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Discover the stories and social enterprises behind the city’s Old Town, poop yer pants during a poltergeist hunt in a graveyard and bring the magical Harry Potter books to life with trained wizards.
Run by experts in their field, Edinburgh walking tours include everything from facts about the city’s most popular attractions to photography in the lesser-known neighbourhoods.
These foot tours in Edinburgh are not just for visitors, locals are guaranteed to learn more about their city’s architecture, history and place in the world while having a laugh.
Support local! Join one of the following tours in Edinburgh to help small businesses while enjoying a day out with pals.
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Best Edinburgh Walking Tours
Invisible Cities is an award-winning social enterprise that trains people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city.
They offer several tours in Edinburgh, all focused on themes and content developed by the guides themselves.
Edinburgh Tours On Offer
- Crimes & Punishment – Grassmarket
- Leith: The Trainspotting Generation
- Women of Edinburgh – Grassmarket
- The Royal Mile: From Huts to High Rises
- Edinburgh: City of Festivals
Book your Invisible Cities tour here.
Find out more about Invisible Cities virtual tour in our Edinburgh from home guide
The Potter Trail
The Potter Trail is the original and best magical walking tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town taking fans to all the places that inspired She Who Cannot Be Named as well as the places where she wrote.
Edinburgh Tours On Offer
There are currently three versions of the classic Potter Trail tour.
The free public tour, the private tours and virtual zoom tours.
On all of these you will…
- See where Lord Voldemort is buried
- Discover in which café Rowling wrote the FIRST Potter book
- Take a trip down the real life Diagon Alley
- Find out which house you would be in at Edinburgh’s very own school of magic
- Learn who the world’s worst poet was, and which Hogwarts teacher is named after him
And much, much more! All of these tours feature a house point competition, spell casting and lots of opportunities to ask questions from the most experienced Harry Potter tour guides in the city.
Ronan and I have taken the virtual tour and loved it. Ronan is a huge Potter fan and I’ve not even read all the books, proving there is something for everyone!
Tour Dates and Times
- Free walking tours take place every day. Payment is by tip
- Public tours can contact the provider for more
A Note From Our Pal Richard At The Potter Trails
There are a lot of Harry Potter tours in Edinburgh to choose from but don’t be fooled – we are the original tour!
We’re also one of the only ones to be operated by Edinburgh locals. We’re consistently in the top 5 walking tours in Edinburgh on TripAdvisor and have been featured everywhere from The Times, to PBS to BBC Scotland.
We’d also like to make it very clear that trans and non-binary people will always be very welcome on our tours.
Like many HP fans we have been saddened and dismayed by JK Rowling’s recent comments regarding transgender issues.
We will also be donating a percentage of our profits to the Scottish Trans Alliance from now on.
Everything Edinburgh stands with The Potter Trail.
We do not agree with She Who Cannot Be Named and are happy to see The Potter Trail donate to this charity.
We work with The Potter Trail and will waive our commission made from referrals so more profits can be donated to support trans equality in Scotland.
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Cobble Tales, powered by architect-guides, traces Edinburgh history through architecture.
Cobble Tales have a number of tours that will let you explore Edinburgh’s history through the lens of the architechts’ eyes.
Want to know how much of the New Towners’ fortunes were connected to slavery?
Want to learn about the underground vaults that lie beneath the city?
Or maybe you want to know more about the decay of Edinburgh’s old buildings and the efforts to save them.
Cobble Tales is a unique twist on a regular walking tour. Learn more about this beautiful city’s culture and heritage with knowledgeable local guides.
Tours range from 2-5 hours and start at £108 for 1-4 people or £27 per person for larger groups.
Read next | Edinburgh’s most Instagrammable places
Edinburgh Vault Tours and Poltergeist Hunting in Edinburgh
There are a number of tours which take visitors from the safe cobbles of The Royal Mile to the lesser-known underground world of the vaults in Edinburgh.
Guides share stories of what life was like for the deprived population who found themselves living underground in the city at its South Bridge.
As you move through the rooms, the temperature drops and the tales get darker.
Are you brave enough? Reserve your ticket here.
Mercat Tours LTD
Mercat Tours believe history is a damn good story, and it needs a damn good telling!
They help visitors connect with Edinburgh’s past, the sights, stories and characters, on history walks and ghost tours of the city’s Old Town.
All tours are guaranteed, daily, year round with exclusive access to Blair Street Underground Vaults, Edinburgh Castle and Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Mercat Tours are an award-winning, local family business, Living Wage Employer and part of the profit share bonus scheme.
Mercat Tours in Edinburgh
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Our Old Town Edinburgh Guides
- The ultimate guide to Edinburgh’s Old Town
- 50 things to do for all the family
- Where to stay in the Old Town
- Best Old Town Airbnbs incl. Harry Potter apartment
- Our favourite Old Town Edinburgh restaurants
- Where to drink in the historic centre
- Spooky ghost tours featuring Edinburgh’s Underground
- Every Harry Potter location muggles can’t miss