21 COOLEST TOURS in Edinburgh [2022!]

Updated - Jan 16th 2022

Edinburgh is an enthralling city with a rich history, unique culture, and many iconic attractions. Tours of Edinburgh, Scotland are a great way to experience the highlights of the city! Whether you’re a first-time visitor, or you’ve visited Edinburgh before, there’s always something new to discover in this Scottish capital.

We’ve put together a list of our favorite Edinburgh tours that will guarantee you make the most of your time here. They provide visitors with an easy and convenient way to experience all that this city has to offer!

• The 21 Best Tours in Edinburgh •

#1 – 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
The easiest way to travel around Edinburgh
  • $
  • 24-hours
  • Easily travel from one Edinburgh attraction to the next
  • Edinburgh sightseeing at your own pace

The hop-on-hop-off bus makes Edinburgh touring easy and convenient. There are well places stops spread out over the city coinciding with Edinburgh’s main attractions. These big red double-decker buses are easy to spot and always have plenty of seating!

Enjoy unlimited usage of this bus for 24-hours! Sit up-top and take in the panoramic views of the city while listening to an audio guide. Buses run every 10-20 minutes.

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#2 – Guided Tour of Edinburgh Castle

Guided Tour of Edinburgh Castle
A must-see Edinburgh attraction!
  • $$
  • 1.5-hours
  • Comprehensive tour of Edinburgh’s #1 tourist attraction
  • Skip-the-line ticket included

Learn the secrets of Edinburgh Castle on a guided tour. Listen as your private tour guide narrates your journey and hear the stories of the Scottish royalty that has resided within the castle walls! 

Skip the long lines this attraction procures and head straight inside. Visit the National War Museum and see the Royal Crown Jewels. This Edinburgh tour will guarantee you make the most of your trip to the castle!

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Don’t book! At least, not before you’ve seen Edinburgh’s top hostels!

#3 – Edinburgh’s Underground Vaults Tour

Edinburgh's Underground Vaults Tour
Explore a unique aspect of the city!
  • $
  • 75-minute
  • Travel underneath the city streets
  • Learn about Edinburgh’s dark history

Start this tour with a stroll through Old Town Edinburgh! Learn about the city’s dark past and hear tales of crime and horror that once plagued the city. Make your way underground where the Edinburgh Vaults are located.

Learn how this area was turned into a living space in the 1700s and eventually became home to slums and the city’s red-light district.

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#4 – Harry Potter Walking Tour

Harry Potter Walking Tour
The best tour for Harry Potter fans!
  • $
  • 2-hours
  • Discover where J.K. Rowling drew inspiration for her famous books
  • Test your Harry Potter trivia knowledge

Harry Potter fans will love this tour of Edinburgh! Follow your guide on a magical 2-hour walk tour around the city. See where J.K. Rowling drew inspiration and visit the place she frequented when writing the books.

Find out what Hogwarts house you’re in and take part in Harry Potter trivia! You’ll earn points for your house and find out whether you’re pure blood, a muggle, or a squib!

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#5 – Dark History Walking Tour

Dark History Walking Tour
For fans of the macabre
  • $
  • 2-hours
  • Hear Edinburgh’s darkest secrets
  • Listen to intriguing tales of murder and mystery

Learn about Edinburgh Scotland’s dark and disturbing past with this spine-chilling dark history tour! Listen as your tour guide brings to life true tales of cannibals, vampires, and witches. Travel through eerie alleyways and visit Canongate Kirkyard and the mausoleums.

Discover the darker side of Edinburgh on this unearthly walking tour that takes you through the historic city center. Hear tales of grave robbing, body snatching and mysterious murders!

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Edinburgh is spectacular! Especially since you can take day trips to see the whole region!

#6 – Chauffeur-Driven Eco-Friendly Tour

Chauffeur-Driven Eco-Friendly Tour
The best choice for eco-tourists!
  • $$$
  • 2-hours
  • Electric chauffeur-driven tour
  • A knowledgeable driver who doubles as your tour guide

Explore stunning Old and New Town Edinburgh with a chauffeur and electric buggy! Your tour guide will take you to the best spots in the city as well as the hidden gems. Stop as many times as you’d like to get out, take photos and enjoy the spectacular scenery!

Personalize your itinerary with special requests. So, if you’re a Harry Potter fan or history fan, your tour can include your special requests.

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#7 – Real Mary King’s Close Tour

Real Mary King's Close Tour
Discover Edinburgh’s hidden history
  • $
  • 1-hour
  • Hear tales of 17th-century Edinburgh from a costumed character guide
  • After your tour, you’ll enjoy traditional Scottish tea, scones, and cake

On this underground tour of the Real Mary King’s Close, you’ll learn the history of Edinburgh hidden below the city streets. Travel back in time as you walk through the subterranean labyrinth of underground streets below the Royal Mile!

Learn what life was like in 17th-century Edinburgh and see the conditions the civilians lived in. With this your you’ll enjoy some underground sightseeing in Edinburgh Scotland.

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Need to get the most out of your travels? Taking a day trip from Glasgow is a great way to see other parts without wasting tons of time relocating!

#8 – Scottish Whiskey Tasting Tour

Scottish Whiskey Tasting Tour
Perfect for whiskey drinkers!
  • $
  • 50-minutes
  • Learn the history and culture of Scottish whiskey
  • Enjoy a whiskey tasting and receive a complimentary tasting glass

A whiskey tasting tour is one of the most popular Edinburgh Scotland tours you can take. This interactive tour starts with a whiskey barrel car ride, which shows guests the production process of Scotch whiskey!

Next, learn about Scotch whiskey aromas and enjoy your very own glass of whiskey! View the world’s largest collection of Scotch whiskey and enjoy a few more tastings if you choose (own expense).

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Want to see all of Edinburgh? Get started with accommodation in Edinburgh’s best neighborhoods!

#9 – Bus and Boat Tour

Bus and Boat Tour
Explore Edinburgh by land and by sea!
  • $$
  • 3-hours
  • Bus tour and sightseeing cruise with an audio guide
  • See Edinburgh’s waterside attractions such as the Forth Rail Bridge and Queensferry Crossing

This tour combines a boat and bus tour to provide you with an inclusive tour of Edinburgh’s main attractions. Enjoy a round-trip bus tour between Waverley Bridge and South Queensferry!

Cruise along the Firth of Forth and witness unobstructed views of Edinburgh landmarks from the water. Keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready to capture marine life! The boat makes a stop at Inchcolm Island, home to a medieval abbey and two lovely beaches.

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Not sure what to do in Inverness? We break it down in this guide to Inverness!

#10 – Secret Food Tours of Edinburgh

Secret Food Tours of Edinburgh
A tasty tour for food lovers
  • $$$
  • 3-hour
  • Sample traditional Scottish food and drink
  • Enjoy a secret dish only revealed at the end of your tour

Enjoy a secret guided food tour of Edinburgh and experience the city’s unique cuisine! Treat your taste buds to 3-hours of food sampling as you make your way around Old Town. Introduce your palate to haggis, Scottish cheese and venison chorizo.

At the end of your tour, you’ll be served a secret dish! If you want to learn about Scottish cuisine, this is one of the best tours Edinburgh has to offer!

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Travel can be expensive! But then again, Edinburgh’s cheap hostels will show you how little it can cost!

#11 – Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands Tour from Edinburgh

Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands Tour from Edinburgh
One of the best day trips from Edinburgh
  • $$$
  • 12.5-hours
  • Full day exploring the Scottish Highlands
  • Travel to the most picturesque places in Scotland

Scotland tours from Edinburgh are a great way to see even more of this gorgeous country. Enjoy an eventful day traveling to some of Scotland’s top attractions! Visit the historic village of Glencoe, spend a few hours at Loch Ness and travel through the Grampian Mountains.

Pass crumbling castles, quaint villages, and rustic farms. See Highland cattle up close and escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a day!

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Edinburgh is incredible! There are tons of things to do there!

#12 – Haunted History Bus Tour

Haunted History Bus Tour
Perfect for paranormal fanatics
  • $
  • 1-hour
  • Cover more of the city’s spooky areas in a shorter amount of time
  • Hear spooky stories, local legends, and terrifying true-crime

Explore the haunted areas of Edinburgh on a spooky bus-tour. Travel in comfort as you learn the haunted history of Edinburgh from your tour guide.

Hear stories about notorious criminals, such as Burke and Hare. Learn the legend of Greyfriars Bobby and the ghost piper of the Edinburgh castle. Lastly, walk through the Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard, an area many consider to be Scotland’s most haunted location!

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#13 – Royal Mile History Tour and Palace of Holyroodhouse

Royal Mile History Tour and Palace of Holyroodhouse
Perfect for lovers of history and architecture!
  • $$
  • 2.5-hours
  • Guided walking tour through Edinburgh’s Canongate district
  • Explore Holyrood Palace, The Queen’s official residence in Scotland

Learn the history of Edinburgh’s Canongate district and explore the glorious Palace of Holyroodhouse on this guided tour. Experience a different side of the city as you follow your guide down the Royal Mile. Learn the history of this Scottish capital in rich detail!

Your guide will lead you to Holyrood Palace where you’ll end your group tour and be able to explore the Palace at your leisure.

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#14 – Edinburgh Pub Crawl

Edinburgh Pub Crawl
Experience Edinburgh’s vibrant nightlife!
  • $
  • 4.5-hours
  • Free and discounted drinks
  • Visit a diverse range of bars and clubs

Enjoy a fun night out with an Edinburgh pub crawl! Discover Edinburgh’s top bars and nightclubs as you party the night away with fellow drink enthusiasts! You’ll receive discounted drinks at every bar you visit, 3 complementary shooters, and a dram of Scottish whiskey!

From trendy cocktail bars to techno dance clubs, your local tour guide will take you to the best spots in Edinburgh to experience the vibrant nightlife.

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#15 – Beer Walking Tour and Tasting

Beer Walking Tour and Tasting
Beer drinkers will love this tour
  • $$
  • 2.5-hours
  • Learn about Scotland’s craft beer scene
  • Sample a variety of beer from across Scotland

Learn about Scotland’s unique beer culture on a beer-themed walking tour! Follow your guide around Edinburgh’s historic Old Town as you explore the city’s craft beer scene.  Learn how beer influenced the city’s development and how Edinburgh became the most important city in the world for brewing!

Discover the science of beer brewing from expert brew-masters. Along the way, you’ll stop at Edinburgh’s best bars to sample some of Scotland’s award-winning beers.

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#16 – Guided Historical Walking Tour

Guided Historical Walking Tour
History buffs will love this tour
  • $$
  • 3-hours
  • Focuses on the historical, cultural, and architectural heritage of Edinburgh
  • Small and intimate walking tour

This historic walking tour is led by a family member of Scotland’s famous and historic House of Usher. Journey back in time as you learn Edinburgh’s rich history from a knowledgeable and prominent local tour guide.

See the highlights of the city, including Usher Hall, St.Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle, and more! Walk past the homes of historical characters, both famous and infamous! This is the ultimate history tour; perfect for history-buffs visiting Edinburgh!

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#17 – Edinburgh Scenic Bike Tour

Edinburgh Scenic Bike Tour
Perfect for outdoor activity fans
  • $$
  • 3-hours
  • Regular stops are made for breaks and pictures
  • The bikes have 29 gears and helmets are included

Bike tours in Edinburgh Scotland are perfect for those wanting to explore the areas outside the city center. On this tour, you’ll discover the scenic stretches of land away from the busy streets.

Pedal past Holyrood Park and the Royal Palace of Holyroodhouse as you make your way to Arthur’s Seat. Cycle through the Innocent Railway Path, Meadows Park, the Grassmarket, and more! Explore the scenic outline of the city with a leisurely bike ride!

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#18 – Private Half-Day Tour of Edinburgh in a Mini

Private Half-Day Tour of Edinburgh in a Mini
Perfect for travelers pressed for time!
  • $$$$
  • 4-hours
  • A great introduction to Edinburgh for first-time visitors or those short on time
  • Your driver acts as your tour guide

See the city in style with a private tour in a mini-cooper! Visit Edinburgh’s main attractions while you learn about the city from your local guide. Admire Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, the Royal Mile, and more!

Sit back and relax in an air-conditioned mini-vehicle, the perfect size for weaving through the city streets. Your tour itinerary can be customized to your interests. A meal at a traditional Scottish pub is included!

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#19 – Gilmerton Cove Guided Tour

Gilmerton Cove Guided Tour
For a unique and mysterious Edinburgh experience
  • $
  • 1-hour
  • Hidden beneath the streets of Edinburgh
  • A series of secret hand-carved chambers and passageways

Visit a site that has been baffling archaeologists and investigators for 300-plus years! This tour takes you underground to explore 7 rooms and passageways, all hand-carved from the sandstone bedrock.

Gilmerton Cove is one of Edinburgh’s oldest secrets, hear the different theories of who created this mysterious location. Visit the city’s most intriguing and puzzling site, only accessible with a private tour!

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#20 – Rosslyn Chapel & Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

Rosslyn Chapel & Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh
Ideal for exploring the surrounding areas of Edinburgh
  • $$
  • 7-hours
  • Visit the villages just outside of Edinburgh
  • Maximum of 16 people per tour group

Explore the scenic and lush landscape outside of Edinburgh with a small group private tour. Departing in the morning, you’ll enjoy a full day visiting the beautiful border villages of Edinburgh.

Uncover the myths of the Holy Grail and Rosslyn Chapel, made famous in the “da Vinci Code” Visit the village of Melrose with its historic abbey and 12th-century Cistercian chapel. Learn about Scotland’s rich history and culture with an exciting day trip from Edinburgh!

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#21 – Comedy Horror Bus Tour

Comedy Horror Bus Tour
Enjoy a theatrical sightseeing tour of Edinburgh
  • $$
  • 1-hour
  • Travel through Edinburgh in a vintage double-decker bus
  • Learn legends and facts about Edinburgh’s chilling past

Delve into Edinburgh’s horrific history with an evening ghost comedy bus-tour. Visit the city’s most terrifying locations as you enjoy enthralling commentary from your entertaining tour guide.

Discover the city’s gruesome history; hear accounts of strange occurrences and local hauntings. Pass Edinburgh’s iconic landmarks in the Old Town and New Town. Visit the sites of murders, tortures and executions from the comfort of a vintage double-decker ghost bus!

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FAQs about Edinburgh Tours

Now that you’ve seen the best tours Edinburgh has to offer, we thought we’d share a few commonly asked questions to make booking your tour even easier!

How do I book an Edinburgh tour?

The easiest way to book an Edinburgh tour is with an online tour company. GetYourGuide makes booking your tours easy. They provide you with all the details of your tour before-hand, so you know exactly what to expect!

What should I pack for a tour in Edinburgh?

Make sure to check the weather forecast before you head out on your Edinburgh activities. The weather leans toward the cooler side. Even in summer, the temperatures stay mild.

Edinburgh is a very pedestrian friendly city, make sure to pack a good pair of comfortable walking shoes!

How much do tours in Edinburgh typically cost?

Edinburgh is a touristy city. There are lots of activities and attractions to choose from, and most of them cost money. Edinburgh tour packages are a great option as they make sure you get the most for your money. Tour guides make sure you see and learn about whatever your tour entails!

How long do tours in Edinburgh last?

Tours that take place exclusively in Edinburgh will last anywhere from 1-hours to 4-hours. Tours with Edinburgh trips outside the city typically last all day (7-hours or 12.5-hours).

Whether you’re spending 1-day in Edinburgh or 1-week, with this wide range of tour times you can easily book several tours in one trip!

Conclusion

Edinburgh has a wide range of attractions and activities to choose from that showcase the city’s highlights. Whether you’re a history-buff, nature-lover, or outdoor enthusiasts, Edinburgh has a tour for you!

The city is filled with amazing neighborhoods, beautiful scenery, and lots of whiskeys!  By booking one of the above tours you’ll discover even more of the city and find out what makes Edinburgh so unique and special. Experience Scotland’s rich culture and heritage in an entertaining setting. These tours are sure to make your trip to Edinburgh as memorable as possible!

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