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Edinburgh Castle Tours and Activities

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23 Reviews
Edinburgh Castle has loomed over Scotland’s capital city for more than 1,000 years. Steeped in history, the former royal residence is now a museum, featuring detailed exhibits and period artifacts that illuminate the castle’s storied past. 

The Basics
Behind the fortress walls you’ll find cobbled promenades, winding stone steps, ancient chapels, dark dungeons, and vast halls. See the room where the macabre 15th-century Black Dinner took place, admire the glittering Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny, take a photo with the massive Mons Meg cannon, see the Great Hall, visit the room where Queen Mary gave birth to King James IV, and find mysterious graffiti left behind by 18th- and 19th-century prisoners of war.

Many Edinburgh city tours include a visit to the castle, whether you want to explore by private mini-bus, vintage taxicab, or on a hop-on hop-off bus tour. Save time with a skip-the-line walking tour of Edinburgh Castle, or delve into the history of this iconic fortress on a private tour. 
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Edinburgh Castle is a must-see for history buffs and first-time visitors to the city. 
  • It’s possible to spend anywhere from two hours to a full day exploring the castle. 
  • Visitors are subject to bag searches, and storage is not available for large personal items such as backpacks, luggage, and strollers.
  • Photographs are not allowed inside the Scottish National War Memorial or the Scottish Crown Jewel exhibit.
  • Parts of the castle may not be accessible to wheelchair users. 

How to Get There
Edinburgh Castle is located atop a hill in the Old Town. Parking is difficult in this part of Edinburgh, so the easiest way to get there is on foot, by public transport, or on a guided tour. If walking, head west on the Royal Mile—a high street connecting Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Scottish Queen’s present-day residence. The city’s primary train and bus terminal (Edinburgh Waverley) is also within walking distance of the castle. 
 
When to Get There
The castle is open year-round and is busiest in summer. Arrive early to avoid crowds and plan to visit the Crown Jewels first, as lines form quickly and can take over an hour to get through. Afternoon visitors can enjoy the daily firing of the “one-o’clock gun,” while August travelers can sometimes see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo performing just outside the castle walls.

Best Photo Spots in Edinburgh Castle
The castle’s sweeping Old Town city views are no coincidence—its hilltop position was carefully chosen to protect the city. For great views and equally great photographs, head to the windows near the row of cannons along Half Moon Battery, the grated overlooks across from the military prison, or St. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest surviving part of the castle.
Address: Castle Hill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, Scotland
Admission: Adults: £18.50, Children: £11.50
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102 Tours and Activities to Experience Edinburgh Castle

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Historical Walking Tour with Optional Skip the Line Entry to Edinburgh Castle

Historical Walking Tour with Optional Skip the Line Entry to Edinburgh Castle

star-4.5
538
See the best of medieval yet modern Edinburgh on this walking tour with optional skip-the-line access to Edinburgh Castle. As you walk, listen as your guide shares the history of this formidable city with ancient Roman roots and UNESCO-listed pockets. Explore atmospheric cobbled walkways along the Royal Mile, breeze into Edinburgh Castle to witness royal opulence (if option selected), and pass iconic locations like St. Giles Cathedral, Parliament Square, and John Knox House.
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.87
Price varies by group size
From
$25.87
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

star-4
1170
An Edinburgh bus tour is the perfect way to hear commentary on city sights and get a panoramic overview. This City Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh lets you hop on and off at several strategically placed stops as many times as you like. Board the open-top double-decker bus and travel the entire route, or stop at Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum and many more. Buses depart regularly and tickets are valid for 24 hours from first use.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.51
From
$22.51
Taking safety measures

Ghost Bus Tour of Edinburgh

Ghost Bus Tour of Edinburgh

star-4.5
999
Delve into Edinburgh’s horrific history on this evening ghost bus tour. With your spooky local guide, visit the city’s most terrifying locations, haunted by infamy and restless spirits! From your seat in a double-decker vintage bus, gaze at eerie sites such as Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh Castle, Grassmarket, and the Royal Mile. Throughout the trip, hear anecdotes and facts about Edinburgh’s chilling past, replete with bloody executions, unspeakable tortures, and murder.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$24.94
From
$24.94
Taking safety measures

3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Edinburgh w/ Private Tour Option

3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Edinburgh w/ Private Tour Option

star-5
207
Scotland is renowned for its unique cuisine, but Edinburgh’s foodie hotspots are best explored with a local guide. On this small-group walking tour, discover the UNESCO-listed Old and New Towns, and sample Scottish classics such as Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, Scotch whisky, and afternoon tea.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$232.41
From
$232.41
Taking safety measures

FULL ACCESS Edinburgh Castle Private Tour: History & Tales

FULL ACCESS Edinburgh Castle Private Tour: History & Tales

star-3
2
Enter the Edinburgh Castle and go deep into the history of Scotland. Venture back in time with your local host to learn about the formation of Castle Rock, and see how the Scots transformed it into the base of the castle. From the Romans to the Vikings, see how the lives of these ancient folks intertwined with the Scots’. Discover the different clans in Scotland and witness their conflicts and clashes. Want a memory that lasts a lifetime? Catch the panoramic view from a picture-perfect vantage point in the castle with your favorite local host. On this private tour, you will find out how generations of kings rose to power and fell from grace. Hear the stories of loyal knights, and be inspired by the deeds of lion-hearted freedom fighters. See and touch history and get to know the famous figures who played a part in making Edinburgh Castle the icon it is today. The local hosts are wonderful storytellers, each one has a different background ranging from arts to history.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$107.92
Price varies by group size
From
$107.92
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour

Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour

star-4
47
Experience the grandeur of Scotland’s brooding capital with a full-day shore excursion of Edinburgh. With an expert guide, journey by coach to the city’s main attractions such as the formidable Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, and the Royal Yacht Britannia, owned by the British Royal Family for more than four decades! Accompany your local guide on a stroll along the Royal Mile and through Old Town, the city’s oldest quarter strewn with historic landmarks.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$77.38
From
$77.38
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Full-Day Guided Private Tour in a Premium Minivan

Edinburgh Full-Day Guided Private Tour in a Premium Minivan

star-5
8
Spend a full-day exploring the best Edinburgh has to offer on this premium minivan tour. Save hours researching top sights to see and planning transport by having everything organized for you instead. The tour includes round-trip private transfers, bottled water, and a private guide. An advantage of a private tour is that the itinerary can be modified based on your interests. Potential sights to visit include the Old Town, the Royal Mile, and Edinburgh Castle.
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  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$211.03
Price varies by group size
From
$211.03
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Castle to Arthur's Seat Tour with a Local: Private & 100% Personalized

Edinburgh Castle to Arthur's Seat Tour with a Local: Private & 100% Personalized

star-5
1
Kickstart your stay in Scotland’s capital city on a private and personalized tour that provides a great introduction to Edinburgh for first-time visitors. Rather than following a set schedule, you’ll collaborate with your guide to create an itinerary that’s suited to your interests. Plus, you can choose to explore on foot or by vehicle.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$85.56
Price varies by group size
From
$85.56
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Afternoon Tea Experience

Edinburgh Afternoon Tea Experience

star-4.5
153
Knowing the best spots for a quintessential British experience in Edinburgh can be tricky. Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea on a vintage Routemaster bus tour, and cruise past city landmarks including Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace as you sample fresh scones, sandwiches, and tea. Choose a departure time to suit your schedule, and capture stylish snaps on board the classic vehicle.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$52.05
From
$52.05

Guided Edinburgh Private Walking Tour

Guided Edinburgh Private Walking Tour

star-5
104
Embark on an enriching 3.5 or 7-hour walking tour of Edinburgh’s cultural and historical highlights with a private guide. While you listen to insightful commentary, you’ll visit iconic landmarks and hidden gems according to an itinerary tailored to your interests. Explore the cobbled streets of the Old Town, gaze at Edinburgh Castle on its rocky perch and ascend to the summit of Calton Hill for panoramic city views. On this private tour, you’ll receive the undivided attention of your guide while gaining unique insight into the Scottish capital.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$275.74
per group
From
$275.74
per group
Taking safety measures

The Royal Military Tattoo Edinburgh City Tour Rosslyn Chapel and Dinner

The Royal Military Tattoo Edinburgh City Tour Rosslyn Chapel and Dinner

star-5
5
Edinburgh is at its busiest during the Royal Military Tattoo but you can get away from the crowds on this private guided tour. Traveling in minibus in the company of just your party and a guide, explore the city streets from the medieval Old Town to the Georgian New Town before heading out of town to Rosslyn Chapel. Enjoy a 4-course dinner back in the city before taking your reserved seats for the spectacle that is the Military Tattoo, an unforgettable evening of music, ceremony, and dance.
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  • 12 hours
From
$533.19
From
$533.19

Edinburgh Walking Tours with Locals: Private & 100% Personalized

Edinburgh Walking Tours with Locals: Private & 100% Personalized

star-4.5
13
Visiting an unfamiliar city without knowing anyone there usually means relying on travel guides. Get a more personal experience in Edinburgh by spending time with a local Edinburgher who customizes your private, bespoke tour to your own interests. Go off the beaten path and discover locals' favorite spots.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$114.08
Price varies by group size
From
$114.08
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Castle Tour

Edinburgh Castle Tour

star-4.5
5
Edinburgh Castle is the most iconic site in the heart of the Scottish capital, known as the ‘Defender of the Nation’. It dominates the city skyline from its seat on Castle Rock, an extinct volcano, overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage Old and New Towns. It is an ancient site, with evidence of a fort here for almost 3000 year. Discover the fascinating history and stories of this incredible location with our expert local guides. After all, no trip to Scotland is complete without visiting its most famous fortress! Our Edinburgh Castle Tour includes your ticket, with skip-the-line entrance, and the tour finishes inside the castle, so you can continue to explore at your leisure afterwards.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$47.16
From
$47.16

Withlocals 90 Minutes Kickstart: Covid-19 Regulated Edinburgh Private Tour

Withlocals 90 Minutes Kickstart: Covid-19 Regulated Edinburgh Private Tour

star-5
9
Enjoy the perfect introduction to Edinburgh and its top attractions on this flexible, private tour. Pick between multiple daily departure times, and meet your guide in the city center. Then, set off on foot. You’ll visit numerous city highlights, from St. Giles' Cathedral and Edinburgh Castle to the Greyfriars Kirkyard and National Museum of Scotland. As you go, learn insider stories about the city, plus tips about where to eat and drink.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$31.53
Price varies by group size
From
$31.53
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Withlocals Highlights & Hidden Gems: Covid-19 Regulated Private Tour Edinburgh

Withlocals Highlights & Hidden Gems: Covid-19 Regulated Private Tour Edinburgh

star-5
7
See both the highlights and hidden gems of Edinburgh on a private tour that reveals Scotland’s capital through the eyes of a local. Designed with first-time visitors in mind, this private tour promises the undivided attention of your guide and gives you the chance to compile tailored recommendations to last the rest of your vacation.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.11
Price varies by group size
From
$69.11
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Walking Tour of Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle with Qualified Guide

Private Walking Tour of Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle with Qualified Guide

star-5
1
Enjoy a half day walking tour of Edinburgh Castle and Old Town. Edinburgh Old town has a rich and sometimes dark history. Let us guide you through the narrow closes and streets to reach the mighty Edinburgh Castle. This tour is a great introduction to the city. We will walk through the narrow alleyways of the Old Town called closes and learn the meaning of Auld Reekie. We will explore the important sights that have made the town what it is today. This will include the Tron Kirk, Mercat Cross, Heart of Midlothian and St Giles area. Then we go to Greyfriars Kirkyard which was home to Edinburgh's hero dog, Bobby. The Graveyard is also haunted and has connections with Harry Potter. We finally reach the impregnable Edinburgh Castle for a personal guided tour. Standing on top of an extinct volcano it offers great views of the city and surroundings. See the Scottish Crown Jewels, Great Hall and Edinburgh's oldest building; St Margaret's Chapel.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
From
$33.30
per group
From
$33.30
per group

Edinburgh: 3-Hours Walking Tour - English Tour Guide

Edinburgh: 3-Hours Walking Tour - English Tour Guide

star-5
2
Cover all the major must-see sights in Edinburgh and learn all about the ancient city on this 3-hour guided walking tour. Listen as your guide shares fascinating historical facts, myths and legends about the Scottish capital. • Wander along the Royal Mile, the atmospheric main thoroughfare of the well-preserved Edinburgh Old Town • See the historic fortress of Edinburgh Castle, trek to the Mound and visit the graveyard of Greyfriars Kirkyard • Listen to your guide talking about historical facts about Edinburgh
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$18.26
From
$18.26

Small-Group Photography Walking Tour of Edinburgh

Small-Group Photography Walking Tour of Edinburgh

star-5
6
Capture the Scottish capital in a fresh light and discover top landmarks with ease on this 3-hour small-group photography walking tour in Edinburgh. Follow a guide through Edinburgh’s attractive streets and gain insight into the city’s colorful past. Along the way, discover top attractions and hidden gems both on and off the tourist trail, and enjoy framing them through the eye of your camera. Master focal range and light settings to bring out the best in your shots, and sharpen your skills behind the lens.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.76
From
$60.76
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Luxury Private Tour with Scottish Driver

Edinburgh Luxury Private Tour with Scottish Driver

star-4.5
3
Explore Edinburgh without the hassle of planning on a private tour with door-to-door chauffeur service, bottled water, and complimentary wifi. Your drive and guide tailors the day’s itinerary according to your needs and interests, with potential stops ranging from Edinburgh Castle to Charlotte Square. Unlike impersonal large-group tours, this private experience ensures your guide’s full attention and a customized experience.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$383.36
Price varies by group size
From
$383.36
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Black Taxi Tour of Edinburgh

Private Black Taxi Tour of Edinburgh

star-5
3
Enjoy a private tour of Scotland's capital in one of London's familiar black taxis. See Edinburgh's top sights and attractions while your guide shares stories about the city's fascinating history. Marvel at Edinburgh Castle and see where public executions took place, journey along the Royal Mile and explore the cobbled streets of Edinburgh's Old Town. You'll even learn the secrets of Scottish Whisky, one of Scotland's most popular exports. Bring along a camera to snap pics at ample stops en route. 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$501.90
per group
From
$501.90
per group
Taking safety measures

Chauffeur Driven Private Sightseeing Tour of Edinburgh

Chauffeur Driven Private Sightseeing Tour of Edinburgh

star-5
3
Explore Edinburgh without the hassle of driving or using public transit on a private sightseeing tour with round-trip hotel transport. Your driver, who navigates for you, points out top landmarks and architectural gems, from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood House. With the flexibility to customize your itinerary and inside recommendations from your driver, this private tour is a popular choice for newcomers who wish to orient themselves in the city.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$677.28
per group
From
$677.28
per group

Virtual Old Edinburgh Tour

Virtual Old Edinburgh Tour

star-5
2
Enjoy a live Virtual Walking Tour of Edinburgh's Old Town with your own private tour guide. You may not be able to come to Edinburgh, so let us bring Edinburgh to you. We Walk though the Old Town exploring the Closes and Wynds as if you were actually there. You can chat and ask questions just as you would on a normal Walking Tour.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.64
per group
From
$69.64
per group

The Ultimate Private Black Taxi Edinburgh Tour

The Ultimate Private Black Taxi Edinburgh Tour

star-5
1
Discover the historical sights of Edinburgh the alternative way on a private full-day tour of the Scottish capital in an iconic London taxi. Customize your itinerary according to your interests and allow a courteous driver to transport you to Edinburgh’s top attractions. Gaze at the imposing fortress of Edinburgh Castle on its hilltop perch; discover the poignant story behind the canine statue in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard; and absorb the historical charm of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Gain fascinating insight into the history and heritage of Scotland’s vibrant capital from your professional private guide.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$758.93
per group
From
$758.93
per group

Private Shore Excursion: Edinburgh City and Rosslyn Chapel

Private Shore Excursion: Edinburgh City and Rosslyn Chapel

star-5
1
Savor your time in port with a shore excursion around Scotland's capital city and visit to 15th-century Rosslyn Chapel. Travel via VIP minibus through Edinburgh's medieval Old Town, filled with cobbled alleyways that are bursting with legends and stories. Learn about the city's intriguing history while journeying past the Palace of Holyroodhouse, touring the Royal Mile and exploring its Georgian-style New Town. Then pay a visit to Rosslyn Chapel, which played a key role in the 2003 novel 'The Da Vinci Code' and the 2006 film of the same name.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$785.37
per group
From
$785.37
per group
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Edinburgh Castle?