Winter Destinations

What to See in Glasgow and Edinburgh For Christmas 2019

We know that autumn has just arrived a month or so but to be honest, we can’t wait for Christmas time. Just imagine sipping mulled wine under the Christmas tree on the town square, the fairy lights surrounding you, the smell of doughnuts and pastries from the bakery at the corner. Magical times. And if you’re one of the many people who plan to spend this years’ Christmas in Glasgow and Edinburgh, it probably will be even better. We can’t think of two cities more magical during that time of year. So if you’re planning to go, here’s what you can do for Christmas 2019 in each of the two cities:

What to do in Glasgow this Christmas

Glasgow is your perfect host for Christmas. The city is abundant with festive activities, friendly people and delicious food. So much so, that it can prove difficult to pick and choose amongst all of the festivities. We’ve done the hard work for you and have picked some of the best experiences for an unforgettable Glasgow Christmas:

  1. Check the Christmas Markets – if you follow the festive lights like a moth, you’ll arrive at one of the Christmas markets right outside the Queen Street Station in George Square. You’ll be tempted by the tasty smell of warm food, the winter-spiced beverages, and the handmade Christmas crafts. Hop on the big Ferris wheel to get a glimpse of the city from a birds view. Another market area is located down Buchanan Street, at the St Enoch Square. The atmosphere is cosier here, mostly because of the crowds, but you won’t regret it once you taste the local Christmas street food. 
  2. Have a festive afternoon tea – we know that the idea of an afternoon tea isn’t new and has been beaten to death here in the UK, but the festive afternoon tea is a totally different animal. There aren’t a lot of places where you can get this once a year treat but The Malmaison in Glasgow have done a perfect job of spoiling their visitors and breaking people’s diets.
  3. Warm-up in the Kelvingrove Museum – this is one of the places you shouldn’t miss if you’re visiting Glasgow. The best part – it’s completely FREE. Checking The Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery at Christmas is the best experience you can have and is amongst the favourite things to do for Glaswegians.

Now that you’ve enjoyed what Glasgow has to offer this time of year, it’s time to head to another destination. Getting from Glasgow to Edinburgh will take you roughly 50 minutes, depending on the type of transportation you choose. We recommend you to get a private taxi from Glasgow to Edinburgh because it’s not only the fastest but also the most comfortable way of travelling. And you’ll need to save on time because there’s a bunch of stuff to see and do in Edinburgh as well.

What to do in Edinburgh this Christmas

Celebrations and Christmas events start in Edinburgh as early as the middle of November. The festivities here are as good as the Glasgow ones, and you’ll have a great time should you have a day or two to check out all Christmas-y attractions. 

  1. Browse the Christmas markets – we know you’ve already done this in Glasgow, but we promise that checking the Edinburgh Christmas markets is also worth it. Head on to the Princess Street Gardens where the main market is, and enjoy the Christmas-y lights, handcrafted decoration, food, and more, at the many booths and kiosks. The market on Princess Street features more European items and is known as the “German Christmas Market”. And the market on George Street usually features local products, which is why it is known as the “Scottish Christmas Market”.
  2. Go check city’s nativity in St. Andrews Square – the life-size sculpture is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Yes, it still represents the famous biblical setting and the family within a barn but the sculpture is far from traditional. Some characters such as the angels and the three magi are not included. The facial expressions of the statues are also unusual and don’t depict that iconic serene joy we’ve come to expect. Upon placing the sculpture on the square, there’s always a free concert and carolling which you can enjoy. But the statue alone will make for some great Instagram photos.
  3. Marvel the holiday lights – Edinburgh is already famous with its fairytale atmosphere but when Christmas arrives, it truly transforms into a magical place. Grab a cup of a hot festive beverage of your choice from one of the markets or booths, and stroll around the city’s small streets to enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights. The evening light trail at the Royal Botanic Garden is one of the most impressive things you can see in the city this time of year.

So there we have it. These are some of the most festive things you can do and marvel at this Christmas in Glasgow and Edinburgh. It’s not too early to start planning your travel, so make sure to book your stay in advance as it can get crowded quite quickly. Make sure to try our suggestions and let us know how it was!