Edinburgh
Viewing Points

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Our most recommended Edinburgh Viewing Points

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

1. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

Head for the Highlands, whether in search of the Loch Ness Monster or just a scenic day trip from Edinburgh. After pickup, relax on your group’s bus and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary. Visit Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows and a cup of coffee. Discover what a ‘hairy coo’ really is. Next, travel up the road to Glencoe and enjoy a 10-minute photo stop in front of the unforgettable Highland views. Have lunch in Fort William, where your guide can advise you on where to eat. If you're interested in the mysteries of the kilt, you can even get a ‘wee’ kilt introduction here. Then be whisked to Loch Ness itself. Customize your experience at Loch Ness with personal touches. Visit the majestic Urquhart Castle, and hop on a boat in search of ‘Nessie’, as the locals call it. Or simply hang out on the pier and grab a coffee with gorgeous views. On the way home, make a short snack stop in Pitlochry, a beautiful village in the heart of the country, before returning to Edinburgh.

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City Sightseeing Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

2. City Sightseeing Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Tour Edinburgh to your own schedule on the open-top sightseeing bus, and enjoy the onboard commentary that describes the history behind the lively city. 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

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From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

3. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

Depart Edinburgh on an air-conditioned luxury coach (max 34 seats). Pass Stirling Castle and hear your tour guide tell tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the bloody battles fought out on these lands. First, arrive at Callander town, nestled at the foot of the Trossachs. Next, drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Your Scottish guide will tell you about Rob Roy MacGregor, the infamous Highlander. Follow in the footsteps of James Bond ("Skyfall") and Harry Potter ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban") as you travel to the stunning Highland valley of Glencoe. Hear the eerie story of the Clan MacDonald massacre of 1692. Travel through Fort William, home to Ben Nevis, which at 4,409 feet is the highest mountain of the British Isles. Arrive on the south bank of Loch Ness in the charming village of Fort Augustus, where lots of cafes, shops, and restaurants offer a relaxing lunch. Stroll along the banks of the Caledonian Canal, then experience Loch Ness on an optional 1-hour boat cruise. Try to catch a glimpse of "Nessie," the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Admire the impressive Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge with views of the Nevis Range. Enter the Cairngorms National Park and discover "Monarch of the Glen" country. Drive along Loch Laggan before the roads climb above the Grampian Mountains. Travel over the Pass of Drumochter, linking the northern and southern Central Highlands. Experience the majesty of a mountain pass created by glacial activity during successive Ice Ages. Finally, stop briefly in the beautiful Victorian town of Pitlochry before heading back to Edinburgh city center, arriving at approximately 8:30 PM.

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Edinburgh: The Dark Side Walking Tour

4. 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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From Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Highlands Full-Day Trip

5. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Highlands Full-Day Trip

Explore the beauty of Scotland’s Highlands on a 12-hour scenic driving tour by comfortable coach. See historic sights and unforgettable landscapes on this guided day trip from Edinburgh. Following a hotel pick-up in central Edinburgh, you will head towards Stirling, catching views of the Castle and Wallace Monument. Continue towards Callander, and stop for morning coffee, and the chance to meet “Hamish the Hairy Coo.” Head northwards over Rannoch Moor, and reach the dark, brooding Pass of Glencoe. Stop to learn the story of the massacre of 1692, before crossing Loch Leven. Stop for lunch in Fort William, then follow the Caledonian Canal up the Great Glen to Loch Ness. Here, you have the option to cruise on the Loch for approximately 1 hour, or relax in the tranquil village on its banks. After Loch Ness you will head South East and take in magnificent views of Loch Laggan. Marvel at the magnificent Blair Castle, home of the Dukes of Atholl for over 700 years, before moving onto Pitlochry, a delightful Victorian resort town. Then, head south through Fife, and cross the Forth next to the amazing Forth Bridge, before arriving back in Edinburgh.

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From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

6. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

Day 1 From Edinburgh you will head west where your first stop will be at the picturesque conservation village of Luss, on the ‘Bonny, Bonny’ banks of Loch Lomond. Travelling north via Tyndrum you will pass over the atmospheric Rannoch Moor before enjoying time to walk and admire the dramatic Glencoe valley, site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. After lunch in the Fort William area, your tour will pause for photos at Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, then stop to admire Glen Garry and the stunning Five Sisters of Kintail mountain range. Your first day ends in the charming village of Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Day 2 After breakfast your will depart Portree for a full day’s touring - options include Dunvegan Castle, or a trip to Uig and a visit to Flora MacDonald’s grave and the unique Black Houses, ancient dwellings of the Scottish Highlanders. Other options include viewing Duntulum Castle, enjoying breathtaking views of Kilt Rock or perhaps a bracing walk at the Lealt Falls. The day will end with the opportunity to admire the Old Man of Storr, before returning to Portree. Day 3 You will commence your final day of the tour via the much-admired Eilean Donan Castle, backdrop for the movie, ‘Highlander’; (interior closed in winter) then move on to the pretty loch-side village of Fort Augustus for lunch and views of Loch Ness. The tour continues south over Laggan and the Grampian mountains with the last stop, for refreshments, in the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, before returning to Edinburgh, where the tour will end.

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From Edinburgh: Hogwarts Express and Scottish Highlands Tour

7. From Edinburgh: Hogwarts Express and Scottish Highlands Tour

Learn about Scotland’s connections to Harry Potter on a tour of the Highlands. Depart the city and journey north, passing the magnificent Forth Bridge, the Kingdom of Fife, and Perth. Admire the Glenfinnan Viaduct on a stunning drive up the West Coast. Next you’ll travel across its iconic arches from Mallaig on the Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express. After experiencing one of the world’s most beautiful railway lines, head to Glencoe. See the dramatic landscapes used as the backdrop for some much-loved scenes in the Harry Potter films. Continue through the vast wilderness of Rannoch Moor, listening to tales from Scotland’s past. Jump back on the coach to return to Edinburgh, arriving back at the city in the late evening.

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Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

8. Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

You will meet your guide on Edinburgh's iconic and historic Royal Mile, by the Statue of Adam Smith (one of Scotland's greatest thinkers). From there, your tour will be lead through the gorgeous winding streets that comprise Edinburgh's "Old Town". Covering everything from history to religion and folklore, this walking tour is an original tour of Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town. Your talented and entertaining guide will walk you through the streets and alleys of "Auld Reekie", while enthralling you with with its history, folklore, and tales! You will learn about the secrets Edinburgh is hiding and experience the incredible stories it has to tell, as your guide leads you through the city's long history. Topics included in the tour include Edinburgh's Mercat Cross, St. Giles Cathedral, the Scottish Enlightenment, Greyfriars Bobby, the Grassmarket, Harry Potter's inspirations, and many more. Your tour will finish in the heart of Edinburgh, surrounded by several bars, restaurants, cafe's, and great transport links.

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Edinburgh: Royal Attractions with Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours

9. Edinburgh: Royal Attractions with Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours

Experience stunning city views and natural vistas with this 48-hour Royal Edinburgh Ticket, and learn Edinburgh's history and culture as your tour. Easy to use, the all-inclusive ticket is fantastic value if you want to go to Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the Royal Yacht Britannia. The ticket also includes 48-hour unlimited travel on three of Edinburgh's hop-on-hop-off bus tours; Edinburgh City Sightseeing, Edinburgh Tour and Majestic Tour. Use the bus to reach the attractions, leaving the city behind and heading to the coast at Newhaven through Edinburgh’s New Town. With stops for the Royal Botanic Garden and Royal Yacht Britannia, it couldn’t be simpler. As the bus returns to the city center, you can jump off at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Canongate section of the Royal Mile to walk up to Edinburgh Castle. A multi-language audio commentary in English, Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian is available on board.

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From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and The Highlands Tour

10. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and The Highlands Tour

Take in wild landscapes, pretty villages, and historic monuments on this guided tour from Edinburgh. Experience the many sides of the Highlands on this inclusive excursion. Depart from the old town of Edinburgh in the early morning and travel by coach or minivan into the Highlands. Admire the dramatic scenery and enjoy views of Stirling Castle, a famous royal abode that was once the home to the mighty Stuart monarchs. Pull up in the picturesque town of Callander and stretch your legs while admiring shaggy Highland cattle grazing in surrounding pastures. Continue north across rugged terrain to Glencoe valley, with its craggy mountains and sweeping vistas perfect for photographing. Arrive in Fort Augustus and spend some time at your leisure. Cruise the calm waters of Loch Ness, tuck into a spot of lunch or stroll along the Caledonian Canal. Next, it's back to the bus for the World War II Commando Memorial. Continue your journey as you look out the window for Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain. Hop off the coach once more at Loch Laggan to admire the powerful Laggan Dam. During summer, your next stop is a visit to Dunkeld, with its historic cathedral and pretty village. In winter, head for Pitlochry and its salmon ladder, or sip on a dram of warming whisky in a local pub (own expense), before returning to Edinburgh.

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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 2,222 reviews

Doug provided a great summary of the process of distillery, aging and distribution of whiskies. Then we enjoyed a "flight" of 4 whiskies at one historic bar in Old Town, then moved on to another lovely bar to try a couple more whiskies (more aged...21 and 34 years old). Explanations, ratings and methods of tasting.... All in all, a wonderful, entertaining, educational and tasty experience!

Ally was great, funny, knowledgeable and humble. He made what was a cold grey day into a fun, informative and entertaining tour. His recommendations for food and activities to look into after the tour were spot on too. Will definitely recommend.

Our tour guide John, from the hairy coo company, was not only incredibly knowledgable and passionate about Scotland but also hilarious; a great sense of humour! The sites were breathtaking, despite the clouds. We highly recommend!

Gary did a great job guiding us on our tour. He was very informative and gave us a good amount of time to explore the different places. I hope everyone gets Gary as a tour guide.

our guide Neil is great , his introduction of every points is wonderful ! travel time management is good , isle of skye is beautiful, I would come again!