Best Things To Do For Christmas In Edinburgh 2022

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Edinburgh is one of those magical cities at any time of year.

When looking at Christmas things to do in Edinburgh though, it takes on a whole new appeal.

Winter in this part of the world is really cold, but when you wrap up warm and take a wander along the Royal Mile, you’ll lose yourself for a few hours and get lost in the magic of Christmas.  

We’ve put together a guide for students living in Edinburgh to make the most of the festive period.

With Christmas 2022 fast approaching, here is our list of the top festive things to do in Edinburgh this year!  

Things to do Edinburgh Christmas

1. Visit The Christmas Markets

When it comes to things to do in Edinburgh for Christmas, you’ve got to take a visit to the Christmas Markets – they are a sight to behold each year!  

There’s the German Christmas Market theme that you see these days in most cities, but there is also a Scottish market section.  

The markets sprawl across East Princes Street Gardens and are taking place from the 25th of November until the 3rd of January 2023.  

Have a wander past the stalls with your pals and find the perfect gifts to buy loved ones this Christmas.  

There are plenty of places to stop for some festive food and drink too. 

Pick up some mulled wine for your slow stroll around the markets! 

Obviously, the markets do get quite busy during the weekends and evenings, and the closer you get to Christmas.  

The best time to visit is during the week, when there is still a good Christmas-vibe, but it isn’t too rammed. 


Address: East Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh  

2. Enjoy The Winter Light Trail

The Edinburgh Botanical Gardens is one of the most beautiful places you can visit at any time of year.

However, in the run up to the festive period it becomes a winter wonderland that you MUST visit.  

The Winter Light Trail Evenings are something to behold.  

Full of Christmas decorations, lights, and a wonderful trail around the gardens, you’ll have a great time seeing the sights.  

The trail is open between 17th November and 30th December so you’ve got plenty of time to get down there and see the Cathedral of Light, the Scented Fire Garden.

You can even visit Santa and his elves, even if you’re not a small child anymore! 


Address: Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, Arboretum Pl, Edinburgh EH3 5NZ 

3. A Glass Of Bubbly At The Dome

The Dome in Edinburgh screams Christmas!  

The spectacular bar and restaurant is full of marble bars, Corinthian columns, and an exclusive feel.  

It is a great place to impress the folks with a light lunch or fine dining, but at Christmas you’ll get an extra special feeling here.  

Book in for the Christmas institution that is the Dome – with a hot chocolate or a glass of fizz in your hand.  

The Christmas decorations and lights here are something special, trust us. 

It should be on the bucket list of every person moving to Edinburgh or visiting during the Christmas period!  

We highly recommend booking ahead so you’re not disappointed. 



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A post shared by The Dome (@thedomeedinburgh)

Address: 14 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PF 

4. Go Ice Skating

The Lidl on Ice rink was massive, taking on the length of George Street last year, and it promises to be a similarly spectacular event this Christmas.  

A sculpture centre piece is a nod to the elliptical ice rink of the past, where the Melville Monument in St Andrew Square was a focal point. 

The hire of your ice skates is part of the entry fee, and you’ll be given an allocated slot to skate away to your hearts content.  

It is certainly a chilled out, interesting ice rink layout, with a hot mulled wine at the end for you to enjoy once you put your skates up.  

Don’t forget to bring along your student ID to benefit from some student discount – don’t mind if we do!   


Address: George Street, Edinburgh  

6. Experience The Christmas Pantos

“He’s behind you!” 

Going to a panto is about as festive as it gets in the UK, don’t you think?

Luckily for you students, there are some incredible shows on in Edinburgh every single year.  

It’s a really fun night out to have with your uni mates, drop the pretence that you’re cool and allow yourself to enjoy the fun panto shouts and the laughter all round. 

The King’s Theatre is putting on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs this year between 17th December and 22nd January. 


Address: King’s Theatre, 2 Leven St, Edinburgh EH3 9LQ 

7. Watch A Festive Show

If you’re not quite sure about a panto, there are loads of other festive show options for you to take advantage of.  

The Lyceum theatre has An Edinburgh Christmas Carol running this year.

Whilst the Scottish Ballet is hosting The Snow Queen at the Festival Theatre.  

If you’re after something a little more cultured, then Edinburgh at Christmas certainly gives you a fair few options. 


Address: The Lyceum, 30b Grindlay St, Edinburgh EH3 9AX 

Festival Theatre, 13-29 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9FT 

8. Brave The Christmas Fair

Aside from the food, drink, and gifts at the Christmas markets you can also harness your inner child by taking on the rides at East Princes Street Gardens. 

The carousel is always fun, the Helter Skelter, and other rides provide that little bit of festive excitement, and then of course you have the Forth 1 Big Wheel.  

This is one of the best places to get an incredible panoramic view of the city at this time of year.  

Get inside one of the 36 enclosed pods, and get a bird’s-eye view of Edinburgh, including the lights from the Christmas market below. 

Although, we wouldn’t recommend having a bevvie and going on the rides!  


Address: East Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh 

9. Make A Dash For The Santa Fun Run

If you’re a runner and you’re looking to get into the competitive spirit this Christmas, why not take part in Edinburgh’s Santa Dash this year?

The fun run and walk sees hundreds of adults, kids, and dogs take part in the 2.5km fun run. 

It is open to everyone, with all the money raised going to the When You Wish Upon a Star charity. 

This year, the Santa Dash takes place on Sunday 4th December with only a few days left until the big day, sign up now!  

The Santa Half Marathon is also a big running event, on the 18th of December this year, for those looking for a longer run and a faster pace (even if you are dressed up as Santa!).  

A mince pie awaits you at the finish line! 

Santa Fun Run Edinburgh

Address: West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh  

10. The Big Christmas Tree At Jenners

One of the best festive traditions in Edinburgh is going to see the giant Christmas tree at Jenners department store.  

Whilst it is no longer owned by Jenners, the new ownership confirmed they are going to continue the tradition.  

The classic building on Princes Street is an iconic venue and the Christmas tree is so massive that it is difficult to see how they manage to put it up inside the store every year.  

It turns out that they squeeze the 60ft tree through the door at the St David Street entrance, and the door itself is taken apart to accommodate the tree – wow!  

It is an incredible feat and definitely worth it once you see the glittering array of decorations on the tree. 

Take part in the traditions and go and see it yourself, it makes for a great evening with friends and a fab Insta story pic!  


Address: 48 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2BY

As you can see, there is plenty of things to do for Christmas in Edinburgh. 

If you’re lucky enough to live and study in the Scottish Capital, you’ll have loads to see and do around the festive season, whether with your university mates, for dates, or with family.  

Let us know what your favourite thing to do around Edinburgh at Christmas is @prestigestudentliving.  

Who doesn’t love treating themselves to a takeaway? We sure do!

Take a read of our blog on the Best Edinburgh Takeaways That Students MUST Try.