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
4.6 / 5
based on 10,123 reviews

A lovely walk round old town of Edinburgh. The lady who took us on the walk, Alison, knew alot of history and was very friendly, 3 hours was unfortunately not enough time to enjoy all. if i come visit Edinburgh again i would definitely think about booking again. The only down side was that it was raining and cold but that didn't stop us.

Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour Reviewed by

Mr. Usher is an amazing guide, knows many amazing details about the history of the city, very Scottish and interested for people that is first time changes visiting the UK and Scotland, gave me recommendations about different places to visit in detail and was a great experience, super recommended!

Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour Reviewed by

Captivating! We had a wonderful 3-hour walking tour of the Edinburgh old town with Richard despite a very cold and snowy day. Very impressed with Richard knowledge and his storytelling was captivating. We highly recommend this tour!

Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour Reviewed by

It is a two hour tour with an extremely well informed and helpful guide. Gwen went over and above what we had hoped she would tell us about. Lots of gems of information from a passionate Edinburgh born and bred lady. Thank you.

Stephanie (I hope I got the name correct) was such a nice story teller, we were enjoying every minute of the tour. She managed to cover all of the important information with a joyful attitude.

Edinburgh: Old Town Historical Walking Tour Reviewed by