Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
4.5
09:30 - 18:00
Monday
09:30 - 18:00
Tuesday
09:30 - 18:00
Wednesday
09:30 - 18:00
Thursday
09:30 - 18:00
Friday
09:30 - 18:00
Saturday
09:30 - 18:00
Sunday
09:30 - 18:00
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
  • 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, Nevada24 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
  • Colin P
    Gibraltar16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The jewel in the crown
    The jewel in the crown of any trip to Edinburgh. You can marvel at thousands of years of history whilst walking at your own pace through the castle and it's exhibits and museums. Allow yourself a good three to four hours to enjoy it all.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 24 July 2023
  • majica101
    Toronto, Canada90 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    So much information
    We loved visiting the castle. We got the audio guide and it was information overload. We started at #1 but would highly recommend starting at the top of the castle and coming down. By the time we got to the top we were on information overload and didn't have the energy to wait in the big lineup to see the jewels and Mary Queen of Scots room. Love the chapel but it was very busy to get in and out.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 July 2023
  • ryanprint
    Green Bay, Wisconsin216 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Edinburgh must do - book and arrive early
    This is a must do when visiting Edinburgh. From most of the city, you can't miss it, and honestly travelling about the city you will get better photos than what you can see inside. I recommend planning a couple hours here and booking a time early - it gets very, very busy (at least it did in April when we were there). The audio tour is well done, and helps keep you on task as there's a lot going on in the storytelling here, as the castle was used for a variety of different things in its history. Kind of unique is the Prisons' exhibition/display on one of the lower levels.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 30 July 2023
  • Mandy P
    20 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Could not have been better
    The views were amazing. As at present I have to use a mobility scooter to get up hills. As a disabled person the facilities are excellent and accessibility the best I have experienced. If in need of assistance ask as you go in. We had excellent access to the Scottish Crown Jewels but could also have had a lift through some discovered areas that others do not have access to
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 3 August 2023
  • Explorer19993372031
    Stockholm, Sweden16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing castle and fantastic tour
    The tour covered a lot of the castle with so much information and history. Ross was a great tour guide, well-informed regarding the history and so helpful when sharing what the highlights of the castle and museum were. The castle contains so much history that it would have been overwhelming to try to figure it out all on your own.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 4 August 2023
  • humphriessue9
    Rochford, United Kingdom450 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Brilliant day out
    What a brilliant castle. I was offered a lift to the top of the castle as I have trouble walking, this was definitely worth it as we got to see parts that others don't. We saw lava rock that the castle sits on, and an exhibit that is closed to the public when getting the lift up to the frown jewels. Had an enjoyable afternoon tea, in the tea rooms.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 August 2023
  • andeegoofy
    Santa Rosa, California181 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Even the Teens enjoyed it!
    this is one of the things in Edinburgh you MUST see and do. The castle grounds are gorgeous, there's great documentation of history in a beautiful museum format, the cafe is MOST edible and amazing for a tourist stop. Our family with picky teens enjoyed this stop
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 7 August 2023
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles53,214 reviews
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Charlotte H
5 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We paid £39 for two adults which is the most I've probably ever spent to get inside a castle and I don't think it was worth it. On top of that if you wanted an audio guide or tour it was an extra £5 or £10. We did go when it was cold and raining and a lot of it is outside so I understand this will have had a negative impact for us. Also I think I was expecting more social history, however, didn’t realise the majority was about war which I personally didn’t find very interesting. The crown jewels were cool to see, however, you have to wait in a long line and when you get to the front you literally see them for roughly 2 minutes. I thought the mini museums inside could be more interactive and engaging as I found them to all be cabinets with things inside and writing which I thought was pretty dull. I think for the amount I paid I wanted the displays to be more engaging and fun. Overall, I would say save your money as you’re not missing out. One of the main selling points/positives- the views.
Written 27 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.
Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent visit to Edinburgh Castle. We are disappointed to hear you did not enjoy your visit and take value for money very seriously. We believe there are a wealth of things to see and do at the castle. The admission costs for Edinburgh Castle are regularly reviewed to ensure value for money, and our admission cost not only contributes to maintaining this historic location but also to preserving our 340+ sites across Scotland. We also offer excellent value membership or explorer passes for those wanting to explore a variety of locations. Thank you again for taking the time to leave your feedback.
Written 21 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

gcervi2016
Tarragona, Spain31 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
First of all, it is not honest that a national pride as the Scotland’s war museum were incapsulate in the pay for access Edinburgh Castle, obliging therefore visitors interested only in the museum to pay the incredible costly ticket for the Castle, which after all has not too much to offer, since its position is the emerging beauty. Now, I am asking, how much should be the entrance ticket to the Roman Colyseumwhich has two thousand years and requires continuous restructuring of its enormous body? 60 £, 70 £? When you have to pay £17,50 for the Castle ! Come on, Scottish, all tickets in Great Britain and above all in Scotland are ridiculously excessive and with time you will realize that they are bread for today and hunger for tomorrow. Happily, at least some National Museums like the Scotland’s and the Paintings’ wonderful visits are free, but.....
Written 1 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.
Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent visit to Edinburgh Castle. We take value for money very seriously and believe there are a wealth of things to see and do at the castle. From the Crown Jewels, the One O'clock Gun and the Prisons of War to the National War Museum of Scotland, wonderful views of the city, the Royal Palace and St Margaret's Chapel. In addition to this, we run free half-hourly guided tours, so there really is something for everyone. The admission costs for Edinburgh Castle are reviewed regularly to ensure good value for money, and our admission cost not only contributes to maintaining this beautiful historic location but also to preserve our 340+ sites across Scotland. Thank you again for taking the time to leave your feedback.
Written 21 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

johnmacg2
Newbury, UK8 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Visited on New Year’s Day. Had my first disappointment at the ticket desk when my Defence Discount Card was refused. This is a card issued to verified serving members and veterans of HM Forces. This should be remedied immediately. Veterans are to be given much more recognition for their service by the government and have appointed a veterans minister. Shocked that Edinburgh castle offers no recognition and concession to HM Forces veterans. Next let down was after paying the full entry fee only then to discover that two of the military museums were closed. We should have been informed prior to entry. The rest of the castle experience is pretty boring. Not much imagination or effort has gone into the exhibits. I wouldn’t recommend wasting your money on this but would highly recommend the Royal Yacht Britannia if you want to see how history should be preserved and exhibited!!
Written 2 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.
We were disappointed to hear that you your visit to the castle did not meet with your expectations. As a charity, our job is to protect, present and promote Scotland's built heritage. As you can imagine, this is a very expensive undertaking and the income generated through admissions and other avenues such as our shops and restaurants pay for only part of this work. Historic Environment Scotland (who manage Edinburgh Castle on behalf of Scottish Ministers) is a non- departmental government body and it would not be possible to undertake our work without this source of income. Our extensive evaluation and independent market research also show that we score very highly on value for money with people who have visited Edinburgh Castle as well as on enjoyment. Our policy is that serving military personnel in possession of a MOD90 card are entitled to free access to Edinburgh Castle. We receive many requests from a range of very worthy bodies and organisations regarding free or discounted access and are unfortunately not in a position for the reasons outlined above for this to be extended to all ex-military personnel. As regards the military museums, The Royal Scots and The Royal Scots Dragoon Guard Museums are run independently by volunteers and have different opening times. This is reflected on our website and our leaflets. We apologies that this was not clear on your arrival at the castle.
Written 10 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Morgs+AbiTravel
Taunton, UK36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Couples
Myself and my girlfriend visited Edinburgh for a long weekend in December 2018 for my 18th birthday, and one of the places we really wanted to go and see was Edinburgh Castle.
The admission price to get in is quite dear, but once you’re in, it really is worth the money.
Edinburgh Castle is not just any castle, it overlooks the city on top of an extinct volcano, and we can’t stress enough how incredible the views are from up top. The castle has had a massive influence on not only the kings and queens that called the castle home, but the city and country as a whole! It has also survived many major events in Scottish history and is very much a treasure to Scottish people. Trust me, you’ll learn and find out lots!
We would’ve stayed longer than we did, only time was pretty tight! But I guess that’s all more reasons to go back.
Edinburgh Castle was by far the highlight of our trip to Edinburgh, and we think it should be at the top of every Edinburgh itinerary, without a question.
Written 31 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.

spaggy45
Havant, UK30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We visited the castle on our stay in Edinburgh. It was extremely busy the day we went, due to the fact that the castle had been closed the previous 2 days. This meant that there was a lot of queuing to view rooms and areas due to the amount of people there. We did have a good time and learnt a lot, but found it a bit frustrating trying to see things with so many people all squashed into the same place. It is well worth a visit though.
Written 22 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.

Kathinated
Dunfermline, UK790 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Family
For any new or infrequent visitors to Edinburgh a trip to the castle is a must. Not only is the the history of the city centred around the castle, the views are the best from the high vantage point and there are active military museums to explore. I would recommend membership of Historic Scotland which not only gets you free entry to this but also encourages trips to other amazing landmarks and you quickly get your monies worth.
Written 23 October 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.

platybo
107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Plan ahead and buy your tickets online. They're cheaper. We couldn't get online tickets last minute and went to the ticket booth. We didn't have to wait at all at around 11am on a Saturday. Just walk in and join the next tour. We were lucky enough to also see a bit by an "executioner" who gave a little historical performance inside the great hall with costume and props around noon (better double check the time). The self service cafe has great soup to warm you up after the tour and delicious pastries all reasonably priced and with a great view!
Written 9 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.

Alan J
Norwich, UK48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
A brilliant location and the audio guide is a must - a real shame that so many indoor spaces are shut due to Covid, particularly as we couldn’t get in to see the regimental museums, prison or war museum. Nonetheless the spaces that are open are well worth the entrance price and it really brought history alive for us, taking our time over 3 hours. Don’t miss the one o clock gun!
Written 7 August 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.

plb113
Gosport, UK144 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
We visited as a family this week.
The weather was against us, and with the majority of the inside areas closed we got very wet. There is nowhere undercover to wait for others to catch up ect. Had we not had to book in advance, as advised, we probably wouldn’t have gone. The areas that were open were very impressive.
However, many areas were closed, even the museum area. I am sure that some of these could have been open with some one way systems ect. There were certainly enough staff around.
We visited as a family of 6, with 3 older teenagers (all students), and a 21 year old. There is no discount offered for students, so full adult price for us all. Therefore we did feel that it was a lot of money for what we we able to see, and overall were disappointed.
Written 28 August 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.
Thank you for taking the time to leave your review regarding your recent visit to Edinburgh Castle. We are very sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your experience when visiting us. We have been working incredibly hard to ensure that we can re-open safely, but as a result of Scottish Government guidelines we are currently unable to re-open all areas of the castle. . While we were delighted to be able to devise one-way routes and access to key and popular areas such as The Great Hall, Palace Apartments, The Scottish National War Memorial and St. Margaret’s Chapel, the lay-out and narrowness of many of the internal spaces in a historic site made any additions nonviable. We introduced new scannable interpretation and have reduced the admission price accordingly. As a part of Historic Scotland, our job is to protect, present and promote Scotland's built heritage and we feel the reduced admission reflects the offer and helps us to continue our important work. Over the next few weeks we will be working to improve the offer at the castle and we thank you again for leaving your invaluable feedback.
Written 1 September 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

nystrokedoc
11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
Experience was likely blunted by the weather but would have liked a map that outlined a clear path through the various parts of the castle. Entrances and exits were chaotic with visitor flow in both directions.

Bought the audio tour which was narrated by “actual people” involved with the museum but it was a little heavy on production values and less on facts. Also, we weren’t told there were headphones (as opposed to using regular audio), which was obvious as we returned the units.
Written 7 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.

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

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