Despite the compactness of the city centre, open-top bus tours are big business, with several companies taking slightly varying routes around the main sights. All cost much the same, depart from Waverley Bridge and allow you to get on and off at leisure. There are also several walking tours, many of which depart from the central section of the Royal Mile near the High Kirk of St Giles; ghost tours and specialist tours are also available. Advance booking is recommended for all tours, and for the specialist tours in particular.

City of the Dead Graveyard Tour

Spine-tingling night-time tours around the Old Town.

Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour

Good specialist tour that mixes a pub crawl with extracts from local authors acted out along the way.

Geowalks

Guided walks up Arthur’s Seat in the company of a qualified geologist.

MacTours

The most engaging bus tours, using a fleet of vintage buses.

Mercat Tours

Reliable operator for walking tours and Old Town ghost tours.

Rebustours

Trace the footsteps of Inspector Rebus, hero of Ian Rankin’s bestselling detective novels.

Trainspotting

A tour that takes you to places made famous from Irvine Welsh’s novels.

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