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  • Address: Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Hours:
  • Admission: Free

Edinburgh ATTRACTIONS See all

Royal Mile Tours

The atmospheric Royal Mile thoroughfare cuts through the historic core of Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, extending for slightly more than a mile from Edinburgh Castle all the way to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Both sides of the partly pedestrianized street are bordered by historic granite buildings bearing shop display windows piled high with symbols of Scotland, from tartan to whisky to shortbread. In between the former tenements and taverns are darkened arm-width-wide alleyways, known locally as closes.

The Basics
Because it penetrates the very heart of Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town and is home to so many of the city’s star attractions, including St Giles’ Cathedral, the Scotch Whisky Experience, and Camera Obscura, the Royal Mile is a staple on Edinburgh sightseeing tours. Classic walking tours, Harry Potter–themed tours, and tours of the underground Real Mary King’s Close all cover portions of the Royal Mile, as do hop-on hop-off and ghost bus tours. Visitors based in Glasgow can take day tours to the city to see Edinburgh’s biggest attractions, among them, of course, the Royal Mile.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Wear sturdy walking shoes as some surfaces are uneven and sloping.
  • To avoid an uphill slog, start at Edinburgh Castle and walk downhill to Holyrood Palace, then use public transport or a taxi to get back up.
  • The cobblestoned sections of the street can cause difficulty for some wheelchairs, strollers, and mobility devices.

How to Get There
The Royal Mile comprises a succession of streets, namely Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate, and Abbey Strand. It’s about a 5-minute walk from Princes Street tram station and even quicker from Edinburgh Waverley train station.

When to Get There
The Royal Mile is a much-frequented thoroughfare, and during the annual Edinburgh Festival in August, it is packed with visitors. If you can stomach the crowds, the atmosphere is truly something special with curbside entertainment courtesy of buskers and street performers.
 
Things to See on the Royal Mile
Many of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks are situated on the Royal Mile. In addition to the palace and castle at either end, you’ll find other centuries-old landmarks such as St Giles' Cathedral, the Mercat Cross, and Canongate Kirk. It’s not all dusty old attractions, though—the Royal Mile is also the setting for the contemporary Scottish Parliament Building, a striking 2004-built concrete structure whose abstract shapes and forms take inspiration from such diverse references as Scottish landscapes and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s paintings.

Tours & Tickets

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Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour, Edinburgh, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Edinburgh Shore Excursion: City Highlights Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 37 Reviews

When your cruise ship arrives in Edinburgh, get to know Scotland’s capital on this full-day shore excursion. Board a comfortable coach and enjoy a panoramic ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Ports of Call Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 139 Reviews

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Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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Edinburgh Harry Potter Walking Tour, Edinburgh, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Edinburgh Harry Potter Walking Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 7 Reviews

Take a 2-hour guided Harry Potter walking tour for a magical journey through all things wizarding in Edinburgh. See where JK Rowling was inspired to create her ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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From USD $20.25
Ghost and Gore Walking Tour of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Movie & TV Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Ghost and Gore Walking Tour of Edinburgh

4.5 star rating: Recommended 49 Reviews

There are ghoulish goings-on in the ancient city of Edinburgh on this spine-tingling 1.5-hour tour, and the city’s spirits seem more restless than ever! Head ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 80 minutes (approx.)

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Private Edinburgh City Tour in a Minibus, Edinburgh, Ghost & Vampire Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Edinburgh City Tour in a Minibus

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

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Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Walking Tour, Edinburgh, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 57 Reviews

Edinburgh Castle dominates this Scottish city of half a million people. Set on a dead volcano, the castle is an imposing sight with its thick defensive walls. ...  Read more

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

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Glencoe, Loch Ness, and The Highlands Tour from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Skip-the-Line Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Glencoe, Loch Ness, and The Highlands Tour from Edinburgh

4.5 star rating: Recommended 88 Reviews

This 12 hour tour will fit in as much of Scotland as can possibly done in one day! You will witness the stunning scenery of Glencoe and Ben Nevis before you ...  Read more

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City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Tour, Edinburgh, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 748 Reviews

With great views from the open-top double-decker bus, strategically placed tour stops and an interesting audio commentary, this City Sightseeing tour is the ...  Read more

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

From USD $20.25
Edinburgh Rail Day Trip from London including Edinburgh Castle Entry and Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Edinburgh Rail Day Trip from London including Edinburgh Castle Entry and Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

4.5 star rating: Recommended 177 Reviews

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Edinburgh Historical Walking Tour Including Skip the Line Entry to Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Edinburgh Historical Walking Tour Including Skip the Line Entry to Edinburgh Castle

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 256 Reviews

Pack in history, mystery and local flavor on this 2-hour walking tour of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. Follow an informative guide into Old ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes (approx.)

From USD $40.50

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