Parliament House

Parliament House, Edinburgh

Parliament House
4
About
This elegant building, located along the Royal Mile, once housed the Scottish government until Scotland's union with England in 1707.
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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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Popular mentions

4.0
54 reviews
Excellent
18
Very good
25
Average
6
Poor
2
Terrible
3

therichastill
Stevenage, UK1,385 contributions
Magnificent Buildings
Oct 2020
Prior to the union of Scottish and English parliaments this was where the Scottish parliament met. These magnificent buildings are on the Royal Mile and easily located if you are on this route.

The architecture is very impressive and worth checking out on your walk up the Mile.
Written 12 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chris
St. Albans, UK4,414 contributions
Parliament Square
Jul 2020
Parliament Square is an extremely beautiful and architectural part of Edinburgh, containing Parliament House and many other old buildings.

This is a place in Edinburgh which should not be missed. Although I couldn't because of Covid, I recommend getting a tour of the building.
Written 23 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

M G
Arlington, VA73 contributions
A view of the Scottish legal world
Nov 2019
This is the old parliament house of Scotland. Enter door 11, behind St. Giles’ Cathedral, pass through security (free admission!), and you can see a part of the civil courts. There’s a large hall with a stained glass window that once held the Scottish parliament. You can peek into the law library, and then you can go down to the basement to have a meal in the café. The food was tasty, if not gourmet, and you can eat with the lawyers working that day. From what I understand, it is possible to observe a trial, but none were scheduled during our visit.

Photography was not allowed.

This is something different to do in the old town. There were no other visitors apart from me and my companion, but there were people working and attending to their own business matters. Highly recommended for those seeking something quiet to do, away from the crowd, and those interested in the legal professions.
Written 3 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

IAN D
Wigan, UK18,513 contributions
Classical building
Jan 2020 • Solo
The original home of the Scottish government in the 1600s. A classical courtyard of buildings just off the Royal Mile.
Written 29 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michael F
Sevenoaks, UK92 contributions
The Hidden Gem
Sep 2019
It truly is as we would have missed it if we hadn't chatted to the security guard behind St Giles Cathedral and we only did that because of the brexit protesters. In the opposite corner is Parliament House with the law courts, inside of which is a marvelous stained glass window and the self supporting roof (yes Harry potter connected). Free entry and hoistoric.
Written 14 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SmileyKay
Cluj-Napoca, Romania1,412 contributions
Average
May 2019 • Couples
The Parliament House is rather a complex of several buildings, built in classical Greek style, which houses the Supreme Courts of Scotland. It is located in the Old Town, next to St. Giles cathedral.
Written 1 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SharonJKBL
Illinois65 contributions
Neat architecture and interesting info
Jun 2019 • Couples
We walked through the building and took advantage of the 15-minute talk. So much information was provided in a way that was easy to absorb. Very cool to learn the meaning behind the different shapes and architecture.
Written 9 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Allohay
Alloa, UK33 contributions
Old Parliament
Jan 2019 • Couples
Just behind St Giles church is the original parliament building of Scotland.
Alot more impressive than that new monstrosity they now sit in.
It is free to enter but a lot of the building is out of bounds. Worthy of a quick visit.
Written 29 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Noraatc
Sudbury, MA25,486 contributions
Imposing buildings of the Parliament House
Oct 2018 • Couples
I could not agree more with the previous reviewer: the beautiful buildings of the Old Parliament House are in striking contrast with the ultimate ugliness of the New Parliament of Scotland near the Holyroodhouse.

The harmonious ensemble of the Parliament Square includes the Mercat Cross, St.Giles Cathedral, the statue of 5th Duke of Buccleuch outside of St Giles Cathedral, the equestrian statue of Charles II... all of them make the Old Town unforgettable. We enjoyed it on a very rainy and windy day... luckily, the weather failed to spoil the impression.
Written 30 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mslancashire503927
Burnley, UK2,890 contributions
Original Scottish Parliament buildings
Oct 2018 • Couples
Very impressive buildings in the old part of town. Makes me wonder why the new ugly site of the Scottish parliament buildings near Holyrood palace were ever thought about!! Magnificent buildings and others too in Parliament Sq
Written 27 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Parliament House

We recommend booking Parliament House tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 3 Parliament House tours on Tripadvisor