When it comes to discovering all that Edinburgh has to offer, cash poor does not need to mean culture poor. With free museums, wonderful monuments and architecture, not to mention free walking tours of Edinburgh daily, discovering Edinburgh on a budget has never been easier. So for the traveller on a budget, we thought we would share three great walking tours of Edinburgh.
1. The Royal Mile: History, Heritage and Horror
Contrary to popular belief, the Royal Mile is not a mile long. In fact, it is not even one street. It is the name given to a succession of streets in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town that connects Edinburgh Castle at the top of the “mile” with the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the bottom. Full of shops, monuments, museums, restaurants and pubs, the Royal Mile is one of the most popular (not to mention busiest) streets in Edinburgh.
At its peak, behold Edinburgh’s famous medieval castle. Enjoy a wee tipple at the Scotch Whisky Experience. Marvel at the splendour of St Giles Cathedral, or the High Kirk of Edinburgh, as it is also known. Take heart at the Heart of Midlothian. Visit the Real Mary King’s Close – the most haunted place in all of Edinburgh. Visit the Museum of Childhood and meander down the cobbled streets to Holyrood Park and the Queen’s official residence in Scotland.
Taking the tour: This is a DIY tour. Simply download the Edinburgh Map and Walks App and lose yourself in Edinburgh without getting lost.
2. Free Ghost Tour: Spook-tacular Walking Tours of Edinburgh
With a bloody history of murders, witchcraft and plague, Edinburgh is one of the most haunted cities in the world. And for good reason. A city of equal parts beauty and horror, its wynds and closes have witnessed the darkest side of our beautiful city. Today, tourists and locals alike visit these cobbled streets in search of signs of the unexplained. Fortunately for the traveller on a budget, City Explorers offer free ghost tours of Edinburgh’s dark past. For 1.5 hours, explore the paranormal underbelly of Edinburgh’s body snatching, public executions, gruesome jails and bone-breaking tortures.
Taking the tour: There are two free walking ghost tours of Edinburgh each day – one at 7 pm and the other at 9 pm. Tours leave from in front of Royal Mile Coffee House and it’s best to book in advance.
3. The Potter Trail: Bewitching Edinburgh. Muggles Welcome!
Grab your wand and embark on a bewitching adventure in a spellbinding tour through the city that inspired one of the greatest literary adventures of all time, Harry Potter. The The Potter Trail is simply magic. Discover all the magical locations that inspired some of your favourite Potter characters and scenes. Visit the café where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Potter book. Learn all about the real-life witches and wizards of medieval Edinburgh. And visit the grave where Lord Voldemort is buried.
Taking the tour: The Potter Trail leaves just about every day from the statue of Greyfriars Bobby and finishes at nearby Victoria Terrace. But be sure to check the Potter Trail calendar.