Old Town Walking Tour, Edinburgh

With a lot of famous museums, art galleries, theaters, old churches, countless historic landmarks, shopping avenues and amazing architectural and recreational attractions all over the city, Edinburgh can seem quite daunting when it comes to sightseeing. The Old Town of Edinburgh, the oldest part of Scotland's capital, has preserved much of its medieval street plan and many Reformation-era buildings. The area is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. This self-guided tour will take you to the top attractions The Old Town has to offer.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Old Town Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Old Town Walking Tour
Guide Location: Scotland » Edinburgh (See other walking tours in Edinburgh)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Author: Helen
Usher Hall

1) Usher Hall

Just before he died in 1896 Andrew Usher, a prominent brewery owner, donated £100.000 to the city so that a concert hall, named the Usher Hall in his memory, could be built.

The hall is a mixture of Victorian Gothic and Beaux Arts style and was built by Stockdale Harrison and Howard Thompson. It was opened by Andrew’s widow in 1914 and King George V and Queen Mary laid memorial stones on each side of the entrance on Cambridge Street.

The building was renowned for its innovative curved...   view more
Traverse Theatre

2) Traverse Theatre

This theater has a great reputation for the highest quality productions, staging many major new plays and encouraging the work of young writers. The theater was built in 1963, specializing in the development of puppetry and animation, where visitors can relax in the café while watching the...   view more
Edinburgh Farmers' Market

3) Edinburgh Farmers' Market

What to buy here: Cairn O'Mohr Wine.

Cairn O'Mohr outstanding Scottish fruit wines constitute a great gift for those who enjoy a glass of good wine. Made from berries, flowers and leaves that grow in the region, this award winning drink brings out distinctive flavors and an aromatic juicy taste.

Only the freshest ingredients are used to produce these wines, such as: strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, oak leaves and brambles. Nothing sumptuous, just the best ingredients they...   view more
St. Margaret's Chapel

4) St. Margaret's Chapel (must see)

Edinburgh Castle is on the “must” list of every visitor to Scotland’s capital city and St Margaret’s Chapel is perhaps the highlight of the tour due to being the oldest building still standing in the entire complex.

St Margaret was a princess of the House of Wessex. Her family moved to Scotland after the Norman invasion of England. She married King Malcolm III of Scotland and was renowned for her piety and charitable works. According to legend, she prayed every day in the chapel that...   view more
Edinburgh Castle

5) Edinburgh Castle (must see)

Edinburgh Castle has overlooked the city since the 12th century and is the second most visited building, after the Tower of London, in the United Kingdom. The very history of Scotland is deeply etched into its ancient stones.

The castle stands on top of Castle Rock, the basalt ventilation pipe of an extinct volcano eroded by glaciers. People have inhabited the site since the 9th century BC. The first castle was constructed by King David I of Scotland and it remained a royal residence until...   view more
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

6) Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Located just below Edinburgh Castle is a Camera Obscura and Outlook Tower. The Camera Obscura gives an amazing live moving panorama of the city of Edinburgh. The Camera Obscura show is a fascinating and highly amusing way to see the city and learn about its...   view more

7) Grassmarket (must see)

One of the best places for shopping or relaxing over a pint or a meal in Edinburgh is undoubtedly the Grassmarket.

It is a historic market nestled in a small valley so that it is lower than the surrounding street levels. Between 1477 and 1911 it was the most important horse and cattle market in the city, and because it drew large crowds, it was also the place where public executions were held.

According to legend a woman was hanged here and lived to talk about it afterwards! Maggie Dickson...   view more
Parliament House

8) Parliament House

You really must visit the Parliament House which you will find just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The building was the gathering place for the Pre-Union Scottish Parliament and was built on the orders of King Charles I in 1639. It was used by the Governors of Scotland and also as court rooms and judge’s chambers. Today it houses the Supreme Courts of Scotland.

Parliament Hall is the main hall and the oldest part of the building. It has a magnificent hammer beam ceiling of...   view more
Magdalen Chapel

9) Magdalen Chapel

Magdalen Chapel is located on Cowgate Street and was built in 1541. Visitors are welcome to discover the 16th century stained glass windows and the tomb of its founders. Not far from the chapel is a bookshop that offers interesting literature and postcards about...   view more
Augustine United Church

10) Augustine United Church

Located on the George IV Bridge, the Augustine United Church was inaugurated in 1861 and for 150 years it has opened its doors to everyone in search of spiritual succour. Visitors are welcome and are invited to leave a small donation if they wish.

Augustine’s is a member of the United Reform Church and today is called Augustine’s Church Centre, as it hosts charities and other Christian projects including Christian Aid. During the week, apart from the usual Christian services and prayer...   view more
Greyfriars Bobby's Statue

11) Greyfriars Bobby's Statue (must see)

Everyone loves a nice, weepy story about love and loyalty, especially if there is an animal involved! In Edinburgh, the people have erected a statue to their favourite four-legged hero and you will find the Greyfriars Bobby's Statue at the south end of the George IV Bridge.

The beginning of Bobby’s history is a little vague: he was either a policeman’s dog or a stray adopted by a “bobby” on his rounds, which would account for his name. The policeman’s name was John Grey and he...   view more
Greyfriars Church

12) Greyfriars Church

It is easy to find ancient buildings in Edinburgh as the whole city is divided into two quarters: Old Town and New Town. You will find Greyfriar’s Church in the former.

The construction of the church started in 1602 and it was consecrated in 1630, making it one of the oldest buildings in the Old Town district, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built on the site of an abandoned Franciscan monastery and took its name from the monks who wore grey cassocks and were called the...   view more
McEwan Hall

13) McEwan Hall

The McEwan Hall has been described as being ostentatious and in bad taste, but you should visit it yourself and make up your own mind about it.

In the eighteen nineties the University of Edinburgh asked the City Council for funds to build a graduation hall, but they were turned down as the Council didn’t think they needed one. William McEwan, the master brewer, stepped in and offered to have a hall built if it bore his name.

The building was designed in the Italian Renaissance style by...   view more
Telfer Wall

14) Telfer Wall

If you would like to see a real part of ancient Edinburgh you should go to Heriot Place where you will find one of the only remaining stretches of the Telfer Wall.

The Old Town once had three defensive walls. The first wasn’t very extensive, but it protected the denizens of the area around the High Street. After the Battle of Flodden, the people realised that only part of their town was protected and in 1513 they built the Flodden Wall.

By the 17th century, the wall was showing signs of...   view more

Walking Tours in Edinburgh, Scotland

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Creating your own self-guided walk in Edinburgh is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old and New Town Best Pubs

Old and New Town Best Pubs

Edinburgh is known for its sheer number of pubs, old and new, that offer various events, and provide the best drinks and food to their visitors. Many of them have live music performances that attract both locals and tourists, and although most traditional pubs are laid back and offer a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, some do have dance floors and double as nightclubs. Take this self-guided tour to discover the most popular pubs in Edinburgh Old and New Town.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

While in Edinburgh, discover the popular avenues, boulevards and streets that lead to its most famous squares. While exploring these streets, you can find a copious amount of historic and religious edifices, fashion boutiques, classy restaurants, famous market areas, and other sites. Check out the most popular Edinburgh squares and streets in the following self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Comfortably yet tightly packed on the hilly terrain, Edinburgh – the Scottish capital – is a picturesque city much popular with tourists, in large part, due to its unique architecture comprising medieval (Old Town) and elegant Georgian (New Town) buildings. The cityscape is dominated by Edinburgh Castle, once the seat of the Scottish royals and now home to the country's crown jewels. To see this and other most prominent sights of Edinburgh, follow this orientation walk.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Religious Sites Walking Tour

Religious Sites Walking Tour

Edinburgh is an enchanting city and home to numerous places of worship. The city is open to all religions and features magnificent Presbyterian and Catholic churches, the main two religions in Scotland; as well as Jewish synagogues and Islamic mosques, and even Buddhist centers. Check out this tour and visit some of Edinburgh’s beautiful religious sites.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Museums & Galleries, Old Town

Museums & Galleries, Old Town

Popular for its rich cultural heritage, Edinburgh attracts a large number of tourists towards its numerous history and science museums that tell the compelling story of Scotland. Edinburgh is also a city where many locals spend their free time visiting galleries and attending art events. You can find amazing collections of original artwork in the many exhibitions around town. Take this tour and see the most important museums and galleries in the Old Town of Edinburgh.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Cannongate Walking Tour

Cannongate Walking Tour

The Canongate district takes its name from the main street called the "Canongate" and forms the lower, eastern half of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh's historic Old Town. It contains some other notable public buildings, including Huntly House (now the Museum of Edinburgh) and the historic Canongate Tolbooth (now housing the People's Story Museum), as well as the Canongate Kirk and the new Scottish Parliament building.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

19 Best Pubs in New Town, Edinburgh

19 Best Pubs in New Town, Edinburgh

A guide to the pubs that make up the area that is called Edinburgh's New Town. A description about what you can expect from each of the locations in the directory. A fantastic directory if you are a tourist or even a...
Top 12 Pubs On and Around Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Top 12 Pubs On and Around Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a vibrant city with abundant nightlife and no shortage of places to go after dusk. The Royal Mile alone, in the very heart of Edinburgh, is laden with character spots craving to be discovered by the first time visitors to the city. This is the highlight of some of the most notable bars...
Scottish Souvenirs: 15 Authentic Scottish Things to Buy in Edinburgh

Scottish Souvenirs: 15 Authentic Scottish Things to Buy in Edinburgh

The popularity of Scotland stretches far beyond its geographical borders, fueled, in large part, by Hollywood's interest in the Scottish theme - Sean Connery (as James Bond), "Braveheart", etc. Indeed, the cultural spectrum of this part of Britain is enormous and comprises great...