Edinburgh Bus Tours is one of Scotland’s most popular paid-for visitor attractions, offering a five-star experience with three great tours to choose from. For the past 35 years, we have provided locals and visitors alike the opportunity to see the very best of Scotland's capital from a different angle. Hop on and hop off with us while you learn all there is to know about Edinburgh's history, beauty and secrets. 

CitySightseeing Edinburgh, The Edinburgh Tour & The Regal TourCitySightseeing Edinburgh, The Edinburgh Tour and The Regal Tour


Open-top tour buses have been popular in Edinburgh since the 1920s, but Edinburgh Bus Tours’ history began in May 1989 when Guide Friday launched the Edinburgh Tour. It proved an immediate success with 1000 visitors on day one.

In summer 1989 Lothian Region Transport (as Lothian Buses was then known) launched the Edinburgh Classic Tour - a direct competitor to the Edinburgh Tour. Both companies continued to develop their tours, offering new products and taking their bus tours all over the UK.

In summer 1998 a third tour operator, MacTours came to Edinburgh. MacTours was consolidated with Lothian Buses in April 2002. These tours finished on 29 October 2016 at the end of the summer season ahead of changes in rules around accessibility and environmental requirements.

In August 2016, 30 new state-of-the-art tour vehicles were launched following a £6.5m investment. The new tour buses were cleaner and greener, reducing carbon emissions by 40% and other harmful emissions by 95-99%. They were a UK first and to this day operate on all of our tour routes.

CitySightseeing came to Edinburgh in 2000 when Lothian Buses obtained the franchise to operate the branded tour. City Sightseeing replaced the Classic Tour. In May 2002, all city tours came into Lothian Buses ownership. Edinburgh Bus Tours as we know it today was born.

The Majestic Tour was launched in 2004 after a staff competition to name our service linking Royal Yacht Britannia with the city centre, and the 3 Bridges Tour (formally Forth Bridges Bus & Boat Tour) was introduced in 2007 and carried passengers between the City Centre and the Firth of Forth until 2023.

In 2021, Edinburgh Bus Tours introduced a new member of the team to serve as our pawsome ambassador – Cobbles the Scottie Dog. Named after the famous cobbled streets of Edinburgh, Cobbles has been a welcome addition to the tours family.

Lothian Buses is committed to continuously developing Edinburgh Bus Tours’ portfolio. In early 2024, The Edinburgh Tour and CitySightseeing Tour were given a visual refresh. The Majestic Tour was relaunched as The Regal Tour, visiting key royal attractions and showcasing in the vibrant, bustling community of Leith.

With their updated liveries, all three tours now stand together as a collective offering to both locals and visitors of Edinburgh.


Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Award

Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice

We have also been awarded TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice

Scottish Thistle Award

Regional thistle award

We have also been awarded a Regional Thistle Award from VisitScotland for our partnership work with the charity Edinburgh World Heritage. We are proud to be Scotland’s third most popular paid for visitor attraction.

Green Tourism Award

Green tourism

As part of Lothian Buses we take our environmental responsibilities seriously and adhere to its Environmental Policy. We are proud holders of a Gold badge in the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

Scottish Tourist Board 5 stars Award

We take our five star status very seriously - if you’ve already visited we would love to hear how you got on either via TripAdvisor or via our contact form