There is nowhere on the planet quite like Edinburgh in winter. The inimitable city is transformed into an atmospheric winter wonderland over the festive season and comes alive with a host of incredible attractions, world-class restaurants and brightly lit bars that will entice you in to experience the very best Scotland has on offer .The first view of Edinburgh is arguably the finest. Stepping out of Waverly train station, the ancient city vista bathed in crisp winter sunshine is the ultimate picture-perfect setting, with its gothic spires and dramatic historical skyline all set against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
Finding the perfect Christmas gift is easy in Edinburgh, as the city prides itself on it’s huge selection of unique independent boutiques, vintage treasure troves offering quirky one off finds, Scotland’s only Harvey Nichols and Royal favourite department store Jenner’s as well as a host of brands you’d expect to see in a European capital. The city is laid out in a grid system, which makes navigation simple. So get your hands on a basic map of the city centre and get your credit card at the ready.
Food aficionados will be also be spoilt for choice in Edinburgh, with five restaurants in the capital obtaining Michelin star status – more than other UK city outside of London – the city is rightfully earning a reputation as a gastro-lovers dream. Auld Reekie is also full of great pubs, whether you fancy a quiet drink at a historic in, a wild night at a party pub, or for something a bit special, a stylish cocktail in one of the city's classic cocktail bars.
Many thousands flock to visit the city for the festivities each year, and Edinburgh’s winter celebrations bring the streets thoroughly to life, with the majestic and colourful Edinburgh Wheel, one of Europe’s largest outdoor ice rinks, and a host of dazzling entertainment. Mesmerising Christmas markets mean shoppers can stock up on seasonal specialities and sample a colourful mix of delicious hot food, washed down with spiced mulled wine or hot chocolate whilst drinking in one of the world’s most iconic settings.
At the turn of the New Year, the temperature may dip, but the vibe is warm as 80,000 revellers from 60 countries take to the streets to bring the New Year in with a bang in the “Home of Hogmanay”. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay offers three packed days of celebration running from 30th December 2012 to 1st January 2013. The party begins on New Year’s Eve-eve with a torchlight parade, followed by a carnival, music, dance, film and theatre and of course the world’s best New Year street party with five live music stages, headline DJ’s and the biggest Midnight Moment on the planet.
Edinburgh is definitely the place to go for an authentic festive fix; the lights are twinkling, shoppers line the streets and the city’s magical setting offers a host of seasonal experiences to enjoy and an unparalleled atmosphere. Its Gothic skyline is something that is enchanting at any time of year, but there is a there is a sparkle and a life to Edinburgh during the Christmas season making it one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world, and an ideal winter break destination.