10 FANTASTIC Edinburgh Walking Tours

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A city like Edinburgh can be seen in a few days, but its welcoming vibe and ever-changing restaurant and activity scene will make you want to spend more time there! One of the best ways to explore the city and learn more about the history and culture is through Edinburgh walking tours.

The best way to see the city, especially on the first day, is to get a guide and familiarize yourself with the surroundings. You can try free walking tours of Edinburgh, and then decide where else you want to go later on.
For inspiration on what to see and do in Edinburgh, be sure to check out our guide to 21 Unusual Things to Do in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

  • Price: £
  • Distance Covered: 1-3km
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Suitable For: All age groups and abilities except wheelchair users, and people with mobility impairments.

This tour is great to start with if you want to see Edinburgh Castle. The trip starts at the Adam Smith monument on the Royal Mile. 

As you walk closer to Edinburgh Castle, the guide will tell you about the Castle’s significance and some of the prominent figures who have lived there. They will provide skip-the-line passes as you approach the Castle, allowing you quick access to Scotland’s most popular attraction.

Once inside, they will take you on a tour of Edinburgh Castle, telling you about the Hospital Square, Western Panorama, the Argyle Battery, and more. Some other interesting things you should pay attention to are the Castle dungeons and military prison, and The Honors of Scotland, among other things.

Please note that while the tour guide will take you around the castle grounds and tell you about the castle’s three thousand years long history, they will not be able to take you into any of the castle museums. 

After the tour, you’ll be free to explore the many castle structures and museums you want and spend as much time as you need to see everything. 

Self Guided Audio Edinburgh Walking Tour

  • Price: £
  • Distance Covered: 2-3km
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Suitable For – Everyone who feels comfortable walking

This tour is perfect for adventurers that want to take their own time. You can download an MP3 audio tour and go at your own pace while visiting Edinburgh’s notable sights

Start your journey in Edinburgh Castle, where you can see St Giles’ Cathedral, the Scottish Crown Jewels, Mary King’s Close, and travel through subterranean passageways with a rich history.

Edinburgh City Chambers, The Royal Mile, Tolbooth Kirk, the George IV Bridge, Tron Kirk, and the Scottish Parliament Building are all worth seeing.

Try the tastiest haggis in Edinburgh at Deacon Brodie’s pub, a national delicacy immortalized in poetry by Robbie Burns. Don’t worry, Edinburgh has plenty of vegan haggis options!

Historic Underground Vaults Daytime Tour

  • Price: £
  • Distance Covered – 1-2km
  • Duration – 75 minutes
  • Suitable For – All age groups and abilities except people with mobility impairments, wheelchair users, and children under 5 years.

This exciting tour starts at The Mercat Cross, an eight-sided stone monument on the Royal Mile. This is an opportunity to see Underground Vaults with a Mercat historian. 

Read More: 8 Best Ghost Tours in Edinburgh: A Complete Guide

During this trip into the past, your guide will tell you about their history, tell you about their stories, and answer your questions.

You will see artifacts from the 19th century, and learn about real lives that were happening here. Hidden from the city lights, this place will spark your imagination.

Silent Disco Adventure Tour

  • Price: £
  • Distance Covered: 2-3km
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Suitable For – All age groups and abilities.

It may look weird to passers-by, but a silent disco is a very cheerful and fun experience. Silent discos have been at music festivals and parties for years now, but if you book this tour you will have the opportunity to experience it through the streets of Edinburgh.

You can join a fun crew that will take you on a song and dance adventure around Edinburgh’s historic streets. This musically guided trip intends to have you showing off your funky dances and serenading the citizens of the capital with your pop star voices.

Your hi-tech headphones will flood your body with rhythms, playing theme music and classic favorites from decades past. 

You’ll groove along the ancient streets, past iconic sites, entertainers, and the general public, after meeting up with your super-stylish guide at the starting location.

Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

  • Price: £
  • Distance Covered: 2-3km
  • Duration – 2 hours
  • Suitable For – All age groups and abilities, except people with mobility impairments.

The group meets by the statue of Adam Smith on the historic Royal Mile street. From there, your trip will take you into Edinburgh’s “Old Town,” which is known for its beautiful narrow streets, historical buildings, and pubs.

This walking tour of Edinburgh’s ancient Old Town is unique in that it covers everything from history to religion and folklore. 

As your guide takes you through Edinburgh’s lengthy history, you’ll learn about the city’s mysteries and encounter the wonderful stories it has to tell. 

Greyfriars Bobby, the Grassmarket, Edinburgh’s Mercat Cross, Harry Potter’s influences, St. Giles Cathedral, the Scottish Enlightenment, and many more topics are covered during the trip.

Read More: 7 Best Harry Potter Tours in Edinburgh

Alternative Comedy Walking Tour of Edinburgh

  • Price: £
  • Distance Covered: 2-3km
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Suitable For – older than 16.

The tour kicks off at the Monkey Barrel Comedy Club in Edinburgh’s Old Town. 

Embark on a unique journey across the city, complete with stand-up comedy and historical storytelling from your local guide.

As you stroll around the lovely alleys of this Scottish city, all of your questions and more will be answered. You will have a lot of laughs and a truly unique experience, nothing like regular walking tours.

Because the tour contains mature comedy and foul language, it is only suitable for those aged 16 and over. 

3-Hour Guided Walking Tour of Edinburgh

  • Price: £
  • Distance Covered: 3-4km
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Suitable For: All ages and abilities

On a small and private walking tour given by one of Edinburgh’s most informed natives, learn about the city’s historical, cultural, and architectural history. 

Dr. Alison Duncan, Scotland specialist and professional historian, or Stuart or Richard Usher, of Scotland’s famed and ancient House of Usher, will accompany you around this magnificent city. 

Many of the city’s features, such as Usher Hall and Edinburgh Castle, you will see on this walking tour. You’ll take a stroll down the Royal Mile, see the inside of St. Giles Cathedral, and see some of Edinburgh’s most iconic sights.

Your guide will also take you on a tour of the National Galleries of Scotland and the Mound. Paintings of masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, and others may be seen in the gallery. 

Private Customizable Edinburgh Tour With a Local

  • Price: £££
  • Distance Covered: 1-5km
  • Duration: 3-8 hours
  • Suitable For: All ages and abilities, wheelchair accessible.

This is the best option for anyone who wants to experience everything Edinburgh has to offer in a day with a local guide.

You will be contacted within 24 hours of booking this session with questions about your preferences and interests. They will match you with a guide that is enthusiastic about the city and will best explain the city and its culture to you.

A customized itinerary will be created for you based on the things you want to see and do. Even during the tour, you can choose to change directions or see something you did not previously plan to.

The People’s Walking Tour

  • Price: £££
  • Distance Covered: 2-5km
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Suitable For: All ages and abilities

Learn about the individuals who have lived in Edinburgh over the years by joining a walking tour.

The city has always been home to a diverse mix of characters, from candlemakers to witches, monarchs, and poets, and their experiences have molded the city into the dynamic location it is today.

A knowledgeable local guide will take you on a tour of Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns, where you will be able to take in panoramic views and hear stories from residents who have lived here in the past and present.

Free Walking Tour: The Original Free Tour of Edinburgh

  • Price: £
  • Distance Covered: 2-3km
  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Suitable For: All age groups and abilities except wheelchair users, and people with mobility impairments

Going on free walking tours of Edinburgh is great, especially if you want to save money. After the tour, you just have to tip the guide, which is much more affordable than paying for the tour and tipping as well. The best part is that you are not getting anything less than on the paid tour.

On this tour, your guide will take you along small alleyways and explain the history of this beautiful city in an interesting manner. Along the way, you’ll see some spectacular sights you can come back to later if you want to explore more or take pictures.

You’ll hear stories about the English monarchs and how the Edinburgh citizens expressed their feelings about them as you walk around Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and many other must-see locations in the city. 

You’ll also learn about remarkable men and women like William Wallace and the Stone of Destiny, as well as the true story of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.

Edinburgh Walking Tours FAQ

Where to find the best Edinburgh walking tours?

If you are staying in a hotel or a hostel you might want to check out the reception if they are offering any tours. If not, then go on websites like Viator or Get Your Guide to book the best-rated tours.

Are the free walking tours of Edinburgh worth it?

Absolutely, you get the best preview of the city with a walking tour. After that, you can go exploring on your own.

Are there any cool spots for taking photos?

Edinburg is very picturesque. You can check out this guide for the best Edinburgh Photography Spots.

Keep Exploring Edinburgh

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