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Book private tours ahead of time or when I get to Edinburgh

My family of 4 (spouse and 2 kids (13 and 19) are traveling to Edinburgh early part of June for about 7 days. I arranged the flight and lodging arrangements myself.

We were thinking of exploring Edinburgh on our own and the surrounding area. A friend recommended getting guided tours for Edinburgh and the surrounding area.

Couple questions:
- Any recommendations on guided tour companies?
- Would it be best to book ahead of time or when I get there?



Posted by
1553 posts

The big advantage of booking ahead is that you know you have a tour waiting and not get there to find they are all booked. The advantage of waiting is the you can book the tour for a good weather day but you take your chances.

Posted by
5678 posts

I have to say that it is very easy to get around Edinburgh and I don't know that you need a tour guide for the city for the main sites. I would recommend looking into one of the more specialized walking tours. For example, I love Ian Rankin's books that feature Rebus, the Edinburgh policeman and detective. I would love to take one of these tours.


Posted by
1879 posts

There are a few locations right on the Royal Mile where you can book a city tour., some underground, some ghost. You can look for a kiosk on the street, and also an office close to the Castle, and also down by the Starbucks. It's pretty obvious to find the tour companies on the Royal Mile.

You might check out Rabbie's tours...they are just over the bridge in New Town, and they offer great tours of surrounding areas.

You an also book from your hotel the night before using ,or look up Rabbie's Tours on line. They show many types of tours with feedback to help you decide.
That's how my daughter and I picked a Rabbies tour of the Highlands for a day when we got stuck an extra day in Edinburgh because of the blizzard on the east coast back in March this year.... We found tours on our ipad, did research, chose what sounded good and booked it on line for the next day.

You don't need a guided tour of the Castle or Holyrood, you get a audio guide free with admission that will take you through the sights at your leisure. Lots of good info, and if something is boring to you, you can skip it.

And here's some good info too:

Posted by
5678 posts

BTW Rick has a fair amount of info on Edinburgh and Scotland online here. It includes an audio walking tour of Edinburgh.

Posted by
86 posts

I booked my tours with Rabbie's. I will be there in early June also.