Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to pay to get into Edinburgh's Christmas?

No! There is no admission fee to enter any area of Edinburgh's Christmas – you simply turn up and pay to do whatever takes your fancy. Certain attractions get fully booked during peak times, so we recommend that you book in advance on the website where possible.

2. Which rides can be booked in advance?

You can buy tickets in advance for all Edinburgh's Christmas attractions and shows. On peak days Santa's Grotto, the Ice Rink and shows in the Festival Square Theatre usually sell out well in advance, so advance ticket purchase is recommended. Please remember tickets are not exchangeable and non-refundable. See Ticketing (below) for further details.

Please arrive 15 minutes before your ticketed time for the Ice Rink to allow time to get your skates on. We recommend tickets are picked up at least 30 minutes before.

Skate Hire is included in the Ice Rink ticket price.

Ice Rink spectator areas are free to access.

3. Do I get a time slot for the attractions?

No you don’t - except for the ice rink, Santa’s Grotto and shows in the Festival Square Theatre. You can book in advance for a specific day, and then turn up at any time during opening hours; you don’t need to book a particular timeslot. Last rides are 15 minutes before closing time.

4. How long do they last for?

Ice Rink sessions vary between 30 to 45 minutes on the ice. Please arrive 15 minutes in advance to get your skates on!

A ride on the Big Wheel lasts for 5 to 7 minutes (the last flight is 15 minutes prior to closing).

The Santa Train journey takes approximately 5 minutes (the last journey is 15 minutes prior to closing)

The Star Flyer lasts for between 2 to 5 minutes (the last flight is 15 minutes prior to closing).

5. What about non-ticketed attractions?

Our sites feature dozens of traders, all of whom accept cash and some accept cards. Food and drink prices vary, but we hope we have provided for all tastes and budgets – from Bavarian-style food and drink to traditional Scottish fayre. The Christmas markets feature over 100 stalls from food and drink to arts and crafts, for all your Christmas shopping needs!

6. What time are the sites open from?

East Princes Street Gardens: 10am - 10pm
St. Andrew Square: 10am - 10pm
George Street Scottish Market:
Mon - Thu: 12pm - 10pm
Fri - Sun: 10am - 10pm

Santa Land:
Until 15th December: 

Sun - Wed: 10am - 8pm, Thu - Fri: 10am - 9pm, Sat: 10am - 10pm

15th Dec - 31 December: 

Sun - Fri: 10am - 9pm, Sat: 10am - 10pm

2 Jan - 7 Jan: 

Mon – Wed: 10am - 8pm, Thu - Fri: 10am - 9pm

Exceptions: 

24 December: 10am - 8pm
26 December: 11am - 8pm
31 December: 10am - 6pm
1 January: 11am - 8pm
7 January: 10am – 8pm

We are open on Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

18 November: St Andrew Sq opens 1pm
19 November: Princes Street Gardens opens: Midday
21 November: Street of Light ticketed shows begin at 6pm & 8pm
24 December: sites close 8pm
25 December: all sites closed
26 December & 1 January: sites open 11am

7. How do we get to Edinburgh's Christmas?

It’s easy to travel to Edinburgh’s Christmas by public transport - visit www.lothianbus.co.uk to plan your journey.

Edinburgh's Christmas is located across four sites: St Andrew Square, East Princes Street Gardens, Festival Square and the west end of George Street. For more information on which attractions are at each site, please visit the Your Visit page.

You can walk to Edinburgh's Christmas from Edinburgh Waverley station.

8. How do I get to Festival Square Theatre?

Festival Square Theatre is located in Festival Square in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End. The square can be accessed via Lothian Road. 

The address is Festival Square Theatre, Festival Square, Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9SR.

9. How can I locate my lost property?

For all lost property queries, please email boxoffice@edinburghschristmas.com

10. Can I take photographs on the ice rink?

For safety reasons, you are not allowed to take photographs whilst on the ice rink. However, spectators can take photos of you from the viewing platforms around the rink.

11. How tall do I need to be to ride on the Star Flyer?

You need to be a minimum of 1m tall to ride on the Star Flyer. You must also be accompanied by an adult if you are under 11 years of age.

12. What are the box office opening times?

St Andrew Square and Princes Street: 10am - 10pm, every day except Christmas Day.

Box offices will close at 8pm on 24 December and will open at 11am on 26 December and 1 January.

Phone room is open 10am - 6pm Monday to Friday

13. How do I purchase a ticket?

We recommend that you buy tickets in advance from the Edinburgh's Christmas website for all of our attractions and shows, subject to availability. Please note a booking fee will apply. For time slots and prices go to our What's On. There are no time slots for our attractions, other than Santa's Grotto and The Ice Rink, all other attractions work on a queueing basis only, although you will need to have purchased a ticket first (online or from a box office on site), before joining the queue to ride. Big Wheel pods are loaded 4 at a time, maximum 6 people per pod. Ice Rink sessions and shows in the Festival Square Theatre must be booked for a designated time slot or show time. Be sure to arrive with plenty of time to ride all attractions before closing time.

14. Can I buy a ticket on the day at the box office?

Yes, you can buy a ticket on the day. However, we would strongly recommend that you buy your tickets in advance online or by phone.

There are four box offices onsite where you can buy tickets for all shows and attractions: St Andrew Square, East Princes Street Gardens, Festival Square and Santa Land.  Please be aware that these are subject to availability and we strongly recommend buying your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment – your chances of getting the show time, ride or skating slot you want is less likely than if you book in advance. If you do wish to purchase your tickets on the day, please arrive in plenty of time.

15. Can I exchange my tickets?

Tickets are non-exchangeable, non-transferrable and non-refundable.

16. How do I get my tickets?

Tickets for Edinburgh's Christmas or Hogmanay will begin to be posted out in mid-October. Tickets will be posted in chronological order by purchase date. You will also be sent further information about the Hogmanay Events including a map of the Street Party Arena and entrance gates.

17. What should I do if I haven't received my tickets?

If you have booked tickets for Edinburgh's Christmas through the official Edinburgh's Christmas website but have not received or cannot print your ticket confirmation, please see a member of the box office team upon arrival, or contact us in advance, where they can assist you further. Please allow extra time for assistance at the box office as queues are likely. If you bought your tickets from another outlet, please contact them directly.

18. What if there is a problem with my ticket?

If you purchased your ticket from the Edinburgh's Christmas website please contact boxoffice@edinburghschristmas.com

If you bought your ticket from another agent, please contact them directly. Remember, you must bring your ticket with you in order to join your session or show time.

Please note: all tickets are non-exchangeable, non-transferrable and non-refundable.

Underbelly may at any time before  session at its discretion and for whatever reason withdraw any free ticket which it has issued to the ticket holder, without any past, present or future liability to the ticket holder.

19. What do you class as a concession?

Concession ticket prices are available to concession card holders and under 16s.
Free tickets are available for carers. Please call the box office directly on 0131 510 0395

20. What age do you class as a child?

Children under 11 must be accompanied by a responsible adult on the Ice Rink and Star Flyer. Children under 13 must be accompanied on the Big Wheel. Please note that some rides also have height and weight restrictions.

Children riding on the Santa Train, Carousel, Balloon Ride, Helter Skelter, Reindeer Ride, Race-a-Rama and Rollercoaster who are under 1 metre tall must be accompanied by a responsible adult, who may ride for free. Children can ride unaccompanied on the Crazy Cars ride, however must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. This ride is not suitable for adults.

Children under 2 years will not need a ticket for the Spiegeltent or Big Wheel if they do not occupy a seat (where they sit on an adult’s lap). Should your little one prefer a seat, this will need to be purchased at full price.

21. Are there age restrictions for accessing the site?

Whilst the site is suitable for children of all ages, we would suggest that children are accompanied at all times by a person of 16 years or over. 

Children (under 16’s) must be accompanied by an adult after 7pm.

Young persons (16 and 17 year olds) must be accompanied by an adult after 8pm.

22. What size ice skates are available to hire?

The minimum skate size on the rink is a children’s size 9 and maximum is an adult size 13. Skate Hire is included in the Ice Skating ticket price but you are also welcome to bring your own skates, subject to suitability checks (please note – speed skates are NOT allowed).

We also do provide double-bladed skates for the tiniest of feet, but these are on a ‘first-come first-served’ basis.

23. Are there any skating aids for children?

Skating penguins (children's skating aids) are available. We do provide doubled-bladed skates for the tiniest of feet, but these are on a ‘first-come first-served’ basis.

24. What age is Edinburgh's Christmas aimed at?

Edinburgh's Christmas is for everyone. There are rides and attractions for children as young as 2, with more thrilling rides for the older ones – and both young and old love to see Santa Claus! In addition, we have a full programme of entertainment in our Festival Square Theatre, including dining packages, creating a perfect atmosphere for after-work gatherings.

25. How much does it cost to see Father Christmas?

Entry to Santa's grotto is up to £8 per child and includes a small gift. Santa Claus and his Elves welcome children to his grotto every day, right up to Christmas Eve, from 10am to 7pm, Monday – Thursday and 10am - 8pm, Friday – Sunday and from the 15 Dec – 24 Dec. He meets children of all ages, and the VERY good children receive a small gift. Visitors are welcome to take their own photographs.

26. What facilities do you have for babies?

Most of Edinburgh's Christmas is flat and level for buggies, with only gentle inclines – we have even built a level crossing at the Santa Train for access into Santa Land! There are also baby changing facilities at various disabled toilets situated around the site.

Edinburgh's Christmas does not have an official buggy park, however buggies can generally be left next to the entrance of a ride with the permission of the ride staff. Edinburgh's Christmas accepts no responsibility for buggies left with ride staff. Buggies are left at the owners risk.

27. Groups and schools

Group discounts may be available for large parties. Please call 0131 510 0395 for more information.

We do strongly advise all groups carry out their own Risk Assessment prior to their visit.

28. Visitors with disabilities

If any of your party are wheelchair users please call us directly to make your booking on 0131 510 0395, Monday to Saturday from 10am – 6pm.

29. Which activities are suitable for visitors with disabilities?

We have tried to make the walkways of Edinburgh's Christmas as even as possible, with ramps to stalls where we can. Wheelchairs are welcome on the Ice Rink, there are pods in the Big Wheel and spaces in the Spiegeltent designed to accommodate wheelchairs. Please note large electric wheelchairs may not be accommodated on the Big Wheel due to weight restrictions. 

There is no ride-wide policy for the suitability of the rides for those with disabilities. This is due to variant conditions – e.g. unfavourable weather, the type of ride – and the nature of the disability, as some rides will require more support than others. The individual ride operator on the day will determine whether the ride is suitable, for safety reasons, and how they will grant admission.

30. Is there disabled parking?

Pay and display parking is available on Frederick Street, George Street, Hanover Street and Waterloo Place. This is free for Blue Badge holders with no time limit. Full details and locations of street Blue Badge parking bays can be found on the City of Edinburgh Council website at www.edinburgh.gov.uk or you can call them on 0131 469 3891.

31. What about toilet facilities?

A number of accessible toilet facilities are available around our sites.

32. Parking facilities

We recommend that visitors avoid coming by car where possible. However, for those who do travel by car, on-street pay-to-park spaces are available in the streets surrounding our sites between 8.30am and 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday. Outside of these hours, parking is free. There are also NCP car parks at the St James Shopping Centre and on Greenside Place. For more information, please visit www.ncp.co.uk.

33. Can children be unaccompanied?

Whilst the site is suitable for children of all ages, we would suggest that children are accompanied at all times by a person of 16 years or over. 

After 7pm, no person under the age of 16 will be allowed on to site unless accompanied by a responsible person of 18 years or over. Young persons (16 and 17 year olds) must be accompanied by an adult after 9pm.

Children under 11 must be accompanied by a responsible adult on the Ice Rink and Star Flyer. Children under 13 must be accompanied on the Big Wheel. Please note that some rides also have height and weight restrictions.

Children riding on the Santa Train, Carousel, Balloon Ride, Helter Skelter, Reindeer Ride, Race-a-Rama and Rollercoaster who are under 1 metre tall must be accompanied by a responsible adult, who may ride for free. Children can ride unaccompanied on the Crazy Cars ride, however must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. This ride is not suitable for adults.


The site and attraction managers also reserve the right to determine the ratio of adults in relation to children required for adequate supervision. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.

34. What if the weather is too wintry at Edinburgh's Christmas?

Edinburgh's Christmas is an outdoor event so make sure you dress appropriately as we open in rain, snow or shine!

The Ice Rink operates in all but the most extreme weather conditions. Other attractions may have to close depending on weather conditions. Please note that NO refunds will be given if an attraction is closed due to inclement weather. However, in the unlikely event that ticketed events are closed, then alternative sessions will be offered subject to availability. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.

35. What are the rules and considerations surrounding the ice rink?

Ice skating can be hazardous. The use of the Ice Rink is entirely at your own risk. Edinburgh's Christmas is not responsible for any injuries arising from your use of the Ice Rink. Skaters must follow the instructions of the marshals at all times. The Rink Manager reserves the right to remove those deemed as a risk to the safety of themselves or others.

The Ice Rink operates in all but the most extreme conditions – please bring suitable clothing as no refunds will be given due to inclement weather.

Each child under 11 years must remain under the control or supervision of a responsible adult at all times and the Rink Manager reserves the right to determine the ratio of adults in relation to children required for adequate supervision. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.

36. Photography and filming at Edinburgh's Christmas

Photography and filming on site is only allowed for personal use. If you have any commercial or editorial photography or filming requests, please contact our press office to request accreditation in advance of arriving at: susie@thecornershoppr.com. All amateur photographer groups must also request photography accreditation in advance of arriving on site. We thank you for your co-operation.

37. Sustainability policy

Visitors are strongly encouraged to travel to Edinburgh's Christmas on foot, bike or by public transport.

Edinburgh's Christmas will provide suitable facilities for visitors, traders and operators to recycle their waste and all site waste will be sorted off site to divide out recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Power, lighting and water usage is minimised wherever possible.

Traders and operators will be encouraged to procure products from sustainable sources where possible and the vast majority of the Edinburgh's Christmas infrastructure is permanent or is re-used year after year.

Edinburgh's Christmas uses local staff and crew where possible and encourages traders and operators to do the same.

38. Where can I park my bike?

For bike parking information from Edinburgh City Council, click here

The information required is within Transport – Cycling – Cycle Parking

39. Is Santa Claus at Edinburgh's Christmas real?

Why not come and ask him yourself! And don’t forget to say hello to all his magical elves too. We hope you’ve been very VERY good this year…

40. Are dogs allowed?

Yes, dog are allowed as long as they are on a lead. Please note that the festival involves noise, lights and pyrotechnics. 

41. Comments and feedback

We're always interested to hear your feedback - if there's anything that isn't covered in the above, you can email us on enquiries@edinburghschristmas.com


Ticket Enquiries

0131 510 0395


Press Enquiries

For media enquiries please contact Susie Gray, PR for Edinburgh's Christmas on 01312026220 or susie@thecornershoppr.com.


Office Enquiries

Tel: 020 7307 8480

enquiries@edinburghschristmas.com