Tours & activities in Edinburgh

Free Tour of Edinburgh

The original gratuity-based FREE walking tour of Edinburgh's most visited attractions with a local guide

ABOUT THE Free Tour of Edinburgh

This 2.5-hour gratuity-based FREE Edinburgh walking tour will show you all the top attractions in the city. Local experts will take you to must-see spots such as the iconic Royal Mile, the famous Greyfriar's Kirkyard (home of Greyfriar's Bobby), and the charming Grassmarket. Explore the historic Edinburgh streets with the help of an expert local guide.


Your gratuity-based FREE city tour of Edinburgh meets daily outside Frankie and Benny's restaurant at 130 High Street. Join us on this introduction to Edinburgh, a great way to orientate yourself in the city and at a price to suit everybody’s budget.


A city of madmen...

The stories of Edinburgh are almost too amazing to be true, but as you join this entertaining walking tour with an expert local guide, you will discover tales that you simply couldn't make up. Hear the stories of the English kings and how the Edinburgh locals showed what they thought of them, discover the real-life Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde, and learn why leaving the pub at closing time in old Edinburgh was a particularly dangerous undertaking. These local tour guides bring Edinburgh's history to life as they take you to major landmarks in Edinburgh's Old Town like St Gile's Cathedral, the Scottish Writer's Museum, and the Grassmarket, where public executions didn't always go according to plan.

...and a city of geniuses

Of course though, Edinburgh's fascinating history is not just made up of madmen. Discover heroic men and women like William Wallace and the Stone of Destiny, learn about Scottish literary greats at the Scottish Writers' Museum (we promise you can name more of them than you think!), and even discover a sweet local dog who redefined the word loyalty at Greyfriar's Kirkyard.

Gratuity-based FREE Tour concept

The gratuities-based model of the gratuity-based FREE Tour allows guests to support and reward only the highest quality tours, and to ensure that the tour fits within their expectations, and within their budget.

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Your gratuity-based Free Tour of Edinburgh starts in front of Frankie & Benny's on 130 High Street by Tron Kirk

  • Stroll up the Royal Mile, visiting St Gile’s Cathedral and other major landmarks
  • Meet Scottish greats like William Wallace
  • Visit the pub (and history!) filled Grassmarket
  • Help to contribute to the local community at your coffee break at the Grassmarket Project
  • See the National Museum of Scotland


10:00 AM11:00 AM12:00 PM1:00 PM2:00 PM
10:00 AM11:00 AM1:00 PM2:00 PM
11:00 AM
Inclusions & exclusions
What’s included
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • A break partway through the tour at a local charity cafe
What’s not included
  • Gratuities for the guide (optional)
  • Food and drink at the break
Additional Information
  • The independent guides who employ us to market their tours have your best interests in mind; while the tour usually includes the sites & stories mentioned and lasts about 2.5 hours, your tour may vary depending on what your guide thinks is best for your group
  • All minors must be accompanied by an adult in order to join the tour
  • Depending on the route, the tour may finish by the National Museum of Scotland, by Greyfriars Kirkyard or by The Writers' Museum
  • Due to the old streets and uneven terrain, accessing parts of Edinburgh by wheelchair can sometimes be challenging. The Free Tour is wheelchair accessible when accompanied by a non-disabled participant
The tour starts in front of Frankie & Benny's, 130 High Street  Open in Google Maps
edinburgh walking tours
Royal Mile
edinburgh walking tours
St Gile’s Cathedral
edinburgh walking tours
edinburgh walking tours
National Museum of Scotland
edinburgh dark side tour
Greyfriar's Kirkyard
The Writers' Museum
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End start Tour usually ends here
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Customer reviews

What is a gratuity-based Free Tour?


The gratuity-based Free Tour is the best introduction to Edinburgh! A general overview tour including many of the highlights of the city, the Free Tour usually lasts around 2.5 hours and is provided by a local freelance guide in partnership with SANDEMANs NEW Europe, so tour content can vary depending on your guide’s particular area of interest and expertise.

The gratuity-based Free Tour is a walking tour with no need for public transport and is designed for independent travellers, not groups. You can book your spot in advance online or simply show up at the start point on the day. There is no payment necessary at the start of the tour but you are welcome to tip your guide at the end!

We believe in supporting local communities and are committed to giving a voice to some of Edinburgh's best local freelance tour guides, who passionately share the city's history and culture with their own unique and always-entertaining style. They'll never pressure you to tip; we believe that, if money is given, it should be voluntary and in direct proportion to the quality of the tour and the budget of the traveller.

Why join the SANDEMANs FREE Tour?

  • Many major landmarks covered
  • Central meeting points
  • Guaranteed to fit within your budget
  • High quality guides, incentivized to perform every time!
  • Gratuity-based tours running every day


See all our tours

Participation in tours promoted by SANDEMANs NEW Europe is strictly on a voluntary basis. Neither SANDEMANs NEW Europe, nor the self-employed freelance guides who are the providers of the tours promoted by SANDEMANs NEW Europe, will be held responsible in any way for injuries to body or property incurred during tours. The tour guides reserve the right to deny participation in any tour, to any person, for any reason. Thank you for your understanding.

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