Our team’s top tips for Edinburgh’s Christmas

If there’s one thing you should know about planning to visit Edinburgh’s Christmas is that it’s big…really big! There is lots going on across the capital from November 16 as the city is transformed into a winter wonderland.

Edinburgh’s Christmas has become one of the most popular festive events in the UK, with people coming from all over the country – and overseas - to soak up the carnival atmosphere.

But it has now grown into such a huge event that it can be difficult to know where to start, especially if you are visiting for the first time. But, just like little Christmas elves, the team here at The Chester Residence is here to help!

We can help you to plan your visit to Edinburgh’s Christmas…starting out these attractions which have made it onto our team’s nice list!  

24 Doors of Advent

What’s better than finding a piece of chocolate behind a door? Discovering what’s behind the doors of some of Edinburgh’s unique locations, of course! A different venue will open up its doors every day from December 1 to 24, allowing the public to see what goes on inside. From the hallowed turf of Murrayfield Stadium to the grandeur of Mansfield Traquair – also known as Edinburgh’s Sistene Chapel – there are lots of hidden gems to be explored.

Recommended by Viktoria, duty manager

Santa Train

Although we’d all much rather take a sleigh ride with Rudolph & Co, this runs a pretty close second! Join the Santa Train – part of Santa Land in East Princess Street Gardens – and take a festive trip through the city centre for unique views of the Christmas celebrations, the Norwegian Tree and Edinburgh Castle. Here’s my insider tip – if Santa says to wave the crowds when he rings the bell, do what the big man says. I hear on the grapevine that grinch types who don’t get on board with the fun are automatically placed on the naughty list.

Recommended by Rowan, front of house

Welcome to the Jingle

It’s a somewhat irreverent activity but has become one of the most popular ways to tour the city. And now Edinburgh’s famous Silent Disco Tours are back – with jingle bells on! During this unique experience you’ll be transported into a Yuletide fantasy land, helping to spread some joy to the world on a roaming silent disco walk – and dance – through the market.

Recommended by Mohamed, night porter

Princes Street Gardens Markets

Need to buy a Christmas gift for your uncle who is impossible to buy for? Or how about that hard-to-impress cousin? Take your shopping list and head to Princes Street Gardens for the famous festive markets which are the centrepiece of the Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations. You’ll find little log cabins selling a range of goods made locally and internationally – and enjoy a lovely warming mug of mulled wine while you shop. Not too much though…or in the cold light of day those thoughtful earmuffs for uncle might turn out to be not so useful after all.

Recommended by Barbara, housekeeper

The Big Wheel

Has Christmas in Edinburgh even happened unless there’s a big wheel in the city centre? In my opinion, no. You simply cannot come to Edinburgh’s Christmas and not get on the colourful Ferris wheel overlooking the gardens. You’ll get an amazing view of the city so many sure you have your camera at the ready when your reach the top. And the fairground fun doesn’t stop there – hop on board the Star Flyer if you’re a thrill seeker, or the carousel if you prefer to take things at an easier pace.

Recommended by Joe, maintenance

Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar

You can’t come to the Scottish capital and not enjoy a wee dram of our national drink. Whether it’s Scotch on the rocks or a contemporary cocktail, you’ll find your perfect pour at the Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar. The pop-up is situated across a two-floor bar on the Mound, and you’ll be able to learn about the unique flavours from the four corners of Scotland that blend together to create a brand that is adored around the world. If you really want to keep out the cold, the bar team will even serve up a hot toddy!

Recommended by Kenny, general manager

You’ll find the low-down on all the events taking place as part of Edinburgh’s Christmas on the official website – or just ask one of our team for some more information.