Edinburgh Vaults

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Edinburgh Vaults: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

1. Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

This vaults tour takes you beneath the streets of Edinburgh's Old Town into a dimly lit space that many considered to be haunted. Your tour visits the vaults of the South Bridge that date back to the 1700s. These are the same vaults mentioned on Most Haunted Live as one of the scariest places on earth. Learn how the vaults have been used over the years, and the living conditions endured by the poor and homeless residents who frequented them. The darker side of Edinburgh's history will unfold as you wander through the candle-lit underground area. From your guide, you'll hear about the Burke and Hare murders and the persecution of witches. Discover the characters who stalked the streets of Edinburgh, and the paranormal stories associated with the vaults. The Haunted Vaults tour option will cover more paranormal and ghost stories. Step into the torture exhibition and explore how and why these items were used.

Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

2. Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

Spook yourself on a guided tour of the most haunted sites in Edinburgh and visit the graveyard of Greyfriars Kirkyard to learn the legend of Greyfriars Bobby. Look at the Gothic mausoleums and learn about notable burials as you explore the grim history of the cemetery. Continue with a visit to the nearby Edinburgh Vaults, located in the arches of South Bridge. Hear about regular paranormal occurrences and how some of the characters from history have never really left. Discover the former home of the destitute, witches and a hellfire club, and hear how the haunted vault is now possessed by something truly evil.

Edinburgh: Late-Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

3. Edinburgh: Late-Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

Join this late-night tour of Edinburgh to discover the city’s darkest and most frightening experience as you hear ghost stories of the city told above and below the ground of the Royal Mile. After walking through the famous wynds and closes of the Royal Mile, learning about the horrific living conditions and listening to stories of murderers who roamed the streets, you will be taken to the haunted underground vaults. Torture exhibits await for those with a strong enough stomach to learn how these devices were used in times gone by. Go to the home of “The Watcher” ghost, see the infamous stone circle vault, and discover why you should never step inside!

Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour

4. Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour

Explore Edinburgh's ghostly past on a guided tour through the streets of the Old Town and its underground vaults. Listen as your cloaked guide tells you tales of the city's dark and grim past as you are led along the Royal Mile. If you dare, step into the narrow alleyways, which are only a few feet wide. Make your way to the South Bridge, and head underneath, where Edinburgh's Vaults are located. Once storage areas for businesses and shops in the area, the vaults were taken over in the late 1700s and turned into living spaces. Eventually, the area became home to slums and the city's red-light district. As you walk through these now-vacant rooms, you will hear tales of the deplorable living conditions, as well as of the crime that once raged through the vaults. When you emerge from the underground, consider yourself lucky that it isn't in the dead of night.

Edinburgh: Extreme Paranormal Underground Ghost Tour

5. Edinburgh: Extreme Paranormal Underground Ghost Tour

Experience a ghost tour best suited for those who consider themselves to be very brave and venture into some of Edinburgh’s most haunted locations, above and below ground. This adults-only tour is not for the faint hearted, and ideal for hardened ghost hunters - or non-believers. You will journey down the old wynds (alleys) that lead to the world’s most haunted graveyard. Then, take a walk along the path of death! Below the pavement “ghosts” lurk. Journey through paranormal tales of ghost and hear both sides of the story. Uncover true and terrifying tales of hangings, torture, murders, witches and cannibals. 

Edinburgh: Old Town and Underground Historical Tour

6. Edinburgh: Old Town and Underground Historical Tour

Immerse yourself in the history of Edinburgh on a guided city walking tour. Trace the origins of the city as you explore the Royal Mile, the underground vaults, and Old Town, with stories hidden behind every turn. The historical tour begins at the Old Police Box on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, where you will be met by a local historian and proceed straight into the Underground Vaults. Edinburgh's Underground is over 400 years old and is full of fascinating history, all of which the guide will share with you. After visiting the Underground Vaults, your guide will take you all around Edinburgh's Royal Mile and Old Town, visiting some hidden closes and other spots of historical significance. Delve into parts of Edinburgh that you did not know existed, mostly off the tourist trail.  Hear that the first skyscrapers in the world were built in Edinburgh, discover the identity of the local criminal who became the inspiration for Jekyll and Hyde, learn where the phrase "Black Market" came from, where Ebeneezer Scrooge is buried – yes, really – and how Edinburgh University worked closely with the serial killers, Burke and Hare. Edinburgh’s history is long and fascinating, made even more special when told by our enthusiastic, passionate, and local guide. 

Edinburgh: Old Town and Underground Ghost Tour

7. Edinburgh: Old Town and Underground Ghost Tour

Join an early afternoon ghost tour in Edinburgh and enjoy a walk with a professional local guide dressed in full period costume. See historic landmarks in the old town on this 1-hour tour as your guide tells you about Edinburgh’s dark past. Head down into the city’s underground vaults, located below the historic South Bridge, just off Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. The vaults are known to be some of the most haunted in the world and many a ghost has been spotted lurking around by visitors and guides. Experience an afternoon filled with ghosts, torture, death, and horror in Scotland’s historic capital.

Edinburgh: Fright Night Underground Ghost Tour

8. Edinburgh: Fright Night Underground Ghost Tour

Discover the dark and chilling history of Edinburgh with an experienced and energetic guide. As you wind through the hidden wynds (alleys) off the Royal Mile you will be entertained by this passionate and engaging storyteller who, dressed in full period costume, will regale you with dark tales concerning the vaults and fill you in on some of the ghostly sightings and events that visitors often experience.  Then, visit what is regarded as the most haunted graveyard in the world at “Greyfriars Kirkyard.” Finally, go deep underground and explore the Edinburgh Vaults beneath the streets. Completed in 1788, the series of chambers were used to house taverns and as storage space for illicit material, including the bodies of people killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for their medical experiments. Journey through over 400 years of history and hear terrifying true tales of hangings, torture, murders, and witchcraft. Shiver at the weird noises and unexplained smells that make an appearance after dark!

Edinburgh: Late Night Haunted Underground Vaults Tour

9. Edinburgh: Late Night Haunted Underground Vaults Tour

This 60-minute adults-only tour is a chilling way to explore Edinburgh after dark. Head underground for an unsettling introduction to the city’s unpleasant past. These tales are not fit for the glare of daylight or for telling to those under 18. Your guide will share true stories of sinister misdeeds and terrible consequences, starting aboveground around the wynds and closes of the Old Town. You'll hear of bloody plots that led to treason and torture, and secret lives that led to horrific deaths and tormented souls. To delve deeper, head to the Blair Street underground vaults, where there’s definitely an unsettling feeling. Your expert Mercat guide will tell you troubled tales as you continue this terrifying walking tour. Expect true stories of murder and hangings, all of which took place in these very vaults. There’s evidence of life in the distant past, lurking just beyond the faint beam of your guide’s flashlight.

Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Evening Ghost Tour with Whisky

10. Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Evening Ghost Tour with Whisky

Journey into Edinburgh’s ghostly past and uncover the secrets behind each turn on a guided walking tour. Descend into the underground vaults and finish your tour with a drink in an authentic tavern. Hear the troubling tales of Edinburgh's past from your guide, from the bloody crimes to the unsettled spirits that roam the city. Visit the shadowy corners of old Edinburgh that many say are haunted. Descend into the famously haunted Blair Street underground vaults where the ghosts of Edinburgh's past still cling to this day. Learn about the dark history of the vaults before finishing your tour with a drink and some storytelling at a local tavern.

Frequently asked questions about Edinburgh Vaults

What are other attractions than Edinburgh Vaults that are worth visiting in Edinburgh?

How can I visit Edinburgh Vaults?

Possible ways to visit the Edinburgh Vaults:

Entrance to Edinburgh Vaults is free, and you do not need a ticket or pre-booking to visit.

Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh Vaults

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

What people are saying about Edinburgh Vaults

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 10,144 reviews

Very fun and educational tour suitable for all the family. Our guide Darren was very knowledgeable and knew how to play to the crowd and impose fear with his story telling ... and the occasional jump scare.

Fantastic, interesting tour guided by Fraser. He was very knowledgeable and entertaining, it was a really fun trip and well worth the time and money to kick off a day in Edinburgh city centre.

Fella was good at guiding and I learnt some interesting stuff. Got a bit stressed out by the energy/feeling of one vaults in particular but that's very much not his or the tours fault.

Loved it. Not as scary as what I was expecting! Tour guide (Adrian) very knowledgeable and friendly. Would highly recommend this to people visiting.

A great insight to the vaults history. Our guide, Megan was brilliant. She was both information and funny, entertaining us with various tales.