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Royal Edinburgh Ticket: How to Save Money on Edinburgh’s Royal Attractions

Last updated: July 4, 2024 - Written by Jessica Norah 64 Comments

The Royal Edinburgh Ticket is a great way to save money when visiting the top royal attractions in Edinburgh Scotland! The ticket covers all three of our favorite royal sites in Edinburgh: the mighty and historic Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace (official Scottish residence of the royal family), and Royal Yacht Britannia (royal yacht used by the Royal Family from 1954 to 1997).

Not only are these the three most important royal attractions in Edinburgh, they are three of the most popular and visited attractions in the city. If you want to visit all three during your trip to Edinburgh, you can save up to 25% by using the Royal Edinburgh Ticket versus buying each entrance ticket separately. The ticket also includes unlimited hop-on hop-off bus transportation around the city for 48 hours!

We’ll tell you how to purchase and collect the pass, what it covers, how to calculate your cost savings, how to save on the Royal Edinburgh ticket, and tips on how to make the most of your pass based on our experiences.

Holyrood Palace Royal Edinburgh Ticket

Edinburgh is one of our favorite UK cities, and there is a lot to see here. We’ve lived here for over 5 years and we still discover new places to visit almost every time we visit! However, as a first time visitor, there are definitely some highlights that most visitors want to see and Laurence and I have both separately written articles about the top things to do in Edinburgh  (my post) and  top things to see in Edinburgh  (Laurence’s post).

The two lists cover some different places, but all three of the attractions covered by the Royal Edinburgh Ticket happen to appear in both of our lists as these are three of the most popular things for visitors to do in Edinburgh. The ticket can be a great money saver for those planning to visit all of these places and it also provides a convenient transportation option that allows you to get between the attractions.

But the ticket is not a great option for everyone and we’ll tell you about it below so you can make an informed decision!

Table of Contents:

What is the Royal Edinburgh Ticket? 

The Royal Edinburgh Ticket is a pass that includes free entrance and fast-tracked entry to three of Edinburgh’s most popular attractions: Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, and The Royal Yacht Britannia .

The ticket also includes unlimited hop-on hop-off bus tour services for 48 consecutive hours on three of Edinburgh’s sightseeing buses.

You can read more details about the Edinburgh pass here .

What attractions does the Royal Edinburgh Ticket include? 

The pass includes free entry into Edinburgh’s three most popular royal sites:

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is the most recognizable landmark in the city and dominates the city skyline from its place atop a volcanic peak. The castle is steeped in royal history, having served as the residence for many famous monarchs such as Mary, Queen of Scots.

The 800-year-old castle is home to the Honours of Scotland (the “Scottish Crown Jewels”), the 12th century St. Margaret’s Chapel, Mons Megs (one of the oldest surviving canons), and two museums: the Scottish National War Memorial and the National War Museum (entry to both are included).

Inside the castle you get to see a large collection of artifacts and learn information about the people who once lived in this mighty castle. Outside from the castle terrace, you have access to some amazing views over the city. A popular time to be on the terrace is for the 1:00 firing of the gun that takes place almost every day of the year to mark 1pm.

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the city, so it is a good idea to visit in the morning if you want to visit at a less crowded time of day.

NOTE: An audioguide is not included with entrance tickets, but an audioguide can be rented for a small fee for those wanting to have more information during their visit. The castle also offers short free guided tours at various times throughout the day to visitors and you can check times upon arrival at the castle.

top 21 things to do in Edinburgh Scotland

Holyrood Palace

Officially called the Palace of Holyroodhouse , it is often referred to as Holyrood Palace, and is the official residence for the British monarch in Scotland. Holyrood Palace has served as the principal residence of the monarchs of Scotland since the 16th century. The royal history here includes everyone from Mary Queen of Scots to Queen Elizabeth II.

During the self-guided audiotour visit, you get to see both the historic rooms (including those once occupied by Mary Queen of Scots) and the contemporary state rooms still used by the royal family for events. In addition to the Royal Apartments and State Apartments of Holyrood Palace, visitors can also visit the gardens, grounds, and the remains of the 12th century Augustinian Holyrood Abbey.

Photography is not allowed inside the palace but it is allowed in the grounds, gardens, and abbey. A helpful and informative audioguide is included with all visits which helps provide a lot of context to the palace visit.

NOTE #1 : Be sure to check the opening dates for the Palace of Holyroodhouse before your visit to schedule your visit accordingly. The palace is often closed at least one day a week, and also closes for royal visits and other functions.

NOTE #2: Entrance to The King’s Gallery (formerly The Queen’s Gallery) is not included in the Royal Edinburgh Ticket. However, visitors who wish to visit the King’s Gallery can buy a separate ticket. The King’s Gallery is located in a separate building (in front of the palace) and contains a rotating exhibition of art and historical artifacts from the Royal Collection. 

Holyrood Palace Royal Edinburgh Ticket

Royal Yacht Britannia

Officially known as Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia , this yacht was first commissioned just after Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne. The yacht was in service to the Queen and the royal family for over 40 years, from 1954 to 1997, and sailed over 1 million miles on hundreds of state visits and royal honeymoons. According to Wikipedia, Britannia is the 83rd royal sailing vessel owned by the British monarchy since King Charles II first vessel in 1660.

Today the Britannia is docked at the Port of Leith and is often voted as Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction by VisitScotland. Visitors to the yacht get to see the bedrooms of the royal family, the Bridge, the state dining room, crews quarters, and workspaces. Visitors can also have tea or lunch aboard the royal yacht at the Royal Deck Tea Room.

All visits include an informative audioguide to help guide your visit. Within walking distance are shopping and dining opportunities (including the Ocean Terminal shopping center) as well as the opportunity to explore the Leith district.

NOTE: The yacht is well outside central Edinburgh (in Leith) but can be reached by taking the Majestic Hop-on Hop-off bus service that is included for free as part of the 48 hour bus ticket with the Royal Edinburgh Ticket. It can also be reached by taking the public bus service.

Royal Yacht Britannia Royal Edinburgh Ticket

How does the Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Ticket work? 

The Royal Edinburgh Ticket includes 48 consecutive hours of unlimited travel on three of Edinburgh’s sightseeing bus tours . Your ticket is good for 48 hours from the first time you use it, and you can hop-on and off of the three buses as much as you want during that time frame.

Buses arrive at each designated stop every 10-30 minutes depending on the time of year and the route (you’ll be given a schedule with your tickets). Bus services run year-round and normally start between 8:30 and 10:00 (8:30am and 10:00am) and end between 16:00 and 18:00 (4:00pm and 6:00pm), depending on the time of year and specific bus service.

The specific buses (each are a different color) included are the Edinburgh Tour (green), City Sightseeing Tour (red), and Majestic Tour (blue) buses. You can use these hop-on hop-off buses to reach all three of the attractions on the Royal Edinburgh Ticket as well as many of the other main tourist sites in Edinburgh, including The National Museum of Scotland, Calton Hill, Royal Mile, New Town, Royal Botanic Gardens, and Leith cruise terminal.

All three sightseeing buses in Edinburgh are wheelchair and Class 2 mobility scooter accessible.

You should note that none of the bus tours include all 3 attractions, so you just need to be sure to catch the right bus depending on where you want to go but many share the same bus stop (e.g., all the tours start and end at Waterloo Place and all three stop along the Royal Mile and near the Palace of Holyrood so you can connect to any of the buses from these two places).

  • Edinburgh Tour (green) buses have live guides, cover Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town (full tour about 1 hour), and makes 14 stops, including stops at both Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This tends to be a visitor favorite as it includes the live guides aboard.
  • City Sightseeing Tour (red) buses have pre-recorded commentary available in 9 languages (headphones included), cover central Edinburgh (full tour about an hour), and makes 12 stops, including at both Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyrood.
  • Majestic Tour (blue) buses have pre-recorded multi-language commentary in 9 launguages (headphones included), cover parts of Old & New Town as well as the Royal Botanic Gardens and Leith (full tour about an hour), and makes 16 stops. Stops include both the Palace of Holyrood and Royal Yacht Britannia.

**Note the exact stops, route, and number of stops for each bus will vary a bit depending on time of year, road closures, and other factors but they generally cover all the main sights and attraction stops. If you have a question about the latest routes, feel free to ask me, but you will be given the times once you get your ticket.

Tourist Bus Royal Edinburgh Ticket

Royal Edinburgh Ticket Cost?

Royal Edinburgh Ticket prices (as of July 2024):

  • £69.00 – Adult tickets (age 16 to 59)
  • £65.00 – Senior (age 60+ with valid ID)
  • £36.50 Child tickets (age 5 to 15)
  • Children under age 5 can ride the bus and enter the attractions for FREE as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult (up to 2 children per adult)

Be prepared to show valid ID at the ticket booth. Seniors may be asked for proof of age and students will need to show a valid student ID. Also good to have IDs for children with proof of their ages.  

How to buy the Royal Edinburgh Ticket?

Most people purchase their Royal Edinburgh Tickets in advance online but they can also be purchased in person as well.

In Person. The Royal Edinburgh Ticket can be purchased in person from the Edinburgh Bus Tours office at 19 Waterloo Place in Edinburgh (typically open daily 9am – 4pm, until 6pm in summer). Phone: 0131 475 0618 

Online. The Royal Edinburgh Ticket is easy to purchase online in advance. There are a few options, but we’d recommend buying it from the GetYourGuide website here as these tickets include free cancelation up to 24 hours in advance.

But other options include  the Tiqets website here and the Visit Britain tourism online shop . Just note that most tickets sold from these other parties are not refundable, so be sure to check the ticket policy if you think there is a chance your plans may change.

Prices are normally the same on all the websites, however, it’s always good to check just in case any of the sites is running an additional sale. 

After you make the online purchase, you’ll then receive an email with the Royal Edinburgh Ticket e-voucher. You will need this to pick up the ticket once you are in Edinburgh. You can either print it (recommended just in case) or bring the scannable digital e-voucher on your smartphone.

O nce you arrive in Edinburgh and want to begin using your ticket, you just need to take your printed or digital voucher to a staff member at the Edinburgh Bus Tours office (open daily 9am-4pm, summers until 6pm) or to the ticket sellers outside the bus stop at Waterloo Place (across from the Apex Waterloo hotel) in Edinburgh.

Waterloo Place is less than a  5 minute walk away rom the Waverly train station in Edinburgh. You’ll normally see the buses parked along the street here.  They’ll provide you with your tickets, including a timed ticket to visit Edinburgh Castle and the schedule for the buses.

If you have any questions, you can also ask one of the Edinburgh Bus Tours bus drivers there for help.

NOTE : E-vouchers are generally non-cancellable, non-refundable, and non-exchangeable so be sure you plan to visit when you make the purchase. You used to have to print the vouchers to be able to redeem them, but they will now accept either a printed voucher or a scannable digital e-voucher on your smartphone. Tickets bought via GetYourGuide include free cancellation up to 24 hours before the date of the ticket so we generally recommend these to most travelers.

Tourist sightseeing Bus Royal Edinburgh Ticket

Is the Royal Edinburgh Ticket worth it? 

The Royal Edinburgh Ticket is designed for people who plan to visit all three of the royal attractions in Edinburgh and would like to also use the sightseeing buses. If you only plan to visit one or two attractions, then you won’t get as much value out of the ticket and the savings will be minimal.

Those who plan to use the hop-on hop-off buses are also going to get much more value out of the tickets, and the bus services are useful for those visiting without a car as some Edinburgh attractions are quite far from central Edinburgh (e.g., Leith, Royal Botanic Garden, Royal Yacht Britannia ).

However, if you’d rather take the public bus services (about £5/day/adult) than the sightseeing buses, then you probably won’t save much money by purchasing the Royal Edinburgh Ticket.

Cost Savings

The cost savings can be up to 25% according to the ticket information, but the actual savings depends on the person’s age and whether or not they are eligible for special discounts or concessions. We’re going to assume that visitors are planning to visit all three royal sites including on the Royal Edinburgh Ticket and are also intending to use the hop-on hop-off bus services.

We first wrote about using our Royal Edinburgh Tickets back in March 2017 and saved £31.

Our Example. Laurence and I would have paid £33.00 (£16.50 X 2) to visit the Edinburgh Castle, £25.00 (£12.50 X 2) to visit Holyrood Palace, £31.00 (£15.50 X 2) to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia , and £44.00 (£22.00 X 2) for the 48 hour hop-on hop-off bus tickets. We would have paid £133.00 in individual entrance and bus tickets versus just £102.00 (£51.00 X 2) for two Royal Edinburgh Tickets. 

Our cost savings = £31.00 or 24% off the individual regular ticket rates

Over time, the cost of entrance fees to attractions in Edinburgh have risen and therefore the Royal Edinburgh Ticket prices have had to rise along with these changes and inflation. But the actual cost savings themselves have stayed pretty consistent over time.

Here are some examples of cost-savings based on July 2024 entrance fees and ticket prices: 

Royal Edinburgh Ticket Cost Savings Calculations
Prices correct as of July 2024



Edinburgh Castle 19.50 39 15.50 (65+) 11.40 (7-15) 56
Palace of Holyroodhouse 22 44 22 11 (5-17) 66
Royal Yacht Britannia 19.50 39 19.50 9.25 (5-17) 50
48 House HOHO Bus ticket 28 56 26 14 70
Total Cost of Individual Tickets £89 £178 £83 £45.65 £242
Total Cost of Royal Edinburgh Ticket £69 £138 £65 £36.5 £211

In July 2024, Royal Edinburgh tickets for the two of us would have cost £138 versus the cost of £178 if we bought the individual ticket for the 3 attractions and HoHo bus tickets. So that would represent a savings of £40 or a cost savings of 22.5%.

So although the costs and savings have increased, the actual percent you can save has been pretty consistent, especially for regular adult tickets. For example in March 2017 they were 24% and in July 2024 they were 22.5%. But generally they will save you between 20% and 25%.

As you can see the exact cost savings will depend on who is traveling, but just about anyone will save some money by using the pass if they visit all the including sights and use the bus service. 

Most people can probably use the table above to figure out what their cost savings will be, but if you are a student, disabled, unemployed, or traveling with a number of children you may want to double-check as some of the attractions offer discounted ticket prices. You may also want to double-check the ticket prices in case they have changed although they are unlikely to change greatly.

Time Savings

In addition to cost savings, the Royal Edinburgh Ticket can also save you time as all three attraction tickets include fast-track entry. This is most advantageous at Edinburgh Castle which is often busy as ticket holders can head straight to the entrance line and bypass the ticket desk as you will arrive with a timed ticket. Your Royal Edinburgh Ticket will be scanned by staff before entering the castle.

At Holyrood Palace and The Royal Yacht Britannia , during busy times they’ll open a second line and desk for ticket holders. If in doubt, just ask a staff member so you get in the correct line.

Tips for making the most of the Royal Edinburgh Ticket

Here are some tips to help you get the most value out of your ticket:

  • Before purchasing, be sure you have the time to make the most of the Royal Edinburgh Ticket. You’ll need 2 days to visit all three of these Edinburgh attractions unless you rush through them very quickly (not recommended). With only 1 day, the ticket is probably not a good value as you will probably not get a chance to visit all three attractions and won’t be able to take full advantage of the 48 hours bus pass.   
  • Do a little planning to figure out how you want to use your time to visit all three attractions. I would allow at least 2 hours to visit each attraction (many can spend more time, some less) and at least one hour to get from one attraction to another. Check on the attraction opening hours during your visit and note that you need to arrive at least an hour before closing at most attractions to enter. Also have the bus schedule with you (physically or digitally) so you can make the best use of your bus tickets.
  • Be sure to check before purchasing the Royal Edinburgh Ticket that all three attractions are open during your visit. For instance, Holyrood Palace is usually closed at least one day a week. It also closes for a week or two each year when the Queen is in residence as well as during other occasional royal or state functions. 
  • Do a little planning to figure out how you want to use your time to visit all three attractions. I would allow at least 2 hours to visit each attraction (many can spend more time, some less) and at least one hour to get from one attraction to another. Check on the attraction opening hours during your visit and note that you need to arrive at least an hour before closing at most attractions to enter. Also keep the bus brochures with you with the tour bus times so you can make the best use of your bus tickets.
  • Day 1 :  Pick up your tickets at Waterloo Place in the morning and then do the full Edinburgh Tour (green bus) on the hop-on hop-off bus to get an introduction and orientation to the city. Then in the afternoon head to Leith using the Majestic Tour bus (blue bus) to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia , perhaps stopping at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh on the way. If you are hungry, you might want to have lunch or afternoon tea aboard the yacht. Spend the late afternoon/evening exploring Edinburgh’s New Town and find a spot for a nice dinner.
  • Day 2 : Head to the Royal Mile and begin the day at Edinburgh Castle on one end and then heading to Holyrood Palace which stands at the opposite end. Visit Edinburgh Castle in the morning when it opens, stroll down the Royal Mile (there are many shops and museums along the way) and have lunch, and then visit Holyrood Palace in the afternoon. You can walk the full way from the castle to the palace or pick up the City Sightseeing bus along the Royal Mile. Spend the evening exploring more of the Old Town.
  • If you purchase your tickets online, be sure to only exchange your e-voucher once you want to start using your Royal Edinburgh Ticket. Once validated, the ticket will then be good for 48 consecutive hours (2 days). It is convenient that the pick-up point is right next to the hop-on hop-off bus stops so you can begin your travel almost immediately.
  • Most people have no problem seeing the 3 attractions in 2 days but if you are the kind of person who enjoys spending half a day in a castle or museum, and are worried about getting to all three attractions in 48 hours, don’t worry. The bus pass is only valid for 48 consecutive hours but if you need to use one of the attraction passes on a third day, they’ll still honor your ticket. You can’t save it for another visit, but you can use it a bit later in your visit if needed.
  • Remember that the three attraction tickets include fast-track entry. This is most advantageous at busy Edinburgh Castle, and ticket holders can head straight to the entrance line and bypass the ticket desk. 
  • Audioguides are included at both the Royal Yacht Britannia and Holyrood Palace. These are great guides and I strongly recommend using them as can provide a lot of context to your visit. Edinburgh Castle also offers a good audioguide for a nominal fee that is worth using.

Holyrood Palace Royal Edinburgh Ticket

  • If you have to choose one of the three hop-on hop-off buses for a city sightseeing tour, I’d recommend the Edinburgh Tour buses (green) as they have live guides and visitors tend to prefer them. However, if English is not your (or your traveling companions) primary language then I would recommend the City Sightseeing buses (red) as they cover most of the same places and includes information in multiple languages.
  • Your Royal Edinburgh Ticket will also come with some accompanying information, and this information will likely include city discounts on other attractions, restaurants, and shops. Be sure to take a look at the discounts in case there are any places you want to visit on the list.
  • All three of the royal attractions are interesting and well worth visiting, but I’d strongly recommend leaving some extra time in your trip to have some free time to wander around the city (the Old Town and New Town are excellent areas to wander) and explore some of the other great attractions in Edinburgh . Most of Edinburgh’s museums are free and interesting, and if you are a fan of J. K. Rowling you can find several Harry Potter sites in Edinburgh . Use your time on the bus tours to find places you want to return to and visit later in your trip. You’ll also likely want to save time to sit down and enjoy some good Scottish food, sample some whisky, and do some shopping. Enjoy your visit to Edinburgh!

Want to save money on some of Edinburgh's top attractions? The Royal Edinburgh Ticket can save you up to 25% on entrance tickets and bus rides - read the article for a full review!

So that’s the Royal Edinburgh Ticket! Have you used the Royal Edinburgh Ticket or visited any of the attractions included on the ticket? If so, we’d love to hear about your experiences. If you have any questions about the Royal Edinburgh Ticket or about planning your trip to Edinburgh, just ask us below! As always, we appreciate all your comments and questions and do our best to provide timely and helpful responses.

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Penina and Thomas Weinberger Post author

June 30, 2024 at 10:30 am

hello How can we book a time slot for the Edinburgh castle and Holyrood online if we are purchasing the royal Edinburgh ticket pass please? thank you so much

Jessica & Laurence Norah Post author

July 1, 2024 at 1:35 pm

Hi Penina & Thomas,

So when you book the Royal Edinburgh Ticket it does guarantee you entry into Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the Royal Yacht, and a 2 day sightseeing bus pass over the specified 2 day period when you book. However, you can’t make online reservations for the individual attractions ahead with the pass. But the only one that currently requires a reserved time is Edinburgh Castle and you will choose a time slot when you pick up your pass and a staff member will give you a reserved time slot entry time. For the palace (or King’s Gallery if palace is closed during the time of your visit) and yacht, you just need you Royal Edinburgh Ticket vouchers they give you. I don’t believe there are any time slots or anything for those so you free to visit when you wish.

So all you need to do is take your printed or digital voucher to a staff member at the Edinburgh Bus Tours Ticket Sellers at Waterloo Place. You should receive specific instructions once you purchase the voucher. I would recommend doing this first thing in the morning on the day you want to start using your Royal Edinburgh Ticket. I think they are normally open from 8:45am to 4pm (until 6pm on summer days). Tour buses generally start running at 8:45am and most attractions open at 9:30am.

Hope that helps and let me know if you have any further questions.

Wishing you a wonderful trip to Edinburgh! Jessica

Gene Post author

October 25, 2023 at 5:09 am

Great and informative site. Thank you so much! I wanted to make sure I understood one of your comments – we will arrive mid-day on a Monday and be in the city until Saturday morning. Since we only have a half-day on the Monday, I thought we would start the 48-hour ticket on Tuesday and use it then and Wednesday. But Holyrood is closed for those two days. Do I understand you correctly that we would still be able to use our 48-hour ticket to enter Holyrood when it opens on Thursday, even though we would not be able to use it for the buses?

October 25, 2023 at 8:01 am

So happy you have been finding our blogs helpful in planning your trip to Edinburgh. So for the Royal Edinburgh Ticket, it is designed so that everything is used and visited within 48 hours. However, at least in the past, they have been lenient but since you have almost a week, I’d probably start your Edinburgh passes on Wednesday, and use them on Wednesday and Thursday so you don’t need to worry. Whether they would allow you to use it on Thursday is up to their discretion and I would not like to see you not be able to use it. I also think they may be less flexible since COVID as more reservations are recommended or required at attractions these days.

So my advice would be, if possible, to start your Royal Edinburgh Ticket Wednesday morning, do the sightseeing bus tour and then either visit the Royal Yacht that day (and maybe the Castle too if you have time). Then the next day you can visit Holyrood (and the Castle if you didn’t do it the day before). This way you also have the bus transport for both of these days – it is most important for reaching the Yacht as that one is out in Leith (the castle and palace are about a mile apart on seperate ends of Royal Mile and a nice but long walk apart, can be nice to take bus if want to avoid the walk).

I normally recommend that if you are planning to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, this can be a good thing to do on the way back from visiting the Yacht if you have time. But since you have several days in Edinburgh, you can go at a more relaxed pace and I’d just take a public bus there unless you have finished up your own three attraction visits during your 2 pass days. But something to consider.

If you do decide to use your pass later in the week, I would use your first couple days in Edinburgh to do other things, lots of great free things to do in Edinburgh (museums, hikes, gardens, parks, walk down the Royal Mile), do a tour (whisky tasting, dark history, food, Harry Potter, etc.) or you might want to go out on a day trip if you want to see some things outside of Edinburgh. We have a full post on day trip ideas and day tour suggestions, depending on your interests.

Hope that helps, and just let us know if you have further questions as you plan your trip!

Best, Jessica

Bethany N. Post author

August 8, 2023 at 10:45 am

Hello! Do you have a listing of all the stops on the various tours? I can’t seem to find this online anywhere. I see that the Edinburgh tour (green) makes 12 stops, the City Sightseeing Tour (red) makes 11 stops, and the Majestic tour (blue) makes 12 stops.

August 8, 2023 at 1:10 pm

Hi Bethany,

Sure, as you can imagine the actual stops, number of stops, and timings can vary a bit but here is the latest live schedule I could find. When you collect your ticket, they normally give you a bus schedule or it will be posted so you’ll know as well. But this can help you plan in advance.

Edinburgh Sightseeing (red bus), 14 stops:

Waterloo Place St. Andrew Square West End /Lothian Road Grassmarket Chalmers Street Johnston Terrace Lawnmarket (best for Edinburgh Castle) National Museum of Scotland High Street Canongate Kirk Holyrood Dynamic Earth Abbeyhill Crescent Regent Road

Edinburgh Tour (green bus, live guide, 15 stops):

Waterloo Place Frederick Street George Street West End (Lothian Road) Grassmarket Chalmers Street Johnston Terrace Lawnmarket (best for Edinburgh Castle) National Museum of Scotland High Street Canongate Kirk Holyrood Dynamic Earth Abbeyhill Crescent Regent Road

Majestic Tour (blue bus, 12 stops):

Waterloo Place St. Andrew Square Canonmills Royal Botanic Garden Ferry Road Newhaven Harbour Ocean Terminal (for Royal Yacht Britannia) Stanwell Street Mansfield Place Leopold Place Holyrood Regent Road

Note: That red and green tours are pretty similar in terms of stops but green has the live guide. The live guide in English is great if that is your first language but those in which English not their first language would probably prefer the red with the multilanguage audioguide option. The blue Majestic Tour goes much further out to the Royal Botanic Garden, Leith, and the Royal Yacht Britannia. All make circular routes (meaning you can stay on and get off again at your first stop if you wish).

With the Royal Edinburgh Ticket , you’ll probably be using at least two of the buses, one for the central city stops (red or green) and then one to go out to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Hope that helps! Jessica

Lynne Post author

September 20, 2021 at 2:28 pm

Hi, we were be in Edinburgh for 5 days in December. The Edinburgh Pass sounds the right way to go and we’re also planning a day tour out of the city . Question is, what can we expect in December regarding these tours? Are the hours shorter in the winter and will we still be able to see the top attractions? Thanks for all your information.

September 21, 2021 at 4:53 am

Yes, the Royal Edinburgh Ticket is great if you already plan to visit those three attractions and plan to use the sightseeing buses at least once. Not all attractions are open each day (for example Holyroodhouse is normally closed at least one or two days per week) so once you know the dates you are visiting you can check dates and opening hours and plan accordingly. If you visit Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the Royal Yacht, and do a sightseeing bus tour, that will easily account for about 2 days of our trip if you do it at a leisurely pace.

Then for your other three days, you can visit other attractions, gardens, and sights not included on the passes (many of Edinburgh’s museums are donation-only in terms of admission). We have a guide to some of the top attractions in Edinburgh to give you some ideas. If you are visiting later in the month, you can also visit the Christmas markets and other holiday-related attractions. We have a post on Christmas in Edinburgh and winter in Edinburgh for some specific winter ideas.

I think doing at least one day trip would be a very good idea since you have a long time in the city. You can see some of our recommended day tours from Edinburgh for ideas. You can join a guided day tour (they leave from the city center) or head out by train or bus on your own, it just depends on where and what you want to do.

You will, of course, have more limited daylight hours than in summer so some places may close an hour or so earlier than they do in the summer and obviously for day tours, sightseeing time is a bit more limited. So I’d just recommend heading out in the morning and taking advantage of the daylight you do have, you should still have plenty of time to see a lot. The pandemic has also caused some of the smaller museums to close or be open more limited hours due to lack of staff and fewer visitors, some also require pre-booking your tickets. So just be sure to check on the official website so you can plan accordingly.

Hope that helps, and happy to answer any further questions as you plan your time in Edinburgh!

Jo Post author

August 3, 2021 at 8:32 am

Hi, I am travelling to Edinburgh first time. I will be there in Edinburgh for five days. Can you please advise what I can do during these days. Edinburgh bus ticket valid for 48 hrs right. What else I can see these days. I have no idea, i am reading lots of blogs and google reviews and found this one is very interesting. Looking forward to your response.

August 4, 2021 at 4:25 am

Yes, so if you buy the royal pass that will include a 48 hour bus pass as well as entry tickets to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, and Royal Yacht Britannia. So doing the sightseeing bus tours and visiting those 3 big attractions will fill much of 2 of the days of your trip. Just note that not every attraction is open every day of the week, so be sure to check opening dates and times before your visit.

I’d probably spend another day or two visiting other attractions in Edinburgh. You can see our favorite things to do in Edinburgh here. Several museums, attractions, and neighborhoods you might want to visit. The National Museum of Scotland and a walk up Calton Hill are two places I’d highly recommend if first time in Edinburgh. But it really depends on the types of things you like to do. Let me know if you have any questions after looking over the list, happy to try to help you organize your time if you know what you want to do.

Then on at least one day, perhaps two, depending on your interests, I’d consider taking a day trip out of Edinburgh to visit some of the nearby attractions, such as Loch Lomond National Park, whisky distilleries, Outlander filming sites, Rosslyn Chapel, castles, or some Highlands scenery. You can take public transit, drive, or just book a guided day tour that will include a guide and your transport. You can see some of our suggested days trips from Edinburgh here to see what might be of interest to you. We’ve been to all these places so happy to answer any questions about any of the suggested day trips or day tours.

Just be sure to book any attractions, passes, or day tours in advance. Most attractions (even free ones) currently require reservations to visit due to COVID-19 restrictions. The summer is also a very busy time in Edinburgh if you have visiting soon.

August 4, 2021 at 6:25 am

Thank you so much for your quick and detailed information. Wonderful blog.

Mary Barry Post author

June 23, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Thank you for your detailed information. I wish that I would have seen it before planning our schedule but at least I found it before we arrive. Your blog states “The bus pass is only valid for 48 consecutive hours but if you need to use one of the attraction passes on a third day, they’ll still honor your ticket.” We will arrive the morning of July 4 and have 3 nights in Edinburgh. We thought that we would purchase the Royal Edinburgh Ticket as soon as arrive. We could ride the bus to familiarize ourselves with the city and visit the Britannia. We were planning to visit the Castle the next morning and the Palace in the afternoon but I see that the Palace is closed until July 6. Based on the statement above, do you think that we can still use the Ticket for the Palace on July 6? I understand that we won’t be able to ride the bus since we will be beyond the 48 hours. Thank you for your assistance!

June 24, 2019 at 6:43 am

Hi Mary, They are usually a little flexible with the attractions tickets as part of the Royal Edinburgh Ticket; however it is of course up to their discretion. When you pick up your voucher, you can ask about the Holyrood Palace ticket and that you want to use it on July 6th since the palace is closed on the 5th. If there are any issues with that, you should be able to visit the Queen’s Gallery (located just in front of the palace, usually open even when Palace is closed) instead of the Palace during the days it is closed. Wishing you a great visit to Edinburgh! Jessica

Emily Yang Post author

June 19, 2019 at 6:23 am

Hi Jessica,

Thank you for this wonderful and informational post! I’m planning my first visit to Edinburgh at the beginning of August (8/1-8/5) and plan to purchase the Royal Edinburgh ticket. I really like the two day itinerary you propose, but was wondering how you would integrate it with the festivals happening in town. I know the Royal Mile will be quite busy with the Fringe festival, and there will be more crowds in general at all the sightseeing spots.

Many thanks! Emily

June 19, 2019 at 8:55 pm

Since you are in Edinburgh for 4 days, I would use the pass for 2 days and then focus on the Festival and other things on the other two. You can also do Fringe stuff in the evenings after you have visited attractions, most of which close by 5pm or 6pm.

The proposed itinerary for using the Royal Edinburgh Ticket should still work as everything should still be operating as usual over August. The only difference may be that the HOHO bus may need to take a slightly different route if parts of the Royal Mile close to traffic, but it will still be running. The attractions and sidewalks will definitely be more busy and crowded, so do account for that in terms of time. I’d try to visit the Castle near opening time.

Laurence has a good post with lots of tips for attending the Fringe festival and we also have a post on generally surviving the August Festivals in Edinburgh over the summer.

Hope that helps and wishing you a great visit to Edinburgh! Jessica

Jessica Liew Post author

June 10, 2019 at 9:32 am

Hi, I love your blog. All these useful tips and advices had helped me so much with my previous travels. I was wondering if you could help me with deciding whether the Royal Edinburgh Ticket is worth it. So I was hoping to visit the 3 attractions; Edinburgh Castle, Palace Holyrood and Royal Yacht Britannia. I was aiming to activate my ticket on day 1, where I would visit Edinburgh Castle then my family and I would be having an afternoon tea at Colonnades. Then day 2, we would visit Palace Holyrood and Royal yacht Britannia. Would this iteniary be efficient or should we just go for Palace Holyrood on day 2 and skip royal yacht Britannia? (I won’t mind skipping the yacht as we are only in Edinburgh for a short time) Also, would the travel time from Palace Holyrood to Royal Yacht Britannia take long?

June 10, 2019 at 9:51 am

So happy to hear that you have found our travel blog helpful in planning your travels 😉 For the Royal Edinburgh Ticket, the ticket is definitely a good value if you plan to visit all 3 attractions and use the HOHO sightseeing bus. It saves about 25% for adults, a bit less for children and seniors. But if you only plan to visit 2 of the included attractions or don’t plan to use the HOHO bus, then you are probably better off just buying the tickets to the attractions separately.

You can easily do the itinerary as you outlined. I’d try to visit Edinburgh Castle near opening time if visiting over the summer as it is a really busy attraction. You can then walk to afternoon tea along the Royal Mile. Tea at the Colonnades is a really way to relax in the afternoon, beautiful setting. It is located right next to St. Giles which is definitely worth a look inside if you have time. If you have the Royal Edinburgh Ticket, you could also do one of the sightseeing buses on this day to sightsee around the city center if you want.

For day 2, you can visit the Palace of Holyrood in the morning, then catch the HOHO bus stop near the palace and take it to Royal Yacht Britannia. There are 3 buses included with the Edinburgh Royal Ticket, and currently the blue one goes to the Royal Yacht. The full bus route takes about 1 hour, so probably 30 minutes or so there and the same back to central Edinburgh.

If you don’t have the Edinburgh Royal Ticket, you can take a regular bus in between Holyrood Palace and the Royal Yacht, and they take between 25 to 35 minutes. A taxi would be a bit quicker (~20 minutes).

Also, not sure when you are planning to visit, but Holyrood Palace is scheduled to be closed from 24 June to 5 July 2019. If you have a pass or ticket, you can visit the Royal Collection (royal art museum in front of the palace) instead.

Hope that helps and wishing you a wonderful visit to Edinburgh. Just let us know if you have any other questions.

June 10, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Thanks for the helpful information. I got a small question for the Royal Edinburgh Ticket Collection point. The address I found said it was at Waverley Bridge, I looked it up on google maps but can’t really see a kiosk or building for collecting the tickets. Do you know where can I collect the ticket and how does the kiosk looks like?

June 10, 2019 at 1:22 pm

Hi Jessica, It is located at the Edinburgh Bus Tours Tickets Sellers kiosk, Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1BQ (open daily 8am – 8pm); Phone: 0131 220 0770.

It is a brown kiosk right along Waverley Bridge near Scott Monument and one of the entrances to Princes Street Gardens that says “Bus Tours Tickets” or similar on it. The sightseeing buses stops are just in front of it on the same street. If you are looking for it and are on Waverley Bridge, you’ll see it.

As noted in the post, you can purchase the ticket at the kiosk in person or book it in advance online and just take the e-voucher to the kiosk to collect your tickets.

Mangesh Post author

May 15, 2019 at 1:26 pm

I am travelling to Edinburgh on 23rd May, reaching there at 8am. I will have 3 nights stay and departure will be 9PM on 26th May.

I am thinking to take Edinburgh Royal ticket and plan is to activate it on Day 1 only to visit Royal Yacht Britannia, Royal Botanical Garden and Stockbridge.

On Day 2, I will be covering Princes Street Garden, Edinburgh Castle, Camera Obscura, St. Giles’ Cathedral, Royal Mile and Calton Hill.

Day 3, I am planning to take up 1 day tour to Loch Lomond or so.

Day 4, I want to see Palace of Holyroodhouse, Scottish Parliament, Climb Aurthurs Seat and if time permits I may cover any museum in between.

I read somewhere that Palace of Holyroodhouse will be closed till 25th May. As it would be open on Day 4 (26th May), I wish to take an opportunity to see it on day 4. I understand that I wont be able to use HOHO bus tour on Day 3 and Day 4 which is fine. My question is whether I will be allowed to see Palace of Holyroodhouse on 4th Day on the same Royal ticket?

Appreciate your guidance in this regard..

May 16, 2019 at 4:38 am

Hi Mangesh,

Yes, the sightseeing bus ticket that comes with the Royal Edinburgh Ticket is valid for 48 hours once you activate it. So if you use it on Day 1 and 2, you could not use it on Day 4.

For Day 4, there are lot of free museums in Edinburgh so many to visit if you have extra time. The National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Museum are two of the best if this is your first time in Edinburgh. Both are free entry although donations greatly appreciated.

For the Palace of Holyroodhouse, yes you are correct it is closed to visitors through May 25th. So you should indeed be able to use your ticket to visit on the 26th. If the palace is closed when you visit, your Royal Edinburgh ticket can be used instead to visit the Queen’s Gallery (in front of the palace) instead.

May 19, 2019 at 2:13 pm

Thanks much for the detailed answers to my queries. This really helps..

Jill Post author

February 12, 2019 at 5:49 pm

Hi Jessica, If we buy the Royal Edinburgh Ticket. Do we need the tour that basically gives you an overview of Edinburgh or will the hop-on-and-off buses give you some information and history as you travel around on them? Your information is so helpful. Thank you.

February 13, 2019 at 11:05 am

Hi Jill, The HOHO buses included with the Royal Edinburgh Ticket all have commentary and will give you a basic overview of Edinburgh’s history and its main attractions. So I’d maybe do that first and then see if you wish to book an additional history walking tour or not.

If you are interested in Edinburgh’s history, I’d also recommend perhaps a stop at the Museum of Edinburgh along the Royal Mile (about 15 minute walk from Castle) which covers the city’s origins, history, and local legends. It’s a free city museum (donations appreciated).

Wishing you a great visit to Edinburgh!

Noelia Post author

December 29, 2018 at 11:15 am

I was wondering if buying this pass you can then convert your tickets for the three attractions to annual passes. Do you know if that’s possible?

Thanks! Noelia

December 29, 2018 at 12:01 pm

I am not sure, but I doubt it. You can convert tickets to annual passes for a number of UK attractions via Gift Aid, which is a UK tax incentive that enables tax-effective giving by individuals to charities in the United Kingdom. So I don’t think discount ticket passes would qualify, but you can of course always check!

Charlene Post author

August 21, 2018 at 7:00 am

Since the Edinburgh Castle website states timed entry, will the Royal Edinburgh Ticket act the same way? Thanks in advance!

August 21, 2018 at 7:02 am

Hi Charlene,

The Royal Edinburgh Ticket works at the Edinburgh Castle like a pre-purchased skip-the-line ticket. You will not have a specific timed entry but your pass acts as a ticket and gives you guaranteed entry – so you can still skip the ticket line. You do NOT need a timed entry with the Royal Edinburgh Ticket.

There should not be much wait to get inside however if you are visiting this month (August) expect a short wait to get through the ticket check/security as Edinburgh is super busy right now during festival season 😉

Catherine Polasek Post author

July 31, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Great and helpful post! We are arriving by cruise ship and I see in your post there is a HOHO bus stop in Leith where we arrive. The question is if I pre-buy our Royal Edinburgh Ticket on-line can we use the HOHO bus to get to the centre to exchange it??

August 1, 2018 at 6:09 am

Hi Catherine,

Yes, the Majestic bus (blue route) stops at the Leith cruise terminal and Royal Yacht Britannia so it would only be a short walk to the nearest HOHO bus stop for you.

So we called the company about this since we’d never encountered this question before! So they said that yes, you can get on the HOHO bus at Leith, explain your situation, and show your printed voucher which just needs to show that everyone getting on the bus has pre-paid for a Royal Edinburgh Ticket and you can ride the bus to where you can exchange the ticket (near Waverley station). You’ll need to just stay on the HOHO bus until you arrive into central Edinburgh where you can exchange your voucher and get your attractions and HOHO bus tickets, and then can continue to use the bus as normal.

Hope this helps and wishing you a wonderful visit to Edinburgh!

Veronica Post author

July 28, 2018 at 5:28 am

Hi Guys! Do you know if the Royal Edimburgh Ticket include entrance to The Edinburgh Dungeon? It appears as one of Edinburgh’s attraction but it does not mention if it’s included. Thanks a lot! Veronica

July 28, 2018 at 6:23 am

Hi Veronica, No, the Edinburgh Dungeon is not included. Only entrance to the 3 attractions mentioned (Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Royal Yacht Britannia) and the hop on hop off sightseeing bus pass is included as part of the Royal Edinburgh Ticket.

There is no discount pass that includes the Edinburgh Dungeon that we know of, but you can almost always save money by purchasing the tickets online beforehand or finding a discount coupon (sometimes on the city maps). Right now the best place we have found to buy them is via Ticketbar here as you currently save £2.25 per ticket for both adults and children.

Hope that helps!

RuthAnn Riggle Post author

April 26, 2018 at 3:20 pm

Hi! Thanks for your great and informative blogs! My family (my husband and 2 daughters, 14 and 12) is going to London and then driving up to Scotland the end of May and first of June. Our current plan is to spend 3 days in London (arriving Sunday morning and leaving on Wed). We plan to drive as far as York the first day and then to Edinburg for a couple of days. Next stop, Inverness for a day/night. Then to Ayr for the night. Next to Windemere, then Stratford Upon Avon and finally, Salisbury (Stonehenge)!! That’s lots of stops and lots of driving!! Do you have any tips or things we might need to know or things we need to NOT do! We’re going to be in the UK for 12 days and we’re trying to squeeze as much in as possible! Anything you can share would be SO appreciated!! Thanks, RuthAnn

April 27, 2018 at 12:56 am

Hi RuthAnn, So happy that you are finding our blogs helpful in planning your family trip to England and Scotland.

One suggestion would be, if you don’t already have your flights booked, I would suggest flying into London and seeing England first (so London, Salisbury, Sratford-upon-Avon, Windemere) and then head to Scotland and then fly out of Edinburgh or Inverness. That would save you on some driving time and having to return all the way south to London. I’d also perhaps eliminate at least one stop from your itinerary to reduce the driving time (I’d suggest either Windemere, Ayr, or Inverness based on your itinerary).

Now assuming you already have your flights booked & can’t change them, I’d still suggest organizing your time by either country (all of England, then all of Scotland) or doing it by mode of transport (all the places you can easily see by train/public transit first, then those by car).

By Country: I’d do all the England stops in order from London, then all the Scotland ones. So 3 days in London, then pick up rental car and head to see Salsbury and Stonehenge on Day 4, then visit Stratford-upon-Avon in the morning and arrive in York on Day 5, explore York and head to Windemere on Day 6 (add a day here if you want to explore more of York), head to Edinburgh and spend days 7-9 in Edinburgh, explore Ayr and Burns Country on Day 9, drive to Inverness and spend day 10 & 11, and then drop off rental car and take a train from Inverness back to London to head out.

By Transport: 3 Days in London, train to York for Day 4, train to Edinburgh and spend Days 5-7 there, train Inverness and spend Days 7 here, then pick up rental car in Inverness and explore by car to visit Ayr (Day 8), Windemere (Day 9), Stratford upon Avon (Day 10), and Stonehenge & Salisbury (Day 11), then return rental car in London and head home.

Note that if you want less driving some of the places on your itinerary are easy to see as a day trip from London and then save driving and rental car time. For example you can explore Salisbury & Stonehenge (such as this tour ) as well as Stratford-Upon-Avon (see this tour and this tour ) easily by taking a day trip. So that is another option to reduce driving time and you can add nights to your time in London and spend more time in one place. So you could do maybe do 5 nights London (2 days of day trips), head to York for Day 6, then Windemere for Day 7, then Edinburgh for days 8 & 9, Day 10 in Ayr, and then Inverness for Day 11. Then train back to London to fly out.

Hope this helps! We have loads of content on things on our blogs on London, Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, and Edinburgh to help with those places, and have been to all the places on your list so feel free to reach out if you have questions as you finalize your itinerary.

April 27, 2018 at 5:57 am

Wow, Jessica! I really appreciate you taking the time and effort to give such specific and well-thought advice! I like the idea of taking day trips! We do have our flights booked in and out of England! Some of the places we put on our itinerary are just to break up the long drive! I will read all your blogs, they really are the best that I’ve found! I’m trying to educate myself as much as possible and get as many tips as I can! We did take your advice on the Oyster card! (we didn’t know about that before reading your blog!) This is my first time to the UK! (my husband went with his parents in 1995!) I know you guys live there and don’t need to lodging, but have you ever used Airbnb? or do you have lodging recommendations, especially for Edinburg? Thank you again!! RuthAnn

April 27, 2018 at 6:35 am

Hi RuthAnn,

You’re very welcome! Yes, doing a couple of day trips can reduce time spent driving and give you less 1 night stays on your trip which can help make it feel a bit less busy.

Yes, the Oyster Card is a good idea for your time in London if you plan to use public transit to get around and we also highly recommend the London Pass . For Edinburgh there are no comprehensive discount cards or passes, but the Royal Edinburgh Ticket is a good one to check out if you plan to visit the royal sites and want to take the HOHO bus as it will save you money if you do all 4.

If you are looking for something specific in Edinburgh, we can definitely give recommendations as we have stayed in a couple of hotels and have visited a number of other places for meals, to see friends, etc. We have used Airbnb in the UK and have had good experiences except in London where lower priced Airbnbs can mean some pretty bad apartments in two separate experiences. Just be sure to book something with good and recent reviews and you should be fine. If you are new to Airbnb, you can get $25-$35 off your first booking here . If you are specifically interested in rooms/apartments, here are some other websites like Airbnb .

We book most of our hotels/apartments/B&B’s in the UK via Booking. Here is a list of some family-friendly lodging options in Edinburgh for 2 adults/2 children to get you started. Edinburgh is compact and easy to do without a car (recommended) as it can be difficult to find parking and expensive to park overnight. Most tourist attractions are centrally located and within walking distance or easy to get to with the public buses (or the city sightseeing buses). We’d recommend staying in or near the city center (e.g., anything within walking distance of Royal Mile or Waverley train station is central) to make the most out of your time in the city.

For lodging, London and Edinburgh are going to be more expensive, but you should be able to find lower priced lodging in the other places on your itinerary. Just let us know if you need any specific recommendations as you continue to plan your trip.

BTW, if you plan to take the train for any part of your trip, book in advance to save money and to guarantee yourself seats (seat reservations are normally not possible same day on UK trains).

Wishing you a great trip to the UK! Jessica

Eva Post author

February 14, 2018 at 2:30 am

Hi Jessica and Laurence,

Thanks for the post! I was going to buy the Royal Edinburgh Ticket but found out the Palace of Holyroodhouse will be closed during our time in Edinburgh. With no cost savings, the other reasons to buy would be for the convenience to get to Britannia and the fast track entries. If I buy the tickets online for the Castle and Britannia, does that mean I would skip the queues like I can with the Royal Edinburgh Ticket?

Thank you, Eva

February 17, 2018 at 1:31 pm

Sorry to hear that the Palace of Holyroodhouse will be closed during your visit, it does get closed when royalty is visiting or there is need for refurbishment.

Yes, I think that if you are not visiting Holyrood Palace, then the only benefits of the Royal Edinburgh Ticket would be the convenience of having the tickets in advance with the fast track entries and 2 day hop on hop off pass. So in your case I don’t think it would be a good deal.

The Castle tickets can be purchased as fast-track entry but there are not fast-track entry for Britannia but you can avoid the ticket line if you pre-purchase them. You can just pre-purchase the Edinburgh Castle ticket (fast-track) and Royal Yacht Britannia online before you trip. Just be sure to check the validity dates for the ticket before you purchase to make sure it includes the dates of your trip.

Hope this helps and wishing you a great trip to Edinburgh!

yadanar Post author

January 11, 2018 at 11:34 pm

Thanks for sharing the information, Me and my husband are planning to visit UK for 1st time in December and we plan to move around with public transport. Is that three attractions from Royal Edinburgh Ticket can go by Hop on Hop Off bus?

Thank You Yadanar

January 12, 2018 at 8:12 am

Hi Yadanar, Yes, all three attractions on the Royal Edinburgh Ticket are located near the hop-on hop-off bus stops. The pass includes admission to the three royal attractions (Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, and The Royal Yacht Britannia) and unlimited hop-on hop-off bus tour services for 48 consecutive hours on three of Edinburgh’s sightseeing buses. Note that while at least 2 of the buses stop at Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle, only one bus route goes to the Royal Yacht, so just make sure you get on the correct bus depending on where you want to go. The bus routes and buses are color coded to help you figure it out but you can also just ask the bus driver. You will be given a brochure with a HOHO bus map (if not, ask for one) when you collect your bus ticket. Best, Jessica

Sue Post author

September 1, 2017 at 11:02 am

Hi Jessica and Laurence Is there any advantage to purchasing the Royal Edinburgh ticket online in advance of our trip please? i.e. Is it cheaper than buying it in person? Thanks. All the best Sue

September 1, 2017 at 11:17 am

Hi Sue! The main advantage to buying the Royal Edinburgh Ticket online that the online rates are often the cheapest as they are more likely to run online discounts. However, if they are not running any discounts then the ticket prices in person should be the same as you see on the website. In all other respects, it is the same as buying it in person. If you are not sure if you will have the time to visit everything on the pass, I would recommend waiting to purchase it in person in Edinburgh. Wishing you a fantastic trip to Edinburgh and do check out our other Edinburgh blog posts for our recommendations on what to see and do 😉 Best, Jesscai

September 2, 2017 at 6:18 am

Thanks for your reply and good wishes Jessica. 🙂 Yes, it’s currently the same price online as in person, so I’ll wait till we arrive. Best wishes Sue

Mark Fizn Post author

May 3, 2017 at 6:38 am

This is one of the great post about how to save money on Edinburgh royal attractions. I think it is awesome idea bcoz we are very struggling in saving our money, so this article was very effective and helpful to us. thanks for sharing this helpful article.

May 4, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Hi Mark, Yes, the Royal Edinburgh Ticket can definitely help you save some money in Edinburgh if you plan to visit all 3 of these attractions and use the bus for transportation/sightseeing during your visit! Just let us know if you have any other questions when planning your visit! Best, Jessica

Crystal Carson Post author

April 19, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Oh, I see you did say that. You print but then you still have to pick-up tickets. Rats! Question: does the Holyrood ticket include the Garden tour? Can that be purchased separately?

April 20, 2017 at 7:34 am

Hi Crystal, Yes, unless it has changed very recently, you print off the voucher and then that is good to pick up the bus tickets and the tickets you’ll need to enter the Edinburgh attractions (palace, castle, yacht). The Holyrood Palace ticket includes entry to the gardens and the abbey (now in ruins) but it does not include a specific garden tour although there is information on the audio tour. Note that the garden area is sometimes closed; it was closed on our last visit actually. Enjoy your time in Edinburgh and please let us know if you have any other questions about planning your visit. Best, Jessica

April 19, 2017 at 4:50 pm

It looks like we can print our tickets at hme and bring them…or is that only for the HOHO bus? From Bus Tours page: PRINT@HOME ON COMPLETION OF YOUR TRANSACTION, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT A PAGE TO VIEW YOUR TICKET. SIMPLY PRINT THIS AT HOME AND BRING IT ALONG WITH YOU WHEN YOU WISH TO TRAVEL. (PLEASE NOTE THAT ACCESS TO A PRINTER IS REQUIRED). A LINK TO THIS PAGE WILL ALSO APPEAR IN YOUR CONFIRMATION EMAIL. YOU CAN VISIT THE PAGE TO PRINT YOUR TICKETS AT ANY TIME.

Cool, right? 🙂 Crystal

Anwar Post author

March 30, 2017 at 7:10 pm

Such great tips of visiting and saving money. Did you make it in time to hear the cannon fire at the castle?

March 31, 2017 at 4:10 am

Hi Anwar, Thanks. We have heard the cannon fire at the castle (multiple times now!)! Visitors interested in the one o’ clock cannon should definitely be around before 1:00pm on the castle terrace if you want to be there to be there when the cannon fires. But this is also one of the most crowded times, especially in the summer months. If you want to avoid crowds at the castle, we recommend going when it first opens, especially if you are interested in the indoor sections as they are much more enjoyable with fewer visitors. Best, Jessica

Rhonda Albom Post author

March 13, 2017 at 12:51 am

When I was in Edinburgh, I didn’t have enough time to see al three attractions on the royal Edinburgh pass. I did have time to see the Royal Yacht Britannia but only from the outside. Thanks for your photos of the interior. A large yacht has so much more room when you don’t have to make “stateroom” compartments as they do on a cruise ship.

March 13, 2017 at 3:32 am

Hi Rhonda, Yes, I think a lot of people come to Edinburgh for only a day so don’t have a lot of time to see too much. Yes, the Royal Yacht Britannia is interesting to tour and definitely has some spacious rooms, although some of the bedrooms are fairly small (considering they were meant for royalty) but yes much bigger than a normal cruise stateroom!! I liked that you also get to see the captain’s quarters, mess, officer’s room, engineering rooms, bridge etc. in addition to the state rooms. You can also see a retired Rolls-Royce Phantom V state car and the 1936 racing yacht Bloodhound which was owned by the royal family. It is a really nice tour! Jessica

Kat Post author

March 11, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Wow, this post is brilliant and very comprehensive! My sister is planning a trip to Edinburgh in May, this post will come in very handy for her. Thanks for sharing this post with us 🙂

March 12, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Hi Kat, Glad that this was so timely and hopefully your sister will find it useful in planning her trip to Edinburgh! We have lots of Edinburgh content on the blogs. Best, Jessica

Lolo Post author

March 11, 2017 at 8:31 am

Such a useful guide! I’ve pinned this as it would definitely be useful, in case we go without (renting) a car. We normally just like to drive everywhere as you can see so much more easily, however, once in Edinburgh, maybe we can return the car or park ours and take advantage of this ticket! I’d definitely want to see the Royal Atttractions, and the Hop on Hop Off bus looks like a good one! We did it once in Prague and it was terrible!

March 12, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Hi Lolo, We love driving in Scotland, but cars are not great to have in central Edinburgh itself as parking can be expensive and annoying like in most larger cities. As people who live nearby, we almost always take the bus into the city and then walk or take the bus around. Outside of Edinburgh (and Glasgow) it is much nicer to have a car. So I would probably recommend picking up or dropping your car off and then exploring Edinburgh without one so you don’t have to pay to park it. Best, Jessica

Lyn @ A Hole in my Shoe Post author

March 10, 2017 at 9:20 pm

This pass certainly seems the way to see the best of Edinburgh’s attractions. I’ve just got to get to Edinburgh. Looks like will be when we finally make it there. I always enjoy your posts.

March 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Hi Lyn, Yes, still waiting for you two to visit Scotland!! Hopefully it gets into your calendar soon 😉 Best, Jessica

Anisa Post author

March 10, 2017 at 7:58 pm

I didn’t know about the Royal Edinburgh Ticket so thanks for sharing this. I only had a day in Edinburgh so we just got to go to the castle, which I loved. I need to go back, there really is so much to see in Edinburgh. #TheWeeklyPostcard.

Hi Anisa, Yes it is hard to see too much in one day and this pass is really designed for those who have 2 or more days in the city, but may be a good bet if you return and want to re-visit the castle some day! Best, Jessica

Anda Post author

March 10, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Not a bad deal. Edinburgh Castle looks so beautiful and like always your pictures are gorgeous. Hope to get there someday.

March 12, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Hi Anda, It is a great deal if you plan to buy tickets to all four! Hope you get a chance to visit here someday as well – would love to show you around! Best, Jessica

Kay R Post author

March 7, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Hello again Jessica & Laurence, I found you through your excellent Harry Potter Edinburgh post and then saw this one as well. The Royal Edinburgh Pass seems great and now all three of the royal attractions are on my must-see list! Thanks again for all this great information and I can’t wait to dig into more of your Edinburgh tips! Best, Kay

March 7, 2017 at 6:20 pm

Hi again Kay! So glad you are enjoying our Edinburgh content, we are happy to currently call Scotland home so you’ll find quite a lot of Edinburgh content across both of our blogs and much more to come. I would recommend reading the post on the 21 Highlights of Edinburgh and the follow-up post on lesser known things to do in Edinburgh – those should help you plan your itinerary for your time in Edinburgh. Best, Jessica

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Tickets & prices The Royal Yacht Britannia

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The Royal Yacht Britannia

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Admission prices & discounts for tickets to The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh

The Royal Yacht Britannia

The following overview lists the admission prices and various discounts and discount codes for a visit to The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh . All prices are displayed per age group or reduced rate group. You can also directly book your discounted online ticket for the The Royal Yacht Britannia here, if available, or make a reservation to reserve a timeslot if applicable.

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Wondering what a ticket to The Royal Yacht Britannia costs? These are the prices:

Ticket prices & discounts

0 – 4Free
5 – 17£9.25
18+£19.50
Family (2 adults and up to 3 children)£50.00
Family (2 adults, 3 children)£50.00
Students (with ID)£13.50

Armed Forces are only available at the Britannia ticket desk on the second floor of Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre with ID (Staff ID or payslip). Please be reassured, even though it is not possible to book these discounted tickets in advance, you can still buy your tickets at the ticket desk. Student tickets can only be purchased from the ticket desk with a valid student ID.

Tours & tickets near The Royal Yacht Britannia

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Royal Yacht Britannia – tickets, prices, discounts, afternoon tea, what to see

Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh

Royal Yacht Britannia used to be Queen Elizabeth’s Palace on Water and is now Scotland’s most popular tourist attraction. 

Known by many names such as Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia, Queen Elizabeth’s Yacht ,  HMY Britannia, etc., this Yacht was in the Queen’s service for 44 years and sailed more than a million miles worldwide. 

It is a perfect opportunity to see how the British Queen lived when traveling with other Kings and Queens, World leaders, and celebrities. 

This article shares everything you must know before booking your tickets for the Royal Yacht Britannia tour.

Top Royal Yacht Britannia Tickets

# Royal Yacht Britannia tickets # Royal Edinburgh ticket

Table of contents

What to expect at yacht britannia, royal yacht britannia prices, royal edinburgh ticket, where is the royal yacht britannia, royal yacht britannia entrance, royal yacht britannia opening times, are the britannia tours timed, are the royal britannia tours guided, how long does a tour of britannia yacht take, royal britannia discounts, royal yacht britannia audio guide, royal deck tea room timings, 1. the state drawing room, 2. the verandah deck, 3. the sun lounge, 4. the state dining room, the engine room, the laundry, admiral’s cabin.

Here is a quick video on what visitors can expect inside Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia.

Your Royal Britannia tour starts from the Visitor Centre, on the second floor of Ocean Terminal, where you get the historical background about the Royal Family and Yachtsmen.

You then pick up the audio guide, which is part of the entry ticket, and board Queen Elizabeth’s Yacht and explore five fascinating decks.

Highlights on the Yacht’s Royal side are the Sun Lounge, the State Dining Room, and The Queen’s Bedroom.

On the ship’s operational side, you get to see the Crew’s Quarters, the Engine Room, the laundry, etc.

More than 95% of the exhibits you will see during your tour are original and are taken on loan from The Royal Collection.

If you prefer, you can also visit the Royal Deck Tea Room.

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Royal Yacht Britannia tickets

This entry ticket gets you complete access to the Royal ship that’s now berthed in Edinburgh’s historic Port of Leith.

Visitors can explore all five decks at a leisurely pace even as they take in the public and private lives of the British Royal Family.

This ticket also includes the complimentary audio guide. 

Adult ticket (18+ years): 18.50 pounds Child ticket (5 to 17 years): 9.25 Pounds  Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children): 50 Pounds Infant ticket (under 5 years): Free entry

This combo is known as the 48-hour Royal Edinburgh Ticket and is a real money saver. 

If you are visiting Edinburgh for the first time, we highly recommend this Royal attractions combo. 

This ticket gets you to access three of the best attractions in the city:

  • Royal Yacht Britannia
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Palace of Holyroodhouse

And to top it all, you also get unlimited travel for 48 hours on three of Edinburgh’s hop-on-hop-off bus tours. 

Royal Yacht Britannia location map

Address:  Ocean Terminal, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ, United Kingdom. Get Directions

The Royal Yacht Britannia is berthed in Leith, Edinburgh, just 2 miles from the City Centre.

Britannia’s Visitor Centre is on the second floor of Ocean Terminal, just 15 minutes’ drive from Edinburgh City Centre.

Ocean Terminal is soon going to be  re-branded  as Porta. 

There are many ways to get to the Royal Yacht. 

If you are coming by train, you must get down at  Edinburgh Waverley .

From outside the station, you can take a taxi to cover the 3.7 kms (2.3 miles) to Ocean Terminal. 

From the Waverly station, you can also take bus No. 22 and 34.

You must board the buses at  Princess Street (Stop PN) , and after 24 minutes and 27 stops, get down at  Ocean Terminal (Stop OF) .

There is a bus from the Station, every 15 minutes.

Lothian Bus services  run three buses – Bus No. 11, 22, and 35 – from Edinburgh City Centre to Ocean Terminal. 

You can purchase tickets on the bus by presenting the correct change or from the  Lothian Buses app .

A single journey on a Lothian Bus costs 1.70 Pounds. 

If you use Satnav, use the postcode EH6 6JJ. 

Else, open Google Maps to get  directions to Ocean Terminal .

If you prefer a taxi, we recommend  Uber ,  Central Taxis , or  City Cabs .

Car Parking

Royal Yacht Britannia offers free parking at Ocean Terminal.

Blue Car Park on Level E is closest to the tourist attraction’s Visitor Centre. 

This part of the Park also has spaces for Blue Badge holders. 

If you reach by foot, taxi, or bus, access to Royal Britannia is from the Ocean Terminal Shopping Center’s main entrance on the ground floor. 

You must take a lift to the 2nd floor of Ocean Terminal and walk towards the building’s East end.

Royal Yacht Britannia Visitor Center Entrance

You will first spot Debenhams and then HMY Britannia’s Visitor Center entrance.  Even though you can book tickets at the venue (the ticket desk is to the left of the visitor center entrance), it is better to  buy them online , much in advance, to avoid last-minute disappointment. 

During the peak months of April to October, Royal Yacht Britannia opens at 9.30 am, and the last entry is at 4.30 pm. 

The rest of the year, the Royal Yacht opens at 10 am, and the last entry is allowed till 3.30 pm. 

The last admission on 24 December is at 2.30 pm, and on 31 December it is at 3 pm. 

Royal Yacht Britannia is closed on 25 December and 1 January.

Royal Yacht Britannia tour

The Royal Yacht Britannia   tours are a perfect way to feel like a celebrity for a few hours. 

In this section, we share a few things you must know before you book your tour of the Royal ship. 

No, tours of HMY Britannia don’t start at a stipulated time. 

When you book your tickets, you only select the ‘date.’ 

On the day of your visit, reach the Royal ship between their opening hours to start exploring.

Her Majesty’s Yacht doesn’t offer guided tours. 

However, every ticket comes with an audio guide to walk around and tour the ship yourself.

Kids get their own version of the audio guide. 

You need at least two hours to explore Royal Yacht Britannia to satisfaction. 

However, if you plan to visit the Royal Deck Tea Room, you must factor in another 30 to 60 minutes. 

Visits during July and August tend to take longer because of the crowd. 

Kids up to four years get the maximum discounts at Britannia, Edinburgh – they get in for free. 

On the adult ticket price of 17 Pounds, children aged 5 to 17 years get almost 50% discount and pay only 8.75 Pounds.

Seniors who are 60+ and students with valid educational ID cards get a 2 Pound reduction on the full ticket.

People in the Armed Forces (with valid ID) can also claim the reduced price of 8.75 Pounds. 

However, this Armed Forces discount is available only at the Britannia ticket office.

Every Britannia Yacht entry ticket comes with a complimentary audio guide.

While receiving the audio guides at the Handset Desk, you can ask for straps to wear the audio guides around the neck. Headphones are also available.

Kids can opt for the children’s version of the audio guide.

The audio tour is available in 30 languages; English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Russian, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Korean, Japanese, Urdu, Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Thai, Turkish, Cantonese, Punjabi, Portuguese-Brazilian, Welsh, Romanian and Gaelic. 

Besides the audio guide, visitor guides are also available through the tour route to help if you have questions.

Royal Yacht Britannia afternoon tea

The Royal Deck Tea Room is on board Britannia and tables are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is a perfect restaurant to enjoy freshly prepared food and stunning views of the harbor. 

The menu includes specialty coffees, cocktails, tasty soups, sandwiches, cakes, scones, etc.  Download Menu

The Royal Deck Tea Room has 35 tables and can seat 133 people.

During the peak months of April to October, the Royal Deck Team Room opens at 11 am, and the last admission is at 3.30 pm. 

January to March: Opens at 11 am, last admission at 3.30 pm

November to December: Opens at 10.30 pm, last admission at 3.45 pm

Royal Yacht Britannia interiors

Many tourists wonder what’s inside the Royal Yacht before they book their tickets. 

Some out of curiosity and some to know if a visit to Royal Yacht Britannia is worth it. 

We list below some of the highlights of this Palace on water. 

State Apartments

The State Apartments are the collection of rooms where the Royals lived or entertained their guests. 

The Royal family relaxed in the State Drawing Room whenever they traveled together. 

It also acted as a reception room for up to 250 guests. 

The Verandah Deck was a private space for the Royals, where they could sunbathe or enjoy quoits or deck hockey. 

This area of the ship also had a collapsible swimming pool for the Royal Family to splash around if they wanted.

Sun Lounge at Royal Yacht Britannia

The Sun Lounge was one of the Queen’s favorite rooms onboard HMY Brittania. 

The beautiful teak-lined room was a designated family room and offered a lot of privacy from the rest of the ship.

This massive dining room onboard Britannia has played host to the world’s most influential people, such as Nelson Mandela, Sir Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, etc. 

With its white paneled walls adorned with gifts received during State visits, this room represents ultimate luxury. 

Engine Room at Royal Yacht Britannia

The Engine Room is a testament to British marine engineering skills because, until the ship got decommissioned in 1997, everything was working fine. 

This room is full of gleaming brass, chrome, and white enamel with the ‘heavy stuff’ under the hood pumping 12,000 horsepower, which would help Britannia and her four-bladed propellers to a maximum of 22.5 knots.  

Eight men operated the Engine Room, Boiler Room, and associated machinery rooms.

The 240 Officers and Yachtsmen on board Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia sometimes had to change their uniforms up to six times a day. 

This is why it was the only ship in the Royal Navy to have a laundry service permanently on board. 

The laundry machines, dryers, and steam presses on the ship worked non-stop, and sometimes the temperature even went up to 48 degrees Celcius (118 degrees Fahrenheit)

Admiral’s Cabin at Royal Yacht Britannia

The Admiral was responsible for Royal Yacht Britannia’s safe functioning and commanded the 19 officers and 220 Yachtsmen who operated the ship.

He worked, entertained, and often ate (he couldn’t join the other officers in their mess unless invited) in the Admiral’s Cabin. Image: Royalyachtbritannia.co.uk  

Royal Yacht Britannia's Bridge

The Bridge was HMY Britannia’s center of command and control on all her journeys. 

From here, the officers reporting into the Admiral navigated, passed orders, recorded the logbooks, etc.

Back then, all Royal Navy ships had a Navy, Army, and Air Force Institute shop, known as the NAAFI. 

The crew members and the officers would shop for their daily needs, such as toothpaste, shaving creams, magazines, etc. in this shop. 

Sources # Royalyachtbritannia.co.uk # Architecturaldigest.com # Wikipedia.org # Tripadvisor.com The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy .

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He is a two-faced traveler, who enjoys both the hustle-bustle of an urban holiday and the serenity of a break from the rest of the World. During some of his vacations, he is a resort hopper, and on others, he barely spends time in his hotel. He loves to try mouth-watering local cuisines, especially non-vegetarian dishes. Favourite Cities: Amsterdam, Las Vegas, Dublin, Prague, Vienna

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The Royal Yacht Britannia

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Ocean Terminal, Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH6 6JJ

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Visit The Royal Yacht Britannia in beautiful Edinburgh! Launched in 1953, the Royal Yacht has served the Royal Family, travelling more than a million nautical miles to become one of the most famous ships in the world. To Queen Elizabeth II, Britannia provided the perfect Royal residence for glittering state visits, official receptions, Royal honeymoons and relaxing family holidays. Britannia is now a five star visitor attraction with State Apartments where Queen Elizabth II welcomed guests including Sir Winston Churchill, the NAAFI, the Engine Room, and a Royal Deck Tearoom too. Visit Tripadvisor’s No.1 UK Attraction, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

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Pre-book online by entering the discount code at the checkout stage at www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk or quote code at the Britannia Visitor Reception on the 2nd floor of Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre. Members must present valid Caravan and Motorhome Club membership card on the day to authenticate the discount.

Pre-booking required. 10% off admission for up to 4 people. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer, gift tickets or family tickets. One code per transaction. No cash alternative. Valid until 31 December 2024.

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Royal Edinburgh Ticket

48 hours on all three Edinburgh Bus Tours City Tours plus entry to Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Royal Yacht Britannia. This unique inclusive ticket ensures you see the Royal highlights of Edinburgh

The Royal Edinburgh Ticket includes 48 hour use of all three Edinburgh Bus Tours City Tours - live guided Edinburgh Tour and pre-recorded via headphones Regal Tour and City Sightseeing Edinburgh as well as guaranteed entry to Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Royal Yacht Britannia. Use the tours to find out more about the city, hop off at the Royal attractions to explore further. You can visit in any order you choose.

Palace of Holyroodhouse is open Thursday - Monday October-June Open 7 days July-September.

Closed 27 June-5 July 2024 during this closure entry to The King' Gallery and a Palace guidebook are offered instead

From £69 per adult

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Hop-on, hop-off and discover the best of Edinburgh with an open-top Edinburgh Bus Tour. The 5-star rated tours showcase the best of Edinburgh with a choice of a specially trained live guide or multi-lingual commentary . Get a unique view of Scotland's capital from the top deck of our 3 city tour routes and enjoy sights such as Edinburgh's Medieval Old and Georgian New Towns, Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse , The Royal Yacht Britannia and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. See more for less and make the most of your visit with a choice of multi-tour tickets for 24 or 48 hours

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The Royal Yacht Britannia

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RYA members can take advantage of a 10% discount on admission to The Royal Yacht Britannia*, Edinburgh. Britannia played host to some of the world's most famous people, from Sir Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela, but above all was home to the Royal Family for over 40 years. Now you can visit the Royal Yacht, rated Best UK Attraction in Which? Magazine. They have moved to an online timed booking system therefore you can simply book a time slot for first admission and then complete your tour at your own pace.

All ages will love to explore Britannia's five main decks with their own self-led complimentary audio guide (children even get their own version) . See where the Royal Family spent their holidays to the Western Isles and where celebrities and esteemed guests were entertained at sparkling functions in the State Apartments. Head below decks to see where the crew of 220 Royal Yachtsmen lived, slept and worked as well as the gleaming Engine Room. Learn more about the Royal Family's love of sailing in the Royal Sailing Exhibition. With waterfront views, the Royal Deck Tea Room is the perfect place to enjoy freshly baked cakes, scones, soups and sandwiches, all made on board in the Galley kitchens.

The Royal Yacht Britannia has attained Visit Scotland's ‘We’re Good To Go’ certificate, fully adhering to all the published guidelines, and more, as standards are already incredibly high, and carried out with passion and precision by the dedicated staff.

Be assured that everything will be taken care of, so all you have to do is have a great day out!

All members -  10% discount on admission to the Royal Yacht Britannia* for up to 4 people. 

RYA members: to claim this benefit, log in to your MyRYA account to view all of your exclusive RYA member offers. Not a member? Register and join now to claim this benefit and for access to all the exclusive RYA member offers.

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Book this Royal Edinburgh Ticket and enjoy the best of the Scottish capital city for 48 hours. Visit the Castle, the Royal Yacht and the Palace  on a hop-on hop-off tourist bus.

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Description

The attractions included in the Royal Edinburgh ticket are the following:

Edinburgh Castle

Royal yacht britannia.

  • Holyroodhouse Palace
  • Unlimited journeys on the 3 Edinburgh tourist bus routes  

You can view the tourist bus route map at this link:  Edinburgh tourist map routes and stops .

How it works

The duration of the card's validity begins on the day it's first used . From that moment on, you can use it for the next 48 hours. For example, if you activate the Royal Edinburgh Ticket on a Monday at 12 pm, it'll be valid until 11:59 am on Wednesday.

To enjoy the benefits of the Royal Edinburgh Ticket, you'll have to redeem the voucher  at the St. Andrew Square tourist bus stop.

Open daily at the following times:

  • April 1 - September 30 : 9:30 am - 6 pm (last access at 5 pm)
  • October 1 - March 31 : 9:30 am - 5 pm (last access at 4 pm)  
  • January - March : 10 am - 5 pm (last admission at 3 pm)
  • April - August : 9:30 am - 6 pm (last admission at 4 pm)
  • September : 10 am - 6 pm (last admission at 4 pm)
  • October : 10 am - 5:30 pm (last admission at 3:30 pm)
  • November - December : 10 am - 5 pm (last admission at 3 pm)  

Holyroodhouse Palace

  • November 1 - March 31 : 9:30 am - 4:30 pm (last admission at 3:15 pm)
  • April 1 - October 31 : 9:30 am - 6 pm (last access at 4:30 pm)  

From June to October , the palace is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays . The rest of the year, the palace is open every day.

Edinburgh Tour bus route

Every day, April 2 - October 28, 9:06 am - 5:54 pm, every 12 minutes.  

Majestic Tour bus routes

Every day, April 2 - October 28, 9 am - 5:30 pm, every 15 minutes.  

City Sightseeing Edinburgh bus route

Every day, April 2 - October 28, 9 am - 6 pm, every 10-12 minutes.  

Please note that all these schedules are subject to change.

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Ticket to Edinburgh Castle

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Ticket to Royal Yacht Britannia

48–hour ticket for the 3 Edinburgh tourist bus routes

When to book?

You can book up to the start time, as long as there are places remaining. Book now to guarantee your spot.

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Electronic. Show the voucher on your phone.

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Varies according to the attraction included.

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All services published on Civitatis are carried out in accordance with our Sustainability Code .

Our providers commit to:

  • Provide a safe and satisfying experience.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Incorporate eco-conscious technologies.
  • Uphold fair employment standards.
  • Foster the growth of local communities.
  • Preserve the integrity of local culture.
  • Safeguard both cultural and environmental heritage.
  • Ensure ethical treatment of animals.
  • Operate with honesty and transparency.
  • Encourage sustainable behaviors among customers and staff.

This particular activity contributes as follows:

  • No printing of documentation required.

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Q - Why do this activity with Civitatis?

A - At Civitatis we only offer tickets at official prices, with transparency and exclusive advantages for our users. More information

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A - To reserve the activity, choose the date and complete the form on this page. You will receive your confirmation immediately.

If you have any other questions please contact us.

Free cancellation

Meeting point.

St. Andrew Square

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Royal Yacht Britannia

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The Royal Yacht Britannia, Ocean Drive, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ

Tel: 0131 555 5566 Email us: [email protected]

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How to get to Britannia

Bus Britannia is easily accessible from the city centre via the hop-on, hop off Majestic Tour Bus , or by Lothian bus numbers 11, 22 and 35, which all depart regularly. Local buses have contactless for an adult single fare, but are unable to give change for other ticket types therefore you should ensure that you have the correct amount. 

Car Car parking is free within Ocean Terminal Car Park. Level E of the Blue Car Park (2 nd floor of the Shopping Centre) is closest to Britannia however, you can park on any level with stairs and lifts to take you up to our Visitor Centre and the start of your tour. Sat Nav postcode EH6 6JJ.

Opening Times

Britannia is open 9.30am - 4.30pm (April – October) and 10am – 3.30pm (November – March).  The Royal Yacht is closed on 1 January and 25 December.

At last admission (3.30pm/4.30pm respectively) you still have 2 hours to complete the tour with an average audio guided tour lasting 1.5 hours. If you wish to visit the Royal Deck Tea Room, we advise starting your tour half an hour before last admission (3pm/4pm) as this will allow you plenty of time to relax with a cup of loose-leaf tea and a freshly baked scone!

Visitor Assistant welcomes at the podium

Tickets and Queues

We never run out of tickets! If you like to be organised, you can buy your tickets in advance from our website. We will e-mail an admission barcode allowing you to bypass our ticket desk, straight into the exhibition. Our tickets are the same price online as our walk-in rates. Any discount vouchers must be redeemed at the ticket desk.

Royal Deck Tea Room

Tables are unreserved allowing visitors to head up to the Royal Deck Tea Room at any time during their tour. All the soups, sandwiches, cakes and scones are made on board in the Royal Galley.

All the elements of an Afternoon Tea (cakes, scones and sandwiches) are served in the Tea Room however, they are served full sized and are plated as individual elements (sandwiches, slices of cake etc) from our menu . 

Should you wish to pre-book an Afternoon Tea, served on a stand, Britannia's luxury floating hotel, Fingal , is a short 5 minute walk away. A stunning Afternoon Tea  of perfectly formed savoury and sweet delicacies  is served in The Lighthouse Bar aboard this former Northern Lighthouse Board ship. To book call +44 (0)131 357 5000.

Family in the Royal Deck Tea Room

Visiting Britannia

TRIPADVISOR'S NO.1 UK ATTRACTION 2023 - 2024

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Click on the Visit page  for more information before you visit.

Step aboard to enjoy a great day out!

Fingal Hotel

Get away from the everyday aboard Britannia’s sister ship, Fingal.  Extend your visit with a stay in one of Fingal’s luxurious cabins, your own oasis by the sea. 

TRIPADVISOR'S NO.1 UK LUXURY HOTEL TRIPADVISOR'S NO.1 UK SMALL & BOUTIQUE HOTEL AA Hotel of the Year Scotland, AA five-star hotel and 2 AA Rosettes

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Learn more: fingal.co.uk

Edinburgh Bus Tours - official hop on-hop off guided tours

Royal Edinburgh Ticket

  • Edinburgh Castle is open seven days a week - Edinburgh Bus Tours ticket sellers will book your timed entry when you validate your e-ticket.
  • Edinburgh Castle closed all day 3rd July
  • Palace of Holyroodhouse is CLOSED TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY each week and no alternative is offered (open 7 days July – September only).
  • In addition Palace is closed 29 March 2024, 16-25 May 2024, 27 June – 5 July 2024, 25 and 26 December 2024.
  • 27 June - 5 July 2024 During these dates, Royal Edinburgh Ticket holders are offered entry to the King’s Gallery instead plus a Palace guidebook.
  • Head in with your Royal Edinburgh Ticket – no pre-booking required.
  • The Royal Yacht Britannia is open 7 days. Head in with your Royal Edinburgh Ticket – no pre-booking required.

Available Options:

Description, additional information.

48 hours on all three City Tours (Edinburgh Tour, Regal Tour and CitySightseeing Edinburgh) plus entry to Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse and The Royal Yacht Britannia.

  • Edinburgh Castle is open seven days a week – Edinburgh Bus Tours ticket sellers will book your timed entry when you validate your e-ticket.
  • 27 June – 5 July 2024 During these dates, Royal Edinburgh Ticket holders are offered entry to the King’s Gallery instead plus a Palace guidebook.
Ticket Type

Adult, Senior (60+), Child (aged 5 – 15)

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Royal Edinburgh Ticket

IMAGES

  1. Tickets, Prices & Discounts

    royal yacht edinburgh discount code

  2. Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh Tickets

    royal yacht edinburgh discount code

  3. Royal Yacht Britannia, Leith, Edinburgh

    royal yacht edinburgh discount code

  4. Sneak Peek Inside The Royal Yacht Britannia Edinburgh & Tour Review

    royal yacht edinburgh discount code

  5. 40% Off Royal Yacht Britannia Discount Code (19 Code Available)

    royal yacht edinburgh discount code

  6. Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh

    royal yacht edinburgh discount code

VIDEO

  1. The Royal Yacht BRITANNIA

  2. يخت ملكي 🔱💪🔱 ROYAL YACHT

  3. The Queen's Bedroom Royal Yacht Britannia #Shorts

  4. Day 13

COMMENTS

  1. Royal Edinburgh Ticket: How to Save Money on Edinburgh's Royal Attractions

    The Royal Edinburgh Ticket is a great way to save money when visiting the top royal attractions in Edinburgh Scotland! The ticket covers all three of our favorite royal sites in Edinburgh: the mighty and historic Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace (official Scottish residence of the royal family), and Royal Yacht Britannia (royal yacht used by the royal family from 1954-1997). The ticket also ...

  2. Tickets & prices The Royal Yacht Britannia

    18+. £19.50. Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) £50.00. Family (2 adults, 3 children) £50.00. Students (with ID) £13.50. Armed Forces are only available at the Britannia ticket desk on the second floor of Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre with ID (Staff ID or payslip).

  3. Royal Yacht Britannia

    Royal Britannia discounts. Kids up to four years get the maximum discounts at Britannia, Edinburgh - they get in for free. On the adult ticket price of 17 Pounds, children aged 5 to 17 years get almost 50% discount and pay only 8.75 Pounds.

  4. FAQ's

    Find here our frequently asked questions for Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh. Read further here. Skip to Content. Close. EN. FR; DE; IT; Buy Tickets. Visit. Find Us; ... Do you offer military discount? ... The Royal Yacht Britannia is closed on 1 January and 25 December. Last admission on 24 December is 2:30pm.

  5. Admissions and Discounts

    View Admissions and Discounts from The Royal Yacht Britannia. The Royal Yacht Britannia Ticket Portal Home My Account ... Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ Registered Company Address : The Royal Yacht Britannia, Ocean Drive, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ Registered Company Number : SC18547

  6. The Royal Yacht Britannia Official Website

    Our Hotel. Stay at our luxury floating hotel, Fingal, Tripadvisor's No1. UK Luxury Hotel, AA Hotel of the Year Scotland. The Royal Yacht Britannia is a five-star visitor attraction in Edinburgh. Britannia welcomes over 390,000 visitors a year from all over the world.

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    9:30 AM - 4:00 PM. 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM. Write a review. About. Step aboard Queen Elizabeth II's former floating palace and experience this iconic attraction for yourself. Rated Tripadvisor's No.1 UK Attraction (AGAIN), Britannia is one of the most famous ships in the world…Royal Deck Tearoom. Only 15 minutes from Edinburgh City Centre.

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    A unique five-star visitor experience, The Royal Yacht Britannia is an essential visit whilst in Edinburgh. For over forty years, the Royal Yacht sailed over one million miles on nearly a thousand official visits for the British Royal Family. Now berthed in Edinburgh's historic port of Leith, Britannia is a fascinating visitor attraction.

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    Visit The Royal Yacht Britannia in beautiful Edinburgh! Launched in 1953, the Royal Yacht has served the Royal Family, travelling more than a million nautical miles to become one of the most famous ships in the world. ... Pre-book online by entering the discount code at the checkout stage at www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk or quote code at the ...

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    A Royal residence for over 40 years, The Royal Yacht Britannia sailed over 1,000,000 nautical miles on 968 state visits with the Royal Family where they entertained prime ministers and presidents. Now Tripadvisor's No.1 UK Attraction 2023 - 2024, you can discover across five decks stories of life at sea for both the Royal Family and the 220 ...

  11. Royal Edinburgh Ticket

    The Royal Edinburgh Ticket includes 48 hour use of all three Edinburgh Bus Tours City Tours - live guided Edinburgh Tour and pre-recorded via headphones Regal Tour and City Sightseeing Edinburgh as well as guaranteed entry to Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Royal Yacht Britannia.Use the tours to find out more about the city, hop off at the Royal attractions to explore further.

  12. Royal Edinburgh Ticket

    The Royal Yacht Britannia - 10% off admission price. The Scotch Whisky Experience - 10% off tours all day and 10% off coffee and cake in Amber restaurant before 4pm (excludes family tickets). Walking Tours in Scotland: Edinburgh and South Queensferry - Save 10% use code SQ10 online. National Mining Museum - £1 off an adult ticket.

  13. The Royal Yacht Britannia Tickets, Products, Bundles, Membership Plans

    Registered Company Name : Royal Yacht Britannia Branch Address : Ocean Drive, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ Registered Company Address : The Royal Yacht Britannia, Ocean Drive, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ Registered Company Number : SC18547

  14. Buy Edinburgh Royal Yacht Britannia tickets

    Step aboard this nautical Royal Residence based in Edinburgh that sailed the seas for over 40 years. Buy tickets for The Royal Yacht Britannia today. ... Tour The Royal Yacht Britannia, an on-water Royal residence for more than 40 years, which has taken the Royal Family on almost 1000 states visits, sailing for more than 1 million nautical ...

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    All Members - 10% off admission*. RYA members can take advantage of a 10% discount on admission to The Royal Yacht Britannia*, Edinburgh. Britannia played host to some of the world's most famous people, from Sir Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela, but above all was home to the Royal Family for over 40 years. Now you can visit the Royal Yacht ...

  16. Discounts with your ticket

    The Royal Yacht Britannia. 10% off admission price. Discount applies on adult tickets only. Not valid with any other offers, promotion, family and gift tickets. ... 25% off Edinburgh mysteries. Use promo code Edinburghtour24 at www.solveamystery.net. Visit their website for more information. Street Burger by Gordon Ramsay, St James Quarter.

  17. Royal Edinburgh Ticket

    Royal Yacht Britannia. Open daily at the following times: January - March: 10 am - 5 pm (last admission at 3 pm) April - August: 9:30 am - 6 pm (last admission at 4 pm) September: 10 am - 6 pm (last admission at 4 pm) October: 10 am - 5:30 pm (last admission at 3:30 pm) November - December: 10 am - 5 pm (last admission at 3 pm)

  18. Royal Edinburgh Ticket

    This multi-language tour will take you to Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Royal Yacht Britannia and Leith. Find out more. Compare Our Tours. See all of our tours side by side, and make an informed choice. Compare tours. ... Group discounts available in advance, please call 0131 556 2244 for details (minimum 10 people or minimum 15 people for ...

  19. Visit Scotland's Best Visitor Attraction

    A stunning Afternoon Tea of perfectly formed savoury and sweet delicacies is served in The Lighthouse Bar aboard this former Northern Lighthouse Board ship. To book call +44 (0)131 357 5000. Plan your visit to The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh a five-star visitor attraction and explore our yachts exciting history. Find out more.

  20. Do you do military discount?

    Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh: "Do you do military discount?" | Check out answers, plus see 23,531 reviews, articles, and 11,644 photos of Royal Yacht Britannia, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 2,096 attractions in Edinburgh. ... We are delighted to confirm that we offer an armed forces discount rate of £8.50. Please ask for the Armed ...

  21. Royal Edinburgh Ticket

    27 June - 5 July 2024 During these dates, Royal Edinburgh Ticket holders are offered entry to the King's Gallery instead plus a Palace guidebook. Head in with your Royal Edinburgh Ticket - no pre-booking required. The Royal Yacht Britannia is open 7 days. Head in with your Royal Edinburgh Ticket - no pre-booking required. Description.

  22. Is your military discount just for the person...

    Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh: "Is your military discount just for the person..." | Check out answers, plus see 23,527 reviews, articles, and 11,635 photos of Royal Yacht Britannia, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 2,094 attractions in Edinburgh.

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    Get money off w/ The Royal Yacht Britannia Discount code July 2024. Discover 32 more Promo code for The Royal Yacht Britannia to save extra on your online order. ... Today, it stands as a five-star attraction in Edinburgh, captivating over 390,000 visitors annually. With a rich history of 968 state visits and its pivotal role in shaping major ...