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The Real Mary King's Close, Edinburgh

Historic Site · Landmark
Experience 17th-century Edinburgh by touring The Real Mary King's Close. This collection of underground alleyways features buildings dating back to period of the Plague, and gives you a glimpse of Edinburgh life hundreds of years ago. Take a tour with a guide in period dress who will recount the close's history, share its associated ghost stories and myths, and bring you into a handful of homes left in their original condition. Named for Mary King, a famous local fabric trader and seamstress in the 1630s, the area was open to the sky before the city built over it and put it beneath street level. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, because you'll be walking on cobblestone streets. To visit The Real Mary King's Close and get the most from your holiday in Edinburgh, create itinerary details personal to you using our Edinburgh vacation planning tool.
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The Real Mary King's Close reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
17,429 reviews
  • My partner and I throughly enjoyed Mary Kings Close. The tour guide was really enthusiastic and the history was so intriguing. Fantastic trip overall. Couldn’t recommend enough.  more »
  • Even in covid times this tour is excellent and thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in history. Well worth the money.  more »
  • My partner and I did this tour at 4pm and it lasted an hour. Our tour guide Carl was professional, friendly and factual. It’s extremely interesting and a must do if you are visiting Edinburgh for the....  more »
  • The tour guide was nice enough and we did enjoy seeing Mary King's close. However, the story telling was not as good as Mercat's, nor was it as long. We didn't feel like we got to see as much of the underground as we'd have liked. Being able to walk down the main Street of Mary King's close, rather than just look down it longingly from an end would have made the experience better. The ambient sound in the close was amazing! It really added to the ambience and the tour experience. All-in-all good experience, but I do feel like improvements could be made to transform this experience from a good one to an unforgettable one.
  • We did a timed reservation online weeks beforehand and good thing because when we arrived, others were trying to get a ticket and couldn't, as everything was sold out for two days! (We went in early August.) It was interesting to go through all the different alleys and buildings and the tour guide Maggie was very expressive and cheery, her voice carried well so we could hear clearly and she helped to create the atmosphere so we could imagine how it was living there hundreds of years ago. Would definitely recommend a visit! By the way, our cruise ship docked 7 am to 1 am and I managed to see the Royal Yacht Britannia, did Rick Steves audio 'Royal Mile Walk' (do a search online for the free download), Edinburgh Castle, and Mary Kings Close.
  • Interesting to see the street below, if I'm honest I would like to of heard more on the architecture. It's very interesting, but I'm not so much a fan of the tour guide pretending to be from ye olden day, I like more info about the buildings, how it was built, why etc. Definitely think it's worth a visit tho! Plus side, staff very friendly and welcoming!
  • Very fun and interesting little attraction. Our tour guide Carl, was witty and knowledgeable of the area and time period. Definitely would recommend to anyone looking for something to do. It gives you a look into the lives of people from 400 years ago.
  • Remarkable to see how people lived 100s of years ago and actually walking about in history was fantastic. Your you love the history 9fbthings you will absolutely love this. Our guide Paul was great and was really good and made the walkways come alive. Would I recommend it yes I would it was great please do it go along and walk in the footsteps of history

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