Edinburgh Castle
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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

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

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

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.

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

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.


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

Great. But you could have included the option of the other 2 bus tours

It was great, but have to pay extra for the other two bus tours that were not included in the city seeing tour I purchased.

Great, truely fell in love with Edinburgh, thank you!

Great way to see places when you don't have much time! Good friendly and helpful staff!

The Castle is a wonderful place to visit with this tour

Australian David was our guide on a Sunday afternoon, a busy time in the castle but his experience as a tour guide kept the group together as he herded is to quieter zones. He knows his history of Edinburgh and kept us entertained with facts and fun stories. Recommended

Edinburgh Castle Skip-the-Line Ticket and Tour Reviewed by Cormac, 06/04/2018

Brilliant experience. Great organisation and services.

Extremely enjoyable trips. Very well organised. Loved the trips on the buses, loved live guide, tonnes of interesting information. Loads to see and visit. Amazing memories. Good value for money.

Royal Edinburgh 48-Hour Attractions Ticket Reviewed by Diana, 06/03/2018

Informative guide - easy and straightforward

Straight into the castle no queuing. Guide was informative, funny and passionate about her role. A very enjoyable visit, highly recommend.

Edinburgh Castle Skip-the-Line Ticket and Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 06/01/2018

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