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Palace of Holyroodhouse Tours

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9 Reviews
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Set amid splendid gardens at the foot of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official Scottish residence of the British royals, who first decamped here from nearby Edinburgh Castle back in the 15th century. The complex grew from a 12th-century abbey, whose ruins can still be seen on the grounds, into a full-fledged Baroque palace complete with elaborate plasterwork, sumptuous furnishings, and a number of tapestries. The palace is perhaps most famous for having hosted to the rather unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, whose beloved secretary was slaughtered here by her jealous second husband.

The Basics
For anyone hoping to get a taste of the royal experience in Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is an essential stop. Visitors often glimpse the palace during walking tours of Edinburgh’s UNESCO-listed Old Town, as well as on hop-on, hop-off bus tours. Some city tours include admission to the palace so travelers can explore the state apartments and Mary's Bedchamber with the aid of an audio guide. Palace ticket holders can join guided tours of the Holyrood Abbey ruins, which take place several times daily, or buy combination tickets to the palace and the onsite Queen’s Gallery, which hosts temporary art exhibits from the royal collection.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Audio tours are included with palace admission and are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Mandarin, and Portuguese.
  • Parts of the palace are wheelchair accessible. Mary, Queen of Scots’ Chambers, however, are not, and can only be accessed via a steep, spiral staircase.
  • While there is a cafe onsite, food and drink are not allowed elsewhere in the palace.
 
How to Get There
To get to the palace, walk for 15 minutes from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. Bus routes 35 and 6 also stop near the palace.
 
When to Get There
Although the palace is generally open year-round (November through March from 9:30am to 4:30pm and April through October from 9:30am to 6pm), it does close to the public during royal visits. Check ahead to find out when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is due in town. She usually stays here for Holyrood Week, or Royal Week as it’s known in Scotland, in late June and early July.

Learn About the Troubled Life of Mary, Queen of Scots
Of all the royals who have lived at Holyrood Palace—among them Queen Victoria and King George V—none are as closely associated with the palace as Mary, the 17th-century Queen of Scots. Many of the most shocking episodes from her tumultuous reign took place here, including the murder of her Italian secretary, David Rizzio, by her second husband, Lord Darnley. Holyrood is also where Mary married her third husband, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, a suspect in the murder of her second husband.
Address: Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX, Scotland
Hours: Open daily
Admission: Adults: £14
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62 Tours and Activities to Experience Palace of Holyroodhouse

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Palace of Holyroodhouse Admission Ticket

Palace of Holyroodhouse Admission Ticket

star-4.5
Skip notoriously long entrance lines when you book an admission ticket in advance to Holyroodhouse, Scotland’s royal residence. Head straight in and start exploring the grounds and historic rooms where Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the current Queen of England have all lived and conducted business.
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  • 1 hour
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.38
From
$22.38
Taking safety measures

City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

star-4
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
$21.70
From
$21.70
Taking safety measures

Shore Excursion Royal Military Tattoo City Tour Rosslyn Chapel and Dinner

Shore Excursion Royal Military Tattoo City Tour Rosslyn Chapel and Dinner

star-5
Maximize time in Edinburgh on a private full-day shore excursion including pick-up at the cruise terminal. Explore the Old Town on foot, hearing stories from your local guide as you see the Royal Mile. Visit the 15th century Rosslyn Chapel and taste traditional Scottish fare in a historic pub before heading to Edinburgh Castle for reserved seating to see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  
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  • 12 hours
From
$514.14
From
$514.14

Ghost Bus Tour of Edinburgh

Ghost Bus Tour of Edinburgh

star-4.5
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
$24.05
From
$24.05
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
$369.66
Price varies by group size
From
$369.66
Price varies by group size

Edinburgh Sky to Sea Bike Tour by Manual or E-Bike

Edinburgh Sky to Sea Bike Tour by Manual or E-Bike

star-5
Even if you’ve only got limited time in Edinburgh, its still possible to see the breadth of the city’s natural landscapes. Cover more sights in less time during a 3-hour bike ride which takes you from Arthur’s Seat to the beaches of Portobello and the Port of Leith. Plus, you’ll be able to choose between an electric or manual bike depending on your fitness level.
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  • 3 hours 50 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$81.39
From
$81.39
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Afternoon Tea Experience

Edinburgh Afternoon Tea Experience

star-4.5
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
$50.19
From
$50.19

Edinburgh Royal History Walking Tour with Optional Palace of Holyrood House Admission

Edinburgh Royal History Walking Tour with Optional Palace of Holyrood House Admission

star-5
Follow in the footsteps of Scottish icons like Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie as you unravel the truths and myths of Edinburgh’s royal history. Set out on a 90-minute walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Old Town, spot the royal sites along Canongate and admire the grand Palace of Holyroodhouse, The Queen’s official residence in Scotland. After a comprehensive introduction to Edinburgh’s royal roots, enjoy skip-the-line access (optional) to the Palace of Holyrood and explore the magnificent royal residence independently.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.00
From
$22.00
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
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
$514.14
From
$514.14

Private Edinburgh driving tour

Private Edinburgh driving tour

star-5
Cover more sights in less time during a private driving tour of Edinburgh, during which you’ll receive the undivided attention of your guide. Opting for a private tour means that you’ll enjoy the flexibility to create your own sightseeing schedule, while letting someone else drive gives you more time to focus on the scenery.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$624.02
per group
From
$624.02
per group
Taking safety measures

Private Shore Excursion: Edinburgh City and Rosslyn Chapel

Private Shore Excursion: Edinburgh City and Rosslyn Chapel

star-5
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
$757.30
per group
From
$757.30
per group
Taking safety measures

Guided Edinburgh Private Walking Tour

Guided Edinburgh Private Walking Tour

star-5
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
$359.31
per group
From
$359.31
per group
Taking safety measures

Chauffeur Driven Private Sightseeing Tour of Edinburgh

Chauffeur Driven Private Sightseeing Tour of Edinburgh

star-5
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
$653.08
per group
From
$653.08
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
$687.45
per group
From
$687.45
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
$902.11
per group
From
$902.11
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
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
$203.48
Price varies by group size
From
$203.48
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
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
$101.74
Price varies by group size
From
$101.74
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Shore Excursions Edinburgh

Shore Excursions Edinburgh

Our custom experiences take time to develop and are based on what we learn about you. Yes, they are private, but they are also fully customised. This is exclusively your experience. Our goal is to figure out who you are and then determine how we're going to introduce our country to you in a way that is unique to you.
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$579.29
From
$579.29

Family Day In Edinburgh With A Local: Private & Personalized

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
$110.00
Price varies by group size
From
$110.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Explore Edinburgh's Landscapes

Explore Edinburgh's Landscapes

Escape the city center and discover some of Edinburgh’s most impressive natural landscapes—all of which are within easy reach of the capital—on a private tour that guarantees the undivided attention of your guide. Depending on your fitness level, choose to conquer either challenging peaks or gentle coastal trails.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$110.00
Price varies by group size
From
$110.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Escape The Airport: See Edinburgh On Your Layover

Escape The Airport: See Edinburgh On Your Layover

You’ll bust out of the airport and explore some of Edinburgh with our local host as you wait for your connecting flight. Swap airport food for some fresh market produce, discover a few city sights like Edinburgh Castle or stretch your legs in the beautiful Holyrood Park. Walk down the Royal Mile, passing quaint cafes, museums, and shops and see as much as you can during your layover. Within 24 hours after booking you'll receive a short questionnaire about your personality and interests. Based on your responses, you'll be assigned a like-minded host. Your host will communicate with you directly to suggest an itinerary to help you discover what makes the city unique. You will also agree on a meeting time and place. Your itinerary is flexible, so during the experience, you can always change your mind about what you want to do.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$178.74
Price varies by group size
From
$178.74
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Panoramic Running Tour of Edinburgh

Panoramic Running Tour of Edinburgh

star-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
$40.70
Price varies by group size
From
$40.70
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
$615.96
per group
From
$615.96
per group
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.
More
  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$879.93
per group
From
$879.93
per group
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh's Hidden Treasures Black Taxi Tour

Edinburgh's Hidden Treasures Black Taxi Tour

Explore Scotland’s UNESCO–listed capital city by black taxi on this private 4-hour tour in Edinburgh. Travel through the ancient streets of Edinburgh by black cab and listen as a private guide brings the city’s rich history to life.. This tour includes pickup and drop-off at your Edinburgh hotel.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$536.02
per group
From
$536.02
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 are Palace of Holyroodhouse hours of operation?
A:
Palace of Holyroodhouse hours of operation: Open daily. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
Should I book Palace of Holyroodhouse tickets in advance?
A:
We recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot since Palace of Holyroodhouse can get crowded. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 62 Palace of Holyroodhouse tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
How much does it cost to visit Palace of Holyroodhouse 2020?
A:
Currently, an entrance ticket to Palace of Holyroodhouse costs USD 22.38. Guided Palace of Holyroodhouse tours start around USD 22.38 per person. See all 62 Palace of Holyroodhouse tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Palace of Holyroodhouse?