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Edinburgh Walking tours

Our most recommended Edinburgh Walking tours

Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

1. Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

This guided walking 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, the living conditions endured by the poor and homeless residents, and the spirits that are supposed to haunt 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 slightly more paranormal and ghost stories. Step into the torture exhibition and explore how and why these items were used.

Edinburgh: Skip-the-Line Walking Tour of Edinburgh Castle

2. Edinburgh: Skip-the-Line Walking Tour of Edinburgh Castle

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: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

3. Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

Step down into Edinburgh’s hidden history at The Real Mary King’s Close, voted Scotland’s Best Heritage Tourism Experience. Discover over 400 years of history and learn about the intriguing stories of Edinburgh’s past residents.  From the deadly plague epidemic to a famous royal visitor, there is a myriad of tales just waiting to be told. Journey through time and find out why the Close, once open to the skies and bustling with trade, came to be underground.  An experience rooted in social history, this 1-hour character-guided tour also includes an immersive walk-through of the city’s uniquely preserved streets and spaces, all located underneath Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. Expect a truly unique glimpse into the city’s past. 

Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

4. Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

Join a guided walking tour to Greyfriars Graveyard and learn about one of Edinburgh's most famous canine residents and hear stories about notorious criminals. See 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

5. Edinburgh: Late-Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

Join this late-night guided walking tour in English of Edinburgh to discover the city’s darkest and most frightening experience. Hear ghost stories of the city told above and below the ground of the Royal Mile. Walk through the famous wynds and closes of the Royal Mile, learning about the horrific living conditions of the population that once lived in these underground rooms. Listen to stories from your guide about murderers who roamed the streets and snatched bodies to sell to medical schools at the time. Then, hear stories of the scratching hauntress who leaves marks on her victims. Witness torture exhibits and learn how these devices were used in times gone by. Finally, go to the home of “The Watcher” ghost, and see the infamous stone circle vault, still decorated with pentagrams and spiritual symbols.

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

6. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy a Harry Potter-themed walking tour across Edinburgh. See the city where JK Rowling found inspiration for Hogwarts, her famous characters, and discover the place where she wrote the books. Have your Harry Potter trivia tested with an audio-visual quiz, and earn points for your house. Find out which Hogwarts House you’re in, and whether you’re a pure-blood, a muggle, or a squib. Visit the Grave of Tom Riddle in Greyfriars Kirkyard, and pass JK Rowling’s golden handprints outside City Chambers. See all this and more on a magical guided tour.

Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour

7. 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: The Scotch Whisky Experience Tour and Tasting

8. Edinburgh: The Scotch Whisky Experience Tour and Tasting

Take a guided whisky tour and learn the story of Scotland’s most famous product. Visit one of the world’s largest collections of Scotch whisky, with almost 3,500 individual bottles. Begin your tour with the story of the production and maturation process of single malt Scotch whisky. Then enjoy a sensory journey across Scotland, including an introduction to the five Scotch whisky-producing regions and an insight into their unique aromas and characteristics. Next, discover the art of blending, in the Blenders' Sample Room, learning the secrets of how the world-famous blends are created. Enjoy the chance to explore "one of the seven wonders of the Scotch whisky world", the glass vault containing one of the world’s largest collections of Scotch whisky (guests under 18 years of age will be given Irn Bru, a Scottish soft drink). Take home your crystal tasting glass as a souvenir. When you select the Gold Tour option, after enjoying a full guided Silver Tour, you'll then compare and contrast four regional single malts, while relaxing in the McIntyre Gallery. Assisted by experienced guides, and provided with tasting notes, you'll be able to sip like a true connoisseur.

Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle Guided Tour w/ Fast-Track Entry

9. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle Guided Tour w/ Fast-Track Entry

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: Guided Gin Tasting at 56 North Distillery

10. Edinburgh: Guided Gin Tasting at 56 North Distillery

Step inside Edinburgh's 56 North Distillery to sample and discover how award-winning gins are made. Begin by entering Scotland's oldest dedicated gin bar with over 300 gins on the shelf. You will be welcomed with a South Loch Gin and Fever-Tree tonic and introduced to the beautiful copper stills that produce all of the South Loch Gin. Savor your gin and tonic whilst learning all about botanicals, production, bottling, and gin production. Then, sample three gins made at the South Loch Gin distillery with tasting notes and insights into the research and development behind them. Finish off by enjoying a South Loch Gin cocktail made by a dedicated bar team.

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Frequently asked questions about Edinburgh

What are the best day trips and excursions from Edinburgh?

The best day trips and excursions from Edinburgh are:

Loch Ness

Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

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

What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 10,104 reviews

The guide was full of energy enthusiasm clear, was fantastic at telling a story..... So much so i for one was disappointed the tour was only 75 minutes long. Could have done another hour.... Would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a spot of adventure, bit of fun plus learn a thing or 2. Tall slim white male, 20s quick walker.... Lol guide.

Andrew was a great guide, we enjoyed the whole tour, we had previously been on the vaults tour so we were quite happy that the information was still in depth, we even got a few more details than the last tour! Really chuffed with the energy of the guide and tour, would definitely recommend and rebook

Alex was an amazing guide. He was extremely welcoming and gave great information about HP and also Edinburgh itself. Really enjoyed being sorted into a house and taking part in the quiz. Would highly recommend!

We had Sarah on our tour who was absolutely amazing! She was so enthusiastic and her storytelling was so capturing!! She was amazing!! Would definitely reccomend her tour to others, outstanding tour guide!!

Highly recommend this tour! Richard was great - incredibly knowledgeable about the castle (and really Scottish history in general), funny, and charismatic. Book it!