There’s plenty of festive fun to experience in the Scottish capital between Christmas and New Year
The Scottish capital draws visitors from far and wide the whole year round, and it certainly isn’t hard to understand why. There is so much to discover within the wall of Edinburgh, from the hustle and bustle of Princes Street’s iconic retail hub to the history and mystery attached to the fascinating Old Town. And that’s without mentioning the various parks, restaurants, theatres, bars and, of course, the world-renowned Edinburgh Castle itself.
However, there is one time of year when Edinburgh truly shines. The week between Christmas and New Year – also known as the ‘Crimbo Limbo’ – showcases the city at its very best. Not only is the city fantastically lit in festive lights and coated in picturesque frost, but there are also endless exciting activities and events to get involved with.
Whether you’re looking to celebrate the Christmas atmosphere or get in the party spirit for New Year’s Eve, there is plenty to discover. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the excitement by reading our guide to the very best Crimbo Limbo events taking place in the Scottish capital this year!
There’s still time to catch the city’s now iconic Winter Windows displays during the Crimbo Limbo, but you’ll have to be quick. This showcase of colourful windows is set to end after Boxing Day.
Some of the city’s youngest residents have flexed their artistic muscles to create beautifully festive window displays for locals and tourists alike can admire. The aim of these windows is to spread Christmas cheer across the city, with an overarching theme of ‘A Festive Welcome’.
Catch the work of Edinburgh’s school pupils throughout the city, including Main Street, City Chambers, White Park, Great Junction Street and Goodtrees Community Centre.
In that dip between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, there’s no better way to pass the time than with a few laughs. This is exactly what the Hogmanay Comedy Show at the Gilded Balloon has to offer.
Get out of the cold and into the Balloon’s basement for a night of endless laughs from some homegrown and far flung talent, including Katie Mulgrew, Rosco McClelland, Susan Riddell and Scott Gibson. This will surely set you up with some killer material to keep the laughs coming at your New Year’s Eve party.
Keep the festive spirit alive with a trip to the Royal Lyceum Theatre to see Edinburgh’s very own take on Dickens’ classic.
The story goes that, whilst on a reading tour, Dickens visited Edinburgh and strolled through Canongate Kirkgate, coming across the tombstone of one Ebenezer Scroggie. The stone described Scroggie as a “Meal Man”, or corn merchant, but Dickens misread the epitaph and thought it said “Mean Man” — thus, the iconic grump was born.
So it’s fitting that the Scottish capital has devised its own interpretation of Dickens’ classic ghost story. Adapted and Directed by Tony Cownie, this telling brings the festive tale back to the city of its origin, with a special guest appearance from another Edinburgh icon — Greyfriar’s Bobby!
Even after the big day is over, Edinburgh’s Christmas markets will be continuing to sparkle throughout the festive season. There is no better way to keep the Christmas spirit alive than with a visit to the city’s famous festive stalls, offering a wide range of local and unique goods.
From one-of-a-kind gifts to tasty treats, there’s no shortage of things to discover among the stalls, and there’s plenty of time to soak it all up. The market is open every day between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Nestled in the heart of the city, the Christmas markets of Edinburgh really do offer something for everyone.
Beginning at one of three starting zones (St. Giles’ Street, North Bridge and South Bridge), you can be part of a stunning torchlit procession making its way through the city’s Old Town. Alongside pipers, drummers, fire and fanfare, you’ll help forge a stream of light through the city, cumulating in Holyrood Park.
This is a truly unforgettable family event which will be broadcast around the world. When the different processions meet in the park, you’ll form an aerial image captured from the air. 50p from every ticket sold also goes to OneCity Trust to help fight inequality.
From 7.30pm on the big night itself, you can enjoy the biggest party in Scotland, located right in the heart of the city. This massive street party is hosted by Love Island’s Aftersun DJs the Mac Twins, and promises to deliver the most fun you’ve had all year!
You’ll party under the stars with bands and DJs alike, all ready to welcome 2020 with a real bang. Expect fireworks and unforgettable fun, sealed off with a performance by the Louise Marshall piping revellers at the end of the night.
Even better, 50p from every ticket will go towards to The Brain Tumour Charity.
If a good old-fashioned Scottish ceilidh is more your style, than what better place to get jigging than the Scottish capital? Head through the grounds of St. Cuthbert’s Church for an incredible setting against the iconic Edinburgh Castle, and enjoy whirling and flinging the night away to see in 2020.
With music from local favourites like Sleekit Beasties, Skyte! and Cool Ceol Ceilidh Band, you’ll find it hard to sit still. Unless of course you’re enjoying the delicious selection of local food and drinks.
And at midnight, you’ll enjoy a breath-taking fireworks display against the castle itself.
The last of our New Year’s Eve celebration selection promises a party you won’t forget. From 11pm, Mark Ronson himself will join the Princes Street party with a selection of his greatest hits. Having worked with pop royalty like Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder, Ronson will be seeing residents through midnight with music coordinated with the stunning fireworks display.
What’s more, the powerhouse DJ is joined by global chart-topper Rudimental to pack out the back catalogue of massive hits. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so make sure you don’t miss out on the fun!
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