The Real Mary King's Close

Type:Historic Site / Building

High Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH1 1PG
The Real Mary King's Close

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Beneath the City Chambers on the Royal Mile lies Edinburgh's deepest secret. Imagine a warren of streets frozen in time, where centuries of stories are just waiting to be told. Discover authentic truths about Edinburgh's dark past, and find out what it was really like for the people who lived, worked, and died on the Close between the 16th and the 19th Centuries.

A time capsule of streets beneath Edinburgh’s Royal Mile bringing history to life.

Experience over 400 years of history on a one-hour tour led by a character tour guide depicting a former resident of the Close. You will delve below to learn the real stories from Edinburgh’s incredible past between the 16th and 19th centuries. Your experience at The Real Mary King’s Close will be brought to life by one of our costumed character tour guides impersonating former residents of the Old Town’s closes.

Unlock the secrets of Edinburgh’s only preserved 17th-century street, get under the skin of the plague, learn why it was wise to avoid the streets at 7am and 10pm, hear the stories of the people who lived, worked and died on these streets and discover how all social classes lived together stacked on top of each other in tenements that are said to have been the world’s first skyscrapers!

Despite being shrouded in myths and legends of haunted happenings and unexplained occurrences, The Real Mary King’s Close offers guests an authentic insight into the social history of these uniquely preserved streets and houses.   

Private Tours are also available at The Real Mary King’s Close, for you and up to 17 additional guests. Our Private Tours give you the perfect opportunity to experience The Close in your own group. Be it friends, family or colleagues, you are sure to have a truly unique experience.

Join us on this 5-star, world-class heritage visitor attraction - a ‘must-see’ during your visit to Edinburgh.

Opening times for The Real Mary King’s Close vary during this year, please visit for full details.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adultfrom £19.50 to £22.00 per ticket
Childfrom £12.95 to £15.00 per ticket

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.


Road Directions

Car parking is very limited in Edinburgh’s Old Town. There are a few spaces dotted around, but most are snapped up early. Find out more on Edinburgh City Council’s website:

Public Transport Directions

By Bus - Lothian Buses offer excellent services to all parts of the city. If you intend travelling to us by bus, simply choose a service that stops near the high street or bridges.

By Train - The quickest route is to climb the 100 steps at the foot of Warriston’s Close. From Waverley Bridge, walk to the mini-roundabout. Cross over onto the bottom of Cockburn Street, and look up! You should spot the sign for Warriston’s Close on your right. We’re at the top of the stairs on your left. To avoid the stairs, continue to walk up Cockburn Street until you meet the junction with the Royal Mile. Turn right at the top, and continue until you see our entrance on the right.    



  • Refreshments Available

Children & Infants

  • Baby changing facilities

Establishment Features

  • Accept coach parties
  • Cash Machine(s)
  • Gift shop
  • Public toilets
  • Wireless internet (WiFi) connection available

Key Features

  • Non smoking establishment

Payment Methods

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Guided Tours Available for Groups


Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:00

* Opening times are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.
Open longer in July – August (9am until 9.30pm)

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