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St. Giles' Cathedral
Vacation Travel Guide

St. Giles\\\' Cathedral which includes a city, a church or cathedral and heritage architecture

See stunning artwork, beautiful chapels, poignant memorials and musical performances at this ancient place of worship.

For more than 600 years, the crowned spire of St. Giles’ Cathedral has been a prominent feature of Edinburgh’s skyline.

St. Giles’ was founded as a Catholic place of worship in 1120 and switched to Protestantism after the Scottish church severed ties with Rome and the pope in 1560. It was recognized as a cathedral from the 17th century. The landmark spire was a late 15th-century addition.

St Giles’ Cathedral is the official Church of Scotland and the Mother Church of Presbyterianism. It’s named after the patron saint of beggars and disabled people.

The most elaborate part of the cathedral is the Thistle Chapel, the spiritual home of The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle. This is an order of chivalry with roots in the Middle Ages. Take your time to study the decorative and highly detailed interior with its oak carvings, ornate stonework and distinctly Scottish features such as angels with bagpipes.

The cathedral has many memorials to distinguished Scots and Scottish soldiers. They include a bronze memorial to the writer Robert Louis Stevenson and a statue to the Protestant reformer John Knox.

Try to time your visit with a musical performance. The cathedral has an extensive schedule of lunchtime concerts, organ recitals and choral pieces. Many are free. Visit the cathedral’s website for details.

Volunteer guides are available to answer questions and can conduct free guided tours on request. If you want to take photographs inside the building you’ll need a permit. These can be obtained for a small fee at the information desks at the Thistle Chapel and the main West Entrance.

St. Giles’ Cathedral is located on The Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town. It’s open to visitors every day of the year except after the mid-morning service on Christmas Day, December 26, and January 1 and 2. There are different opening times at different times of the year; for details check the cathedral’s website.

Top Hotels Close to St. Giles' Cathedral

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 16 to May 16
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
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $197 per night from May 16 to May 16
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
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
4 out of 5
1 Morrison Link, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Scotland
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $61 per night from May 13 to May 13
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
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 St. Giles' Cathedral Flight + Hotel Deals

Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh
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Best Lodging Options Near St. Giles' Cathedral

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 16 to May 16
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $197 per night from May 16 to May 16
The Scotsman Hotel
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
4 out of 5
1 Morrison Link, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $61 per night from May 13 to May 13
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
4 out of 5
34 Bread Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $112 per night from May 16 to May 16
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
4 out of 5
19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $96 per night from May 13 to May 13
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
3.5 out of 5
231 Canongate, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $77 per night from May 16 to May 16
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile – Hunter Square
ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile – Hunter Square
3 out of 5
6 Hunter Square, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $53 per night from May 16 to May 16
ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile – Hunter Square
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal
3.5 out of 5
18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $133 per night from May 13 to May 13
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal
Malmaison Edinburgh City
Malmaison Edinburgh City
4 out of 5
Buchan House, 21-22 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is $110 per night from May 16 to May 16
Malmaison Edinburgh City
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.