Edinburgh
Culture & History

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Edinburgh Culture & History

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

1. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

Head for the Highlands, whether in search of the Loch Ness Monster or just a scenic day trip from Edinburgh. After pickup, relax on your group’s bus and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary. Visit Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows and a cup of coffee. Discover what a ‘hairy coo’ really is. Next, travel up the road to Glencoe and enjoy a 10-minute photo stop in front of the unforgettable Highland views. Have lunch in Fort William, where your guide can advise you on where to eat. If you're interested in the mysteries of the kilt, you can even get a ‘wee’ kilt introduction here. Then be whisked to Loch Ness itself. Customize your experience at Loch Ness with personal touches. Visit the majestic Urquhart Castle, and hop on a boat in search of ‘Nessie’, as the locals call it. Or simply hang out on the pier and grab a coffee with gorgeous views. On the way home, make a short snack stop in Pitlochry, a beautiful village in the heart of the country, before returning to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

2. Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

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 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. Learn how the vaults have been used over the years, and the living conditions endured by the poor and homeless residents who frequented them. The darker side of Edinburgh's history will unfold as you wander through the candle-lit underground area. From your guide, you'll hear about the Burke and Hare murders and the persecution of witches. Discover the characters who stalked the streets of Edinburgh, and the paranormal stories associated with the vaults. The Haunted Vaults tour option will cover more paranormal and ghost stories. Step into the torture exhibition and explore how and why these items were used.

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour in English

3. Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour in English

The tour begins by the statue of Adam Smith on the Royal Mile. Walk towards Edinburgh Castle as your guide sets the scene, explaining the significance of the Castle and mentioning some of the key characters who have helped shape it. As you reach the Castle complex your guide will share skip-the-line passes, giving you direct access to Scotland's most visited paid attraction.  Once inside your guide will walk you through the Castle complex sharing their in-depth knowledge of all the Castle's main buildings and attractions, including, but not limited to, the Argyle Battery and One O'clock Gun, the Hospital Square and Western Panorama, the Castle dungeons and military prison, the Black Banquet and Thomas Randolph's daring castle raid, St Margret's Chapel, Mons Meg, the Crown Square and The Honors of Scotland. Please note that whilst the tour guide will walk you around the castle grounds and take you through the 3,000 yeas worth of castle history, they cannot take you into any of the castle museums. When the tour ends, you will be left to explore the various castle buildings and museums at your own leisure - hopefully with more knowledge than if you had simply arrived on your own!

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

4. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

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. Find out which Hogwarts House you’re in, and whether you’re a pure-blood, a muggle, or a squib. Visit the Grave of Tom Riddle in Greyfriars Kirkyard, and pass JK Rowling’s golden handprints outside City Chambers. See all this and more on a magical guided tour.

Firth of Forth: 90-Minute Three Bridges Cruise

5. Firth of Forth: 90-Minute Three Bridges Cruise

Your boat tour will depart from the South Queensferry, which is only a short distance from Scotland's bustling capital city of Edinburgh. Your tour will include magnificent views of the "three bridges", including the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Forth Railway Bridge. In addition, you can take in the beautiful panoramas of the Edinburgh skyline, the Kingdom of Fife and the historic island of Inchcolm with its medieval abbey. As part of the tour you will stop at the island to drop off and pick up visitors. For your comfort, relax onboard in the heated observation lounge or on the outside decks, and listen to the guided commentary while you enjoy a drink from the bar. During your tour, you will find plenty of opportunities to both see and photograph a wide variety of marine wildlife including seabirds, porpoises and seals.

Edinburgh: Late-Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

6. Edinburgh: Late-Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

Join this late-night tour of Edinburgh to discover the city’s darkest and most frightening experience as you hear ghost stories of the city told above and below the ground of the Royal Mile. After walking through the famous wynds and closes of the Royal Mile, learning about the horrific living conditions and listening to stories of murderers who roamed the streets, you will be taken to the haunted underground vaults. Torture exhibits await for those with a strong enough stomach to learn how these devices were used in times gone by. Go to the home of “The Watcher” ghost, see the infamous stone circle vault, and discover why you should never step inside!

Edinburgh: History of Whisky with Tasting and Storytelling

7. Edinburgh: History of Whisky with Tasting and Storytelling

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 flavors of the Lowlands to the bold and robust tastes from Islay. You will also be given tasting cards giving notes on each of the whiskys that you sample. During the tour, experience some traditional storytelling and explore the significance of whisky to the Scottish identity. The entire upper floor of the venue reserved, so there is plenty of space and privacy to conduct the story orientated evening.

Edinburgh: Chocolatarium Tour, Tasting & Chocolate Making

8. Edinburgh: Chocolatarium Tour, Tasting & Chocolate Making

Embark on an interactive chocolate experience, from chocolate tree to Scottish chocolate bar with an expert guide. Smell the roasting chocolate and see how chocolate is transformed from bitter beans to sweet, smooth chocolate. See real chocolate fruit and taste chocolate samples at different stages of the production process. In the Chocolate Kitchen, choose your own bar design, select your favorite flavors and create your own personalized bar, ready to collect at the end of your tour. While you are waiting for your chocolate bar to cool, take a seat in the Tasting Room. Here, learn about Scottish chocolate makers, sample fine single-origin chocolate, have a cup of hot cacao tea and choose your favorite chocolates to try from rows of chocolate tasting jars.

Edinburgh: 24-Hour or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

9. Edinburgh: 24-Hour or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

Explore Scotland’s capital city across one or two days on a hop-on hop-off bus tour. See famous landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, the iconic Royal Mile, and the Palace of Holyrood House and learn about their historic significance from the onboard audio commentary. Hop on the bus at the first stop at St Andrew's Square. From either the top deck or the interior of the bus, you can explore the city in a convenient way, catching a glimpse of some iconic buildings and sights. With your ticket, you will also receive additional perks and discounts such as discounted entry to the Holyrood Distillery, a bus ride to Edinburgh Zoo, and many more benefits. Choose between a 24-hour or 48-hour pass with stops at a variety of locations along several routes including: • The Royal Mile• Edinburgh Castle• Dynamic Earth• Edinburgh Dungeons• Real Mary Kings Close• Greyfriars’s Bobby • Lothian Road• Grassmarket• Lauriston Place• Johnston Terrace• National Museum of Scotland• John Knox House• Museum of Edinburgh• Scottish Parliament• Palace of Holyrood House• Burns Monument

Queensferry: 1.5-Hour Maid of the Forth Sightseeing Cruise

10. Queensferry: 1.5-Hour Maid of the Forth Sightseeing Cruise

Your tour will begin as you visit the booking office and gift shop to collect your boarding pass. From there, you will make your way onto Hawes Pier to board the boat and embark on your sightseeing cruise. Once the boat has departed Hawes Pier, there will be a brief safety message played to all passengers before the audio commentary begins. The journey then starts with the boat heading under the Red Forth Rail Bridge before continuing past the historic Inchgarvie Island towards Inchcolm Island. You can listen as the skipper points out seals, puffins, and other wildlife that can be found throughout the cruise. Once around Inchcolm Island, you can watch carefully for sunbathing seals on the Haystack before the cruise continues back under the Red Rail Bridge towards the Forth Road Bridge and the recently opened Queensferry Crossing. Once under these majestic bridges, the boat will cruise back to Hawes Pier where you will be free to disembark.

Frequently asked questions about Edinburgh Culture & History

What are other things to do than Culture & History that are worth visiting in Edinburgh?

Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

Want to discover all there is to do in Edinburgh? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 12,976 reviews

Our tour of Edinburgh castle with Luca was a highlight of our trip! He provided an interesting and informative tour that was a lot of fun. My daughter and I agree that seeing the castle would not have been the same without our guide, so we are glad we decided to book this tour.

Fantastic, interesting tour guided by Fraser. He was very knowledgeable and entertaining, it was a really fun trip and well worth the time and money to kick off a day in Edinburgh city centre.

Fella was good at guiding and I learnt some interesting stuff. Got a bit stressed out by the energy/feeling of one vaults in particular but that's very much not his or the tours fault.

A great insight to the vaults history. Our guide, Megan was brilliant. She was both information and funny, entertaining us with various tales.

Ula was a superb guide. So welcoming, knowledgeable and enthusiastic! Thoroughly enjoyed our tour. Would highly recommend!