Sightseeing on a Budget in Edinburgh
Scotland’s capital city can be just as expensive as its international counterparts, but with some advance planning it’s possible to experience the best of the city without breaking the bank. From combo tours to free-to-enter attractions, here are our top tips for optimizing your budget in Edinburgh.
Save on Transport with a Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
No need to count your pennies to see if you can board the public bus—hop-on hop-off tours offer unlimited use of the service over 24 hours. Routes typically encompass main attractions, including Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood, and the Royal Mile, so you can save time and money as you effortlessly zip around the city’s steep streets.
Capitalize on a Combo Deal
Get more out of your booking by combining a city tour with a must-see attraction. Rather than splurging for multiattraction access, combo packages allow you to get your bearings with a guide then explore a top attraction independently, making them a great choice for travelers with a particular interest or an easy way to check off the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Bonus: Skip-the-line access is typically included.
Book a Super Saver
Super Savers combine two of Edinburgh’s most popular tours at a discounted price, saving you both time and money with a preplanned itinerary and easy transition between experiences. For instance, you could dedicate an afternoon to discovering Edinburgh’s rich royal history, then embark on an underground tour for a very different perspective.
Combine Dining with Discovery
Placate belly rumbles and bank account grumbles on a meal-inclusive tour, ticking off sights such as Arthur’s Seat, the Scott Monument, and Greyfriars Bobby as you tuck into lunch or dinner on a bus tour, or immerse yourself in Scottish culture with a dining experience that combines classic cuisine with cultural insights.
Make the Most of Multiattraction Passes
For travelers who want to pack in as many sights as possible, access packages, such as the Edinburgh City Pass, are a great way to save money and explore at your own pace over one or more days. Free entry to several city attractions is included, as well as round-trip transfer to the airport via tram.
Take Advantage of Free Attractions
Scotland’s national museums are universally free, making both the Scottish National Gallery and the National Museum of Scotland a great choice for budget-conscious visitors. Other free-to-visit attractions include St. Giles Cathedral, the Royal Botanic Garden, and the Scottish Parliament Visitor Centre, though for the most authentic Edinburgh experience, it’s worth hiking up to the summit of Arthur’s Seat for sweeping views of the Scottish capital and beyond.