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Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh

4.4
#1 of 5,330 in Things to do in Scotland
A major monument of Scottish heritage and one of the world's most striking fortresses, Edinburgh Castle dominates the city's skyline. Sitting atop a large volcanic rock, the castle dates back to the 12th century. It served as the seat of Scottish royalty until the 17th century, when it became a military barracks. Today, the castle holds the Scottish crown jewels, three military museums, and a handful of exhibits. Guided tours included in the price of admission offer the most efficient and informative way to visit the castle. You'll hear highlights from its history and understand the significance of its various buildings and artifacts. After your tour, sit for tea in one of the complex's tearooms and enjoy a traditional Scottish meal in the Redcoat Cafe. Try to secure your tickets before visiting the castle to avoid waiting in line at the entrance. Add Edinburgh Castle and other attractions to your Edinburgh trip itinerary using our Edinburgh trip planning website .
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Edinburgh Castle Reviews
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4.5
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  • Very beautiful and spacious facility. Visit definitely worth seeing. Very crowded by tourists. Long lines at the Scottish Crown jewels.
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  • The whole castle is a great backdrop for the Royal Military Tattoo, and is a whole afternoon of exploring its ramparts, exhibits on Scottish Military history (which are great if you are even remotely ...  more »
  • Visit obliged. If you have the explorer pass, does not need to do tail and enter directly. It is advisable to take Guide because there is much to see. There are many people, so that with time.
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  • It's fascinating to know how recently this place was still being used but at no point was I truly overwhelmed by the fact that i was in a castle. At least not enough to offset the cost of entry. I appreciated the museums but I would have enjoyed them just as much even without being on that specific location. I felt I had more of a sense of the age and ingenuity of the city walking the royal mile than I did in the castle. It's a high price to pay for a gift shop and cafe. I will admit the grand hall with the weapons were fun to look at although some information about them being posted somewhere would have been appreciated.
  • This is one of the best Castles in Scotland and I'd certainly recommend you go here if you're in Edinburgh. It has a vast collection of facts, stories and physical equipment from the past few centuries. The war memorial was nice. You get to learn a lot about Scotland's history. Must spend at least couple of hours here exploring the entire Castle.
  • Didn't disappoint. Fabulously presented, lots to explore and well explained. The ticket prices felt like good value for a family, and taking time to pre-book online worked really well to beat the queues. Allow 2-3 hours to cover every inch. Well done Edinburgh!
  • You absolutely must visit the castle! Queues can be long for tickets but it’s really easy to pre-book online. You can just sail past up to the gate & show the ticket on your mobile. We paid £3.50 for the guided tour headsets. Really easy to use & ensured we got the best from the visit. Stunning views (look out for the forth bridge) & a glimpse of the jewels! We didn’t eat but the air around the eateries smelled of roast beef & gravy, delicious! You’ll need a couple of hours for a visit.
  • Beautiful castle with grand views around it. Different castles have different points of history and beauty. This one is at least 2000 y.o.! Wow! Different parts of the castle offer different sides of the history. Lots to see and learn about. Well taken care of - I can see where all that money from tickets goes. The cafeteria food is delicious! We were pleasantly surprised. We spent there a little over 3 hours and could have spend even more! Buying an audio guide instead of the paper brochure, that is offered during the purchase of the tickets, was worth it (it was slightly less too). We just got one and shared it between the 2 of us.

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Where to stay in Edinburgh

Edinburgh hides a maze of cobbled streets dotted with boutique hotels offering inexpensive rooms and outstanding restaurants. Many of the city's Gothic buildings house chic hotels with easy access to most of the city’s main tourist sites. For a uniquely Scottish experience, consider staying in the famous old town. Despite being in this historical district, many hotels here feature contemporary decor with lots of glass walls and muted color schemes. They’re also known for offering spacious rooms, comfortable beds, and restaurants serving classic European cuisine, with a modern Scottish twist.
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