4 Scottish Christmas Markets Every Craft Lover Should Visit

Scotland is a wonderful place to be during the festive season, not least because of the legendary, globally famous Hogmanay celebrations. But that’s not all there is on offer.

Christmas markets big and small span Scotland’s major cities during the Yuletide period, serving as cultural gems for craft lovers to find the perfect, locally made gifts and inspiration for unique projects.

From Glasgow to Aberdeen and beyond, here are Scotland’s best Christmas markets (and the finest places to stay) so you can enjoy a festive city break at its best.

Check out East Princes Street Gardens, which hosts Edinburgh’s longest-running festive market (25 November-3 January), for the annual delight of Christmas spoils, including handcrafted decorations from Scottish crafts to inspire your 2023 projects. Don’t forget to sample the German sausages, waffles and pretzels on offer, too.

VisitScotland / Jakub Iwanicki

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Set time aside for the Assembly Rooms Christmas Fair (3-4 December) on George Street, hosting 120 British artists and designers selling their wares. The beautiful venue boasts ornate period features.

After a day of fun, why not stay at Edinburgh’s Old Town at Hilton Edinburgh Carlton, where the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill will satisfy hungry travellers, or Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, where you can sample over 100 whiskies in The Caley Bar or try the local delicacies at Grazing by Mark Greenaway restaurant, just a stone’s throw from the Christmassy magic.

Head to Glasgow’s Riverside Museum – known during the non-festive months for its collections of historic vehicles and state-of-the-art interactive displays – for a 40-stall Christmas Market (26-27 November) that is perfect for picking personal handmade and crafted gifts, including candles and melts, jewellery and prints.

At Glasgow’s Christmas Craft & Flea at historic A-listed market hall The Briggait (27 November), you can pick the brains of the city’s independent makers and collectors and marvel at the vintage bric-a-brac and ceramics. Or head to Alchemy Festive Markets in the West End for tasty snacks, gorgeous presents and foodie hampers. Yum.

Rest your weary feet with a stay at Hilton Glasgow right on the edge of the city centre. Make time to treat yourself to afternoon tea after long days of shopping – the perfect way to relax.

Located in Aberdeen’s historic Marischal College Quadrangle, the city’s Christmas Village Market (until 31 December) offers up arts and crafts gift options along with homeware, gourmet food and delicious drinks.

Curated In The Quad is another essential visit to add to your list – situated within the Marischal College Quadrangle, 100% of profits from stall holders in this market will go towards local charity Charlie House, who support young people with life-limiting conditions. Open Friday to Sunday from now until 18 December, each weekend will have a different offering, from gifts, crafts, fashion and homeware, as well as food and drink.

VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

Book a night at Hilton Aberdeen TECA, the ideal place to lay your head after watching a Christmas show at P&J Live. The indoor pool and fitness centre here are also well worth a visit, or head to the spa to unwind and recuperate.

Craft lovers are bound to find festive inspiration at Dundee’s Christmas Market WinterFest, which is back for its second year and hosting a vintage funfair along with an authentic Bavarian tavern.

Dundee is the UK’s first (and only) UNESCO City of Design and has been designated as a ‘creative city’ so there are many other crafty options for Christmas shopping this year.

VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Art centre Dundee Contemporary Arts is also throwing its biggest craft and design market yet and the V&A Dundee’s Festive Design Market (25-27 November) is set to showcase the city’s best independent creatives, a perfect place for you to pick up textiles, prints, ceramics and jewellery while supporting budding artistic talent.

Hampton by Hilton Dundee City Centre is the perfect place to stay, close to the train station and in the heart of the city. Discovery Point and The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum are both within a five minute walk of this cosy home away from home, too.

Enjoy everything that the Scottish Christmas markets have to offer this year and book your stay at a Hilton hotel now