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  • Admission: Free

Bookended by Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, the Royal Mile (it's actually slightly longer than a mile) is the grand center of Edinburgh's Old Town. The Royal Mile is dominated by granite, giving it a dark, Gothic feel, and lined with majestic buildings - banks, churches, courthouses. 

It was first modeled in the 12th century, when it was called Via Regis (the Way of the King). It’s not many thoroughfares that can claim to follow a path carved out by a glacier!

Even though these days it's Tourist Central - it's jam-packed during the Edinburgh Festival, and year-round is heavy on the tartan'n' shortbread kitsch - it still somehow manages to maintain its feeling of splendor.

Practical Info

The Royal Mile is actually a series of streets, running from Castle Esplanade in the west through Castlehill, Lawnmarket (which used to be the old open-air linen market), High Street and Canongate. It finishes at Abbey Strand, which leads into Holyrood Palace. 

Tours & Tickets

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Edinburgh City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 433 Reviews

With great views from the top of the bus, strategically placed stops and an interesting commentary, this truly is the best way to see the sights of Edinburgh. ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $21.21

Secrets of Edinburgh's Royal Mile Afternoon Walking Tour with Optional Edinburgh Castle Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 75 Reviews

Learn the secrets of Edinburgh's historic past on this afternoon walking tour of the city's famous Royal Mile. Upgrade your walking tour to include a tour of ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $18.18

The Royal Yacht Britannia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 80 Reviews

A unique five-star visitor experience and recommended by BBC News as "Scotland's leading visitor-friendly attraction", The Royal Yacht Britannia is an ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Flexible (suggested time is 2 hours)

From USD $21.21

Cupcake and Macaron Walking Tour of Edinburgh

Discover Edinburgh’s best cupcakes, macarons, shortbread cookies and more on a 2.5-hour walking tour with six samples included! Perfect for anyone with a sweet ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $60.59

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