8 of the best Christmas markets in Scotland

Edinburgh Christmas market lights up the skyline. (Picture: Shutterstock)Edinburgh Christmas market lights up the skyline. (Picture: Shutterstock)
Edinburgh Christmas market lights up the skyline. (Picture: Shutterstock)
Christmas Markets have become an integral part of the festive season. Here's a few of Scotland's best.

Edinburgh's Christmas Market(16 November to 4 January)

With its grotto bars and endless line of street food stalls, the Edinburgh market is still the reigning king of Scottish Christmas fairs.

Its Winter Windows return, featuring stained glass windows designed by young artists from across the city, while the Johnny Walker Bothy Bar will once again feature a range of delicious drinks to fend off the winter chill.

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The Christmas markets at George Square and St Enoch Square offering a wide selection of festive gifts and delicious foods. (Picture: Shutterstock)The Christmas markets at George Square and St Enoch Square offering a wide selection of festive gifts and delicious foods. (Picture: Shutterstock)
The Christmas markets at George Square and St Enoch Square offering a wide selection of festive gifts and delicious foods. (Picture: Shutterstock)

While it has now been shorn of the ice rink, the sheer scale of Edinburgh's market combined with its picturesque setting makes it a must for Christmas market fans - and if the kids are looking for some excitement, it still features fairground rides.

It all kicks off on Sunday 17 November with the switching on of the lights – an event which amassed a crowd of some 20,000 folk last year. Read More: Edinburgh’s Christmas Market food and drink: all the festive food stalls, pop-up bars and vegan treats at this year’s marketGlasgow's St Enoch and George's Square Markets(9 Nov to 29 Dec)

Boasting two separate markets within a stone's throw of one another, Glasgow is set to be crammed with festive cheer once again come Christmas time.

The St Enoch market features a range of gastronomical treats, from German bratwurst to locally-sourced crispy duck, a traditional hog roast, home-baked sweets and cakes and mulled ciders to warm your bones.

Aberdeen Christmas Market. (Picture: Contributed)Aberdeen Christmas Market. (Picture: Contributed)
Aberdeen Christmas Market. (Picture: Contributed)

Over at George Square, 50 traders from across the world can help round out your Christmas shopping with hand-crafted goods. The authentic German bar provides a perfect woody wonderland for a drink or if you’re after something more hair-raising, try the Helter Skelter slide.

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Aberdeen Christmas Village(21 November to 31 December)

The Granite City's Christmas village drives away the winter grey and replaces it with a shining sea of red and green, sure to raise the spirits of even the Scroogiest Christmas shoppers.

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Its open-air ice rink is the perfect place to create Christmas memories, whether you're gliding romantically across the freeze or tumbling about trying to keep your pride intact.

Once you're done, the village also harbours a whole selection of places to warm up with a bite and a drink. After you've recharged, you can head off towards the fairground rides or swing by Santa's Grotto.

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Perth’s International Christmas Market(14 November to 7 December)

This globally-minded market transforms Perth’s High Street into a winter wonderland lined with cosy wooden stalls housing a whole range of goods.

It all begins with the big light switch-on, complete with celebrity guests and a sky-scorching fireworks display.

Later on, the market plays host to a Festive Feast featuring a fully-edible map of Perth and Kinross, the annual Great Perthshire Soup Competition, and the traditional bakers parade.

Then there is the small matter of the Gin & Chocolate Festival…

Inverness’s Eden Christmas Craft & Food Fair (6 December to 8 December)

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Split across two weekends, the Inverness fair will see over a hundred producers take to Eden Hall to show off their wares.

From patisseries, cheeses and charcuterie to chocolates, tablets and preserves, everything at the market is expertly made.

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Beyond the food stalls, there is a whole range of crafted goods - from silver jewellery to tweed accessories, clothing and photography to candles and stoneware.

Whether you’re looking to score some unique gifts or just spend an afternoon perusing exquisitely well-made things, the Eden Christmas Fair is the perfect place for an easy winter wander.

Balgove Larder Christmas Night Market(3 and 4 December)

Christmas shopping can get little bit manic - elbowing your way through the crowds in a hundred different shops as you try to work your way down your Christmas list.

This St Andrews night market offers an altogether more relaxing experience, complete with mulled wine, hot chocolates and all manner of comforting street foods.

Christmas carollers will provide the soundtrack as shoppers drift between stalls filled with handcrafted wares courtesy of local vendors.

The ideal opportunity to take a Christmas stroll underneath the fairy lights while picking up a few bits and pieces along the way.

Glasgow's Doggy Christmas Market(7 December)

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Even the smartest pup might not really know what's going on, but it's still nice to make them a part of Christmas time.

To give you a hand, Chilled Dawgz Dog Daycare Glasgow are holding their Doggy Christmas Market on 7 December 2019 from 10am to 4pm.

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It will be filled with all kinds of festive treats and Christmas gifts, ideal for those who find themselves on the "very good boys" list this year.

Once you're don shopping, the doggo can go meet Santa Paws while you help yourself to a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.

Out of the Blue Christmas Arts Markets(7 Dec and 14 Dec)

If you or anyone on your Christmas list is an art lover, a visit to Edinburgh's Out of Blue market should be at the top of your Christmas shopping plans.

The market will see over 150 artists and makers will be selling their work, ranging from painting​s​, prints​ and photography through fashion​, jewellery​ and textiles to ​ceramics, soft furnishings and design​.

You'll have the chance to pick up something personal, elegant and absolutely unique - so you wont have to worry about someone else getting them the same thing!

Plus, the Drill Hall Arts Cafe will be serving up refreshing drinks and hot snacks all through the market.