Discover Edinburgh Castle, part of Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the most well-known historic sites in Scotland. You could spend more than a full day here, but it is still worth a visit if you only have an hour or two.

The famous castle sits high on Castle Rock in Old Town, at the top of The Royal Mile. Its location provides the most incredible views of Edinburgh below. Palace Holyroodhouse sits at the opposite end of The Royal Mile.

Leading up to the castle is a number of shops selling tartans, wonderful scarves and other souvenirs, along with a variety of places to eat.

Discover things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Explore Old Town and New Town along with the many museums, monument, memorials and galleries of this historic city. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

Discover things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Explore Old Town and New Town along with the many museums, monument, memorials and galleries of this historic city. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

The world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is held every August on the castle esplanade. Check here for ticket information.

Complimentary guided tours and audio tours are available or you can follow the blue shields on the map provided with your entrance ticket to do your own self-guided tour.

Consider buying an Explorer Pass that will get you into Scotland’s top attractions, including many sites in Edinburgh. You can also buy a ‘skip the line’ ticket for Edinburgh Castle from a Hop-On Hop-Off tour bus. We bought our tickets on the bus.

Discover Edinburgh Castle Highlights

  • Stone of Destiny is found in the Crown Room near the Crown Jewels. England’s King Edward l built it into his throne in 1295. It is used at every coronation in England during the crowning of a sovereign.
  • St. Margaret’s Chapel is Edinburgh’s oldest building, built by David I circa 1130. He dedicated the chapel to his mother Queen Margaret. In 1250, Pope Innocent IV made her a saint because of all the charity work she did. Weddings and christenings are still performed here.
St. Margaret’s Chapel built by David I about 1130 is Edinburgh’s oldest building. Discover things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Explore Old Town and New Town along with the many museums, monument, memorials and galleries of this historic city. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

St. Margaret’s Chapel built by David I about 1130 is Edinburgh’s oldest building.  Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

  • The Crown Jewels of Scotland can be viewed in the Throne Room. They are also known as the Honours of Scotland. They are the oldest Royal Regalia of their kind in the United Kingdom. All three components were used in the 1543 coronation ceremony of Mary Queen of Scots. The pieces date from the 15th and 16th century.
  • The National War Museum of Scotland displays the past military history of Scotland. Learn more.
The War Museum at Edinburgh Castle. Discover Edinburgh Castle highlights and things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Explore Old Town and New Town along with the many museums, monument, memorials and galleries of this historic city. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

The War Museum at Edinburgh Castle. Discover Edinburgh Castle highlights and things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

  • Magnificent panoramic views of Edinburgh.
Panoramic views from Edinburgh Castle. Discover things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Explore Old Town and New Town along with the many museums, monument, memorials and galleries of this historic city. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr@

Panoramic views from Edinburgh Castle. Discover things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Explore Old Town and New Town along with the many museums, monument, memorials and galleries of this historic city. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr@

  • The one o’clock gun is fired most days at 1 p.m.
The One o'clock gun at Edinburgh Castle. Discover Edinburgh Castle highlights and things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Explore Old Town and New Town along with the many museums, monument, memorials and galleries of this historic city. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

The One o’clock gun at Edinburgh Castle. Discover Edinburgh Castle highlights and things to do in medieval Edinburgh. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr

  • The Royal Palace has been home to many of the Scottish monarchs. Also Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her son James Vl here in 1566.

Fast Facts:

  • The Stone of Destiny will go to Westminster Abbey when there is a coronation ceremony for a new monarch.
  • The Crown Jewels of Scotland consist of three items: a crown, a sceptre and sword.
  • The castle has been used as a military base since the 1600s.
  • The last king to live here was Charles I. He left the castle in 1633.
  • Edinburgh Castle was built by David l in the 12th century.
  • Castle Rock was formed after a volcanic eruption.
  • St. Margaret’s Chapel is Edinburgh’s oldest building, built by David I about 1130.
Discover the rich history of the Scottish Royals at Holyrood Palace
Find out more about sightseeing tours below.

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