Guided tour

Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

Guided tour

Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

Activity provider: The Real Mary King's Close

From US$ 30.72 per person

Explore Edinburgh’s hidden history beneath the Royal Mile on a fully-guided tour of the Real Mary King's Close. Discover what it was really like for the people who lived, worked, and died on the Close.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 1 hour
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Live tour guide


  • Discover Edinburgh's only preserved 17th-century street
  • Follow former residents and uncover their real stories
  • Experience over 400 years of history
  • Enjoy a 1-hour fully guided tour
  • Go on a tour that is voted Scotland's Best Heritage Experience
Full description

Step down into Edinburgh’s hidden history at The Real Mary King’s Close, voted Scotland’s Best Heritage Tourism Experience. Discover over 400 years of history and learn about the intriguing stories of Edinburgh’s past residents. 

From the deadly plague epidemic to a famous royal visitor, there is a myriad of tales just waiting to be told. Journey through time and find out why the Close, once open to the skies and bustling with trade, came to be underground. 

An experience rooted in social history, this 1-hour character-guided tour also includes an immersive walk-through of the city’s uniquely preserved streets and spaces, all located underneath Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. Expect a truly unique glimpse into the city’s past. 

  • Entrance fee to the Real Mary King's Close
  • Food and drinks
  • Photographs
Not suitable for
  • Children under 5 years
  • People with claustrophobia
  • Wheelchair users

Select participants and date



Meeting point

2 Warriston's Close, Royal Mile, High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1PG.

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Important information

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Cameras
  • Smoking
  • Intoxication
  • Unaccompanied minors

Know before you go

  • The Real Mary King's Close is unsuitable for wheelchair access
  • Due to uneven surfaces and some steep inclines, sturdy footwear is recommended
  • There are 58 steps to climb down and 38 to climb up as part of the tour
  • Many areas are dimly lit, and some visitors may experience disorientation or claustrophobia
  • Due to the site’s underground nature, visitors with asthma are advised to bring any medication/inhalers
  • For health and safety reasons, children under 5 years old cannot be admitted. Children under 16 years old should be accompanied by an adult
  • Visitors under the influence of alcohol will not be permitted
  • Tour guides are equipped with a radio, so any visitor needing to leave may do so under escort from the duty manager
  • No photography is permitted during the tour
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 1193 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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Overall experience of the REAL Mary Kings Close was excellent. Very educational in regards to learning about the history or the close and chambers itself. Expected it to be more ghost related but as was stated they can only discuss real things about real people that really happened 😉

March 28, 2023

The overall tour is really interesting and you get lots of insights from historical perspectives. I’m not really sure about the name of the guide, but I remember her character was called Agnes. She made the whole experience very immersive and fun, even though the whole context behind the closes was not that cheerful. It’s very different from the general “ghost tours” but definitely in a good way. For sure a must do in Edinburgh.

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March 28, 2023

Booked this on a whim as we had another tour earlier in the day, a long 9.5hr tour so not sure we would have the energy, well I was wrong, from start to finish the experience is so good it woke us up haha! Megan was great at storytelling the events of the historical times and we felt like we were part of an actual theatre show. Was a really enjoyable tour to do and was good to see more of the original history in the context of actual past happenings as well as visiting actual rooms that were once lived or worked in. We also found it spooky in places expecting some of the people in the rooms to jump-scare us! Recommend this tour if you don't know much about the history of Edinburgh and want to dig a bit deeper into the past and find out what is under your feet when you walk around Edinburgh! I'm also not one for the photo opportunities that some tours do and make money from but I was actually happy with the photo that was taken of us, the wife like it so much she bought one haha!

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March 28, 2023

Product ID: 76378