Where to Stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets: 4 Best areas

Hi guys, on my website, I already wrote an article about staying in Edinburgh for first-timers (I will put the links to it at the end of this article). In today’s article, I will help you to find the best places to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets.

I will provide you with a list of what I believe are the best areas to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets, along with a helpful map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Edinburgh and recommend some of the best hotels in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets for all budgets.

Some of the best Christmas Markets in Edinburgh in 2023 include:

  • East Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market 
  • West Princes Street Gardens Family Funfair
  • St Andrew Square Winter Garden
  • George Street and Castle Street Christmas Fair

The Edinburgh Christmas Market starts from 17th November 2023 to 6th January 2024. The main Christmas market in Edinburgh is usually held in East Princes Street Gardens, right in the heart of the city. You’ll find a range of traditional market stalls, delicious food and drink vendors, and festive activities.

In addition to the market stalls, you can expect to find a variety of attractions and events, including a Ferris wheel, ice skating rink, and a Santa’s Grotto for kids.

The Christmas market is an excellent place to do some holiday shopping. You’ll find a wide array of gifts, crafts, and traditional Scottish products, making it a perfect opportunity to pick up unique presents.

Edinburgh’s Christmas Market offers a variety of delicious festive treats. You can try traditional Scottish dishes like haggis, as well as international cuisine. Don’t forget to warm up with a cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate.

The market often features live entertainment, including carol singers, musicians, and street performers. It can be quite cold in winter, so make sure to dress warmly. Layering is key, and don’t forget a good pair of walking shoes, as you’ll be exploring the market on foot.

It is recommended to book your accommodation well in advance, as Edinburgh is a popular destination during the holiday season. Many hotels offer special Christmas packages.

You can travel to the city by train, bus, or by flying into Edinburgh Airport. If you’re coming from the main train station, Waverley Station, it’s just a short walk to the market.

While in Edinburgh, you take the opportunity to explore the city beyond the Christmas market. Visit Edinburgh Castle, walk down the Royal Mile, and enjoy the beautiful architecture and history of this vibrant city.

Where to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets?

The best areas to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets are Old Town, New Town, Stockbridge, and Haymarket/West End. These are popular areas for tourists, offering a wide range of accommodations for all budgets and easy access to the Christmas markets both on foot and by public transportation.

Old Town and New Town are the most popular areas in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets, especially if you want to be right in the heart of the action and enjoy the main Christmas Market. 

If you prefer a more local and relaxed experience, Stockbridge might be the right fit. Haymarket/West End offers a quieter option and is suitable for those looking for budget accommodations. 

On my trip to Edinburg, I stayed at the popular Scotsman Hotel in the Old Town. It has a prime  location, within easy walking distance to major sights and the Waverley Station. It also has laundry services, 24h front desk, and very good breakfast.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets
Map of the best areas to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Edinburgh have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

4 Best areas to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets 

1. Old Town 

Old Town is a fantastic area to stay in Edinburgh during the Christmas season, especially if you want to be right in the heart of the city’s festive activities, including the main Christmas Market.

The Old Town offers easy access to the iconic Edinburgh Christmas Market in East Princes Street Gardens. You’ll be just steps away from the festive stalls, ice skating rink, and other attractions.

The Old Town is rich in history and character. Staying in this area allows you to experience the city’s medieval and historic ambiance, which is especially enchanting during the holiday season.

Many of Edinburgh’s attractions are within walking distance in the Old Town. You can easily explore the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles’ Cathedral, The Real Mary King’s Close, Museum of Edinburgh, Grassmarket, Holyrood Palace, and other landmarks while enjoying the festive decorations.

The Old Town has a unique atmosphere during the Christmas season, with beautifully decorated streets, traditional Scottish elements, and a generally merry and festive ambiance.

You’ll have an array of restaurants, cafes, and bars at your doorstep, offering cozy places to warm up and enjoy traditional Scottish food and drinks.

Keep in mind that, due to its central location and popularity during the Christmas season, accommodations in the Old Town can be in high demand. It’s advisable to book your lodging well in advance to have the best deals.

Best places to stay in Edinburgh Old Town for Christmas Markets:

MORE HOTEL DEALS IN OLD TOWN

2. New Town

The New Town is adjacent to the Old Town, offering more budget-friendly accommodation and great shopping opportunities while still providing easy access to the festive activities in the city. 

George Street and Princes Street are prominent streets in the New Town, known for its high-end shopping  and beautiful views of the Old Town and Edinburgh Castle. They are excellent places to find unique gifts for the holiday season. 

The New Town is known for its beautiful Georgian architecture and wide, tree-lined streets. It’s a more upscale and sophisticated part of the city, offering a contrast to the historic charm of the Old Town.

You can easily walk to the main Christmas Market in Princes Street Gardens, St Andrew Square Winter Garden, and Castle Street Christmas Fair. 

The New Town is home to various museums, art galleries, and cultural institutions, including the Scottish National Gallery, the Royal Scottish Academy, and the Georgian House.

In 1995, Edinburgh’s New Town, along with the Old Town, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its historical and architectural significance.

Best places to stay in Edinburgh New Town for Christmas Markets:

MORE HOTEL DEALS IN NEW TOWN

3. Stockbridge

Stockbridge is a charming and trendy neighborhood located north of the city center. While it’s not as close to the main Christmas Market as the Old and New Town areas, it has a lovely local Christmas Market with a cozy feel.

Staying in Stockbridge provides a quieter, more residential experience while still being within reach of the festivities.

Every Sunday, the Stockbridge Market takes place, offering a variety of fresh produce, artisanal goods, crafts, and street food. It’s a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

Inverleith Park is situated to the north of Stockbridge and offers beautiful green spaces, walking paths, and play areas. It’s a popular spot for picnics and leisurely strolls.

The Water of Leith is a picturesque river that runs through Stockbridge. There’s a scenic walkway along the river, providing a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Stockbridge is known for its independent boutiques, antique shops, and specialty stores. It’s a great place for shopping for unique and locally made products.

Best places to stay in Edinburgh in Stockbridge for Christmas Markets:

MORE HOTEL DEALS IN STOCKBRIDGE

4. Haymarket/West End

The Haymarket and West End areas are just west of the city center, offering more budget-friendly accommodation options, local vibe, and a slightly quieter atmosphere compared to the city center.s. They are not as close to the main Christmas Market but are well-connected by public transport.

This area is home to the Haymarket railway station and serves as a major transportation hub connecting Edinburgh to other parts of Scotland. 

The nearby West End of Edinburgh is home to attractions such as National Galleries of Scotland: Modern One, National Galleries of Scotland: Modern Two, and Dean Village.

Best places to stay in Haymarket/West End for Christmas Markets:

MORE HOTEL DEALS IN HAYMARKET

In conclusion, Old Town, New Town, Stockbridge, and Haymarket/West End are the best places to stay in Edinburgh for Christmas Markets. These are central and well-connected areas in Edinburgh offering a wide range of accommodations and easy access to all the Christmas markets.

If you are traveling to Edinburgh for the first time, you can continue reading this article: Safest areas to stay in Edinburgh for first-time visitors.

I hope you enjoyed my article and find it informative and helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality travel guides.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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