31 January 2019

As the song goes, it's the most wonderful time of the year! When I saw bus drivers in Christmas sweaters and the Christmas tree set up in the Business School, I knew Christmas was on its way. There is so much to do during Christmas in Edinburgh: here are some of the things that I would recommend.
Christmas trail at the Edinburgh botanic gardens

As an international student, I am always interested to embrace the different cultures that can be found in Edinburgh. This year, I decided to spend Christmas in Edinburgh, which was also my first time spending Christmas overseas.

Christmas Markets

Edinburgh Christmas Market

The Christmas Market is a place that will lift your spirits. With so much delicious food and delicate gifts on sale, it is a good opportunity to try something you haven't had the chance to experience before. It is a colourful place in the day time and it becomes even more amazing at night when the lights come on. Walking around with a hot drink, hearing people shouting aloud in the sky from the different funfair rides, and savouring the smell of grilled meat are all things you can enjoy at the Christmas market.

Royal Botanic Garden

I went to the Royal Botanic Gardens without thinking that I would need to buy a ticket for the winter trail. When my friends and I arrived, the tickets were already sold out, however fortunately there were some left for the next day. Lesson learned; always prepare well for everything in advance. The next day was Christmas Eve, but there were still many people visiting the garden. I guess that is testament to how amazing it was. Along the trail, you will find illuminated tree sculptures, a cathedral of lights that you can walk inside, projections of snow—and some hidden surprises. It all looked too real to be believed. I saw families taking photos among the displays and couples holding each other in the lights. It felt like the magic of the lights had brought people together and weaved a fantastic dream. For me, it was also an adventure since it was dark, and I was not good at directions, but it was an unforgettable night.

Boxing Day

Waverley, Edinburgh

After celebrating Christmas with big dinners and parties, the next thing on the list was some shopping. I had been told that Boxing Day, for some, is a day for shopping. But when I went to Princes Street, I was surprised by what I saw. Every shop had big sale posters in the window enticing people inside. I have never seen so many people on Princes Street, but it did make you want to join in the shopping fun. Shops were offering up to 50% discounts, so why not? My first stop was Next, and I was lucky to spot a pair of gorgeous high heels that would be perfect for interviews. Next, I went to Zara where I didn't see anything at first. but, just as I was leaving, I spotted an incredible dress hidden away in the corner. After buying these items, I was filled with joy and happiness. When you are under the weather, I always find a spot of shopping is a good way to find some feel-good factor.

Xiang Hui, MSc International Business and Emerging Markets