At Dell Tours, we have the best Edinburgh walking tours in the city! Edinburgh is one of those places you could return to over and over, and still never manage to see everything. Luckily, this guide and itinerary will help you understand the city on a more local level by offering you lots of information on the best places to go in Edinburgh from a local’s perspective! We also regularly do gratuity based Edinburgh Walking Tours that’s free and informative. Check availability for our walking tours here – .
Edinburgh Walking Tours – Where to go while walking around Edinburgh
The Scottish Capital, like many European cities, is a place best enjoyed on foot. This is because many of the best landmarks are close to each other! You’ll want to allocate yourself a nice sunny day (if possible) to truly make the most of Edinburgh. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather as it’s often sunny but don’t let the sun fool you as it’s usually a lot cooler than other European cities.
Much of Edinburgh is constructed on the remnants of ancient volcanic activity. Some of the best places to eat during your stay are found along the Royal Mile or the Grassmarket. If you find a local pub in this area, you’ll be sure to be eating some great Scottish food! Be sure to try haggis before you leave and our favourite Scottish beer, Innis and Gunn! If beer isn’t quite what you’re after during your stay, you can sip on our world famous Scottish Whiskey instead! On a warm day, you’ll love to enjoy a picnic in Dean Village or on top of the extinct volcano, Arthur’s seat.
Edinburgh Walking Tours – Dean Village
Dean Village is one of the most picturesque areas of Edinburgh and often overlooked by tour operators! Don’t skip Dean Village when you visit Edinburgh! You can check it out on one of our Free Walking Tours. Dean Village was first constructed for workers of the nearby mills. Now, the Edinburgh district is now home to some of the most beautiful and expensive properties in Edinburgh. Remember to bring your camera when you go!
Edinburgh Walking Tours – National Gallery
If you want to see some of the best paintings from Scottish artists, the Scottish National Gallery is open daily and is free to visit.
You’ll see paintings dating from the middle ages, right up until the present day and the museum is a must-see for any art lover who comes to Edinburgh. To see everything, we recommend blocking off 2 hours during your trip.
The Writers’ Museum
Near the National Gallery, you’ll find the Writers’ Museum. It’s tucked away close to the Royal Mile and missed by many tourists! Even local residents don’t even know about the writers museum! Open from Wednesday – Sunday, the Museum is one of the contributing factors that led to Edinburgh being named the first ever UNESCO City of Literature back in the early 2000’s and now has been joined by the likes of Barcelona, Dublin, Melbourne, Milan, Seattle and more!
The Writers’ Museum is free to visit and most of the works are dedicated to three of Scotland’s leading writers; Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and our favourite at Dell Tours – Robert Louis Stevenson. Within the museum, there are countless exhibitions comprising of photographs, notebooks, and more.
If you’re a fan of Robert Louis Stevenson, you need to check out the Colinton Dell Tour! We’ll take you to the Robert Louis Stevenson Statue, show you his poems on display and you’ll see the area where he used to go on holiday that inspired most of his best work!
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant” – Robert Louis Stevenson.
No trip to Edinburgh is complete without seeing Edinburgh Castle, it’s best to enjoy the castle in the middle of the day when it’s warmest as it can get windy up there on the top of Castle Rock!
Edinburgh Castle is easily one of the best attractions the city has to offer! Fun for all ages, Edinburgh Castle is open on a daily basis from 9:30 AM. Sometimes the castle is closed due to extreme wind so if it’s extremely windy be sure to call ahead of time! To make the most of a castle visit, we recommend allocating 3 or 4 hours. This way you can relax without feeling rushed! If you’re not in Edinburgh for long, you can see everything in 2 hours and you’ll still have a great time! Don’t forget to stop at the ice cream van outside the castle! (Perfect on sunny days)
Most Edinburgh Walking Tours stop at Grassmarket. For us, it’s a must see during your time here! Wander down the steep steps and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of Edinburgh, as well as the perfect shot for Instagram. The Grassmarket is an ancient market space and today offers many traditional Scottish pubs that surround the square. (Time for some more whiskey)?
Near the Grassmarket, you can find Greyfriar’s Kirkyard to Southern edge of the Old Town. The famous, ancient cemetery was established in the mid 1500’s . Greyfriars Kirkyard is famous for the names of some Harry Potter characters and also for Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal local dog.
In between a gate in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, you can see the historic George Heriot’s School, founded way back in 1628! Heriot’s even has four Schools, just like Hogwarts! The name even sounds similar! Some of the headstone names are easily recognisable from the wizarding series; ‘Riddell’ and ‘McGonagall’ to name just a couple… You can find out the rest on our Harry Potter tour! Don’t forget to bring your broomsticks! Check availability here – link This is one of our best Edinburgh Walking Tours!
Drink a coffee in the Elephant House!
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, the Elephant House will need no introduction! The Elephant House gained it’s notoriety as the place where JK Rowling wrote many of the earlier Harry Potter books. Today, the Elephant House is always busy for this reason! If you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to come here earlier in the day!
An Edinburgh Walking Tour isn’t complete without Walking the Royal Mile!
Edinburgh walking tours are never complete without walking the Royal Mile! The Royal Mile spans the street between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s Official Residence in Edinburgh. Most of the things you’ll love as a tourist in this city can be found on this street!
Along the Royal Mile, you’ll find the city’s main cathedral, St Gile’s Cathedral, several covered marketplaces, and many delicious places to eat! Other points of interest include the entrance to Mary King’s Close (Edinburgh’s secret underground city), as well as the Museum of Childhood.
Palace of Holyrood
When Queen Elizabeth II comes to Scotland, you’ll be able to find her at the Palace of Holyrood at the end of the Royal Mile! This is a must see stop on our Edinburgh walking tours and the Royal Residence’s interior can be visited for a small fee!
The Palace is open every day. You’ll want to give yourself at least a couple of hours to admire the Palace. You’ll be able to wander the Palace Gardens and see fancily decorated Scottish interiors. Our Edinburgh walking tours also go to Queen Mary’s Bath House, a strange example of a 16th-century architecture.
Although the tiny interior of the bath house is closed to the public, the remarkable exterior could be the oldest surviving tennis pavilion in the world. Just a three minute walk away from the Palace of Holyrood, it’s also possible to admire the exterior of the ultra-modern Scottish parliament building which has caused much controversy between the residents of Edinburgh. Some love residents love it and some hate it! What do you think? Let me know on our Free Edinburgh Walking Tour.
For some of the best views of Edinburgh, look no further than Arthur’s Seat. There, you’ll find unparalleled views across one of the most beautiful, historic cities in the world.
This FREE Edinburgh walking tour will show you all the top attractions in the city. Local experts will take you to must-see spots such mentioned on this list! Explore the historic Edinburgh streets with the help of an expert guide, born and raised in historic Edinburgh!