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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 $59 per night from May 4 to May 5
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! (656 reviews)
Spectacular stay and caring staff. We ll be back
"Our stay has been spectacular. The hotel upgraded for free our room so that we would be able to work in optimal conditions from our bedroom. The staff was very caring and lovely. In view of the Covid restrictions, they made all the efforts to accommodate us in the best condition. The room was spacious, ..."

Reviewed on Dec 25, 2020

Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
4 out of 5
34 Bread Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $110 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 28
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Usher Hall, Grassmarket, and Princes Street. Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle are also ...
4.3/5Excellent! (997 reviews)
"All staff friendly and service good."

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2020

DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
4 out of 5
1 Morrison Link, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $45 per night from Apr 28 to Apr 29
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! (1,038 reviews)
"Great location, fantastic price."

Reviewed on Apr 7, 2021

Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
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.

Top Edinburgh Castle Flight + Hotel Deals

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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 $59 per night from May 4 to May 5
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
4 out of 5
34 Bread Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $110 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 28
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
4 out of 5
1 Morrison Link, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $45 per night from Apr 28 to Apr 29
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $188 per night from May 13 to May 14
The Scotsman Hotel
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
4 out of 5
31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $136 per night from Apr 28 to Apr 29
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
3.5 out of 5
231 Canongate, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $76 per night from May 2 to May 3
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
5 out of 5
Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $263 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
4 out of 5
80 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $78 per night from May 11 to May 12
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Holiday Inn Express - Edinburgh City Centre
Holiday Inn Express - Edinburgh City Centre
3 out of 5
Picardy Place Top Of Leith Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $56 per night from May 16 to May 17
Holiday Inn Express - Edinburgh City 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.