As the nights get darker and November creeps into December, Edinburgh becomes a festive delight of twinkling lights, Christmas markets and bustling seasonal activities. Its magical atmosphere and historical backdrop make the bewitching capital the perfect location for a cheerful winter break with the girls: shopping, entertainment, food, and sight-seeing.
Here are our favourite things to do in Edinburgh over the Christmas period, a guide to planning the perfect girls’ weekend away.
Shopping in Edinburgh
From vintage one-of-a-kind pieces to catwalk-ready designer styles and high-street favourites, Edinburgh is famous for its impressive variety of shopping options. Let’s break them down:
Edinburgh Vintage Shopping
W. Armstrong & Son is the oldest and most popular vintage clothing retailer in Edinburgh. Established way back in 1840, their stores are a one-stop-shop for all things unique and retro. With 3 locations scattered across the city, their treasure chest units are carefully organised into hand-picked categories, making it easier to discover that new timeless addition to your wardrobe.
Edinburgh Designer Shopping
Whilst famous designer brands have always been an Edinburgh staple, the city has also seen a wonderful lift in the number of exclusive boutiques over the last couple of years. For international styles, the pristinely paved Multrees Walk is a pedestrianised shopping area offering the crème de la crème of big-name brands: Harvey Nichols, Burberry, and Louis Vuitton (to name a few).
Meanwhile, the charming cobble-stoned streets of Edinburgh’s West End are not only home to beautifully tailored boutiques, but also a hive for unique eating and drinking spots. Be sure to take a peek inside independent lingerie shop, Odyssey Boutique, specialising in making women feel truly fantastic!
City Center Shopping in Edinburgh
The 2021 opening of the newly refurbished St. James Centre was one of the most highly anticipated events in this year’s Edinburgh calendar, seeing a lot of the popular High Street retailers uproot from Princes St and secure one of the coveted units in the new building.
Retail giants Zara have incorporated a hammam-inspired cosmetics bar, whilst international brands such as Bershka and Paul & Bear make their first appearance to the capital. Be sure to pop upstairs and visit the new Bar Hutte that’s popped up outside, there until 2nd January 2022. The twinkling courtyard includes a number of cabins that can be rented out for karaoke!
Unique tourist attractions in Edinburgh
Alongside the excitement of the new St. James Centre, both visitors and locals alike have been enjoying the new Johnnie Walker Experience on Princes Street. The eight-floor building has been described as “Edinburgh’s own ‘whisky Disneyland’” and tells the story of one of the world’s best-selling whiskies through an immersive mix of light, sound, food, and drink.
Cocktails in Edinburgh
What could be better than finishing a busy day of shopping with a cocktail (or two?), because no girls trip in Edinburgh is complete without a luxury tipple. Kick back in The Bonham Bar & Lounge and sample our exclusive Bonham Signature Old-Fashioned. Or, for those with a taste for a more classic cocktail, sip on old favourites such as Cosmopolitans and Espresso Martinis from our Bar Menu. Team with snacks and nibbles from our Lounge Menu for a perfectly paired pick-me-up.
Indulge in a Luxury Spa Day at the Edinburgh Chamomile Spa
Planning a night on the town during your visit? Conveniently located in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End, The Chamomile Sanctuary provides you with every possible beauty fix and treatment you need to look and feel gorgeous from top to toe. Their range of full-body massages will leave you rested and ready to take on the world, whilst their shorter nail, lash and eyebrows treatments add a new level of excitement to getting ready with the girls.
Catch a Show at the Edinburgh Playhouse
After a difficult time of forced closure across 2020-2021, we’re delighted to see the iconic Edinburgh Playhouse once again entertaining audiences with popular global performances. Festive highlights include the long-awaited musical interpretation of the legendary 80’s movie, Heathers, alongside the festive favourite, White Christmas the Musical.
Take Part in a Free Dance Class
Take advantage of your new location and encourage the group to step out of their comfort zone with a free Salsa for Beginners class. Nestled conveniently in the center of the capital, Club Cuba offers a variety of free evening dance classes throughout the week to get you in the mood for a true fiesta.
Where to Stay in Edinburgh
A luxury getaway calls for a stylish, yet peaceful, place to rest your head (and feet) at the end of a fun-filled day. With 49 individually designed bedrooms, set in a quiet leafy crescent in Edinburgh’s exclusive West End, The Bonham Hotel is a timeless boutique property that aims to provide each guest with an unforgettable stay in the city.
All Superior Rooms upward are equipped with everything to make you feel truly pampered, from fluffy white bath robes to After the Rain: Arran Sense of Scotland toiletries, and comfy slippers. Explore the rooms and townhouse architecture.