Mercat Cross
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The area
Neighborhood: Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavored souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles44 reviews
Excellent
15
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22
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7
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0

johnhouston2
Knaresborough, UK5,088 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
When you view this monument, take a bit of time to consider the longevity and sheer social history it represents. The original Mercat Cross dates back to the 14th century and was the true focal point of the town.

This is where market traders sold their wares; where important civic and legal pronouncements were made; where some punishments were meted out; and where people simply met and congregated to gossip, flirt and court while kids played about their feet. And there’s been 600 years of this stuff going on right where you stand.

Of course the design and decor says a lot about Scottish history and tradition, and can a nation have any better national animal than a Unicorn? Nope.
Written November 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Epic-Traveller
Rushden, UK4,521 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
An Octagonal structure. A unicorn bearing the Saltire sits ontop of a column. Located just infront of St Giles Cathedral, this should not be missed.#

Take a walk around it and pay particulkar attention to the scrapes in the stonework, wondering what made them. Acording to the internet, this is a place where lots of trade used to take place on the Royal Mile.
Written July 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

macedonboy
Glasgow, UK184,975 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Solo
The Mercat Cross is a landmark in Edinburgh where , important civic announcements were made and other important events were held (hanging anyone?).

The Mercat Cross has been around since the 14th century, although the present structure only dates from the 19th. The Cross (it's not actually a cross) is a octagonal drum substructure with the royal arms of Britain, Scotland, England and Ireland, the borough arms of Edinburgh, Leith and the Canongate, and the University. At the centre is a plinth, with a Unicorn on top.
Written June 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bibcay
Gateshead, UK4,317 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Family
Look at the unicorn on top, it is the national animal of Scotland. Its in the Royal Mile and located next to st Giles.
Written September 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CLW
Carlisle, PA20 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
My wife and I took our 16 year old granddaughter on this tour. Our excellent guide did a capable and entertaining job. We all had a very good time and would recommend "Doomed, Dead & Buried" to others.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IAN D
Wigan, UK25,122 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
At this point still proclamations are still made about state occasions. I like the monument and it remembers a traditional trading place on the mile.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Greg
Cambridge, UK5,237 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Friends
Next to St Giles’ church, you’ll find Mercat Cross. It was traditionally used for royal proclamations and civic announcements. Each crest has hundreds of years worth of history and tells the history of Scotland and the connection with the rest of the United Kingdom. The chained unicorn at the top, as the myth goes, prevents it from escaping as it is too dangerous to be let free. The unicorn is seen as the enemy of the lion - England’s animal symbol.
Written July 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Noraatc
Sudbury, MA38,223 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Couples
The Mercat Cross stands in Parliament Square next to St Giles' Cathedral and the Royal Unicorn, a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century, crowns it. It was originally a sign of a marketplace, but later on has become a site of public executions and proclamations. The current Mercat Cross is not the original one, but you can see the sign showing the location of the Cross between 1617 and 1756.
Written October 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jean L
Falkirk, UK106 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018
As you walk down the Royal Mile, this monument is immediately after St. Giles Cathedral. It marks the location where markets were held many many years ago, and is Royal Proclamations such as the c calling of a General Election, or the succession of a Monarch was announced to the general population, most of whom could not read. There is no cross - the monument comprises a stone column, topped with a statue of a Unicorn holding a Scottish Shield. Not particularly spectacular, unless your visit co-incides with a Proclamation
Written May 11, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

J M
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Friends
Our guide cant remember her name she was from Austria with very good English.
Her knowledge of old Edinburgh is excellent and very entertaining
Written April 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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