Edinburgh Seasonal & holiday activities

Our most recommended Edinburgh Seasonal & holiday activities

Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour

1. Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour

Wander through Edinburgh's Old Town and explore the infamous Edinburgh Vaults on a bone-chilling guided tour that uncovers the city's torturous past and a haunted present. Take to Edinburgh's historic streets and listen as your guide tells you tales of the city's dark and gruesome history as you are led along the Royal Mile on cobblestone streets. Hear stories of murder, hangings, and even witchcraft.  Venture below ground and enter the city vaults, one of Edinburgh's most haunted sites. Hear stories of stomach-churning medieval torture devices, for those with a strong enough constitution to learn about times gone by.  Discover why the vaults have often been regarded as one of the scariest places on earth by paranormal experts. Get to know the history of the site and the ghosts that frequent it.

Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour with Greyfriars Kirkyard

2. Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour with Greyfriars Kirkyard

Take to the historic streets of Edinburgh's Old Town, visit the Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard, and explore the infamous Edinburgh Vaults on a bone-chilling guided tour that uncovers the city's torturous past and a haunted present. Listen as your guide tells you tales of the city's dark and gruesome history as you are led along the Royal Mile on cobblestone streets. Hear stories of murder, hangings, and even witchcraft.  Stop at what is regarded as the most haunted graveyard in the world at Greyfriars Kirkyard and discover the legend of Greyfriars Bobby. Venture below ground and enter the city vaults where medieval torture exhibitions await those with a strong enough stomach to learn how these devices were used in times gone by.  Experience why the vaults have often been regarded as one of the scariest places on earth by paranormal experts. Get to know the history of the site and the ghosts that frequent it.

The Edinburgh Dungeon Entrance Ticket

3. The Edinburgh Dungeon Entrance Ticket

Live and breathe Edinburgh’s darkest history, if you dare. The Edinburgh Dungeon is an award-winning, 70-minute interactive and immersive walk-through experience covering 1000 years of Edinburgh and Scottish history through 11 live actor shows, theatrical sets, special effects, and a thrilling ride. Visitors will come face to face with the most notorious rogues from the city’s dark past. Meet Agnes Finnie, Edinburgh's baddest witch! Enter the Witch Pricker’s interrogation chamber where you’ll come face to face with Agnes Finnie – accused of witchcraft in 1645. She’s mad, she’s bad, she’s not to be messed with! Well done! You’ve found Sawney Bean’s Family. Unfortunately, it’s been a while since they last ate and you look delicious… It’s the 16th century and you find yourself creeping through the Bean clan’s foul-smelling lair to discover the leftovers of lost travelers.

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: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

5. 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: Comedy Horror Ghost Bus Tour

6. 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: Late Night Haunted Underground Vaults Tour

7. 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 & Graveyard Evening Tour

8. Edinburgh: Underground Vaults & Graveyard Evening Tour

Descend into the Blair Street Underground Vaults and hear the eerie history that lurks within on an evening walking tour in Edinburgh. Follow your guide through the narrow streets to the Canongate Graveyard. Delve into the terror of Edinburgh’s past as your guide leads you through the ancient city towards the vaults. Submerge yourself in darkness in the unsettling Blair Street Underground Vaults and uncover the troubling tales of torture and murder. Walk the dim streets to the Canongate graveyard and arrive at the resting place of the city’s most famous figures, including Adam Smith, the father of economics; David Rizzio, lover of Mary Queen of Scots; and James Douglas, the 3rd Marquess of Queensberry and infamous cannibal of the Canongate. Hear about their lives and the mark they left on the city, as well as the ghosts that haunt Edinburgh to this day. Don't miss a word your guide says with your radio receiver in hand.

Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Evening Ghost Tour with Whisky

9. 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 atmospheric candle-lit cellar. 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 in an atmospheric, candle-lit cellar.

From Edinburgh: Alnwick Garden Magical Christmas Light Trail

10. From Edinburgh: Alnwick Garden Magical Christmas Light Trail

Treat yourself to something special this holiday season in the Edinburgh area. Head off from Edinburgh to discover the Alnwick Garden's Christmas Light Trail. Enjoy free time to explore the grounds and take photos, grab food and drinks, and walk around. After a short break in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, continue towards The Alnwick Garden, reaching it just in time for the sun to set and the light show to really begin. Your tickets for this are included in the price of the tour, meaning you won’t have to pay any extra admission fees. The Alnwick Garden really goes all out for the Light Trail, and what is normally filled with beautiful flowers during the year becomes a magical Christmas escape, full of lights and projections across every inch of the gardens. Ideal for a romantic hand-held stroll under the fairy lights, or a family outing before the big day arrives. There might even be some mistletoe somewhere in there if you are looking for a Christmas date idea. After about 2 hours of exploring the garden and enjoying the beautiful light trail, getting some selfies under all the lights, and grabbing some festive food and drink from the vendors available there, head back to Edinburgh. Following the same route back, see how many houses you can see with all their decorations out and lit up. After another short break in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, arrive back in Edinburgh in the evening, where you could even keep the festivities going.

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

It was simply fantastic. A great start to my trip and a great look into the area's rich and creepy history. The tour guide was extremely charismatic and witty and really amplified the experience. Would definitely do it again.

This was an informative tour with lots of history facts and the tour guide was very engaging and knew her history about witches of Edinburgh. Worth doing if traveling to Edinburgh or if you are a native

We had a great time. Nyx was very knowledgeable and engagingly told the stories. I'd recommend this tour to anyone interested in this town's history with witches.

It was very enjoyable and well organised. Easy to arrange and the people were all very friendly and helpful. Highly recommended.

Guide was really informative. Even though everyone on the tour was from Edinburgh we all learned lots from it.