Celebrating Winter Holiday, Christmas in Edinburgh & Paris

The winter holiday season may be over for 2016, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for your 2017 winter holiday! Here is how Edinburgh and Paris celebrated their holiday season in 2016:

Scotland – “Edinburgh’s Christmas 2016”

Edinburgh started its Christmas celebration on November 18th and is still slated to run through January 7th, 2017. There are various locations where celebrations and activities are held.

At the Scott Monument on East Princes Street, you can find the European Christmas Market for a very festive shopping experience! As the name suggests, the market contains a large number of food, drink, arts, crafts, and cultural stands being represented by numerous countries. You’ll have no trouble chowing down on various delicacies, satisfying your sweet tooth with candies and chocolates, or keeping warm with some hearty hot wine!

The market also has a variety of rides, including the Big Wheel and the fairly intimidating Star Flyer that swings near Scott Monument (this is actually more terrifying than I had expected it to be)! There are also smaller rides, an ice skating rink, and other activities for kids and families.

Throughout other parts of the city, you’ll see brilliantly decorated lights and smaller markets. George Street features “The Street of Light,” a spectacular castle-shaped light display which has a dazzling light show with music.

Edinburgh makes sure that there is plenty to enjoy your holiday season there. How does Paris stack up against the competition?

France – Winter in Paris

Just when I thought I had my fill of Christmas Markets in Scotland and Belgium, Paris made sure I would never be satisfied! Many of the Christmas Markets this year started as early as November 11th and will continue through January 9th, 2017.

In the vast city of Paris are numerous Christmas Markets, with the largest or most prominent ones located on Champs-Élysées, La Défense, and the Eiffel Tower. Between the Christmas Markets at these three locations, there are approximately 600 stalls in total! In comparison, the main markets in Edinburgh and Brussels had 100 and 200 stalls, respectively.

We spent most of our time on the markets lined up on Champs-Élysées. The entire street is covered with Christmas lights and decorations while the sidewalks on each side of the street are set up with a total 200 stalls. Like the other markets, there is plenty to satisfy any craving or shopping need, and the shops remain open until as late as midnight, unlike other markets that usually closed around 9:00 PM. There are also many exhibits and play areas for kids, which includes an ice-skating rink, slides, animated displays.

Spending the holidays in Belgium, Scotland and France was a wonderfully festive experience and I am really looking forward to spending more winter holidays in other parts of Europe. Let us know where are your favorite places to celebrate the winter holidays!

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