Every year, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Princes Street Gardens are transformed into a Winter Wonderland. This includes the traditional German Christmas Market next to the National Galleries of Scotland at the junction of Princes Street and The Mound. This has classic and contemporary gifts from all around the world as well as a range of hot snacks, hearty sausages, fried potato cakes and mulled wine or Glühwein.
Edinburgh’s Ice Rink is a temporary, outdoor ice rink set up in East Princes Street Gardens, right next to Waverley Station, during the course of Edinburgh’s Christmas festivities, running for six weeks from the end of November to the start of January.
There are also a variety of amusement park style rides, which require varying degrees of fortitude. Get dizzy on the more genteel tea cups, or if you prefer, get hurtled round by a whirligig and narrowly miss the Scott Monument on the way past. The highlight, both literally and metaphorically is the 33 metre (108 feet) high Ferris wheel, sometimes dubbed ‘The Edinburgh Eye’, also in Princes Street Gardens, gently spinning high over the top of the double decker buses on Princes Street itself. This view over the city is breathtaking, but hats, scarves and gloves are recommended.