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Edinburgh Unwrapped

Edinburgh Unwrapped

walks tours edinburgh

Edinburgh Walking Tours

Take a guided Edinburgh walking tour to discover the city's history, stories and hidden gems.

walks tours edinburgh

Outlander Private Walking Tour - walk in Jamie and Claire's footsteps to follow their story and discover life in 18th century Edinburgh.

Walking Tours of Edinburgh & Self Drive Tours of Scotland

Enjoy a private guided walking tour of Edinburgh with Elspeth, a friendly, qualified and experienced local Scottish guide. Your tour of Edinburgh is specially designed and created just for you. This means you’ll have a unique guided walk, which will fit in with the time you have available, and your own personal interests.

Alternatively, scheduled public small-group tours are also available to join. These group tours follow a set route to see key locations, historic highlights and hidden gems.

If you’re not sure what you want – don’t worry I’m here to help and advise you. You’ll find that a walking tour is the best possible way to see the historic city centre. Whatever type of walking tour of Edinburgh you decide to take, my aim is to make it a truly unforgettable experience. Together we’ll explore places you might have easily passed by. During your Edinburgh walking tour we’ll uncover the stories, rich history and fascinating facts about the city, its people and its buildings.

Palace of Holyrood House on Walking Tour Edinburgh

About Your Edinburgh Tour Guide

Elspeth McLean your guide on Walking Tour Edinburgh

Your Edinburgh walking tour will be guided by me, Elspeth McLean, the founder of Edinburgh Unwrapped. I’m a professional tour guide who has been connected with Edinburgh nearly all my life. So this gives me a real insight into Edinburgh’s culture and history. I’m also an accredited member of the Highlands of Scotland Tour Guide Association. As a result, you can trust that even my most incredible stories of Edinburgh’s colourful characters and historic past are authentic and true. During your walking tour I’ll share my enthusiasm and knowledge of Scotland and Edinburgh in a fun and informative way. Along our route you’ll find out about our local history, culture, legends and secrets. Find out more about Elspeth…

Self-Drive Tours of Scotland

If you’d like to discover more of Scotland, we also offer tailored self-drive tours. You can expect the same level of individual attention to create your ideal Scottish holiday planned just for you. Find out more on our Tailored Self-Drive Tours Page.

Speyside Distillery on Scotland Self-Drive Tour

Featured Tours

Old Town on Edinburgh Unwrapped Royal Mile Stories & Secrets Walking Tour

The Royal Mile Stories & Secrets Small Group Walking Tour

This small group walking tour will follow the route of the ancient Royal Mile. Discover its unique history, stories of its colourful characters and its hidden secrets.

walks tours edinburgh

A Tale of Two Cities Private Tour

Highlights and hidden gems of the Old Town and New Town. Discover the best of both worlds & the two different sides of Edinburgh's split personality.

walks tours edinburgh

Outlander Private Walking Tour

Come with me as we follow in the footsteps of Jamie and Claire, immersing ourselves in the atmosphere and history of 18th century Edinburgh.

walks tours edinburgh

Customised Edinburgh Tours

Unique tailored tours created just for you because one size does not fit all.

Latest Posts

walks tours edinburgh

Moray House: A Wedding, 4 Executions and the end of an “auld sang”

21st May 2024

Old Moray House has been right at the heart of some of Scotland’s key historical moments. Uncover its rich past and the stories it has to tell.

walks tours edinburgh

11 Top Insider Tips to Get the Best out of your Trip to Edinburgh

30th June 2022

Make sure you get the best out of your trip to Edinburgh, whatever time of year you come. Here are some of my insider tips to help you plan and make the most of your city break.

walks tours edinburgh

Two of Edinburgh’s Most Popular Historic Stories

28th February 2022

This year we are celebrating Scotland’s ‘Year of Stories’. What better place to discover historic myths and legends than on a tour in Edinburgh? Find out two of Edinburgh’s most popular historic stories.

What our customers say

Elspeth’s stories were so interesting and funny and I experienced for the first time in my life how enjoyable sightseeing can be. It was very easy to follow Elspeth and I really liked her knowledge and charisma. She had the perfect mix of information and stories about people’s lives that we found interesting.

Elspeth delighted us all with incredible stories of royalty, criminals, architecture, battles, scandals, fortunes won and lost, murder and marriages! Some terrifying, some hilarious; all of them fascinating.

Elspeth’s tour is so great, I learned a lot and I will miss my slice of Edinburgh life. Edinburgh is an amazing and fantastic city and I will recommend to anyone who would like to learn about the city in such a friendly environment with Elspeth. Especially people who are really into Harry Potter or studying literature or history.

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42A Saughton Crescent Edinburgh EH12 5SH

We are an Edinburgh Tour company offering private and group walking tours of Edinburgh. We also plan amazing self-drive tours of Scotland tailored for you.

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Self-Guided Edinburgh Walking Tour

walks tours edinburgh

This post is a free, self-guided tour of Edinburgh, along with a map and route, put together by local tour guides for Free Tours by Foot.  

You can expect to walk nearly 2 miles or just over 3.2 kilometres.

Below is the abridged version. You can get the full version with directions by downloading this map, PDF version , or downloading our audio tour (see below).

Edinburgh Walking Tour Map

Click the map to enlarge it or to download it to your smartphone.

GPS-Enabled Audio Tour

We also offer an audio tour of historic Edinburgh, researched, written, and recorded by one of our own tour guides.

Here’s a sample.

Purchase our Audio Tour of Edinburgh

Additionally, you can also take free guided walking tours that run multiple times each day. These tours are in reality pay-what-you-wish tours.

Edinburgh is one of the most historic cities in Scotland and the entire United Kingdom.

In addition to its medieval history, this city’s history of education and learning has also affected our modern lives.

Whether it be the contributions that Adam Smith made to our modern understanding of a free market economy or the inspiration pulled from Edinburgh for the Harry Potter series, the people and the atmosphere of this city have contributed to the world in many important ways.

This tour will lead you through some of the most influential and popular landmarks in Edinburgh with plenty of sightseeing on the way.

In addition to historic sites, I’ll also point out some options for food, museums, art, and other ways to make the most of your time in Edinburgh.

This tour will begin at Edinburgh Castle and continue downhill, mostly following the Royal Mile, with a few turns onto other streets.

Once you’ve made your way to the castle gates, you’ll be ready to begin this tour.

Edinburgh Castle

This is the most historically significant landmark in all of Edinburgh, and there have been people living in the area since around the second century CE.

Edinburgh Castle

The castle itself became a royal residence in 1124, and it has been through a total of 26 sieges throughout its history.

This makes Edinburgh Castle the most besieged location in Scotland and one of the most attacked structures in the whole world.

This is the home of the Honours of Scotland, also known as the Scottish Crown Jewels. Entry is ticketed, and you can visit every day of the year.

The Castle is open from 9:30 am - 18:00 (6 pm) daily from April - September and from 9:30 am - 17:00 (5 pm) daily from October - March.

Tickets are £17.50 for Adults, £14 for Seniors and Unemployed, and £10.50 for Children. Visit the website .

Kids under 5 get in for free with an Adult. Alternatively, you can save money on tickets using either the Edinburgh Explorer Pass or the Royal Edinburgh Ticket.

We also offer a 25-stop audio tour of historic Edinburgh, researched, written, and recorded by one of our own tour guides, that you could take whenever you wish.

  • Purchase an audio tour (£2.30)
  • Get a confirmation email with .mp3, pdf, and embeddable Google Map
  • Enjoy the tour(s).

Edinburgh Castle Map

The Witches’ Well

This monument was erected in memory of the more than 4,000 alleged witches who were burned at the stake in front of Edinburgh Castle from the 15th - 18th century.

The Witches Well

The plaque features symbolic imagery including a foxglove plant which represents the use of herbal medicine, two heads representing evil and good, and a snake that is representative of both treachery and wisdom.

Many in Edinburgh would like to see an even better memorial, as this one is fairly small and has fallen into disrepair.

Castlehill Attractions

Castlehill is filled with notable attractions, but there are three, in particular, you may want to visit:

  • The Scotch Whiskey Experience
  • The Witchery
  • Camera Obscura & The World of Illusions

The Scotch Whiskey Experience has one of the largest collections of Scotch Whiskey in the world, and it also has a ride that allows you to experience how this drink is made.

Scotch Whiskey Experience

The Witchery is an interesting restaurant with 9 theatrical suites that are designed to look medieval. Although prices are high, this is a very popular location for tourists.

Camera Obscura & The World of Illusions is a family-friendly attraction with multiple interactive exhibitions.

It's also home to the Camera Obscura, which reportedly projected moving images 40 years before the motion picture was invented.

Princes Street Gardens & Museums

These beautiful gardens are located right alongside Edinburgh Castle, and there are a lot of great monuments to see in the area.

This is also the location where several local events and festivals take place every year.

Princes Street Gardens

Located across from the Prince Street Gardens, the Scottish National Gallery and Royal Scottish Academy are both beautiful art museums which you can visit for free.

The Scottish National Gallery is especially worthy of a visit because it houses works by Raphael, Claude Monet, and Paul Gauguin.

walks tours edinburgh

Museum on the Mound

This is the Head Office of the Bank of Scotland, and it was originally built in 1806.

Although it’s still used by the bank, there is also an interesting museum inside which is free to visit.

Museum on the Mound

The museum focuses on the history of economics in Edinburgh, as well as the money and coinage used in the city over many centuries.

One of the most interesting exhibits is a £1 million note from the Bank of England.

The Museum on the Mound is open from Tuesday - Friday from 10 am - 17:00 (5 pm).

It’s also open on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 13:00 (1 pm) to 17:00 (5 pm), and admission is free.

The Writer’s Museum

Housed in a historic building known as Lady Stair’s Close, this museum is dedicated to the lives and works of 3 well-known and beloved Scottish writers: Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Robert Burns is known for poems like Halloween and Auld Lang Syne .

Sir Walter Scott is known for the poem The Lady of the Lake and novels like Rob Roy and Ivanhoe .

The Writer's Museum Edinburgh

Robert Louis Stevenson is known for novels like Treasure Island and the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde .

The collection on display here includes portraits, written works, and personal objects owned by the three writers. Admission is free and the museum is open daily.

The Writer’s Museum is open daily from 10 am - 17:00 (5 pm) and admission is free.

Gladstone’s Land

This 17th-century tenement house is one of the oldest buildings on the Royal Mile.

And it has been restored to remain faithful to its roots so that visitors can experience what life was like hundreds of years ago.

Gladstone’s Land

Although admission isn’t free, it is fairly affordable and open daily throughout most of the year.

Check out the official website for more information.

High Court of Justiciary

This is the supreme criminal court of Scotland, and even to this day, they hear cases of both criminal trials and appeals.

One of the most interesting things to see here is the statue of David Hume, a philosopher who once coined the phrase “reason is the slave of the passions.”

David Hume Statue

Hume was inspired by the likes of Sir Isaac Newton and John Locke, and he saw philosophy as something that could be scientifically tested and experimented.

Hume inspired many notable figures, including people like Adam Smith and Benjamin Franklin.

The Heart of Midlothian Mosaic

This used to be the site of the Old Tolbooth, an administrative building that was also used as a prison and a site of public executions.

Heart of Midlothian Mosaic

The mosaic that exists here now is named after the Midlothian county, of which Edinburgh was the county town.

It memorializes the location of the jail, and there is an odd tradition of spitting on it for good luck. 

While there’s no law against doing this yourself, it’s certainly not the most delightful of customs.

St. Giles’ Cathedral

Although it was founded in the 12th century, this church became an important historical location in the 16th century during the period of the Reformation.

John Knox served as a minister when St. Giles’ became a protestant church in 1559, and he brought the language of the bible to everyday Scots, making it more accessible to the common man.

St. Giles’ Cathedral

Although St. Giles was granted cathedral status from 1661-1689, it has been a Presbyterian church since then and is no longer technically a cathedral, but it’s still colloquially known by that name.

The most recent addition is the Thistle Chapel, built in 1909.

This chapel is fairly important, as it is the site of the ceremony where the Queen selects new members of The Order of the Thistle every other year.

The Real Mary King’s Close

This close was a pretty important location during the 17th-century, and it was the site where George Rae once treated victims of the plague using the suit that has since become known as the “plague doctor” attire.

The Real Mary King’s Close

Although parts of the close were demolished and buried during the 18th century, you can now visit daily and tour the close for yourself to see and learn about the area.

Many hauntings have been reported at Mary King’s Close over the years, and as a result, it has become a subject of fascination for believers of the supernatural.

Nowadays, you can get a fully guided tour of the close which is offered daily from 9:30 - 18:00 every 15 minutes.

Tickets are £17.95 for adults.

Adam Smith Statue

Built in 2008, this is the newest statue on the Royal Mile, and it depicts one of the most important Scottish figures in the history of the country.

Adam Smith Statue

Adam Smith is well known as one of the fathers of modern free trade economics, and he’s also the author of The Wealth of Nations, which would quickly become influential in American politics.

American founding fathers James Madison, James Monroe, and Thomas Jefferson all spoke very highly of Adam Smith’s ideas.

And it’s clear to see that his economic concepts were important both here in Scotland and in other parts of the world as well.

Mercat Cross

This was once the site where civic proclamations were publicly read to citizens by a town crier, and it was also used for many punishments including hangings and other public executions.

Mercat Cross, Edinburgh

Although the original cross dates back to 1365, it has been damaged and altered multiple times over the years.

Today, a royal unicorn sits at the top with a Scottish flag beside it.

The Mercat Cross is lined with the royal arms of Britain, Scotland, England, Ireland, Edinburgh, Leith, the Canongate, and the University of Edinburgh.

Statue of James Braidwood

Although this figure may not appear familiar, he was actually a pretty important person in the history of Edinburgh and the United Kingdom as a whole.

Statue of James Braidwood

James Braidwood not only founded the first fire service in the city, but he was also the first director of the London Fire Engine Establishment which would come to be known as the London Fire Brigade.

Braidwood is credited with developing modern fire fighting principles that are still in use today.

And he was recognized for acts of heroism during the great fires of Edinburgh in 1824 and London in 1830.

Parliament Square and Old Scottish Parliament

Located behind St. Giles Cathedral, this public square was formed in front of the Parliament House in 1632.

Old Parliament House

An equestrian statue of Charles II of Scotland stands at the entrance to the Old Supreme Courts of Scotland which is next to the Parliament House on the right.

The Parliament House would only be in use from 1639 - 1707 when it was dissolved as a result of the Acts of Union.

The Acts of Union led to the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

Edinburgh City Chambers

As you come out from behind St. Giles’ Cathedral, you’ll see the memorial to the 5th Duke of Buccleuch ahead of you and the Edinburgh City Chambers on the left.

This is the meeting place of the City of Edinburgh Council, and these chambers have existed under one name or another since 1753.

Edinburgh City Chambers

The building here was originally designed to be the Royal Exchange, which led to the partial demolition and burying of Mary King’s Close, as we discussed earlier.

The Royal Exchange was never very popular among merchants, so the Town Council eventually took over the Northern part of the building and used it as the City Chambers starting in 1811.

By 1893, they had taken over the whole building, and it remained home to the city’s council of state for most of the years since.

Its other most important function was as a filming location for the movie Braveheart.

You can also find plaques on the ground with handprints of famous Scots, including J.K. Rowling. This is also a stop on our self-guided Harry Potter Tour .

The National Library of Scotland

Although it was initially opened in 1689, this library would not officially become the property of the nation until the 1920s, at which time it became the National Library of Scotland.

The National Library of Scotland

There are more than 26 million items of historic relevance here, and it’s also the home of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive which has over 46,000 videos and films.

Items of note in the library include a letter from Charles Darwin, a Gutenberg Bible, the First Folio of Shakespeare, and more.

Edinburgh Central Library

This was the first public library in Edinburgh, and it was initially built and opened in 1890 with the help of funding from Andrew Carnegie, the wealthy Scottish-American industrialist turned philanthropist.

Edinburgh Central Library

Upon Carnegie’s insistence, the motto “Let There Be Light” was placed above the entrance.

Above the inner doorway, you’ll find the lintel from the home of Sir Thomas Hope, the owner of the home that was once located on this site before the library was constructed.

The Elephant House

Even though this cafe isn’t particularly old, it has still become a quite notable location in Edinburgh thanks to the famous people who have visited.

Elephant House

Perhaps most notably, JK Rowling is said to have worked on her first Harry Potter novel right here at the Elephant House, and you’ll see all kinds of signs that have been left there by fans.

Authors Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall-Smith also frequented the Elephant House, which makes this a popular stop for budding writers and fans of their work.

National Museum of Scotland

This is a relatively new museum just East of the Greyfriars Kirkyard which combines both the Museum of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Museum.

While the building of the Museum of Scotland opened in 1998, the connected Royal Scottish Museum building opened all the way back in 1866, which is why the museum includes such different architectural styles.

The focus of this museum is the achievements of Scotland and its inhabitants, including examples of art, science, technology, and historical artifacts.

Exhibits include Dolly the sheep -- the first successfully cloned mammal, one of Elton John’s suits, a kinetic sculpture known as the Millennium Clock, and many more.

Admission is free and they are open daily from 10:30 - 16:30 (4:30 pm). Advanced online booking is required.

Greyfriars Kirkyard

Although this graveyard dates back to 1562, it has more recently become known as one of the locations where JK Rowling may have gotten a few ideas for the names of her characters.

Greyfriars Kirkyard

This is also the location where the dog that would come to be known as the Greyfriars Bobby would stay by the gravestone of his deceased owner for 14 years until he also passed away.

Whether you’re a fan of Harry Potter, loyal dogs, or historic headstones, there’s plenty to see and experience at Greyfriars Kirkyard and it’s open from Monday - Friday.

Admission is ticketed , but it is very affordable.

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About The Author

walks tours edinburgh

Stephen Pickhardt

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walks tours edinburgh

Edinburgh Walking Tours

Discover Scotland’s history and culture with our city walks

walks tours edinburgh

  • 20 years of experience: Learn from experienced tour guides
  • Custom private tours: Customise your own tour
  • Family tours: Fun tours designed for families with kids
  • Small group tours: Meet like-minded travellers

20 years of experience

Learn from experienced tour guides

Custom private tours

Customise your own tour

Family tours

Fun tours designed for families with kids

Small group tours

Meet like-minded travellers

· Edinburgh Tours ·

Explore the Scottish capital with our Edinburgh walking tours. Discover hidden alleys and historic landmarks. Delve into the city’s rich history.


Edinburgh Full-Day Walking Tour


Edinburgh Private Tours

Bespoke tours of Edinburgh, tailored to your interested and needs.


Meeting Point

2-4 Hope Street Edinburgh EH2 4D (Just outside of Johnnie Walker Princes Street and the Binns Clock).

Our small group Edinburgh Full-Way Walking Tour – With Castle Tickets starts from 2-4 Hope St. 

The meeting point of private tours will be discussed at the time of booking. Hotel pick up can be arranged for private tours.

Edinburgh Walking tour in one day

Edinburgh Walking Tours is an emerging brand under Clan Pascual Tours. We design and deliver private and small-group walking tours in Edinburgh. Our passion for culture and history enables us to provide authentic and comprehensive experiences. As a hallmark of quality and trust, being part of Clan Pascual Tours ensures that each tour is steeped in excellence.

If you’d like to get in touch with us, please leave us a message by using the form below.

We will reply within 24 hours.


  • Terms and conditions

© 2022 Clan Pascual Tours Ltd. All rights reserved.

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11 Best Edinburgh Walking Tours Worth Your Money (ranked!)

This post contains affiliate links for which I may make a small commission to help keep the site running. You will not be charged extra for these items had you not clicked the links. Thank you for your help to keep the site running!

There’s so much to see in the heart of Edinburgh…where do you even begin?

As a city so rich with history and attractions, it’s easy to miss some of the most impressive details of Edinburgh.

One great way to ensure that you don’t miss out is to take a walking tour of Edinburgh!

These walking tours of Edinburgh will give you an up-close look at the city’s breathtaking architecture, and enlighten you on its history!

walks tours edinburgh

⏳ Don’t have time to read the whole list?

The best Edinburgh walking tour is this Edinburgh darkside tour with mysteries and legends!

Click here to check prices and availability.

Whether you’re here for lighthearted fun, gruesome details, or a more classical history lesson, these tours will have you coming away with a breadth of knowledge you’ll be eager to pass on to your friends and family!

Not that interested in history?

Get to know Edinburgh from another perspective: dance your way through the city, instead!

With all the unique walking tours of Edinburgh to choose from, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect option to enhance your trip to Dùn Èideann , including Harry Potter walking tours Edinburgh, Edinburgh Old Town walking tours, and the best Edinburgh walking tours.

Which of these highly-rated tours is the best one for you?

Hey! Want more honest UK tips and planning advice? Click here to join my London and UK Travel Tips Facebook group , where I can answer more of your questions!

Easy Guide: Best Edinburgh Walking Tours

1. edinburgh darkside walking tour: mysteries, murder and legends.

⭐️  RATING:  5 out of 5 Stars, 2,800+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

walks tours edinburgh


  • Visit and learn the gruesome history of Calton Hill
  • Visit one of the city’s famous cemeteries
  • Learn the eerie side of the history of Edinburgh
  • Enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city from Calton Hill

Embark on an eerie evening tour of Edinburgh’s dark side with this popular walking tour !

Tales of murder, monsters, witch trials, cannibals, and other spooky subjects will send a shiver down your spine as you follow your guide around Old Town.

You’ll climb to the top of Calton Hill , taking in the sights as your guide tells of the gruesome witch trials that were once held there. 

Snap a few photos of the evening skyline, then head back down and explore one of Edinburgh’s most famous cemeteries on this walking tour Edinburgh.

You’ll visit either the Canongate Kirkyard cemetery (dating all the way back to the 17th century!) or the Old Calton Burial Ground (the final resting place of famed philosopher David Hume).

Creep through the graveyard as your guide shares haunting tales of murder, body-snatching, and even Hume’s rumoured deal with the Devil himself!

The tour concludes outside a local pub , where you might want to head inside for a drink to soothe your nerves after this haunting tour!

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

⭐️  RATING:  4.8 out of 5 Stars, 2,100+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1.5 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

  • Entry to Edinburgh Castle
  • Skip the line to get into the castle
  • Entry to castle dungeons
  • Knowledgeable tour guide on this walking tour of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle is a sight to behold, but sometimes, just looking isn’t enough!

If you want to go beyond snapping a few photos, why not take a guided walking tour of the castle and go a little deeper?

This tour includes an entry to the castle , and even allows you to skip the line – no more waiting with all the other tourists!

You’ll meet your guide outside the nearby Caffé Nero, then enjoy a short walk down the Royal Mile toward the castle .

Once inside, you’ll learn all about the iconic Edinburgh attraction, with your knowledgeable guide covering 3,000 years of its history.

Beyond the main buildings, you’ll also get to see the castle dungeons and military prison, learn the dark tale of the Black Dinner, visit St Margaret’s Chapel, and more!

After the tour, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the castle museums at your own pace.

3. Underground Walking Tour in Edinburgh

⭐️  RATING:  4.5 out of 5 Stars, 3,200+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1 hour | ✔️  BOOK NOW

walks tours edinburgh

  • Entry to ancient underground vaults
  • Entry to a secret witchcraft temple
  • Information about 18th-century city life
  • Many unique photo opportunities

Discover an often missed part of Edinburgh on this eerie walking tour !

Follow a knowledgeable tour guide through the secret passageways beneath the city, where you’ll learn the history of these fascinating vaults and the people who found shelter within them.

You’ll be intrigued (and maybe a bit creeped out!) by the dark halls that await you underground – not to mention the ancient temple that was once used by Scotland’s devoted witches!

This tour isn’t for the faint of heart.

The bravest in your travel party will have the chance to step inside an old (possibly haunted!) stone circle – if they dare!

You’ll be encouraged to take plenty of photographs during the tour, which you’ll be anxious to show off to friends as proof of a truly unique experience.

Please note that this tour is not wheelchair accessible, and requires the ability to navigate tall steps and a spiral staircase.

4. Walking Tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town – History and Tales

⭐️  RATING:  5 out of 5 Stars, 900+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

Edinburgh historic building with blue sky and autumn-leafed tree

  • Passionate local guide
  • Unique route through Old Town
  • Convenient location near public transportation
  • Easy-to-find meeting point

Follow a passionate guide around Edinburgh’s Old Town on this fun walking tour!

Leave the map behind and instead let a local lead you around these UNESCO-listed sites.

You’ll meet your guide on High Street, right across from the iconic St Giles’ Cathedral.

From there, you’ll embark on a 2-hour walking tour down the beautifully cobbled streets, learning the history of the area as you go.

You’ll want to have your camera out and ready to save all the stunning sights you’ll encounter along the way!

You’ll see (and learn about) the cathedral, the exterior of Edinburgh Castle , the Mercat Cross, the historic George Heriot’s School , Greyfriars Kirk and graveyard, and more!

Looking for kid-friendly tours of Edinburgh?

This tour is stroller accessible, and young ones will enjoy taking in the sights while the adults soak up the fascinating history.

5. Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh : best Edinburgh walking tours

⭐️  RATING:  5 out of 5 Stars, 800+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

Scottish Natinal Gallery in Edinburgh. Old building with stone pillars and blue sky.

  • Comfortably small group (12 max)
  • Learn about the famed writers and inventors of Edinburgh
  • Plenty of time to stop for photos
  • Free for children 12 and under

Poetry and history enthusiasts alike will enjoy this educational yet leisurely 3-hour tour of the Royal Mile!

You’ll meet your guide outside of the famed auditorium, Usher Hall – the perfect place to begin a tour about the history of the arts in Edinburgh!

During the tour, your guide will tell you all about the famous writers, poets, and inventors who have called Edinburgh home over the years.

Learn about 18th century poet and lyricist Robert Burns, who is now known as the national poet of Scotland.

Notable stops include The Writers’ Museum, Milne’s Court, Waverley Station , and much more!

Torn between an arts-focused tour and a more general tour that will take you by the main attractions of Edinburgh?

You’ll be happy to know that this tour also passes by Edinburgh Castle and St Giles’ Cathedral, so you’ll get to learn the history of these marvelous sites, too!

6. The Mountebank Comedy Walk of Edinburgh

⭐️  RATING:  5 out of 5 Stars, 740+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

An actor on the streets of Edinburgh dressed in a dress with a wig

  • Guided tour of Old Town Edinburgh
  • Authentic Scottish guide (who wears a kilt!)
  • History lessons packed with comedy
  • Lots of laughs!

With all the stress that can come with travelling, you’ll be relieved to unwind and have a laugh on this fun-filled comedy tour !

Take a lighthearted walk around Old Town Edinburgh with your hilarious (and very Scottish) guide – they’ll even wear a kilt!

You’ll meet your guide outside of the Monkey Barrel Comedy club , then embark on a whimsical 2-hour (wheelchair and stroller-accessible!) journey.

Your guide isn’t just a professional stand-up comedian; they also have a remarkable breadth of knowledge about the history of Edinburgh.

On this tour, you’ll be both educated and entertained as your guide expertly balances historic fact and laugh-out-loud comedy.

You’ll see the exterior of St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle, Greyfriars Kirkyard, The Writers’ Museum, and more iconic sites as you walk the Royal Mile with your witty guide.

Please note that this tour is age restricted at 16 years and up!

7. Edinburgh – Dark History

⭐️  RATING:  5 out of 5 Stars, 280+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

walks tours edinburgh

  • History-focused tour of the Royal Mile
  • Passionate, knowledgeable guide
  • Excellent tour to take in the evening
  • Wheelchair & stroller accessible

Not sure what to do in Edinburgh when the sun goes down?

Take this educational tour and learn the dark history of the city on this guided walking tour in Edinburgh!

Follow your guide on a harrowing journey into Edinburgh’s past and discover why it’s known as “ The Jekyll & Hyde City ”.

You’ll start your tour outside of St Giles’ Cathedral in West Parliament Square, then walk down the Royal Mile and learn all about the grisly murders, public executions, witch trials, plagues, and other haunting elements of the city’s history.

Don’t worry, your guides won’t pull any jumpscares; you’ll find the gruesome history lesson unsettling enough!

Besides the cathedral, you can also expect to encounter the site of the old Tolbooth Prison, the iconic Mercat Cross , and other historic sites that are full of disturbing details.

You’ll end your tour at the Canongate Kirkyard, which dates all the way back to the late 17th century!

8. Silent Disco Adventure Tour

⭐️  RATING:  5 out of 5 Stars, 260+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1 hour | ✔️  BOOK NOW

walks tours edinburgh

  • Radio headsets
  • Fun and familiar music playlist
  • Large group (60 maximum)
  • Unique way of seeing the city!

Put on your comfiest shoes and dance your way through Edinburgh on this eccentric “walking” tour !

Your tour starts and ends outside of The Piper’s Rest, an exceptionally rated restaurant along the Royal Mile.

(In August, the tour starts and ends at Uplands Roast, a charming coffee shop at the University of Edinburgh.)

Put on your radio headset (provided at the start of the tour) and groove your way down the Royal Mile with a large group of fun-loving travelers!

Dance to familiar and upbeat songs as you pass by iconic Edinburgh attractions, including St Giles’ Cathedral, the Scottish National Gallery, and the idyllic Princes Street Gardens.

Anxious about dancing in public?

With up to 60 people in your tour group, you’ll be in good company and won’t have to worry about being the only one dancing.

In fact, passersby will likely be envious of the great time you’re all having!

9. Private Old Edinburgh Tour – Walk in the footsteps of Royals and Rogues!

⭐️  RATING:  5 out of 5 Stars, 160+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

Edinburgh street at night with lamp

  • Visit three historic execution sites
  • Visit the old site of the Tolbooth Prison
  • Private tour – no strangers!
  • Knowledgeable local guide

There are many great public tours in Edinburgh, but what if you’re not excited by the idea of following a crowd of strangers?

This private walking tour of Old Town Edinburgh is for you!

Meet your guide at the main entrance to Greyfriars Kirkyard.

There, you’ll learn about Greyfriars Bobby – a famous dog that has been honored with an iconic statue in the graveyard.

From there, your guide will lead you through Old Town , showing you archival photographs of what the area was like in days past.

You’ll learn the gruesome history of the city, visiting three of its former execution sites as well as the infamous Tolbooth Prison .

Unlike most other Edinburgh tours, this tour will also take you through The Cowgate.

While walking down this historic street, you’ll learn what life was like for the poor in Edinburgh back in the Victorian era.

Of course, there are plenty of well-known stops along the way, too, including the Mercat Cross, Candlemaker Row, the University of Edinburgh, and more!

10. Guided 90-Minute Photography and sightseeing Tour in Edinburgh : best walking tours Edinburgh

⭐️  RATING:  5 out of 5 Stars, 130+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1.5 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

walks tours edinburgh

  • Less touristy route – see the city like a local!
  • Tips on how to take the best vacation photos
  • Social media tips for posting photos
  • Tons of great photo ops!

Whether you’re looking to grow your social media account as a travel influencer, taking photos to share with friends and family, or just want some great shots to put in your personal travel scrapbook, you’re sure to get the best vacay photos on this tour !

Take a private, guided tour with a professional photographer who’ll show you the best way to capture the gorgeous views across Edinburgh.

You’ll be happy to get a break from the crowds as your guide leads you down side-streets and shows you parts of the city that a lot of tourists miss out on!

But don’t worry, you’ll still get to see (and take stunning photos of!) the most iconic sites in Edinburgh, like St Giles’ Cathedral, Holyrood Park, and, of course, Edinburgh Castle!

During the tour, you’ll also learn the best tips and tricks for using hashtags and editing your photos before posting them to Instagram.

11. Edinburgh: The Witches Tour : walking tours in Edinburgh, Scotland

⭐️  RATING:  4.3 out of 5 Stars, 90+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

walks tours edinburgh

  • Entry to the National Museum of Scotland
  • Knowledgeable tour guide
  • Learn how to read rune stones
  • Learn how to use a pendulum

Curious about the history of witchcraft in Edinburgh ?

Take The Witches Tour !

Your guide will lead you through the National Museum of Scotland and enlighten you on the fascinating history of the area’s witches.

Discover what witches were up to in the late 16th century through the mid 18th century, and marvel at the authentic objects that once aided them in their practice.

During the tour, you’ll have the chance to experiment with dowsing, reading rune stones, and uncover the dark history of hangings in Edinburgh – even visiting the site of such executions!

Weather depending, you may even venture to the roof of the museum, or, if it’s open, visit an historic witches’ shop!

All that talk of witchcraft got you itching to venture into the mystical?

Be sure to book a Chakra or fortune-telling reading (at an additional cost) for after the tour!

Hey! Want to use our trusty guides to the best tours in other places across the UK? Check these out!

  • 11 Best Tours of the Cotswolds from London in 2023
  • 11 Best Tours of the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh in 2023
  • 5 Best London Open Top Bus Tours
  • 9 Best Scottish Outlander Tours
  • 9 Best Ghost Tours in Oxford
  • 5 Best Bath Ghost Tours
  • 9 Best Bus Tours in Edinburgh
  • 19 Most Unique London Tours
  • 9 Best Day Trips to Oxford from London
  • 7 Best Stonehenge Day Trips from London
  • 7 Best Changing of the Guard Tours in London
  • 11 Best Oxford Walking Tours
  • 11 Best London Rock ‘n’ Roll Tours
  • 11 Best London Museum Tours
  • 3 Best Morse Tours in Oxford
  • 11 Best London Beatles Tours
  • 11 Best Walking Tours in Bath
  • 13 Best Harry Potter Tours in Oxford
  • 11 Best Jack the Ripper Tours in London
  • 9 Best London Literary Tours
  • 9 Best Street Art Tours in London
  • 13 Best Evening & Night Tours of Edinburgh
  • 15 Best London Pub Crawl Tours
  • 11 Best London Bus Tours for Families
  • 17 Best Harry Potter Tours in London
  • 17 Best London Foodie Tours
  • 13 Best Ghost & Haunted Tours in Edinburgh
  • 11 Best London Biking Tours
  • 11 Best Private Tours in London
  • 11 Best Ghost Tours in London
  • 11 Fun Tours of Royal London
  • 13 Isle of Skye Tours for a Magical Time
  • 13 Mysterious Tours of Loch Ness
  • 7 Best James Bond Tours in London
  • 7 Best Paris Tours from London
  • 7 Best Stratford-upon Avon Tours from London
  • 7 Best Tours of Bath from London
  • 7 Best Black Cab Tours from London
  • 11 Best Downton Abbey Tours in the UK

UK Travel Planning Guide: the FAQs

🏥 Should I buy UK travel insurance?

Absolutely yes. Basic coverage is not expensive, and as a visitor you are NOT covered under the NHS. Compare policies and prices with Travel Insurance Master here , a big name in the travel insurance business, and cross that off your list.

🔌 Do I need travel adapters for the UK?

Yes, you do, otherwise you won’t be able to plug in your electronics/phone/lifelines. I recommend this one , which is all-in-one so you can use it in other countries.

🚗 What do I need to drive in the UK?

The first thing you need to check out if you’re planning on renting a car in the UK is this guide to driving in the UK for visitors – the roads, signs, and driving experience will likely not be what you’re used to and it’s essential to prepare yourself to stay safe and aware.

🛌 What’s the best way to book hotels in the UK?

For UK hotels, Booking is the best site as it offers free cancellation on many properties. If you want an apartment, I always recommend VRBO over AirBnb.

📳 Will my phone work in the UK?

Yes – if you set it up right. Check out my guide on making your foreign phone work in the UK to ensure that you get the type of service you need.

🚿 Can I drink the water in the UK?

Yes, UK water is great and perfectly safe. But drink out of taps in any kitchen or use water fountains. Double check before drinking out of the taps in hotel bathrooms, though, as they may be on a different system. London water is safe to drink .

Heading to London? Want the best tips?

Check out my Ultimate Guide to London for Visitors. Using text, images and video, this guide is packed full of tips, tricks, safety advice, knowledge on how to get around and what to do, and more!

walks tours edinburgh

Moving to the UK or already an Expat?

Grab my book which covers moving to the UK, struggles I faced and that you might face too, and uplifting advice to help you along the way! Available in hard copy and on Kindle.

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Nomadic Matt: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Better

The Best Walking Tours in Edinburgh

The narrow and charming Circus Lane in historic Edinburgh, Scotland on a sunny day

I never get tired of visiting Edinburgh . I love the enchanting cobblestone streets, the world-class whisky bars, the plethora of free museums, and arty vibe of the city (it’s the inspiration for many, many writers).

It has been Scotland’s capital since the 15th century and has a history that stretches back millennia (humans have been in the area since 8500 BCE). There’s an epic medieval castle, an ancient volcano, the historic Old Town, and the New Town (both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites).

One of the best ways to soak it all up is by taking a walking tour. While ghost tours are some of the most popular here (Edinburgh is supposedly one of the most haunted cities in the world), there are many other tours to experience, from bike tours to food tours to pub crawls.

Here’s my list of the best walking tours in Edinburgh to help you plan your trip, save money, and make the most out of your stay!

Best Overall Tour

The Mercat Tours company logo

Mercat Tours

This family-owned company specializes in a variety of tours of the vaults under the city (a labyrinth of tunnels that were first used as storage and workshop space for businesses in the early 17th century), and it’s the only company to offer vault tours during the day . Adult-only tours include the infamous Canongate graveyard and there are even vault tours designed for kids .

Tours start at 20 GBP.

Best Free Tour

Edinburgh's City Explorer's tour company logo

City Explorers

City Explorers runs four different free walking tours daily. Start with the classic Edinburgh Free Tour, on which you’ll see and learn about the main sights, including Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and St Giles’ Cathedral. There’s also a free ghost tour, a free Harry Potter tour, and a free New Town tour as well. Just remember to tip your guide at the end!

  While those two are my top recommendations for tours in Edinburgh, here are a few more options to help you make the most of your time here:

1. Secret Food Tours

Food is an important part of every culture. Scotland has all manner of interesting culinary delights, and the best way to learn more about them (while sampling a bunch) is by taking a food tour. Secret Food Tours offers the best one in Edinburgh. On their three-hour classic tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town , you’ll try delicacies like haggis, creamy Scottish cheese, neeps, and tatties (and learn what those even are), as well as enjoy traditional Scottish tea.

If you want to try more local spirits, you can take the Secret Whisky, Gin, & Beyond tour , which includes seven tastings of locally brewed and distilled liquors.

Prices start at 69 EUR.

Book here!  

2. A Wee Pedal Bike Tour

To cover more ground and get out of town a bit, take a bike tour. A Wee Pedal has several different offerings, so you can see more of Edinburgh and its surrounding countryside on two wheels. The most popular tour is the 20-mile loop tour , which circumnavigates the entire city. There’s also a 12-mile version that goes out to the rugged coastline for a more off-the-beaten-path adventure.

While rides are taken at a meandering, comfortable pace, you can also rent an e-bike for an extra 15 GBP if you’re not up for the challenge. You can also book special private tours, including one that ends at a brewery (tasting included), and a mountain bike tour.

Prices start at 65 GBP.

3. City of the Dead Tours

If you’re looking to get genuinely creeped out, take a tour with City of the Dead. They offer several tours that go through the underground vaults . City of the Dead is also the only tour company with access to the ominously named Black Mausoleum and Covenanter’s Prison , some of the most haunted places in the world. These spots are favorites of the Mackenzie Poltergeist, considered one of the world’s best-documented supernatural entities, with hundreds of supposed encounters. It’s one of my favorite tours in the city!

Prices start at 19 GBP.

4. Mountebank Tours

One of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Things to Do in the UK, the Mountebank Comedy Walk, run by Daniel Downie, an award-winning stand-up comedian, is undoubtedly the most hilarious way to see Auld Reekie (an old nickname for the city). On this tour you’ll laugh and learn not only about Edinburgh but all things Scottish, from culture to history to some famous (and infamous) people. And if you’re lucky, Daniel’s adorable dog Bonnie Prince might even join you.

Prices start at 22 GBP.

5. See Your City

One of the biggest walking tour companies in the UK, See Your City offers several fun tours in Edinburgh. Their best (and most popular) is the Harry Potter walking tour , on which you’ll visit the places that inspired JK Rowling as she penned her famous series (and the café where she did so). You’ll even get sorted into your Hogwarts house and get to test your book and movie knowledge in a quiz to earn points. It’s a super fun tour and a must for Harry Potter fans.

Other unique See Your City tours in Edinburgh include a Cheese Crawl and a True Crime walking tour .

Prices start at 16 GBP.

Book here!   ***

Edinburgh is a fascinating place. It’s bursting with history and there are tons of walking tours on offer, allowing you to deepen your experience and connect with a local guide who can answer all your questions. Pick one (or several) from the list above and you won’t go wrong!

Get Your In-Depth Budget Guide to Europe!

Get Your In-Depth Budget Guide to Europe!

My detailed 200+ page guidebook is made for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guides and gets straight to the practical information you need to travel while in Europe. It has suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on and off the beaten path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, safety tips, and much more! Click here to learn more and get your copy today.

Book Your Trip to Edinburgh: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • SafetyWing (best for everyone)
  • Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
  • Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Edinburgh? Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Edinburgh for even more planning tips!

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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A black and white photo of the Greyfriars church gate in spooky Edinburgh, Scotland


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Edinburgh Walking Tours

Walking tours of edinburgh & the best sightseeing attractions , top edinburgh tours, edinburgh’s amazing harry potter walking tour. kids free.

This walking tour of Edinburgh unfurls the history and origins of the world's most famous Wizard (yo ...

Harry Potter Tour & Whiskey Tasting

Explore the city of Edinburgh and discover the landmarks and areas which inspired parts of the Harry ...

Harry Potter Tour & Edinburgh Castle Visit

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Private edinburgh tours, edinburgh walking tour, edinburgh attraction tickets, beyond edinburgh tours.

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Themed Walking Tours

Edinburgh sightseeing tours  of the most popular and historic  tourist attractions..

Our Edinburgh walking tours have been carefully created by combining the parts of the very best tours we’ve experienced travelling all over the world. Edinburgh Top Sights Tours is a new sightseeing company founded in 2017 and we provide the best tours Edinburgh has to offer.

Our tour guides live here and have a deep love for the city, its tourist sights, culture & history.

Edinburgh Top Sights Tours is part of the Top Sights Tour Group. A Global Walking Tour Operator.

We provide affordable, high quality, fun and interactive guided walking tours of Edinburgh in its most historical areas. You can choose to come on one of our group or private tours and even add the option of bolting on an attraction ticket.

We offer guided group or private Edinburgh tours . With a private option you’ll have your own guide for either a half or full day to visit Edinburgh’s best sights at your own pace.

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Mercat Tours Ltd, Edinburgh, Scotland

"History is a damn good story, what it needs is a damn good telling"

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Wee Walking Tours

Explore edinburgh, wee golden walk   every wednesday-sunday 11:00am, choose from three tour length options:.

walks tours edinburgh

Castle to Greyfriars Bobby:

1 hr. 30 min. 

Join us on an exploration of the top of the Royal Mile. Hear stories about history, myths, legends, and fictional characters. The tour weaves down picturesque Victoria Street to the Grassmarket and finishes at the iconic Greyfriars Bobby.

Castle to World's End:

2 hrs. 15 min. 

Including everything in our 'Castle to Greyfriars Bobby' tour, this op tion co ntinues along the Royal Mile with more stories that bring the city to life. We pass by and learn about some iconic landmarks such as St Giles' Cathedral and Tron Kirk, but there are also surprises for fans of various television seri es and movies . This tour finishes near the World's End.

Castle to Palace:

This option provides the full Edinburgh Old Town experience! Encompassing everything from our two other tours, continue along for a fas cinating journey that covers the Canongate section of the Royal Mile before it finishes between the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament. 

*Please note that our walking tours do not go inside paid attractions (i.e. Edinburgh Castle or the Palace of Holyroodhouse).

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Wee Private Walking Tours

We offer fully customised and private walking tours. Let us know what you are looking for and we can help you design a unique Edinburgh walking tour.

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Wee Finnish Walking Tours

We also provide private tours in Finnish. You can request to have a fully customised tour or a scheduled itinerary such as our Wee Golden Walks.

Walking Tours 

Starting location.

All walking tours start at the top of the Royal Mile (Castlehill) at the base of Edinburgh Castle next to the Witches Well just past the entrance to the Tartan Mill. Please try to arrive a few minutes prior to the start of your walking tour. Look for Sami, your tour guide, who will have a Wee Walking Tours umbrella and grey backpack.

The Witches Well, Castlehill, Edinburgh, UK


City of Edinburgh Tours

Underground Ghost Tours, History Tours, & Walking Tours in Edinburgh.

Experience the underground horror in edinburgh.

Our entertaining and professional ghost guides will lead you on a walking tour through Edinburgh’s hidden wynds and secret courtyards.

Come with us and explore the secrets of the underground beneath Edinburgh’s streets whilst hearing some of Scotland’s darkest stories, the curious, the uncanny and the terrifying.

Every City is full of secrets, Edinburgh is no exception.

Dare you descend?

  • Most Popular
  • Hour Glass 1 Hour and 15 Minutes
  • Tags Ages 5+

World Famous Underground Ghost Tour @ 18:10; 18:45; 19:45

Edinburgh is undoubtedly the most haunted city in the world! are you ready to find out why? Let one of Edinburgh most infamous sons or daughters lead you round the dark side of Edinburgh’s Old Town.

  • Tags Ages 18+

Extreme Paranormal Ghost Tour Edinburgh @ 21:15

For the hardened Ghost hunter, or the non-believer, this late night walking ghost tour is not for the faint-hearted! Explore the mysterious Greyfriars Kirkyard cemetery and more at night.

Tour of Terror @ 20:45

Shiver at the weird noises… on this 75 minute guided ghost tour into Edinburgh’s extremely dark past, haunted streets, and winding wynds.

  • Hour Glass 1 Hour

Old Town & Underground Ghost Tour @ 13:15; 15:15; 17:15

The Old Town & Underground Ghost Tour will then take you on a guided tour of Edinburgh’s underground vaults, for close encounters with the paranormal!

  • Hour Glass 1 Hour and 30 Minutes

Old Town & Underground Historical Ghost Tour @ 11:00; 14:15

Join a local historian on our historical walking tour around Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. Learn about Edinburgh’s fascinating history, literature heroes, infamous criminals and battles that shaped our city.

  • Hour Glass 1 Hora y 15 Minutos
  • Tags Edades 5 +


Serán conducidos por el pasado oscuro de Edimburgo y sus alrededores incluyendo el cementerio más encantado del mundo.

  • Hour Glass 1 Hour and 45 Minutes

Original Whisky Tasting Experience @ 13:00; (17:00 in August)

The ultimate whisky tasting in the birthplace of Scotland’s national anthem. Enjoy 3 distinct whisky’s and learn the true history of Scottish whisky on this walking tour.

Charles Dickens Edinburgh Literary Tour

Delve into Edinburgh’s literary legacy with a tour tracing the paths of renowned writers like Dickens and Stevenson, including a visit to the alleged grave of a legendary fictional character.

Private Tours in English, Spanish, French & German

Daily ghost walk and historical tours are available for private booking with additional tours available on request only. Customize your groups walking tour of Edinburgh today!



Tour was amazing and soldier jock didn't let them down. Lovely guy and done an amazing job. Had to deal with an unusual situation and he done it professionally

A perfect spooky treat for the family just before Halloween!! our tour guide was brilliant! she was very enthusiastic and got all the group joining in. Will definitely do it again!

Our guide was amazing. They went by the name James Barry. When we come back, we are definitely going to take the tour again and would love it if James could be our guide again. Lovely service. Amazing body language while telling stories. Well done.

Fantastically fun and spectacularly spooky evening walk full of historical stories and ghost tales with tour guide Soldier Jock who was very engaging, interesting yet friendly - ish! Would highly recommend

We was lucky enough to have Dr. Knox as our guide. He was fantastic. Made sure he spoke to everyone on the tour individually. Made fun of everyone. His storytelling and humour was just perfect. The tour was fascinating especially the underground bit at the end.

We went on the night tour with Soldier Jock, and what a brilliant time we had! Jock was informative and captivating with his stories, and there was a great blend of humour and horror on the tour. It was so interesting seeing a side of Edinburgh that's a lot darker than you first expect. Definitely recommended - thanks again, Soldier Jock!

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Harry Potter walking tour of Edinburgh

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Our FREE tours in Edinburgh depart every day at 12pm! Book your place now.

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Book a paid PRIVATE tour at a time to suit you.

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Edinburgh Free Tour

The best introduction to edinburgh, secure your space now.

The best-rated Edinburgh Free Walking Tour

  • 10am, 11am & 1pm
  • 154 High Street (Royal Mile)

No card info required

Free Walking Tour of Edinburgh

No trip to Scotland is complete without visiting Edinburgh, its inspiring capital, a cosmopolitan town teeming with genius and culture. On this 2 hours FREE Tour your expert guide will show you the most attractive spots of this seductive city.

Wonderful walking tour

"What a wonderful walking tour with Graeme. A beautiful summer day and an extremely engaging guide. Would definitely book again next time I visit Edinburgh."

Tricia Butterfield

Google (July 23)

It was worth every second

"I did three walking tours with City Explorers and it was worth every second! Definitely recommended. Ashlyn, Emma and Dr Rory were super fun and highly informative."

Sanyukta Desai

Highly recommended!!

"We had a PHENOMENAL ghost tour with Emma! We also had a AMAZING day time walking tour with Glen. Both guides were funny, knowledgeable, and friendly. Could not recommend these tours enough!!!"

Katie Cummings

Free Walking Tour of the Old Town

"Wonderful intro giving us enough info about where to spend our time as well as some great restaurant recommendations. Kenny was amusing, knowledgeable and easy to listen to so I highly recommend this walk."

Annelise Giddings

Google (June 23)

Greyfriars Bobby statue in Edinburgh's Old Town

Tour Description

The FREE Walking Tour starts every day at 10 am, 11 am and 1 pm on The Royal Mile , just in front of a bar called Copper Still (154 High Street).

We believe that everyone, no matter what is one's budget should be able to experience and enjoy what Edinburgh has to offer and we also believe that the price of a tour should correlate with your budget and how much you enjoyed it.

Our Edinburgh FREE Walking Tours are both informative and fun and offer something for everyone.

To ensure the highest quality of our Free Tours, groups of 15 or more people should book a Private Tour .

If you are arranging a booking for a School Group , please book a Private Tour .

This will allow us to give you a more personalized experience. Thanks for your understanding!

Secure your space now for the Edinburgh Free Tour!

Showing up is fine in most cases. However, you will have priority with a booking if tours reach their capacity.

Meeting Point

The FREE Tour starts on The Royal Mile just in front of a bar called Copper Still (154 High Street).

Look for the yellow umbrellas!

Related tours in edinburgh.

Free Ghost Tour

Free Ghost Tour

Every night @ 7pm

Duration: 1.5 hours

Discover the ghostly tales and sinister stories that will get you back to the terrifying past of old Edinburgh.

Free Harry Potter Tour

Free Harry Potter Tour

Every day @ 2pm

Explore the real people and places that inspired JK Rowling to create the Universe of Harry Potter.

Free New Town Tour

Free New Town Tour

Thu to Mon @ 2pm

Duration: 2 hours

Discover the finest part of town and the role Edinburgh played as a center of the Enlightment in Europe.

Edinburgh Castle Tour

Edinburgh Castle Tour

Every day @ 10am, 12.15pm & 1.30pm

Get the best value of your visit to Edinburgh Castle and jump the queue with our skip-the-line tickets.

Edinburgh Pub Crawl

Fri & Sat @ 8pm

Duration: 4.5 hours

Meet amazing people from all over the world and enjoy Edinburgh nightlife at its best 7 nights a week.

Edinburgh Travel Guide

Useful information.

Travel tips you need to know before visiting Edinburgh.


Discover the most unmissable attractions in Edinburgh.

Things to do

The ultimate guide to things to do in Edinburgh.

Food and drink

Edinburgh's best restaurants, bars and pubs.

Where to stay

Find out the best places to stay in Edinburgh.

Discover how to travel around Edinburgh.

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Walking Tours Around Edinburgh... Explore the city like you’ve never seen before.

Book your guided tour of edinburgh…, edinburgh city tours like you’ve never seen before.

Welcome to Invisible Edinburgh! We offer friendly walking tours of Edinburgh that showcase the city’s historical landmarks and explore the social projects that make the city what it is.

Our experienced tour guides, all of whom have been affected by homelessness, simply live and breathe the city, and offer their own personal insight into Edinburgh’s past, present and future.

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Uncover Stories of Crime and Punishment

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The Royal Mile – Edinburgh’s Most famous Street

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The Alternative Story of Leith

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Real Women of Edinburgh

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Edinburgh 360 Virtual Tour

What our customers say, unilad original documentary.

Goodness: Homeless Tour Guides

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Read Stories From Our Guides

Get updates on special deals and exclusive offers and read stories from our guides.

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Edinburgh essentials - best historic free walking tour.

walks tours edinburgh

Do you want to do the best Tours in Scotland? Well this is your place. After several years working in the tourism sector for leading companies in different locations in the United Kingdom, I decided to embark on this adventure and create “We Are Scotland”, from where we carry out walking tours of Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow. This project is born from work, humility and experience in order to make people who visit Scotland feel part of its history and its legends, together with a team of experienced guides passionate about history who will make you want to return. to this wonderful country.

  • Free booking and cancellation Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free
  • Accepts electronic payment This tour allows payment by electronic means or credit card

Tour description

Over the centuries Edinburgh has become one of the most beautiful cities in Europe .

We will get to know the history of this medieval city , which is over 3000 years old, from the first tribes that populated it, the Picts , to the famous men in kilts ! We will talk about some of Edinburgh's most important buildings, such as St. Giles Cathedral, and Edinburgh Castle . We will walk along its most well-renowned streets such as the Royal Mile and Victoria Street, to name but a few.

We'll pay a visit to the sculpture of Bobby, Scotland’s most loyal guard dog , located right outside Greyfriars cemetery, where many mysteries and legends are hidden amongst the tombstones, and perhaps even some paranormal activity! Parts of the Harry Potter books were written in Edinburgh and their writer, JK Rowling, used the graveyard as a source of inspiration. Join us to discover where she wrote and what she used to influence her novels.

With so many centuries of history, the capital of Scotland is rich in both history and legends . You cannot miss this incredible visit to Edinburgh!

In this free tour we will visit:

  • Historical introduction to Edinburgh
  • Victoria Street
  • Grassmarket
  • Greyfriars Cemetery
  • Mysteries about Harry Potter
  • Mackenzie and paranormal activity
  • National Museum of Scotland
  • Writers Museum
  • St. Giles Cathedral
  • Presbyterianism
  • Public executions
  • Maggie Dickson
  • Heart of Midlothian
  • Mercat Cross
  • Fringe Festival

What will we visit on this tour?

We will be at 361 High Street (Royal Mile), opposite St. Giles’ Cathedral with a BLACK UMBRELLA

  • 1 Outside visit old-town
  • 2 Outside visit Royal Mile
  • 3 Outside visit St Giles' Cathedral Show 4 more stops
  • 4 Outside visit Writers' Museum
  • 5 Outside visit grassmarket
  • 6 Outside visit Greyfriars Bobby Statue
  • 7 Outside visit Greyfriars Kirkyard

walks tours edinburgh

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price , instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

walks tours edinburgh

Tour opinions (1814)

Amazing guide - very friendly and great storyteller. Also great singer - it was a wow experience! Totally recommend!!!

A wonderful introduction to Edinburgh. Catherine made the tour informative and fun. She was a wealth of information and engaged with the group wonderfully. I would highly recommend this 2 hr walking tour.

Who is this tour for?

What should you know, others tours from this guru, others cities to visit after edinburgh.

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walks tours edinburgh

Step into Scotland’s rich and mysterious past on this captivating walking tour through Edinburgh’s Old Town. Led by an engaging character guide, this experience blends history and storytelling for an unforgettable adventure.

Uncover the stories of Scotland’s real-life witches, exploring their lives and the accusations they faced. This tour pays respectful homage to those wrongly accused of witchcraft, shedding light on the great injustices they suffered. You may even learn some facts about much-loved characters from Outlander and Harry Potter!

Adding to the intrigue, the tour will include an exclusive visit to “The Lost Close” — this recently discovered underground site has been cloaked in mystery since the Great Fire of 1824. The ancient vaults where you will enjoy the final tales of the tour date back to 1742, offering a window into the past, and providing a fitting end to an immersive exploration of history and enchantment.

Adults (16+yrs)

Children (5-15yrs)*

*Additional children £6


Enhance your Witches and Underground Vault tour with an enchanting add-on at The Cauldron® in Edinburgh.

Indulge in a magically crafted cocktail or mocktail, poured by ‘magic’ using a cutting-edge technology wand. 

Book your voucher and visit The Cauldron® at your convenience, before or after the tour, to immerse yourself in a spellbinding atmosphere where science and fantasy blend seamlessly. 

This unique add-on offers a delightful tasty tipple, combining the art of mixology with the wonder of Magicineering®. Don’t miss your chance to sip on enchantment and be part of the magic!

Add this magical extra at check-out when booking your Witches Tour!


walks tours edinburgh

Cocktails £9 | Mocktails £5*

Meet your witch guide on the Royal Mile, in the shadows of St. Giles’ Cathedral.

That’s directly outside Caffé Nero at 1 Parliament Square, 192 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF.

Please arrive at least 5 minutes early to check-in. No-shows will not be refunded.


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walks tours edinburgh

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CaribScot Fest™ - A Caribbean Carnival party in Edinburgh!

CaribScot Fest™ - A Caribbean Carnival party in Edinburgh!

Get ready to party Caribbean style at CaribScot Fest™ in Edinburgh - it's gonna be a wild carnival celebration!

Date and time

Le Monde Hotel

Refund Policy

CaribScot Fest

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM

walks tours edinburgh

John Simmit

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

DJ Ria drops some Soca and Dancehall

walks tours edinburgh

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Performances from Nzinga Dance Company

walks tours edinburgh

Nzinga Dance Company

7:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Roots Rock Reggae Acoustic Set

walks tours edinburgh

Ablewell Foundation

8:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Live soca peformance from Scrappy

walks tours edinburgh

8:30 PM - 10:00 PM

DJ Set from Melvina Moves

walks tours edinburgh

DJ Melvina Moves

About this event

Welcome to the first CaribScot Fest ™ in central Edinburgh!

Sat 13th July 4pm to 10pm (with option to stay on for The Shanghai Club night until 1am included). The Basement (Shanghai Club), Le Monde Hotel, 16 George St, Edinburgh.

DJs are Ria (Edinburgh) and Melvina Moves (London) playing soca, reggae, dancehall, zouk and all things Caribbean. Live reggae, soca and dance performances. John Simmit, Jamaican British comedian, host and writer of Windrush: A Musical Journey will be our MC for the night.

4pm Comedian and MC John Simmit

4:30pm DJ Ria on the decks playing soca and dancehall

6pm Folk and contemporary Caribbean dance performances from Nzinga Dance Company

7:30pm Ablewell Foundation with a short Lovers' Roots Rock Reggae acoustic set

8pm Soca singer Scrappy will be livening things up

8:30pm Melvina Moves hits the decks with soca, reggae, dancehall, zouk. Bringing the Caribbean Carnival party vibes until closing time!

10pm End of event (with option to stay on for Shanghai Club night until 1pm)

Food & Drink - Le Monde (City Centre) George Street, Edinburgh (lemondehotel.co.uk) Call Le Monde hotel on 0131 270 3900 to secure your dinner choices early! There will also be some Caribbean snacks on sale.

The venue has 3 bars with a great range of rums.

Check out the Caribbean jewelry, hats, Tshirts, flags and whistles from our stall at the entrance.

Under 18s welcome until 8pm. Don't forget ear protectors for the wee ones!

£20 adults, £10 under 18s and free for under 5s. Discount for group bookings 10+ (please email [email protected] or call 07429 540849)

General Admission - Adults

General admission - under 18s, under 5s free ticket, frequently asked questions.


There are 5 steps down to the Basement from the street and an internal lift inside the nightclub from upstairs in the building.

Yes - all under 18s can stay until 8pm. Please bring ear protectors for the wee ones!

5 mins walk from and to the St Andrew Bus Station and Edinburgh Waverley Train Station. Regular buses passing along George St or on nearby Princes St and York Place. Taxis can drop off outside building. More details here: https://moovitapp.com/index/en-gb/public_transportation-Le_Monde_Hotel_Edinbur

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See the Best Photos of the Royals at the Japan State Banquet

King Charles and Queen Camilla welcomed Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako to Buckingham Palace in glamorous fashion.

britain japan royals diplomacy

This week marks the third state visit King Charles has hosted during his reign. The first, in honor of South Africa's President Ramaphosa , took place in November 2022, and the second, in honor of South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol , was in November 2023. On the first evening of a state visit, a state banquet traditionally takes place in the Buckingham Palace Ballroom.

Also in attendance tonight were Prince William and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. Kate Middleton, though she appeared at Trooping the Colour earlier this month, is still undergoing cancer treatment and is not back to work, so she was not among the royals at the banquet this evening. Princess Anne, who was hospitalized with a head injury, also missed the banquet.

Here, see all the best photos of the royals (and their guests) at the Japan state banquet:

britain japan royals diplomacy

Queen Camilla, Empress Masako, Emperor Naruhito, and King Charles pose for a formal portrait.

britain japan royals diplomacy

The royals seemed to be in good spirits.

britain japan royals diplomacy

Queen Camilla wears the Burmese Ruby Tiara (made by Garrard) and a dress by Fiona Clare. She also wore a new honor from King Charles for the first time.

Read more about her honor

the emperor and empress of japan state visit to the united kingdom

Empress Masako wore the Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara for the first time, while Emperor Naruhito wore the star of the Order of the Garter .

Read more about Masako's tiara

Read more about Naruhito's appointment to the Garter

britain japan royals diplomacy

King Charles and Emperor Naruhito led the procession into the state banquet.

britain japan royals diplomacy

The Emperor and the King were deep in conversation as they walked in together, followed by Empress Masako and Queen Camilla.

britain japan royals diplomacy

The royal women both wore white gowns for the occasion.

britain japan royals diplomacy

Prince William walked algonside with Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey as Prince Edward followed behind, walking next to Julia Longbottom.

britain japan royals diplomacy

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh (in green) wore the Lotus Flower Tiara for the first time . She entered the ballroom next to H.E. Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone.

Read more about the tiara

britain japan royals diplomacy

The Duke of Gloucester accompanied Ms Yukiko Nishimiya into the banquet.

britain japan royals diplomacy

Birgitte, the Duchess of Gloucester walked in with H.E. Mr. Yoshiji Nogami. The Duchess wore the Cartier Indian Tiara.

britain japan royals diplomacy

King Charles and Emperor Naruhito shared a laugh. Both delivered speeches during the event; King Charles mentioned Hello Kitty and Pokémon in his.

Read more here

britain japan royals diplomacy

Emperor Naruhito and King Charles clink glasses during a toast.

britain japan royals diplomacy

Guests seated during the dinner.

britain japan royals diplomacy

King Charles sat next to the Emperor and Queen Camilla.

britain japan royals diplomacy

A view of the Buckingham Palace ballroom before everyone arrived.

britain japan royals diplomacy

King Charles III's cypher is on the dinner plates.

Headshot of Emily Burack

Emily Burack (she/her) is the Senior News Editor for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royals, and a range of other subjects. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy managing editor at Hey Alma , a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram .

preview for Society Section Curated

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    Free walking tours in Edinburgh 9,401 opinions from other walkers about Edinburgh tours 4.83 (9,401 ratings) Melissa 04 Jun 2024 Cairns Verified booking Travelled in group - Jun 2024 Absolutely fantastic tour, which we highly recommend. Very informative, relaxed and great humour. A great voice for walking tours, very easy to understand and hear ...

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    5. See Your City. One of the biggest walking tour companies in the UK, See Your City offers several fun tours in Edinburgh. Their best (and most popular) is the Harry Potter walking tour, on which you'll visit the places that inspired JK Rowling as she penned her famous series (and the café where she did so).

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    By Black History Walking Tours Edinburgh. Follow. Follow. Date and time. Saturday, July 13 · 4 - 10pm GMT+1. Location. Le Monde Hotel. 16 George Street The Basement Edinburgh EH2 2PF United Kingdom. Show map. Refund Policy. No Refunds. Agenda. CaribScot Fest. 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM. Welcome. John Simmit.

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    Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh (in green) wore the Lotus Flower Tiara for the first time. She entered the ballroom next to H.E. Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone. She entered the ballroom next to H.E. Mr ...