Every year, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Princes Street Gardens are transformed into a wonderful winter wonderland in the heart of the city. This Edinburgh Winter Wonderland 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 that is set up in East Princes Street Gardens, right next to Waverley Station, from the end of November to the start of January. For six weeks, during the course of Edinburgh’s Christmas festivities, it forms part of the Edinburgh Winter Wonderland and is a great Christmas activity for couples, families and friends both young and old.
In the heart of the Edinburgh Winter Wonderland is a variety of amusement park style rides, which require varying degrees of fortitude. For the adrenaline rookies out there, get dizzy on the more genteel tea cups. For the adrenaline junkies, 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 breath-taking, but hats, scarves and gloves are recommended for anyone looking to take in the Edinburgh Winter Wonderland sights this way.