St. Giles' Cathedral

St. Giles' Cathedral: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour

1. Edinburgh Vaults: Ghost Tour

Wander through Edinburgh's Old Town and explore the infamous Edinburgh Vaults on a bone-chilling guided tour that uncovers the city's torturous past and a haunted present. Take to Edinburgh's historic streets and 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.  Venture below ground and enter the city vaults, one of Edinburgh's most haunted sites. Hear stories of stomach-churning medieval torture devices, for those with a strong enough constitution to learn about times gone by.  Discover 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: Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour

2. Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour

Explore Edinburgh's ghostly past on a guided tour through the streets of the Old Town and its underground vaults. Listen as your cloaked guide tells you tales of the city's dark and grim past as you are led along the Royal Mile. If you dare, step into the narrow alleyways, which are only a few feet wide. Make your way to the South Bridge, and head underneath, where Edinburgh's Vaults are located. Once storage areas for businesses and shops in the area, the vaults were taken over in the late 1700s and turned into living spaces. Eventually, the area became home to slums and the city's red-light district. As you walk through these now-vacant rooms, you will hear tales of the deplorable living conditions, as well as of the crime that once raged through the vaults. When you emerge from the underground, consider yourself lucky that it isn't in the dead of night.

Edinburgh: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

3. Edinburgh: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

Uncover the magical history of Scotland as you explore the secrets of Edinburgh's Old Town with a costumed guide on this walking tour. Hear the secrets behind locations like Lady Stairs Close, Grassmarket, and Candle Maker Row. Find your witch-costumed guide easily and begin your walking tour. Hear historical tales that focus on witchcraft. Explore the Old Town and make your way to castle hill to admire the ancient Edinburgh castle. Walk down Lady Stairs Close to view the the Writers Museum which pays tribute to the authors Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis. View the imposing Gothic architecture at St. Giles Cathedral. Stroll thorugh Parliament Square and past the colorful shops on Victoria Street. Tread lightly as you will walk on the grounds where mysterious and sometimes sinister events occurred like the Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard. Go down Candle Maker Row and finish your tour in one of the oldest parts of the city, Grassmarket.

Edinburgh: Comedy Horror Ghost Bus Tour

4. 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: Historic Underground Vaults Daytime Tour

5. Edinburgh: Historic Underground Vaults Daytime Tour

The Story of the Underground This is a chance to visit our Underground Vaults – the deepest, largest and most extensive in the city in the company of a Mercat historian. After sitting unexplored for two centuries, there are many questions waiting to be answered…Why were the Vaults built? When and who by? Who used the Vaults? When and why? How did they work, and play? Your guide will recount their history, recall their stories and answer your questions during this glimpse into our past.

Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

6. Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

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. 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. Finish your tour in the heart of Edinburgh, surrounded by several bars, restaurants, cafe's, and great transport links.

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

7. 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: 3-Hour Historical Walking Tour in Italian

8. 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.

Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour

9. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Discover Edinburgh’s historical, cultural, and architectural heritage on a small and intimate walking tour guided by one of the most knowledgeable locals possible. Stuart or Richard Usher, of Scotland's famous and historic House of Usher, or historians Dr. Alison Duncan and David Forsyth, will guide you through this beautiful city. You’ll see many of the city’s highlights, including Usher Hall and Edinburgh Castle (exterior). You’ll walk along the Royal Mile, view St. Giles Cathedral (exterior), and visit several of Edinburgh's famous landmarks. Your guide has an extensive knowledge of Edinburgh's history and architecture and the many famous people that the city has produced over the centuries. They will share their knowledge with you in an informative, personable, and enjoyable manner. Have no fear, as it won't all be serious stuff. Visit the Grassmarket, a place of thriving activity where street performers and buskers abound and which is home, since the 1400s, to merchants and street traders. Also, typically, where time allows, you will see Princes Street, Princes Street Gardens, the Scott Monument, George Street, and Charlotte Square.

Edinburgh: Old Town Historical Tour in German

10. Edinburgh: Old Town Historical Tour in German

Edinburgh has become one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. We will know the history of this medieval city, with more than 3000 years, from the first tribes that populated it, the Picts, to the men in skirts. We will talk about its most important buildings, such as St. Giles Cathedral, or Edinburgh Castle. We will walk through its most emblematic streets, such as the Royal Mile , or Victoria Street . We will visit the sculpture of the puppy Bobby , which is next to the Greyfriars cemetery, where many mysteries and legends are hidden, and some paranormal activity. Part of the Harry Potter book was written in Edinburgh and its writer, JK Rowling, used the inspiration graveyard, join us to discover where she wrote and what she used as inspiration for her novels. With so many centuries of history , the capital of Scotland is rich in history and legends. You cannot miss this incredible visit to Edinburgh.

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What people are saying about St. Giles' Cathedral

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 5,281 reviews

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.

This was an informative tour with lots of history facts and the tour guide was very engaging and knew her history about witches of Edinburgh. Worth doing if traveling to Edinburgh or if you are a native

We had a great time. Nyx was very knowledgeable and engagingly told the stories. I'd recommend this tour to anyone interested in this town's history with witches.

Guide was really informative. Even though everyone on the tour was from Edinburgh we all learned lots from it.

Learned far more than I thought l would. And in a fun way too. They fun delivery of our guide.