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Princes Street Tours

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Princes Street
Lined with shops on the north side, Princess Street is Edinburgh’s principal shopping street. To the south, this heavily trafficked thoroughfare borders the memorial-dotted Princes Street Gardens, a park overlooked by Edinburgh Castle. Princes Street is also known for being one of the principal venues for Hogmanay, Scotland’s famous New Year’s celebrations.

The Basics
With its shops, park, prominent position, historic monuments, and views out over the Old Town, Princes Street is undeniably an important lane—second in importance only to perhaps the Royal Mile. Walking tours of Edinburgh’s New Town typically follow a route down Princes Street, allowing visitors to see and, in some instances, even climb the Gothic-style Scott Monument dedicated to the famous Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott. It’s also a stop on hop-on hop-off bus routes and is even included on some Harry Potter-themed city tours, which typically pass by the lavish Balmoral Hotel, where J.K. Rowling composed the final chapters in the series. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Princes Street is a great place to people-watch and observe everyday life in the Scottish capital. 
  • The weather in Edinburgh can change quickly and without warning. Wear layers and bring an umbrella or raincoat.
  • Both Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens are wheelchair accessible. 

How to Get There
Princes Street is located in Edinburgh’s city center and is extremely well-connected. Edinburgh Waverley railway station and Princes Street tram station both provide direct access. Edinburgh Waverley offers connections to destinations all across the United Kingdom, including London.

When to Get There
Shoppers swarm Princes Street on weekends and during the lead-up to Christmas. Beat the rush of the crowds by coming early in the day. During the Christmas period, festive lights and a holiday market add to the atmosphere, while Hogmanay parties and performances are staged here over New Year’s. Princes Street Garden is at its prettiest in spring, when daffodils sprout. 

The Floral Clock
Stroll along Princes Street, specifically at West Princes Street Gardens near where it meets the Mound, between July and October to encounter the 1903 floral clock. Gardeners plant and tend the clock—which changes every year—using thousands of small, colorful blooms to create a clockface around which the electric-powered hands move.
Address: Edinburgh, Scotland
Admission: Free
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Edinburgh Rail Day Trip from London including Edinburgh Castle Entry and Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

See the sights you want to see in Edinburgh on this independent day trip from London. Travel to the Scottish capital by train, and then make use of an included Edinburgh hop-on hop-off bus tour to set your own sightseeing schedule. Visit Edinburgh Old Town; wander along the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Royal Mile; and choose to visit the St. Giles Cathedral, the National Museum of Scotland, and a whole host of other top attractions. An entrance ticket for Edinburgh Castle is also included.
  • Duration: 16 hours
  • Duration: 16 hours
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US$255.13
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Edinburgh Harry Potter Walking Tour

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.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
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Edinburgh City Tour by Glass-Roofed Convertible Mini-Coach

Ride through Edinburgh in a glass-roofed, convertible mini coach on this hop-on-hop-off tour. Learn the history, culture and traditions of this UNESCO World Heritage Site with a small group of fellow travelers, limited to 15 people or fewer. Stop by some of the area's top attractions, such as the Grassmarket, Edinburgh Castle and Edinburgh’s central university area. Hear an insider's perspective on the vibrant city via the onboard audio commentary.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
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Half A Day In Edinburgh, Your Way

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.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
US$76.93
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Walking Tour of Edinburgh's New Town

Edinburgh’s UNESCO-listed New Town is replete with innovative monuments and history: as the birthplace of seminal inventions such as the telephone and anesthesia, the New Town’s prosperous past begs to be discovered. This 2.5-hour walking tour, ideal for history enthusiasts, takes you to top attractions such as Princes Street, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and the Ross Fountain. Guide commentary reveals tales of secret Edinburgh societies, inventions of the Enlightenment period, and Edinburgh’s campaign to abolish slavery. 
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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Extended Architecture Tour of Edinburgh Old Town

Get a richer experience of Edinburgh's fascinating architecture than possible alone on this private guided tour led by a local architecture graduate. In the company of just your party and guide, learn about such native styles as Scottish Baronial, as well as foreign architectural influences on the capital's buildings, as you walk through the Old Town, along the famed Royal Mile and dipping into hidden closes (alleys) and courtyards en route to the strikingly modern Scottish Parliament Building.
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Duration: 5 hours
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Silent Disco Adventure Tour

Explore the streets of Edinburgh on this fun walking tour. As you listen to popular theme songs and hits through your headset, sing along and dance past landmarks like St. Giles' Cathedral, the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh Waverley Station, and more. This is an alternative to the traditional tour groups.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
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Private Edinburgh driving tour

If you're short on time in Edinburgh, or just arrived in the city and want to get an overview, this tour is perfect for you! In 3 hours we will explore Edinburgh's Old Town, New Town, Arthur's seat and a few hidden gems surrounding the city. There's no way to see more of Edinburgh in such little time. What's more, you'll be accompanied by a local guide who will give you not only a great insight into the history of the city, but will also give you local knowledge and let you discover aspects of Edinburgh that you won't get in the guide books.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Duration: 3 hours
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