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Edinburgh Castle
Vacation Travel Guide

Edinburgh Castle showing chateau or palace and heritage elements

Fortress, palace and repository of the crown jewels, this landmark overlooking the city has played a crucial role in Scottish history.

Edinburgh Castle, the oldest building in the city, sits high on a craggy volcanic rock just near the city center. During its history, which spans almost a thousand years, the stronghold has witnessed sieges, served as a military base and provided refuge for Scottish monarchs.

A guided tour is included with the price of admission. If you prefer to explore the ramparts, towers and battlements on your own, check the castle’s official website for one of its suggested itineraries.

As you make your way through the Entrance Gateway, look up to see the statues of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace (aka “Braveheart”), two 14th-century defenders of Scottish independence.

Join the crowds at the far end of the Argyle Battery to watch the One O ’Clock Gun. The cannon is fired every day except Sunday at exactly one o’clock. It started in 1861 to help ships in nearby Leith Harbour set their clocks.

Stand in the Great Hall, the grandiose room where Charles I banqueted. Step inside the bedchamber where Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to the future James VI of Scotland who united the English and Scottish crowns in 1603. Gaze upon the Scottish crown jewels on the first floor of the Royal Palace. Alongside these treasures is the Stone of Destiny, a block of red sandstone that’s been used in royal coronation ceremonies for centuries.

Visit the Scottish National War Memorial that commemorates Scottish soldiers lost in the two world wars and other military conflicts.

Edinburgh Castle can be reached by foot from the east end of Princes Street. The castle site includes steep cobblestone streets that may present difficulties for some people. Parts of the castle are wheelchair accessible and a limited number of wheelchairs are available on a first come, first served basis. There is no on-site parking, but there are a few disabled parking bays, which need to be booked in advance.

The castle is open daily but opening times vary throughout the year; check the official castle website for times.

Top Hotels Close to Edinburgh Castle

Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
4 out of 5
1-3 Baxters Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is ¥7,135 per night from May 23 to May 23
Located in New Town, this hotel is steps from Omni Centre Edinburgh, Princes Street, and Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre. George Street and Royal Mile are also within ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (662 reviews)
"Great hotel with good amenities. Would gladly comeback here"

Reviewed on May 12, 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
4 out of 5
1 Morrison Link, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is ¥6,606 per night from May 16 to May 16
Located in Haymarket, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), Princes Street, and Usher Hall. George Street ...
4/5Very Good! (1,015 reviews)
"Nice clean property, room size was good. Only negative was the hardness of the sofa bed in the family room, daughter couldn’t sleep on it so I did and I’m paying for it today with a sore back."

Reviewed on May 9, 2021

Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥19,296 per night from May 17 to May 17
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this boutique hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and Real Mary King's Close ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (994 reviews)
"Great location! Our room was spacious and comfortable"

Reviewed on Feb 28, 2021

The Scotsman Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Edinburgh Castle

Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
4 out of 5
1-3 Baxters Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is ¥7,135 per night from May 23 to May 23
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
4 out of 5
1 Morrison Link, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is ¥6,606 per night from May 16 to May 16
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is ¥19,296 per night from May 17 to May 17
The Scotsman Hotel
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
4 out of 5
34 Bread Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is ¥12,127 per night from May 17 to May 17
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
Malmaison Edinburgh City
Malmaison Edinburgh City
4 out of 5
Buchan House, 21-22 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is ¥13,799 per night from May 16 to May 16
Malmaison Edinburgh City
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
4 out of 5
31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is ¥17,469 per night from May 23 to May 23
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
4 out of 5
19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is ¥10,437 per night from May 16 to May 16
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile
ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile
3 out of 5
77 South Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is ¥5,725 per night from May 16 to May 16
ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
4 out of 5
80 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is ¥11,010 per night from May 16 to May 16
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.