Guided tour

Edinburgh Old Town and Underground Historical Tour

Edinburgh Old Town and Underground Historical Tour

From US$ 17.74 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
    • Wheelchair users
    • People with mobility impairments
    • Children under 5 years
    Covid-19 precautions
    Traveler requirements
    • You are required to bring and wear a mask

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    Prepare for the activity

    Meeting point

    • Meet opposite Starbucks at 124a High Street

    Open in Google Maps ⟶
    Important information

    What to bring

    • Weather-appropriate clothing
    • Comfortable shoes

    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

    4.4 /5

    based on 262 reviews

    Review summary

    • Guide
    • Value for money
    • Service
    • Organization

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    This is the best historical walking tour in Edinburgh. Our guide Davy was so knowledgeable and made the tour interesting and amusing. Actually learned new things and was captivated by the sights and information. We did the 2.15pm tour in December. Wrap up warm and wear shoes you can walk in. If you like history, this tour is for you. No ghosts just history.

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    December 15, 2021

    We didn’t realise that it was going to be such an extensive walking tour so didn’t have the most appropriate footwear. Although the guide, Hazel, was very knowledgeable, the size of the group meant that it was at times difficult to hear what she was saying or see what she was referring to. We felt that the vaults experience was overstated for what it actually was.

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    October 14, 2021

    Loved the tour. It helped show the history of Edinburgh that we wouldn’t have seen or known otherwise. We had our 5 and 8 year old daughters, who weren’t very willing participants, but ended up enjoying seeing the underground locations. The tour guide was very gracious for our family as part of the tour and we enjoyed the historical stories.

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    October 2, 2021

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    Product ID: 73775