Royal Mile
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Stretch of road connecting Edinburgh Castle with Holyrood Palace, the Queen's residence in Scotland.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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The area
Address
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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See what travelers are saying
  • Katherine8998
    Wollongong, Australia873 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Old City not to be missed
    It was something I had to do to walk the route that the Royal family walked accompanying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II. There are so many shops, restaurants, cafes and historical attractions. It is quite a steep incline so taking your time and a stop for a drink along the way is a must. The route is from the Palace of Holyrood to Edinburgh Castle. .
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 19, 2023
  • Dave C
    Illinois1,672 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Like Being in a Movie Set
    Historic area that makes you feel like you aren't in a city - but inside a movie set- except it is real. I booked a hotel here and expected a normal city street. Boy, was I wrong! My wife and I spent over 4 hours just exploring and taking in the shops and architecture.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 4, 2023
  • PaLuv2travel
    Lancaster, Pennsylvania169 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definitely do it!
    The Royal Mile is so well known and is not to be missed. We didn't expect to enjoy it as much as we did. There is history along the mile - including St. Giles Cathedral and the house where John Knox died. Some honky tonk shops but also some very nice ones. Lots of cafes and restaurants to catch lunch and/or dinner.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 16, 2023
  • helenbbyrne
    London, United Kingdom102 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the mile long walk!
    Worth the walk up the Mile, loads of history, tourist spots and shops, restaurants and bars but very busy - not a place for a ‘relaxing walk’. However, people probably don’t go there for that!!! From Holyrood Palace, past the Scottish Parliament buildings, past St Giles to Edinburgh Castle. A visit to the pub @FinnegansWake, just off the Royal Mile, along the way
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 21, 2023
  • Kelly Cathcart
    Valparaiso, Indiana1,187 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great tourist shopping
    Most of the sites are just off or on this road. There are lots of shops selling Scotland souvenirs. We encountered bagpipers, street performers and even birds of prey. It is very crowed and parts have car traffic. Go and enjoy being a tourist for a bit.
    Visited January 2023
    Written July 23, 2023
  • iamfullofbliss
    Windsor, Canada136 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth visiting for the old buildings and the history
    Lots to do and see. Recommend a double decker bus tour like the Ghost one. We walked everywhere as we had no car. Very expensive restaurants but they do have pizza places and excellent fish and chips. Lots of Harry Potter merchandise stores. Not crowded. Wear comfortable shoes as it gets slippery
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 30, 2023
  • Jay B
    Fairhope, Alabama1,031 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Royal and Fun!
    We toured the Royal Mile on our own during an afternoon in Edinburgh and so enjoyed it! The Mile features so much diversity, with something for everyone. I'd suggest starting at the "top" of the Mile at the castle. The castle foreground is huge and actually is the site of several festivals during each year, including the massive International Festival in August. Traveling down from there, you will pass numerous restaurants, bars, shops, and attractions. Take a gamble and walk through some of the arches that lead to incredibly quiet areas just off the Mile. You will discover some really cool places if you do. Who knows, you might get lucky like we did and see a Scottish parade. What fun that was! This is a must do while in Edinburgh.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 30, 2023
  • M H
    41 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very friendly and helpful stuff
    Very good service.. As I´m no particular whiskey drinker I was a bit overburdened with all the different ones. Very friendly and helpful stuff, they advised me really good! They are very knowledgeable, too. A good friend of mine asked me to bring back a bottle of Scotch Single Malt for her husband. Mission accompleshed! I even found a whiskey that I bought for myself there! Will be back!
    Visited July 2023
    Written August 2, 2023
  • DunelmArts
    Aberdeen, United Kingdom1,158 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The heart of tourist Edinburgh
    Based in the Old Town the Royal Mile is a ‘Scots mile’ long, connecting two royal residences (the Castle and the palace of Holyrood House). It is home to parliaments old and new, law courts, a cathedral and churches, and a range of visitor attractions, walking tours, shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs. Consequently, it gets very busy with tourists, especially in the summer. Well worth a look, but be prepared for crowds!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Ian L
    Perth, Australia755 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Royal Mile gets a commoners smile!
    Lots to just gawk at, not counting the fellow tourists. Interesting and essential part of a visit to Edinburgh. Many sights are along, alongside or underneath the Mile as well. Over touristy shops and cafes all along it, but if you’re a tourist in search of a local trinket, why not! And venturing up and down some of the little cobblestone alleyways is really interesting.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 10, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles25,923 reviews
Excellent
15,373
Very good
7,710
Average
2,350
Poor
373
Terrible
118

Quincy C
Bay of Fundy & Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Canada3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Whien my father studied music in Edinburgh, I was born. Soon, life would carry me to Canada. It would be 66 years until I would see Edinburgh as an adult.

What did I expect to find beside the hospital where I was born and my father's music School? ( Success in both areas.) I found gorgeous stone architecture, green grass, and January temperatures of 47 F at 56 degrees N! There was a wonderful Museum of Childhood, and a fantastic National Mueseum of Scotkand ( at a price every Scotsman can support...free.) The Castle was exopensive but magnificent and as was the Museum of of the military, and the wonderful views of Edinburgh were very satisfying.

Our accomodations at the Fraser Suites was lovely, with the attached restaurant with great breakfasts and suppers were much enjoyed. It was just a few feet off the Royal Mile.

The downside? The Royal Mile is filled with shops all selling the same merchandise right diwn to the same price. . The presence of homeless was a sad reminder that Scotland suffers from a high level of drug/gambling/alcohol abuse according to a young social worker I sat next to on our flight from London to Edinburgh. One humourous note a mute beggar repeatedly approached tourists indicating he needed donations in order to eat. I spotted him in an unguarded moment on a side street having a lovely chat woth a friend on a cell phone. Ahem.

St Giles Cathedral, of Scottish Presbyterian Reformer fame John Knox ( " Give me Scotland ere I die" was conducting tours at a cost. As we happened to arrive at noon we were able to be part of a short service...at no cost. ( Being a retired Canadian Pastor I have a hard time with churches charging admission!) The alley's off the ridge of the Royal Mile, called " closes" are well worth wandering. Given our short stay ee never visited other attractions.

It was worth going home, a closing of a chapter. A lovely city alive with pipe music. (Yes, as a wayward son I took up the pipes a number of years ago and have endured all the Pipe Jokes. " A gentleman is one who knows how to plays the Pipes...but doesn't." )

Old Edinburgh is beautiful and honest, well worth seeing and easy to walk. I cannot comment on how crowded the streets would be in the summer, but with fewer tourists the experience was much the richer for one from rural Canada.)
Written February 18, 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.

WonderfulWorld
Billings, MT35 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
We weren’t into shopping so went into only a couple stores. The fun was people watching and watching fearless workmen working on scaffolding high above the street. There was a store’s with beautiful china teapots and teacups. There was a store with a whole cooked hog in the window. We went in a store that sold authentic kilts. The shopkeepers were very kind to let us look around even though we weren’t buying anything. We really enjoyed the architecture, the doorways, the “closes” (narrow little openings between buildings). We could have seen everything from the Hop On Hop Off bus only. We’re glad we spent about 4 hours walking around getting a sense of life in the city.
Written January 14, 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.

Happybuttired1
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Family
Love the Royal Mile, so many interesting shops and restaurants. Love the people entertaining on the street with bag pipes, get you photo taken with an owl, ect... And the view at the castle is outstanding without having to pay to get into the castle which I don't recommend. When walking down the mile keep your eyes open for the little alleys between the shops which gives you a fantastic feel of Old Edinburgh. I'm Scottish from Glasgow and this still gets me everytime.
I love reading the intriguing menus outside of the restaurants but would only book for a special occasion as they are expensive. If your here for an experience though I would recommend giving one a go.
Written September 30, 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.

Rodger D
Biddulph, UK197 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
Start at either end of the Royal Mile,perhaps going down one side and up the other; and visit the tourist shops selling all manner of tartans and wool wear. Take some time exploring the alleyways on either side of the route. Before purchasing a bottle of the amber liquid, inspect the whisky shops to get the best bargain.It must be a malt that you go for! A visit to the Cathedral is well worth it. If you are lucky stop and admire a piper as he or she plays for the tourists, and please leave a token of your appreciation!.At the bottom of the mile is Holyrood House, which itself is worth a visit and of course the Seat of the Scottish Parliament.
Written October 9, 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.

Si'
Leicester, UK911 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
I took a walk down the Royal Mile on a cold and very rainy January day as i just arrived in Edinburgh via Waverly train station. Obviously, different people like different things and what some see as nice, some see as not so.
I walked up and down the Royal Mile, and i couldn't see what all the fuss/hype was/is about as its nothing more than a long stretch of road that consists of Pubs, an abundance of Tourist Gift Shops and Old Buildings.
Don't get me wrong, if you like your architecture, then the Royal Mile is a great location for you to get your camera out.
From what i read prior to going to Edinburgh, i was intrigued in visiting the Royal Mile, but now i am a tad disappointed.
Written January 22, 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.

Reta H
Laguna Beach, CA12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
Our hotel was on Jeffrey, just off the Royal Mile, so we walked up and down this incredible street every day and never got bored. Many alleys leading off this main thoroughfare with interesting shops, and restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One shop had all different fabrics, wearable items (I purchased a beautiful pin), and knowledge of all the clan names. We gave our family names and the owners pulled out a book and told us all about the history. There's the Writer's Museum, focusing on the big Three (Scott, Burns, and Stevenson), but other Scottish writers also. Edinburgh Castle is on one end of the street and Hollyrood Palace (spent most of the day here) is on the other end. Princes Street is another colorful street, just one street over, and there are lovely parks and gardens and monuments all inbetween. Loved this area and can't wait to go back!
Reta H., Laguna Beach, CA USA
Written April 15, 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.

alisonsX5407TB
42 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
The Royal Mile is a very touristy area of Edinburgh but that can be fun if you want to buy Scottish gifts. It is also worth visiting Canongate Kirk (on the left as you walk down in the direction of Holyrood Palace) it is the church where Zara, the Queen's granddaughter married Mike Tindall and has an unusual interior for a church with prettily painted blue seats in a light filled room. To the left and right of the front entrance you can see cherry blossom trees originally planted by the Queen and Prince Philip in the 1950s. Entry is free although its nice to make a donation and volunteer staff are on hand if you have any questions. I would also recommend stopping for a light lunch at the cafe in the Parliament building on the right as you go down to Holyrood Palace. You wont pay a fortune here, everything was very reasonably priced and very pleasant, uncrowded and clean. The parliament building is free to enter but you will need to go through a security check. I would have liked to have seen more of the Parliament, it is often fully open to the public, but wasnt on the day we visited so we could only view the reception and a few meeting rooms in addition to the cafe.
Written July 31, 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.

Roberta C
Boston, MA27 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
This popular tourist attraction is full of old buildings that are interesting to look at. However, the street is lined with shops that cater to tourists, selling overpriced Scottish scarves, sweaters, and knickknacks. And it's quite a steep hill. Despite the hill and the shops, it's well worth the visit.
Written May 13, 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.

Lydia Walters
Llanelli, UK4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Couples
Historical and picturesque area of characterful old buildings built on a ridge of rock leading up to the castle, with equally characterful and historical buildings/streets all around as well. The streets are cobbled and are higgedly piggedly as the old town has been built on different levels, be prepared for a lot of walking and wear comfortable shoes if you visit this part of Edinburgh, also, it is very hilly here with steep streets, if you have heart or lung conditions you may need frequent rest stops along the way. The Royal Mile and most of Old Town is very touristy in nature and of course has an abundance of touristy shops, pubs and restaurants. To get some knowledge of the history of the place I would recommend booking a guided walking tour of the area and also a trip on one of the hop on hop off tour buses of the city.
Written September 7, 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.

Climber731732
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
In Canada churches are routinely torn down, where in the case of St. Giles, it has been around since 1400s.
Attended two consecutive Sunday 11:30 am services, and imagine after hearing the organ and choir (as well as message) that we had a little taste of heaven.
It REALLY is spectacular!
Written January 31, 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.

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Royal Mile - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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