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

Awesome, very informative and well worth it

Alistair was great in spite of having to contend with a particularly rude french couple

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour Reviewed by Jonathan, 04/11/2019

Excellent option. Informative and affordable

The buses run frequently and you really can hop on and off. The guides, real people, are knowledgeable and very helpful ensuring we didn’t miss the long history of Edinburgh. All questions were answered and they were so engaging made you excited about history. The drivers moved at an appropriate pace so that you could take in the commentary. We will certainly be using this service on our next trip.

Perfectly tailored to our expectations...

Our guide, Gordon, was personable, funny and interesting and knew an incredible amount about the history of Edinburgh and Scotland. He started by asking us exactly what we hoped to get out of the tour and adapted as required. We were full of questions and he always knew the answers as well as having many interesting or amusing anecdotes that made the tour more interesting than being told a stream of dates and facts. We had a tremendous time and couldn't have asked for a better guide. Thanks Gordon!

Edinburgh: Private Guided Walking Tour Reviewed by Lulu, 04/04/2019

So pleased we got a 48hour ticket with excursions included

So pleased we got a 48 hour ticket with excursions included. Saw parts of the city we would never have walked too. Guide very knowledgeable.

Fantastic way to see the sights of Edinburgh.

Great value, well organised, friendly & helpful staff. A relaxing way of sightseeing in comfort. Live commentary by Ian was particularly entertaining. The headphones provided by drivers were very comfortable. Buses arrived promptly & were clean & modern. Fast track tickets to 3 venues very useful. Our favourite was Royal Yacht Britannia, especially the afternoon tea! We would highly recommend it!

Things to do near Edinburgh Castle