Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
4.5
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Edinburgh Castle is a world famous icon of Scotland and part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. It was recently voted top UK Heritage Attraction in the British Travel Awards and is Scotland’s number one paid-for tourist attraction. This most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret's Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War. The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O' Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland. Please note that the "Honours of the Kingdom Exhibition" is currently closed for essential maintenance works. The Crown Room and Jewels are open to visitors.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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Top ways to experience Edinburgh Castle
The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavoured souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
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See what travellers are saying
  • Mary Katherine White
    Atlanta, Georgia60 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great way to visit the castle!
    Melanie was a great guide! She was full of a ton of information and was very animated as she spoke which made it even more intriguing! She kept us on our toes. It was a great way to see the castle and get a lot of information we may not have received otherwise.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 16 July 2023
  • Merrowmum
    Guildford, United Kingdom1,331 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very good, but…
    Went to the castle with three other adult family members today, having booked a while in advance. Notices on arrival were saying that it was sold out today and it was VERY busy throughout. To be honest, there wasn’t as much to see as I was expecting. The Crown Jewels meant queueing for 20 mins or so for a 1 minute look. The National WWI memorial is very impressive and St Margaret’s chapel is so sweet. The great hall wasn’t as impressive as I thought it would be but the restored hall in the royal apartments was very nice. My husband and brother in law enjoyed the two regimental museums; I enjoyed the prison the best! There are some superb views over Edinburgh city centre, Arthur’s Seat and beyond to the sea.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 16 July 2023
  • KristofferH
    Kalmar, Sweden34 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pre-book your tickets
    A friend who had visited before advised us to pre-book our entrance tickets, which saved the day since tickets were sold out on site. The castle ground have everything you need to spend most of your day here, including a very nice cafe. We were told to plan for at least 2 hours here - we spent 4 and could easily have stayed for longer. Pre-book your tickets and bring lots of drinking water.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 July 2023
  • Eric
    14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of our Trip Highlights
    Our guide was Australian David and he was awesome. Very knowledgeable about the castle and its history. Great tour and amazing views of the surrounding area. We could also see the castle from our room at the Waldorf Astoria.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 16 July 2023
  • Robert L
    Rayleigh, United Kingdom47 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see, but pre book if in height of tourist season.
    Must do if visiting Edinburgh. Probably worth doing a little reading up on history prior if get chance as just helps appreciate. Make sure you book online at least day in advance during the busy season, we saw a good few being turned away. This is a good half day visit if not longer if you want to make most of it. Self guide thingy available, which is good but takes time. There is a lot of walking and plenty of up and downy bits so may be issue for some ( double check before going). Great views of the city.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 July 2023
  • HINA W
    Islamabad, Pakistan7,367 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Real Scottish Castle!
    These grounds have been inhabited as early as the second century. The castle itself was built in 1124 by King David 1 on top of a dormant volcano. It was his residence. By 1633 military barracks were added to this Royal residence. Throughout history this castle has faced many conflicts. It is the most besieged castle in the world as it has faced such attacks 26 times. Inside you can see buildings of varying purposes and ages. There is St. Margaret’s chapel, a national war museum, a Great Hall and a prison. It is also the home of the Scottish Crown Jewels. These are a sceptre, crown and a sword. We also saw some historic guns and a huge cannon called Mons Meg here. I have to share an interesting fact with you, Author George R. Martin got his inspiration for the gory red wedding in The Game of Throne from the Black Dinner held in this castle in 1440.
    Visited August 2022
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 July 2023
  • RiSha
    London, United Kingdom519 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome experience!
    Came here recently during my visit to Edinburgh. Was fairly quiet when we went, so didn't have to queue for long. A really cool place to explore, and was especially interested in learning about Mons Meg. A must-see if you're visiting the city!
    Visited July 2023
    Written 20 July 2023
  • Th0rinO
    13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The main thing you must do!
    We bought tickets directly from the castle and not part of a tour. Between the audio guide and the visitors guide, we were all set. We spent almost 5 hours attempting castle and could have spent even more, but we had others things we wanted to fit in. Employee Craig was fantastic. He was very knowledgeable about the castle and Mons Meg in addition to local football, which my children had a huge interest in. My kids said "Craig is Him" which I understand is the highest compliment.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 22 July 2023
  • Kelly Cathcart
    Valparaiso, Indiana1,192 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Book early
    Book in advance! I didn't think to book before arriving to find out the castle was sold out for my entire trip. However i was still able to walk around the entrance yard and see the outside of the castle. I will make sure to get to go inside the next trip. From the front entrance yard you get great views of Edinburgh.
    Visited January 2023
    Written 23 July 2023
  • jigghcc1
    Las Vegas, Nevada21 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Just Go!
    You sort of have to visit the Edinburgh Castle when you’re in Edinburgh, right?! This is appropriate for all ages and there are different things to see depending on your interests. You can see how the castle was defended or check out the prisons. You can also check out the Crown Jewels and the Great Hall or a history of the Scottish military. The War Memorial is a wonderful tribute even through to recent history. The views are beyond amazing. The staff is well-trained, friendly, and knowledgeable. There is a nice Cafe. DEFINITELY get the audio guide.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 July 2023
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles53,204 reviews
Excellent
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Poor
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Angelina G
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Family
Booked online and had the most brilliant time. So much history to squeeze into one day but we were awestruck. Beautiful. Would highly recommend.
Written 13 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mozza Carter-Fodden
Stockton-on-Tees, UK69 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Family
Fab visit to Edinburgh Castle Would definitely recommend visiting Lots of history and culture to be learned and the damp weather didn’t put us off
Booked online which made things easier
Written 12 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oscardog16
Adelaide, Australia1,952 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Couples
The castle accommodates many museums and exhibits. It is unlike many castles that simply showcase former royal rooms with antique furniture. It presents you with 3000 years of history from various perspectives. We purchased the Historic Scotland membership before attending and booked online for the 30 minute guided tour. It was fabulous and we didn’t need the audio guide to go back and look at the items that were of interest to us.
Written 11 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thomas V
Oakland, CA16,916 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Couples
The castle is in a prominent place, on top of the hill at the top of the Royal Mile. Part restored, part in ruins. This is a must-do site to drink in the history of this old city. And try to see the Tattoo if you can.
Written 11 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah D
Stirling, UK19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Family
Not sure if this is the right place to review, but hopefully someone will see it and pass it on .!
I took my daughter who is a wheelchair user to see JLS on Tuesday night. The organisation to get her there was fantastic. The weather was appalling, but pretty much all the staff remained cheerful, I don’t know how they did it ! Particular mention for the lovely cheerful lady who met us at the “convoy” meeting place. And the organiser who explained everything to us, sorry I don’t know your names. Then the two people who manned the platform in section C, slight mix up with the tickets quickly sorted, all so helpful. Plus the various men I commandeered frequently to help me push the chair up and down slopes in the rain as I was a bit worried I’d slip . Thank you all so much!
One small comment, the access slopes to the wheelchair accessible toilets are quite awkward, they have slopes kind of going in two directions which makes it very difficult to push . No problem as I asked for help, but it isn’t easy .
Written 11 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IdontWantAUsername1
Manchester, UK9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Couples
Lovely way to spend an afternoon. In Edinburgh for a couple of days and have never visited before but glad we did. Amazing vjews across the city. Well worth a visit.
Written 10 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carol R
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Couples
Edinburgh castle is an incredibly well preserved historical place to visit. It sits high above the city with views in every direction. There are memorials, chapels and a palace with the Scottish royal jewels on display. You can rent an affordable audio tour for about three pounds or read the numerous descriptions on the buildings.

My husbands favorite part was St. Margaret's chapel - built in the 1100s. A small stone building containing beautiful stain glass windows and an alter. I enjoyed the multimedia presentation on a period of history in which the castle was occupied by the British then destroyed by Robert the Bruce. There were tea rooms, a cafe and even whisky tasting!

All in all we learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed our two hour visit. Definitely make a reservation to enter!
Written 10 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

spidwid
Penzance, UK23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Couples
Visited the castle on a sat, I forgot the time of my booking reservation, and I telephoned that morning, the staff were very quickly able to find my booking details so that I was reassured.
I was told to catch the bus from my campsite which took us straight into Edinburgh city, which is massive. We were advised from a fellow camper to get off at Prince's Street, and the quickest route from there to Edinburgh castle was on foot. We followed Google maps, which took us straight there. The approach to the castle is steep, and it was full to the capacity of multicultural tourists by the coach load. A scaffolding seating area was up, because in July, they have concerts. We made our way through the crowd whereby a notice was displayed advising the site was fully booked, so without a ticket, sadly, people were being turned away.
The staff scanned our tickets and asked us if we needed a scooter to take us up to the castle, which we gladly accepted. This was actually little shuffle cars, taking you.
We met Robert the driver, such a lovely kind gentleman, very, very respectful man, he told us that we were going through a secret tunnel that other guests did not see, he told us which buildings were easily accessible. He also advised us if we had any issues, to either find the guides or go into the shop or cafe area and we would be helped.
The castle was jam, packed with visitors but queing was easy, and the exhibits were fantastic. Robert explained the Scottish crown jewels were there and a war memorial building, which the only two places you were not allowed to take photos.
All the staff were informative and kind, nothing was too much trouble. There was so much to see and it was impossible to take it all in to be fair. There were large print guide books throughout the buildings, which was fantastic.We realised when leaving the venue that there were also audio guides,for £3.50 which I recommend having.
We saw Robert ferrying people back and forth all day, so we flagged him down and asked him if we had missed anything. He said have you seen this, etc, etc, and then he mentioned the prisons. Sadly we missed them so he said “jump in the taxi, I will drop these other guests at the exit and take you back to the prison” As I said a real true gentleman, and an asset to the attraction. The only negative I can say is when I went into the ladies toilets, omg, shockingly disgusting. I couldn't believe women were so grosse. The castle is a definite must see, and I highly recommend a visit.
Written 9 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Spencer
New York City, NY214 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Amazing place to visit! There is something for everyone at Edinburgh Castle! It is a well laid out place and allow at least 2-3 hours to see it! Highlights for us was the Military Museum, War Memorial, Crown Jewels and the Prison. It is quite crowded and guided tour tickets get booked up well in advance. General admission tickets should be booked in advance too if you don’t choose a guided tour. You can purchase an audio tour in that case which is helpful. Day of tickets on our day were not available so it is wise to plan for it!
Written 9 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Max J
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
There were lots of different exhibits and things to see around the castle. It’s very easy to breeze through OR spend several hours if you want. And you can’t beat the views.
Written 9 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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EDINBURGH CASTLE (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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