Edinburgh Old Town
Edinburgh Old Town
4.5
NeighbourhoodsHistoric Walking Areas
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Edinburgh's oldest neighborhood, dating back to medieval times: these small streets are lined with wool shops, pubs and historical monuments.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Neighbourhood: Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavoured souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
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See what travellers are saying
  • StotheN
    Stockholm, Sweden547 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very quaint but now full of touristy shops
    You need to take a walking tour here to understand is full historic and cultural relevance. I spent a day here, just walking around through different alleys and through the parks and gardens. The castle and museums nearby are good.
    Visited March 2023
    Written April 24, 2023
  • pfefmeister
    San Francisco, California3,044 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Go Early
    Honestly, a great historic area. It was fun to wander the streets and narrow alleys always in the shadow of the imposing castle. As the day wears on, it gets a little too crowded with tourists which detracts from it’s appeal. Everyone sells the same lambs wool scarfs, and, while my wife tried to visit every one, I quickly became bored by them all. This is a must visit but bring a couple pounds of patience.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written May 31, 2023
  • mforkner
    Pataskala, Ohio591 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must See If In Edinburgh
    We visited Edinburgh Castle and then walked down and explored Old Town on the Royal Mile. As expected, most of the buildings had souvenir shops, pubs or other enticements on which to spend money. Despite that, the buildings, closes, occasional buskers and street performers all added up to a unique experience. You simply cannot experience Edinburgh without spending time in Old Town and on the Royal Mile.
    Visited May 2023
    Written June 7, 2023
  • Svenja F
    Recklinghausen, Germany107 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Most beautiful town ever visited
    The old town of Edinburgh is amazing and worth every second of being there. Walking the royal mile with all the shops, closes and amazing buildings is a great experience, with the highlight being the castle. Just be sure to book a ticket in advance, otherwise you might not be able to enter the castle if it is too crowded.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 11, 2023
  • Lynn
    Seattle, Washington10 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pretty amazing city!
    Such a cool place and welcoming, really. We had such a fantastic trip! Can’t wait to go back. What surprised me, the liter, SO AWFUL, urine smelled alleys and stair cases. The amount of graffiti and stickers all over the monuments and buildings. How does such a cool place like this get so trashed, I can look beyond it, for sure, but a committee should be formed to rectify this, if it is tourists maybe their passports should be flagged, if it is your own people, make offenders clean it up as punishment. Lastly, people, please by mindful where you are blowing your smoke and vape, trust me, no one wants to smell what is coming our of your mouth, it is gross. Still a cool city, we plan to come back because the states have some junked up areas with poor human etiquette too, we are not even close to perfect.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written June 17, 2023
  • dan j
    Port Coquitlam, Canada749 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Plan you Day Wisely!
    Lots of shops, hotels and restaurants along with all of the historical landmarks and attractions. We visited in late June and it was pretty busy on a weekday. Advance bookings are a must if you really want to see the higher demand attractions.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 30, 2023
  • Dave C
    Illinois1,548 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Like going back in time
    Oh my... when I booked a hotel in Old Town Edinburgh, I had no idea that the place dated back 10 centuries and preserved historic buildings, cobblestone streets, the Royal Mile, and just feeling like I was in another world. I'd never had guessed I was in a big city in 2023. We walked for 5 hours just taking it in.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written July 4, 2023
  • WaJello
    1,307 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Make a Day of It
    We stayed in the Royal Nile and loves wandering these streets. There were lots of fun souvenir shops, pubs, restaurants and wool shops. If there are concerts at Edinburgh you can hear them when you stand outside the castle. There is also a nice park area at the bottom below the castle and more shops across the bridge below.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written July 9, 2023
  • Kristoffer Myklebust Roland Svendsen
    Hamar, Norway17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hike through Edinburgh
    I spent the better part of a day trawling the streets of the old town of Edinburgh. The area has been populated since the end of the glacial period, and the fortress was built for securing the city during mideaval times, around the 11-16 th centuries. The old churches, university, and newer restaurants, pubs, cafes and bookstores makes the visit a trip worth taking. The old town, as well as the new town, are UNESCO world heritage sites, something I completely understand after a few days in Edinburg. I will come back someday.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written July 11, 2023
  • diswix
    Gloucester, United Kingdom513 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful
    Surprise 60th birthday yrip and Edingburgh dud not disappointed. Absolutely great walking through old town alleyways, nooks and cranies. Plenty of well priced pubs, cafes and restaurants. Indoor and alfresco dinning. Albeit as with any tourist destination there is an abundance of tat shops, selling identical wears.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written July 12, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

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Braindamagedbaron
Newark-on-Trent, UK437 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
Edinburgh is a wonderful city to visit with so much to see. Architecturally breathtaking in parts, the city offers the visitor the chance to mix history with contemporary beauty.
We walked miles during our visit, attempting to cover every inch of the place and drink it all in. The old town is a wonder, truly lovely. As you wander around the city, it just creeps up on you and suddenly you are surrounded by sumptuous buildings and history at every turn. A generous smattering of old pubs and cafes are dotted around giving you the opportunity to rest up and refresh.
Visiting Edinburgh and not seeing the old town would be a crime. You must see the old to fully appreciate the new.
Glorious.
Written April 17, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Regina R
New York City, NY2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Just beautiful we so very much enjoyed our stay that we are actually contemplating going back as soon as we have the time so much to see so much to do and I would stay at the Charlotte Kimpton again
Written April 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TD
16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Such an amazing city. And the Scottish people are just so much. The old town of Edinburgh has such culture & beautiful buildings.
Written March 19, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alibatty🦇
Dundee, UK5,046 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Well, this really must be on every visitor’s itinerary, as it’s the historic heart of the city, with many of the medieval buildings preserved for posterity. It’s crammed full of character , with lots of nooks and crannies to explore in the many tall narrow closes , and warren of wynds of “Auld Reekie”. Here you’ll find a plentiful variety of shops, restaurants, pubs and cafes leading steeply up cobbled paths to the Royal Mile, and Edinburgh Castle . We were a bit dismayed at the unsightly graffiti , and litter lying about - but that’s the downfall of any big city. Despite it being only March there were lots of tourists on the go , so got a bit crowded in passing places. ( Must be murderous at the height of the season. )
Written March 7, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nedelcho T
Burgas, Bulgaria8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023
The old town is charming and has very beautiful buildings and architecture from the past centuries. It's a must do when you visit Edinburgh.
Written February 26, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Louis C
Margate, UK801 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Loved our walk around the old town lots to see and lots to find. Lovely historic city with fantastic magical stories. Easy to get around via tram, bus or walk, a days pass £5. We will return.
Written February 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sheila b
Ireland12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024
what a lovely city - so much to see and do. very manageable to walk around and everyone is so friendly. a definite must if going to Scotland
Written January 28, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hilary S
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
Angus was a great guide, he kept us entertained with historical facts and current information in an amusing way. He certainly knew the history.
Two hours passed quickly.
I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to know the why's and how Edinburgh has developed here, along with the stories of who was involved .
Written January 13, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The Trusty Trip Gal!
England, UK129 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Edinburgh Old Town is the best part of Edinburgh!

The old town has so much character! There’s also lots of Edinburgh’s famous landmarks in the old town such as Edinburgh Castle, The Grassmarket, The Royal Mile, St Giles Cathedral! The list goes on!

If you visit Edinburgh the Old Town is a must visit!
Written December 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

matthew p
Edinburgh, UK104 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
It's hard to enjoy walking up and down this street because every shop and I mean every shop seems to sell the same old tartan tat. Some of the closes that you walk by are just not all that there just places that you walk into and what you see is just buildings or restraunts and some of the closes are shut of to the general public being that they are privately owned. It is also a very long street and quite a steep incline to walk up to the castle. But not so bad if you're walking to Holywood Palace or House as this is at the bottom of the road where Holywood park also is - and dynamic earth is also.
Written December 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Edinburgh Old Town - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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