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The best views of Edinburgh’s Christmas

Christmas in Edinburgh is always a special time.  The city literally comes alive with lights, with the Royal Mile and Castlehill being one of the best places to enjoy the sparkle.  From the highest point in the city, we’ve got the best seats in the house to see Edinburgh’s Christmas.

If you’re in Castlehill over the Christmas and Hogmanay season, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite spots to catch the best views of Edinburgh alight.


It’s no secret that the Castle Esplanade has stellar views of the city to Fife and beyond, and Christmas time is no different. You’ll find an unparalleled bird’s eye view across the Christmas markets and Edinburgh’s Princes Street – the perfect spot for your Instagram shot!  Look the other way and as winter kicks in, you might even enjoy views of the snowy Pentland Hills.

Walking down from the Esplanade, the views looking down Castlehill and the Lawnmarket are always festive, with cobbled streets, ancient buildings and Christmas buzz.  Further down, more steps offer views of the sparkling Grassmarket below.

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

The unrivalled rooftop views of Camera Obscura look over Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns as well as Edinburgh Castle.  Their telescopes allow you to see the city close up or see far into the distance, while the viewing panels identify Edinburgh’s many sights with information about the city’s rich history.

It is an ideal spot for taking photos offering the finest 360 degree city views from its terrace. Enjoy spectacular rooftop panoramas and see the city all lit up for Christmas… just don’t forget your camera!

The Hub

The Christmas festivities aren’t limited to the New Town Christmas markets. The Royal Mile gets into the Christmas spirit and we’ve got a superb view straight down the hill of the Royal Mile lights.

Our Cafe Hub is the perfect pit stop on your Castlehill tour! Be sure to try our new festive afternoon tea including Christmas favourites like homemade mince pies with cup of specially selected tea.  The Café is a great place to stop after the Christmas shopping, rest your feet and warm up with a delicious hot chocolate. You’ll feel right at home with our impressive twelve foot Christmas tree.

Scotch Whisky Experience

If you’re visiting Scotland and looking for an authentic Scottish experience AND a view, then you need to pay a visit to the Scotch Whisky Experience.

After a tour through the sights and sounds of whisky, visitors can enjoy a dram in the stunning McIntyre bar, which has breath-taking views over the south of Edinburgh.  This 5 star visitor attraction offers an array of sensational tour experiences, starting from as little as £15.50, whether you’re a first-timer or a whisky pro.

The Witchery

The Witchery restaurant is an experience in itself. Dinner in the Secret Garden with its candles and Christmas decoration is seriously festive.  For views of the Royal Mile, the Witchery has nine opulent rooms upstairs where visitors can stay in gothic surroundings and enjoy nearby historic buildings, the Castle and the streets of the atmospheric Old Town.

Visitors love Edinburgh at this time of year and there is so much to see and do.  We hope you enjoy the beautiful lights and Christmas offerings of Edinburgh as much as we do this festive season.