Best Hogmanay events in Edinburgh and Glasgow 2013

  • The List
  • 12 December 2013
Best Hogmanay events in Edinburgh and Glasgow 2013

How to spend the Christmas holidays, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in Scotland

1 Watch some pop lords

The former assistant editor of Smash Hits (that’s Neil Tennant, fact fans) and Chris Lowe bring their deadpan, yet hi-NRG synth-pop to the capital. Concert in the Gardens, with the Pet Shop Boys, and support from The 1975, Nina Nesbitt and The 10:04’s.
Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Tue 31 Dec.

2 Make like Bambi on ice

Whirl away the final day of the year on Edinburgh’s razzle-dazzle pop-up ice rink.
Ice rink, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, until Sun 5 Jan.

3 Cut a rug at a ceilidh

Watch the fireworks in the warmth via big screens or the VIP lounge before Ceilidh Stomp and the soul band Hidden Agenda fire up the dancefloor with music to see in the bells.
Ceilidh at The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, Tue 31 Dec.

4 Singalong with Bing

Two friends put on a show in a Vermont inn – with hilarious results. A classic festive musical, White Christmas is ‘full of tap dancing and laughter’ with Irving Berlin’s classic hits performed here by a cast of over 30 (sadly not the real Bing) and a 17-piece orchestra.
White Christmas: The Musical, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sat 4 Jan.

5 Go on a cultural journey in Edinburgh's Old Town on New Year’s Day

Scot:Lands consists of nine ‘worlds’, each one performed in unique spaces in the city and created by some of Scotland’s top musicians, dancers and artists including Smallpetitklein, King Creosote, Withered Hand and the Whatever Gets You Through the Night theatre show.
Scot:Lands starts at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, noon, Wed 1 Jan, then various venues in the Old Town until 5.30pm. Free

6 Shop for crafts

Expect a ‘chilled-out atmosphere’ – thankfully, in the comfort of a well-heated marquee – say the organisers of Grassmarket Hogmanay Festival Fair, offering ethical crafts, jewellery, fashion and mulled wine.
Grassmarket Hogmanay Festival Fair, Edinburgh, Sat 28 Dec–Thu 2 Jan.

7 Have a N.Y.E. dance

Optimo Hogmanay features a live set of ‘hypno-psych voodoo groove’ from local heroes Golden Teacher and a DJ set from African-dance label, Awesome Tapes From Africa
Optimo’s Hogmanay 2013, Glue Factory, Glasgow, Tue 31 Dec.

8 Go to the funfair

The Irn-Bru Carnival is Europe’s largest indoor funfair with rides to suit thrillseekers of all ages, from the Frisbee and the Extreme to more traditional rollercoasters and children’s rides as well as a huge range of stalls.
Irn-Bru Carnival, SECC, Glasgow, Fri 20 Dec–Sat 12 Jan.

9 Watch a movie

Avoid the crowds before and after the bells in the comfort of the Cameo’s cosy red velvet armchairs. Screenings of Anchorman 2, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, All is Lost and The Hobbit are all planned.
Cameo, Edinburgh, Tue 31 Dec & Wed 1 Jan.

10 See some live comedy

Liven up the last hours of 2013 in some stand-up company: Mark Nelson, Rev Obadiah Steppenwolfe III and pals perform in Glasgow, while Ro Campbell, Jo Caulfield and guests take care of Edinburgh funny bones.
The Stand, Glasgow, Fri 27–Tue 31 Dec; The Stand, Edinburgh, Fri 27 Dec–Wed 1 Jan.

11 Witness a pyromaniacal circus spectacle

Limbo's blend of acrobatics, top hats, a brass band, sword swallowing and fire eating should be an exhilarating end to the year.
Limbo, Paradiso Spiegeltent, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, until Sat 4 Jan.

12 Take a scenic night-walk

One for teetotallers or crowd avoiders, and it won’t cost you a penny as you oversee the city with the Observers’ Walks audio tour. Ruth Ewan and Astrid Johnston have made a downloadable guide to Calton Hill and its environs. Ruth Ewan’s Observers’ Walks audio tour, downloadable from

What's open on 31st Dec and 1st January



Scottish National Gallery

The Mound, Edinburgh, 624 6200,
Open daily 10am–5pm, except Wed 1 Jan, open noon–5pm.


1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, 0845 874 3000,
Open Tue 31 Dec, 11am–3pm. Closed Wed 1 Jan.

Edinburgh Zoo

134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, 334 9171,
Open daily 9am–4.30pm.

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Castlehill, Edinburgh, 226 3709,
Open daily 10am–6pm.

European Christmas Market

Mound Precinct and East Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, 
Open daily 10am–10pm, until Sun 5 Jan.

Children’s Market

St Andrew Square, Edinburgh,
Open daily 10am–10pm, until Sun 5 Jan.

Edinburgh’s Scottish Market

St Andrew Square, Edinburgh,
Open daily 10am–10pm, until Sun 5 Jan.

Edinburgh’s Free Walking Tours

Tron Kirk, Edinburgh,
Daily 11am & 2pm.

Ruth Ewan: Observers’ Walks

Calton Hill,
Audio tours for Observers Walks can still be downloaded from their website.
Closed Fri 20 Dec–Tue 7 Jan.

Stories Round the Tree at Scottish Storytelling Centre

43–45 High Street, Edinburgh, 556 9579,
Tue 31 Dec, 12.30 & 2pm.


Glasgow Botanic Gardens

730 Great Western Road, Glasgow, 339 6964,
Daily: grounds 7am–dusk, glasshouses 10am–4.15pm.

Glasgow on Ice

George Square, Glasgow, 287 8985,
Tue 31 Dec, noon–10pm. Closed Wed 1 Jan.

Glasgow Necropolis

50 Cathedral Square, 552 3145,
On Tue 31, main gates will be closed and the necropolis will be accessible through the gatehouse on John Knox Street. Closed Wed 1 Jan.

The Tall Ship at Riverside

150 Pointhouse Place, 357 3699,
Open daily 10am–4pm. Booking recommended.