The Real Mary King's Close, Edinburgh

4.1
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. Plan to see The Real Mary King's Close and other attractions that appeal to you using our Edinburgh tourist route planner.
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The Real Mary King's Close Reviews
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4.3
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  • August 21, 2017
    The visit is fine and the guide that we touched, Elena, makes it fantastically. You can learn about life in the closes and how arranged them in the time. Perhaps the price is rather high. Than can take pictures also can be somewhat improved.
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  • August 21, 2017
    An excellent incite into life in Edinburgh long ago. Guide was really knowledgeable and helpful. Would recommend this visit.  more »
  • August 21, 2017
    In this tour you really get to feel what it was like to live in Edinburgh in the 1600 and 1700s. You get to see the living conditions and hear the stories of real former Edinburgh residents  more »
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  • Absolutely worth it tour of "underground" Edinburgh! Not really underground, but since this is a hilly city, under current buildings. Not for the claustrophobic, for sure. Our guide was amazing! I forgot his name but he was a student over from Venezuela in character as a 16th century Spanish doctor. Lots of history about Edinburgh in general, the layout of the city, both current and historically, and the Black Plague. You go down the actually "closes' that existed back in the day, and into small rooms that acted as people's home. Great for history buffs and anyone interested in Edinburgh in general. I assume who you get as a guide makes a huge difference, but the tour was entertaining and funny and the hour or so flew by! Check this out if you are visiting Edinburgh!
  • This tour takes around an hour, and tells the history of Edinburgh's famous closes. It's an entertaining and interesting meander through low ceilinged rooms, a very tall alleyway, and steeply sloped roads. The story is interesting and has just enough of a spooky element to entertain those looking for something more thrilling without alienating those who are light of heart. It is touristy, but it is great fun.
  • First of all, it wasn't​ scary at all. I mean, if you are looking for that kind of experience just choose another one. The price is a wee bit too much for what you get. This is a walk on the underground city, which to be fair is beautiful, with an informative guide. The guide was good and informative with lots of stories about the history of the close. But still, there was no extra effort. These are the things you could read in a book and then walk around the close to see I for yourself. Nothing special. What a waste of time. I'm sorry for the guides there, as they were not bad at what they do, but the whole concept is flawed.
  • The guide (Rachel) was lovely and it's great that you can visit this piece of history. But it is essentially several rooms that look the same and some wax figures. It would be better if it were used to display artifacts of the time in a museum type scenario.
  • The best part of this is discovering preserved homes and narrow streets of Edinburgh that are literally under newer buildings. So from a historical point of view, it's lucky these buildings are still there. The tour is led by costumed actors/actresses who tell the tales of what life was like. The guide we had was very entertaining, and knew her history. There are a few cheesy parts with talking pictures and the like, which was a bit of a shame, as it starts making the tour a bit gimmicky, but they need to justify the cost I guess by making the tour last a little longer.

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