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Edinburgh Castle Tours

star-4.5
1,882 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. It’s also possible to visit the castle on a day trip from London. 
 
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
Hours: Open daily. Summer: 9:30am - 6pm, Winter: 9:30am - 5pm. Closed Dec 25 & 26
Admission: Adults: £18.50, Children: £11.50
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Recent Reviews from Experiences in Edinburgh

star-5
Gathering Storms
jennie_l
, Apr 2020
This could as easily have been a six star review. We booked for a visit with tour guide. I misunderstood the estimated tour length to be the window within which to show up. My bad. So we showed two hours late on a windy stormy day, face masks at the ready, on the lookout for disinfectant opportunities, intent on being appropriate in the looming pandemic. We were in good company the whole way. No crowds to speak of, no selfie centered clusters. Even without a guide, the available didaktiks provided good guidance to notable features. I did get to overhear some dozents instructing their charges, all seemed well informed. I suspected some considerable variability dependent on the interests of the dozents themselves. Specifically, there was a member of the armed forces guiding one small group, and he knew volumes about the military details of the castle: clearly a high value advantage and I'd go back again to arrange something like it. I can't remember what the ticket cost us. Doesn't matter much. The value is in the castle itself and you'd have to go back many times to answer all the questions that hang in the air thereabout. What is a castle and why. And why did the duke of Burgundy gift a monster gun to the Scots, and why did they even accept it, (maybe just the thrill of the challenge to get it up that hill?) Even the wind and the rain demonstrated the value of cold comfort offered by a pile of rocks. We'll be back.
star-4
Edinburgh Castle
Greg_W
, Mar 2020
Wonderful Castle. Entrance easy. Our entrance time slot of 3pm to 4pm did not leave us enough time to see all of the available attractions.
star-5
Full of History and atmosphere
Elaine_M
, Mar 2020
Been in Edinburgh loads of times even for the Tattoo but never been inside the castle itself. It was all so interesting and I loved the Crown Jewells. Weather was cold but bright so that helped.

82 Tours and Activities to Experience Edinburgh Castle

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Edinburgh Castle Entrance TicketAttraction Tickets

Edinburgh Castle Entrance Ticket

star-4.5
Avoid the queues at the ticket office and head straight to the scanning point to explore at your own pace. Visit St. Margaret's Chapel, marvel at the Scottish Crown Jewels in the Royal Palace, and discover the battles that shaped Scottish history at the on-site National War Museum. Whichever part of Scotland’s royal past intrigues you, you’re sure to find it at this imposing fortress on Castle Rock.
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  • 3 hours
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$21.65 
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

GAILY TOUR in EDINBURGH - Gay & Lesbian TourAttraction Tickets

GAILY TOUR in EDINBURGH - Gay & Lesbian Tour

Discover Edinburgh’s highlights and gay and lesbian scene on this private tour. Rather than find its must-sees and gay bars for yourself, let a gay or lesbian guide show you round. See Holyrood Palace, the Royal Mile, and Edinburgh Castle; and explore the “Pink Triangle” of gay bars and clubs. Alternatively, choose an evening Edinburgh gay tour: visiting and absorbing the party vibe of top gay and lesbian nightspots.
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  • 3 hours
From  
$166.21 
Price varies by group size
From  
$166.21 
Price varies by group size
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  • 3 hours

Edinburgh City Centre private driving tour Edinburgh Castle Rosslyn ChapelAttraction Tickets

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
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From  
$612.51 
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From  
$612.51 
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  • 8 to 9 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

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Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Walking TourAttraction Tickets

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
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From  
$42.11 
From  
$42.11 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Historical Walking Tour with Optional Skip the Line Entry to Edinburgh CastleLuxury Tours

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

star-4.5
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
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$20.07 
From  
$20.07 
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

FULL ACCESS Edinburgh Castle Private Tour: History & TalesHalf-day Tours

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
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From  
$98.62 
Price varies by group size
From  
$98.62 
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Ghost Bus Tour of EdinburghBus Tours

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
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From  
$24.44 
From  
$24.44 
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  • 1 hour
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  • Free Cancellation

3-Hour Edinburgh Secret Food TourHalf-day Tours

3-Hour Edinburgh Secret Food Tour

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
From  
$87.37 
From  
$87.37 
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  • 3 hours

Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights TourDay Trips

Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour

star-4
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
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From  
$61.46 
From  
$61.46 
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  • 8 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Historic Scotland Explorer PassSightseeing Passes

Historic Scotland Explorer Pass

star-4.5
Build your own custom (and cost-efficient!) tour of Scotland’s best attractions with the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass! With your 5-day or 14-day pass, visit castles, cathedrals, distilleries and more! Make the most of the advanced ticket entry at popular sites like Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, and discounted audio tours at select venues. With free entry to more 77 attractions around the country, the Explorer Pass offers something for the whole family.
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  • 5 days
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From  
$40.83 
From  
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  • 5 days
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  • Free Cancellation

The Royal Military Tattoo Edinburgh City Tour Rosslyn Chapel and Dinner Day Trips

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  
$468.97 
From  
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  • 12 hours

90 Minutes Kickstart Private Tour of EdinburghPrivate Sightseeing Tours

90 Minutes Kickstart Private Tour of Edinburgh

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
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From  
$28.81 
Price varies by group size
From  
$28.81 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Edinburgh Half Day Guided Private Tour in a Premium Mercedes MinivanHalf-day Tours

Edinburgh Half Day Guided Private Tour in a Premium Mercedes Minivan

star-5
Explore the city of Edinburgh is style by opting for a private guided tour. Avoid crowded public transport and enjoy the luxury of traveling in a premium Mercedes minivan. This is a luxury private tour, benefit from having direct access to a guide for questions. The tour can be customized based on your interests, with stops at the Royal Mile, the Old Town, Grassmarket, and Edinburgh Castle.
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  • 4 hours
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From  
$365.03 
per group
From  
$365.03 
per group
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Edinburgh Full-Day Guided Private Tour in a Premium MinivanFull-day Tours

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
From  
$200.67 
Price varies by group size
From  
$200.67 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours

The Mountebank Comedy Walk of EdinburghWalking Tours

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
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From  
$18.73 
From  
$18.73 
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Edinburgh Luxury Private Tour with Scottish DriverDay Trips

Edinburgh Luxury Private 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
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$337.19 
Price varies by group size
From  
$337.19 
Price varies by group size
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  • 7 to 8 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Edinburgh Half Day Guided Private Tour in a Premium MinivanHalf-day Tours

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
From  
$150.50 
Price varies by group size
From  
$150.50 
Price varies by group size
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  • 4 hours

Edinburgh Castle TourHistorical & Heritage Tours

Edinburgh Castle Tour

star-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
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From  
$41.48 
From  
$41.48 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

A half day in Edinburgh with a local: private & personalizedHalf-day Tours

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
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From  
$100.34 
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From  
$100.34 
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Private Shore Excursion: Edinburgh City and Rosslyn ChapelPorts of Call Tours

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
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$690.77 
per group
From  
$690.77 
per group
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  • 9 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Edinburgh Afternoon Tea ExperienceBus Tours

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
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$46.40 
From  
$46.40 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Edinburgh Private Tour Brazilian GuideDay Trips

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
From  
$561.85 
per group
From  
$561.85 
per group
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  • 8 hours

3-Hour Private Edinburgh Castle TourHalf-day Tours

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
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$267.55 
From  
$267.55 
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Private Walking Tour of Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle with Qualified GuidePrivate Sightseeing Tours

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  
$29.29 
per group
From  
$29.29 
per group
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  • 3 to 4 hours

2 hours in Edinburgh, your wayLuxury Tours

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
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$62.71 
Price varies by group size
From  
$62.71 
Price varies by group size
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Kickstart your trip to Edinburgh with a local: private & personalizedHalf-day Tours

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
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From  
$75.26 
Price varies by group size
From  
$75.26 
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Withlocals Highlights & Hidden Gems™: Best of Edinburgh PRIVATE TourHalf-day Tours

Withlocals Highlights & Hidden Gems™: Best of Edinburgh PRIVATE Tour

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
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$63.16 
Price varies by group size
From  
$63.16 
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Edinburgh Castle hours of operation?
A:
Edinburgh Castle hours of operation: Open daily. Summer: 9:30am - 6pm, Winter: 9:30am - 5pm. Closed Dec 25 & 26. 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 Edinburgh Castle tickets in advance?
A:
We recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot since Edinburgh Castle 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 82 Edinburgh Castle tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
How much does it cost to visit Edinburgh Castle 2020?
A:
Currently, an entrance ticket to Edinburgh Castle costs USD 21.65. Guided Edinburgh Castle tours start around USD 21.65 per person. See all 82 Edinburgh Castle tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Edinburgh Castle?

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