Where to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets? In this article, we will look at the best areas to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets (include map), how to get to the Christmas Market, and the best hotels in Edinburgh for all budget travelers.
Visiting Edinburgh for its Christmas markets can be a delightful experience. The city is known for its festive atmosphere and beautiful decorations during the holiday season.
Edinburgh’s Christmas markets typically run from late November to early January. Princes Street Gardens is the heart of Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations.
Princes Street Gardens are transformed into a winter wonderland with a large ice skating rink, a Christmas tree maze, and various market stalls selling gifts, food, and festive treats.
Another popular spot for Christmas markets, George Street features additional market stalls, lights, and decorations. It’s a great place to explore and soak in the holiday atmosphere.
Edinburgh’s Christmas markets offer a wide range of unique gifts, crafts, and festive goodies. You can find everything from handmade ornaments and jewelry to local Scottish products.
Don’t miss the chance to try traditional Scottish winter treats and mulled wine at the markets. There are also plenty of food stalls serving hot dishes to keep you warm.
In addition to shopping and dining, you can enjoy various entertainment options at the markets, including live music, street performances, and even rides for kids. The highlight is often the annual Christmas light switch-on event, which usually features a celebrity guest.
If you have children, be sure to visit Santa’s Grotto in one of the markets. Kids can meet Santa Claus, share their Christmas wishes, and receive a small gift.
Winter Wonderland Rides: Princes Street Gardens often features a range of fairground rides and attractions suitable for all ages. It’s a great way to add some excitement to your visit.
Remember that Edinburgh can be quite cold in the winter, so dress warmly and be prepared for possible rain or snow.
Where to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets?
The best areas to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets are Princes Street, Old Town, New Town, Grassmarket, Stockbridge, West End, and Leith. These areas offer easy access to Christmas markets both on foot and by public transportation.
In general, Princes Street, Old Town, New Town are the best areas to stay in Edinburgh for first-time travelers and those who want to stay close to the main Christmas market on Princes Street. But, all of these neighborhoods offer their own festive experiences, so you can’t go wrong with any of them.
As Christmas is a popular time to visit Edinburgh, it’s a good idea to book your accommodation well in advance to secure the best options. Additionally, check for any special Christmas packages or deals that hotels may offer to make your stay even more festive.
Map of the best areas and neighborhoods in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets:
Overviews of best areas to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets
Here is an overview of recommended areas in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets and why you should stay in each area:
|Best areas in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets||Why should you stay in this area?|
|Princes Street||Princes Street is home to the main Christmas market in Edinburgh, offering stunning views of the Edinburgh Castle and plenty of festive stalls. Staying in a hotel along Princes Street or nearby streets like George Street will put you right in the heart of the holiday action.|
|Old Town||The historic Old Town of Edinburgh is filled with charm, and it’s within walking distance of the Christmas markets. You can explore the markets during the day and enjoy the city’s rich history in the evening. Look for accommodations along the Royal Mile or in the Grassmarket area.|
|New Town||Edinburgh’s New Town offers a mix of Georgian architecture and modern amenities. It’s a short walk from Princes Street and the Christmas markets, and it’s a great place to find boutique hotels, cozy B&Bs, and stylish apartments.|
|Grassmarket||Grassmarket is a picturesque area located below Edinburgh Castle, offering easy access to the major Christmas market in Princes Street.|
|Stockbridge||Stockbridge is a trendy and picturesque neighborhood with a village-like atmosphere. While it’s a bit farther from the city center, it offers a quieter and more local experience. You can easily reach the Christmas markets by walking or taking public transportation.|
|West End||The West End is known for its beautiful architecture and proximity to the city center. It’s a pleasant area to stay in, with various accommodation options, and it’s within walking distance of the Christmas markets.|
|Leith||If you’re looking for a unique experience away from the crowds, consider staying in Leith. It’s a vibrant waterfront area with its own festive markets, and it’s well-connected to the city center via public transportation.|
How to get to the Edinburgh Christmas Market?
If you are arriving by air, you will land at Edinburgh Airport. From the airport, you can take a taxi, airport shuttle, or the Airlink 100 bus service to the city center.
If you are coming from other cities in the UK, Edinburgh has two main train stations: Waverley and Haymarket. Waverley is closer to the city center. You can check train schedules and book tickets in advance.
If you are traveling by bus, the main bus station in Edinburgh is located on St. Andrew Square in the city center. Several bus companies operate services to and from Edinburgh.
Lothian Buses is the primary bus operator in Edinburgh. They have an extensive network that covers the city and surrounding areas.
Edinburgh’s city center is relatively compact and easy to explore on foot. Many of the city’s attractions, shops, and restaurants are within walking distance of each other.
7 Best areas to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets are:
1. Princes Street
Princes Street is one of the best places to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas markets, especially for travelers who want to be at the heart of Edinburgh’s Christmas festivities. Princes Street is the location of the city’s main Christmas market.
Staying nearby means you can easily visit the market whenever you like, whether for shopping, dining, or simply soaking up the holiday atmosphere.
Princes Street also provides stunning views of the iconic Edinburgh Castle, which is beautifully lit up during the Christmas season. This creates a magical backdrop for your stay.
The Princes Street Gardens, located in a valley between the Old Town and the New Town, offer a picturesque setting for leisurely walks, picnics, and relaxation.
The area is also located within walking distance of many of Edinburgh’s top attractions, including the Royal Mile, Scott Monument, and National Gallery of Scotland. You can easily explore on foot.
Princes Street is one of Edinburgh’s main shopping districts, so if you’re interested in holiday shopping or exploring boutiques and department stores, you’ll be in the right place.
Princes Street is well-connected by public transportation, located right next to the Edinburgh Waverley Train Station, making it easy to explore other parts of the city or travel to and from the airport.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh in Princes Street for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): The Balmoral Hotel
- Mid-range ($$): Hotel Indigo – Edinburgh – Princes Street, an IHG Hotel
- Budget ($): Motel One Edinburgh-Princes
2. Old Town
Staying in Edinburgh’s Old Town during the Christmas season can be a truly magical experience. Old Town is steeped in history and charm, and it’s within walking distance of the city’s Christmas markets and major historical attractions.
Old Town is known for its medieval and historic architecture, which adds to the festive atmosphere during the Christmas season. The winding cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings are beautifully decorated with holiday lights and decorations.
The main Christmas market on Princes Street is just a short walk downhill from Old Town. You can easily access the markets during the day and return to the cozy ambiance of Old Town in the evenings.
The Royal Mile, which runs through the heart of Old Town, is a bustling street filled with shops, restaurants, and pubs. It’s also home to various Christmas-themed events and activities during the holiday season.
If you stay in Old Town, you’ll have easy access to Edinburgh Castle, which is an iconic landmark and looks especially enchanting when illuminated at night during the Christmas season.
Old Town is within walking distance of many of Edinburgh’s top attractions, including Holyrood Palace, the Scottish Parliament, and the Museum of Edinburgh.
Old Town boasts a variety of traditional Scottish pubs and restaurants where you can warm up with hearty meals and mulled wine after a day of exploring the Christmas markets.
When looking for accommodation in Old Town, you’ll find a mix of historic hotels, boutique guesthouses, and vacation rentals. Also, be prepared for some hilly terrain and steep steps in parts of Old Town, so consider your mobility needs when choosing accommodation.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh Old Town for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): Cheval Old Town Chambers
- Mid-range ($$): Market Street hotel
- Budget ($): Motel One Edinburgh-Royal
3. New Town
Edinburgh’s New Town is known for its Georgian architecture, shopping streets, and cultural attractions, making it a great choice for a festive visit. It’s just a short walk from the main Christmas market in Princes Street.
New Town is characterized by its neoclassical and Georgian architecture, offering a more orderly and refined atmosphere compared to the historic Old Town. The streets are beautifully decorated with Christmas lights during the holiday season, creating a picturesque setting.
Princes Street, one of Edinburgh’s main shopping streets, is right on the edge of New Town, which is perfect for holiday shopping.
New Town is home to the Scottish National Gallery and the Georgian House. You can explore these sites during the day and then enjoy the Christmas lights in the evening.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh New Town for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): InterContinental Hotels – Edinburgh The George, an IHG Hotel
- Mid-range ($$): Le Monde Hotel
- Budget ($): ibis Styles Edinburgh St Andrew Square
Grassmarket is one of the best areas to stay in Edinburgh for the Christmas as it is located just a short walk from the city’s main Christmas market in Princes Street Gardens.
Grassmarket is nestled in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, providing a picturesque backdrop to the Christmas market. The historic and charming architecture of the area adds to the overall festive ambiance.
Grassmarket is known for its lively atmosphere year-round, and during the Christmas season, it comes alive with street performers, live music, and a warm, welcoming vibe.
The area is home to a variety of boutique shops, souvenir stores, and artisanal shops, making it a great place to shop for unique gifts and souvenirs.
Beyond the Christmas market, Grassmarket is also close to the National Museum of Scotland, the Writers’ Museum, and the Museum of Edinburgh.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh in Grassmarket for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): The Witchery by the Castle
- Mid-range ($$): Apex Grassmarket Hotel
- Budget ($): Grassmarket Hotel
Stockbridge is known for its village-like atmosphere, independent shops, and local character, making it a great base for a more relaxed holiday stay. It’s within walking distance or a short bus ride away from the Christmas markets and other attractions.
Stockbridge has a distinct local charm with its cobblestone streets, independent boutiques, and artisanal food shops. During the Christmas season, it’s beautifully decorated with festive lights and decorations, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Stockbridge has its own weekly farmer market, and during the Christmas season, it often hosts special holiday markets with local crafts, gourmet food, and unique gifts. It’s a great place to find unique Christmas presents and enjoy the local community spirit.
Stockbridge is close to the beautiful Water of Leith Walkway, a picturesque path along a river that’s particularly charming during the winter months. You can enjoy a scenic walk and escape the holiday hustle and bustle for a while.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh in Stockbridge for Christmas Markets:BEST HOTELS IN STOCKBRIDGE
6. West End
Staying in Edinburgh’s West End during the Christmas season offers a blend of elegance, proximity to the city center, and a quieter ambiance compared to the bustling city center.
The West End is known for its beautiful Georgian and Victorian architecture, creating a sophisticated and upscale atmosphere.
The West End is within walking distance of Princes Street and the main Christmas market, making it convenient for exploring the holiday festivities.
This area is close to the Dean Village, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and the Water of Leith Walkway, which can provide a serene escape during the holiday season.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh West End for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): The Roseate Edinburgh
- Mid-range ($$): Hapimag Resort Edinburgh
- Budget ($): Haymarket Apartments
Leith is an increasingly popular area to stay in Edinburgh, and it offers a unique and vibrant atmosphere for visitors, even during the Christmas season. While it’s not as centrally located as some other neighborhoods, Leith has its own charm and festive activities to offer.
Leith Christmas Market features local artisans, food vendors, and festive entertainment. This can provide a more local and authentic Christmas experience away from the city center.
Leith is located on the waterfront, offering scenic views of the Firth of Forth. During the Christmas season, you can take leisurely walks along the waterfront and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
One of Edinburgh’s top attractions, the Royal Yacht Britannia, is located in Leith. You can explore this historic ship and learn about its royal history during your stay.
While Leith is not in the city center, it’s well-connected to the city by buses. You can easily reach the Christmas markets and other attractions in the city center within a short commute.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh in Leith for Christmas Markets:
- Luxury ($$$): Matysiak Luxury Apartment
- Mid-range ($$): Ocean Serviced Apartments
- Budget ($): Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh – Leith Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
In conclusion, Princes Street, Old Town, New Town, Grassmarket, Stockbridge, West End, and Leith are the best places to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas markets. Each neighborhood offers a unique experience for exploring the Christmas markets and enjoying the festive atmosphere.