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Edinburgh Christmas Markets (24-25 Dec)?

My wife and I will be in Edinburgh 22-25 Dec. We are looking to build an itinerary for 24-25 Dec, but anticipate numerous closures those two days. Does anyone know if the Christmas markets will be open on 24 or 25-Dec? If closed, any recommended museums or sightseeing tips of any variety those days? We can always push some RS walking tours to those days, but wanted to see if the forum had any good alternatives. Thank you!

Posted by
4948 posts

Edinburgh Christmas Market is open to 8pm on Christmas Eve. Closed on Christmas Day as are all museums and all the Churches will be open for services only. It's walking tours or the buses only. There are buses as far as Dunbar and North Berwick, so not just in the city. Down to Newhaven and Leith as well (though nothing will be open down there).

Posted by
4459 posts

Even if not religious, going to a Christmas service in one of the historical churches can be a beautiful experience, with the rituals and music.
Have a great holiday!

Posted by
1616 posts

The default setting for anything being opened on 25th December is 'closed'. It can be a pleasant day for going for a stroll or a walk, Boxing Day (26th) going for a walk is often a tradition. But with regards to things being open, realistically things start to close down mid afternoon on 24th. From about 1900, if not earlier, on 24th to midday on 26th a lot of British towns and cities become ghost towns.

I am actually still surprised to hear that Edinburgh has the buses running on 25th!

For religious services, please note as well that the state church, the Church of Scotland, is presbyterian in nature and some of its parishes can be dour and very Calvinistic. The Free Church of Scotland even more so, and some of the Calvinistic churches will not have ANY services on 25th as it is a Monday and they do not do Christmas. Christmas was not a public holiday in Scotland until 1958, being just an ordinary working day until then.

I am sure the arrival of commercial TV in Scotland, Scottish Television/STV in 1957 had nothing to do with this! A bit of British TV trivia, if you are in Central Scotland, the ITV company, STV, is the second oldest broadcaster in the UK still broadcasting under its original name. The oldest is the BBC.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for the info. Does anyone know if the tram/train from Waverly to Edinburgh airport will be running on 25-Dec?

Posted by
4948 posts

The trams are not running on 25 December (but do run until end of normal service at on 24 December and from start of normal service on 26 December).

Last tram on the 24th is 2248 from the airport and 2352 from Leith.

On the 26th start of normal service is at around 0430.

However the Airlink bus to the airport will run 1/2 hourly from 0430 to 2300 from Waverley and 0500 to 2330 from the airport) on Christmas Day with a journey time of just 25 minutes.

There are a lot of people around the City Centre on Christmas Day (personal experience)- it is a great day to be there.