Tips for Visiting Edinburgh Castle

By Suman Sengupta

Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions. 

It was built in the 12th century and has served as a fortress against foreign invaders ever since. 

Careful planning ahead of time can help visitors avoid crowds and have an unforgettable day exploring the Castle’s many attractions.

Learn these tips for visiting Edinburgh Castle for a smooth holiday experience.

Purchase Tickets to Edinburgh Castle Online in Advance

Thousands of visitors visit Edinburgh Castle daily, and during peak season, the ticket lines can be extremely long. 

We recommend getting your Edinburgh Castle tickets online in advance. This eliminates the need to join the queue upon arrival. 

Avoid Weekends while Visiting Edinburgh Castle

Avoid Weekends while Visiting Edinburgh Castle

Weekends are typically the busiest, as Edinburgh is a popular weekend getaway destination. 

Those who visit the Castle during the week will find it much quieter.

On the other hand, Sunday may be a better option for those visiting the city for the weekend. 

Sunday is generally quieter than Saturday because the One o’clock gun is not fired that day.

Avoid the Month of August if You Can 

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Avoid visiting the city in August because the Edinburgh Fringe Festival happens then.

As a result, the area will be swarming with visitors for this world-renowned cultural event.

Finding accommodation in the city can be challenging and more expensive than usual.

Best Time for Photographers

Best Time for Photographers
Photo by jim Divine on Unsplash

Many visitors are drawn to Edinburgh Castle because of its photographic opportunities for capturing breathtaking views of the city’s skyline. 

If photography is your passion, avoiding midday when the light is bright is best.

Instead, arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon. 

You can avoid large tour groups, which can be inconvenient, especially for visitors who want to photograph the scene.

You can take beautiful pictures around the Castle and its surroundings as the sun lowers in the sky.

Allow Enough Time for the Edinburgh Castle 

Allow Enough Time for the Edinburgh Castle 

Because Edinburgh Castle is a large monument with extensive grounds, visitors should allow enough time to explore everything it offers. 

We recommend that you allow two to three hours for a comprehensive visit. 

This should be enough time to explore the Castle and its grounds, including the Honors of Scotland exhibition.

Go to the Crown Jewels First and Then to Mary Queen of Scots Chambers

These two attractions are extremely popular, and there are long lines to see them. 

You can explore the Castle and grounds however you want, so see the Crown Jewels first to beat the crowds.

Make Sure to Visit the Live Canon Display at Edinburgh Castle

Canon Display at Edinburgh Castle

The cannon fires at 1 pm in the main courtyard, the day’s only demonstration. 

However, it might not be suitable for small children.

Wear Comfortable Footwear

As the castle is on Castle Rock, it will involve a lot of walking up and down steep cobblestone roads and steps.

Therefore, wearing comfortable footwear is essential for easily navigating the castle’s numerous areas. 

Make an Appointment for Afternoon Tea

Try to schedule your tea time while visiting the Crown Jewels and Mary’s chambers. 

Book a spot for your afternoon tea as the Tea Room has only four tables, and they get reserved quickly. 


Is there a dress code for Edinburgh Castle?

There is no dress code when visiting Edinburgh Castle. 

However, because the castle grounds require considerable walking on uneven surfaces, it is best to dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable footwear.

Are backpacks allowed in Edinburgh Castle?

Yes, small backpacks are allowed. Suitcases and big rucksacks are not permitted in the castle for reasons of mobility, visitor safety, and general security.

Can you walk around Edinburgh Castle for free?

No, you need to purchase tickets to enter Edinburgh Castle.

About the author

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