Edinburgh Tourist Passes: Royal Ticket Or City Pass?

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If you're planning a trip to Edinburgh in 2019 you may have heard about its two tourist passes: the Royal Ticket and the Edinburgh City Pass. Both are designed to help short stay visitors see and do as much as possible while saving money. The question of which one you pick ultimately depends on what attractions you most want to visit.

Pick the Edinburgh Royal Ticket or Edinburgh City Pass

What's The Difference?

The main difference is quantity. The Royal Ticket has 6 offers while the City Pass has 23. At first glance the latter is much better value, but again, it depends on which attractions you're most looking forward to. And how much time you have!


The Royal Ticket:

Edinburgh Royal Ticket Tourist Pass

  • LEARN MORE - If booking, use code DC5 (all caps) at checkout for 5% off.

Of the two passes the Royal Ticket is the only one that includes entry to: Edinburgh Castle, Royal Yacht Britannia and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Adult tickets cost £57.00 per person, and for this you also get a 48-hour Edinburgh Bus Tour sightseeing pass. The bus pass gives you access to the following hop-on hop-off bus services: City Sightseeing Edinburgh, Edinburgh Tour (green buses) and the Majestic Tour.

How Does It Work?

Book online and receive a printable voucher immediately via email. Exchange this voucher with the Edinburgh Bus Tours staff to get your bus pass and tickets for the three royal attractions. The bus pass is valid 48 hours from first use, but the attraction tickets can be used on any day of your choosing.

Something worth remembering is that the Edinburgh bus tours come with their own selection of offers. These are listed on the tour leaflets, but a few of the best ones include:

  • £5 Off Edinburgh Dungeon Entry.
  • 10% Off Scotch Whisky Experience Tours.
  • Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - Glasshouses 2-For-1 Entry.

Is It Worth It?

You'll be saving around £16 on combined individual ticket purchases. This figure is based on the price of an adult Grand 48 bus tour pass plus individual online attraction tickets. The Royal Ticket is also extremely flexible, with the attractions free to visit on any day, and no time slots required for the Castle.


Edinburgh City Pass:

Edinburgh City Pass

  • LEARN MORE - If booking, use code DC5 (all caps) at checkout for 5% off.

With the Edinburgh City Pass tourists get access to 18 attractions, 4 sightseeing tours and an open return ticket for the Edinburgh Trams. Passes are available in 1, 2 and 3-day varieties, with adult prices ranging from £45.00 to £65.00.

While you are getting more for your money it's important to note that some of the offers are spread further afield, for example: the Forth Boat Tour in South Queensferry, Gilmerton Cove and Hopetoun House. In each case you will be required to provide your own transport. Within Edinburgh, however, you'll have access to the Edinburgh Dungeon, Edinburgh Zoo, Dynamic Earth and other tourist favourites.

How Does It Work?

After booking online a City Pass e-voucher will be sent straight to your mobile device. You will also receive a digital copy of the Edinburgh City Pass guide book within 24 hours. Passes are activated from the moment they are first used, this includes the first time you board the tram.

Bare in mind that passes are valid per 'calendar day' so it's recommended that you use them as early as possible on any given date. Also, each activity can be accessed only once per pass.

Is It Worth It?

For a brief stopover you might struggle to get the most out of a one day pass. However, if you're staying 2 or 3 days and know exactly what you want to see then the Edinburgh City Pass quickly begins to pay for itself. Just bare in mind the cost of getting to attractions outwith Edinburgh city centre, especially if you're a foreign traveller without a car.

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