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!
It can be difficult to find cheap food at the Fringe - especially as most places seem to be packed or overpriced in August.
Here are some tips for eating on a budget:
- Carry a bottle of water, a few snacks and a packed lunch with you during the day - you can munch during during long queues for tickets, and avoid the premium prices at cafes and sandwich shops in the city center.
- Head to the Edinburgh Farmer's Market on Saturdays for some budget-friendly food. Held between 9am and 2pm at Castle Terrace, it's stalls sell filling hot takeaway food, such as venison burgers and a hog roast!
- Some of the venues have great cafes, but they can get crowded in between shows. Instead, try the street stalls around the main venues such as Johnston Terrace and Bristo Square. The Traverse Theatre Bar and Café has a decent selection of reasonably priced food, and the courtyards inside the Pleasance Dome Theatre are home to stalls selling huge hot dogs and burgers.
- With some shows, food actually comes as part of your ticket. Early risers can catch Shakespeare for breakfast at C Venue at 10am, and watch the Bard’s best plays with a croissant and a cup of tea or coffee.
- For a cheap meal out, check out the Mosque Kitchen (officially called The Lunch Box) where you can pick up huge portions of halal curries for just a few pounds.
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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