From 12th to 20th December a marquee goes up in Princes Street which houses an Ethical Christmas Market where you can do all your Christmas shopping from fairtrade, organic and ethical stalls. Its free to go in and there is fairtrade tea/coffee and curries available. Loads of original ideas for presents can be found and a great atmosphere.
Princes Street / Castle Street, Edinburgh.
Google map: tinyurl.com/yz6fx9b
There are several markets scattered across the city: arts & crafts, ethical, farmers'. But the daddy of them all is of course the German market in Princes St Gardens. Giant wheel, ice skating and mulled wine with the backdrop of the formidable Edinburgh Castle - unbeatable!
Visit Edinburgh in the middle of winter - at Christmas or at New Year...?
Yes, and I recommend it!
The locals are full of bonhomie; every pub or eatery with a fireplace is welcoming; and the locals, who act as tourist guides at the castle and other touristy places, are happy to see you and have a chat.
Crowds? No ... have have the castle and the whisky tours all to yourself.
You can even venture out of town and maybe have a hit at St Andrews ('cos there is noone else there playing).
There is also the added bonus of Scottish New Year celebrations. Something everyone should do at least once in a lifetime: Hogmanay.
Downside? It's cold - very cold; sleeting and snowing, but hey, nothing a couple of jackets, coats, mufflers, gloves and hats can't fix.
Seriously: go and visit in winter;
it is a different place.
To get a real flavour of the celebratory nature of the locals and the town, it is a good idea to visit just before or at Christmas time, when the Christmas fair is on in the city centre. It brings alive the kid in you with a ferris wheel, a very enchanting fortune teller and other rides. Besides, you can gorge on mulled wine every evening and eat scrumptuous street food while you browse through local knick knacks at the German market or empty your purse at the high street big brand sales. Very memorable!
Various locations in the centre of Edinburgh;
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