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“Beautiful, but austere”

St Giles' Cathedral
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$21.56*
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Terror Walking Tour in Edinburgh
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$41.77*
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Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
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$67.38*
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Private Edinburgh Sightseeing and History Tour
Ranked #24 of 418 things to do in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: St Giles’ Cathedral is the historic City Church of Edinburgh. With its famed crown spire it stands on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland’s chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen). Please do not book any tours through TripAdvisor, as they are not endorsed by the cathedral.
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Very impressive in its simple beauty. We went late in the day and I don't know if they have guided tours or not, we just walked around. There is very little signage other that the placards requiring you to pay a fee is you wish to take pictures. We would have loved an audio tour.
The windows are fantastic and overall I would recommend a visit.

Thank WileyPost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,006 - 3,010 of 4,830 reviews

Reviewed March 22, 2013

The interior is adorned with immaculate pieces of gold or what have you but still in its simple form it was great. I love the stained glass windows and the architecture. I recommend taking the time to stop by and walk inside.

Thank Rafaelcab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

A beautiful church, well worth a trip into to see the amazing design, beautiful stain glassed windows and interesting little rooms off to the side.

However, some things did leave a sour taste in my mouth. They charge you £2 to take photos and whilst I understand this money goes towards up keep, I find it odd they do this and have post cards for sale inside the church as well. I saw a few people being "stalked" by attendants and as soon as they raised their cameras there was a "you need to buy a sticker if you are taking photos" comments.

Whilst I do understand why this is done, I think asking for a donation would be much nicer, as it is it just feels like St-Giles is cashing in on the tourists.

Thank Willrobb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013 via mobile

So beautiful inside and out. Dont walk by, go in, the sculpting and architecture is fab. Kids are hard to please sometimes, my teo boys loved it. They are 8&9 so getting better to do this kind of thing.

Thank j0j0expl0rer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

A historic site like this while a special holy place deserves more readily available information both on site and on the web. There is so much of Scotland's past associated with St Giles but you can walk through the door, round the interior and leave being none the wiser which is very sad. There also seems to be very little attempt to help foreign visitors learn about the important features. We should be proud of our history and heritage, not hiding it in dark corners. Be prepared to be disappointed.

Thank Ewingston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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