Edinburgh Castle

Important notice

The Scottish National War Memorial will be closed on Wednesday 29 May from 3pm-6pm and on Wednesday 5 June 9.30am-1pm



Discover a world-famous icon. Perched on a volcanic plug, Edinburgh Castle has dominated the skyline of Scotland’s capital city for centuries.

Climb Castlehill to explore this mighty fortress and former royal residence, now a major part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage Site. Scotland’s crown jewels are among the national treasures on display within the castle walls. 

Known as the ‘defender of the nation’, Edinburgh Castle remains an active military base. An annual highlight is the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, held on Castle Esplanade every August.

No trip to Scotland’s capital is complete without a visit to Edinburgh Castle – voted Best UK Heritage Attraction for the fourth year in a row at the British Travel Awards 2014.

Edinburgh Castle is also a popular filming location and appears in the film adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel Filth, starring James McAvoy.

View a map of our locations that have starred in film and TV. Download Historic Scotland on Screen [PDF, 679.37KB]

What to see and do

  • Set your watch by the One o’Clock Gun, fired daily (except Sundays)
  • Enter Edinburgh’s oldest building, St Margaret’s Chapel, built around 1130 by David I
  • Admire the late-medieval ceiling of the Great Hall, built around 1510 for James IV
  • Look for Mons Meg, a huge, late-medieval siege cannon, among the castle artillery
  • Take in the panoramic views of Scotland’s capital city
  • Take our fun fact-finding quiz (also available in Brazilian-PortugueseFrench, Gaelic, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, RussianSimplified ChineseSpanish and Welsh).
  • Find out more about the Jacobite Risings with our Jacobite Trail Quiz 

Audio guides

Our audio guide features the voices of four time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan, celebrated TV and movie actor Bill Paterson and Outlander’s Andrew Gower. Let them take you on a journey and learn about the castle and the people and events that stand out most in its fascinating past.

You can hire an audio guide device from the ticket office and audio booth, or pre-book online when you buy your tickets. 20% discount for Historic Scotland Members and Explorer Pass holders. 

Audio guides are available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian. Large Print also available. 

You can also use our guide with your own mobile phone or tablet, instead of a headset. You'll need to bring your own fully charged mobile phone or tablet with internet, and we'll show you how to load it in an email before you arrive.

The One o'Clock Gun

The gun is fired every day at 1pm, except on Sundays, Good Friday, and Christmas Day.

Please be aware that we are currently implementing some new measures with the Ministry of Defence in relation to the viewing of the One O’clock Gun. As part of this, visitors are asked to please arrive at the new marked areas at least 10 minutes before the firing of the gun, and follow guidance from castle staff. We will limit access to some areas surrounding the gun until after it has been fired.

Didn't find everything you need? Read our visitor FAQs

What's on at Edinburgh Castle

Opening times

Tickets often sell out far in advance, especially over the summer months. Book your tickets online in advance for the best price and to guarantee entry.

1 Apr to 30 Sept:
Daily, 9.30am to 6pm (last entry 5pm)

1 Oct to 31 Mar:
Daily, 9.30am to 5pm (last entry 4pm)

The Edinburgh Castle logo, featuring a lion's head


Awards & Accreditations

5 star castle A graphic of a green circle with the words "Green Tourism gold award" Taste our Best award logo Family café standard logo

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