Things to do in
Canongate District

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Our most recommended things to do in Canongate District

Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Panoramic Bus Ticket

1. Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Panoramic Bus Ticket

Explore Edinburgh at your own pace with a hop-on and hop-off open-top bus tour. Enjoy the onboard commentary that describes the history behind the city. Stop at locations like St Andrew Square, Johnstone Terrace, the Royal Mile. See sights like Edinburgh Castle and Grassmarket. Board the bus and begin your city adventure. Compare Edinburgh's Old Town, where families lived in cramped conditions and rubbish was thrown out of the windows, to the elegant Georgian New Town, with its 3 main streets and square at either end. Hear about the hangings that took place in the Grassmarket as you marvel at the impenetrable Castle Rock above you, and hear about historic attempts to capture Edinburgh Castle. Drive along the Royal Mile, which joins Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Use the 24-hour ticket to hop on and off as you please. With great visitor attractions, museums, galleries, and restaurants to suit every taste and budget, Edinburgh's got it all! Buses run every 30 minutes, making the following loop: Tour Stops: 1. St Andrew Square - Northside 2. Lothian Road - Waldorf Astoria 3. Grassmarket 4. Lauriston Place 5. Johnstone Terrace - Edinburgh Castle, The Scottish Whiskey Experience 6. Lawnmarket - Gladstone's End, The Real Mary King's Close 7. Chambers Street - National Museum of Scotland 8. St Mary's Street West 9. Canongate - John Knox House 10. Royal Mile - Scottish Parliament, Palace of Holyrood House 11. Dynamic Earth 12. Regent Road - Burns Monument

Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass with 3 City Tours

2. Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass with 3 City Tours

Save money and explore Edinburgh at your own pace with a 3-route hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket. Pick from a ticket that lasts for 24 or 48 hours. Explore the city with stop options like Grassmarket, Edinburgh Castle, National Museum of Scotland, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Hop aboard and embark on your city adventure. Contrast the Old and New Towns, see the royal attractions of Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia (entrances not included). Live guides provide English commentary on the Edinburgh Tour, while audio guides are available in up to 9 languages on the City Sightseeing Tour and the Majestic Tour. Hop on and off as often as you like at dozens of attractions, and enjoy unique, scenic views from the open-top upper decks. City Sightseeing Tour: Hear about the people and events that shaped Edinburgh, from the cramped conditions of the Old Town to spacious Holyrood Park, on a classic sightseeing tour in 9 languages. Enjoy Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories with the on board Horrible Histories Children’s Channel - history with all the gory bits left in! • Hanover Street • Princes Street Gardens • St. John’s Church • Grassmarket • Johnston Terrace • Edinburgh Castle • National Museum of Scotland • Museum of Childhood • Scottish Parliament • Our Dynamic Earth • Palace of Holyrood House • Burns Monument Edinburgh Tour: Enjoy the best views aboard an open-top bus, as live commentary in English brings Edinburgh’s history to life. Explore the Old Town and Georgian New Town, hopping off at 9 strategic stops. • Hanover Street • George Street • Charlotte Square • The Mound • Lawnmarket • Grassmarket • Our Dynamic Earth • Scottish Parliament • Canongate Kirk Majestic Tour: Leave the city center and head to the coast at Newhaven, with stops for the Royal Botanic Garden and Royal Yacht Britannia. This multi-language tour offers commentary through headphones in English, Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Russian. Return via the Palace of Holyrood House and the Canongate section of the Royal Mile. • Hanover Street • George Street • Royal Botanic Gardens • Ferry Road • Newhaven Harbour • Cruise Terminal • Ocean Terminal (Royal Yacht Britannia) • Leith Mills • Elm Row • Queen Mary’s Bath House • Queensberry House • Canongate Kirk

Edinburgh: Dark Secrets of the Old Town Ghost Walking Tour

3. Edinburgh: Dark Secrets of the Old Town Ghost Walking Tour

Discover Scotland’s mythical sites and Scottish faeries as you walk around the city of Edinburgh. Pass by graveyards, aged houses, and the sites where witches and warlocks were burnt on this sinister yet insightful walking tour. Learn about the black market for corpses in the 19th century and the serial killers William Burke and William Hare. Hear how they sold corpses for dissection at anatomy lectures. Visit the Old Calton Cemetery and Canongate Kirkyard. Enjoy pleasant views across Edinburgh whilst your guide talks about a particularly dark chapter in the city’s history, the burning of witches and warlocks. Be astounded by the number of people burned for witchcraft and what spells and beliefs caused this. Unearth the past as your guide explains about the doctors who cured those with the Black Death, a bubonic plague pandemic in the 1300s. Walk past houses where people lived in the 17th-century and explore the mystery and mysticism that surrounds Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: Outlander Walking Tour

4. Edinburgh: Outlander Walking Tour

The year is 1745 and the Jacobite rising has reached the city gates of Edinburgh. Bonnie Prince Charlie is met by a cheering crowd of 20,000 strong. Amid the chaos of rebellion are Claire and Jamie, the Outlander characters entwined in a story that spans centuries. On this 2-hour walking tour your guide will trace the real events that inspired Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed novels. The story captures the spirit of the Jacobite rebellion in Edinburgh: The Redcoats, the Highlanders and the smell of gunpowder in the air. Your expert guide will take you deep into the Old Town, to the places where history was made: Tolbooth Jail, Canongate Kirkyard and the World’s End Tavern. If Edinburgh is the setting for the second Outlander novel, you’ll be going behind the scenes!

Edinburgh: Dark History & Canongate Guided Walking Tour

5. Edinburgh: Dark History & Canongate Guided Walking Tour

Ah, Edinburgh! They don't call it "The Jekyll & Hyde City" for nothing. During the day, a respectable figure, with its astonishing architecture and wondrous history. But when the sun sets, it tells an entirely different story... Hear all about the darker history of Edinburgh: murderers, thieves, cannibals, hangings and decapitations, witches, the Plague and streams of human waste. Learn about the most notorious citizens of Edinburgh and how ghost stories are born. This is not a ghost tour: we don't need costumes or people jumping from behind the corners, Edinburgh's Dark History itself is enough to make your skin crawl. And oh, how we love to share it with our visitors...

Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours & Firth of Forth Cruise

6. Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours & Firth of Forth Cruise

City Sightseeing Edinburgh See all the main attractions with CitySightseeing Edinburgh. There’s multi-language commentary in 9 languages and a special Horrible Histories commentary for your children, narrated by Terry Deary himself. Edinburgh Tour Explore Edinburgh's city center taking in the spectacular buildings including Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament, and the architecture of the Georgian New Town with a live guide in English. Majestic Tour The Majestic Tour heads north of Edinburgh's City Centre towards the port of Leith with highlights including Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, The Royal Yacht Britannia, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Majestic Tour features a multi-lingual commentary in 10 languages.  Firth of Forth Bus and Boat Trip Board your bus at St Andrew Square in the heart of Edinburgh for a tour to South Queensferry, followed by a boat tour aboard one of Forth Boat Tours fleet of vessels. Enjoy superb views of Edinburgh and Fife’s coastlines as well as the iconic Three Bridges, the Forth Road Bridge, The Forth Bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing. Get your camera out and look for puffins and seals along the way.

Edinburgh: Old Town Walking Tour & Optional Holyrood Palace

7. Edinburgh: Old Town Walking Tour & Optional Holyrood Palace

Tread the route of royals, past and present – and let your expert guide unlock the history of this ancient seat of power. Discover rebellions Jacobites, colorful characters the hidden history of the Canongate, and the glorious Palace of Holyroodhouse. Upgrade to include entry to the palace. Discover an approach to the palace that escapes the notice of history books and bus tours. As you walk down the quiet closes of the Canongate your expert guide will show you a different side of the royal city – in rich, engaging detail. Here, rebellious Jacobites clattered over the cobbles, led by a proud Bonnie Prince Charlie. And Deacon Brodie led his dual life as locksmith and thief, immortalized by Robert Louis Stevenson. In the hands of your gifted storyteller, you’ll find that romance and intrigue are everywhere – in the architecture, literature, crime, and politics, on the very doorstep of the Queen’s Palace. After the Canongate, your guide will introduce the Palace of Holyroodhouse – which you’ll explore in your own time (if option selected). You’ll find 14 magnificent state apartments, as well as the romantic ruins of the 12th century Holyrood Abbey. The palace was the setting for many dramatic episodes in the short reign of Mary, Queen of Scots – and Her Majesty The Queen still makes use of the State Apartments for royal ceremonies.

Historic Royal Mile Private Walking Tour

8. Historic Royal Mile Private Walking Tour

Why not join a breathtaking walk down Edinburgh's Royal Mile? The tour will take you on an entertaining journey of discovery along one of the world's most famous streets.  Every step has a story to tell. On the way, you'll learn some of the secrets that lie behind its historic buildings - and under your feet. You can also look at locations attached to the Outlander Book/TV series (Claire & Jamie). So why not embark on a journey through time down a street that's felt the footsteps of both royalty and commoner alike, and where legends abound.

Edinburgh: History, Murder, and Everyday Life in Old Town

9. Edinburgh: History, Murder, and Everyday Life in Old Town

Discover the history and legends of Edinburgh and Scotland in World Heritage Old Town District for a 3h private guided tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Canongate District

Want to discover all there is to do in Canongate District? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Canongate District

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 5,236 reviews

This was mine and my husband‘s first time visiting Edinburgh and we thoroughly enjoyed it! I highly recommend taking the hop on hop off buses there in Edinburgh to get around and see all the sites. You can get off at any time and then just hop back on when you are ready to at any one of the bus stops. The people are so very nice in Edinburgh and all the bus drivers were very helpful.

Johnny & Warren on the hop on hop off bus we’re fab, very knowledgeable and friendly. Firth of Forth cruise was amazing!

Great overview of the city. We were able to get to all the sites we wished to see. The drivers were very helpful too!

The routes were great, but sometimes too crowded due to normal traffic. This resulted in long standstills!!!

Great way to get an overview of the city and points of interest.