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Edinburgh Castle

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.


Guide to Exploring around Edinburgh Castle


Best Lodging Options Near Edinburgh Castle

See all 3,581 Properties near Edinburgh Castle
Eden Locke ¥7,267
Eden Locke

Eden Locke

127 George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in New Town, this aparthotel is steps from Charlotte Square, Princes Street, and George Street. Princes Street Gardens and Usher Hall are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 15 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 16 minutes.

    Hilton Edinburgh Carlton ¥6,842
    Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

    Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

    19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Old Town, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and Real Mary King's Close are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 27 minutes.

      YOTEL Edinburgh ¥6,148
      YOTEL Edinburgh

      YOTEL Edinburgh

      Erskine House, Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in New Town, this hotel is steps from Georgian House and Princes Street. George Street and Royal Mile are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 16 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 18 minutes.

        The Balmoral Hotel ¥31,310
        The Balmoral Hotel

        The Balmoral Hotel

        1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in New Town, this luxury hotel is steps from Multrees Walk and Princes Street. George Street and Edinburgh Dungeon are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 4-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 24 minutes.

          Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile ¥6,373
          Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile

          Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile

          231 Canongate, Edinburgh, Scotland
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Old Town, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Royal Mile, St. Giles' Cathedral, and Palace of Holyroodhouse. Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre and Greyfriars Kirk are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 5 minutes by foot.

            Mode Edinburgh ¥8,944
            Mode Edinburgh

            Mode Edinburgh

            74 - 77 Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in New Town, this apartment building is steps from Georgian House and Princes Street. George Street and Royal Mile are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 16 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 18 minutes.

              Motel One Edinburgh-Royal ¥12,745
              Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

              Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

              18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and St. Giles' Cathedral are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 3-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 24 minutes.

                Apex Grassmarket Hotel ¥9,939
                Apex Grassmarket Hotel

                Apex Grassmarket Hotel

                31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grassmarket, Royal Mile, and The Hub. Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 11 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 17 minutes.