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

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

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, 17/09/2018

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, 10/09/2018

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, 22/08/2018

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

Wow wonderful castle with lots of history. Worth visiting

Got our ticket codes as soon as we booked it. Easy to use and quick entrance to the castle no need to stand in a long queue. Great saving. We got discount too for the car park next to the castle (Castle Terrace Car Park)£10 for up to 12 hours stay so bargain. We spent in the castle 5 hours walking around and fact finding. Audio guide great thing. Our 7 year old wasn’t moaning at all and she is the impatient one. Great day, good weather, wonderful experience :-)

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by Diana, 02/08/2018

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