Palace of Holyroodhouse
Palace of Holyroodhouse
4.5
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
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About
The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen. Open throughout the year, the Palace of Holyroodhouse stands at the end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Explore the Palace's close associations with some of Scotland’s most well-known historic figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and learn how today it is used by The Queen when carrying out official engagements in Scotland.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Southside & Holyrood
Many of Edinburgh’s student hangouts gather around university buildings in Southside, the sort of neighborhood that supports a long string of second-hand shops and eateries serving ethnic food for just a few pounds. In August the student population is replaced by vast numbers of boisterous visitors here for the Fringe, Edinburgh’s world-class comedy and arts festival which headquarters itself here. Flanking Southside are two great parks. The Meadows is a vast flat and sporty space where football, rugby, tennis, cricket, croquet, and golf often all take place side by side. Kids in its big playgrounds add to the joyful noise. Far bigger and much wilder, Holyrood Park extends to the east and provides a real hike up Arthur’s Seat, but the district is best known as the site of Scotland’s Parliament and its premier Royal Palace—and their steady stream of sightseers.
See what other travelers are saying
  • Steven L
    Coleraine, United Kingdom148 contributions
    Beautiful palace with a rich interesting history
    I actually really enjoyed visiting here. Beautiful palace full of history. To be able to go around by yourself listening to the audio guide and exploring at your own pace was so much better than having to follow a tour guide. It is expensive to get in but if your a fan of history and listening to stories then it’s well worth it
    Traveled solo
    Written December 6, 2022
  • Travelleronwheels
    United Kingdom151 contributions
    Really interesting visit
    I really enjoyed my visit to the Palace. The entrance fee included an informative taped guide which you could play at your own pace as you followed the route through the building and there is a lot to see here. Special provision has been made for wheelchair users to ensure they can see well over 90% of the tour. It would be impossible to enable access to one small area without drastically altering the fabric of the building which I, certainly, would hate to see them do. There is also an art display in the adjacent Queens House and the gardens and abbey ruins would be worth a visit in their own right.
    Written October 16, 2022
  • auldreekie87
    Clackmannanshire, United Kingdom462 contributions
    Finally visited somewhere on my doorstep!
    Having lived nearby for nearly 20 years we finally decided to visit, during the hectic fringe period no less! Although the Edinburgh streets were busy, inside the Palace it was fine, not too crowded at all. We took the combined Palace and Queen’s Gallery option, and the whole visit was wonderful. The audio guide was interesting, and the hand held devices added more detail too. There was far more to see than I had expected, so although the entry fee seems expensive, I feel it is value for money. Staff were friendly and informative. I believe the paintings on display inside the Queen’s Gallery change from time to time, to allow different works from the Royal Collection to be seen. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing these fine works up close. We had lunch in the on-site café, and the prices were thankfully not exorbitantly high.
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 24, 2022
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
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Caseyestrella
New York City, NY80 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
It was very easy to buy tickets in advance on the website. There was no timed entry, so we went first thing in the morning and it was not crowded. The tour guide headset comes with the admission and you pick it up right as you walk in. Since everyone gets one there is no need for big groups to be clomping around getting in the way. Everyone is on their own time and because of the head sets it is very quiet and pleasant. The information on the tour is very thorough and interesting. There are fun additions like having an event at the Palace or preparing a meal by the chef. You can stay as long or go as quick as you like. I have to say I enjoyed this visit much more than Versailles several years ago. This space is much better managed as far as crowds go. After the Palace, the end of the tour comes to the lovely garden. There is very cute gift shop at the end. Lots of adorable stuffed corgi toys. All the staff at the Palace were pleasant and helpful. Highly recommend.
Written June 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stephanie O
Tallahassee, FL43 contributions
Jul 2022
Holyroodhouse is a beautiful, functioning castle. It is full of history (think Mary Queen of Scots). It takes about an hour to go through while listening to the audio tour. We paid for the optional gallery pass, and all total spent about 1.5 hours inside. The grounds are beautiful, but it was pouring rain, so we weren't able to enjoy the gardens. The Abbey was closed for repairs.
Written August 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Travel Man
Crewe, UK354 contributions
Jun 2021 • Solo
If you want to the Queens gallery make sure you purchase a joint ticket as you save a few pounds. Easy assess, with online ticket and timed entry, collect audioguide and start tour. Guide leads you through the Palace and offers lots of information about exhibits and the rooms on view. As this is still regularly used by the Royal family clearly several parts are private and out of bounds, but still plenty to see ending up with the abbey ruins and gardens.
Written June 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ajm549
Aberdeen, UK215 contributions
Apr 2022
The exhibition of the Queens Masterpieces at the Queens Gallery next door to the Palace of Holyrood is a 'must see' for any art lover. A small selection of pictures intended to show the range of paintings in the Queens collection is available to see in a gallery that is easy to access, allows close study of the pictures and presents the pictures in a well lit environment. It may only take 30 minutes to give the pictures a good study but it is £8.50 well spent and, if you get your ticket validated, you can use it again any time in the next year. You may never get to see these gems again.
Written April 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Wayne Cook
UK61 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
Having not pre booked tickets we were able to buy some to get instant admission and so glad we did.

On arrival you are offered a headset and mini screen for a self guided tour, which was full of interesting history.

Working your way through the Palace you are shown all of the inner working of the grand state rooms and galleries. The Great Gallery was brilliant as you were shown all of the paintings and the repairs carried out after they were damaged by swords during an invasion during one of the many wars.

There are many great stories told including murders and treachery.

Tickets cost 16.50 for a tour of the Palace which took around 2 hours but once bought can be used repeatedly for 12 months for free entry.

If you like a bit of history and architecture it's definitely worth a visit
Written July 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kristin Sabo
Bergen, Norway36 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
Recommend going early in the morning to avoid long queues.
You get the option of a guided tour with headphones and a tablet that plays videos and tells/shows the story of each room. (Recommend getting a set of these, we didn’t use it for every room but for what we were interested in)
Some queues inside due to covid and capacity, but we didn’t wait longer than maximum 5 minutes so we’re okay with that.
The grounds outside and ruins of the old church is beautiful!

The cafe doesn’t offer much food, and is rather pricey. Same goes for the gift shop.

All in all we had a lovely time and would go back to learn more.
Written July 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

A Midlife Adventure
Dursley, UK911 contributions
Jul 2021
We bought our ticket in advance booking a date and early entry at 9.30. Despite it being the first tour of the day there were a few people already in the queue for entry at 9.15 when we arrived. The whole process from entry to visiting the rooms and gardens was managed by a group of friendly, professional and knowledgeable staff.

Inside Holyrood, armed with an audio tour, you can get easily absorbed in the history of this house. To stand in a room where Mary Queen of Scots actually walked, slept and was dragged nearly to her death is just astonishing if you take the time to feel the history and not just see it. We were really impressed with how much we got to see.
The gardens are also well laid out and very in keeping with their Scottish surroundings.

We visited the shop where social distancing was uppermost and there were a wide variety of items to select from.
We also took a short break at the cafe for coffee and cake sitting outdoors on the comfortable chairs with a table.

Having visited a few of the Queen's residences now this is probably our favourite.
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael
Belfast, UK52 contributions
Jan 2020
Really enjoyed our trip to the Palace of Holyrood House. You are provided with an audio guide as part of the entry fee and it is very useful and informative. The Palace itself is stunning, from the moment you enter the courtyard to the moment you leave. It was fascinating to see all the rooms and to have the history of the building and rooms explained. There is no time limit to your visit and it was lovely to be able to walk around at our own pace and take our time at some of the more interesting exhibits and rooms. I would recommend you set aside 2 - 3 hours to allow yourself plenty of time to take everything in, however the tour could be completed in about 1.5 hours. An essential venue to visit when in Edinburgh.
Written January 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John D
Darwen, UK94 contributions
Sep 2020
The palace is not luxurious, but historically it is fascinating.
The price of admission includes an audio/video guide which is essential for getting the most out of the visit. Interesting to see how the Royals make use of the Palace. It seems they only visit in July when it is used to throw a garden party for the great and the good. Princess Anne seems to throw a party for the University there. The Queens children all make a contribution to the video guide (except, notably, Prince Andrew!). Enjoyed being reminded of Mary Queen of Scots and the murder of her husband Lord Darnley.
Written September 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alice R
Northallerton, UK40 contributions
Nov 2022 • Couples
Really enjoyed my visit. The multimedia guide was excellent and gave you a good overview of the history as well as engaging you with the works or art and objects on display too.

Definitely set aside a few hours to look around, if you enjoy visiting historic houses/museums as there is a lot to explore.
Written December 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

Frequently Asked Questions about Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace of Holyroodhouse is open:
  • Thu - Mon 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
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