Guided tour

Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

Activity provider: The Real Mary King's Close
Likely to sell out

From US$ 24.56 per person

Likely to sell out

Explore Edinburgh’s hidden history beneath the Royal Mile on a fully-guided tour of the Real Mary King's Close. Discover what it was really like for the people who lived, worked, and died on the Close.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details. Learn more
Duration 1 hour
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • Discover Edinburgh's only preserved 17th-century street
  • Follow former residents and uncover their real stories
  • Experience over 400 years of history
  • Relax in the Burgh Courtroom with speciality drinks
  • Explore all things Mary King in the gift shop
Full description

Step down into Edinburgh’s hidden history at The Real Mary King’s Close, voted Scotland’s Best Heritage Tourism Experience. Discover over 400 years of history and learn about the intriguing stories of Edinburgh’s past residents. 

From the deadly plague epidemic to a famous royal visitor, there is a myriad of tales just waiting to be told. Journey through time and find out why the Close, once open to the skies and bustling with trade, came to be underground. 

An experience rooted in social history, this 1-hour character-guided tour also includes an immersive walk-through of the city’s uniquely preserved streets and spaces, all located underneath Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. Expect a truly unique glimpse into the city’s past. 

  • Entrance fee to the Real Mary King's Close
  • Food and drinks
  • Photographs
Not suitable for
  • Children under 5 years
  • People with claustrophobia
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions

You must book this activity online because the ticket office is closed

Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds

Select participants and date



Meeting point

2 Warriston's Close, Royal Mile, High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1PG.

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Important information

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Cameras
  • Smoking
  • Intoxication
  • Unaccompanied minors

Know before you go

  • The Real Mary King's Close is unsuitable for wheelchair access
  • Due to uneven surfaces and some steep inclines, sturdy footwear is recommended
  • There are 58 steps to climb down and 38 to climb up as part of the tour
  • Many areas are dimly lit, and some visitors may experience disorientation or claustrophobia
  • Due to the site’s underground nature, visitors with asthma are advised to bring any medication/inhalers
  • For health and safety reasons, children under 5 years old cannot be admitted. Children under 16 years old should be accompanied by an adult
  • Visitors under the influence of alcohol will not be permitted
  • Tour guides are equipped with a radio, so any visitor needing to leave may do so under escort from the duty manager
  • No photography is permitted during the tour
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 1021 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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Fantastic, and surprising. I’ve been on a few tours now and this one was NOT hokey like some of the others! Tour guide was Madison and she had a great manner. I especially liked her clothing, and the way she spoke. The portraits were a nice touch! As a history graduate, I was awed to see this part of Edinburgh’s underground history, which can’t be accessed on your own due to the need for preservation. To walk this hidden Close, to see these amazingly preserved areas and to hear the true history - not the myth we’ve all been told - was a privilege. Would definitely recommend.

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September 19, 2022

It is curious to see. They explain a part of their history. However, it did not seem correct to me that they indicated that they gave us an Audio guide and when we got there you had to download an application, have your own headphones, have data on your mobile and the tour started without waiting for us, although we arrived early enough. Finally, after complaining, they gave us some Audio Guides in Spanish that they had saved.

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August 18, 2022

A beautiful immersion in the depths of the city of Edinburgh. We used audio guides, not sure we had done the same visit as the guide in English (in terms of anecdotes) but these allowed us to understand life in the "closes". A very nice discovery, to be made without hesitation.

July 15, 2022

Product ID: 76378