Throughout many cities in the Europe, you’ll find an array of “free” tours. Meaning, they are essentially free but at the end of the tour, you decide how much you felt it was worth. Thus, you give a price to the value provided. And while there are a multitude of great free tours available, here are the 3 best free tours in Edinburgh!
No doubt, Edinburgh is one of my all-time favorite cities in Scotland. And this city is PACKED with awesome free tours to help you see the city on a budget.
In my opinion, the following free Edinburgh tours were the best because the starting point was easy to locate, the tour guides were absolutely fantastic, the tour itinerary’s were awesome, and the value provided was out of this world!
Although, without a doubt in my mind, the best part of each free tour was the tour guides. Each and every one of them are an Edinburgh local, super charismatic, very engaging, fantastic storytellers, and all guided their tours at a great pace. Not too fast, not too slow — perfect for every traveler of any age!
So, if you’re looking for something to do, keep reading below to check out a few awesome free tours in the historic city of Edinburgh.
Table of Contents
3 best free tours in Edinburgh, Scotland
The Potter Trail
A fabulous Harry Potter themed tour, this free tour in Edinburgh absolutely blew past my expectations! My guide for this particular free tour was Will and, no doubt, he led a magical adventure around the city.
Before visitors embark on the Harry Potter tour, each receives a crafty wand to hold onto throughout the adventure, making you feel like you’re an actual wizard! Just make sure not to cast any miserable spells on your fellow tour-mates. 😉
The tour starts at the statue of Greyfriars Bobby; very easy to find and centrally-located. The tour lasts about 1.5 hours, depending on how busy the city is and how easily everyone gets around. It was the perfect amount of time for Will to show us Lord Voldemort’s grave, discover the cafe where Rowling wrote the first book, wander down the real Diagon Alley, view the school which inspired Hogwarts, and much more!
Even if you’re not a die-hard Harry Potter fan, this tour is fantastic for everyone because you get a peek into the quirky history of Edinburgh! Suitable for wizards and muggles alike. 😉
Read more about the tour here.
P.S. Once you’re done exploring Edinburgh, why not make some new friends and visit the adorable puffins on an Isle of May boat trip?
Edinburgh’s Free Ghost Tour
With a grim and bloody past, the city of Edinburgh is no doubt filled with haunting ghosts and sorrow spirits! And Edinburgh’s Free Ghost Tour covers it all. Every bone-chilling ghost story and all the dark murders which happened throughout the city.
Known as one of the most haunted cities in Europe, Edinburgh is plagued with a past of harrowing disease, grisly murders, and weird witchcraft. At first glance, the cobbled streets of Edinburgh are strikingly beautiful. But deep in the closes, you’ll find its beauty is darkened by horror.
On this free tour of Edinburgh, you’ll learn all about the body snatching, horrifying executions, dreadful tortures, and gruesome jails. Just make sure to bring a jacket, as the sinful stories and tormenting tales might give you a little chill!
If you’re only in Edinburgh for a short time, this is definitely one of the best free tours in Edinburgh that you must do! Super fun and it’s a night tour, which makes it even more exciting!
Learn more about the free ghost tour here.
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City Explorers Free Edinburgh Tour
The last – but not least – of the 3 best free tours in Edinburgh. This particular tour focuses on everything Edinburgh; from the history of the city to the local people to the modern day buildings. It’s a great tour to do at the beginning of your travels in Edinburgh, as you can get a feel for the beautiful city, learn about it’s history, and wander around it with a knowledgeable guide.
Though there are many City Explorer guides, we had the pleasure of touring the city with Euan. A fantastic Edinburgh local who is proud to live in Edinburgh and is passionate about knowing everything about it.
He showed and told us the history behind the Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, St. Giles’ Cathedral, the Old and New Towns, Greyfriars Kirkyard and Greyfriars Bobby, the Grassmarket, and much more. It was fantastic!
This tour lasts for about 2.5 wonderful hours; it’s not too fast and not too slow. Definitely perfect for anyone who is looking to learn more about the city of Edinburgh!
Check out more information on this free tour in Edinburg here.
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There’s my 3 best free tours in Edinburgh, y’all! One of my favorite cities in the UK, it’s filled with beautiful buildings, wonderful locals, and a deep history – one that is both light and dark. If you ever visit, make sure not miss out on these awesome tours and I hope you love the city as much as I do!
P.S. If you’re only in Edinburgh for a short time, the best part about these free tours is that they usually don’t run at the same time! So, if you’re up for it, you can do all 3 tours in one day. Start off with the City Explorers Edinburgh Tour at 11 AM, then go to the Harry Potter Trail tour at 3 or 4 PM, take a short break, and, lastly, do the Edinburgh Ghost Tour at 5 or 7 PM.
It’d be exhausting to do it all in one day but it is possible! Ideally, you’d do the 3 best free tours in Edinburgh over the course of 2 or 3 days, allowing yourself some free time to explore on your own but these times allow you to see most of the city in just one day!
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