Couple looking a map on an open top bus

Bus Tours

This page contains adverts and may also include affiliate marketing links. To find out more about the advertising that funds this website, please read the Privacy Policy.

Open-top Bus Tours are a really fantastic way to see Edinburgh. Especially if you are on a limited time scale. There are a number of tours available, most of which depart from Waverley Bridge at regular intervals. Most tours last for approximately one hour in total. But, you can spend the day hopping on and off the bus at the various attractions and landmarks as you go.

On a nice day you can sit on the top deck of the bus and enjoy the sunshine. Or, as the Scottish weather can be somewhat unpredictable, shelter can be found on the bottom deck when needed.

So you can learn a little about each area you visit, you can listen to commentary either from a live guide, or pre-recorded and played through headphones at your seat. Some people prefer a live guide as they have more personality and humour. Pre-recorded commentary is great if English is not your first language. They have multi-language options, and some have special commentary for children too.

Hop On, Hop Off Tours

A Hop On, Hop Off Tour means you can leave the bus at designated stops to enjoy the attractions, and join the tour again later in the day. They visit many of the city’s top attractions. For example, New Town, Old Town, Grassmarket, Edinburgh Castle, National Museum of Scotland, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Our Dynamic Earth and Calton Hill.

Bus & Boat Tour

This bus and boat tour goes by bus out to the famous Forth Bridges at South Queensferry, followed by a boat cruise on the Firth of Forth. Available in the summer months. Highlights include Princes Street, New Town, South Queensferry, Forth Railway Bridge, Inchcolm Island, Forth Road Bridge and Queensferry Crossing.

The Ghost Bus

The Ghost Bus is a great alternative to a traditional sightseeing tour. Described as a ‘comedy horror show’, this bus tour is very theatrical. The creepy conductor will show you where crimes, tortures and executions took place. And you’ll hear stories of witches, thieves and murderers. This tour lasts for one hour 15 minutes with no stops.