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An hour in Edinburgh

If you're short of time, why not board City Sightseeing or the Edinburgh Tour for the city’s highlights.

On board City Sightseeing you can hear about Edinburgh in one of 9 languages, or keep the kids entertained with our Horrible Histories commentary.

If you want to explore both Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns, check out the Edinburgh Tour. Our specially trained Guides will delight you with interesting tales of Edinburgh, past and present. Highlights include Edinburgh Castle, Charlotte Square in the Georgian New Town and other key sites.


Half a day in Edinburgh

If you have a spare morning or afternoon to explore why not upgrade your Ticket to a Grand 24 from just £5? With access to all city tours you can...

Option 1 - Explore the Old Town

• Hear tales of Edinburgh’s Old Town from an expert Guide on board an Edinburgh Tour. Hop off at the Lawnmarket for incredible views from the Castle’s Esplanade.

• Hop on board City Sightseeing at the Lawnmarket and visit the National Museum of Scotland on Chamber Street before enjoying a different view of the Canongate.

• Take the time to explore Holyrood Park from the bus stop at Our Dynamic Earth. Let a City Sightseeing tour pick you up from Our Dynamic Earth before showing you the stunning panoramic view of Edinburgh's Old Town from Regent Road.

• Hop off at Hanover Street and head to the Mound for a look at the Scottish National Gallery and to explore Princes Street Gardens.

Option 2 - Tour our best museums

• Let City Sightseeing show you Princes Street and the Grassmarket before hopping off on Chambers Street for the National Museum of Scotland. There you can take the elevator to the roof terrace for stunning views of Edinburgh’s skyline.

• Hop back on board City Sightseeing to the Canongate and visit the Museum of Edinburgh and The People’s Story museum.
• Meet an Edinburgh Tour from the Canongate (across the road from where you hopped off a City Sightseeing tour) and head towards Edinburgh’s New Town and hear commentary from a specially trained guide.

• Leave the tour at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. There take in the Palace and Scottish Parliament before joining City Sightseeing from the opposite side of the road. Enjoy views over Holyrood Park from Regent Road, discovering Edinburgh as a city of contrasts including fire and ice, which shaped the city’s iconic landscape.

• Let a City Sightseeing tour return you to your starting point on Waverley Bridge.

Option 3 - See the sights from the New Town to Leith

• Start the day at Waverley Bridge and join a Majestic Tour. Take in the sights from the top deck, including St Andrew Square and Canonmills.

• Hop off if you fancy a walk around the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and enjoy views towards Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town.

• Hop back on board a Majestic Tour and explore Edinburgh's coastline at Newhaven and Leith. Hop off for the Royal Yacht Britannia and/ or enjoy one of the many fine eateries in that area - The Shore is something of a haven for foodies.

• Hop back on board a Majestic Tour to return to the city centre.


1 day in Edinburgh

If you have a whole day to explore we recommend you upgrade your Ticket to a Grand 24 from just £5. With access to all city bus tours you can discover...

Option 1 - Edinburgh for foodies

Make a day of it exploring with Edinburgh Bus Tours - you’ll see the city, enjoy unbeatable views from the top deck and have plenty of opportunity to sample a range of Edinburgh’s foodie delights. 

  • Breakfast in the Old Town. Set off on board a green Edinburgh Tour from Waverley Bridge. Take in panoramic views of the Old Town from Regent Road while listening to a specially trained guide in English before hopping off on the Canongate to discover a range of artisan bakeries. There you’ll discover some great options for breakfast/ brunch with all the atmosphere and charm of the Old Town. For coffee drinkers, the standards are high so this is a good area to get your morning fix. Plus there are plenty of good shops should you wish to take an authentic Scottish foodie treat home.
  • Lunch in the Grassmarket. Hop back on board an Edinburgh Tour and let it show you the rest of the Old Town while hearing all about it from your guide, including the infamous Grassmarket where Edinburgh’s public hangings took place. Don’t let its historical reputation put you off; if you’re looking to hop off for lunch there are some fantastic cafes offering a range of Scottish and international cuisine. 
  • Fresh seafood on Edinburgh’s Coast Line. For seafood lovers we recommend joining a Majestic Tour that heads to Edinburgh’s coastline. Hop off for a coffee in Canonmills where you can choose from a range of locally run venues, and/ or hop off at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for a stroll. Hop back on board a Majestic Tour and discover Newhaven. Hear about its fishing history with our multi-lingual commentary and hop off to discover some of the freshest seafood in the city. Next along the coast is Leith - home to some of Edinburgh’s most highly acclaimed Michelin Star restaurants so is a great option for fans of fine dining. As well as restaurants, Leith offers a wealth of good cafes and bars. If you decide to make an evening of it and miss the last Majestic Tour back to the city centre, Lothian Buses will bring you back on board a service 22 bus.
  • Some of the best deals in town. For those who wish to sample Edinburgh’s food and drink without breaking the bank, check out our list of exclusive discounts that Edinburgh Bus Tours ticket holders can access. 

Option 2 - The Royal Mile to the Royal Yacht

• Jump on an Edinburgh Tour for an introduction to Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns with a live Guide.
• At Waverley Bridge, meet a City Sightseeing tour and head to the Lawnmarket for Edinburgh Castle (don’t forget to buy your ticket from your Driver or Ticket Seller so you can jump the queues).
• Take your time discovering Edinburgh Castle and the fabulous views from Castle Rock. Look out for highlights including the Great Hall, St Margaret’s Chapel and Royal Apartments. If you’re there at lunchtime, listen out for the One o’clock Gun. Allow between 1.5 and 4 hours for your visit. Head back to Waverley Bridge, by tour bus or by foot.
• From Waverley Bridge, hop on a Majestic Tour. Let the Majestic Tour take you further afield to Leith where Royal Yacht Britannia is docked. On board you’ll see Edinburgh’s coastline before returning to the city centre.

Option 3 - Souvenir shopping all over the city

• Board a Majestic Tour for an introduction to Edinburgh’s New Town before hopping off at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh where you can enjoy 2 for 1 entry into The Glasshouses. See plants and trees from all over the world and enjoy a stroll in the beautiful gardens. The cafes and shops offer a fine selection of refreshments if you so wish.
• Hop back on a Majestic Tour, taking you to Newhaven and Leith where you’ll see Edinburgh’s coastline. Royal Yacht Britannia is docked in Leith so why not hop off and take a couple of hours to explore the Royal Yacht for yourself. Don’t for get to show your Edinburgh Bus Tours ticket upon arrival – you’ll enjoy 10% off the admission price if you do.
• If you like shopping, hop on a Majestic Tour and hop off again at the stop for Leith Mills. There you will find a great selection of cashmere and tartan products alongside other gifts, souvenirs, clothes and homeware.
• Hop back on board a Majestic Tour to return to the city centre.
• From Waverley Bridge, let a City Sightseeing tour show you Edinburgh's Old Town with commentary from a specially trained guide in English. There you will find various opportunities to hop off and purchase souvenirs from a range of shops.
• For contemporary clothing, hop off a city tour in the New Town, or take a short walk from Waverley Bridge to George Street and Princes Street.


2 days in Edinburgh

If you have two days to explore Edinburgh we recommend The Royal Edinburgh Ticket, which saves you over 20% and includes entry to Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse and Royal Yacht Britannia... Alternatively, spend your second day discovering Edinburgh's Forth Bridges with The Bus & Boat Tour and the Grand 48+ ticket.

Make the most of the Royal Edinburgh Ticket

Day One

• Begin your adventure with The Royal Edinburgh Ticket on board an Edinburgh Tour to explore Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns with a live Guide.
• Once back on Waverley Bridge, switch to a City Sightseeing tour and hop off at the Lawnmarket for Edinburgh Castle.
• Take your time discovering Edinburgh Castle and the fabulous views from Castle Rock. Look out for highlights including the Great Hall, St Margaret’s Chapel and Royal Apartments. If you’re there at lunchtime, listen out for the One o’clock Gun.
• Hop back on board a City Sightseeing tour and immerse yourself in the historic Old Town.
• Head down to Our Dynamic Earth and alight here. Either buy a discounted ticket for entry from your driver if you wish to go in, or take the time to explore Holyrood Park.
• Walk across to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and explore The Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Look out for highlights including the State Apartments, Historic Apartments and Holyrood Abbey. Don’t forget to show your tickets at Palace of Holyroodhouse’s Palace Cafe: they’ll give you free crown shortbread when you purchase any hot drink!


Day Two

• Board a Majestic Tour to see something of Edinburgh’s New Town before hopping off at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh where you can enjoy 2 for 1 entry into The Glasshouses. See plants and trees from all over the world, and enjoy a stroll in the beautiful gardens for free. The cafes and shops offer a fine selection of refreshments if you so wish.
• Hop back on board a Majestic Tour, taking you to Newhaven and Leith where you’ll see Edinburgh’s very own coastline. Royal Yacht Britannia is docked in Leith so hop off here and explore the Royal Yacht for yourself. Highlights include the State Apartments, the Crew’s Quarters and the Royal Deck Tea Room.
• If you like shopping, hop on a Majestic Tour and hop off again at Leith Mills. There you will find a great selection of cashmere and tartan products alongside other gifts, souvenirs, clothes and homeware.
• Hop back on a Majestic Tour to return to the city centre.


Please note:

All itineraries assume the starting point of Waverley Bridge. Edinburgh Bus Tours advises you check all individual attractions and places of interest for their opening times before visiting. We do not accept responsibility if our suggestions are not available.


Grand Tickets

Adult £20.00

Interested in taking more than one tour?

See more for less with our multi-tour 24 or 48 hour Grand Tickets.

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Royal Ticket

Adult £52.00

Outstanding value.

Visit Edinburgh's must-see attractions and save over 20%. Includes entry to Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Yacht Britannia and Palace of Holyroodhouse plus a Grand 48 ticket.

Find out more ›