Last updated on September 27th, 2020
Edinburgh is a city like no other. Nestled on the banks of the Firth of Forth in the south-east of Scotland, it features a wide-ranging selection of tourist attractions as well as a fascinating history that spans 1000 years of wars, plagues and bloody battles.
The city is split into two halves – the Old and New Towns – both of which have been granted UNESCO world heritage status. Discover the city’s ancient past, it’s associations with whisky and how it inspired a certain boy wizard with this selection of the best guided tours.
Enjoy a Harry Potter themed walking tour across Edinburgh. See the city where JK Rowling found inspiration for Hogwarts, her famous characters, and discover the place where she wrote the books. Have your Harry Potter trivia tested with an audio-visual quiz, and earn points for your house.
This vaults tour takes you beneath the streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town into a dimly lit space that many considered to be haunted. Your 1-hour tour visits the vaults of the South Bridge that date back to the 1700s. These are the same vaults mentioned on Most Haunted Live as one of the scariest places on earth.
This guided whisky tour tells the story of Scotland’s most famous product. A highlight of these tours is the Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection, which is the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky, encompassing almost 3,500 individual bottles.
Step down into Edinburgh’s hidden history at The Real Mary King’s Close, voted Scotland’s Best Heritage Tourism Experience. Discover over 400 years of history and learn about the intriguing stories of Edinburgh’s past residents. From the deadly plague epidemic to a famous royal visitor, there is a myriad of tales just waiting to be told.
Live and breathe Edinburgh’s darkest history, if you dare. The Edinburgh Dungeon is an award-winning, 70-minute interactive and immersive walk-through experience covering 1000 years of Edinburgh and Scottish history through 11 live actor shows, theatrical sets, special effects, and 2 thrilling rides.
Tour Edinburgh to your own schedule on the open-top sightseeing bus, and enjoy the on-board commentary that describes the history behind the lively city. Compare Edinburgh’s Old Town, where families lived in cramped conditions and rubbish was thrown out of the windows, to the elegant Georgian New Town, with its 3 main streets and square at either end.
Depart from Edinburgh in the morning and travel to Belhaven Brewery, a historic location that dates back to 1719. Here you have time to learn about the processes and stories on a tour of their recently refurbished establishment. The tour then continues up the east coast to North Berwick, one of the most beautiful seaside villages of East Lothian.
On this 2-hour walking tour your guide will trace the real events that inspired Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed novels. The story captures the spirit of the Jacobite rebellion in Edinburgh: The Redcoats, the Highlanders and the smell of gunpowder in the air. Your expert guide will take you deep into the Old Town, to the places where history was made: Tolbooth Jail, Canongate Kirkyard and the World’s End Tavern.
Standing on Castle Rock, an extinct volcano cut to its hard basalt core in the Ice Age, Edinburgh Castle overlooks the Old Town that nestles in its shadow. Skip the long lines to enter Scotland’s most popular tourist attraction and learn about one of the world’s most heroic and bloody national histories. Your guide will tell you stories of the kings and queens that lived behind the fortress walls.
A charming day tour at a relaxed pace – discover the fishing villages of the “Kingdom of Fife” and enjoy plenty of free time to explore Scotland’s home of golf – the ancient town of St. Andrews. Leave Edinburgh with views of the iconic Forth Rail Bridge as you cross the Firth of Forth, entering into the ancient “Kingdom of Fife” passing through Aberdour before continuing into the East Neuk of Fife.
Pass some of the key film locations from all 8 Harry Potter movies as you lose yourself in the wilderness of Rannoch Moor. Discover the volcanic glen from “The Prisoner of Azkaban” en route to Fort William, where you will board the Hogwarts Express steam train. Cross the Victorian-era Glenfinnan Viaduct and get views of Loch Shiel from the “Chamber of Secrets.”
This tour meets on the iconic Royal Mile and you’ll have a short walk to one of the supplier’s outstanding whisky venues. Over the next two hours, drink 4 outstanding single malt scotch whiskys taken from the 4 major whisky-producing regions of Scotland. These whiskys will range from the relatively delicate and subtle flavours of the Lowlands to the bold and robust tastes from Islay.
The historical tour begins at the Old Police Box on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, where you will be met by a local historian and proceed straight into the Underground Vaults. Edinburgh’s Underground is over 400 years old and is full of fascinating history, all of which the guide will share with you.
Take a thrilling trip through the supernatural past of Edinburgh on a historical walking tour guaranteed to make your heart beat faster. On this 75-minute murder mystery tour, listen up as your ghostly guide – the infamous deceased highwayman Adam Lyal – leads you through the old city, pointing out the places where questionable things have occurred.
Discover the myths and legends surrounding the Holy Grail and Rosslyn Chapel on this small-group tour! You’ll also visit the beautiful Borders village of Melrose with its historic abbey. Your tour takes you south to the world-famous Scott’s View, with stunning views over the Tweed Valley and the Eildon Hills. You will also get the opportunity to visit the original Wallace Monument.