Things to do in
Greyfriars Kirkyard

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Greyfriars Kirkyard: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

1. 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 with a visit 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.

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Comedy Horror Show: Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tour

2. 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.

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Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

3. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy a Harry Potter themed walking tour across Edinburgh. See the city where JK Rowling found inspiration for Hogwarts, her famous characters, and discover the place where she wrote the books. Have your Harry Potter trivia tested with an audio-visual quiz, and earn points for your house. Find out which Hogwarts House you’re in, and whether you’re a pure blood, a muggle, or a squib. Visit the Grave of Tom Riddle in Greyfriars Kirkyard, and pass JK Rowling’s golden handprints outside City Chambers. See all this and more on a magical 2-hour guided tour.

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Edinburgh: Evening Underground Ghost Tour

4. Edinburgh: Evening Underground Ghost Tour

Experience the world's most haunted city on a ghost tour of Edinburgh and be spooked by the dark side of the Old Town. Discover the hidden wynds (alleys) off the Royal Mile and hear some of Edinburgh’s horrifying secrets. Visit what is considered the world's most haunted graveyards, "Greyfriars Kirkyard." Finally, explore the underground Edinburgh Vaults. Completed in 1788, the series of chambers housed taverns and stored illicit material, including dead bodies killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for their medical experiments. Journey through over 400 years of history and true tales of hangings, torture, murders, and witchcraft. Shiver at the weird noises and unexplained smells that appear after dark! 

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Edinburgh: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

5. Edinburgh: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

Download an MP3 audio guide and explore Edinburgh's famous attractions at your own pace. Begin your tour at Edinburgh Castle, a building that dates back to the 12th century. See the Scottish Crown Jewels, the magnificent St Giles' Cathedral, Mary King's Close, and walk past underground alleys with a layered history. See the Princes Street Gardens, the Royal Mile, Tolbooth Kirk, the George IV Bridge, Edinburgh City Chambers, Tron Kirk, and the Scottish Parliament Building. Drop by at Deacon Brodie's tavern and try Edinburgh's best haggis, a national delicacy immortalized in poetry by Robbie Burns (the National Bard of Scotland). 

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Edinburgh: Harry Potter Walking Tour

6. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Walking Tour

Experience a little magic on a 2-hour walking tour of Edinburgh that is perfect for all fans of Harry Potter. Learn all the stories and secrets behind the best selling books by J.K. Rowling in the city where she wrote them. Visit the original sites that provided the inspiration for Hogwarts and the characters who dwelled within its magical walls. Stroll along the High Street to see where Diagon Alley came to life and where Lord Voldemort is buried. See the original Hogwarts School, and look at a virtual school assembly of its characters! Learn how Edinburgh’s own dark history of witches and wizards played a role in inspiring J.K. Rowling along the way. 

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Edinburgh: Extreme Paranormal Underground Ghost Tour

7. Edinburgh: Extreme Paranormal Underground Ghost Tour

Experience a ghost tour best suited for those who consider themselves to be very brave and venture into some of Edinburgh’s most haunted locations, above and below ground. This adults-only tour is not for the faint hearted, and ideal for hardened ghost hunters - or non-believers. You will journey down the old wynds (alleys) that lead to the world’s most haunted graveyard. Then, take a walk along the path of death! Below the pavement “ghosts” lurk. Journey through paranormal tales of ghost and hear both sides of the story. Uncover true and terrifying tales of hangings, torture, murders, witches and cannibals. 

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Edinburgh: Haunted City Exploration Game & Self-Guided Tour

8. Edinburgh: Haunted City Exploration Game & Self-Guided Tour

Be led on an exciting self-guided tour around Edinburgh while playing a mobile-based quest with your friends and family. See many of Edinburgh’s most famous attractions and go on a journey through some of the city’s most haunted places. Download the app, go to the starting point, and begin the adventure. Follow clues and visit ghostly locations including Greyfriars Kirkyard, the site of the Nor’ Loch and West Bow, and sites where public executions were held. Unlock secrets about the places you visit as you solve puzzles and guess the answers. Learn about the Scottish Witch Hunts and the Burke and Hare murders and view the hall containing a book made of William Burke’s flesh. Use the clues to lead you from one site to another. Each clue provides you with exact directions so you won't need a map, GPS, or guide. Complete the tour in about 1.5 hours, however, there’s no time limit, allowing you to go at your own pace. Play as a group or split into smaller groups/teams and compete against the others. Each person can also play on their own, separate from the group, and meet the group at the end of the tour. Take part in a special Halloween event on October 30 featuring live actors. Wear your best costume to win a contest with prizes such as a $1000 GetYourGuide gift card, a (real) coffin, and much more.

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Edinburgh: Scotland's Dark Secrets Walking Tour

9. Edinburgh: Scotland's Dark Secrets Walking Tour

Marvel at the mysteries lurking behind Edinburgh on a walking tour focusing on the city's darker side. Visit Edinburgh Castle, Grey Friars Kirkyard, and the Old Tollbooth Prison. Let your guide thrill you with macabre, twisted tales from days gone by. Learn about witches and ghosts from the city's past and find out which ones are still lurking around today. Soak up every creaky nook and cranny while you search for signs of ghosts and ghouls on this unforgettable walking tour of Edinburgh.

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Edinburgh: Fright Night Underground Ghost Tour

10. Edinburgh: Fright Night Underground Ghost Tour

Discover the dark and chilling history of Edinburgh with an experienced and energetic guide. As you wind through the hidden wynds (alleys) off the Royal Mile you will be entertained by this passionate and engaging storyteller who, dressed in full period costume, will regale you with dark tales concerning the vaults and fill you in on some of the ghostly sightings and events that visitors often experience.  Then, visit what is regarded as the most haunted graveyard in the world at “Greyfriars Kirkyard.” Finally, go deep underground and explore the Edinburgh Vaults beneath the streets. Completed in 1788, the series of chambers were used to house taverns and as storage space for illicit material, including the bodies of people killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for their medical experiments. Journey through over 400 years of history and hear terrifying true tales of hangings, torture, murders, and witchcraft. Shiver at the weird noises and unexplained smells that make an appearance after dark!

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Other Sightseeing Options in Greyfriars Kirkyard

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What people are saying about Greyfriars Kirkyard

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 5,250 reviews

Kieran made the tour interesting, fun, he really captured everybody’s attention during a very well filled two hours. Edinburgh centre is quite small so there wasn’t very much walking involved and I felt we were getting a good overview of the centre. Definitely recommend! My 14 year old was kept interested and amused in spite of the cold wet weather

We had so much fun on our self guided tour! We did it in the evening to make it more atmospheric and really enjoyed ourselves while learning a lot of interesting stories about Edinburgh’s brutal past.

Kieran was a great tour guide. He was a big Harry Potter fan himself so knew everything inside out. Would definitely recommend a trip with him while in Edinburgh. 10/10

Monique was amazing! The tour was so interesting and she kept us engaged and gave so much cool information

Such an insightful tour, really changed the way we viewed the city.