About Rabbie's Edinburgh City Tour:
See Edinburgh's iconic locations from the comfort of an open-top mini-coach. Operated by renowned day trip provider Rabbie's, this 2-hour guided tour lets visitors explore the Scottish capital at their own pace, but without the touristy feel of a double-decker bus.
It's conducted from the comfort of a spacious, 16-seater mini-coach. On-board features include a retractable glass roof for all-weather sightseeing, USB charging points, and geolocated audio guides. Commentary is currently available in English and headphones are provided upon boarding, though you can use your own earphones if you wish. Throughout, a professional Rabbie's driver will regale passengers with fascinating local stories.
Tours run three times a day at 09:45, 12:15 and 15:15. Each one lasts 2 hours. The departure point is on Waterloo Place across from Howie's Restaurant. Each coach holds a maximum of 16 people, so you can be sure of a more intimate and fulfilling sightseeing experience.
- All Year Round | Except 25-26 December, 1-2 January (2018).
- Digital English language audio commentary.
- Live commentary from the driver.
- 09:45, 12:15 and 15:15.
- Waterloo Place (opposite Howie's Restaurant) - View Here.
- 2 Hours.
Rabbie's City Tour of Edinburgh begins on Waterloo Place across from Howie's Restaurant. From here you'll proceed down Princes Street past the luscious Princess Street Gardens and Scott Monument. Continuing up Lothian Road, you'll circle around the back of Edinburgh Castle and emerge at the western end of the Grassmarket.
The Grassmarket is a historic square once synonymous with cattle drives and public executions. Today it's a peaceful (if fairly busy) locale packed with restaurants, cafes and small shops. Visit here later in the day if you'd like to grab a bite to eat or do a bit of souvenir shopping.
Moving on up Candlemaker Row you'll pass Edinburgh's most famous non-human resident, Greyfriars Bobby, before doing a loop of the city's university district. A major highlight on this portion of the tour is The Elephant House Cafe, where JK Rowling famously wrote early drafts of the first Harry Potter books. Proceeding up the remainder of George IV Bridge the coach emerges onto Lawnmarket - the upper western portion of the Royal Mile.
After pointing out Edinburgh Castle's Esplanade and explaining a bit about the Old Town, your driver will descend The Mound towards New Town. Passing beautiful Georgian buildings such as the Bank of Scotland headquarters and the National Gallery of Scotland, you'll receive fascinating insights into Scottish pioneers, poets, writers and more.
The scenery takes a rather more quaint turn on the next portion of the tour - Dean Village. If this area of the city looks a bit out-of-place that's because it was once a separate entity from the rest of the capital. It was absorbed during the 18th century as a result of the New Town's founding, but is much older than its neighbouring district, with a history stretching back to the 12th century. Much of Dean Village's centuries-old charm remains intact in the form of cobbled streets and medieval tenements.
Other attractions your driver-guide will point out in the wider Stockbridge area include Stewart Melville College and the Galleries of Modern Art. Afterwards, you'll wheel back into the New Town via St Mary's Cathedral for a closer examination of Melville, George and Queen Street. St Andrew Square, one Edinburgh's most recognisable public spaces, also makes an appearance. From here the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is only a short walk away, as is Multrees Walk, a designer brand shopping street.
This is followed by a drive past Calton Hill, the prelude to the final part of the tour. You'll continue east of here towards Arthur’s Seat, passing the Old Royal High School and Burns Monument as you go. Finally, the coach journeys up the Canongate, past the John Knox House and Scottish Storytelling Centre before returning to Waterloo Place.