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Edinburgh Castle

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Edinburgh Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour

1. Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour

Discover the home of Mary Queen of Scots on this guided walking tour of Edinburgh Castle. Admire the 16th-century Great Hall where parties and feast took place. Learn about the bloody history of the kings and queens who lived in this castle.  Meet your guide and walk to Edinburgh Castle which dominates the city skyline from its seat on the extinct volcano of Castle Rock. Stroll on the castle's promenade and hear about the the origins and sieges of the castle. View where the Royal Military Tattoo is performed. Enter the castle and make your way to the three museums and two prisons. Go to the National Monument to the fallen of Scotland and a canine cemetery. See the oldest building in the city at the Chapel of Saint Margaret. Be captivated by the grandeur of the Great Hall and a Royal Palace. After the tour you will have time to explore all of the buildings inside the castle until its closure.

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour in English

2. Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour in English

Begin your tour by the statue of Adam Smith on the Royal Mile. Walk towards Edinburgh Castle as your guide sets the scene, explaining the significance of the Castle and mentioning some of the key characters who have helped shape it. Once inside, let your guide walk you through the Castle complex. Hear their in-depth knowledge of the Castle's main buildings and attractions, including the Argyle Battery and One O'clock Gun, the Hospital Square and Western Panorama. See the Castle dungeons and military prison, the Black Banquet and Thomas Randolph's daring castle raid. Encounter St Margret's Chapel, Mons Meg, the Crown Square, and The Honors of Scotland. After the tour, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore the castle museums (not accessible during the tour).

Edinburgh: 24-Hour or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

3. Edinburgh: 24-Hour or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

Explore Scotland’s capital city across one or two days on a hop-on hop-off bus tour. See famous 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 St Andrew's Square. From either the top deck or the interior of the bus, you can explore the city in a convenient way, 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. Choose between a 24-hour or 48-hour pass with stops at a variety of locations along several routes including: • The Royal Mile• Edinburgh Castle• Dynamic Earth• Edinburgh Dungeons• Real Mary Kings Close• Greyfriars’s Bobby • Lothian Road• Grassmarket• Lauriston Place• Johnston Terrace• National Museum of Scotland• John Knox House• Museum of Edinburgh• Scottish Parliament• Palace of Holyrood House• Burns Monument

Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Panoramic Bus Ticket

4. Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Panoramic Bus Ticket

Explore Edinburgh at your own pace with a hop-on and 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! Buses run every 30 minutes, making the following loop: Tour Stops: 1. St Andrew Square - Northside 2. Lothian Road - Waldorf Astoria 3. Grassmarket 4. Lauriston Place 5. Johnstone Terrace - Edinburgh Castle, The Scottish Whiskey Experience 6. Lawnmarket - Gladstone's End, The Real Mary King's Close 7. Chambers Street - National Museum of Scotland 8. St Mary's Street West 9. Canongate - John Knox House 10. Royal Mile - Scottish Parliament, Palace of Holyrood House 11. Dynamic Earth 12. Regent Road - Burns Monument

Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Secret Food Tour

5. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Secret Food Tour

Journey through the food culture of Edinburgh on a 3-hour guided tour and introduce your palate to some authentic haggis served with "neeps and tatties" (swedes and potatoes) before meandering past the famous Edinburgh Castle. Hear about the castle's long history and take advantage of the fabulous photo opportunity. Next, try some real Scotch whisky as you step into a venue that serves a fantastic lowland single malt. Follow the whisky with some creamy cheeses from Scotland and then taste some genuine Edinburgh gin to learn why the Scots love it so much! Try a secret dish, only revealed to those who join the tour! Then, end with a traditional afternoon tea, including some scones from Scotland to wind down a truly original experience.

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

6. 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: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

7. Edinburgh: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

Uncover the magical history of Scotland as you explore the secrets of Edinburgh's Old Town with a costumed guide on this walking tour. Hear the secrets behind locations like Lady Stairs Close, Grassmarket, and Candle Maker Row. Find your witch-costumed guide easily and begin your walking tour. Hear historical tales that focus on witchcraft. Explore the Old Town and make your way to castle hill to admire the ancient Edinburgh castle. Walk down Lady Stairs Close to view the the Writers Museum which pays tribute to the authors Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis. View the imposing Gothic architecture at St. Giles Cathedral. Stroll thorugh Parliament Square and past the colorful shops on Victoria Street. Tread lightly as you will walk on the grounds where mysterious and sometimes sinister events occurred like the Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard. Go down Candle Maker Row and finish your tour in one of the oldest parts of the city, Grassmarket.

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 you the Mound, and take you on a tour of the National Galleries of Scotland. At the gallery you’ll see paintings by masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, and many others. Also, typically you will see Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens, the Scott Monument, George Street, and Charlotte Square.

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Tour with Entry to Edinburgh Castle

9. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Tour with Entry to Edinburgh Castle

You will see several beautiful Potter sights in this wonderful city and several locations that inspired JK Rowling to create the wizarding universe that we know and adore today. After we gather at Tron Kirk on The Royal Mile, the first stop of the tour is a view of the historical Waverley Train station. Trains being an iconic part of a young wizards journey. We then head to Edinburgh University Old College, and pop into the Old Town area to see a spooky graveyard & visit a shop down Victoria street which inspired Diagon Alley. We will also have great views of the famous Edinburgh Castle alongside many sights and buildings that inspired JK Rowling when she was writing each of the books including the famous cafe, The birth place Harry Potter. Following the walking tour of the city you will then head to the world famous Edinburgh castle where you can experience the real Hogwarts. This is a great tour for families & die hard fans of Harry Potter 2 hour walking tour 1 hour inside Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours & Firth of Forth Cruise

10. Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours & Firth of Forth Cruise

City Sightseeing Edinburgh See all the main attractions with CitySightseeing Edinburgh. There’s multi-language commentary in 9 languages and a special Horrible Histories commentary for your children, narrated by Terry Deary himself. Edinburgh Tour Explore Edinburgh's city center taking in the spectacular buildings including Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament, and the architecture of the Georgian New Town with a live guide in English. Majestic Tour The Majestic Tour heads north of Edinburgh's City Centre towards the port of Leith with highlights including Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, The Royal Yacht Britannia, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Majestic Tour features a multi-lingual commentary in 10 languages.  Firth of Forth Bus and Boat Trip Board your bus at St Andrew Square in the heart of Edinburgh for a tour to South Queensferry, followed by a boat tour aboard one of Forth Boat Tours fleet of vessels. Enjoy superb views of Edinburgh and Fife’s coastlines as well as the iconic Three Bridges, the Forth Road Bridge, The Forth Bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing. Get your camera out and look for puffins and seals along the way.

Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh Castle

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What people are saying about Edinburgh Castle

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 15,264 reviews

Well organized tour of the Castle. We were a group of about 25 people, and our guide Rich kept us informed and entertained throughout the 1.5 hour experience. Recommended!

Sarah was marvellous! An excellent story-teller and she provided personal anecdotes that led to an emotional connection. We loved her!

Our guide Luca was the best! This was a very educational and entertaining tour. I highly recommend!

it is important to understand English well otherwise do not bother to take this activity.

Alistair was a very knowledgeable and humorous guide. Thoroughly enjoy our tour with him