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Palace of Holyroodhouse
Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Open daily
Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8DX

The Basics

For anyone hoping to get a taste of the royal experience in Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is an essential stop. Visitors often glimpse the palace during walking tours of Edinburgh’s UNESCO-listed Old Town, as well as on hop-on, hop-off bus tours. Some city tours include admission to the palace so travelers can explore the state apartments and Mary's Bedchamber with the aid of an audio guide. Palace ticket holders can join guided tours of the Holyrood Abbey ruins, which take place several times daily, or buy combination tickets to the palace and the onsite Queen’s Gallery, which hosts temporary art exhibits from the royal collection.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Edinburgh

star-5
Historical Royal Walking Tour of Edinburgh
, Aug 2018
Small Group Edinburgh Royal History Walking Tour with Optional Palace Entry
Excellent tour. We enjoyed Sue and she was very informative. Highly recommend this tour. We learned so much.
star-5
Royal History Walking Tour - 5 Sep 2018
cdvale99, Sep 2018
Small Group Edinburgh Royal History Walking Tour with Optional Palace Entry
Simon was an outstanding guide. As I have hearing problems, I found his speaking to be interesting, and extremely clear and understandable - most guides do not come close to that.
star-5
Our tour guide was very...
Heather E, Aug 2017
Small Group Edinburgh Royal History Walking Tour with Optional Palace Entry
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the history of Edinburgh. She took us to many historical places and explained what took place there. The entrance to Holyrood House was skip the line. Would highly recommend both tours.
star-4
Good guide, interesting. Thought the...
Elizabeth M, Jul 2016
Small Group Edinburgh Royal History Walking Tour with Optional Palace Entry
Good guide, interesting. Thought the walk up to the castle was going to do me in! So steep, cobblestone streets and too fast a pace for me (76 years of age with a wee bit of lung problem). You Edinborough folks must remember, some people don't walk a lot and live in flat places --Texas. E.Moore

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Audio tours are included with palace admission and are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Mandarin, and Portuguese.

  • Parts of the palace are wheelchair accessible. Mary, Queen of Scots’ Chambers, however, are not, and can only be accessed via a steep, spiral staircase.

  • While there is a cafe onsite, food and drink are not allowed elsewhere in the palace.

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How to Get There

To get to the palace, walk for 15 minutes from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. Bus routes 35 and 6 also stop near the palace.

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When to Get There

Although the palace is generally open year-round (November through March from 9:30am to 4:30pm and April through October from 9:30am to 6pm), it does close to the public during royal visits. Check ahead to find out when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is due in town. She usually stays here for Holyrood Week, or Royal Week as it’s known in Scotland, in late June and early July.

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Learn About the Troubled Life of Mary, Queen of Scots

Of all the royals who have lived at Holyrood Palace—among them Queen Victoria and King George V—none are as closely associated with the palace as Mary, the 17th-century Queen of Scots. Many of the most shocking episodes from her tumultuous reign took place here, including the murder of her Italian secretary, David Rizzio, by her second husband, Lord Darnley. Holyrood is also where Mary married her third husband, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, a suspect in the murder of her second husband.

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