Edinburgh
Alternative Tours

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Our most recommended Edinburgh Alternative Tours

Edinburgh: The Dark Side Walking Tour

1. Edinburgh: The Dark Side Walking Tour

Meet some of Edinburgh's most infamous characters on a fun ghost walk through the dark side of the city center. Learn more about Burke and Hare and hear tales of witch burning, grave robbing, body snatching and mysterious murders. Start on the Royal Mile, where plundered tombs, funeral pyres and mass graves from thousands of years ago are concealed. Get goosebumps as the past is brought to life by your guide and venture to gruesome burial sites such as the Canongate Kirkyard. Prepare to be spooked by spine-chilling tales of real-life cannibals and vampires as the true history of Edinburgh is recreated before your eyes.  

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Edinburgh: 2-Hour Nighttime Ghost Tour

2. Edinburgh: 2-Hour Nighttime Ghost Tour

The city of Edinburgh has witnessed its fair share of bloody events, murders and witch burnings throughout history. The echoes of these events have survived through time and have left their mark on the alleys and cemeteries that you will travel through on this exciting night tour.  On this tour of ghosts, mysteries and witches, you will take a 2-hour journey through the black history of Edinburgh. Take a stroll through Edinburgh, away from the stock standard attractions and travel back to a time of mystery. With your guide, enjoy a series of stories and visual projections that will give you insight into the dark history of Edinburgh. This tour is an essential part of your stay in Edinburgh and one not to be missed. 

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Edinburgh: Alternative Comedy Walking Tour

3. Edinburgh: Alternative Comedy Walking Tour

The tour starts at Monkey Barrel Comedy Club in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Embark on an alternative adventure through the city, combined with a mixture of stand-up comedy and historical story telling from your local guide. Why do they fire a massive cannon every lunchtime at 1 o'clock? Is the Unicorn really Scotland's national animal? Why are so many of Edinburgh's pubs named after brutal murderers? Do they really eat deep-fired mars bars in Scotland? All your questions and more will be answered, as you wander through the picturesque streets of this Scottish city. The tour contains some adult humor and bad language, so its strictly for ages 16 and over. Your guide will tell you everything you want to know about Edinburgh and possibly a little you didn't want to know about himself! Come along and have a bit of 'craic' as you stroll around one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Note: Your guide accepts no responsibility for those visitors who die laughing.

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From Glasgow or Edinburgh: Scottish Whisky Tour

4. From Glasgow or Edinburgh: Scottish Whisky Tour

Discover the ultimate tour for whisky lovers and get a real taste of life in the Highlands and Scottish countryside. Your driver, a Scottish whisky ambassador, will share their knowledge and stories with you along the way, and may even stop for an extra dram or 2 along the way. Begin your adventure by heading across the Forth River and heading up to the Highlands where you will stop at your first distillery, the world-famous Dalwhinnie Distillery, which was built in 1897 and is Scotland's highest distillery. Break for lunch at the famous House of Braur, where you can also pick up gifts and souvenirs from your time in Scotland. Afterward, head to your second distillery, Blair Atholl, which is the oldest working distillery in Scotland and was founded in 1798. If time permits, stop at one more distillery on the way back to your hotel for one final tasting.

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Edinburgh: Inspirations of Harry Potter with a Warlock

5. Edinburgh: Inspirations of Harry Potter with a Warlock

J. K. Rowling is a moderately influential woman who's sold a few books. On this tour you will dive deep into her history. Learn to use failure as a springboard, be inspired, stay committed and conquer the world. Discover the sights that inspired her and the cafes which fueled her. Experience how, through her adopted daughter, Edinburgh, she once more left footprints upon the world. Enter Greyfriars Kirk-yard and the Harry Potter connections explode. You will visit the grave of "You Know Who", a possible inspiration for Hogwarts, attempt to wake Peeves, and explore some of the wizarding world's lesser known traditions and tales. You will hustle down a cobbled alley, full of dark doorways, crooked stairs and the watching eyes of shopkeeps. At the foot of Victoria Street (Edinburgh's "Diagon Alley") you'll raise your hoods and study your shoes, since Eaters of death be prowling. Explore 40% of Edinburgh's Hogwartian old town, discover fabulous gothic scenes off the Muggle-track — the brickwork of Rowling's imagination. Over the course of the tour you will learn the entire genesis of Harry Potter —  from a lightning striking on a Manchester train, to how an unhappy marriage was the birthing of the world's most beloved books, becoming a pillar of British culture and shaping a generation. Rowling said Edinburgh surely rubbed off a little on her epic saga. Come and see why, and consider what you can learn from her journey.

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From Edinburgh: The Whiskies and Gins of East Lothian

6. From Edinburgh: The Whiskies and Gins of East Lothian

Depart from Edinburgh in the morning and travel to NB Distillery. This gin producer launched in 2013 with a mission to develop the perfect gin. Taste it yourself and find out whether they have accomplished their goal. The tour continues up the east coast to North Berwick, one of the most beautiful seaside villages of East Lothian. Browse the artisan shops in the village and enjoy lunch in one of the local restaurants. Leave the coastline and arrive at Glenkinchie Distillery, nestled in a peaceful glen. Founded in 1825, the distillery languished in obscurity for over 150 years before becoming an international brand at the end of the 1980s. Find out how the distillery became such a success and sample their Malt Whiskies. From here, it's a short drive back to Edinburgh, through golden wheat and barley fields.

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Edinburgh: Book a Local Friend

7. Edinburgh: Book a Local Friend

Book this tour and your hosts will contact you within 24 hours and ask you questions about your preferences and interests, so they can match you with the right profile and assign a like-minded local Edinburgher. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Keeping in mind your personal answers they will put together a bespoke itinerary, just for you. Please note that this will be outlined but flexible. They will arrange a meeting with your guide in the most convenient place for you. If during the tour you feel like changing direction, or your guide believes that you'd enjoy a sight or different experience, they will suggest and discuss with you changes to the itinerary. Enjoy discovering amazing spots in Edinburgh that you don't know about and are difficult to find in any guidebook or on the Internet, because they are lesser known to the crowd but beloved by locals! The day revolves around your wishes so enjoy your private tour and let your local show you the Edinburgh you will love!

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Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 232 reviews

The tour was really fun and entertaining, and it was a great balance of history and humour. Our guide Angus was so friendly and enthusiastic. He remembered where everyone was from and made an effort to chat to us all between the stop off points. It was one of our favourite experiences from our trip!

A brilliant way to spend part of my friend’s birthday. We were laughing non-stop and learned interesting things along the way. Danielle is a great story-teller and has a natural ability to make everyone feel welcome and included.

Jen was a great guide! Very chatty, charismatic and informative. She was funny, and made sure that everyone was ok, adding trigger warnings where appropriate.

Laughed all the way round, such a lovely guy, he couldn’t do enough to make the group feel welcome and at ease. We even learned a bit of history!

Jen was amazing! So fun and engaging and even though it was freezing it was a great two hours in the cold with fascinating stories and history