Santa Claus is coming to Edinburgh: Get set for Scottish Capital’s Christmas markets and programme of events

Festive markets, a big wheel, an ice rink, concerts, carols, rides, and more -including Father Christmas himself – are heading to Edinburgh to bring some seasonal cheer to the city.

Make Christmas full of festive cheer with a visit to Edinburgh
Make Christmas full of festive cheer with a visit to Edinburgh

UniqueAssembly, the producers for Edinburgh’s festive celebrations, have unveiled the programme of events for Edinburgh’s Christmas, including traditional Christmas Markets, the much-loved Forth 1 Big Wheel and a selection of festive fairground rides, a new Lidl on Ice experience and, of course, the excitement of a visit to Santa.

Opening on Friday 25 November, Edinburgh’s Christmas is set to have something for everyone with the addition of a series of fun, free festive events as part of the programme including a Nativity Carol Concert on Sunday 27 November and the Santa Fun Run on Sunday 4 December.

Penny Dougherty & William Burdett-Coutts, Directors of UniqueAssembly, said: “We are delighted to be bringing Edinburgh’s Christmas to the city for both locals and visitors looking to get into the Christmas spirit. We really do have something for everyone with food and drinks, gift inspiration, fairground rides, and of course Santa himself ready to bring the Christmas cheer. We also have a number of free events taking place for everyone to enjoy including the Make a Wish Santa Fun Run – we really want to make it a Christmas to remember!”

What’s on in historic city

Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic city centre, with stunning views of the city’s iconic skyline, Edinburgh Castle and Scott Monument, East Princes Street Gardens hosts the traditional Christmas Market with around 70 stalls, featuring some of the best local traders alongside their UK and European peers selling everything from bespoke products and gifts to tasty treats.

The top of East Princes Street Gardens will be home to the Forth 1 Big Wheel and a selection of thrill rides. At West Princes Street Gardens, visitors will find Santa Land, offering the excitement of a Christmas tree maze and a family-friendly funfair as well as an all-new Santa Stories in the Piccolo where children can enjoy a special Christmas tale, told by Santa himself along with some special guest helpers. All children will receive a gift and sittings will also include BSL, relaxed and audio described sessions.

There are even special Santa Paws sessions for the family’s best friend where you can take a pawfect photo with the big man himself. Santa Paws sessions will see a donation from every ticket supporting Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Santa!

Lord Provost Robert Aldridge from The City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Edinburgh is one of the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas and this programme for 2022 promises a rich and varied programme of festive activities, events and experiences that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors of all ages. We can’t wait to see everyone enjoying it.”

George Street will be home to the spectacular Lidl on Ice, in partnership with Essential Edinburgh, which this year for the first time will be under cover allowing visitors to enjoy the fun in any weather surrounded by the elegant 18th century architecture. Skaters and friends can warm up with a mulled wine or hot chocolate from the winter warming area, enjoy a ride on a vintage funfair ride before enjoying the rest of what George Street has to offer.

Roddy Smith, from Essential Edinburgh, said: “Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations attracts visitors from near and far. We are delighted to once again be supporting the ice rink on George Street and installing the Christmas lights in St Andrew Square, George Street and throughout Edinburgh city centre, highlighting our attractions and all the shops and restaurants both visitors to the city and residents can enjoy during the Festive period!”

Unique Events is also delighted to be back at St Andrew Square, in partnership with Essential Edinburgh, once again illuminating and playing host to Social Bite’s Festival of Kindness, Tree and Gift Donation point. Dedicated to spreading festive goodwill to those who need it most, people from all walks of life will be encouraged to help create a moment of kindness. Donations can also be made to help provide thousands of Christmas dinners and food packs, to help with the distribution of gifts to homeless and vulnerable families, children and individuals or for shelter to those without a roof over their heads this winter.

Open seven days per week from 10am- until late, Edinburgh’s Christmas Markets, Santa Land, Forth 1 Big Wheel, and other festive rides open on the afternoon of Friday 25 November. The George Street Ice Rink opens on Saturday 26 November.

For full details of all events, and to book tickets visit