Edinburgh Walking tours

Our most recommended Edinburgh Walking tours

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

1. 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.

Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

2. Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

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. 

Edinburgh: Dark Secrets of the Old Town Ghost Walking Tour

3. Edinburgh: Dark Secrets of the Old Town Ghost Walking Tour

Discover Scotland’s mythical sites and Scottish faeries as you walk around the city of Edinburgh. Pass by graveyards, aged houses, and the sites where witches and warlocks were burnt on this sinister yet insightful walking tour. Learn about the black market for corpses in the 19th century and the serial killers William Burke and William Hare. Hear how they sold corpses for dissection at anatomy lectures. Visit the Old Calton Cemetery and Canongate Kirkyard. Enjoy pleasant views across Edinburgh whilst your guide talks about a particularly dark chapter in the city’s history, the burning of witches and warlocks. Be astounded by the number of people burned for witchcraft and what spells and beliefs caused this. Unearth the past as your guide explains about the doctors who cured those with the Black Death, a bubonic plague pandemic in the 1300s. Walk past houses where people lived in the 17th-century and explore the mystery and mysticism that surrounds Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: The Dark Side Walking Tour

4. Edinburgh: The Dark Side Walking Tour

Meet some of Edinburgh's most infamous characters on a guided, ghost-themed walking tour through the dark side of the city center. Learn about figures like Burke and Hare. Hear tales of witch burning, grave robbing, body snatching, and mysterious murders. Be greeted by your local guide on the Royal Mile, where plundered tombs, funeral pyres, and mass graves from thousands of years ago are concealed. Get goosebumps as the past is brought to life by your guide. Venture to gruesome burial sites such as the Canongate Kirkyard. Prepare to be spooked by spine-chilling tales of real-life cannibals and vampires as the true history of Edinburgh is recreated before your eyes. End your tour at the Whitefoord House mansion.  

Edinburgh: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

5. Edinburgh: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

Uncover the magical history of Scotland as you explore the secrets of Edinburgh's Old Town with a costumed guide on this walking tour. Hear the secrets behind locations like Lady Stairs Close, Grassmarket, and Candle Maker Row. Find your witch-costumed guide easily and begin your walking tour. Hear historical tales that focus on witchcraft. Explore the Old Town and make your way to castle hill to admire the ancient Edinburgh castle. Walk down Lady Stairs Close to view the the Writers Museum which pays tribute to the authors Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis. View the imposing Gothic architecture at St. Giles Cathedral. Stroll thorugh Parliament Square and past the colorful shops on Victoria Street. Tread lightly as you will walk on the grounds where mysterious and sometimes sinister events occurred like the Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard. Go down Candle Maker Row and finish your tour in one of the oldest parts of the city, Grassmarket.

Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

6. Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

Meet your guide on Edinburgh's iconic and historic Royal Mile, by the Statue of Adam Smith (one of Scotland's greatest thinkers). From there, your tour will be lead through the gorgeous winding streets that comprise Edinburgh's "Old Town." Covering everything from history to religion and folklore, this walking tour is an original tour of Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town. Your talented and entertaining guide will walk you through the streets and alleys of "Auld Reekie", while enthralling you with with its history, folklore, and tales. Learn about the secrets Edinburgh is hiding and experience the incredible stories it has to tell, as your guide leads you through the city's long history.  Topics included in the tour include Edinburgh's Mercat Cross, St. Giles Cathedral, the Scottish Enlightenment, Greyfriars Bobby, the Grassmarket, Harry Potter's inspirations, and many more. Finish your tour in the heart of Edinburgh, surrounded by several bars, restaurants, cafe's, and great transport links.

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Walking Tour

7. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Walking Tour

Experience a little magic on a walking tour of Edinburgh that is perfect for all fans of Harry Potter. Learn all the stories and secrets behind the best-selling books by J.K. Rowling in the city where she wrote them. Visit the original sites that provided the inspiration for Hogwarts and the characters who dwelled within its magical walls. Stroll along the High Street to see where Diagon Alley came to life and where Lord Voldemort is buried.  See the original Hogwarts School, and look at a virtual school assembly of its characters. Learn how Edinburgh’s own dark history of witches and wizards played a role in inspiring J.K. Rowling along the way. 

Edinburgh Ghosts & Gore Walking Tour

8. Edinburgh Ghosts & Gore Walking Tour

Your ghostly guide is the deceased Alexander Clapperton, who was an Edinburgh Cemetery Director during the 1840s. Mr Clapperton will take you on a light-hearted journey through Edinburgh's dark past, telling tales of tortures, plague, witchcraft and invasion as he leads you through the Old Town's atmospheric closes and courtyards. En route Mr. Clapperton will introduce some Edinburgh characters summoned from the mists of time - so be prepared for a few laughs and well as the odd fright! The tour price includes a copy of the bestselling 'Witchery Tales' book - essential bedtime reading and an ideal way to delve further into Edinburgh's darker history!

Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Secret Food Tour

9. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Secret Food Tour

Journey through the food culture of Edinburgh on a 3-hour guided tour and introduce your palate to some authentic haggis served with "neeps and tatties" (swedes and potatoes) before meandering past the famous Edinburgh Castle. Hear about the castle's long history and take advantage of the fabulous photo opportunity. Next, try some real Scotch whisky as you step into a venue that serves a fantastic lowland single malt. Follow the whisky with some creamy cheeses from Scotland and then taste some genuine Edinburgh gin to learn why the Scots love it so much. Try a secret dish, only revealed to those who join the tour! Then, end with a traditional afternoon tea, including some scones from Scotland to wind down a truly original experience.

Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard Tour

10. Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard Tour

Meet your expert local guide and visit the graves of some of the lesser-known individuals buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Learn about the lecturer who taught Charles Darwin, an actor buried in full theatrical costume, and a First World War ace pilot. Uncover fascinating stories from centuries past as you wander through Edinburgh's most historic cemetery. Hear more about the mysterious Miss Cathcart. Visit the gravesite of a bestselling novelist from the 1770s. Discover burial sites that have links to contemporary popular culture, namely the Harry Potter book and film series. In addition to learning about the hidden history behind the graveyard, spot the burial places of famous individuals related to the history of Edinburgh.

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Frequently asked questions about Edinburgh

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The best day trips and excursions from Edinburgh are:

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

As a family of 4 with 2 young children we did the Harry Potter walking tour and it was excellent. I was a little anxious making a 4 and 7 year old walk for 2 hours at 6pm but they absolutely loved it as did us grown ups. Kieran (the guide) was brilliant, really engaging, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He did a quiz throughout which everyone enjoyed taking part in and had loads of fun and interesting facts. I would highly recommend!

Our guide was Mason and he was absolutely amazing!! Very personable and made the whole experience engaging and fun. We loved his knowledge not only on the Harry Potter material but also of the city itself. We would recommend this to any Potter fan and hopefully they get Mason as their guide.

Super morning out in Edinburgh with my 8yo daughter. Great guide with a good balance of facts, stories and fun interaction. Suitable for adults and children alike.

Content of the tour interesting and fascinating, our guide was Matthew and he is very good at story telling, fun, and took care of everyone.

Tommy the Tour Guide magically integrates unsettling stories with historical events on this atmospheric walk through a moonlit Oldtown.