Updated: May 21, 2015

Touring The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh:

On my recent trip to Edinburgh, Scotland I was able to take a tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The tour took about 1 hour as you can visit the State Apartments, historic rooms and ancient Abbey church. The gardens are beautiful, but I chose to look at them from afar and did not take a walk through them. The Royal Mile in Edinburgh has the Palace on one end and the Edinburgh Castle on the other. Arthur's Seat is the backdrop to the Palace and Holyrood Park is just a short walk away. Edinburgh is a fairly quiet city in the Old Town section, although the Scottish Parliament is right across the street from the Palace so you will see government employees coming and going throughout the day. The Palace is used by both the Queen of England and other Royal Family members. The Queen spends the summer months living in Holyrood Palace so hours can be limited during that time.


Perhaps the most famous resident of the Holyrood Palace was Mary, Queen of Scots. She lived a life full of drama and was married at Holyroodhouse. However, she was present at the killing of her secretary Rizzio - Mary's husband Lord Darnley was the one who killed him. During your tour you will be able to stand right where this terrible murder took place. The baroque palace is beautiful from the front courtyard as you enter the main gates - be sure to pick up a FREE audio guide at this point so you can follow the tour and get the most out of it. Each stop on the tour only takes a few minutes and historically you will get details on life at the Palace and who has resided here. There is an expert guided private tour of Holyroodhouse if you want for an additional fee. The exclusive guided tour takes place after the Palace has close to the public in the afternoon. The plasterwork ceilings in the State Apartments and the Great Gallery room are 2 things that you don't want to miss on the tour. Other highlights of the visit include seeing the Darnley Jewel and the Abbey church which is falling apart but still an architectural gem. It's a great place to tour on a rainy day as 90% of it is indoors or at least under cover. Edinburgh is a fun city to be a tourist in as you can practically walk everywhere and I would definitely recommend that you include a tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in your itinerary. The address of Holyroodhouse is Palace of Holyroodhouse, Canongate, The Royal Mile, EH8 8DX. The official website for the Palace can be found HERE

Location and Map:

I stayed at the Holyrood apartHotel which is just up the block from the Palace so I walked here. You can take the Bus # 35 or #36 which will take you to Holyrood Palace or jump on the open top tour buses which have this as a main stop. I don't advise it, but you can drive to the Palace and use the car park which is alongside the Palace. You can see on the Palace of Holyroodhouse map down below the exact location in the city and it's really easy to find. Waverley train station is about a 15 minute walk from the Palace.

Admission Prices and Ticket Information:

The hours of operation vary by season and depending on if the Royal Family is staying here. You can find the latest schedule of the Opening House Here. Most of the year the Palace opens at 9:30AM and closes by late afternoon. Check the hours before you go. Admission prices are reasonable - $10 GBP for an adult and slightly cheaper for a student or senior. Kids under 5 get in for FREE. You can book your ticket purchase in advance by going on the main website for the Palace or you can call them via telephone at (+44) (0)131 556 5100. I bought my ticket the day of my tour and there were literally no lines, we went right in. The audio tour is included with your ticket price and you can pick it up as you enter the main courtyard. I would advise visting first thing in the morning when crowds seem to be lighter.