Edinburgh Castle Survival Guide
Every single tourist that visits Edinburgh has the same idea on their minds. The Edinburgh Castle.
You approach the beautiful Scottish capital and from afar you can see the proud castle towering above the rest of the city.
It’s got amazing views, and is one of the world’s most iconic places;
It’s on the top of your to-do list so you hop off the bus or the train and run up the historic Royal Mile to enter the castle and then…
Queue for the tickets
Approaching the castle, you’re excited about what awaits inside. You pass the castle walls just to see the biggest ticket queue you ever seen in your life and a cheeky sign “beat the queue, buy the ticket online” and you’re disappointed that you never did.
High price tickets
Edinburgh is not the cheapest city in Scotland. So to get to the castle we will pay considerably more than to get to the other Historic Scotland sites.
The ticket prices are £16.50 for Adults (16 – 59 yrs) and £9.90 for Children (5 – 15 yrs). Concession tickets are £13.20 (60 yrs+ along with the unemployed);
No student discounts.
It’s insanely busy during peak times
Queues are just the beginning, the busiest times for this site are 11 am to 2 pm weekdays and Saturdays. The best and the least busy day is Thursday.
One o’clock gun
It’s definitely one of the highlights of the castle. Everyday except Sundays, Christmas Day and Good Friday, crowds gather to watch a gleaming WWII 25-pounder fire and split the ears of those below, marking 1 pm.
You must be aware it’s very loud and some children can be distressed. If you looking for a great view you should arrive early and grab your spot around half an hour before One o’clock gun.
Queue (again) to see the Crown Jewels
The honours of Scotland are today the oldest surviving crown jewels in Europe!
Locked away in a chest, in dark room with guards, you can have the pleasure to see the crown, made in 1540, sword and scepter.
As fun as it sounds, it is a queue all over again with a constant flow of people behind you pushing you forward when you try to have a closer look at the Jewels.
Edinburgh Castle is not greatest place for Children
Because of castle’s military nature, children may feel a bit bored. Although older children who can read will be entertained by Explorer Quiz, fact-finding mission, younger kids can get upset and tired quite easily by an amount of people and waiting times.
We still think that it is an important and fascinating piece of Scottish history but just beware that Edinburgh castle is horrendously busy and it is hard to take your time and enjoy it with hundreds of people rushing around you.
If you want to learn a history of Scotland, medieval castle life and the history of Edinburgh, it might be worth going somewhere else instead, there is plenty of that in the city.
If you’re looking for breathtaking views, you can visit Calton Hill and for history visit National Museum of Scotland or just have a walk around Salisbury Crags instead.