The Fringe is addictive, Christmas is magical, but Hogmanay in Edinburgh is a truly momentous and otherworldly experience. The Scottish version of New Year’s Eve, Hogmanay is a spectacular cultural array of festivities fuelled by tradition and filled with unwavering banter, fireworks, music, tasty eats, dancing, and of course, barrels of whiskey and swathes of tartan. From the epic street party and hourly fireworks displays to a magical midnight moment complete with Auld Lang Syne resonating throughout, embrace the contagious ambiance and enjoy our guide to celebrating Hogmanay in Edinburgh.
The Street Party
The shindig of all shindigs, The Street Party is a leviathan outdoor event jam-packed with endless entertainment, situated near the majesty of the Castle. From live DJs and bands to sensational fireworks painted across the sky every hour from 9pm onwards, there’s no better way to usher in the New Year. Meander between the four stages and eight massive screens (Waverley, Castle, Mound and Frederick), enjoy witnessing headliners The Charlatans, and feed off the countless stellar music selection in store. Wrap up extra warm, as this party is notorious for powering through all sorts of weather conditions.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Night Afore Concert
Any excuse for a good old party and the Scots are there with bells on their fingers and whistles on their toes. For the first time ever, Edinburgh is hosting a second Hogmanay show, this time with renowned Scottish musician Paolo Nutini. This idea came about from the overwhelming demand for more festivities. In true Scots style, a number of bars and food will frequent the West Princes Street Gardens. Like The Street Party, this is an outdoor extravaganza, so make sure to don the right get-up and bring a brolly!
A sight for sore eyes, the Torchlight Procession is an affair immeasurably precious to locals and visitors alike. Well worth witnessing, Edinburgh illuminates like a resplendent flowing sea of red and orange flames, thanks to over 40,000 people uniting and marching for charity, each holding a flaming torch. A photographer’s dream, this unique cultural ritual is steeped in tradition and never fails to ignite a fire within.
Concert In The Gardens
Hogmanay celebrations wouldn’t be the same without the annual Concert In The Gardens. Situated below the ever-present eyes of the noble and magnificent Edinburgh Castle, this sensational show is the full works, and then some. With fireworks and a dynamite line up, music and party lovers are in for a treat. Hear Paolo Nutini, The Lightning Seeds, and The Vegan Leather as they walk in the footsteps of Blondie, Primal Scream, Kasabian and Pet Shops Boys, who have graced this famous stage in years gone by. The perfect way to experience the bells of New Year (and escape the main pocket of party people), this concert is leagues ahead of the rest.
Old Town Ceilidh
Want to go to a real party? A true taste of Scotland, the Old Town Ceilidh is the perfect event for those with an affinity for Scottish music and all things traditional. The event is sponsored by Belhaven Brewery, organised by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and is truly transforming the High Street into a hub of gastronomic delights, plenty of booze and enough ceilidh music to fill the city streets with sheer pride. Two live open air stages will host memorable performances from Kilter and HotScotch, as well as contemporary Scottish musicians Talisk and Top Floor Taivers, to name a few. Those unsure how to do the pas des basque can delight in the Ceilidh Makers, a tribe of trusty ceilidh connoisseurs on hand to teach newbies the dancing ropes.
Stoats Loony Dook
Many see a good breakfast and a Bloody Mary as the only hangover cure; the Scots have Irn-Bru and the Loony Dook. A tradition dating back over three decades, thousands of people in Edinburgh congregate at South Queensferry on New Year’s Day for the annual tradition of ‘dooking’ or ‘dipping’ in the Firth of Forth. The sub zero temperatures are made tolerable from the heightened sense of hilarity and exquisite backdrop of the Forth Road Bridge. Participants, who are dressed to the nines in full fancy dress and all in the name of charity, march along the High Street before the big dook.
So you don’t suffer from the post-party blues, Scotland’s most innovative artists and musicians have put their heads together for Scot:Lands, a glistening display of art, music and theatre. The Russian roulette element makes it all the more interesting. Upon arrival, venues or ‘Lands’ are allocated to participants at random, albeit a short distance away from each other. When a new Land beckons, look to the giant compass — it will show you the way. Literally. They have a massive spinning compass!
The Final Fling
The only way to end a party in Scotland is to throw a giant party! The Final Fling is a celebration on New Year’s Day in the form of a ceilidh. Situated in the incredible Grand Hall of the National Museum of Scotland, partygoers can weave in and out like strings of Christmas lights and dosey doe amidst some of the most exquisite collections out there. Music by the deftly talented native Edinburgh band Heeliegoleerie is sure to set the tone for an epic final farewell.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.