Edinburgh Castle Hours

By Suman Sengupta

The Edinburgh Castle hours vary depending on the season. 

During the peak tourist months, from April to September, Edinburgh Castle opens at 9 am and remains accessible until 6 pm. 

The castle may close its doors slightly earlier, at 5 pm in winter. 

Months Timings 
April to September9.30 am to 6 pm  
1 October to 23 December 9.30 am to 5 pm 
24 December  9.30 am to 4 pm 
27 December to 31 December 9.30 am to 5 pm
1 January 11 am to 5 pm 
2 January to 31 March 9.30 am to 5 pm 

Edinburgh Castle is closed on 25 December and 26 December.

The last entry is one hour before the closing time. 

Edinburgh Castle Gun Salute Timings

Edinburgh Castle Gun Salute Timings
Image: Bbc.com

The gun is fired every day at 1 pm except on Sundays, Good Friday, and Christmas Day. 

There is a limit on the number of visitors permitted inside, so we recommend booking Edinburgh Castle tickets online in advance to ensure your entry. 

Opening Hours of the National War Museum 

Image: En.Wikipedia.org

The National War Museum is open every day of the year.

Visitors can visit the National War Museum for free.  

It is located on the castle grounds and has seasonal opening and closing hours.

Months Opening time Closing time
April to September 9.45 am 5.45 pm (Last entry 5.30 pm) 
1 October to 24 December 9.45 am 4.45 pm (Last entry 4.30 pm)
27 December to 4 January 10.15 am 3.45 pm (Last entry 3.30 pm)
5 January to 31 March9.45 am 4.45 pm (Last entry 4.30 pm) 

Best Time to Visit Edinburgh Castle

Find the ideal time to visit Edinburgh Castle here, and schedule your visit accordingly.

Best Time of Day to Visit Edinburgh Castle

Best Time of Day to Visit Edinburgh Castle
Image: Roman Akash on Unsplash

It is best to visit Edinburgh Castle during the off-peak hours, as soon as it opens at 9.30 am or in the afternoon. 

We recommend avoiding 11 am to 2 pm because large groups arrive during this time. 

By arriving in the morning, you can explore the Castle at your speed and then get to the One O’Clock Gun location ten to fifteen minutes before the gun goes off. 

The One O’Clock Gun, fired every day except Sunday at 1 pm, is one of the Castle’s most notable features. 

Most tourists try to arrive at the event around that time, making it the busiest hour at the Castle.

Additionally, plan your weekday visit as large crowds are present on the weekends.  

So, you can schedule your visit early in the morning on a weekday. 

We suggest purchasing tickets for Edinburgh Castle in advance to ensure guaranteed entry and avoid long queues.

Best Month to Visit Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle best month to visit
Image: E Mens on Unsplash

The best time to visit Edinburgh Castle is in May, June or September to enjoy nice weather and fewer crowds.

You can also visit during winter (except Christmas and New Year holidays). You can attend the famed New Year’s celebration. 

Pack enough warm clothes so you won’t get cold while visiting.

Even though the weather isn’t ideal, you will get the best deals and won’t have to deal with crowds.

Edinburgh Castle is the busiest from July to August, but you may still enjoy it if you show up when it opens to have the landmark to yourself briefly. 

Choose the ideal month to visit Edinburgh Castle according to your preferences by considering the weather, crowd density, and experience you’re looking for.

Best Time for Clicking Photographs

Edinburgh Castle’s photographic options for obtaining breathtaking city skyline pictures draw many people. 

We recommend avoiding midday when the light is the brightest if photography is your special love.

Instead, arrive late in the day or early in the morning when the sun will be lower in the sky for pictures with beautiful views of Edinburgh Castle and its surroundings.

How Long Does it Take to Visit Edinburgh Castle?

How Long Does it Take to Visit Edinburgh Castle
Image: Facebook.com(Visitedinburghcastle)

The tour of Edinburgh Castle takes around two to three hours.

This time frame allows for a complete tour of the castle’s historic architecture, museums, and exhibitions.

However, visitors interested in history and culture might decide to stay longer to explore Edinburgh Castle’s rich past in greater detail.

There is no set order to see the castle complex, which is extensive and separated into many spaces. 

Therefore, we suggest booking a guided tour of Edinburgh Castle to witness every bit of Scottish history inside the castle. 

After the tour, you can explore Edinburgh Castle on your own. 

Additionally, having an Edinburgh Castle map is recommended to ensure you don’t miss anything and can always make your way around.

Explore the National War Museum, St. Margaret’s Chapel, the Crown Jewels exhibition, and the castle’s façade, courtyards, and rooms. 


How long do most people spend at Edinburgh Castle?

The average visitor should allot two hours for the Edinburgh Castle’s visit.

Is it better to go to Edinburgh Castle in the morning or afternoon?

We recommend visiting Edinburgh Castle in the morning. You can start the tour in the morning and stay as long as you like.

Arriving early will allow you to explore Edinburgh Castle with fewer crowds, thus providing a hassle-free experience. 

What time is peak time at Edinburgh Castle?

The peak time at Edinburgh Castle is during the firing of the One O’Clock Gun. 
The Gun is fired daily except on Sunday at 1 pm. 

About the author

Suman Sengupta heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. he believes getting lost is the best way to explore