In this post, we list the 4 top free walking tours in Edinburgh, with tips on which one might be best for you. We also offer self-guided as well as other options.
Every traveler should have Edinburgh on the top of their bucket list. Its rich past, royal legacy, and elegant medieval streets will make you wish you never had to leave.
The well-known spots are also close together, which makes it a perfect city to explore on foot.
This model of “free” tours is technically tours that are free to take with no obligation to pay anything at the end.
However, they are popularly understood as pay-what-you-like tours. You can pay what you think your walk was worth or what you could afford at the tour’s end, even nothing.
According to online reviews, most participants contribute between €5 to €15 per adult to the tour guide when they felt the tour was good.
These free tours are usually well-reviewed, as good as any other walking tour in Edinburgh.
In Edinburgh, the selection of free tours includes:
- Old City
- New City
- Harry Potter Sights
- Ghost Tours
Due to their affordable nature, pay-what-you-wish tours tend to attract more backpackers and families, many looking for a budget-friendly alternative.
Some companies can have groups of 30 or more participants while others have lower caps, and this is more of a concern in the busy season.
However, according to online reviews, only occasional complaints are registered about group sizes being too big.
Free Tours by Foot doesn’t offer a walking tour in Edinburgh, but you can still find affordable guides with other companies! We list 4 below.
However, before you book, if you are considering purchasing a tourist attraction discount pass, then note that the Edinburgh City Pass includes several walking tours absolutely free.
The Edinburgh City Pass bundles together 23 tours and attractions into one discounted ticket or gives you discounted entry.
TIP: If you want to know more about the Royal Mile on your own time, check out this great free audio tour.
City Explorers Free Tours
City Explorers Free Tours offers three 2-hour tours every day starting at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, and 13:00 (1:00 pm) in English or Spanish.
They offer the free tours of Old City, New City, Harry Potter, and a ghost tour. They also offer an affordable pub crawl.
To keep the pay-what-you-wish walks enjoyable, groups of 14+ people should book a private tour.
The Orange Free Tours
This company has designed various free themed walking tours such as Free Ghost Tours and Free Harry Potter Tours, along with typical city tours, depending upon the tourists’ interests.
A daily 2-hour tour starts at 11:00 am covering the dark and mysterious history of Edinburgh. They also organize a weekly pub crawl.
Sandemans New Europe Tours
This company offers English, German, and Spanish tourists a 2.5-hour tour that covers all the top attractions in Edinburgh.
They’re quite popular and offer 6 tour times a day which leaves every hour after 10:00 am.
You can also book paid tours of popular attractions like Edinburgh Castle.
Budget Traveller Free Tours:
This self-guided walking tour is the ideal choice for the traveler that wants to manage their own schedule. It is available as a free download and can be easily modified to your needs and interests.
This tour features 50 of the best attractions in Edinburgh and includes an illustrated map of the city.
FREE WALKING TOURS IN OTHER CITIES
Enjoy free walking tours in other cities around the world with Free Tours by Foot and our recommended companies.
The United Kingdom and Ireland
The United States + Canada