Palace of Holyroodhouse

#6 in Best Things To Do in Edinburgh
Palace of Holyroodhouse picture
Ryan Finn/Flickr

Key Info

Holyrood Road

Details

Castles/Palaces Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.5

scorecard

  • 4.5Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

If you're one for the royals, a stop at the Palace of Holyroodhouse is a must. The palace is the official Scottish residence of the queen and has housed many other notable royal figures throughout history, including King George V, Charles I and Mary, Queen of Scots. When the current queen isn't home (she tends to visit during Holyrood Week, which takes place from the end of June to early July), visitors are welcome to tour parts of the property. Visitors are able to explore Mary, Queen of Scots' Chambers and the State Apartments, which include the Throne Room, the area where new knights are decided, the Morning Drawing Room, where the queen entertains private audiences and the Great Gallery, which houses portraits of all the kings of Scotland. During the summer months, travelers also have the opportunity to tour The Abbey by wardens dressed in ancient hunting garb.

Recent travelers enjoyed their time exploring the Palace of Holyroodhouse and were delighted by how little time they had to spend touring the property (some reported less than two hours). Visitors particularly loved the on-site gardens and enjoyed the view of Arthur's Seat from the palace. Some strongly recommended utilizing the audio guide or taking a guided tour, as it helped the great history of the attraction come alive. Several of Edinburgh's top tours make stops at the Palace of Holyroohouse.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. From November 1 to March 25 and extended to 6 p.m. from March 26 to October 31. Admission costs 12 pounds for adults (about $17) and 7.20 pounds (about $10.50) for children 17 and younger. All admission prices include an audio tour. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is located at the end of the Royal Mile, a little more than a mile east of Edinburgh Castle. For more information, visit the property's website

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Calton Hill

If you're like the writer Robert Louis Stevenson, you might enjoy the view from Calton Hill; this spot was a favorite of his. One of the most popular vantage points for photo ops (and included in the city's UNESCO World Heritage site distinction), Calton Hill affords a majestic panorama of the city below – so don't forget to bring your camera, or make sure your phone is charged. Located east of New Town, Calton Hill is one of the country's first public parks, founded in 1724. Today, the hill supports several iconic buildings and monuments, so much so that it has been nicknamed the Athens of the North. Some of these structures include the Burns Monument, erected in honor of Scottish writer Robert Burns, the Nelson Monument, designed by Robert Burns, and the National Monument, modeled after the Parthenon but given the name "Edinburgh's Disgrace" for never having been completed. 

Recent travelers loved Calton Hill for its beautiful views, peaceful surroundings and relatively easy hike to the top. With Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh Castle and the sea in sight, some visitors say the best time to go is during sunset or sunrise. Calton Hill is less than a mile from the Royal Mile and less than a half-mile from Edinburgh Waverly train station.

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