As part of the Edinburgh's Christmas festivities, a Christmas-themed, temporary market opens in East Princes Street Garden selling mainly arts, crafts, gifts and food.
It is erected beneath the Scott Monument, with Christmas-themed family attractions like the Christmas Tree Maze and rides such as the Helter Skelter, Big Wheel, and Santa Train. In previous years, it has included a temporary ice rink, Winter Wonderland built out on top of the grass lawn area of the garden.
The Christmas Market 2021 scaled back to the upper level of the garden and outside the galleries on the Mound. On opening day, long queues of people waited to enter the market in Princes Street Garden at Waverley Bridge, testifying to the event's ongoing popularity.
In 2019, Edinburgh's Christmas organisers announced that they would extend the Christmas Market's footprint with more stalls on the south side of East Princes Street Garden.
Widespread concerns were voiced about the safety of the scaffolding erected to hold over 100,000 daily visitors.
Conservation groups spoke out against the growing footprint of the Christmas Market, covering the gardens both sides of the railway track, and poor oversight by the council. They have criticised the huge temporary site as being out of character for a World Heritage Site and, as the Cockburn Association puts it, the "creep of commercialisation in our public parks and places".
The Christmas Market was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Times (Christmas 2021)
10am - 10pm daily, except:
- 20 November: Early Afternoon - 10pm
- 24 December: 10am - 8pm
- 25 December: Closed
- 26 December: 12pm - 8pm
- 1 January: 12pm - 8pm