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1-Hour Real Mary King's Close Underground Tour in Edinburgh

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom

COVID-19: Check local travel restrictions and learn what we're doing to help keep you safe and your plans flexible. Learn more.

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon1 hour  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Regular temperature checks for staff
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

Discover the secrets that lie beneath Edinburgh’s Royal Mile on a 1-hour tour of the Real Mary King's Close. Accompanied by a costumed guide, experience Edinburgh’s past as you explore the underground streets, hear stories about real-life residents, and learn about life in Edinburgh during the 17th century.
  • 1-hour Real Mary King's Close underground tour in Edinburgh
  • Delve into the subterranean labyrinth of underground streets beneath the Royal Mile
  • Hear tales of 17th-century Edinburgh from a costumed character guide
  • Choice of departure times throughout the day
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Professional guide
Guide book (if option selected)
Food and drinks
Souvenir photos (available to purchase)
Hotel pickup and drop-off

Departure Point

The Real Mary King's Close, 2, Warriston's Close, High St, Edinburgh EH1 1PG, UK

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Make your own way to the entrance of The Real Mary King’s Close, located on the iconic Royal Mile in Edinburgh, and present your pre-paid voucher to a courteous member of staff. Descend to the atmospheric tangle of underground streets with your costumed character guide and embark on a journey into the heart of Edinburgh’s rich history.

Discover captivating myths and legends surrounding the subterranean close as you spend 60 minutes exploring the darkened streets. Gain fascinating insight into the rich and poor residents that lived in the close and allow your guide to conjure the vibrant atmosphere that used to permeate the area.

After your tour, revitalize with authentic Scottish snacks in the Royal Exchange Coffee House (own expense) and then peruse the gift shop for unique souvenirs representative of Scotland culture and history.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
The Real Mary King's Close
Imagine no more... Uncover the true story of how a network of Edinburgh's Old Town streets found itself buried forever beneath Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Mary King's Close was once one of the busiest, liveliest streets in 17th-Century Edinburgh. So how did such an important thoroughfare end up sealed off from the world for nearly 400 years? With your character guide, explore the warren of now underground streets and houses. See for yourself what daily life was like, for both rich and poor. What's the truth behind the myths and legends surrounding Mary King's Close and its residents? Discover how disease and the demands of a growing city conspired to seal the Close's fate forever. Starting in the exhibition space your tour guide will welcome you to Mary King's Close. You will then spend 1 hour exploring the now underground streets and rooms and hear the stories of the people who lived, worked and died here. End your visit with a stop in the shop and cafe. The cafe, The Royal Exchange Coffee House, is open daily from 9am and offers authentic Scottish produce for all the family. Warm up with a hearty soup or relax and enjoy a tea and scone in the unique setting of the Burgh Courtroom (own expense). The shop offers all things Mary King's, from plague and pestilence souvenirs to high quality authentic Scottish gifts, there will be something memorable to take home (own expense). Choose your preferred time slot: pick either a morning, afternoon or evening tour and you will then receive an exact allocated tour time within this period after booking.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Tours depart every 15 minutes: you will be required to pick your preferred time
  • Please request a language audio guide at the time of booking to reserve
  • It's very important that you arrive in time for your allocated departure time as per the confirmation after booking: customers will not be admitted onto any other tour time
  • Due to uneven surfaces, steep inclines and low level lighting, this tour is not recommended for those with walking disabilities
  • Children aged 4 and under are not permitted on the tour
  • No photography is permitted during the tour
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 6 travelers
  • OPERATED BY The Real Mary King's Close

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during 1-Hour Real Mary King's Close Underground Tour in Edinburgh?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by 1-Hour Real Mary King's Close Underground Tour in Edinburgh.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during 1-Hour Real Mary King's Close Underground Tour in Edinburgh?
A:
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
See all safety measures taken by 1-Hour Real Mary King's Close Underground Tour in Edinburgh.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during 1-Hour Real Mary King's Close Underground Tour in Edinburgh?
A:
The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by 1-Hour Real Mary King's Close Underground Tour in Edinburgh.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during 1-Hour Real Mary King's Close Underground Tour in Edinburgh?
A:
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by 1-Hour Real Mary King's Close Underground Tour in Edinburgh.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during 1-Hour Real Mary King's Close Underground Tour in Edinburgh?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 6 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by 1-Hour Real Mary King's Close Underground Tour in Edinburgh.

Traveler Tips


  • "And while it's not intentionally scary at all, it might still be a little too scary for some kids." See review
  • "Seeing this area is definitely worth it if you enjoy history - it is like stepping back in time." See review
  • "I recommended this tour to other Americans we met in the local pubs!" See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
1,084 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 1,084 reviews
star-4
Covid Safe tour
John_S
, Oct 2020
We arrived for our tour and were advised to sit in the courtyard under the lovely warm heaters. We could see that the staff were busy cleaning all the possible touch points and this continued constantly throughout the tour. The gentleman doing our tour wiped every handrail en-route. We were in groups of two and allocated a letter A-E and advised this is where we were stand throughout the tour and this worked well for social distancing though we struggled at times to see everything and understand the guide. Overall we enjoyed our tour my only complaint, and I suppose I am mostly to blame for this, is that I accidentally booked the tour with a guidebook and did not notice this until after checking my statements and seeing I had been charged almost £60 for a £40 tour. When I looked at this further I noticed this was because we should of received guidebooks and yet the staff did not provide them so I do feel a little ripped off in this respect.
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star-5
Mary Kings Close
Mick_D
, Oct 2020
Very informative guide takes you back to what the city was like in the dark past. I would highly recommend
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star-5
Great tour
Ian_D
, Sep 2020
Fascinating educational tour, with plenty of useful input from our guide. This was our second visit and we learnt even more
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star-4
Was good but not the best
Ashley_L
, Sep 2020
We had fun, and was definitely worth it. I will say that it was very hard to hear and understand the guide through his face shield, however this is not his fault and these are unprecedented times. I didn’t enjoy the animated portrait part. I thought that was bit corny. I wish it were a scarier tour. Like with emf readers and more pauses. It went very fast and you could hear the other groups up ahead. I prefer the other ghost tours of Edinburgh I’ve done. The witches circle is the scariest.
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star-5
Mary King's Close tour is an excellent tour.
Charlie S
, Oct 2019
Highly recommended. Lots of history, very well presented. Not just by the guides (though Andrew was excellent) but also by the production of several of the stops along the way. Historical, knowledgeable, and well presented. Good tour and it doesn't take up a lot of time. Rather, it leaves you wanting more. Well done all around.
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star-4
Good but cash grab
Dianegomes
, Sep 2019
The tour was good. I enjoyed the interactive story from the guide. However, they don't allow you to take pictures except at the end where they take one of you. What they fail to advise is that there is a £10 charge if you want a copy of that picture. Very disappointed in that!
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star-5
Real Mary King’s Close
Kerri H
, Aug 2019
We really enjoyed the tour, our tour guide Maggie was excellent related the history in an interesting manner, well worth doing the tour.
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star-4
Good attraction disgusting service from viator
Go61927411687
, Aug 2019
You took payment sent confirmation email with the booking time of 4pm. For us to get there and be told your not booked in, there is nothing coming up! I was asked do I want to pay again! Definitely not. When we asked if we could be put on the 4pm tour after showing proof of email we were told no, the next available time was 7.15pm! So we had to cancel other arrangements so not to lose money. Absolutely disgraceful
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star-4
Formative
JoAnnejuly2019
, Aug 2019
Very formative, we liked this tour of Edinbourg undergrounds and were very surprised to learned that this was the former city center.
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star-1
Run by a bunch of cowboys
8SamS
, Aug 2019
We booked this tour through Viator and turned up 20 minutes early at the address on the ticket 2 High Street Edinburgh which was a pub. We stood around for 30 minutes no one turned up. Eventually we asked at the pub if this was the correct spot and he told us it was the wrong place and numerous tourists had been given the wrong address. He informed us the tour went from the Mary King Tour offices near the top off High Street. When we asked the operators at this office they admitted their web site was wrong, gave no apology, offered us a later tour around 4.30 pm which we said was not really suitable as we had a Castle tour in the afternoon but would contact Viator to arrange a better time. This Viator did according to Viator a person called Laura arranged for us to go on the 10.45 tour the next day Tuesday the 5th August. So you can imagine how frustrated we were when on turning up at 10.20 am to be told they had no record of us being booked on the tour. The manager we eventually spoke with was, rude, unhelpful, lacked Amy customer services skills and basically could not have cared less. She made no effort to contact the manager who had been on the previous day. Stay away from this mob, they are the most useless tour group I have ever dealt with in all my extensive travels.
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Product code: 31895P1

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