Averages for Edinburgh in January

January is the coldest month of the year in Edinburgh and as a result, it is also the low point of the travel season. Without big crowds, there are deals to be had on things like flights and hotels. However, one setback is the fact that some local businesses and smaller restaurants may close for this slow time of the year. If you do choose to travel during this period, be sure to check the sites you know you want to visit before you leave to make sure they will be open for business.

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  • Temperature Temperature 3°C 37°F
  • High Temperature Holiday Weather 5°C 41°F
  • Low Temperature Holiday Weather 1°C 34°F
  • Sunshine Hours Sunshine Hours 1 hrs
  • Rainfall Rainfall 70 mm
  • Rainfall days Rainfall days 24 days
  • Sea Temperature Sea Temperature 8°C 46°F

January is the coldest month of the year in Edinburgh and as a result, it is also the low point of the travel season. Without big crowds, there are deals to be had on things like flights and hotels. However, one setback is the fact that some local businesses and smaller restaurants may close for this slow time of the year. If you do choose to travel during this period, be sure to check the sites you know you want to visit before you leave to make sure they will be open for business.

Be sure to bundle up when heading outdoors during this time of the year as the overall average daily temperature is just 3°C (37°F). Of course, if there is any wind at all, the breeze will make it feel much colder. The average afternoon high temperature is just 5°C (41°F) while the average overnight low hovers just above the freezing mark at 1°C (34°F). Because the city is located next to a body of water, the moderating effect of the sea keeps temperatures from falling too low. However, just because the average temperature is above the freezing mark, it will still occasionally snow in the city.

Rainfall amounts don't fluctuate much for the city throughout the year and this time of the year the region experiences an average of 70mm of precipitation. Much of the region stays wet on an almost daily basis with 24 days of the month receiving at least some measurable rainfall. The good news is that most of the rain or frozen precipitation is light in nature and you can still enjoy wandering about the city.

Don't look for a lot of sun during this time of the year as the region's northerly location only allows for 1 hour of sunshine per day. Additionally, this is not the time of the year to be visiting one of the area beaches as the water temperature is only 8°C (46°F). 

Where to Stay

If you are looking for the perfect mix of comfort and style, you will find it at Twelve Picardy Place. This small, boutique hotel offers rooms of various sizes that have all the amenities of home. The hotel itself is a mix of old-fashioned service combined with 21st century luxury. You will feel right at home at this hotel.

For those who prefer the name recognition of a chain hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton has all the amenities you could want in a hotel. Perfect for those who don't want to break the bank, but still want to be in the heart of the city, this hotel offers a large array of room styles and amenities such as a 24-hour fitness center, WiFi, bar and restaurant.

The Village Hotel Edinburgh is the perfect place to be near all of the New Year's festivities and other January events. Guests will enjoy the onsite restaurant and bar a well as the gym in order to keep those New Year's resolutions. Each room is lavishly appointed and come with WiFi and a flatscreen TV. 

Restaurants and Nightlife

If you need to warm up on a cold January day, be sure to stop in Rodi Restaurant. Serving some of the best Turkish barbeque in the city, the chefs use only the freshest locally sourced ingredients. This is a good spot for a romantic dinner for two or for a larger party. Lamb, chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes are all on the menu allowing for something for everyone.

With a mixture of Scottish, Spanish and South African tapas, Indaba is known as one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh. All dishes use fresh, locally sourced ingredients that make up home cooked food. All tapas are made for sharing and this is the perfect spot for large groups.

One of the hottest places in the city for live music is Whistle Binkies. Get in for free Sunday through to Thursday with up to four bands playing until 3:00am. On the weekend, free admission lasts until midnight and the party will feature up to six acts. 

Things to Do

With temperatures near the freezing mark early in the morning and not getting much warmer throughout the afternoon, now is the time to spend time indoors. One of the best ways to escape the cold is to explore the Camera Obscura. For over 150 years, visitors have been enthralled by the world of illusions, magic gallery and more. This is the perfect spot for the entire family to spend an afternoon or a day.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay is a huge three-day celebration for New Year's Eve. Known as one of the best New Year's celebrations in the world, it is not to be missed. Hogmanay is what the Scots call New Year's Eve and the celebration dates back to the time of the Vikings. Join thousands of other partiers who dance the night away and don't leave before joining in on the national sing-along of Auld Lang Syne. 

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