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
4.7 / 5
based on 7,567 reviews

Extremely informative and very interesting. Well worth the money

This tour was so interesting and given with such enthusiasm by the guide. I would recommend this to anybody visiting the castle the only problem was trying to retain the information given. My advise would be to do the tour early in the day to give you sufficient time to look around after it is complete. We did it at 13:30 and had to be away by 16:00 which meant we couldn't enjoy the museum etc. So will have to go back another time.

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour Reviewed by

Excellent tour brings some life and excitement to the experience

The guide (Australian David) was terrific, engaging and brought the tour to life. Lots of great information and amusing antidotes. Well worth the cost.

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour Reviewed by

The visit to the castle is not to be missed!

The castle of Edinburgh is really beautiful and interesting to visit, the entrance ticket we bought brought us directly inside the walls without waiting at the ticket offices. Even if the guide in the ticket price was not included, every 20 minutes a free guide starts from the inner courtyard and gathers groups of people who wish to hear the history of the castle. All very well organized, don't miss it!

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by

On time, informative, very easy to access

Buying the tickets was easy, the details given were very explicit. The tour was informative and allowed us to do exactly as we had planned.

The experience was fun, informative, professional, thorough, and frien

Marcia B was a joy to have as a tour guide. She made the whole experience, from the central meeting point to the top of the castle grounds, a fun and educational couple of hours. She was knowledgeable about her subject matter but kept it light and interesting. If we had walked around on our own, we would have missed many important points and would have missed all the historical data.

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour Reviewed by

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