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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.

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 $95 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 4
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! (677 reviews)
"Ticked the boxes that we needed for a family trip to Edinburgh. High standard rooms, helpful staff, decent food, nice bar, good location etc."

Reviewed on Jun 6, 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
The Balmoral Hotel
The Balmoral Hotel
5 out of 5
1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
Located in New Town, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Princes Street and George Street. Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre and Royal Mile are also within ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (996 reviews)
"Made to feel very special and will be looking to return in the near future"

Reviewed on Jun 7, 2021

The Balmoral Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $234 per night from Jun 20 to Jun 20
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! (992 reviews)
"Lovely hotel and the staff were lovely too- we’re hoping to stay there again"

Reviewed on Jun 2, 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.

Popular places to visit in Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

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Best Lodging Options Near Edinburgh Castle

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 $50 per night from Jul 2 to Jul 2
ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
4 out of 5
1-3 Baxters Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $95 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 4
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
The Balmoral Hotel
The Balmoral Hotel
5 out of 5
1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The Balmoral Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $234 per night from Jun 20 to Jun 20
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 $136 per night from Jun 20 to Jun 20
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal
3.5 out of 5
18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $152 per night from Jun 17 to Jun 17
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
4 out of 5
31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $173 per night from Jun 24 to Jun 24
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel
Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel
4 out of 5
61 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $105 per night from Jun 20 to Jun 20
Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel
Mercure Edinburgh City - Princes Street Hotel
Mercure Edinburgh City - Princes Street Hotel
3 out of 5
53 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $83 per night from Jun 24 to Jun 24
Mercure Edinburgh City - Princes Street 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.