Each year, the capital transforms into a festive destination that sees thousands of visitors and residents alike flock en masse to the city’s impressive Christmas Markets and events.
The festivities in East and West Princes Street Gardens in particular are a huge draw, as the city centre green space is turned into a sprawling Christmas market.
Regularly named as one of the best UK cities to visit at Christmas time, thanks to its extensive offering of stalls, ice rinks, grottos and of course, the big wheel, the market is one that’s sure to get people talking each year when it returns.
READ MORE: Edinburgh Christmas Market: How much it costs for a family of four on a day out
And sure enough, this year is no different, with plenty of people taking to the popular review site Tripadvisor to voice their praise – or displeasure – about their visit.
Here are just some of the reviews:
Hannah P was impressed during their visit: “We took our teenage children, lots to do and see. Really busy long queue to get in but once in ok. Children loved it, enough rides and things going on. Really Christmassy got us into the spirit of it.
“Thoroughly enjoyed it felt safe walking around lots of security walking about. Worth a visit, not charged to enter so even if you wanted to walk around with a hot drink it’s a nice treat.”
User roadsideshop was happy enough with the offering but did point out that it was mildly overpriced, stating that the market itself was accessible enough for both people walking and in wheelchairs to get around, which was a plus point, but added that though the mulled wine was “very nice indeed”, the hot dogs tasty, were “definitely over-priced” for what you get.
However, the vast majority of reviews for this year’s market have been rated as poor or terrible.
K8099LNamy was unhappy with how packed they were, writing: “Inside the market… there is zero space. Couldn’t see half the stalls because it was stupidly tiny. So you have to squeeze past people to try and keep moving.”
Another user, Bosteo1 pointed out that they felt it was not a very festive market, posting: “This is not a Christmas market, it is a fairground and numerous stalls selling extortionate bratwurst and more bratwurst and then more bratwurst.”
Scot stev2801 was hugely disappointed by his visit, stating that they’ve been visiting the market for over 20 years and this was the worst year in their opinion, highlighting that “half the stalls were missing”, the food choice was poor and the beers were overly expensive.
Another that didn’t mince their words was A8167SUharryw who listed all of the pricing decisions they couldn’t believe were allowed – describing the market as simply a “licence to print money”.
They wrote: “3 strawberries came to £10, hats that are synthetic rubbish are £20+. Gluhwein coming in at the cheapest price £7. You can buy a bottle of good Gluhwein from Aldi for half that.”
Both visitors to the city, users femarian82, from Rome, and Tayla M, from down south were massively let down by the lack of Christmas gift stalls.
Tayla wrote: “The market was advertised as over 60 stalls…..but 40 of those were food & drink, and only about 4-5 of the remaining 20 were actually selling Christmas things! Every other stall were the same items you can buy on Cockburn Street, The Royal Mile & Victoria Street. I couldn’t believe how little they had, considering it’s a CHRISTMAS market.”
While Femarian added in their review: “This is not a Xmas market! Is more a street market! Not Artisans market at all! They sell all trinkets you can find in generic markets selling bad stuff!!! We are soooooo disappointed!”
Speaking about the feedback, UniqueAssembly, Producers of Edinburgh’s Christmas, said: “We were delighted to see so many visitors joining us as soon as we opened on Friday, enjoying the traditional Christmas Market and Santa Land in East and West Princes Street Gardens and also the new Lidl on Ice in George Street over the weekend.
“Edinburgh’s Christmas is an extremely popular attraction, of which the Christmas Market is only one part, bringing in visitors from across the City and further afield and some areas can be busy at peak times, especially over the weekends.
“We are delighted that we have been able to rescue this year’s Edinburgh’s Christmas plans at short notice but with only six weeks preparation time from taking over the Edinburgh’s Christmas contract to opening our doors this weekend, it was not possible to include everything we dreamed of for this year.
“We do, of course, welcome all feedback and are continuing to monitor and adjust where necessary for this year and take suggestions into consideration for future plans”
Have you visited yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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