Edinburgh
Day Trips

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Our most recommended things to do in Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh: Camera Obscura and World of Illusions Ticket

    1. Edinburgh: Camera Obscura and World of Illusions Ticket

    As you weave your way through the World of Illusions, remember nothing is as it seems. Venture through 5 floors jam-packed with over 100 illusions. Start at the rooftop terrace and enjoy 360-degree views of Edinburgh. Get closer to the sights using the range of telescopes and binoculars. Then join your guide inside the Victorian rooftop chamber to see Edinburgh as never before. Discover the Camera Obscura, a live moving image of Edinburgh projected through a periscope, while listening to a fascinating account of the city’s history. Make your way down through 5 floors of interactive displays and clever illusions. Discover a swirling light vortex, a maze of mirrors, get the chance to swap noses with a friend, see yourself grow, shrink and stretch, and mess with your mind with brilliant visual effects. 

    My partner and I have never been to a place like this so it was really interesting! There’s different mirrors, tools and illusions to explore. The only negative for us was that the staff didn’t stagger people coming in, which made every room feel very busy and made you feel as though you had to rush to allow the next people to look, which I would have thought during covid times would be more so! However, the overall experience was good and a great way to have a bit of fun and kill time. The view at the top is amazing!

  • Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

    2. Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour

    This vaults tour takes you beneath the streets of Edinburgh's Old Town into a dimly lit space that many considered to be haunted. Your 1-hour tour visits the vaults of the South Bridge that date back to the 1700s.

    These are the same vaults mentioned on Most Haunted Live as one of the scariest places on earth. Learn how the vaults have been used over the years, and the living conditions endured by the poor and homeless residents who frequented them.

    The darker side of Edinburgh's history will unfold as you wander through the candle-lit underground area. From your costumed guide, you'll hear about the Burke and Hare murders and the persecution of witches.

    Discover the characters who stalked the streets of Edinburgh, and the paranormal stories associated with the vaults. The Haunted Vaults tour option will cover more paranormal and ghost stori...

    Really good guide, unfortunately cannot remember his name but I think a career in stand up beckons!

  • Edinburgh: The Royal Yacht Britannia Ticket

    3. Edinburgh: The Royal Yacht Britannia Ticket

    During her 40 years of service, The Royal Yacht Britannia sailed a million miles on a thousand official visits for the British Royal Family. Book your ticket to tour this top British attraction. Now berthed in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith, Britannia is a fascinating 5-star visitor attraction. A free handset tour (available in 30 languages) takes visitors round 5 decks at a leisurely pace and provides a rare glimpse into the public and private lives of the British Royal Family. Highlights of the tour include the fabulous State Apartments and Royal Bedrooms, the relaxing Sun Lounge, life below decks in the Sick Bay and Laundry and the gleaming Engine Room. Enjoy stunning waterfront views and waiter service in the Royal Deck Tea Room, with a menu of delicious cakes, scones, soups, and sandwiches made on board in the original Royal Galley. The majority of items on view are original...

    Great two hours exploring this fantastic yacht’s history. The headset information was enlightening and super clear. We had a great lunch in the restaurant enhanced by the the waiters and waitresses. A must to do if you visit Edinburgh.

  • Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

    4. Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

    Spook yourself on a guided tour of the most haunted sites in Edinburgh and visit the graveyard of Greyfriars Kirkyard to learn the legend of Greyfriars Bobby. Look at the Gothic mausoleums and learn about notable burials as you explore the grim history of the cemetery. Continue to the nearby Edinburgh Vaults, located in the arches of South Bridge. Hear about regular paranormal occurrences and how some of the characters from history have never really left. Discover the former home of the destitute, witches and a hellfire club, and hear how the haunted vault is now possessed by something truly evil.

    Great tour, lots of information and humour and fairly enjoyed. Also a few spooks along the way. Fascinating city with a fascinating history

  • Firth of Forth: 90-Minute Three Bridges Cruise

    5. Firth of Forth: 90-Minute Three Bridges Cruise

    Your boat tour will depart from the South Queensferry, which is only a short distance from Scotland's bustling capital city of Edinburgh. Your tour will include magnificent views of the "three bridges", including the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Forth Railway Bridge. In addition, you can take in the beautiful panoramas of the Edinburgh skyline, the Kingdom of Fife and the historic island of Inchcolm with its medieval abbey. As part of the tour you will stop at the island to drop off and pick up visitors. For your comfort, relax onboard in the heated observation lounge or on the outside decks, and listen to the guided commentary while you enjoy a drink from the bar. During your tour, you will find plenty of opportunities to both see and photograph a wide variety of marine wildlife including seabirds, porpoises and seals.

    A very interesting and informative tour.It was a lovely day weatherwise and we thoroughly enjoyed it

  • Edinburgh: Late Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

    6. Edinburgh: Late Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

    Join this 75-minute tour of Edinburgh for the city’s darkest and most frightening experience as you hear ghost stories of the city told above and below the ground of the Royal Mile. After walking through the famous wynds and closes of the Royal Mile, learning about the horrific living conditions and listening to stories of murderers who roamed the streets, you will be taken to the haunted underground vaults. Torture exhibits await for those with a strong enough stomach to learn how these devices were used in times gone by. Go to the home of “The Watcher” ghost, see the infamous stone circle vault, and discover why you should never step inside!

    Darren the tour guide is the best guide I have ever come across anywhere in the world! The knowledge he has and the way he presents the tour is amazing!

  • City Sightseeing Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

    7. City Sightseeing Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

    Tour Edinburgh to your own schedule on the open-top sightseeing bus, and enjoy the onboard commentary that describes the history behind the lively city. 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 10-20 minutes, making the following loop: Tour Stops: 1. St Andrew Square - Norths...

    Luckily we had a dry day so were able to sit upstairs. I always take a bus tour in a new city, great way to see all the sights. Our guide spoke clearly and had interesting comments to me. Most enjoyable

  • Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

    8. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

    Head for the Highlands, whether in search of the Loch Ness Monster or just a scenic day trip from Edinburgh. After pickup from the meeting point, relax on your group’s bus and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary.

    Your first stop is Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows and a cup of coffee. If you’ve ever asked yourself what a ‘hairy coo’ is, this is a real treat. 

    Next, travel up the road to Glencoe. Enjoy a 10-minute photo stop here as the unforgettable Highland views wow you.

    Lunch is then in Fort William, where your guide can advise you on where’s best to eat. If interested in the mysteries of the kilt, you can even get a ‘wee’ kilt introduction here. Then be whisked to Loch Ness itself.

    Best of all, customize your experience at Loch Ness with perso...

    It was really amazing. The tour guide (Neil) was very accommodating and most importantly, he is very informative about the places that we're going to. It was a smooth sailing tour and would recommend it to my friends as well.

  • Comedy Horror Show: Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tour

    9. Comedy Horror Show: Edinburgh 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.

    It was fun!!! I think this was the best thing I have booked Everyone should have this experience. The guide Sam was brilliant.

  • Edinburgh: Chocolatarium Tour, Tasting & Chocolate Making

    10. Edinburgh: Chocolatarium Tour, Tasting & Chocolate Making

    Embark on an interactive chocolate experience, from chocolate tree to Scottish chocolate bar with an expert guide. Smell the roasting chocolate and see how chocolate is transformed from bitter beans to sweet, smooth chocolate. See real chocolate fruit and taste chocolate samples at different stages of the production process. In the Chocolate Kitchen, choose your own bar design, select your favorite flavors and create your own personalized bar, ready to collect at the end of your tour. While you are waiting for your chocolate bar to cool, take a seat in the Tasting Room. Here, learn about Scottish chocolate makers, sample fine single-origin chocolate, have a cup of hot cacao tea and choose your favorite chocolates to try from rows of chocolate tasting jars.

    Such a great time. I learned a lot and it was really cool to see the different origins of chocolate

5 best day trips from Edinburgh

Day trip to Glasgow

1. Day trip to Glasgow

As the most populous city in Scotland, Glasgow is an ideal place to spend an exciting day. A bustling port city and a capital of culture, there is so much to do in Glasgow, it’s hard to know where to begin. Whether you’re a history buff, an art connoisseur, or a gastronomy aficionado, this city has it all. Some of the most popular attractions are the 12th-century Glasgow Cathedral, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and the Riverside Museum, with its ultra-modern design.

How far is Glasgow from Edinburgh?

A day trip from Edinburgh to Glasgow is within easy reach, just 75 kilometers (46 miles) away. By car, it takes just over about an hour, while the train will get you to your destination in a quick 45 minutes.

Day trip to Stirling

2. Day trip to Stirling

Best known for the grand and imposing Stirling Castle that shares its name, a day trip from Edinburgh to Stirling offers travelers an incredible escape. This “gateway to the Highlands” was once the capital of the Kingdom of Scotland, and a major battle for independence was fought at the still standing Stirling Bridge. Nearby, the National Wallace Monument commemorates several heroes of independence — including the namesake of “Braveheart” himself, William Wallace — and also provides visitors with fantastic views from its top.

How far is Stirling from Edinburgh?

Located in central Scotland, Stirling is 58 kilometers (36 miles) from Edinburgh. By car, bus or train, the journey will take you just under an hour.

Day trip to St. Andrews

3. Day trip to St. Andrews

Not too far from Edinburgh is the quintessential seaside town of St. Andrews. The town is home to the illustrious University of St. Andrews, the oldest in Scotland and alma matter of British monarchs past, present, and future. For golfers, St. Andrews is a bucket list pilgrimage, as the birthplace of the sport. Don’t miss out on a few holes on the original course of St. Andrews Links, or pay a visit to The British Golf Museum.

How far is St. Andrews from Edinburgh?

Driving the 83 miles to St. Andrews should take just under 90 minutes, while the train can take up to an hour and 45 minutes.

4. Day trip to Roslin

For travelers wanting to experience a peaceful day in the country, Roslin is an excellent choice. Fans of Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code” will already know about Rosslyn Chapel — in lore recognized for its supposed connection to the Freemasons and Knights Templar. Architecture buffs will enjoy the chapel’s interesting layout and intricate stone carvings. Beyond the chapel, visitors of the town can see the ruins of Roslin Castle and the tranquil Roslin Glen Country Park.

How far is Roslin from Edinburgh?

Only 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) south of Edinburgh, a car ride to Roslin takes just about half an hour, while the bus takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

5. Day trip to Perth

A day trip from Edinburgh to Perth is a wonderful way to get to know the city on the shores of the River Tay. Tempt fate with a visit to the must-see Scone Palace, the original home of the Stone of Destiny. Apart from the palace, visitors can check out the Black Watch Museum, St. John’s Kirk, and the Fair Maid’s House — the oldest secular building in the city.

How far is Perth from Edinburgh?

By car, you can make the 70-kilometer (43 mile) journey to Perth in just about an hour. On public transportation, the trip can take up to 90 minutes.

Edinburgh day trip FAQ

What transportation is the best choice for my day trip?

Trying to plan your journey to Perth? Or wondering the best way to get to Glasgow? There are plenty of different transportation options for any day trip, and one is sure to be just right for you.
  • • Edinburgh day trips by train

    Scotland’s rail network covers its seven main cities and many stops in-between. Taking the train is a quick and convenient way to get around, and allows you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the country’s rugged natural scenery.

  • • Edinburgh day trips by bus

    In addition to the many guided bus tours available for day trips from Edinburgh, taking the bus is an easy way to get around Scotland. For more rural areas, the bus may be your only public transportation method available.

  • • Edinburgh day trips by car

    Scotland is an epic place for a road trip. A car makes it easy to be spontaneous and discover all the surprises and hidden gems along the way. Have the freedom to make your own itinerary and take as much time as you like for your day trip.


Should I take a guided tour for my day trip?

Whether you’re looking to make new friends with similar interests, avoid driving on the left side of the road, or simply want to skip the hassle of planning, a guided tour can help you make the most of your trip. In addition to taking the stress out of planning, a good guide can provide insider knowledge to really enrich your experience in a destination.


What should I pack for my day trip?

There are all kinds of things to consider when deciding what to bring on a day trip. The destination, season and type of travel can all make an impact on your packing. For those taking a guided tour, your ticket might include everything you need. However, since most Edinburgh day trips are focused in Scotland and Northern England, it’s a smart bet to bring some rain gear or warm clothes regardless of the time of year.


Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

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

What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 8,269 reviews

Do it! Honestly I booked this tour under duress. My son wanted to look for Nessie (eye roll) and I didn't want to spend all that time on the bus. But the hours on the bus passed very quickly. Stuart, our tour guide and driver, was a very erudite and entertaining host. He talked about films, music, books and history and geography in a very interesting and low key way. And of course we get to get off the bus to see a very beautiful part of the world. I really recommend it.

Rory your a legend, absolutely loved this tour! Great history lessons fantastic views and funny jokes. Would definitely book again next year with this company.

I had fun with the tour.Andrew,our tour guide was a great storyteller.He made the long trip so much fun. Overall,it was a good value for money.

Great tour lots to see and really good hand held commentary so you can go at your own pace. Staff were very friendly and helpful.

Andrew J and Jim were amazing, very funny they made the experience enjoyable!!