I honestly don't know if they are doing it this year. They have done in the past. Locals get first 'go' at getting tickets and then there is a ballot. BIL went a few years ago and MIL got the lickets as she lives in Edinburgh. You might be better finding out if this is still happening....it would be a waste of cash if you couldn't get in to all the festibvities!
You do need a ticket if you want to be in the centre. The details of how to get one are here . Flats I don't know about- Festival flats doesn't operate at hogmanay. The Witchery would be a fab place to stay if you happen to be millionaires, but I think all the real city-centre hotels will be expensive. I will try and think....
Beety, they close off the centre completely, so I am not sure how it would work. They put barriers up everywhere, and it gets very crowded (tickets are to limit numbers, really). If you're already in the centre then I guess you would be alright, but I don't honestly know. My feeling would be that it would be worth ringing one of the big hotels and ask them, pretending that you are intending to stay. They do have a "thing" in Inverleith Park where you can see the fireworks really well, and they play the concert music over loudspeakers, and that's meant to be quite child-friendly, but it's not right in the centre. Hmm.
Hmb, I was just thinking that you must be coming here about now, what a shame. Maybe see you in October then?
Not sure yet how long we will be in Edinburgh, we are going over to Ayr to scatter some of late FILs ashes (long pointless story which I will omit!). So it is all a bit up in the air. I'll CAT you when I know what is what, if that is OK
You might be better off just outside the cordon, yes. There are lots of places to see the fireworks from, they set them off from all the hills usually. The torchlight procession is quite child-friendly (on the 30th, I think), so there will be loads to do apart from the concert. I think it would be a bit more relaxing to be outside the immediate centre in many ways, as you'd have much more freedom of movement. There's a hotel called Channings that is meant to be nice which is only 10 minutes walk from Princes St but outside the cordon.