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Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

1. Edinburgh: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Explore Edinburgh at your own pace with an award-winning hop-on hop-off open-top bus tour. Enjoy the onboard commentary that describes the history behind the city. Stop at locations like St Andrew Square, Johnstone Terrace, the Royal Mile. See sights like Edinburgh Castle and Grassmarket. Board the bus and begin your city adventure. Compare Edinburgh's Old Town, where families lived in cramped conditions and rubbish was thrown out of the windows, to the elegant Georgian New Town, with its 3 main streets and square at either end. Hear about the hangings that took place in the Grassmarket as you marvel at the impenetrable Castle Rock above you, and hear about historic attempts to capture Edinburgh Castle. Drive along the Royal Mile, which joins Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Use the 24-hour ticket to hop on and off as you please. With great visitor attractions, museums, galleries, and restaurants to suit every taste and budget, Edinburgh's got it all! Tour Stops: 1. Waterloo Place 2. St. Andrew Square 3. Lothian Road 4. Grassmarket 5. Chalmers Street 6. Johnston Terrace 7. Lawnmarket 8. National Museum of Scotland 9. High Street 10. Canongate 11. Holyrood 12. Our Dynamic Earth 13. Abbeyhill Crescent 14. Regent Road

Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Entry Ticket

2. Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Entry Ticket

Wander the opulent state rooms and lavish gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, His Majesty The King's official Scottish residence, located at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Once inside the baroque palace, learn about its close associations with Scotland's history via a complimentary multimedia guide (available in 9 languages). Visit the State Apartments to see the changing tastes of successive monarchs. Marvel at fine plasterwork ceilings and Brussels tapestries, along with paintings and other artworks in rooms still used by the King and Royal Family for official ceremonies. Go to the Throne Room to see where lunch was served to the Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Thistle when a new knight was installed. Discover where the King holds his private audiences in the Morning Drawing Room. Continue to the Great Gallery, where Scottish residents named in the New Year’s Honours List or Kings Birthday Honours List receive their award at an Investiture ceremony. Admire Jacob de Wet's portraits of real and legendary kings of Scotland in the Great Gallery, the largest room in the palace. Learn about dramatic events from Scotland’s history in Mary Queen of Scots' historic chambers, where she witnessed the brutal murder of her secretary, Rizzio, by her jealous husband, Lord Darnley. At the end of your multimedia tour, enjoy a refreshing drink or light lunch (own expense) at the Café at the Palace.

Edinburgh: Comedy Horror Ghost Bus Tour

3. Edinburgh: Comedy Horror Ghost Bus Tour

Enjoy a theatrical sightseeing tour of Edinburgh onboard the Ghost Bus, a beautifully refurbished vintage double-decker, painted in traditional midnight black. Learn about Edinburgh’s grave robbers, plague victims, and the ghosts that reside in the most haunted city in Europe. Explore the city's gruesome past, while admiring its most famous monuments, including Edinburgh Castle, Grassmarket, Greyfriar's Kirk, Holyrood Palace, and the Royal Mile. As you traverse the Old Town and New Town, visit the sites of murders, tortures, and executions. Hear about the infamous Burke and Hare, and the hundreds of women who were drowned or burned as witches. The bus, which belonged to the Necropolis Bus Company, boasts decorative features that include atmospheric lamps and window curtains. In 1967, the entire fleet was destroyed in a mysterious fire, and only one bus survived.

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

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

Make getting around Edinburgh's top sights easy with a 48-hour Royal Edinburgh hop-on, hop-off bus ticket. Dive into the history and culture of Scotland with access to Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Yacht Britannia, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. (The Palace of Holyroodhouse is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week except July, August, and September when it is open 7 days. No alternative will be offered when the Palace is closed) 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.

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

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

Save money and explore Edinburgh at your own pace with a 3-route hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket. Pick from a ticket that lasts for 24 or 48 hours. Explore the city with stop options like Grassmarket, Edinburgh Castle, National Museum of Scotland, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Hop aboard and embark on your city adventure. 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 Street • Princes Street Gardens • St. John’s Church • Grassmarket • Johnston Terrace • Edinburgh Castle • National Museum of Scotland • Museum of Childhood • Scottish Parliament • Our Dynamic Earth • Palace of Holyrood House • Burns Monument Edinburgh Tour: Enjoy the best views aboard an open-top bus, as live commentary in English brings Edinburgh’s history to life. Explore the Old Town and Georgian New Town, hopping off at 9 strategic stops. • Hanover Street • George Street • Charlotte Square • The Mound • Lawnmarket • Grassmarket • Our Dynamic Earth • Scottish Parliament • Canongate Kirk Majestic Tour: Leave the city center and head to the coast at Newhaven, with stops for the Royal Botanic Garden and Royal Yacht Britannia. This multi-language tour offers commentary through headphones in English, Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Russian. Return via the Palace of Holyrood House and the Canongate section of the Royal Mile. • Hanover Street • George Street • Royal Botanic Gardens • Ferry Road • Newhaven Harbour • Cruise Terminal • Ocean Terminal (Royal Yacht Britannia) • Leith Mills • Elm Row • Queen Mary’s Bath House • Queensberry House • Canongate Kirk

Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Combo City and Britannia Bus Tour

6. Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Combo City and Britannia Bus Tour

Explore Edinburgh with a 48-hour hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus pass. See famous landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, Royal Yacht Britannia, Royal Botanic Gardens, and the Palace of Holyrood House while learning about their historical significance from the onboard audio commentary. Get access to both the City Tour and Britannia Tour circuit with your ticket. Explore the city in a convenient way, catching a glimpse of some iconic buildings and sights from the deck of an open-top bus. Get additional perks such as discounted entry to the Holyrood Distillery, a bus ride to Edinburgh Zoo, and many more benefits. with stops at a variety of locations, including all the following stops: • St Andrews Square • Lothian Road • Grassmarket • Lauriston Place • Johnston Terrace • Edinburgh Castle • Lawnmarket • National Museum of Scotland • Holyrood Distillery • Museum of Edinburgh • Scottish Parliament • Dynamic Earth • Palace of Holyrood House • Burns Monument • Royal Botanic Garden • Newhaven Harbour • Royal Yacht Britannia • Water of Leith • Broughton Road • Stockbridge • The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art • Haymarket • Edinburgh International Conference Centre • Bread Street • Johnston Terrace

Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off City or Britannia Bus Tour

7. Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off City or Britannia Bus Tour

Explore Scotland’s capital city with an enjoyable hop-on hop-off bus tour. Choose between the City Tour or Britannia Tour, depending on your itinerary of preference. See historical landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, the iconic Royal Mile, and the Palace of Holyrood House and learn about their historic significance from the onboard audio commentary. Hop on the bus at the first stop at Waterloo Place and make sure to embark on the correct bus based on your Tour chosen: the Britannia and City Tour, depending on which attractions you would like to see. The City Tour will give you the chance to see the Scottish Parliament, Dynamic Earth, and Palace of Holyrood House, whereas Britannia takes in the Royal Botanic Garden, Royal Yacht Britannia, and Haymarket. From either the top deck or the interior of the bus, you can conveniently explore the city, catching a glimpse of some iconic buildings and sights. With your ticket, you will also receive additional perks and discounts such as discounted entry to the Holyrood Distillery, a bus ride to Edinburgh Zoo, and many more benefits. This is a 24-hour pass with stops at a variety of locations along several routes. The City Tour includes: • St Andrews Square • Lothian Road • Grassmarket • Lauriston Place • Johnston Terrace • Edinburgh Castle, Lawnmarket • National Museum of Scotland • Holyrood Distillery • Museum of Edinburgh • Scottish Parliament • Dynamic Earth • Palace of Holyrood House • Burns Monument The Britannia Tour includes the following stops: • St Andrew Square • Royal Botanic Garden • Newhaven Harbour • Royal Yacht Britannia • Water of Leith • Broughton Road • Stockbridge • The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art • Haymarket • Edinburgh International Conference Centre • Bread Street • Johnston Terrace • Edinburgh Castle

From London: Day Trip to Edinburgh by Rail with Castle Entry

8. From London: Day Trip to Edinburgh by Rail with Castle Entry

Welcome and Departure You will need to be at King’s Cross Station at 6:30am with your train e-tickets for your outbound and inbound rail journeys. Your train will depart at 7:00am and arrive in to Edinburgh at 11:22am. Please print your Open Top Bus Tour and Edinburgh Castle tickets. Edinburgh – Open-Top Bus Tour Delve into the Scottish capital’s rich history with a hop-on hop-off bus tour that takes in all the major sights: the Royal Mile, Greyfriars Bobby, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and atmospheric Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle Enjoy free admission to Edinburgh Castle, where you can marvel at the sparkling Scottish Crown Jewels and photograph breathtaking panoramic views of the city’s famous skyline. Return Journey After a thrilling day spent discovering Edinburgh, your train departs at 5:30pm, arriving back in London at 10:09pm. (Please arrive 30 minutes before departure time). First Class (optional) includes food and refreshments served at your seat.

Edinburgh's Royal Mile: A Self-Guided Audio Tour

9. Edinburgh's Royal Mile: A Self-Guided Audio Tour

Embark on a tour of Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile with an audio tour available on your smartphone. Enjoy 14 stories narrated by radio actor James Bryce in his charming Scottish lilt and see highlights, including the Lawnmarket and Mercat Cross. After installing your app, begin at the top of Castlehill next to the Witches Well and hear about Edinburgh Castle’s early days, when a series of infamous witch burnings took place here. Amble down all four sections of the Royal Mile: Castlehill, Lawnmarket, the High Street, and the old burgh of Canongate. Stroll around St. Giles Cathedral, home to the Old Tolbooth, the Heart of Midlothian mosaic, and a statue of Charles II. As you travel the length of the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, see the former residence of the gentleman robber, Deacon Brodie, the inspiration behind Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Hear about historical figures, such as John Knox and Mary Queen of Scots, and listen to tales about the barbaric punishments of the 1600s. Uncover the deeds that took place in the shadows of the Mercat Cross and see Netherbow Port, once the main gate between Edinburgh and Canongate.

Edinburgh : The Royal Mile Old Town Guided Walking Tour

10. Edinburgh : The Royal Mile Old Town Guided Walking Tour

Explore the Royal Mile in Edinburgh on a guided tour and discover some of Britain's best-known streets. Pass by popular attractions like St. Giles' Cathedral, Greyfriars Kirkyard, and more while you learn about the city's past and present. Meet your guide in a central location and set out to explore the collection of streets that runs through the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town, starting at the magnificent Edinburgh Castle and ending at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Royal residence in Scotland. Wander down cobbled lanes and hear about how this part of town got its name from its tradition as a processional route for kings and queens over the last 500 years. As you walk, see popular attractions like St Giles' Cathedral, Greyfriars Kirkyard, the Mercat Cross, and much more. A handy headset ensures that you won't miss a word of the interesting stories and fascinating facts your guide shares with you along the way. Once your tour comes to an end, feel free to keep exploring the Royal Mile on your own. Grab a bite to eat, visit one of the many attractions passed by on your tour, or head to the nearby Grassmarket.

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What people are saying about Holyrood Palace

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 8,517 reviews

fabulous palace to explore & so much to see for the price you pay, well worth £20 entrance. loved the audio guide it was so informative & really helped bring the palace to life, you get a hand held screen along with headphones that shows pictures & videos which really make this tour even more fabulous. me & my daughter absolutely loved it. so much to take in so will definitely go back

Magnificent palace. The explanations given via the audio guide (in French) are perfect and make the place even more alive. Because this palace is still used by the royal family.

so funny and yet interesting, a well-balanced tour between black humor and curious information and trivia about the town. recommended!

Great fun, very spooky. lol. would highly recommend it. Fascinating stories. com

Cold!! But great fun.. the driver was lovely - friendly guy