Greyfriars Kirkyard

Greyfriars Kirkyard: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

1. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy a Harry Potter-themed walking tour across Edinburgh. See the city where JK Rowling found inspiration for Hogwarts, her famous characters, and discover the place where she wrote the books. Have your Harry Potter trivia tested with an audio-visual quiz, and earn points for your house. Find out which Hogwarts House you’re in, and whether you’re a pure-blood, a muggle, or a squib. Visit the Grave of Tom Riddle in Greyfriars Kirkyard, and pass JK Rowling’s golden handprints outside City Chambers. See all this and more on a magical guided tour.

Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour with Greyfriars Kirkyard

2. Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour with Greyfriars Kirkyard

Take to the historic streets of Edinburgh's Old Town, visit the Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard, and explore the infamous Edinburgh Vaults on a bone-chilling guided tour that uncovers the city's torturous past and a haunted present. Listen as your guide tells you tales of the city's dark and gruesome history as you are led along the Royal Mile on cobblestone streets. Hear stories of murder, hangings, and even witchcraft.  Stop at what is regarded as the most haunted graveyard in the world at Greyfriars Kirkyard and discover the legend of Greyfriars Bobby. Venture below ground and enter the city vaults where medieval torture exhibitions await those with a strong enough stomach to learn how these devices were used in times gone by.  Experience why the vaults have often been regarded as one of the scariest places on earth by paranormal experts. Get to know the history of the site and the ghosts that frequent it.

Edinburgh: Extreme Paranormal Underground Ghost Tour

3. Edinburgh: Extreme Paranormal Underground Ghost Tour

Experience a walking ghost tour best suited for those who consider themselves to be very brave and venture into some of Edinburgh’s most haunted locations, above and below ground. Feel goosebumps dot your skin as you follow your darkly-clad guide to these eerie spots in the Scottish capital, learning about their haunted stories en route. This adults-only tour is not for the faint-hearted, and is ideal for hardened ghost hunters - or non-believers. You will journey down the old wynds (alleys) that lead to the world’s most haunted graveyard. Then, take a walk along the path of death! Below the pavement, “ghosts” lurk. Journey through paranormal tales of ghosts and hear both sides of the story. Uncover true and terrifying tales of hangings, torture, murders, witches, and cannibals. 

Edinburgh: Evening Underground Ghost Tour

4. Edinburgh: Evening Underground Ghost Tour

Experience the world's most haunted city on a ghost tour of Edinburgh and be spooked by the dark side of the Old Town. Discover the hidden wynds (alleys) off the Royal Mile and hear some of Edinburgh’s horrifying secrets. Visit what is considered the world's most haunted graveyards, "Greyfriars Kirkyard." Finally, explore the underground Edinburgh Vaults. Completed in 1788, the series of chambers housed taverns and stored illicit material, including dead bodies killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for their medical experiments. Journey through over 400 years of history and true tales of hangings, torture, murders, and witchcraft. Shiver at the weird noises and unexplained smells that appear after dark! 

Edinburgh: Comedy Horror Ghost Bus Tour

5. Edinburgh: Comedy Horror Ghost Bus Tour

Enjoy a theatrical sightseeing tour of Edinburgh onboard the Ghost Bus, a beautifully refurbished vintage double-decker, painted in traditional midnight black. Learn about Edinburgh’s grave robbers, plague victims, and the ghosts that reside in the most haunted city in Europe. Explore the city's gruesome past, while admiring its most famous monuments, including Edinburgh Castle, Grassmarket, Greyfriar's Kirk, Holyrood Palace, and the Royal Mile. As you traverse the Old Town and New Town, visit the sites of murders, tortures, and executions. Hear about the infamous Burke and Hare, and the hundreds of women who were drowned or burned as witches. The bus, which belonged to the Necropolis Bus Company, boasts decorative features that include atmospheric lamps and window curtains. In 1967, the entire fleet was destroyed in a mysterious fire, and only one bus survived.

Edinburgh: Fright Night Underground Ghost Tour

6. Edinburgh: Fright Night Underground Ghost Tour

Discover the dark and chilling history of Edinburgh with an experienced and energetic guide. As you wind through the hidden wynds (alleys) off the Royal Mile, be entertained by this passionate and engaging storyteller who, dressed in full period costume, will regale you with dark tales. Then, visit what is regarded as the most haunted graveyard in the world at “Greyfriars Kirkyard.” Finally, go deep underground and explore the Edinburgh Vaults beneath the streets. Completed in 1788, the series of chambers were used to house taverns and as storage space for illicit material, including the bodies of people killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for their medical experiments. Journey through over 400 years of history and hear terrifying true tales of hangings, torture, murders, and witchcraft. Shiver at the weird noises and unexplained smells that make an appearance after dark.

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Walking Tour

7. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Walking Tour

Experience a little magic on a walking tour of Edinburgh that is perfect for all fans of Harry Potter. Learn all the stories and secrets behind the best-selling books by J.K. Rowling in the city where she wrote them. Visit the original sites that provided the inspiration for Hogwarts and the characters who dwelled within its magical walls. Stroll along the High Street to see where Diagon Alley came to life and where Lord Voldemort is buried.  See the original Hogwarts School, and look at a virtual school assembly of its characters. Learn how Edinburgh’s own dark history of witches and wizards played a role in inspiring J.K. Rowling along the way. 

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Tour with Entry to Edinburgh Castle

8. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Tour with Entry to Edinburgh Castle

Se several beautiful Potter sights in this wonderful city and several locations that inspired JK Rowling to create the wizarding universe that we know and adore today. Meet Tron Kirk on The Royal Mile, the first stop of the tour is a view of the historical Waverley Train station. Trains are an iconic part of a young wizard's journey. Head to Edinburgh University Old College, and pop into the Old Town area to see a spooky graveyard and visit a shop down Victoria street which inspired Diagon Alley. Enjoy great views of the famous Edinburgh Castle alongside many sights and buildings that inspired JK Rowling when she was writing each of the books including the famous cafe. Following the walking tour of the city you will then head to the world-famous Edinburgh castle.

Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard Tour

9. Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard Tour

Meet your expert local guide and visit the graves of some of the lesser-known individuals buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Learn about the lecturer who taught Charles Darwin, an actor buried in full theatrical costume, and a First World War ace pilot. Uncover fascinating stories from centuries past as you wander through Edinburgh's most historic cemetery. Hear more about the mysterious Miss Cathcart. Visit the gravesite of a bestselling novelist from the 1770s. Discover burial sites that have links to contemporary popular culture, namely the Harry Potter book and film series. In addition to learning about the hidden history behind the graveyard, spot the burial places of famous individuals related to the history of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: 3-Hour Historical Walking Tour in Italian

10. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Historical Walking Tour in Italian

Meet your guide in central Edinburgh by the City Chambers, then set off on foot to explore Edinburgh Old Town. Walking is one of the best ways to experience the area because of its compact size and narrow passageways, which are known locally as closes. Follow your expert guide around Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks. As you stroll, listen to your knowledgeable guide recount the history of the city. Learn about the rise of Presbyterianism in Scotland and hear stories relating to St Giles’ Cathedral, whose gray medieval spire towers over the Royal Mile, a famous road at the heart of the city that’s lined with stately buildings. Imagine the Edinburgh of the past as you hear stories about the controversial 15th-century monarch, Mary, Queen of Scots, and about key figures from the Scottish Enlightenment. View the imposing Edinburgh Castle and be intrigued by tales of its rise and fall, and about the fabled Stone of Destiny that’s held inside. Next, make your way to the Mound, an artificial hill that connects Edinburgh Old Town with the New Town. Pause for a snack at the Grassmarket Square, then delve into the city’s dark side at the graveyard of Greyfriars Kirkyard. Soak up the eerie atmosphere as you listen to stories about executions and hauntings that are associated with the site. Find out how the graveyard is connected to the famous Harry Potter books. Then walk back to the Royal Mile, discovering more about the collections of the National Museum of Scotland and uncovering the secrets of Mary King’s Close, a medieval street that lies under the Royal Mile. Your tour then concludes at the beginning of the Royal Mile.

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What people are saying about Greyfriars Kirkyard

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 6,853 reviews

As a family of 4 with 2 young children we did the Harry Potter walking tour and it was excellent. I was a little anxious making a 4 and 7 year old walk for 2 hours at 6pm but they absolutely loved it as did us grown ups. Kieran (the guide) was brilliant, really engaging, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He did a quiz throughout which everyone enjoyed taking part in and had loads of fun and interesting facts. I would highly recommend!

Alex was a fantastic guide. Keen, knowledgeable and entertaining. He was a friendly face and guide for the tour. The tour lasted around a couple hours which is a great length to fit between activities or as a way of seeing more of Edinburgh's old town. A must do tour for any fan of the Harry Potter franchise.

Our guide was Mason and he was absolutely amazing!! Very personable and made the whole experience engaging and fun. We loved his knowledge not only on the Harry Potter material but also of the city itself. We would recommend this to any Potter fan and hopefully they get Mason as their guide.

It was simply fantastic. A great start to my trip and a great look into the area's rich and creepy history. The tour guide was extremely charismatic and witty and really amplified the experience. Would definitely do it again.

Super morning out in Edinburgh with my 8yo daughter. Great guide with a good balance of facts, stories and fun interaction. Suitable for adults and children alike.