Calton Hill
Calton Hill
4.5
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00:00 - 23:59
Monday
00:00 - 23:59
Tuesday
00:00 - 23:59
Wednesday
00:00 - 23:59
Thursday
00:00 - 23:59
Friday
00:00 - 23:59
Saturday
00:00 - 23:59
Sunday
00:00 - 23:59
About
Historic neighborhood lined with monuments dating back to the Enlightenment.
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Broughton & Calton
Lying where grandiose New Town townhouses give way to malls and utilitarian housing, Broughton and Calton have long been transitional neighbourhoods with a mixed identity. It’s here that Edinburgh’s gay village found a home in the 1980s. But gay culture is anything but overt along bustling epicentre Broughton Street; even if polished pubs, hip bistros, smart delis and art galleries all speak of affluent good taste. The top of Leith Walk is more ragged. This major thoroughfare boasts a famously gritty gay club, as well as a strip of good Indian restaurants. Regal Georgian and Victorian townhouses preside over largely deserted streets in Calton, where only the occasional restaurant or hotel brings much life. Even so, a steady trickle of idlers and picnickers pass by to climb Calton Hill for its wide-open lawns, wonderful city views, and curious monuments – an Athenian-style temple among them.
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See what travellers are saying
  • Jay B
    Fairhope, Alabama1,041 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Edinburgh's Acropolis
    This is a must see place while in Edinburgh. We stopped here during a half day tour of Edinburgh and loved it. The summit is lined with monuments depicting important chapters in Edinburgh's history and offers beautiful, long range views. From here you can view the Firth of Forth port and the transition from New Town to Old Town. Some of monuments and structures you will see include Lord Nelson's monument, the very Greco-Roman National Monument and the natural prominence of Arthur's Seat, the highest point in and around Edinburgh. A visit is well worth your time.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 27 July 2023
  • Michelle A
    Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom50 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great views and it five mins steepish climb. Well worth ut
    Amazing views and so close to princess St at the Station end. It's steep for about five minutes but well worth the views. Stunning. You could easily spend a couple of hours there. Toilets too.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 28 July 2023
  • Ali v
    25 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A view worth the tired legs.
    This was at the top of my list so I could see all my of Edinburgh in the little time I had. It was a windy, drizzly Monday last week after a long flight from the US, but I wanted to try to see it Not for the weak as the climb is straight up stairs then a fairly steep walkway. There are no good testing places and the hill continues up when you reach the site. The views are quite stunning and interesting. I was interested in taking photos and the opportunities were endless. The view of Arthur’s Seat was magnificent even in the brief downpour. Edinburghs complete layout is at your feet. Though challenging, I would happily do it again especially to see it at sunset.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 9 August 2023
  • Ian L
    Perth, Australia755 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Looking down on everyone!
    As long as you are reasonably fit, it's well worth slogging up the steep walkway. Great broad views of Edinburgh from different sides of the hill. Some interesting old monuments and buildings (including City Observatory) at the top of the peak as well. May have been the result of volcanic activities 340+ million years ago but feels pretty safe now. It's really enjoyable taking look at all the old buildings, viewpoints, Roman structures and monuments while at the top. And rug up, it's a bit cool and windy at times.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 10 August 2023
  • Nathanael Sadgrove
    Manchester, United Kingdom35 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must do
    A relatively short hike (if you can find the proper path entrance) to a spot that give amazing views across the city. A small museum is present at the top aswell as various information boards regarding local, Scottish, and British history. But worth it just for the views (on a good day) alone.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 20 August 2023
  • Inga S
    Tampa, Florida53 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning views
    A must visit in Edinburgh. Free and stunning views of the city. A little bit of a climb but well laid out with stairs. Beautiful at the top and spacious. I wished we had packed a picnic to take up there.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 August 2023
  • Annelie
    11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great views from Calton Hill
    A great viewpoint with astonishing views 360 degrees. It takes a little effort to walk up to Calton Hill since it is all uphill but it is well worth it! The historical monuments were spectacular and with the beautiful city in the background even more so.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 3 September 2023
  • therivs
    Sturgeon Falls, Canada351 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive View
    We decided to walk up Calton Hill as it was next to our hotel. It was late in afternoon and we were not disappointed. Nice panoramic view of the city as well as what looks like an unfinished Parthenon. The climb up was not too difficult at all for us seniors. Really worth the walk up.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 September 2023
  • dma1969
    242 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Easy climb with rewarding views
    I was so focused on Arthur’s Seat that I nearly overlooked this gem but a tour guide recommended it. We were near the bottom so decided to climb up for a beautiful view of the city, Castle, and Arthur’s Seat. Doesn’t take long to climb and has lots of viewpoints.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 18 September 2023
  • Thomas G
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands1,837 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive view
    Calton Hill is a small hike upwards, but worth the hike. There is a cool cemetery called New Calton, which is good to visit, but the highlight is the view from several angles. You can see old Roman buildings in combination with the view of Edinburgh Castle, Arthurs Seat and the rest of the city.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 September 2023
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles9,532 reviews
Excellent
5,937
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3,034
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502
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45
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16

Jacob
Wagga Wagga, Australia73 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
This was well worth getting to the top of the hill for. Plenty of monuments to take photos of. The view of the city and Arthur's seat is uninterrupted as well which makes it a great spot to hang about for an extended period.

Highly recommend.
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.

SmithySy57
Woking, UK8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
An enjoyable walk for great views!
Our family of 4, including 10 and 8 year old, loved this stroll for brilliant views.
We climbed Jacob's Ladder steps to visit the Burns Monument first, then strolled by the Scottish Government Building and across the road to go up some more steps to the top of the hill.
Plenty of monuments to see and learn about on Calton Hill itself (Nelson Monument, National Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument, the Observatory), as well as fantastic views of the city, the castle, Arthur's Seat, Holyrood palace, River Forth...it's well worth the stroll and it's hardly any distance at from the city centre.
Highly recommended!
Written 3 March 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.

Eilidh F
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
My boyfriend and I found it very overpriced. It was £40 for us both to watch the festival but you couldn’t see what was going on half of the time due to crowds of people and no space and when you finally got a space the performers would leave and randomly move somewhere else with nothing to tell you where there going or a time schedule. It also was just very underwhelming at the rare chance you did get to see something in our opinion as the performances were quite repetitive.
Written 3 May 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.

Holly
54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
We visited in the evening during golden hour and it was lovely to check out the view of the city. Really nice and chill. The steps up weren't to difficult to come up either. Lots of youths hanging around the area having fun.
Written 21 July 2021
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.

Vensure1
Ottawa, Canada229 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
My first time to Edinburgh and I can say: nothing compares to a view from Calton Hill, except maybe a view during sunset (which I didn't quite get to do!) True to the pictures and other reviews, it is a truly remarkable vista... in all directions. Perhaps that's what makes it so unique. You can see the Mound and Edinburgh Castle plus the sprawling city beyond to the west, the borough of Leith and the Forth to the North (hey that rhymes), and of course Arthur's Seat to the south and east (also a splendid view from the top), so I recommend bringing binoculars if you want to get a zoom-in view, since I don't recall them having telescopes there. It's also renowned for having neo-classical architecture on there, like Nelson's Monument and the Waterloo Monument.
Written 5 June 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.

Sandy
Kincardine, Canada2,098 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
This is the place to walk up and get the best panoramic views of the city. Now, if you are mobility challenged, it is a difficult set of stairs on the New town side, so take your time. Also be careful on the walking tracks, as with a bit of rain, they are very slick.
Otherwise, it affords tremendous views of the city. On the way back down, take in the old Calton burial ground. It’s well worth an explore.
Recommend
Written 17 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.

19CaroleK
Montrose, UK232 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
What can I say the views are spectacular - if you don't want to climb Arthur's Seat for the views this is the easiest one to do for the all round views.

Even in February there were lots of people but still managed to get some great photos.

We walked up waterloo place and climbed the stairs from this part of the city this seemed quite easy but there are other routes you can take
Written 4 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.

JTJD
United Kingdom1,027 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
We headed to this area one evening specifically to take photographs of the city. You get great views of Edinburgh & if you get a good sunset it’s spectacular.
The place was busy with tourists & it felt quiet safe in the early evening when it was still light.
Written 18 July 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.

Ian C
London, UK23,735 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
At the top of Carlton Hill are monuments to Nelson and Robert Burns and the unfinished National Monument with a predominant Greek architectural style reinforcing Edinburgh's title of 'Athens of the North'.

Less well-known is the City Observatory which for many years was the Royal Observatory before its move to Blackford Hill in 1896.

The origins of the observatory on Carlton Hill go back to the mid-18th century when a joint private and university observatory was created in buildings which are Gothic in style. Playfair's neoclassical temple with its four wings round a central dome came in 1822 as the Royal Observatory.

The Observatory was latterly occupied by the Edinburgh Astronomical Society, but they moved out in 2009 and the buildings had various temporary uses until a £1million refurbishment project by Edinburgh City Council in partnership with the Collective contemporary art gallery, restoring the buildings, creating a visitor centre and new art spaces plus, in a new building, a restaurant with incredible views across Edinburgh.

Today, therefore, all the buildings are open to the public in one way or another, and there are amazing views across Edinburgh.
Written 29 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.

ItTastesLikeFeet
Edinburgh, UK498 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021 • Solo
A different vantage point of the city compared to the other hills in Edinburgh. Calton Hill is the closest to the city centre of the hills with the buildings creating a contrasting backdrop in photos. The partly finished monument atop the hill can be climbed onto with tourists and locals alike often venturing up. There are informative signs and plaques pointing out interesting points from the lookout. The Lookout by Gardeners Cottage is located within the art gallery grounds on the hill. The walk up the steps to Calton Hill can be strenuous but there are other flatter paths to get up.
Written 19 June 2021
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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CALTON HILL (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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