Official Guide to Edinburgh

Edinburgh Tours

A handy round up of all the best tours in Edinburgh to make the most of your time in the city.

Edinburgh offers a fantastic range of tours to acquaint, educate, entertain and terrorise, all in equal measures.

In one handy page, we have gathered up a selection of tours available for something different to do for a day or night out.

Edinburgh Ghost Tours

The Real Mary King's Close

One of Edinburgh’s most renowned ghost stories comes from the Real Mary King’s Close. For those who haven’t been, we shan’t divulge the tale, but as one of Edinburgh’s most frequently visited attractions, a tour through the dark, narrow underground passageways winding below the city streets will enthral and educate with stories of plagues, murders and mysteries. 

Join your tour guide as they unlock the secrets of Edinburgh’s only preserved 17thcentury street and discover for yourself the stories of the people who lived, worked, and died here.

They also a range of bespoke packages for groups – see website for further details.

Mercat Tours

Mercat Tours Candlelit Historical Man

Doomed, Dead and Buried – the ultimate ghost tour experience. If you dare, join the quivering cast from Mercat Tours and discover the haunted ghouls and cursed spirits that lurk in Blair Street Underground Vaults and the haunted corners of Canongate graveyard. Not for the faint hearted. Mercat Tours provide a splendid selection of murky, dark tales of ghostly apparitions and tales of woe across a variety of tours all wonderfully presented by award winning tour guides who bring the past to life in a ghoulish manner, but injected with a little humour.

Mercat Tours also run historical tours across the Old Town which will thrill, entertain and inform you of Edinburgh’s spellbinding past. Organising an event or would like an exclusive tour? Give them a call and they’ll be happy to organise a bespoke tour. 

Tour Guide Tales

Tour Guide Tales - Mercat Tours

Want to know even more about the gory and ghostly past of Edinburgh? In this edition of Tour Guide Tales, Grant speaks to Tania Dron, just one of the tour guides for Mercat Tours in Scotland’s capital. From jealousy-fuelled murder and dismembered ghosts, to witch trials and cheating death at the gallows, you’ll never feel the same when walking through Edinburgh’s streets again.

*Please be aware that this episode will occasionally feature more macabre themes of torture and death and listener discretion is advised.*

Bus Tours

Bright Bus Tours

Bright Bus Tours Launch

Arthur no longer has the best seat in town!

Thistle be good! Bright Bus Tours has arrived in Edinburgh, a brand new hop-on hop-off service offering multilingual commentary written by an Edinburgh local.

Look out for the bright orange buses and their friendly street team 7 days a week in the heart of Edinburgh. Hop on at any stop, or find them on Waverley Bridge.

Tickets are valid for 24 hours, and an adult ticket is only £10. Buy your ticket now at

Edinburgh Bus Tours 

Bus Tour Edinburgh City Sightseeing

Bus tours are a great way to get an overall feel for the city and with a super range of tours on offer, Edinburgh Bus Tours is the second most popular paid-for attraction in Scotland, and has earned 5 stars in Visit Scotland’s Quality Assurance scheme.  What could be better than taking in the sights and capturing the best views across the city in an open top bus?

Their renowned live guided Edinburgh Tour acts as a great introduction to both the Old and the New Town and their their City Sightseeing Tour offers multi –lingual commentary as well as a special Horrible Histories commentary, written and narrated by author Terry Deary – guaranteed to have children of all ages rub their hands together with gruesome glee! Hop on the Majestic Tour to head north of the city centre towards the coast and enjoy some real royal gems including the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Awarded both a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and a Regional Thistle Award from VisitScotland, you can ride on the Majestic Tour, Edinburgh Tour and City Sightseeing Tour as part of the Royal Edinburgh Ticket. Find out more >

Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tour

Everyone loves a ghost story, and the Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tour promises to have you sitting on the edge of your seat as it takes you on a dark, winding journey across the city, regaling you with tales of robbers, murderers and madness. Sprinkled with high drama and comedy you are guaranteed a spooktacular tour.

Literary Tours

The Writers Museum

Edinburgh has been the home and inspiration of many great writers over the years. Since the first scribes of Sir Walter Scott to the film cuts of JK Rowling’s infamous Harry Potter books we have been blessed with literary heroes.

With a variety of literary tours available, locals can now step in the shoes of their favourite writers and discover the city through their eyes. A great place to start is the website of the Edinburgh City of Literature who have a superb range of events and tours designed to educate, entertain and amuse audiences.

Ian Rankin fans can have a go at piecing together the dark and mysterious jigsaw puzzles that make up Inspector Rebus case studies. Rebus Tours will give you the opportunity to not only visit the scene of the crime but also enjoy some of Edinburgh’s beautiful scenery and discover unexplored areas. 

The very popular Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour is an informative and highly entertaining tour conducted by professional actors.  Clart (as in clarty, meaning dirty or unclean) and his intellectual companion McBrain will take you on a comedy drama through the twists and turns of the courtyards and pubs in Edinburgh’s Old and New Town.

Edinburgh Book Lover’s Tour  travels through time zones and infiltrates the city’s ancient wynds, closes and graveyards.  From historical writers to today’s favourites, there is something to suit all tastes. 

The Scottish Parliament Literature Tour invites you to discover its links with literature over the generations from former famous writers to popular authors today.   

Golfing Tours in Edinburgh


If you are looking for the ultimate golf experience, Edinburgh boasts a wealth of superb courses. If the idea of having someone plan a day's or even a week's golfing in the capital appeals, with the added bonus that they will book everything from chauffeur car hire to the swankiest restaurants then the Ultimate Golf Service is on hand to do just that.

They will discuss your golfing skills and find the courses best suited to your abilities, taking into account your desire for sea views or stunning skyscapes. 

Trike Tours

Trike Tours Scotland Side View

Who could resist an exhilarating tour of the city in a motorised trike complete with super cool leathers and hi-tech helmet with integrated sound system?

A real head turner, Trike Tours experienced chauffeur will whizz you over city streets and bump you over cobbles whilst highlighting all the well known landmarks and pointing out some favourite hidden gems. Edinburgh tours include a Trike Tour and Photo Shoot capturing the best of the city centre to Cramond and back; a Trike Whisky Tour and even a Fish and Chip Tour to name but a few.

Be sure to check out their website to book a unique city centre sightseeing tour. 

Photo Tours

Arthurs Seat View

Photography enthusiast? Edinburgh is a beautiful city and lends itself to stunning images of grand Georgian Streets, a beautiful cityscape, gorgeous gardens and quirky alleyways. What better way to explore the city and capture its magic than behind the lens of a camera with someone to help you pick out the key spots for creating a memorable photo gallery.

See Edinburgh in a new light with Iconic Edinburgh Photo Tours. What better way to learn to get the best out of your camera whilst touring the city than in the experienced hands of a professional photographer? Find out how to compose the perfect photo, hear the stories behind the places being photographed and learn photography skills to take on all your travels to come. All camera types are welcome from smart phones to DSLR.

Upload your images to our Edinburgh Gallery

Share your favourite images of Edinburgh with us. Get in touch on our Facebook or Twitter page or share a photo of your top spot by using #ThisisEdinburgh or #edinphoto when posting your snaps to Twitter and Instagram


Running Tours

Run The Sights Inline

Want to keep fit during your trip to Edinburgh? Then lace up your trainers and get in touch with the team at Run the Sights, a local Edinburgh business overflowing with passion for running and exploring our beautiful city. Run like a local and take in all the best sights in Scotland's capital

Discover other unmissable things to see and do in Edinburgh >