Guided tour

Edinburgh Old Town and Underground Historical Tour

Edinburgh Old Town and Underground Historical Tour

From $17.70 per person

Join a local published historian around Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile and visit its Underground Vaults. Learn about some of Edinburgh’s fascinating history, literary heroes, infamous criminals and the battles that shaped the city into what is today.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
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Duration 1.5 hours
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Live tour guide


  • Be led around Edinburgh's Old Town by a local published historian
  • Gain exclusive access into Edinburgh's Underground Vaults
  • Explore Edinburgh's long and fascinating past
  • Visit some of the Old Town's hidden closes and historical sites
  • Enjoy our professional, informative and engaging tour
Full description
The historical tour begins at the Old Police Box on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, where you will be met by a local historian and proceed straight into the Underground Vaults. Edinburgh's Underground is over 400 years old and is full of fascinating history, all of which the guide will share with you. After visiting the Underground Vaults, your guide will take you all around Edinburgh's Royal Mile and Old Town, visiting some hidden closes and other spots of historical significance. Delve into parts of Edinburgh that you did not know existed, mostly off the tourist trail.  Hear that the first skyscrapers in the world were built in Edinburgh, discover the identity of the local criminal who became the inspiration for Jekyll and Hyde, learn where the phrase "Black Market" came from, where Ebeneezer Scrooge is buried – yes, really – and how Edinburgh University worked closely with the serial killers Burke and Hare. Edinburgh’s history is long and fascinating, made even more special when told by our enthusiastic, passionate and local guide. 
  • Expert guide
  • Entry into Edinburgh's Underground Vaults
    Not suitable for
    • Children under 5 years
    • People with mobility impairments
    • Wheelchair users
    Covid-19 precautions
    Traveler requirements
    • You are required to bring and wear a mask

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    Prepare for the activity

    Meeting point

    Next to the Tron Kirk

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    Important information

    What to bring

    • Comfortable shoes
    • Weather-appropriate clothing

    Know before you go

    • Entry into the Underground involves walking down eight steps.
    • Please note that the minimum age for this tour is 5 years old.
    Customer reviews

    Overall rating

    4.3 /5

    based on 214 reviews

    Review summary

    • Guide
    • Value for money
    • Service
    • Organization

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    This was an excellent tour from the very start with the man at the meeting point to our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide Hazel. Would definitely recommend booking this up. Hazel tells her tales with such passion and helps you to really embrace the history and the people she talks about.

    September 15, 2021

    Joined the tour,visited the underground vaults and explored interesting places in the old town, some hidden close to the main tourist areas. Hazel the guide kept us interested and entertained telling us about how people lived, with some funny and interesting stories, and showing us little areas we would not have found on our own. Interesting and entertaining, good value for money.

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    September 8, 2021

    We visited Edinburgh for a day trip and wanted a quick tour of the city and the underground vaults. The tour lasted around an hour and a half - despite this, it went into plenty of depth on the city’s history and didn’t lack any dull moments; mainly thanks to the amazing story telling of our guide Alastair. He was a lovely friendly guide, telling the story of Edinburgh’s history with lots of humour and liveliness; we really appreciated his attention to detail when pointing out certain buildings etc, and telling us little fun facts around the way. Would definitely recommend this tour if you want to learn some facts about Edinburgh’s history and you’re short on time/ visiting for the day. For £13 per ticket the tour is really good value for money and Alastair was an added bonus!

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    August 26, 2021

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    Product ID: 73775