Palace of Holyroodhouse

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

Key Info

Holyrood Road


Castles/Palaces Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
  • 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.

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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More Best Things To Do in Edinburgh

Arthur's Seat
Calton Hill
Time to Spend
1 of 9
#1 Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat, located in the verdant Holyrood Park, affords one of the best views of the city. Standing 800 feet above sea level, Arthur's Seat is the highest point in the park, providing panoramic views of the sea and nearby sites, including attractions like Edinburgh Castle and the Scott Monument. If you're wondering how Arthur's Seat got its name, chances are you may never get a clear answer. Legend has it that it was the site for Camelot while others claim William Maitland, a Scottish politician, believed the name was derived from Ard-na-Said, a Gallic phrase meaning "height of narrows." The attraction was also a former volcano. Trails are accessible off of Queen's Drive near Holyroodhouse Palace, which is located at the base of Arthur's Seat. 

Some recent travelers mention the hike was a bit more strenuous than they thought it would be. Visitors not prone to regular walking might find it difficult. Keep in mind that the journey to Arthur's Seat is all uphill, so make sure to wear comfortable walking or hiking shoes and bring water. Once you reach the top, many travelers say you'll find the 360-degree views worth any sweat you might've worked up. Arthur's Seat is free to access.

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