Greyfriars Kirk
Greyfriars Kirk
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksArchitectural BuildingsCemeteriesReligious Sites
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Founded in 1620, Greyfriars Kirk it is the first church built in post-Reformation Edinburgh. We’re open to visitors for most of the year. The interior boasts impressive stained glass windows and a magnificent pipe organ. In our museum, see an original old painting of Greyfriars Bobby and a copy of The National Covenant. The Kirkyard is famous for being the resting place of Greyfriars Bobby. Some of Scotland’s most celebrated figures, including James Hutton and Mary Erskine are also buried here. Recently, Harry Potter fans enjoy discovering the headstones of names that allegedly inspired some of JK Rowling’s famous characters. Maps of the Kirkyard are on sale in our souvenir shop during visitor opening. Experience our history, stories, traditions! We look forward to welcoming you.
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4.5
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johnhouston2
Knaresborough, UK5,240 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
Constructed in 1620, Greyfriars Kirk was the first new church to be built in post-Reformation Scotland, so has important historical and ecclesiastical significance.

It’s a rather attractive wee church and has a fascinating graveyard with connections to J.K Rowling characters as well as a host of interesting and significant “real” people.

It is also of course connected, most famously, with the lovely story of Greyfriars Bobby.
Written 14 November 2020
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.

Brian T
London, UK8,048 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Solo
The Greyfriars Kirk is a parish church of the Church of Scotland, located a short walk from Grassmarket in Edinburgh’s Old Town. It’s surrounded by the fascinating Greyfriars Kirkyard.

The church was built between 1602 and 1620, on the former site of a Franciscan monastery which belonged to the Observantine Franciscans who had arrived in Edinburgh from the Netherlands in the mid-15th century. The Franciscans were known as the Greyfriars for the colour of their robes, so the kirk gained the name Greyfriars. The church is one of the oldest buildings in Edinburgh, and certainly worth a visit.

The church structure appears simple and uncomplicated, and far less grand than you would expect. You will notice the absence of a tower or steeple. There was one, but it was destroyed in 1718 when some gunpowder which was stored in the church exploded.

The church has some nice features, including some lovely stained glass windows, and a fine organ. One curiosity I noticed was an American flag hanging above the sanctuary. A volunteer at the church explained that Greyfriars Kirk opened on Christmas Day in 1620 at the same time that the Pilgrims had landed in the United States. The flag, which has flown at the White House in Washington D.C., was presented by the American Consul in Edinburgh on the church’s 350th anniversary in 1970.

Greyfriars Kirk is open to visitors daylight hours, and is well worth exploring. It is easily reached on foot from the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. Combine it with a visit to the Greyfriars Kirkyard, the memorial headstone to the Greyfrioars Bobby (a dog) and the nearby statue of the Greyfriars Bobby, and you’ll be able to while away a few hours quite delightfully.
Written 4 November 2022
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.

vessi80
North Lanarkshire, UK1,135 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
The original building dates back to 1620 and several rebuilds and restorations later, there remains an impressive gabled exterior.
Inside is a spacious light filled sanctuary with first class stained glass by the likes of Ballantine and a stylish contemporary organ.
The historic National Covenant was read out and signed right here in 1638 and the small museum reflects its importance with artefacts like Covenanters' swords.
The kirk continues important community work and the video on the Grassmarket Community Project is a must see.
If you go down to the bottom of the kirkyard onto Candlemaker Row, you'll find their workshop, education and cultural space plus the wonderful social enterprise cafe,Coffee Saints .
Memorable visit and made to feel very welcome.
Check website for opening hours and the programme of concerts.
Written 3 September 2022
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.

IlyaNJ
Marlboro, NJ991 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
The church is not too lavishly decorated, but the organ is super-impressive, and there are several vivid stained-glass windows. Plenty of local history context and very pleasant gardens (plus an eye-catching cemetery) around. Free to enter, with donation suggestions.
Written 20 March 2023
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.

Jessica C
Cambridge, UK96 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
We went to the graveyard on our PotterTrail tour and it was amazing! My partner and I were shocked by how ornate and huge the gravestones were. Obviously it was great as it’s where JK got her inspiration for characters and had some quiet time. Highly recommend visiting
Written 26 July 2020
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.

TWal1
Canberra, Australia2,950 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Couples
Our free walking tour ended in Greyfriars Kirk and we heard some interesting stories about the area. Fascinating history.
It is worth exploring a little further to see some of the graves and epitaphs. Certainly different times and the headstones remind us of past practices and beliefs.
Written 17 October 2022
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.

BettyChilds
Glasgow, UK242 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Couples
Beautiful, historic and well kept cemetery. Steeped in stories, culture and more than anything else the site for greyfriars bobby. Enjoyed learning the story of this loyal little dogs life and gave the nose on his statue a little rub for what I’m told brings good luck!
Written 18 January 2020
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.

Peter e
Manchester, UK799 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
As churchyards go this probably hits a eight or nine out of ten for interest.
First of all greyfriars bobby , next harry potter and third the actual history real history of the place itself.
Was a pity I never went on a tour I am sure I would have learned a lot .
Better in early dawn or late evening to give the place an atmosphere.
While its a real churchyard , peaple have forgotten that now and treat it just like a theam park , a pity really
Written 2 February 2020
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.

SunriseSki
Singapore1,035 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
…have to be visited, preferably during a cold foggy night with full moon. We went on a wonderful day and it was still impressive. Almost all the graves seem to be neglected of left behind, as if there are no family member left. Gives one an eerie feeling on how everything is finite.
Written 19 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.

TheMargeaux
Reno, NV62 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
I stumbled across this because I was looking for Tom Riddles grave which I never found. But the cemetery at Greyfriars Kirk is interesting to look around. Even though it was closed the day I was there the building is interesting. On my way out of the Greyfriars grounds there is a statue of Greyfriars bobby which is an interesting bit of history. So stop and read and take a picture.
Written 12 October 2022
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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Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh

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