17 AWESOME Tours in Edinburgh [July 2021]

Edinburgh is one of the most exciting cities to visit in the UK. This destination is famous for its rich history, proud Scottish culture, beautiful old architecture, and many unique landmarks. If you want to make the most out of your time here, there are loads of great Edinburgh tours on offer.

Here is our list of some of the best Edinburgh guided tours available. As there are so many different things to do in this city, these tours will appeal to all kinds of travelers. If you are after a convenient and exciting way to experience Edinburgh, then be sure to check out some of these tours! 

#1 – Tour Edinburgh Castle

One of the most important attractions in Edinburgh

Tour Edinburgh Castle

  • $$$
  • 1.5 hours
  • Skip the line ticket
  • A fully guided tour of Edinburgh Castle

You can’t come to Edinburgh without visiting its iconic castle. This tour allows you to skip past the long lines, and enjoy an informative guided journey through this amazing landmark.

Your guide will teach you all about the kings, queens, and soldiers that lived in this castle. This place has a really interesting and exciting history – something you will learn all about during this tour. 

Besides the fascinating stories that you will hear, Edinburgh Castle is also one of the most beautiful sites to visit in the city. With its sweeping views and stunning architecture, this is a place that you just have to experience. 


#2 – Old Town Walking Tour

A great way to see the historic city

Old Town Walking Tour

  • $
  • 90 minutes
  • Live tour guide
  • Walk through the historic streets and wynds of the Old Town

Old Town Edinburgh is where all of the city’s important history and breathtaking architecture can be found. This walking tour of Edinburgh Old Town allows you to really appreciate and learn about the many points of interest found here. 

Walk through the old wynds and cobblestone stone streets, and explore the many secrets that Edinburgh has to offer. Wandering around the city on foot is definitely the best way to really experience the magic of the place. 


#3 – Scotch Whisky Tour

A must-do for whisky lovers

Scotch Whisky Tour

  • $$
  • 50 – 75 minutes
  • Audio guide/headphones available in many different languages
  • Taste and learn all about famous Scotch whisky

When visiting Edinburgh, Scotland, sampling some of the local whisky is always a highlight! The Scotch Whisky Experience offers the largest collection of Scotch whisky in the world. This tour will teach you all there is to know about the country’s favorite drink.

You will get to tour the museum, and take a ride in the whisky barrel car. Of course, there is also a full whisky tasting experience to enjoy at the end. This is one of the best tours Edinburgh has to offer for whisky fans. 


#4 – Edinburgh Underground Tour

See the city from a totally unique perspective

Edinburgh Underground Tour

  • $$
  • 105 minutes
  • Live tour guide
  • Explore the spooky underground vaults of Edinburgh

Edinburgh may be a beautiful city above ground, but there is also plenty to discover below the surface. This Edinburgh tour through the underground vaults and Canongate graveyard will show you a completely different side of the city. 

The live guide will tell you stories about the dark and spooky history of the city. Through this, you will get to learn all about the fascinating Blair Street Underground Vaults. Of all the tours of Edinburgh, Scotland, this one offers one of the most unique perspectives. 


#5 – Harry Potter Walking Tour

A must-do for Harry Potter fans

Harry Potter Walking Tour

  • $
  • 2 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Explore the magical city that inspired Harry Potter

If you love Harry Potter, then exploring the magical places that inspired the books is an absolute must! This walking tour through Edinburgh takes you past all of the important areas in the city where Harry Potter was written or based on. 

You will get to test your Harry Potter trivia in a quiz, get sorted into houses, and visit many prominent Harry Potter sights. 


Excited to visit Edinburgh? Get excited to take an amazing day trip too!

#6 – Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

One of the best ways to explore the city

Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

  • $$
  • Ticket valid for 24 hours
  • Audio guide in 9 different languages
  • Stop at the many exciting landmarks around Edinburgh

Looking for the most convenient way of seeing and getting around Edinburgh? The hop-on-hop-off bus has got to be it! This 24-hour bus service allows you to move between the many different points of interest and tourist hotspots of the city. 

The bus tour includes an informative audio guide, so you get to learn about the city as you cruise through it. The busses run every 10 to 20 minutes, offering a brilliant perspective of Edinburgh. 


I’m sure you know a bit about Edinburgh, but we have a few historical facts you might not have heard yet.

#7 – Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Highlands Tour

A beautiful day tour from Edinburgh

Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Highlands Tour

  • $$$
  • 12.5 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Experience the amazing landscapes of the Scottish Highlands

Edinburgh is a fantastic destination by itself, but it is also a great base for exploring more of Scotland. This day tour from Edinburgh allows you to visit the famous Loch Ness, as well as witness the magnificent Highlands scenery. 

Your tour guide will show you quaint Scottish villages, the stunning Highlands landscape, and you will get to stop at Glencoe. This is a brilliant tour for those wanting to see more of the natural landscape found outside Edinburgh. 


Planning a trip? See our list of the best things to see in Edinburgh!

#8 – Real Mary King’s Close Tour

Discover Edinburgh’s hidden history

Real Mary King’s Close Tour

  • $$
  • 1 hour
  • Live tour guide
  • Witness unique historic areas of Edinburgh

Edinburgh is loaded full of fascinating historic places. This tour of real Mary King’s Close reveals the many underground streets dating back over 400 years ago. 

This tour includes a visit to the intriguing exhibition room before you get to venture through the close. You will learn a great deal about Edinburgh’s past here. This is actually rated the best Heritage Tourism Experience in Scotland. The Real Mary King’s Close tour is located underneath the famous Royal Mile.


#9 – Firth of Forth Sightseeing Cruise

A fun outdoor tour

Firth of Forth Sightseeing Cruise

  • $
  • 90 minutes
  • Includes a complimentary cream tea
  • Cruise around the beautiful Firth of Forth

The Firth of Forth, located a short distance outside of Edinburgh, offers some of the most wonderful marine landscapes. This cruise is one of the best ways to really absorb the unique environment here. 

The cruise will pass seals and puffins, Limekilns Village, Blackness Castle, and the UNESCO World Heritage Forth Bridge. Enjoy a tasty tea while you admire the stunning views all around you. 


What sort of trip are you planning? Edinburgh has incredible hotels for all types of visits!

#10 – Palace of Holyroodhouse

An essential place to visit in Edinburgh

Palace of Holyroodhouse

  • $
  • 1.5 hours
  • Includes an audio guide in 9 different languages
  • Discover this incredible palace in Edinburgh

The palace of Holyroodhouse is the official royal residence in Scotland. This tour will allow you to explore the grounds and interior of this magnificent, regal building. 

You will get to learn all about royal history in Scotland, as well as see many treasures of the royal collection. This includes some amazing rare artworks. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is one of the most important buildings to visit in Old Town Edinburgh, and this tour offers you the best insight you can get into this place. 


#11 – Old Town Beer Walking Tour

Beer fans will love this tour

Old Town Beer Walking Tour

  • $$$
  • 2.5 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Includes beer tastings

This is one of the most exciting tours of Edinburgh – especially if you love craft beer! This tour takes you on an informative guided walk throughout the Old Town. Not only will you learn all about the important landmarks here – but you will also discover the world of craft beer in Edinburgh. 

As you walk through the Old Town, you will stop for beer tastings at some of the best bars and craft breweries in Edinburgh. This is a truly refreshing way of seeing the city.


Never been to Edinburgh? We’ve put together a guide to all the best neighborhoods in Edinburgh!

#12 – Loch Lomond, Trossachs and Stirling Castle Tour

An exciting day out in the countryside

Loch Lomond, Trossachs and Stirling Castle Tour

  • $$$
  • 9 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Cruise along Loch Lomond and explore Stirling Castle

This tour from Edinburgh is a great way to experience the magnificent countryside and wilderness found outside the city. You will get to visit the impressive Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, as well as explore the historic Stirling Castle. 

This tour includes a scenic cruise around Loch Lomond and stops at some of the prettiest little villages in the area. This tour is a must for those wanting to see some of the best natural beauty in Scotland. 


#13 – Edinburgh Pub Crawl

A fun way to experience the Edinburgh nightlife

Edinburgh Pub Crawl

  • $
  • 4.5 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Visit 5 cool bars and a fun club

Edinburgh may be a beautiful, historic city by day, but the streets really come alive again at night. If you would like to experience some of the absolute best nightlife around the city, then take this guided tour through some of the hottest bars and clubs. 

You will get to enjoy plenty of free and half-price drinks while being guided by knowledgeable locals. This is a great way to meet new people and make sure that you end up at the best party spots in the city. 


#14 – Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tour

A fun and unique ghost tour

Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tour

  • $$
  • 75 minutes
  • Live tour guide
  • A fun comedy horror sightseeing tour

Edinburgh is full of spooky stories. This ghost tour explores the haunted history of the city, through an entertaining theatrical tour. You will get to ride along in a wonderfully converted vintage bus, while the conductor explains all kinds of ghostly stories to you. 

Visit the most haunted places in the city, and learn about the interesting history of the places too. This is a fun and informative tour.


#15 – Scenic Bike Tour

An exciting way to explore the city

Scenic Bike Tour

  • $$$
  • 3 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Cycle between some of the best highlight attractions in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a pretty compact city, and getting around by bicycle is a brilliant way of seeing the many sights on offer. This 3-hour guided cycling tour will take you between top landmarks – including Arthurs Seat, Holyrood Park, the new Scottish Parliament Building, and many more.

Enjoy the fresh air and many sights around you as you explore the city on two wheels. This is one of the most enjoyable ways of traveling around Edinburgh. 


#16 – Guided Food Tour

An essential tour for foodies

Guided Food Tour

  • $$$$
  • 3 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Taste your way through the best food in Edinburgh

Scotland has a unique and utterly delicious culinary scene. This food tour will allow you to experience the best tastes in Edinburgh. 

You will be guided between some of the most popular and well-acclaimed restaurants in the city. Taste traditional favorites – such as haggis, neeps, and tatties. You will also get to try some single malt Scotch whisky, and locally crafted gin. 


#17 – Tour to Rosslyn Chapel

A brilliant day tour from Edinburgh

Tour to Rosslyn Chapel

  • $$$
  • 8 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Visit the world-famous Rosslyn Chapel on this exciting day trip

Edinburgh touring can take you to some of the most magnificent sites in the world – including the impressive Rosslyn Chapel. This tour will take you out to the Scottish borders, stopping at a number of amazing destinations. 

Besides being able to explore the famous Rosslyn Chapel, you will get to see Melrose Abbey, the village of Roslyn, travel through the beautiful Lowlands, and enjoy a whisky tasting at the Glenkinchie Distillery. 


Final Thoughts

Tours in Edinburgh Scotland are wide-ranging – and they give you some of the most convenient ways to experience the city. There are loads of unique Edinburgh attractions and sights to see, and taking a guided tour can help you to really make the most of them. 

If you are planning a trip to Edinburgh, consider taking some of these tours in order to really make the most out of your experience here.

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About the Author Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.