There are so many Christmas markets held across Europe at this time of year, but Edinburgh Christmas Market is consistently listed as one of the best to attend. Not only is it always full of great stalls and attractions, but it's also based in a beautiful city which feels like it was made for Christmas time. We wanted to highlight this market and provide a guide specifically for anyone visiting the 2023 Edinburgh Christmas Market, so we paid the market a visit to see what was happening there this year and what is different from last year. Let's get into the guide:
Where is the market located?
The market is always located in East Princes St Gardens, right in the centre of the city. If you're trying to reach the market from elsewhere in Edinburgh, you've got a few options - firstly, walking is always a good way to get around the city, and by foot is often the quickest way to reach the centre of town during the busy Christmas period when traffic is heavy. If you're travelling from further afield and you need to take public transport, the trams stop just along from the market and are especially useful for anyone coming from the airport.
You'll find some other festivities at the Western end of Princes St (pictured), including a few food stalls and some smaller fairground rides which are ideal for young children who want to get involved in the fun but can't ride the Ferris wheel.
To access this part of the Christmas fun, you're probably better to walk along Princes St rather than walk through the gardens as it'll be much quicker!
On a clear night, the views are quite hauntingly beautiful. The contrast of the festivities with gothic historical buildings peering out from the trees is quite something.
If you start here, it is easy to walk on the path towards the main part of the Christmas Market on the eastern end of Princes street across from Waverley Train Station.
This map found on the Eastern side of the ice rink on George St is quite helpful to look at if you're not sure where to head:
How do you get into the market in 2023?
What is there to see and do at the Edinburgh Christmas Market for 2023?
Visit the stalls
See the Castle Lights Show
Ride the Helter Skelter
Ride the Ferris Wheel
Ride the swing ride
Visit some of the other parts of the city
This year, there is also a very nice 'Edinburgh' sign (pictured here) which is just crying out for a photo! You'll find it at The Mound heading up towards the Royal Mile.
Have a shot on the ice rink & the carousel
The Christmas Tree Maze is also lots of fun - it's small but definitely quite tricky to navigate as the trees are lit up and quite tall. Adult supervision definitely needed for this!
As you can see from the image here, Santa Land is open until the 3rd of January 2023 and is open until 9pm every day of the week.
What should you be aware of before visiting the Edinburgh Christmas Market?
Wheelchair users will be pleased to learn that much of the market is accessible - East Princes Street Gardens is fully accessible from both Princes Street and Waverley Bridge, although that area can be very busy at peak times and difficult for a wheelchair to navigate. There is an accessible toilet at the Mound precinct - if you ask a member of Edinburgh’s Christmas staff for the key they can help you. Sadly, rides such as the Ferriss Wheel cannot accommodate wheelchairs. There is pay and display parking for East Princes Street Gardens available on Frederick Street, Hanover Street, and Waterloo Place. This is free for Blue Badge holders with no time limit.