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Best Places to Spend Christmas

Best Places to Spend Christmas: Edinburgh

Tom Gardner / Alamy

Edinburgh

Why Go: In this Scottish gem known for its widespread arts and theater culture, a holiday light show includes fireworks illuminating the sky from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace” around the Sir Walter Scott Monument serve even better than carolers.

Where to Stay: Fireplaces are continuously rekindled at the baronial Balmoral. The Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh is Scotland’s answer to the Plaza and equally as opulent.

Holiday Dinner: Sorceresses were burned at the stake beside the gates of Edinburgh Castle in the 16th century, but nothing is scorched at the Witchery by the Castle, which stands on the site. The restaurant serves Loch Duart salmon and Gartmorn Farm duck—all cooked to perfection.

—Heidi Sherman Mitchell

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