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.

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

Great guide on this tour - very knowledgeable

This was a very enjoyable tour and easy to get to from our hotel ! the only thing that could of been better was the weather - it was a very cold drizzly day

Edinburgh Castle Skip-the-Line Ticket and Tour Reviewed by Jennifer, 04/16/2018

Very good and helpful it’s a must for your first day

Very good tour shame the buses stop at 6pm a little annoying as you think they are 24hrs would be nice if they went on till a little later. But tour was very helpful to get to know where you are and about the history of where we are. Thank you

A very nice and informative way to see the castle!

The guide, Richard, was very talented and nice. He knew a lot and told us so much in a very interesting way. He was easy to understand and he was also funny! We highly recommend this guide! Many thanks!

Edinburgh Castle Skip-the-Line Ticket and Tour Reviewed by Ulrika, 04/07/2018

Stunning views, historical landmark and a Scottish guide

We were lucky with the weather, sunny day and blue skies (although bitterly cold) made for fantastic 360 degree views of the city. The guided tour was short but worth doing, with the added bonus of the guide being Scottish with a sense of humour to match!

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by Emer, 04/06/2018

2Day ticket to explore and visit 3 topics is a must for first visit

To start and explore Edingburgh first time it’s a good start to take the busses who will guide you through the wonderful city. A lot of things to see and try out, will come back!

Royal Edinburgh 48-Hour Attractions Ticket Reviewed by Chantal, 04/03/2018

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