Edinburgh Castle
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Edinburgh Castle: Tours & Tickets

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Top sights in Edinburgh

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Find the Best View of Edinburgh Castle

If you're looking for picturesque, you'll love Edinburgh. The cityscape of the Scottish capital is a feast for the eyes, topped by the imposing Edinburgh Castle at its highest point. To get the best view of this beautiful city, head to these five points.

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

One of the oldest public parks in Scotland, Calton Hill is a local favorite. It's also an easy climb – in just five minutes, you'll be able enjoy the spectacular views.

Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens

This lovely, perfectly-maintained public garden offers a breathtaking view of the castle from below. Just head to the Ross Fountain to the West and look up, you'll be amazed.

Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat

A dormant volcano sitting 251m above sea level, Arthur's Seat offers a magnificent aerial view of the city and castle. Be sure to check out the historic fort there, too.

Blackford Hill
Photo: Tai Kedzierski @flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Blackford Hill

It may not be as famous as Calton Hill or Arthur's Seat, but Blackford Hill has views that are just as gorgeous. It's also home to the Royal Observatory, a favorite of astronomy lovers.

Dorothy's Eye View

Dorothy's Eye View

This view of the castle inspired George Gibson to paint the Emerald City from Wizard of Oz. Head to the corner of Bread Street and Spittal Street and behold: Emerald City!

Our insider tips

Sunset over Edinburgh Castle

For a view that you'll remember for the rest of your life, watch the sun set over Edinburgh Castle. The best spots for this are Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill, both located to the East of the city center. The deep-red sun, the colors in the sky, and the black silhouette of the castle come together in an absolutely magnificent panorama.

Fireworks

If you're lucky enough to be in Edinburgh when there are fireworks going off over Edinburgh Castle, for example on Hogmanay or at the end of the Edinburgh Festival, then make sure to head to one of these viewpoints to admire the show and snap some amazing photographs. Princes Street Gardens and Calton Hill are likely to be the most popular spots to watch the fireworks, so if you're looking for a less crowded experience, Blackford Hill and Arthur's Seat are better bets.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Opening hours from 9:30AM - 6PM year-round, except for December 25th and 26th.
  • Is it expensive?
    Free to look at from the outside, £17 for adult entry.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Only if you want one.
  • How to get there
    Hop-on-hop-off buses stop at the Castle. You can make your own way by taking bus 24 to Waverly Bridge and walking.
  • Additional information

    • It never hurts to carry an umbrella when in Scotland!

    • Since you'll be climbing hills, good walking shoes are a must.

What people are saying about Edinburgh Castle

Overall rating
4.7 / 5
based on 8,069 reviews

The best historical tour experience of any castle I have seen.

My tour guide was exceptional! He was very engaging and made sure our money was well spent. It only cost us £10 more to get the tour guide than a self-guided tour of a castle and it was the best £10 I have ever spent! I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see Edinburgh’s must-see castle and have a better understanding of its historical context. The stories told regarding everything in the castle were very entertaining, interesting, and mind-boggling. You must know the history of the castle to get the full experience and understand its architecture. Definitely worth it!

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour Reviewed by

The best way to start your visit at a spesific destination!

We bought a 48-hour Hop-on-hop-off Bus-pass and took full advantage of all the routes (red, green & blue). After doing the Red-route first, you can decide what you want to do/see and when. This is so easy! Information via audio-phone and/or live commentary, is excellent and we learnt so much! This Pass even included entrance-tickets to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace as well as the Royal Yacht Brittania in Leith Harbour, just wonderfull! Don't hesitate, just do it!

A great way to learn the history and experience the sights of Edinbur.

Very informative tours of all the sights of Edinburgh. My third trip using this service and it has improved so much. An excellent service for anyone with walking difficulties as the hilly terrain could be taxing. Enjoyed it immensely but would have liked more than 24 hours to see the sights. We were stuck in traffic due to the Royal Garden Party so missed seeing the gallery. We would have no hesitation in recommending this trip to other visitors.

Extremely informative and very interesting. Well worth the money

This tour was so interesting and given with such enthusiasm by the guide. I would recommend this to anybody visiting the castle the only problem was trying to retain the information given. My advise would be to do the tour early in the day to give you sufficient time to look around after it is complete. We did it at 13:30 and had to be away by 16:00 which meant we couldn't enjoy the museum etc. So will have to go back another time.

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour Reviewed by

The tour was good. The walk to the castle wasn't.

Our guide, Jen, was great. Informative, funny, and seemed to be enjoying her work. I was less than happy with starting the walk to the castle so far away and at a pace that my wife and I had trouble keeping up with. According to the description of the tour, the walk was supposed to offer an opportunity for the guide to present background on the castle and the tour but it just turned out to be a speed walk to the castle.

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour Reviewed by

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