Edinburgh Castle
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Edinburgh Castle: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Edinburgh Castle

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

Professional and very nice, considerate staff. Historic milestone!

I took the hop on hop off red buses to visit the Edinburgh Castle. The bus stop is very close by and the drivers are super willing, always there to answer our sometimes funny/obvious questions. The Castle is amazing, not only for it's geographical position but above all for the history. The staff by the gates were smiling and sincerely welcoming, something we cannot spot easily as we travel around the world. A special thank you for them all. Enjoyed the Jacobite Room too. Nicely mannered staff, great soup, amzing views.

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by Maria, 10/05/2018

Excellent trip! Loved every minute of it!

Exploring Edinburgh Castle was such a pivotal aspect of exploring the beautiful city. Perfect for family fun! The sheer beauty of the architectural ruins will not cease to amaze you! This trip cannot be missed! Lots of museums situated within the castle walls and lovely gift shops! Such a wonderful experience!

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by Sara, 09/17/2018

We had a great guide which added to the enjoyment

We did 2 routes which took you to all the important sites. We had a live guide (Keir)who was an excellent and funny young man who brought real life to the Edinburgh tour. The majestic tour was not so good as we had ear phones which didn’t work very efficiently and not having the benefit of a live guide actually detracted from the tour and contact with the driver.

Royal Edinburgh 48-Hour Attractions Ticket Reviewed by Pam, 09/10/2018

Worth the trek to the top - wonderful history lesson; loved it !!

No visit to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to the Castle. Make sure you give the visit at least two hours - there is so much to take in. The views across the city to the Firth of Forth will take your breath away, and the history of Scotland’s Royals is so interesting.

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by Jan, 08/22/2018

Very interesting castle with lots of history.

Extremely busy when we were there, it was a good idea to have the timed tickets or standing in the long line would have wasted a lot of time. I highly recommend getting tickets online before going. We also walked down to Holyrood Palace and it wasn't nearly as crowded but was well worth visiting.

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by Carol, 08/08/2018

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