Edinburgh Castle

Visit Edinburgh Castle for free

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From royal ceremonies and lavish feasts to savage battles and military defences, Edinburgh Castle has witnessed many key moments in Scotland’s, and Edinburgh’s history.

Whether you choose to explore the castle’s nooks and crannies at your own pace, on a guided tour (charges apply) or hire an audio guide (available in 12 languages), there’s something to discover around every corner.

Visit the Great Hall, built around 1510 for James IV for hosting grand banquets and state events. Dating from around 1130, St Margaret’s Chapel holds the title of the oldest building in Edinburgh, while many Edinburgh residents will be familiar with the sound of the one o’clock gun, fired from Mills Mount Battery. And as befits this majestic castle, no visit would be complete without a visit to see the Stone of Destiny, used for centuries to inaugurate monarchs, and the Honours of Scotland, Britain’s oldest crown jewels.

Edinburgh Castle, image of canon overlooking the city
Edinburgh Castle, Canon, Mons Meg

Visit Edinburgh Castle for free

As part of Historic Environment Scotland’s Historic Sundays, Scottish residents can get free admission to participating Historic Scotland visitor attractions (including Edinburgh Castle) on the first Sunday of every month until 03 March 2024. Bookings should be made on the Historic Sundays website.

Terms and conditions

  • Bookings should be made on the Historic Sundays website.
  • Tickets are available free of charge on the first Sunday of each month from Sunday 01 October 2023 to Sunday 03 March 2024.
  • The offer applies to Scottish postcode holders only. It is not exclusive to Edinburgh residents
  • A maximum of 2 adults and 6 children can be booked per transaction.
  • Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied by an adult, aged 16 years or over.
  • Tickets must be booked online in advance.
  • The offer is only available until the allocation of tickets per day has been used.

Learn more about Historic Sundays

Craigmillar Castle

Why not make a day of it and take a day trip to nearby Historic Environment Scotland participating visitor attractions, such as Edinburgh’s ‘other castle’ Craigmillar Castle, which was used as a safe haven by Mary Queen of Scots in 1566. Make your way to East Lothian and pay a visit to Dirleton Castle, one of Scotland’s oldest surviving strongholds, or Tantallon Castle, home to the Red Douglas dynasty. Head across the Firth of Forth to the Kingdom of Fife and discover what is possibly Scotland’s oldest standing castle, Aberdour Castle, or explore St Andrews Castle, which was home to one of medieval Britain’s most infamous castle prisons.

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