Holyrood Palace
Things to do for adults

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Holyrood Palace Things to do for adults

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

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

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

5. 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 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: City Highlights Self-Guided Smartphone Tour

7. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Holyrood Palace Things to do for adults

What are other things to do than Holyrood Palace Things to do for adults that are worth visiting in Edinburgh?

The other unmissable things to do in Edinburgh are:

Which Holyrood Palace Things to do for adults are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in Holyrood Palace

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

What people are saying about Holyrood Palace

If you are on a cruise you will have to take a city bus into town to get on the bus. Right outside the port, across the street and takes about 20 minutes. If you buy the pass with the 3 tours you can take the blue tour back to the ship as it stops at the port.

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!

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

Frequent service making it easy to hop on and off whenever you like. Great tour and a lot of sights along the chosen path.

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