The Christmas Markets. Some think they are crowded, commercial and a bit of a rip-off. So, why do we keep going back year after year? As you walk under the bright neon ‘Edinburgh’s Christmas’ sign and the fruity scent of mulled wine begins to envelop you, the reason soon becomes clear. This is where Christmas begins.
Whether you visit on its opening day in November or its last day on January 7, the wooden stalls decked with Christmas garlands and fairy lights, take you back to being an excited child, awaiting Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
Princes Street Gardens becomes an amazing winter wonderland with Christmas music jingling in the background and excited shoppers wrapped in their winter woollens. The atmosphere is enough to make the biggest Scrooge start crooning ‘Fairy Tale of New York’.
The markets are a wonderful place to find beautiful gifts that differ from the dreaded Lynx set. Even though some items may lean towards the pricey side, you can see that much of the goods are hand crafted and unique, making them worth the extra cash. From colourful lanterns, to ornate candleholders, there are presents for everyone; that’s if you can resist keeping such gorgeous trinkets for yourself.
As a German market, it would be criminal to visit without sampling the authentic Bratwurst and warming up with a spiced Glühwein. There is also a range of other European delicacies, including French fried potatoes and Spanish churros, the smell of which makes it almost impossible to decide what to try.
For the adventurous ones, the rides are unmissable: the Star Flyer provides views of Edinburgh from 60 feet in the air. However, if high heights are not for you, slightly tamer is the classic carousel or the outdoor ice rink around St Andrew’s Square. With tickets from only a fiver you can even use a skating aid for those who struggle on the ice.
Put on your thickest winter coat, wrap up warm with a knitted scarf and head to Edinburgh Christmas Markets for the ultimate festive experience!
image: ShenXin via pixabay