Holyrood Palace
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Holyrood Palace Culture & History

Edinburgh: 24-Hour or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

1. Edinburgh: 24-Hour or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

Explore Scotland’s capital city across one or two days on a hop-on hop-off bus tour. See famous landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, the iconic Royal Mile, and the Palace of Holyrood House and learn about their historic significance from the onboard audio commentary. Hop on the bus at the first stop at St Andrew's Square. From either the top deck or the interior of the bus, you can explore the city in a convenient way, catching a glimpse of some iconic buildings and sights. With your ticket, you will also receive additional perks and discounts such as discounted entry to the Holyrood Distillery, a bus ride to Edinburgh Zoo, and many more benefits. Choose between a 24-hour or 48-hour pass with stops at a variety of locations along several routes including: • The Royal Mile• Edinburgh Castle• Dynamic Earth• Edinburgh Dungeons• Real Mary Kings Close• Greyfriars’s Bobby • Lothian Road• Grassmarket• Lauriston Place• Johnston Terrace• National Museum of Scotland• John Knox House• Museum of Edinburgh• Scottish Parliament• Palace of Holyrood House• Burns Monument

Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Ticket

2. Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Ticket

Wander the opulent state rooms and lavish gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Her Majesty The Queen’s official Scottish residence, located at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Once inside the baroque palace, learn about its close associations with Scotland's history via a complimentary multimedia guide (available in 9 languages). Visit the State Apartments to see the changing tastes of successive monarchs. Marvel at fine plasterwork ceilings and Brussels tapestries, along with paintings and other artworks in rooms still used by the Queen and Royal Family for official ceremonies. Go to the Throne Room to see where lunch was served to the Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Thistle when a new knight was installed. Discover where the Queen holds her private audiences in the Morning Drawing Room. Continue to the Great Gallery, where Scottish residents named in the New Year’s Honours List or Queen's Birthday Honours List receive their award at an Investiture ceremony. Admire Jacob de Wet's portraits of real and legendary kings of Scotland in the Great Gallery, the largest room in the palace. Learn about dramatic events from Scotland’s history in Mary Queen of Scots' historic chambers, where she witnessed the brutal murder of her secretary, Rizzio, by her jealous husband, Lord Darnley. At the end of your multimedia tour, enjoy a refreshing drink or light lunch (own expense) at the Café at the Palace.

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

3. 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

Day Trip by Rail to Edinburgh from London

4. Day Trip by Rail to Edinburgh from London

Welcome and Departure Be present at King’s Cross Station at 6:30 AM to exchange your voucher for your train tickets for your outbound and inbound rail journeys. Your train will depart at 7:00 AM and arrive in to Edinburgh at 11:22 AM. Please print all tickets for both your return rail journey and attractions. Edinburgh – Open-Top Bus Tour Delve into the Scottish capital’s rich history with a hop-on, hop-off bus tour that takes in all the major sights: the Royal Mile, Greyfriars Bobby, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and atmospheric Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle  Enjoy free admission to Edinburgh Castle, where you can marvel at the sparkling Scottish Crown Jewels and photograph breathtaking panoramic views of the city’s famous skyline. Return Journey  After a thrilling day spent discovering Edinburgh, your train departs at 5:31 PM, arriving back in London at 10:18 PM. Please arrive 30 minutes before departure time. First Class - optional - includes refreshments served at your seat.

Edinburgh: Old Town Walking Tour & Optional Holyrood Palace

5. 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.

Edinburgh Queen's Gallery Entrance Ticket

6. Edinburgh Queen's Gallery Entrance Ticket

Join the thousands that have discovered the rich splendor of the Queen’s Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse since it was opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 29 November 2002 as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations. Part of the Palace of Holyroodhouse complex, the art gallery hosts an ever-changing roster of exhibitions. Take the chance to view some of the greatest works from the Royal Collection, with pieces by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Rubens, and Artemisia Gentileschi borrowed from the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in this show.

Edinburgh: The Royal City Tour from London

7. Edinburgh: The Royal City Tour from London

Edinburgh The train from London's King Cross Station arrives at the Royal City of Edinburgh at around 11.30am. Right by the station you board the open-top sightseeing bus where you'll get a bird's-eye view of this majestic city! The hop-on hop-off ticket allows you the freedom to leave and re-join the bus as often as you like. You will see the Old Town quarter, the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, the gloriously intricate Scott Monument, the Palace of Holyrood House and the brand new Scottish Parliament building. You might want to wander through the cobbled city centre streets or stroll along Princes Street checking out the tartan, whisky and shortbreads that have made Scotland famous! Your tour includes tickets to Edinburgh Castle. The train back to London leaves Edinburgh in the late afternoon returning to London's King's Cross at around 10:30pm.

Edinburgh: Outlander Series and Jacobites Walking Tour

8. Edinburgh: Outlander Series and Jacobites Walking Tour

Learn about Scotland’s fascinating 18th-century history on a walking tour of Edinburgh. See the locations where the TV show Outlander were filmed in Edinburgh, including the iconic Bakehouse Close where Jamie and Claire finally reunited after 20 years apart. Set off along the iconic and historic Royal Mile to dive into Edinburgh and Scotland's rich history. Listen to your guide tell stories about the Jacobites and learn some Gaelic along your route, understanding in more depth some of the expressions that Jamie frequently uses in Outlander. Learn about Celtic magic and mythology, from the standing stones to the legendary selkies — Scotland is riddled with magical and mystical folklore. It is not hard to imagine you have fallen through the stones yourself when you embark on this walk through Edinburgh’s historic Old Town. Finish your tour at Edinburgh’s Royal Residence, Holyrood Palace – where Jamie and Claire would have stayed as guests of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite uprisings.

From London: Edinburgh Overnight Tour by Train

9. From London: Edinburgh Overnight Tour by Train

Journey north to Edinburgh by train on a tour from London. Explore the city at your leisure, visit Edinburg Castle, and enjoy a hop-on hop-off open-top bus tour. Sleep overnight in a 3-star hotel to get the most of your time and stay in Edinburgh. Begin your first day with a 6:30 AM check-in to prepare for an early morning train to Edinburgh. The local partner's representative will meet you at the ticket office and escort you to your reserved seat on the train. The journey to the Scottish capital takes around 4.5 hours. Explore the Royal Mile and visit Edinburgh Castle. Admission to the Castle is included in the tour. On your tour of Edinburgh Castle, see the spectacular Scottish Crown Jewels and also take in the sweeping views of the capital’s skyline. Delve into the Scottish capital’s rich history with a hop–on hop–off bus tour and take in all the major sights like the Royal Mile, Greyfriars Bobby, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and Edinburgh Castle. Your ticket is valid for 24 hours, allowing you to use it the following day. Overnight accommodation in Edinburgh is also included in the tour. Spend an evening wining and dining your way around this vibrant, cosmopolitan city and spend the night in comfort in your 3-star hotel. After breakfast at the hotel, have the rest of the morning and all of the afternoon to explore the atmospheric streets of Edinburgh and maybe wander Princes Street to see what the many shops have to offer. Return to London by train and be sure to arrive 15 minutes before your train's departure from Edinburgh at 5:31 PM. Arrive in London at 10:09 PM.

Edinburgh: City Highlights Self-Guided Smartphone Tour

10. Edinburgh: City Highlights Self-Guided Smartphone Tour

Make the most of your time in Edinburgh with a smartphone tour. Take advantage of the unique navigation function which suggests plenty of walking routes to explore. Tune into the audio commentary to hear about tourist hotspots. Immerse yourself in the culture and history of the city, as you approach iconic landmarks. View the imposing Edinburgh Castle perched on Castle Rock. Admire the palace where the Queen spends a week every summer at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Marvel at the Royal Yacht Britannia, the former royal yacht of the British monarchy. Head to the Scott Monument, a Victorian Gothic monument dedicated to the author Sir Walter Scott.  Have the freedom to start or stop the tour whenever you wish. Pinpoint your favorite sights and source the best photo hotspots.

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What people are saying about Holyrood Palace

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 16 reviews

It was a fun fulfilling day trip despite the long drive but our tour guide Tanya made it fun and entertaining. Wish we could have stopped at more places to take quick pictures but other than that it was a fun trip!!! Thank you for a great experience!

Tickets were easy to buy online, the pick-up point was clear on the map and the instructions and was very easy to find. The bus was clean, the ear buds new and the driver professional, courteous and very helpful. Would definitely use again.

Wonderful - Holyrood is lovely and everyone was very friendly. The cafe was quite expensive but enjoyed buying a couple of gifts in the shop . The Palace is steeped in history and lovely to walk round at my leisure

Easy convenient way to get an initial overview of the city We did 2 tours and were satisfied with both

a great way to get anoverview of the history of Edinburgh