Visit Edinburgh in December

Visiting Edinburgh: December 2023

Winter begins in Edinburgh this December, with festive celebrations, such as Christmas and Hogmanay. There are fairground attractions, colourful illuminations, pantomimes, winter light trails and traditional markets. It’s such a magical time to visit our beautiful city! Here are some of the highlights of the month, which you can enjoy during a stay with us at Parliament House Hotel…

December festivals and events

The two major festivals taking place this December are Edinburgh’s Christmas, throughout the month, and Hogmanay, which celebrates the turning of the new year. Edinburgh’s festive celebrations are legendary! And there’s a varied programme of events to look forward to. From the traditional markets and fairground rides, to the New Year’s Eve Hogmanay Street Party and Concert in the Gardens (this year, headlined by Pulp).

Theatre breaks in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Playhouse is just around the corner from our hotel. Great for a theatre break during your stay with us! The Playhouse’s big show of the month is Wicked, which is showing from 7th December to 14th January.

Don’t miss the famous King’s Panto, a traditional British pantomime which is hosted by the Festival Theatre this year, due to refurbishments at the King’s Theatre.

Attraction of the month: Edinburgh Castle

Our attraction of the month is Edinburgh Castle. This historic city landmark is great to visit all year round. Offering a fascinating glimpse into Edinburgh’s past, with so much to explore, from the Great Hall to the Royal Palace. See the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish Crown jewels) and watch the mighty One O’Clock gun, fired at 1pm (Monday to Saturday).

However, in December the castle is extra special. Not only can you enjoy festive dining and afternoon tea at this amazing location, you can also visit at night for a spectacular evening light show! Castle Of Light is an impressive winter light trail, which uses projections and lighting effects to illuminate the walls of the castle. Book festive dining and Castle of Light tickets here.

Offer of the month: Pay Upfront Discount

Enjoy a break in Edinburgh for less when you book your stay 5 days or more in advance. Simply book your stay online and choose our Advance Purchase rate to get up to 25% off*. Payment will then be taken at the time of booking. This discount is applied to our Room Only, Best Available Rate. The amount discounted is dependent on the time of year, but is always set to be our cheapest rate. *Full details and T&Cs.

Edinburgh city at sunset on a winters day from Calton Hill

Day trip of the month: Stirling

Edinburgh is a great base from which to explore the rest of Scotland. With convenient transport links by train and bus, and hire car options available, it’s so easy to get around. Stirling is a fantastic city to visit from Edinburgh, easy to reach by train in under an hour. Here, you can explore top Scottish attractions such as Stirling Castle, Stirling Old Town Jail and the Battle of Bannockburn Experience. Or, follow our Edinburgh to Stirling Road Trip Itinerary, stopping by the amazing Kelpies sculpture in Helix Park, Falkirk, on the way back.

The entrance to Stirling Castle

Our top December blogs

Our Edinburgh Blog features news, guides and travel information to help you plan your visit. Check out our top 5 posts for December:

  1. Edinburgh Christmas parties and celebrations
  2. Light up your winter with these dazzling illuminated trails
  3. Autumn/winter festivals in Edinburgh
  4. Mark New Year’s Eve the Scottish way
  5. Scottish Christmas customs and traditions
The Edinburgh Christmas Market lit up at the Edinburgh Christmas Festival

Visiting us this December

So, book your stay at Parliament House Hotel in Edinburgh and start planning your adventures. Remember, we have further information on attractions, shopping, itineraries, road trips and more in our Edinburgh Guide. And we are always here, should you need any help planning activities during your stay.