Christmas in Edinburgh 2009

German Christmas market comes to Edinburgh's winter festival

Updated September 2011

Already one of the highlights of Christmas in Edinburgh, the traditional German Christmas market in Edinburgh is not just an exhilarating shopping experience that appeals to the touch and taste but also to the sight. Here's what to expect from the German market.

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The German Christmas market is officially opened by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh on Thursday, November 26th 2009 at 5.15pm and is open until December 24th. The event also sees the launch of other Christmas attractions in Edinburgh: the Ferris Wheel and Winter Wonderland, as well as all of the city's holiday lights switch-on.

The German Christmas market in Edinburgh was located for years in East Princes Street Gardens by the Scott Monument. In 2009, however, the German Christmas market can be found on the Mound precinct, next to the National Gallery of Scotland.

When night falls on Edinburgh and everything is festively lit, the entire panorama -- Winter Wonderland down in the Gardens and the Christmas Market on the Mound -- is simply magical.

The German Christmas market in Edinburgh consists of 25 little wooden cabins, like smurfs homes, each brightly lit with all of the usual seasonal trimmings. The aim of the market is not to rival the original ones in Germany but to bring an authentic continental experience that locals and tourists alike can enjoy.

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Shopping at the German Christmas market in Edinburgh

The variety of products and gifts available at the market, whether traditional or unusual, is quite staggering. You can find virtually anything from hand-blown baubles, colorful wooden toys, Christmas decorations, carved bottle stoppers to elegant glass decorations, handmade candles, incense burners and candle pots.

In the food department, the German market features a wide range of traditional festive foods and drinks. The most famous of all is the mulled wine which is so popular with tourists on a Christmas break or locals enjoying a night out, that every year extra ceramic mugs (in which the Gluhwein is traditionally served) are brought in.

Food specialties at the Christmas market include all kinds of sausages and liver pate, potato dumplings, puddings, cakes, sweets and traditional sweet Christmas bread. The colors and glittering wrappings of the products laid out on the stalls give a true visual feast. Stall vendors are all Germans, adding to the authenticity of the market.

Edinburgh's Christmas Markets - Dates and Times

Traditional German Christmas Market

Location: Mound precinct
Market Dates: Thursday 26th November - Thursday 24th December
Opening times: Sunday - Wednesday 10am to 8pm
Thursday - Saturday 10am to 10pm
Christmas Eve 10am to 8pm
Free entry

Traditional Highland Village Christmas Market

Location: East Princes Street Gardens
Market Dates: Thursday 26th November - Monday 4th January
Opening times: Sunday - Wednesday 10am to 8pm
Thursday - Saturday 10am to 10pm
Christmas Eve 10am to 8pm
Christmas Day - Closed
Boxing Day 11am - 10pm
New Year's Eve - 10am to 6pm
New Year's Day - 12pm to 8pm
Free entry

The Ethical Christmas Fair

Location: Castle Street
Market Dates: Saturday 12th December - Sunday 20th December
Opening times: Monday - Saturday 10am to 7pm
Sunday 10am to 5pm
Free entry

Edinburgh's Farmer Markets

Location: Castle Terrace
Market Dates: Every Saturday
Opening times: 9am to 2pm (except December 26th and January 2nd)
Free entry

» Back to Edinburgh Christmas guide index

All Edinburgh Christmas articles:

Also see:

  • Edinburgh Military Tattoo - Information on Edinburgh's most popular summer event, part of the Capital's International festival taking place each August.
  • Edinburgh Hogmanay - Guide to the biggest New Year celebrations in Britain and continental Europe with four days of events.
  • Accommodation in Edinburgh - Tourist information on quality accommodation schemes, hotels and how to choose accommodation in Edinburgh.
  • Hotels in Edinburgh - Visitor information on choosing hotel accommodation in Edinburgh.

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