottish music from Django Django, Chvrches, King Creosote, The Rezillos and the biggest Midnight Moment on the planet!
Full details www.edinburghshogmanay.com
A festive celebration in the candlelit atmosphere of St Giles' Cathedral.
This year's Candlelit Concert features Haydn’s delightful Missa Sancti Nicolai, along with classics of the Baroque period. St Giles' Cathedral Choir are joined by a stunning array of international young soloists.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Candlelit Concert is on Tuesday 31st December 2013 at 7.30pm.
Experience the very best in traditional Scottish music at the UK’s largest outdoor New Year Ceilidh event. Birl through the bells in this exclusive event arena with outdoor dancefloor, bars and food village. Plus learn some new moves with our Ceilidh Caller beneath the spectacular Midnight Fireworks.
The Keilidh at the Street Party is on Tuesday 31st December
Celebrate the start of 2014 by taking part in The Loony Dook, the annual mass splash in the River Forth under the shadow of the world-famous Forth Rail Bridge. For over a quarter of a century, thousands of brave people have taken the New Year plunge, raising tens of thousands of pounds for charities across the UK.
Edinburgh's Hogmanay Loony Dook is on Wednesday 1st January 2014
Set beneath the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, the Concert in the Gardens is the music and fireworks spectacular. Headliners Pet Shop Boys are the most successful UK pop-duo of all time and will provide the dance soundtrack to kick you into 2014, joined by the country’s hottest new band The 1975 and the best view in the house for the Midnight Fireworks!
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Concert in the Gardens is on Tuesday 31st December – into the New Year…
We’ve teamed up with Unique Events & VisitScotland to offer you the chance to win the Ultimate Edinburgh’s Hogmanay experience.
With your Edinburgh’s Hogmanay VIP passes, you and a friend will gain access to all of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events held over the three day festival with accommodation provided for the nights of 30th and 31st December by The Chambers Luxury self-catering apartments.
Simply click here and enter your details, to be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize.Please remember to read the terms and conditions.
The Torchlight Procession is the opening event of Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2013/14 and launch of the Year of Homecoming Scotland 2014.
Join thousands of torch carriers as they illuminate the city from the new start position of George IV Bridge to the Son et Lumiere and spectacular firework finale on Calton Hill.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Torchlight Procession is on Monday 30th December.
From 5-star hotels to welcoming bed and breakfasts (B&BS) as well as self-catering options including award-winning caravan and camping parks and quirky hostels, you’ll find the perfect place to stay in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Book accommodation for Edinburgh through VisitScotland's accommodation booking service, direct with the accommodation provider or various online accommodation websites.
The Mercure Edinburgh City – Princes Street Hotel is ideally located on one of the city’s most famous streets. Enjoy panoramic views of the majestic Edinburgh Castle from the Princes Bar or open plan Princes Dining Room restaurant. The Restaurant serves all one would expect to find in a traditional Scottish restaurant, as well as international dishes. Free wi-fi is available in both the restaurant and bar.
The prestigious Crowne Plaza Edinburgh - The Roxburghe, is located in the heart of the Georgian New Town, overlooking Charlotte Square. Combined with its historical architecture, the hotel has 199 refurbished bedrooms, many with views of Edinburgh Castle. As part of a £7.5million refurbishment programme, all 199 bedrooms have been individually redesigned. The George Street Bar and Grill is an exciting new arrival, inspired by traditional grand European cafés and brasseries.
Located in the heart of Scotland’s capital city on the historic Royal Mile, the Radisson Blu Edinburgh is within a 5 minute walk of the main shopping and business districts.The hotel has 238 spacious air conditioned guestrooms including business class rooms and suites with complimentary wi-fi access. All bedrooms offer free broadband access, safe and minibar. With views of the historic and vibrant Royal Mile, enjoy traditional Scottish fare in the Itchycoo Bar and Kitchen.
Boutique style in the heart of the historic Old Town. A short walk from the Royal Mile, the Hotel du Vin & Bistro features 47 bedrooms and suites, a trademark bistro with chef's table, a Whisky Snug, a comprehensive stocked Mezzanine Bar, an outstanding wine cellar, a Laroche tasting table for the wine connoisseur and a courtyard with a Cigar Shack.
Luxury in the heart of the city. Overlooking Princes Street, these luxury serviced apartments are spacious, modern and stylish, with free wi-fi and fully equipped kitchens. Princes Street Suites at Waterloo Place is right in Edinburgh’s city centre. It includes 3-bedroom, 2-bedroom and studio apartments. 200 metres from Waverley Train Station, the apartments are a 2-minute walk from St Andrew Square and shopping on Princes Street and George Street.
It's the mother of all Malmaison's. The former house of ill-repute now has a reputation that's second to none, and it's also just a short taxi ride away from Waverley Station. Malmaison Edinburgh bides at Leith (as they say up here), just a stone's throw from the Royal Yacht Britannia, but offering far more funky luxury. Yes, when you want exciting hotels in Edinburgh, this is the King, not the castle. Our Edinburgh hotel puts you close to all of Edinburgh's cobbled splendours, incredible shopping and famous galleries.
Sometimes all you really need from a hotel is a hot shower and a good night's rest.
Tune Hotel Haymarket is a limited service hotel offering 5- star beds, power showers and excellent customer service at very affordable prices.
Central, convenient location at Haymarket station within easy walking distance Edinburgh's attractions and shopping areas.
Built in 1905 and located at Edinburgh's historic North Bridge, The Scotsman 5-star hotel resides in the former baronial offices of the Scotsman Newspaper. In 2001 this magnificent listed building was transformed into one of the most stylish luxury boutique hotels in the heart of Edinburgh's city centre. It is the only hotel in Edinburgh that can boast views over Edinburgh Castle, The Firth of Forth, Leith, Princes Street and Calton Hill.
The Scotsman Hotel is also home to the magnificent Scotsman Spa and North Bridge Brasserie restaurant.
The Apex International hotel, offers 4-star accommodation in Edinburgh’s historic Grassmarket, close to Edinburgh Castle. It has a 2 AA Rosettes rooftop restaurant, Heights, where you can savour good food with views of Edinburgh Castle and the unique skyline.Unwind in the exclusive Yu Time leisure facilities which includes a gym with the latest Technogym equipment, an indoor swimming pool and Tropicarium.
The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel is one of Edinburgh’s most significant landmarks and sits proudly at the west end of Princes Street. Following a £24 million restoration, the hotel is a haven of luxurious accommodation, fine dining and exceptional service. In a partnership with Michelin-starred brothers Chris & Jeff Galvin, the hotel offers two exceptional new restaurants – The Pompadour by Galvin & Galvin Brasserie de Luxe.
Perfectly positioned at the corner of George IV Bridge & the Royal Mile, just steps from Edinburgh Castle, Hotel Missoni is situated in the heart of Edinburgh. This location gives the bedrooms breathtaking views over the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, Arthur’s Seat and even on to and across the Firth of Forth. A palette of black and white, with bursts of red and purple animates the rooms and suites to blend style and comfort, form and function.
Salisbury Green Hotel is a beautifully restored 3 star 18th-century mansion house set in beautifully landscaped grounds one mile from Edinburgh’s city centre. The interior design has been carefully designed to reflect the atmosphere & history of the building. All 36 en-suite bedrooms exude richness & quality. The hotel has mix of single, double & family rooms with bath or shower, two fully accessible rooms for disabled guests & free car parking.
Taking prime position on elegant George Street, The George is one of Edinburgh’s best known hotels. An extensive £20m renovation and expansion programme, completed in April 2009, has given the George stylish and contemporary interiors, whilst respecting the listed Georgian architecture. All 249 rooms offer guests a stylish and sophisticated retreat from hectic schedules with wi-fi and broadband available throughout.
Following a multi-million pound refurbishment in 2012, The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa incorporates a new informal brasserie-style restaurant, One Square, which offers a uniquely British take on the classic grand café. All 269 guest rooms and suites, many overlooking the castle, feature mood lighting, media hubs, glass-walled bathrooms and the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper (SM) Bed.
A quality, budget hotel in an ideal central location, the Piries Hotel is your ‘home away from home’ in the heart of Edinburgh. Built by the renowned Scottish architect Piries in 1845, the hotel is a Grade II listed Victorian building consisting of three separate townhouses tastefully combined to provide accommodation in a warm and friendly atmosphere with a great deal of character and charm.
Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel, located in the heart of Scotland's capital, offers 5-star budget accommodation with 296 beds. This busy Youth Hostel offers a range of multi-share and private rooms, all en-suite. Premium rooms are also available, taking hostelling to a new level, with TV and coffee making facilities. Just 10 minutes on foot from Waverley Train Station and the Bus Station, the hostel is within walking distance of Edinburgh's main attractions.
A newly refurbished chic boutique hotel offering luxury b&b at affordable prices in Edinburgh's West End. Brooks Hotel Edinburgh is a listed building of architectural interest. All 46 en-suite bedrooms have new beds with duck down bedding, Cole and Son wallpapers, iPod docking stations, designer furniture and power showers from Hansgrohe. Free wi-fi is available in all the bedrooms, and guest computers are located on the ground floor.
Rocco Forte Hotels' The Balmoral is a luxury hotel in the true senseof the word. With its majestic clock tower, the hotel is a unique and contemporary 5-star property located in the very heart of Edinburgh on the world-famous Princes Street. With a long-founded commitment to service delivery, The Balmoral prides itself on its blend of exceptional facilities, experienced event staff and dedication to detail.
Quality facilities at an affordable price and the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city centre! Privately owned and recently refurbished and redecorated to create a boutique style, The Minto Hotel has an excellent reputation within the city. The hotel offers 22 en-suite bedrooms, restaurant, a welcoming lounge for relaxing and a lively sports bar as well as a function suite.
Edinburgh is a compact, walkable city. Explore areas adjacent to the city centre and rediscover the village feel of Stockbridge, Morningside and Bruntsfield, the vibrancy of the Grassmarket and the developed waterfront at Leith. Make a day of it - find some unusual Christmas gifts, try somewhere different for lunch, visit an attraction or simply enjoy a walk in a different neighbourhood.
The West End and Haymarket is defined by the landmark buildings of the Caledonian Hotel and the House of Fraser department store at one end, and by Haymarket station to the West Between them lies a network of vibrant Georgian streets that support a fascinating array of independent boutiques, award-winning retailers, buzzing bars and contemporary restaurants.
George Street is home to some of the most fashionable and stylish stores in the UK and high quality dining. Thistle Street is a hidden gem just behind George Street to the north. It's home to some of the finest boutiques in the city including cosy wee bars and restaurants. Rose Street is a quaint, cobbled street nestling behind the bustle of Princes Street. It plays host to a number of cosy bars and an eclectic mix of fashion, sports shops, music shops, jewellery stores and usually some talented buskers!
Leith is the old maritime centre of Edinburgh. Its shipping heyday is behind it now but the popular dockside restaurants, bars and shops have a unique charm and make Leith a vibrant place to hang out. Recently the area played the starring role in the film, Sunshine on Leith created from songs by The Proclaimers.
Stockbridge, to the north of the city centre, feels like a village. It has a great mix of jewellers, galleries, second hand & gourmet food shops complemented by cosy cafes & restaurants.The Stockbridge Market is held every Sunday from 10am -5pm with fantastic fresh produce & artisan bakers.
Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh's historic Old Town, the Grassmarket area is one of the most vibrant, picturesque and convivial areas of the city. A paradise of independent merchants, designers and artisans, the Grassmarket is simply bursting with some of the best shopping Edinburgh has to offer. The area is well known for being home to some of the best restaurants in Edinburgh as well as some of the most vibrant and eclectic bars.
On the south side of Edinburgh, Bruntsfield and Morningside have a relaxed village feel and a unique mix of original boutiques, interior design and furniture stores. You’ll find artisan bakers and chocolatiers as well as great cafes, bars and restaurants. The Southside is also home to the majority of Edinburgh’s students as well as being a mecca for culture lovers and architecture buffs.
The Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s most historic street, stretching from Edinburgh Castle all the way down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It’s a great destination to pick up souvenirs and quality Scottish shopping whist taking in some of Edinburgh’s rich history and stunning architecture.
We'll be tweeting every day throughout the winter period, so follow us and don't miss out!
And a magnificent shot! "@RossGStrachan: The magnificent (on the inside AND the outside) @The_Balmoral, #Edinburgh http://t.co/poe6DOOxTc2
@sophie_gains Also @SheratonEDI, @thehubroyalmile, @Scotsman_Hotel & Festive Champagne Afternoon Tea at Prestonfield ow.ly/rvzyI
Lord Provost Donald Wilson responds to sad news of Nelson Mandela's death bit.ly/1kgtGA5
Google PlusGoogle Plus