Guided tour

Edinburgh: Old Town and Underground Historical Tour

Edinburgh: Old Town and Underground Historical Tour

Activity provider: City of Edinburgh Tours
Likely to sell out
Likely to sell out

From US$ 16.21 per person

Join a local published historian around Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile and visit its underground vaults. Learn about some of Edinburgh’s fascinating history, literary heroes, infamous criminals and the battles that shaped the city into what is today.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
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Duration 1.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • Be led around Edinburgh's Old Town by a local published historian
  • Gain exclusive access into Edinburgh's Underground Vaults
  • Explore Edinburgh's long and fascinating past
  • Visit some of the Old Town's hidden closes and historical sites
  • Enjoy our professional, informative and engaging tour
Full description

Immerse yourself in the history of Edinburgh on a guided city walking tour. Trace the origins of the city as you explore the Royal Mile, the underground vaults, and Old Town, with stories hidden behind every turn.

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. After visiting the Underground Vaults, your guide will take you all around Edinburgh's Royal Mile and Old Town, visiting some hidden closes and other spots of historical significance. Delve into parts of Edinburgh that you did not know existed, mostly off the tourist trail.  Hear that the first skyscrapers in the world were built in Edinburgh, discover the identity of the local criminal who became the inspiration for Jekyll and Hyde, learn where the phrase "Black Market" came from, where Ebeneezer Scrooge is buried – yes, really – and how Edinburgh University worked closely with the serial killers, Burke and Hare. Edinburgh’s history is long and fascinating, made even more special when told by our enthusiastic, passionate, and local guide. 

  • Expert guide
  • Entry into Edinburgh's Underground Vaults
  • Food
  • Tips
Not suitable for
  • Children under 5 years
  • People with mobility impairments
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask

Select participants and date



Meeting point

• Meet opposite Starbucks at 124a High Street

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Weather-appropriate clothing

Know before you go

  • Entry into the Underground involves walking down eight steps.
  • Please note that the minimum age for this tour is 5 years old.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.4 /5

based on 331 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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This tour was lovely. Our guide was Natalie & you could tell from the first 2 mins that this lady new her stuff. I was hugely impressed with her knowledge & enthusiasm (even in some of the worst weather Edinburgh could throw at us). Honestly I could have spent another 90 mins with her & then probably taken her to dinner such is the knowledge she has about this wonderful city. Thank you.

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April 12, 2022

Ben is a wonderful tour guide with excellent historical knowledge and a great sense of humour. The tour was very interesting and informative. I'd highly recommend Ben's historical tour for anyone who's interested to know more about histories of Edinburgh. Can't wait to sign up for another tour guided by him.

March 24, 2022

This is the best historical walking tour in Edinburgh. Our guide Davy was so knowledgeable and made the tour interesting and amusing. Actually learned new things and was captivated by the sights and information. We did the 2.15pm tour in December. Wrap up warm and wear shoes you can walk in. If you like history, this tour is for you. No ghosts just history.

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December 15, 2021

Product ID: 73775