Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Royal Mile, Edinburgh: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

1. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy a Harry Potter-themed walking tour across Edinburgh. See the city where JK Rowling found inspiration for Hogwarts, her famous characters, and discover the place where she wrote the books. Have your Harry Potter trivia tested with an audio-visual quiz, and earn points for your house. Find out which Hogwarts House you’re in, and whether you’re a pure-blood, a muggle, or a squib. Visit the Grave of Tom Riddle in Greyfriars Kirkyard, and pass JK Rowling’s golden handprints outside City Chambers. See all this and more on a magical guided tour.

Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour

2. Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour

Wander through Edinburgh's Old Town and explore the infamous Edinburgh Vaults on a bone-chilling guided tour that uncovers the city's torturous past and a haunted present. Take to Edinburgh's historic streets and listen as your guide tells you tales of the city's dark and gruesome history as you are led along the Royal Mile on cobblestone streets. Hear stories of murder, hangings, and even witchcraft.  Venture below ground and enter the city vaults, one of Edinburgh's most haunted sites. Hear stories of stomach-churning medieval torture devices, for those with a strong enough constitution to learn about times gone by.  Discover why the vaults have often been regarded as one of the scariest places on earth by paranormal experts. Get to know the history of the site and the ghosts that frequent it.

Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

3. Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

This guided walking tour takes you beneath the streets of Edinburgh's Old Town into a dimly lit space that many considered to be haunted. Your tour visits the vaults of the South Bridge that date back to the 1700s. These are the same vaults mentioned on Most Haunted Live as one of the scariest places on earth. Learn how the vaults have been used over the years, the living conditions endured by the poor and homeless residents, and the spirits that are supposed to haunt them. The darker side of Edinburgh's history will unfold as you wander through the candle-lit underground area. From your guide, you'll hear about the Burke and Hare murders and the persecution of witches. Discover the characters who stalked the streets of Edinburgh, and the paranormal stories associated with the vaults. The Haunted Vaults tour option will cover slightly more paranormal and ghost stories. Step into the torture exhibition and explore how and why these items were used.

Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle Guided Tour w/ Fast-Track Entry

4. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle Guided Tour w/ Fast-Track Entry

Begin your tour by the statue of Adam Smith on the Royal Mile. Walk towards Edinburgh Castle as your guide sets the scene, explaining the significance of the Castle and mentioning some of the key characters who have helped shape it. Once inside, let your guide walk you through the Castle complex. Hear their in-depth knowledge of the Castle's main buildings and attractions, including the Argyle Battery and One O'clock Gun, the Hospital Square and Western Panorama. See the Castle dungeons and military prison, the Black Banquet and Thomas Randolph's daring castle raid. Encounter St Margret's Chapel, Mons Meg, the Crown Square, and The Honors of Scotland. After the tour, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore the castle museums (not accessible during the tour).

Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

5. Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

Step down into Edinburgh’s hidden history at The Real Mary King’s Close, voted Scotland’s Best Heritage Tourism Experience. Discover over 400 years of history and learn about the intriguing stories of Edinburgh’s past residents.  From the deadly plague epidemic to a famous royal visitor, there is a myriad of tales just waiting to be told. Journey through time and find out why the Close, once open to the skies and bustling with trade, came to be underground.  An experience rooted in social history, this 1-hour character-guided tour also includes an immersive walk-through of the city’s uniquely preserved streets and spaces, all located underneath Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. Expect a truly unique glimpse into the city’s past. 

Edinburgh: Late-Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

6. Edinburgh: Late-Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

Join this late-night guided walking tour in English of Edinburgh to discover the city’s darkest and most frightening experience. Hear ghost stories of the city told above and below the ground of the Royal Mile. Walk through the famous wynds and closes of the Royal Mile, learning about the horrific living conditions of the population that once lived in these underground rooms. Listen to stories from your guide about murderers who roamed the streets and snatched bodies to sell to medical schools at the time. Then, hear stories of the scratching hauntress who leaves marks on her victims. Witness torture exhibits and learn how these devices were used in times gone by. Finally, go to the home of “The Watcher” ghost, and see the infamous stone circle vault, still decorated with pentagrams and spiritual symbols.

Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour with Greyfriars Kirkyard

7. Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour with Greyfriars Kirkyard

Take to the historic streets of Edinburgh's Old Town, visit the Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard, and explore the infamous Edinburgh Vaults on a bone-chilling guided tour that uncovers the city's torturous past and a haunted present. Listen as your guide tells you tales of the city's dark and gruesome history as you are led along the Royal Mile on cobblestone streets. Hear stories of murder, hangings, and even witchcraft.  Stop at what is regarded as the most haunted graveyard in the world at Greyfriars Kirkyard and discover the legend of Greyfriars Bobby. Venture below ground and enter the city vaults where medieval torture exhibitions await those with a strong enough stomach to learn how these devices were used in times gone by.  Experience why the vaults have often been regarded as one of the scariest places on earth by paranormal experts. Get to know the history of the site and the ghosts that frequent it.

Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

8. Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

Join a guided walking tour to Greyfriars Graveyard and learn about one of Edinburgh's most famous canine residents and hear stories about notorious criminals. See Gothic mausoleums and learn about notable burials as you explore the grim history of the cemetery. Continue with a visit to the nearby Edinburgh Vaults, located in the arches of South Bridge. Hear about regular paranormal occurrences and how some of the characters from history have never really left. Discover the former home of the destitute, witches and a hellfire club, and hear how the haunted vault is now possessed by something truly evil.

Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour

9. Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour

Explore Edinburgh's ghostly past on a guided tour through the streets of the Old Town and its underground vaults. Listen as your cloaked guide tells you tales of the city's dark and grim past as you are led along the Royal Mile. If you dare, step into the narrow alleyways, which are only a few feet wide. Make your way to the South Bridge, and head underneath, where Edinburgh's Vaults are located. Once storage areas for businesses and shops in the area, the vaults were taken over in the late 1700s and turned into living spaces. Eventually, the area became home to slums and the city's red-light district. As you walk through these now-vacant rooms, you will hear tales of the deplorable living conditions, as well as of the crime that once raged through the vaults. When you emerge from the underground, consider yourself lucky that it isn't in the dead of night.

Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Ticket

10. Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Ticket

Wander the opulent state rooms and lavish gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, His Majesty The King's official Scottish residence, located at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Once inside the baroque palace, learn about its close associations with Scotland's history via a complimentary multimedia guide (available in 9 languages). Visit the State Apartments to see the changing tastes of successive monarchs. Marvel at fine plasterwork ceilings and Brussels tapestries, along with paintings and other artworks in rooms still used by the King and Royal Family for official ceremonies. Go to the Throne Room to see where lunch was served to the Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Thistle when a new knight was installed. Discover where the King holds his private audiences in the Morning Drawing Room. Continue to the Great Gallery, where Scottish residents named in the New Year’s Honours List or Kings Birthday Honours List receive their award at an Investiture ceremony. Admire Jacob de Wet's portraits of real and legendary kings of Scotland in the Great Gallery, the largest room in the palace. Learn about dramatic events from Scotland’s history in Mary Queen of Scots' historic chambers, where she witnessed the brutal murder of her secretary, Rizzio, by her jealous husband, Lord Darnley. At the end of your multimedia tour, enjoy a refreshing drink or light lunch (own expense) at the Café at the Palace.

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What people are saying about Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 42,005 reviews

Great introduction to the history of the castle and a great tour of the castle itself. Our guide Angus was excellent, a great story roller and clearly passionate about his job. We also enjoyed his humour!

A really interesting tour led by Jo, she was very enthusiastic and made the tour very enjoyable. we would definitely recommend.

Worth the visit. Interesting place with rich and sensational history. The multimedia was helpful and insightful.

Väldigt givande och intressant tur. De tre timmarna flög fram! Kan varmt rekommendera.

This is a great family experience, Fun anad informative.