Edinburgh Castle

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Edinburgh Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

  • Edinburgh: Royal Attractions with Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours

    1. Edinburgh: Royal Attractions with Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours

    Experience stunning city views and natural vistas with this 48-hour Royal Edinburgh Ticket, and learn Edinburgh's history and culture as your tour. Easy to use, the all-inclusive ticket is fantastic value if you want to go to Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the Royal Yacht Britannia. The ticket also includes 48-hour unlimited travel on three of Edinburgh's hop-on-hop-off bus tours; Edinburgh City Sightseeing, Edinburgh Tour and Majestic Tour. Use the bus to reach the attractions, leaving the city behind and heading to the coast at Newhaven through Edinburgh’s New Town. With stops for the Royal Botanic Garden and Royal Yacht Britannia, it couldn’t be simpler. As the bus returns to the city center, you can jump off at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Canongate section of the Royal Mile to walk up to Edinburgh Castle. A multi-language audio commentary in English, G...

    Great value for money to use 3 bus services and for 48 hours it was great value. The attractions were all very good , bought separately this has saved us about £50 and we used the bus all day on both days to go to different areas of the city and not just the attractions

  • Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass with 3 City Tours

    2. Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass with 3 City Tours

    Save money and explore Edinburgh at your own pace with a 3-route tour ticket. Tour for 24 or 48 hours, to contrast the Old and New Towns, see the royal attractions of Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia (entrances not included). Live guides provide English commentary on the Edinburgh Tour, while audio guides are available in up to 9 languages on the City Sightseeing Tour and the Majestic Tour. Hop on and off as often as you like at dozens of attractions, and enjoy unique, scenic views from the open-top upper decks. City Sightseeing Tour: Hear about the people and events that shaped Edinburgh, from the cramped conditions of the Old Town to spacious Holyrood Park, on a classic sightseeing tour in 9 languages. Enjoy Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories with the on board Horrible Histories Children’s Channel - history with all the gory bits left in! • Hanover Stre...

    Excellent way to enjoy all the city and surrounding areas . We bought tickets for the 3 bus routes and planned our days accordingly., Buses were clean and ran on time , no problem waiting . Would recommend especially to people who have not been to Edinburgh before.

  • Edinburgh: Haunted City Exploration Game & Self-Guided Tour

    3. Edinburgh: Haunted City Exploration Game & Self-Guided Tour

    Be led on an exciting self-guided tour around Edinburgh while playing a mobile-based quest with your friends and family. See many of Edinburgh’s most famous attractions and go on a journey through some of the city’s most haunted places. Download the app, go to the starting point, and begin the adventure. Follow clues and visit ghostly locations including Greyfriars Kirkyard, the site of the Nor’ Loch and West Bow, and sites where public executions were held. Unlock secrets about the places you visit as you solve puzzles and guess the answers. Learn about the Scottish Witch Hunts and the Burke and Hare murders and view the hall containing a book made of William Burke’s flesh. Use the clues to lead you from one site to another. Each clue provides you with exact directions so you won't need a map, GPS, or guide. Complete the tour in about 1.5 hours, however, there’s no time limit, allowi...

    The whole family enjoyed the quiz. We have been to Edinburgh before but this fantastic game showed us areas and details of the City's rich history we had completely missed before! Also walked us past some areas we just had to stop at such as the Surgeons Hall which again was another interesting part of our visit. Highly recommend getting this quiz to explore the city while testing your detective skills at the same time. Thank you.

  • Edinburgh: Scotland's Dark Secrets Walking Tour

    4. Edinburgh: Scotland's Dark Secrets Walking Tour

    Marvel at the mysteries lurking behind Edinburgh on a walking tour focusing on the city's darker side. Visit Edinburgh Castle, Grey Friars Kirkyard, and the Old Tollbooth Prison.

    Let your guide thrill you with macabre, twisted tales from days gone by. Learn about witches and ghosts from the city's past and find out which ones are still lurking around today. Soak up every creaky nook and cranny while you search for signs of ghosts and ghouls on this unforgettable walking tour of Edinburgh.

  • Edinburgh Private Tour: The Castle to the Arthur's Seat

    5. Edinburgh Private Tour: The Castle to the Arthur's Seat

    Book this tour and your hosts will contact you within 24 hours and ask you questions about your preferences and interests, so they can match you with the right profile and assign a like-minded local Edinburgher. He or she who will become your guide. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Keeping in mind your personal answers they will put together a bespoke itinerary, just for you. Please note that this will be outlined but flexible. They will arrange a meeting with your guide in the most convenient place for you. If during the tour you feel like changing direction, or your guide believes that you'd enjoy a sight or different experience, they will suggest and discuss with you changes to the itinerary. Enjoy discovering amazing spots in Edinburgh that ...

    We wanted something different and Doug allowed us to have that. We saw some great sites, learnt a lot about the area and were able to do what we wanted to do. Doug was extremely accommodating, knowledgable and a joy to be with.

  • Edinburgh: Old Town Historical Walking Tour

    6. Edinburgh: Old Town Historical Walking Tour

    Hidden gems are waiting to be discovered. The best way to explore Edinburgh is to follow your feet. Where the buses can’t take you and the guide books don’t show you is where the city’s stories lie, in the closes, wynds, courtyards and homes of Old Edinburgh. You will visit the sites that are tucked away to see the secrets and hear the tales. Your guide will help you unlock Edinburgh's fascinating past, the culture, crime, politics and people of Scotland’s capital.

    Met by friendly staff. I loved the fact that the tour guide had headphones as we did so that we could hear what she was saying. A defo plus. The tour was of interest with additional information thrown in as well as being able to extend on info when asked further questions. I think my tour guide was Nicky!

  • Edinburgh: Alternative City Discovery Game

    7. Edinburgh: Alternative City Discovery Game

    Jump into an interactive city discovery experience across Edinburgh. Solve a series of 12 riddles via a web app in your phone’s browser to discover the city at your own pace. Each riddle takes you from one (hidden) location to the next. Unlock local recommendations and fun facts as well as the history of the city as you go. Discover spots in Edinburgh that most locals don’t even know. See popular sights from a different angle and explore the hidden streets of the city's best neighborhoods. Find gardens, art, curious statues and wicked delights. Unlock the stories only a few locals know, and recommendations of local favorite spots, all while you solve 12 riddles on your phone. Visit highlights such as Edinburgh Castle, Johnston Terrace Garden, the Bow Well, John Knox House, and the picturesque St Giles Cathedral.  This game is suitable for friends, couples, and families. Enjoy spending ...

    This "escape room" experience took us to places in Edinburgh that we would not see otherwise, and the stories were very interesting. However, it felt a bit short; we would like at least the double amount of questions!

  • Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour

    8. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour

    Discover Edinburgh’s historical, cultural, and architectural heritage on a small and intimate walking tour guided by one of the most knowledgeable locals possible. Stuart or Richard Usher, of Scotland's famous and historic House of Usher, or Dr. Alison Duncan, Scotland expert and professional historian, will guide you through this beautiful city. You’ll see many of the city’s highlights, including Usher Hall and Edinburgh Castle. You’ll walk along the Royal Mile, tour the interior of St. Giles Cathedral, and visit several of Edinburgh's famous landmarks. Your guide, has an extensive knowledge of Edinburgh's history and architecture and the many famous people that the city has produced over the centuries. They will share their knowledge of Edinburgh with you in an informative, personable, and enjoyable manner. Have no fear, as it won't all be serious stuff! Your guide will also show ...

    Stuart is so knowledgeable and knows anything and everything. He walks at a pace giving perfect breaks and make the trip memorable

  • Gothic Edinburgh: City Exploration Game

    9. Gothic Edinburgh: City Exploration Game

    Discover Edinburgh’s hidden gems and gothic secrets by following clues and solving puzzles on this exploration game via an app on your phone that acts as your guide. Go on a hunt for the person who can help solve a series of ghastly crimes in the city. Start at Greyfriars Bobby Statue. From there, simply follow the game route and instructions. Explore at your own pace: pause the game and resume anytime from any location where you paused it. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and directions on your phone will guide you to the next stop. Explore St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle, and more. Meet local legends and test your wits against theirs to solve the mysteries of the city. Come to know the cobbled streets and twisting alleyways and all the people who have made them famous. Choose to play on your own, in a large group, or in several smaller groups to compete against eac...

  • Edinburgh: 3-Hour Walking Tour

    10. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Walking Tour

    On this walking tour of Edinburgh, you will get an in-depth look at the city. Your guide will take you on a journey full of history, literature, gastronomy, and nightlife. You will learn the fascinating history and culture of the capital of Scotland. This is a fun and entertaining tour that will give you insight into this historic city and help you make plans for your stay in Edinburgh. During your walking tour, you will make stops that are off the traditional routes while ensuring that you get to see the forgotten areas of Edinburgh. This tour will take you through Old Town and its intricate alleyways to see some of its most emblematic buildings and characters. You will also get to see the New Town, the picturesque Victoria Street, Grassmarket, and the chilling cemetery of Greyfriars, to finish touring the most representative buildings of the University of Edinburgh, one of the oldest ...

Planning Your Visit

  • Sunset over Edinburgh Castle

    For a view that you'll remember for the rest of your life, watch the sun set over Edinburgh Castle. The best spots for this are Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill, both located to the East of the city center. The deep-red sun, the colors in the sky, and the black silhouette of the castle come together in an absolutely magnificent panorama.

  • Fireworks

    If you're lucky enough to be in Edinburgh when there are fireworks going off over Edinburgh Castle, for example on Hogmanay or at the end of the Edinburgh Festival, then make sure to head to one of these viewpoints to admire the show and snap some amazing photographs. Princes Street Gardens and Calton Hill are likely to be the most popular spots to watch the fireworks, so if you're looking for a less crowded experience, Blackford Hill and Arthur's Seat are better bets.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Opening hours from 9:30AM - 6PM year-round, except for December 25th and 26th.
  • Is it expensive?
    Free to look at from the outside, £17 for adult entry.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Only if you want one.
  • How to get there
    Hop-on-hop-off buses stop at the Castle. You can make your own way by taking bus 24 to Waverly Bridge and walking.
  • Additional information

    • It never hurts to carry an umbrella when in Scotland!

    • Since you'll be climbing hills, good walking shoes are a must.

Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh Castle

Want to discover all there is to do in Edinburgh Castle? Click here for a full list.