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Christmas in Edinburgh

Halloween has passed and the festive period has begun! Edinburgh’s famous Christmas Markets dominate the city centre in November and December, but more than this the city has so many festive events on offer. You cannot possibly squeeze all of these events in to one day…this is where Bright Bus comes in! Our hop on hop off tours take you round all the hot spots and tourist attractions in Edinburgh, as well as out to the Leith’s Shores to explore the capitals hidden gems.

Check out the list below for all things festive:

Christmas @ The Botanics (16th Nov – 30th Dec)

Price: £19 off peak / £22.50 peak

Visit the magical illuminations at the Royal Botanic Gardens, from sparkling tunnels of lights to botanical projections there is so much to see and do for all the family.

Britannia Tour Stop 3

Learn More: Christmas at the Botanics 2023 | Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (

Scots Fiddle Festival (17th – 19th Nov)

Price: Range of prices

The Scots Fiddle Festival brings together people from all over the world, which inspires thousands of people to enjoy and take part in traditional music. The festival takes place at The Pleasance theatre, a short walk from City Tour stop 11.

City Tour Stop 11

Learn More: Scots Fiddle Festival 2023

Christmas Markets (17th Nov – 6th Jan)

Price: Free entry

You cannot visit Edinburgh during the festive period without going to the Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market, with 70 stalls featuring the best local and international produce. Along from the markets is the Family Funfair, which has lots of rides, attractions, food stalls and warming zones.

City Tour & Britannia Tour Stop 2

Learn More: Edinburgh Christmas (

Santa Stories (18th Nov – 24th Dec)

Santa’s Stories takes place in St Andrew Square, where children can enjoy a a magical storytelling experience meeting Santa, learning the importance of giving, and receive a gift. Both our City & Britannia hop on hop off tours stop right outside Santa Stories.

City Tour & Britannia Tour Stop 2

Learn More: Santa Stories | Events | Edinburgh Christmas (

Edinburgh Diwali: Festival of Light (19th Nov)

Price: Free entry

The Edinburgh Diwali Festival of Lights is the most famous Indian Festival to Edinburgh where the mainstream community can participate and celebrate the Victory of Good over Evil. The parade commences at 12:30pm at St Andrew Square, moving onto the Ross Bandstand for dancing and live music, then fireworks from 5.30pm onwards.

City Tour & Britannia Tour Stop 2

Learn More: Winter Festivals in Edinburgh-Edinburgh Diwali

Dome at Christmas (30th Oct – 7th Jan)

Price: Range of prices

The Dome’s festive decor is back in all its sparkly glory, book in for festive dining NOW

City Tour & Britannia Tour Stop 2


George Street Ice Skating (18th Nov – 6th Jan)

Price: From £5

Get your skates on and glide all the way up and down Edinburgh’s famous George St on the magnificent ice rink.

City Tour & Britannia Tour Stop 2

Learn More: Edinburgh Christmas (

Christmas at Palace of Holyroodhouse (23rd Nov – 1st Jan)

Price: From £18

The Palace will be transformed with Christmas decorations including magnificently decorated trees in the Throne Room and Great Gallery, adorned with shimmering decorations and sparkling lights, while the Great Stair leading to the historic State Apartments will be draped with twinkling velvet garlands, vibrant berries and seasonal foliage.

City Tour Stop 15

Learn More: Activity: Christmas at the Palace of Holyroodhouse (

Castle of Light: Magic and Mystery (24th Nov – 3rd Jan)

Price: From £22

Enjoy immersive illuminations and enchanting installations, as they guide you through the castle grounds in a sea of twinkling lights and colourful displays.

City Tour Stop 8 & Britannia Tour Stop 14

Learn More: Welcome to Castle of Light: A Kingdom of Colours (

Ocean Terminal Christmas Market (Every weekend from 30th Nov – 24th Dec)

The weekend market has a festive transformation offering beautiful handcrafted gifts, food and drinks!

Britannia Tour Stop 5

Learn More: Christmas Market (

International Magic Festival (20th – 31st Dec)

Price: Range of prices

Magicfest is back this Christmas with a mind-blowing programme of shows, events and workshops to bring wonder and fun to the festive season. 

City Tour Stop 9 for Scottish Storytelling Centre

Learn More: Home – (

Dynamic Earth – The Christmas Experience (1st – 23rd Dec)

Price: From £10

Dynamic Earth has created a holiday adventure with their very own North Pole Grotto to meet Santa Claus, visitors will enjoy a Christmas experience which encompasses education, entertainment, and the spirit of the festive season.

City Tour Stop 14

Learn More: The Christmas Experience | Dynamic Earth

Edinburgh Christmas Shopping

Edinburgh is renowned for its array of designer and high street shops, most recently Edinburgh opened the St James Quarter, the biggest retail and leisure district Scotland has ever seen.

City Tour Stop 1 & Britannia Tour Stop 1

We’ve got the best seats in the house, and you can hop-on and hop-off as much as you like! With our best selling combo ticket, you get two tours, two days – double the fun!