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Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh

star-4.5
|
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

From $22.05

Price varies by group size

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COVID-19: Check local travel restrictions and learn what we're doing to help keep you safe and your plans flexible. Learn more.

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon1 hour 15 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

Discover the Edinburgh Vaults—aka South Bridge Vaults—18th-century underground chambers that lie far below the city. On this underground walking tour with an entertaining and informative guide, hear tales of this dark and almost-forgotten place built below one of Edinburgh’s busiest thoroughfares. See evidence of excavated storage spaces, human habitation, taverns with wine vaults and more!
  • Edinburgh Old Town vaults walking tour
  • Historic afternoon walk through the underground vaults of South Bridge
  • Choice of two afternoon tour times
  • Professional local guide
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Small group experience
Award-winning local storytellers
TourTalk radio receiver to enjoy live storytelling at safe distance
Exclusive access to Blair Street Underground Vaults

Departure Point

Mercat Cross, High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RF, UK

Return Details

28 Blair St, Edinburgh EH1 1QR, UK
Far below Edinburgh’s bustling city streets lie the Edinburgh Vaults—a series of dark chambers formed under the 19 arches of the South Bridge in the late 18th century. Set out on a walking tour of underground Edinburgh with a professional guide and learn about this subterranean expansion of historic Old Town.

As your guide sheds light on the fireplaces, wine vaults and artifacts in the excavated vaults, hear about the 100 or so businesses—including taverns and trades—that once thrived at the South Bridge and used the concealed space for their workshops and merchandise. 

Listen to haunting tales of Infirmary Street, the former site of Edinburgh's medical school, where it is said that the notorious duo, Burke and Hare, sold the bodies of their murdered victims. Search for signs of human habitation when city residents reportedly lived in, then vacated, the cavern-like vaults, and imagine life underground before you breathe fresh air again!
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Mercat Tours
Get exclusive access to the city’s oldest, deepest Blair Street Underground Vaults. Discover secrets & stories of Edinburgh’s underworld. See and touch 19th century artefacts. Visit our Discovery Room with 3D model & display.
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Mercat Cross
Tour meeting point.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Royal Mile
Explore the closes and understand the buildings of the historic Old Town of Edinburgh, before descending into the Blair Street Underground Vaults
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Edinburgh Old Town
See the sites of the Old Town as you walk towards the Blair Street Underground Vaults
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Children over 5yrs only
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Tours are guaranteed all year round, so please dress for the weather, with comfortable shoes.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Mercat Tours

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh?
A:
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
See all safety measures taken by Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh?
A:
The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh?
A:
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh.

Traveler Photos

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
598 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 598 reviews
star-5
Best
Colin_W
, Oct 2020
Very informative, factual and interesting. Never felt rushed at all. The tour guide was aware of the whole group and all the ages.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
A worthwith tour if you visiting Edinburgh
Paul
, Oct 2020
An interesting tour with a knowledgeable guide. It was good to see the preservation and work uncovering the vaults had been sufficient to maintain the structure and safety but not detract or destroy the early layers of history. Lighting was sufficient and Covid protocols were good both within the vaults and out side.
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star-5
The vaults
Stefan_B
, Oct 2020
Lauren was Really good, very informative. Great a creating a dramatic experience regarding the spooks of Edinburgh’s past
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Interesting tour
Thijs
, Mar 2020
Very nice tour! The guide was really good, much information and some jokes. We booked the tour om a rainy afternoon in february.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
A must do visit!
Sue_H
, Feb 2020
Excellent very interesting, recommend for an hour or so. Our guide Emma was very good Funny and gave lots of information
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Hi Sue, Thanks for joining us and for taking the time to leave a review. Happy to hear your kind words about our guid Emma. All the best, Kim
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star-5
A Historical Treat
Terry W
, Jan 2020
The underground vaults in Edinburgh are a historical marvel and Mercat Tours does a magnificent job at painting a picture of what life would have been like at the time. Guides are informative, friendly and humorous. A great experience!
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Hi Terry, What a compliment. We're glad that we could help you to envision the vaults past. All the best, Kim
HelpfulHelpful
star-4
Very good
Margrét Dögg G
, Nov 2019
Very good and Nickt the guide spoke very clearly and made sure that everybody heard her. A little disapointment was that we didn't see any underground "in action", I would have loved to see a set with immitation of the the life was if a family was living in one small underground "room". Puppets and so on. But overall a very interesting and good presented.
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star-5
A must do
Adam-scragg
, Oct 2019
Really well organize Emma our guide really knows her stuff and keeps your engaged with it all, easy location to find starting point right on the royal mile
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star-5
Rainy day review
Judy H
, Oct 2019
Nicky our tour guide was exceptional. She was very knowledgeable and spoke slowly and clearly so that all could hear and understand. We enjoyed the entire tour, even the part outside in the rain. I would recommend this tour to anyone in Edinburgh, tourist or otherwise. Great tour Nicky. Thank you.
HelpfulHelpful
star-3
Interesting tour.... great guide... but a little limited
Pompee8er
, Sep 2019
This was an interesting tour which gave a good perspective on Edinburgh's story. It wasn't exactly what was expected but interesting nonetheless.
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Product code: 293404VAULTS

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