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St Giles' Cathedral

Certificate of Excellence
Old Town
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Address: High Street | Historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1RE, Scotland
Phone Number: +44 131 225 9442
09:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 13:00 - 17:00
Mon - Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Fee: No

St Giles’ Cathedral is the historic City Church of Edinburgh. With its...

St Giles’ Cathedral is the historic City Church of Edinburgh. With its famed crown spire it stands on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland’s chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen).

Please do not book any tours through TripAdvisor, as they are not endorsed by the cathedral.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 3,474 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1421
  • 895
    Very good
  • 168
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  • 8
Photographers visit

Great building Good for photography but you will need a £2 permit Don't go an a very sunny day as Windows get too bright Go Ito the chapel which is a donation but well worth it

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Ian H
Canterbury, United Kingdom
via mobile
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3,474 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,505: English reviews
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
100 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Great building Good for photography but you will need a £2 permit Don't go an a very sunny day as Windows get too bright Go Ito the chapel which is a donation but well worth it

Thank Ian H
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

The cathedral is one of the best ones I've seen in Europe. The architecture of it is just spectacular, pictures can't really describe the beauty of this place. You must visit!

Thank POLI T
Portrush, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
169 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is a beautiful sancutary in the middle of the city! The catherdral is open daily with a suggested donation of £3.00 person. There is a cafe in the basement which is reasonably priced and a lovely wee shop. Even when it is busy you will find a spot to sit and think and take in the beauty of the... More 

Thank ShazFinlay
Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
119 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The architecture is absolutely gorgeous. Well worth a visit to sit and take it all in. I will return when in Edinburgh again.

1 Thank LindaLou1960
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
119 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We visit the cathedral and we enjoy songs and music from an fine artist and a mucisian singing songs of the middle ages from Italy and England ,just fabulus

Thank nikos1894
Level Contributor
60 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Cathedral is beautiful, it's free but donations can be made, lovely little gift shop also .Seriously check this little gem of a cafe out. We went 3 times in 2 days the food is home made and fresh cooked. The soup was delicious.

Thank pixie1972
Chardon, Ohio
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Must see! Give yourself an hour to take in the beauty inside and out. Free to walk around inside but 5 pounds for a "photo pass" which is completely worth it. It was so breathtaking we almost went back again but didn't have time during our four days in Edinburgh.

Thank ColleenKathryn
Level Contributor
72 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Not being in to religion, but open minded ,after listening to Johnny the tour guide we thought we would give it a go.In the thistle challenge to see the unicorn,the waters,and the historic building was a plus.

Thank patslass
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I have been to many Cathedrals , but I feel here is calming, wondrous, the windows are beautiful, I am not a regions person but after being here I feel as if the world is just right and I can cope again....... right in the heart of the Royal mile, with Greyfriers Bobby sitting close by.......after strolling along looking at... More 

Thank TrudiRosanna
west coast of Scotland
Level Contributor
140 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

As you walk down from the Castle,just pop into this Cathedral and admire the beautiful ,Gothic Architecture.It is a peaceful haven amongst all the hustle and bustle.B beautiful stained glass windows to admire , especially on a sunny day. Just as an aside there is a really,realky nice cafe in the Crypt. Wheelchair accessible

Thank rubyme

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Staying in Old Town

Neighbourhood Profile
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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