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Calton Hill Tours and Activities

star-4.5
32 Reviews
Calton Hill
Looming over Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, Calton Hill is one of the seven hills that the Scottish capital is built on. Come here for 360-degree views that encompass Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, and, on a clear day, the Firth of Forth.

The Basics
Calton Hill is home to a number of Edinburgh landmarks, including the Nelson Monument, the Dugald Stewart Monument, the Old Royal High School, the Robert Burns Monument, and the National Monument of Scotland—although it looks like an ancient ruin, its an unfinished tribute to Scottish servicemen inspired by the Parthenon in Athens.

Many sightseeing tours of Edinburgh Old Town and the Royal Mile include a visit to Calton Hill; tours tend to uncover the city’s lesser-known histories and give you the choice of exploring by electric bike, Segway, or on foot.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Calton Hill provides a less-strenuous alternative to climbing Arthur’s Seat while still offering panoramic city views. 
  • Walking to the summit requires a steep climb, which makes sturdy footwear a must. 
  • A gated access road and parking are available for use by blue badge holders with mobility issues. If you don’t have the badge, you can take a taxi via the access road.
How to Get There
Calton Hill is in the center of Edinburgh, less than a 10-minute walk from Waverley Train Station. It’s also within easy reach of attractions such as the Scottish Parliament Building, which is a 15-minute walk away.

When to Get There
Sunset is one of the best times of day to visit, especially in winter when the city takes on a warm glow from mid-afternoon. The hill also hosts the annual Beltane Fire Festival in April. It’s also the setting for the fireworks display of Edinburgh’s annual torchlight procession on December 30.

Exploring the Collective
In late 2018, the long-established Collective Art Gallery opened a new space on Calton Hill, which includes the restored City Observatory, a former astronomical observatory, and a purpose-built exhibition space. The gallery showcases contemporary art from emerging artists via a diverse program of exhibitions, walks, and events.
Address: Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland
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41 Tours and Activities to Experience Calton Hill

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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
$22.35
From
$22.35
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends

Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends

star-5
1624
Journey through Edinburgh’s grisliest tales on a haunted walking tour. Experience the ghastly histories of monsters, madness, and murder that cast a dark shadow on the capital city. Discover the stories and sites of witch trials, pagan rituals, and executions, and hear about local monsters that live in urban myth. Then visit the chilling Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard cemetery to learn about body-snatching and some of the infamous interred.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$19.36
From
$19.36
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
$380.68
Price varies by group size
From
$380.68
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private 2hr Tour of Edinburgh in a Mini Cooper

Private 2hr Tour of Edinburgh in a Mini Cooper

star-5
38
Make sure you see all the spots you wanted to in Edinburgh on this 2-hour private tour led by a private guide. Zoom past popular areas in a Mini Cooper, such as Calton Hill, Grassmarket, Dean Village, and Arthur's Seat. Plus, see one of Scotland’s oldest pubs and Edinburgh's secret garden.
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  • 2 hours
From
$174.62
per group
From
$174.62
per group

Edinburgh Private Walking Tour

Edinburgh Private Walking Tour

star-5
1
Explore Edinburgh with a private guide during this walking tour. Meet your local guide right at your hotel and set out to see the city’s popular landmarks along with some off the beaten path places. Explore the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle and visit a historic pub for lunch. The itinerary of this private tour can be customized according to your interests.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$302.05
From
$302.05

Private Edinburgh City Tour in a Minibus

Private Edinburgh City Tour in a Minibus

star-5
5
Explore Edinburgh from the comfort of your own personal minibus on a private tour of the Scottish capital city. While listening to informative commentary from your guide, you’ll gaze at the Gothic silhouette of Edinburgh Castle and hear about the historic Royal Mile. Ascend Calton Hill for panoramic city views, admire the grand architecture of the Palace of Holyroodhouse and become engrossed by tales of witchcraft, body snatching, and a loyal dog. This private tour ensures you’ll receive undivided attention from your guide while experiencing the best Edinburgh has to offer.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$707.93
per group
From
$707.93
per group
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Luxury Private Tour with Scottish Driver

Edinburgh Luxury Private Tour with Scottish Driver

See the best of Edinburgh in a day with this private sightseeing excursion. Avoid the crowds on public transport, and get around the city in a comfortable and convenient way—in a private vehicle with a chauffeur. No need to worry about rigid itineraries—this tour is completely flexible based on your needs. Potential sights and attractions include Edinburgh Old Town, Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, Holyrood Park, and Calton Hill.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$928.99
per group
From
$928.99
per group
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
$209.55
Price varies by group size
From
$209.55
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Half Day Guided Private Tour in a Premium Minivan

Edinburgh Half Day Guided Private Tour in a Premium Minivan

star-5
8
Explore Edinburgh is style by opting for a private guided tour. Avoid crowded public transport and enjoy the luxury of traveling in a premium minivan. As it’s a private tour, benefit from having direct access to a guide for questions. The tour can be customized based on your interests, but potential stops include the Royal Mile, the Old Town, Grassmarket, and Edinburgh Castle.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$226.55
Price varies by group size
From
$226.55
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Marathon Festival Running Tour

Edinburgh Marathon Festival Running Tour

star-5
70
Jog around Edinburgh and see more of the city than you would walking on this running tour. Climb Calton Hill for panoramic views, and jog through the Old and New Town, stopping at famous and unexpected sights to discover their history. Your run covers about 4.3 miles (7 kilometers), with the pace set by your small group of 15 or fewer. Souvenirs of a running T-shirt, Edinburgh poster, and other extras are included.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$40.50
From
$40.50

Ricky's Ultimate City Bike Tour!

Ricky's Ultimate City Bike Tour!

star-5
13
Let Riccardo show you the best places and secret spots of Edinburgh on his Ultimate City Tour! Riccardo has been riding and guiding, day in day out, in the European Alps and Scotland for nearly a decade. You'll struggle to find anyone with as much skill, enthusiasm and experience in the field of bicycle guiding. Riccardo is a professionally qualified UK bike guide and he is up to date with Outdoor First Aid certification, training and child protection qualifications. With all of this training and experience he is able to provide top class, safe and knowledgable guided rides to all levels and group sizes, both in the city and out in the mountains.
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  • 3 to 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$80.05
From
$80.05
Taking safety measures

Private Walk: Sunny Leith

Private Walk: Sunny Leith

Edinburgh Walks offer unique small group private guided walks through parts of this UNESCO World Heritage city of Edinburgh & Leith. Your guide was born in Edinburgh, has lived all his life in the city and has an intimate knowledge of the place. With local knowledge to the fore, you can customise your tour to your own requirements. You are in charge. Discover the real Edinburgh & Leith in a friendly, relaxed and informative way. You will experience breathtaking views of Edinburgh & Leith and learn about the history of the surrounding area. Each of the walks around Edinburgh & Leith will take you to places of interest and beauty that tour buses cannot reach, allowing plenty of opportunities to stop, shop, rest and take photographs. Edinburgh & Leith just have to be walked.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$138.30
per group
From
$138.30
per group
Taking safety measures

60 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Photographer in Edinburgh

60 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Photographer in Edinburgh

Avoid the hassle of asking strangers to take your photos while on vacation in Edinburgh and opt for a private professional photoshoot instead. Get top tips on the city’s most photogenic spots that you might not discover otherwise, and receive 30 high resolution digital photos to remember your trip. As it’s a private tour, it’s possible to customize your route, and pick which sights you visit.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$358.98
per group
From
$358.98
per group

Edinburgh's Rainbow Past

Edinburgh's Rainbow Past

In this approximately two hours walk, you will explore the history of the fights for LGBTQ+ rights in the city. Edinburgh's Rainbow Past is a completely customized experience that will bring you from your accommodation to the famous Pink Triangle, the LGBTQ+ area of the city! And then, after the tour, would you like to relax with a drink or with a panoramic walk? Both options are available: either explore the bars we talked about, or follow our guide to Calton Hill, one of the seven hills of Edinburgh, for a breath-taking view of the city.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$97.79
per group
From
$97.79
per group
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh half day driving tour

Edinburgh half day driving tour

This tour is by local guides who treat it like showing a family member of friend our amazing city for the first time. We show you the best whilst avoiding the tourists traps and as it is a private tour we can customize it to suit your needs. A minimum of 3 people are required to book this tour.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$83.82
From
$83.82

Panoramic Running Tour of Edinburgh

Panoramic Running Tour of Edinburgh

star-5
5
We love running and we love Edinburgh, bring your trainers and let us show you our wonderful and vibrant city on foot! Hear stories of Edinburgh past and present whilst we tour the capital city at your pace. We will take in all the main city sights and then finish off with a breathtaking climb up Arthur's Seat to see the city from a panoramic view.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$42.43
Price varies by group size
From
$42.43
Price varies by group size

Edinburgh Private Tour Brazilian Guide

Edinburgh Private Tour Brazilian Guide

We make private and personalized tours, according to the client's interests, in private vehicles with great comfort and safety. Our guides accompany you on all attractions, providing the most support and historical information. Departure and return of the tour will be at the client's hotel.
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  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$634.31
per group
From
$634.31
per group
Taking safety measures

Whole day Edinburgh Tour including Scottish Lunch with a Local Expert!

Whole day Edinburgh Tour including Scottish Lunch with a Local Expert!

star-5
1
Discover Real Edinburgh and get the best all over experience of Scotland's capital city. Taste & Enjoy a delicious Scottish meal with a drink in a traditional Kitchen & Bar setup restaurant, right in front of the sea next to the beach! Discover hidden and secret things of Edinburgh's urban life, history, architecture and nature - that most of the visitors overlook. Learn how people lived, Edinburgh's geology, mythology and many more. -Please book a private tour with kids under 7 years of age. Contact to arrange "Rishi's Edinburgh Tours". Hi, I'm Rishi your Host & Tour guide. I have over 20 years of experience in hospitality & tourism. I got my degree in Tourism (BA Hons) in Edinburgh to match my love of travel. I am originally from India. When I first came to Edinburgh many years back, I fell in love with this city. Being myself an explorer, history and nature lover, I found endless opportunities here. The experience I provide will become the memories of a life time for you.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$135.51
From
$135.51
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Private Tour Brazilian Guide

Edinburgh Private Tour Brazilian Guide

We make private and personalized tours, according to the client's interests, in private vehicles with great comfort and safety. Our guides accompany the customer on all attractions, providing the greatest support and historical information. Departure and return from the tour will be at the client's hotel.
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  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$906.15
per group
From
$906.15
per group
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Private Premium Driving Tour With Chauffeur

Edinburgh Private Premium Driving Tour With Chauffeur

- Pick you up from your accommodation in Edinburgh or Glasgow - Travel luxuriously in a Mercedes Benz and don’t worry about rental cars - Forget complicated meeting points, as door-to-door transfers are included Did you know that Edinburgh is the greenest cities in the UK? Edinburgh is Scotland’s hilly capital known and visited for the rich heritage, history, culture and largest art festival in the world.Explore the beautiful city and feel like royalty with our Luxury Chauffeur Service. You have the freedom to decide on the locations you wish to explore and we create the itinerary according to your preferences. Travel in a luxurious Mercedes-Benz vehicle with Wi-Fi and bottled water included to make it a stress-free experience. Book now and enjoy the best personalised experience of a Private Premium Tour with us!
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  • 3 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$566.35
per group
From
$566.35
per group

Edinburgh half day / full day tour with Hugh

Edinburgh half day / full day tour with Hugh

I qualified as a Blue Badge tourist guide in 2014, after 2 years of training. Since then I have shown this city where I live to hundreds of visitors, of all ages and backgrounds. As a former British diplomat, a retired ambassador, I also work in German or Spanish. I can tailor your tour to what you wish to do - the main sites, themed tours, hidden gems or a bit of a mix. . For example:- • we can head up to the castle, home of the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny • Old Edinburgh: we can walk down the Royal Mile from the Castle to Holyrood House (the Queen's official residence in Scotland) and the Scottish Parliament • we can admire the architecture of the New Town and hear about the people who lived there • or visit some places that are said to have inspired JK Rowling when she was writing Harry Potter • or visit the National Museum of Scotland or the Scottish National Gallery Or we can take a walk along the Water of Leith to the Dean Village or trendy Stockbridge.
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  • 2 to 4 hours
From
$362.46
per group
From
$362.46
per group

30 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Photographer in Edinburgh

30 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Photographer in Edinburgh

Flytographer 30 Minute Vacation Photoshoot Connect with a local professional photographer in Edinburgh and capture your most memorable moments during this private photoshoot. Get insider tips on the best things to do in Edinburgh, including where to eat and what to see from your vacation photographer.  Return from your trip with beautiful, high-quality, vacation photos. The best souvenir ever.
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$272.44
per group
From
$272.44
per group

Edinburgh Private Walking Tour

Edinburgh Private Walking Tour

Private Tour Walking through Edinburgh, the tour will be private, exclusive for your group or family. It will be 4 hours walking around the city, knowing the main points of interest. The script can be customized according to customer interests.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$85.97
From
$85.97
Taking safety measures

The Best Of Edinburgh Walking Tour

The Best Of Edinburgh Walking Tour

It is so easy to fall in love with Edinburgh. An amazing atmosphere of medieval times, impressive architecture and true Scottish spirit. Edinburgh is also standing on 7 hills like Rome and Moscow. What is built on an extinct volcano? Where is the place called "The Key from the Country"? You will be surprised by how many parks there are in the city and how many whiskey distillers in Scotland. You will find out what an unusual animal is a national animal! Why the National Monument on Calton Hill is known as “Edinburgh’s Shame?
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  • 4 hours
From
$347.34
Price varies by group size
From
$347.34
Price varies by group size

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 Calton Hill?