Christmas in Edinburgh | Where to Spend Christmas as a Digital Nomad

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Living and working as a digital nomad certainly comes with its fair share of perks - in particular, working from your laptop on a tropical island or quaint European town while your colleagues are back in their cubicles.

But there’s one time of year when digital nomad life might feel a bit lonely: the holiday season. After all, there’s no place like home for the holidays, and spending Christmas far from your family and foregoing beloved holiday traditions can be challenging.

That said, it’s still possible to have a special and memorable Christmas experience no matter where you are on the map! The key is to travel somewhere wintery and full of Christmas spirit - someplace you can sip hot cocoa, admire twinkling lights and festive decor, and stroll along snow-covered streets.

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Our traveler and digital nomad Ryan asked us for help choosing a destination where he could live and work remotely, while celebrating Christmas and ringing in the New Year.

Project Kaif helped Ryan feel at home for the holidays in Edinburgh, Scotland - a charming city that looks like it belongs in a Christmas snowglobe!

Christmas in Edinburgh

Elegant buildings and neoclassical gardens merge with medieval architecture in Scotland’s capital city. Founded sometime prior to the 7th century AD, Edinburgh’s history is rich and storied...just like its Christmas traditions.

From mid-November to mid-January, Edinburgh transforms into a winter wonderland right out of a storybook, with snow-covered cobblestone streets and historic buildings lined with twinkling lights and evergreen wreaths.

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Your calendar will stay booked all season long as a variety of festivals and events take place all across the city, from theatrical performances to caroling performances to carnival rides. Ice skate in St. Andrew Square, admire the Giant Advent Calendar, or go for a ride on the Candy Cane Bungees or Big Wheel.

Ryan was particularly smitten with the “Ice Adventure,” an immersive walk-through installation that tells the story of Scotland’s history through detailed ice sculptures. Mythical fairies and Kelpies are etched into the ice alongside historic vikings and queens, creating an icy wonderland that will take your breath away.

After walking through the installation, warm up with an Antarctic Hot Toddy made with Shackleton Whisky at the city’s only ice bar!

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Ryan also enjoyed Edinburgh’s festive Christmas markets, where he tasted fresh sausages, seafood, chocolates, craft beers and gin, and shopped for handcrafted goods.

One unique Edinburgh tradition that mustn’t be missed is “Hogmanay,” a multi-day New Year’s celebration that dates back more than 400 years. The Torchlight Procession kicks off the event on the evening of December 30th, followed by street parties and concerts on the following days.

Special highlights include dancing, music and whiskey under the stunning backdrop of the Edinburgh Castle on December 31st, and “Loony Dook” - an icy plunge in the River Forth - on January 1st.

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Live in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is slightly more expensive for a digital nomad than Ryan’s previous destinations, with a cost of living at around $2,300 per month, and with more than $1,000 of that going towards accommodation.

But the slightly higher costs are well worth it; Edinburgh is attractive, safe, and walkable, with an abundance of places to work and play. The nightlife is excellent, with frequent live music and a multitude of clubs, bars, and pubs. And of course, Edinburgh is an ideal destination for nomads who would prefer to stay somewhere English-speaking.

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Ryan wanted to stay somewhere in the center of Edinburgh, so we helped select Old Town as his perfect neighborhood. Steeped in history and filled with winding cobblestone streets and medieval buildings, Old Town offered a warm, welcoming atmosphere to help Ryan feel right at home for Christmas.

Work in Edinburgh

Ryan’s apartment in Old Town was a short walk to a number of cafes and coworking spaces, making it easy for him to find a cozy spot to work each day.

Established in 2007, The Melting Pot is something of an institution in Edinburgh. One of the oldest coworking offices in all of the United Kingdom, The Melting Pot boasts a central location on Rose Street, a network of more than 170 members, and a number of networking events and workshops. Desk space, meeting rooms, and event rooms are all available to rent.

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CodeBase is another coworking space that’s popular among those in the tech industry. Developers, entrepreneurs, and employees of startups and small businesses all flock to this forward-thinking office to rent desk space and network with others in a collaborative environment.

Are you a digital nomad from the Bay Area or elsewhere around the globe? Project Kaif can help you map out your own journey, with your unique needs as a remote worker in mind. Contact Project Kaif today!