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Edinburgh Castle Tours

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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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103 Tours and Activities to Experience Edinburgh Castle

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Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Walking Tour

Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Walking Tour

star-5
Save valuable vacation time with skip-the-line access to Edinburgh Castle on this walking tour. Avoid hours of waiting in line and breeze right inside with your priority admission ticket. Then, listen to your guide's commentary about the Scottish landmark's history as you walk through one of Scotland's most famous landmarks.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.36
From
$45.36
Taking safety measures

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-5
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
$21.22
From
$21.22
Taking safety measures

FULL ACCESS Edinburgh Castle Private Tour: History & Tales

FULL ACCESS Edinburgh Castle Private Tour: History & Tales

star-3
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
$106.25
Price varies by group size
From
$106.25
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Ghost Bus Tour of Edinburgh

Ghost Bus Tour of Edinburgh

star-4
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
$23.19
From
$23.19
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
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
$216.12
From
$216.12
Taking safety measures

Magic of Film Tour with Quizzes in | English | German |

Magic of Film Tour with Quizzes in | English | German |

star-5
Experience the magic of the world’s most famous wizard on a 2-hour Harry Potter walking tour of Edinburgh, perfect for families with kids. Alongside your Potter-mad guide, you’ll explore the winding streets and mysterious alleys that inspired J. K. Rowling to create the iconic wizarding world, and see filming locations featured in the movies. Plus, tick off top Edinburgh attractions such as the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, and Princes Street.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$19.62
From
$19.62

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

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

star-5
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
$31.04
Price varies by group size
From
$31.04
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

The Mountebank Comedy Walk of Edinburgh

The Mountebank Comedy Walk of Edinburgh

star-5
Comedy club meets history class on this walking tour with a professional comedian. Explore Old Town Edinburgh’s highlights and ask anything you want to know about Scotland. Be forewarned: this host doesn’t get too bogged down with pesky details like dates, proper names, or exact locations and there may be profanity, but if you want to have fun while learning about Edinburgh, this is your tour.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$20.93
From
$20.93
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
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
$196.23
Price varies by group size
From
$196.23
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Luxury Private Day Tour with Scottish Driver

Edinburgh Luxury Private Day Tour with Scottish Driver

star-4.5
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
From
$356.49
Price varies by group size
From
$356.49
Price varies by group size

Edinburgh Half Day Guided Private Tour in a Premium Minivan

Edinburgh Half Day Guided Private Tour in a Premium Minivan

star-5
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
$98.12
Price varies by group size
From
$98.12
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Castle Tour

Edinburgh Castle Tour

star-4.5
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
$43.85
From
$43.85

A Half Day In Edinburgh With A Local: Private & Personalized

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A Half Day In Edinburgh With A Local: Private & Personalized

star-4.5
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
$84.86
$106.08
$21.22 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$84.86
$106.08
$21.22 savings
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Afternoon Tea Experience

Edinburgh Afternoon Tea Experience

star-4
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
$48.40
From
$48.40

Edinburgh City Centre private driving tour Edinburgh Castle Rosslyn Chapel

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Edinburgh City Centre private driving tour Edinburgh Castle Rosslyn Chapel

star-5
Maximize time spent in Edinburgh with this full-day private driving tour in a luxury vehicle. With a group of up to seven people, set out to see popular landmarks including Edinburgh Castle, Rosslyn Chapel, the Royal Mile, and the Scottish Parliament. Learn about history and Scottish culture from your private guide.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$485.67
per group
$647.57
$161.90 savings
From
$485.67
per group
$647.57
$161.90 savings
Taking safety measures

3-Hour Private Edinburgh Castle Tour

3-Hour Private Edinburgh Castle Tour

If you’re a history buff, no visit to Edinburgh is complete without a tour of Edinburgh Castle. Receive personalized attention on a private 3-hour tour, during which you’ll delve deep into the history of the Edinburgh icon and avoid long lines often in excess of two hours with a pre-booked entrance ticket. Plus, you’re guide collects you from your hotel to prevent you getting lost in Edinburgh’s winding streets.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$282.86
From
$282.86
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
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
$30.97
per group
From
$30.97
per group

2 Hours In Edinburgh, Your Way

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2 Hours In Edinburgh, Your Way

star-4
Make sure you see all the spots you wanted to in Edinburgh on this personalized tour led by a private guide. Your customized itinerary takes you to the places you request, and your guide's commentary is based on your interests. You can go to famous locations, such as Edinburgh Castle to see Scotland’s crown jewels, or you can choose to go to areas known only by locals.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$53.04
$66.30
$13.26 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$53.04
$66.30
$13.26 savings
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kickstart Your Trip To Edinburgh With A Local: Private & Personalized

SPECIAL OFFER

Kickstart Your Trip To Edinburgh With A Local: Private & Personalized

star-5
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
$63.64
$79.57
$15.93 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$63.64
$79.57
$15.93 savings
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
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
$68.04
Price varies by group size
From
$68.04
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Eco-Friendly Tesla Tours of Edinburgh

Eco-Friendly Tesla Tours of Edinburgh

Ecosse EV is committed to reducing the environmental impact on our amazing city, by providing private guided tours in our all electric, state-of-the-art Tesla Model S Grand Tourers. Now you can experience all Edinburgh has to offer and enjoy the panoramic views in the luxury and quiet refinement of the worlds most innovative cars.
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$735.44
per group
From
$735.44
per group

Private Edinburgh City Tour in a Minibus

Private Edinburgh City Tour in a Minibus

star-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
$662.95
per group
From
$662.95
per group
Taking safety measures

Family Day In Edinburgh With A Local: Private & Personalized

SPECIAL OFFER

Family Day In Edinburgh With A Local: Private & Personalized

If you're visiting Edinburgh with your family, book a private sightseeing tour specially designed for those with kids. With a private guide, the tour can be tailored to your children's ages and interests to keep everyone entertained. Perhaps check out medieval Old Town, the art galleries of New Town, or something active like climbing Arthur's Seat.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$84.86
$106.08
$21.22 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$84.86
$106.08
$21.22 savings
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh: 3-Hours Walking Tour - English Tour Guide

Edinburgh: 3-Hours Walking Tour - English Tour Guide

star-5
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
$16.98
From
$16.98

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?