As we were in Edinburgh for 3 full days, we’d planned the trip quite carefully to try to maximise our visit. As mentioned in previous posts, we’d done Inchcolm Island and South Queensferry and a drinks night out on the Saturday. For Sunday and Monday however, we’d decided we wanted to properly see the sights of Edinburgh. On my brother-in-law’s suggestion (he’d been to Edinburgh the weekend before with his girlfriend), we decided to get a Hop On Hop Off ticket.
There are a variety of tours available for this Hop On Hop Off. You can purchase your tickets at their booth at Waverley Bridge (its right by the train station) or you can buy them online like we did. You can apparently also just get on at any stop and buy tickets from the driver.
The best one I’d found was The Royal Edinburgh ticket. The tickets were £49.50 per person which may seem really steep at first glance. However, with this 48 hour ticket, you get unlimited travel for 2 days on any of the 4 available tours – The Edinburgh Tour, The Majestic Tour, City Sightseeing Edinburgh and Mac Tours. That’s not all! This ticket includes admission to Edinburgh Castle, The Palace of Holyroodhouse and The Royal Yacht Britannia! More on these 3 in later prices.
When you calculated the price of admission into each of the 3 attractions, the only extra cost was about £6! So it was basically just paying £6 to ride on any of the 4 available tours for 48 hours.
Each bus has a tour guide/pre-recorded guide on board with earphones.
It was really good to have the admissions already paid for as it cut out any need to queue at these attractions. It also meant that we were able to get around on the buses when needed as we were staying at the Premier Inn at Leith Waterfront.
Unfortunately we only managed to ride on The Edinburgh Tour and The Majestic Tour. We wanted to do all the tours but ended up spending more time than we thought at some of the attractions.
We’d gotten The Edinburgh Tour after we’d finished at Edinburgh Castle and The Palace of Holyroodhouse. The one we caught didn’t have a pre-recorded tour. It had a lovely lady called Agnes (?) onboard who kept us all laughing at her little anecdotes about various buildings and parts of the city. She was very knowledgeable but kept things interesting. She even pointed out a Nando’s and had us in stitches about the fact that her grandson keeps dragging her there eventhough she’s vegetarian and doesn’t enjoy spending time in a restaurant like that.
We got The Majestic Tour after we’d seen The Royal Yacht Britannia from Leith into town. We then got off to do a bit of gift shopping then got back on The Majestic Tour and did the circuit till we got back to Leith. The Majestic Tour had a pre-recorded tour.
All in all I’d definitely recommend getting a Hop On Hop Off ticket for your visit to Edinburgh. Also, make sure you sit on the upper deck as its easier to see your surroundings as the bottom deck made it very difficult to see anything. Make sure you hang on to your things though as some of the cobblestones make sitting on the bus quite a bumpy ride!
Hop On Hop Off The Royal Edinburgh Ticket – http://www.hop-on-hop-off-bus.com/the-royal-edinburgh-ticket_21216
Service – 4.0
Value – 4.0
Overall – 4.0