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SPS student voices and experiences
Edinburgh’s Christmas! Ita’s guide to navigating the festive period

Edinburgh’s Christmas! Ita’s guide to navigating the festive period

The Christmas season is nearly upon us and many of our students will soon be leaving Edinburgh to go back home for the holidays. However, for various reasons, some of us will be staying here over the festive period. Although this might seem tricky, it doesn’t have to be! Fortunately, Edinburgh is a fantastic place and not a typical University town, so there are always things to do and it offers lots of opportunities to make the Christmas period magical. Our writer, Ita, shares her top tips. 

I’ve spent the last three Christmases in Edinburgh – here are some of my top tips for making the most of it.

Stay Connected to Others

This is quite easy to do as the University helps with tackling loneliness during the holiday season. Many societies and departments organise Christmas/festive get-togethers or meals. There’s no limit on how many you can attend and as they take place on different days, you can attend as many as you like.

You can also try to contact your fellow classmates to see who might be staying in Edinburgh over the winter break.

The main thing to remember is that you are not alone and there are people out there with whom you can spend time.

Make It Special

I always like to try some new things or do something that I particularly like. I usually try to make the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day extra special.

My general routine involves going to the National Gallery in the morning/early afternoon, and then exploring the Christmas Market in Princes Street Gardens (and grabbing some poffertjes – I simply adore those Dutch mini pancakes!). Edinburgh is famous for its Christmas Market in New Town, so I’d definitely recommend checking that out.

I normally treat myself to some nice Christmassy food! For my festive dinner I usually grab a poke bowl from the Bowls (custom made and simply delicious), before going for the the Proper Christmassy Hot Chocolate from Uplands Roast, a coffee hut on the Meadows which is a favourite of all Edinburgh students.

That’s my general festive routine and as you can see, you can make it very special.

Go for a Walk

The last thing that I find useful to do is to go for a walk. I usually go to the Royal Botanics or the Holyrood Park. It’s a nice way to just enjoy the changing scenery across the city and its parks. Plus, there’s always a tiny tiny chance of snow ❄☃️

So, these are my main tips. Of course, there are also many city-wide celebrations which you can take part in, like Christmas at the Botanic Gardens, or the Castle of Light –  whatever works for you. The main thing to remember is that, even though it may seem tricky, you can make it work!

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