Self Guided Walking Tours of Edinburgh

Explore the enchanting streets of Edinburgh at your own pace with our carefully crafted self-guided walking tours. Immerse yourself in the rich history, captivating architecture, and vibrant atmosphere of Scotland’s capital city.

1. Self Guided Tour of Edinburgh: “Royal Mile and Old Town”

Duration: Approximately 2-3 hours

Discover the ancient heart of Edinburgh as you wander through the charming narrow streets and alleys of the Old Town. Begin your adventure at the iconic Edinburgh Castle, perched high on Castle Rock, and make your way down the historic Royal Mile. Along the way, you’ll encounter hidden closes, stunning medieval architecture, and vibrant street performers.

1. Edinburgh Castle.
Begin your tour at the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, perched high on Castle Rock. Explore the ancient fortress and uncover its intriguing history. Marvel at the Crown Jewels, stroll through the Great Hall, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the castle’s ramparts. This iconic landmark is a testament to Scotland’s royal heritage.

2. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.
Make your way down the Royal Mile to the fascinating Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Step into a world of optical illusions, mind-bending puzzles, and interactive exhibits that will challenge your senses. Climb to the rooftop terrace for breathtaking views of the city, courtesy of the historic Camera Obscura.

3. Lawnmarket.
Continue your journey along the Royal Mile, passing through the bustling Lawnmarket. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this historic market square, lined with shops, cafes, and pubs. Take a moment to admire the impressive Mercat Cross, a symbol of royal authority.

4. Gladstone’s Land.
Step back in time as you visit Gladstone’s Land, a meticulously restored 17th-century tenement building. Explore the authentic period rooms and experience what life was like for the people of Edinburgh centuries ago. Gain insight into the city’s social history and discover fascinating stories from the past.

5. Victoria Street.
Venture off the Royal Mile and meander along the colorful and winding Victoria Street. Admire the charming architecture, unique shops, and quaint boutiques that make this street a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Capture the vibrant atmosphere and indulge in some retail therapy along the way.

6. Cowgate and South Bridge.
Descend into the atmospheric Cowgate and cross the iconic South Bridge. Experience the contrasts between the historic Old Town and the vibrant nightlife of this area. Take in the lively atmosphere, discover hidden bars and music venues, and appreciate the fusion of history and modernity.

7. Blair Street and Tron Kirk.
Explore the intriguing Blair Street, home to a variety of unique shops, bars, and restaurants. Admire the imposing Tron Kirk, a former church that now serves as a hub for cultural events. Take a moment to appreciate the architectural beauty of this historic landmark.

8. Cockburn Street and Fleshmarket Close.
Venture into the atmospheric Cockburn Street, a charming and narrow street filled with independent stores and cafes. Make your way to the hauntingly named Fleshmarket Close, a historic alley with a dark past. Delve into the stories and legends associated with this fascinating area.

9. The Edinburgh Dungeon.
Conclude your tour with a visit to The Edinburgh Dungeon, a thrilling experience that brings the city’s darkest history to life. Embark on a guided tour filled with interactive shows, special effects, and engaging storytelling. Brace yourself for a journey through the city’s chilling past, including tales of infamous characters and gruesome events.

2. Self Guided Tour of Edinburgh: “New Town and Calton Hill”

Duration: Approximately 2-3 hours

Uncover the elegance and Georgian splendor of Edinburgh’s New Town on this delightful walking tour. Start at the majestic Scott Monument and stroll along Princes Street, admiring the stylish shops and breathtaking views of the city. As you continue, explore the beautifully preserved neoclassical buildings and leafy squares that make this area so special.

Enjoy exploring the elegant New Town streets, immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of Rose Street, and capturing the breathtaking views from Calton Hill. This self-guided walking tour is a perfect way to discover the charms of Edinburgh’s New Town and experience the city’s natural and architectural beauty.

1. Scott Monument: Begin your journey at the iconic Scott Monument, a striking Victorian Gothic monument dedicated to the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. Climb the narrow spiral staircase for panoramic views of the city from the top, or simply admire its intricate architecture from the outside.

2. Princes Street: Continue along Princes Street, one of Edinburgh’s main thoroughfares. This bustling street is lined with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. Take in the vibrant atmosphere and enjoy window shopping as you make your way toward Princes Street Gardens.

3. Princes Street Gardens: Enter the tranquil oasis of Princes Street Gardens, nestled between the Old Town and the New Town. This beautifully landscaped park offers a peaceful retreat with stunning views of Edinburgh Castle. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and soak up the natural beauty that surrounds you.

4. Ross Fountain: Marvel at the magnificent Ross Fountain, located in West Princes Street Gardens. This ornate Victorian fountain features intricately carved figures and provides a picturesque spot for a photo opportunity.

5. The Georgian House: Step back in time as you visit The Georgian House, a restored 18th-century townhouse that offers a glimpse into the lives of Edinburgh’s upper-class residents. Explore the elegant rooms and learn about the opulent Georgian lifestyle through informative exhibits.

6. Rose Street: Make your way to Rose Street, a lively street known for its bustling pubs, restaurants, and shops. Take a break and indulge in some traditional Scottish fare or enjoy a refreshing pint at one of the many welcoming establishments.

7. St Andrew’s Square: Head towards St Andrew’s Square, a beautifully landscaped square featuring statues, gardens, and a central monument. Take a moment to relax and soak in the ambiance of this peaceful spot.

8. Calton Hill: Conclude your tour with a visit to Calton Hill, an iconic landmark that offers panoramic views of the city. Ascend the hill and marvel at the stunning vistas of Edinburgh’s skyline, including the famous National Monument, Nelson Monument, and the city’s architectural gems. Calton Hill is particularly beautiful at sunrise or sunset, providing an unforgettable experience.

3. Self Guided Tour of Edinburgh: “Museums and Galleries of Edinburgh”

Duration: Approximately 4-5 hours

Edinburgh is a haven for art and culture enthusiasts, boasting an impressive array of museums and galleries that showcase both local and international masterpieces. This tour will lead you through the city’s cultural hotspots, where you can indulge in the world of art, history, and fascinating exhibits.

1. Scott Monument: Begin your tour at the iconic Scott Monument, a stunning Victorian Gothic monument dedicated to the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. Marvel at the intricate details of this towering structure and enjoy panoramic views of the city from its observation deck.

2. The Mound: Proceed to The Mound, a bustling street that connects the Old Town and the New Town. Take a leisurely stroll along this picturesque area and admire the historic buildings, including the striking National Gallery of Scotland.

3. National Gallery of Scotland: Step inside the National Gallery of Scotland, home to an extensive collection of artworks from around the world. Discover masterpieces by renowned artists such as Van Gogh, Titian, Monet, and Vermeer. Take your time to appreciate the beauty and significance of these artistic treasures.

4. Cockburn Street: Continue your exploration down Cockburn Street, a vibrant and eclectic street lined with unique shops, cafes, and boutiques. This lively thoroughfare offers a perfect blend of historic charm and contemporary flair.

5. Royal Mile: As you reach the Royal Mile, soak in the captivating atmosphere of Edinburgh’s historic heart. This ancient street is lined with historic landmarks, shops, and eateries. Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant energy as you make your way towards the next stop.

6. Lawnmarket and Gladstone’s Land: Explore the Lawnmarket area, a historic section of the Royal Mile. Marvel at the stunning architecture and delve into the past at Gladstone’s Land, a restored tenement house that offers a glimpse into life in 17th-century Edinburgh.

7. The Elephant House: Make a special stop at The Elephant House, a cozy café known for its association with the world-famous Harry Potter series. Take a break, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, and soak in the atmosphere that inspired J.K. Rowling while she wrote her early novels.

8. National Museum of Scotland: Conclude your tour at the National Museum of Scotland, a treasure trove of history, science, and culture. Explore the vast collection that spans diverse topics, including archaeology, natural history, technology, and Scottish heritage. Discover ancient artifacts, interactive displays, and fascinating exhibitions that cater to all ages and interests.