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Edinburgh Vaults Tour

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Key Highlights

  • Explore the Blair Street Underground Vaults, built below one of Edinburgh’s busiest thoroughfares.
  • Learn the sinister history of Edinburgh from a guide as you explore the underground vaults
  • Visit sites of documented hauntings, ghosts and spirits on this creepy tour
  • Hear fascinating stories of crimes, hangings and mysterious legends on the tour
  • Activity Schedule
    When does it run?



    Approx. 1 hour 15 mins

    Start time

    2:00pm & 4:00pm

    Meeting Point

    Tour starts at Mercat Cross (an octagonal monument on the Royal Mile, opposite City Chambers).
    Please report at the meeting point 15 minutes before the start time. This is mandatory to allow time for pre-departure briefing.

    Ending Point

    Tour ends at Interpretation Room of the Vaults, Blair Street

  • Overview & Itinerary


    On this tour you will be taken through Blair Street Underground Vaults: the deepest, largest and most extensive in Edinburgh.

    Many know of the vaults as a place of ghostly activities but this tour tells their true history.

    The vaults started their life as storage space for the taverns, cobblers and other tradesmen that were prospering during the industrial revolution. However when the businesses abandoned the space, the poorest citizens of Edinburgh populated the dark, damp spaces of the vaults. Slums, brothels and salubrious pubs became commonplace.

    Crimes including robbery and murder soon plagued the vaults. The infamous serial killer duo Burke and Hare, who sold corpses to medical schools, are rumoured to have hunted for victims in the vaults and even stored some of the bodies there.


    You will meet your guide at Mercat Cross, an octagonal monument on the Royal Mile, opposite the City Chambers.

    On this tour lasting just over an hour, discover the fascinating history of the network of vaults that run under the streets of Edinburgh.

    From starting life as storage for prosperous business owner their decline into disrepute, this tour covers the true history of the Edinburgh vaults.

    You can see and touch artefacts from the 19th century and hear how people lived and worked down in the vaults.

    The tour includes a visit to Discovery Room and an intriguing presentation. Written translations available on request (Fr, Ger, It, Sp, Rus).

    Your tour ends in the vault’s interpretation room.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions


    • Walking tour of Edinburgh Vaults
    • English-speaking guide


    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
    • Food and drinks
  • Please note & Additional info

    Please note

    Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to the start of the tour to reconfirm the departure details.

    Additional info

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.
  • Reviews
    • Excellent Tour and Guide

      Very informative, interesting and well worth doing while in Edinburgh. Loved this tour....

      Ms H Elizabeth
    • Informative unique experience

      Experienced tour guide gave enlightening history of the creation, usage and occupants of the Edinburgh Vaults in the context of the social changes in the 18th / 19th centuries. ...

      R H SMART
    • I'll be coming back in the near future for sure!

      The Edinburgh Vaults tour was one which definitely drew my attention from the minute I found it and I am happy to say that disappointed, I was not. There was no problem finding...

      Elizabeth kennedy
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