Edinburgh Tours
Underground Vaults Walking Tour in Edinburgh Old Town
4.5
BEST SELLER

Underground Vaults Walking Tour in Edinburgh Old Town

By Auld Reekie Tours
Recommended by 94% of travellers
94% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
The Edinburgh Vaults, one of the city’s most fascinating sights, can only be accessed on a tour. This one focuses exclusively on the vaults, an underground warren below South Bridge in Edinburgh’s Old Town. Step inside with a local guide who’ll reveal tales of hardship and struggle in 18th-century Edinburgh, grisly stories from the city’s dark past, and lead you to a hidden witchcraft temple.
from
₹2,187.47
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 5-99, max of 36 per group
Duration: 1h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
More

Highlights
  • Get access to the fascinating and rarely visited Edinburgh Vaults
  • Enter a sinister underground world beneath Edinburgh’s Old Town
  • Travel back to the 18th century, when crime and disease ruled the city
  • Discover a side of the capital many visitors—and even locals—miss

  • Professional guide
What's not included
  • Gratuities

Greet your guide on the Royal Mile and escape the tourist trail to discover Edinburgh’s deepest secrets on this underground walking tour through the Edinburgh Vaults. These infamous vaults fill all 19 arches of South Bridge in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town. As you walk, you’ll learn the hideous conditions in which Edinburgh’s poorer citizens lived during the 18th century. Descend into the dark, dank vaults and learn what it was like to live in the darkness—and which criminals sought their prey there. You’ll explore candlelit Niddry’s Wynd, visit a witchcraft temple with a haunted stone circle, and brave the Haunted Vault, where a myriad mysterious events have occurred.

Start:
  • 300 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PH, UK
    The tour starts from the Tourist Information Police Box, outside of 300 Lawnmarket, EH1 2PH. This is on the opposite side of the road from Deacon Brodie’s Tavern. Please be there at least 5-10 minutes early as we depart promptly at the tour time and will not wait for latecomers.
End:
  • 45 Niddry St, Edinburgh EH1 1LG, UK

  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 8752P1

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Most travellers can participate
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • not suitable for children under 5 years of age, children under 2 years of age are not allowed on tour.
  • Entrance/Exit to the vaults is via a 2 foot tall step followed by single flight spiral staircase.
  • Mezzanine staircases of 5-7 steps inside vaults between levels.
  • Alcohol/Drugs are strictly forbidden and anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be turned away.
  • Non-service animals are not allowed.
  • • Some historical content may be of a distressing nature with regards but not exclusively to Torture, Hangings, Death
  • The walking pace and terrain may not be suitable for those with any difficulty walking.
  • We do not have any luggage storage so please make alternate arrangements.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 36 travellers

  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 8752P1

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About the operator
Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
  • Auld Reekie Tours
    9,000
    Edinburgh, Scotland
  • P7094ADilariaf
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice tour
    Nice and informative, good intro to Edinburghs vibe. very competent guide Ally.very simple and doable for almost everyone
    Written 14 June 2024
  • C2829XAconniem
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Like a very educational history class but with poltergeist classmates 10/10
    I went last May to the vault’s tour with my partner and we sure got the heebie jeebies. Our tour guide was Ally who was both charming and mysterious somehow? Her narration about Edinburgh and the vault’s history was amazing and now I replicate it in our parties in Colombia. I took two polaroid pictures that didn’t portray anything weird but look very ominous, but Ally, if you read this, something spooky did happen! After we left the tour and were walking towards a pub, I told my partner “in the pitch dark vault when they turned off the lights i could feel and somehow see someone standing in front you, jaja i think my mind made up things” My partner went PALE and said “shut up I was feeling it too, I was so sure someone was standing on front of me i thought it might be someone from the tour and i wanted to raise my hand to bump into them to be sure but couldn’t dare” I told them i was thinking that too but couldn’t dare to raise my hand. Talking with them (my partner) we both agreed it was a tall man, about 2meters long with a wide back, the energy felt very neutral, just as another person standing but i think the weirdest thing is that even if i couldn’t see my own hands in front of my face i could somehow see this silhouette… FUNKY. Anyway thanks Ally for the trauma <3 Love from Colombia
    Written 13 June 2024
  • X4457ATheathert
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dark and Creepy, full of History
    Jordan led an amazing tour through the Greyfriars and vaults. heard some great stories with threads of the supernatural and history - the Covenanters, Bloody Mackenzie and even more modern related stories. The vaults were totally creepy and even though I did not step in the stone circle, the curse followed me the next day and messed up my travel! now thats a full experience. its a great tour and will truly take you to the dark side of Edinburgh!
    Written 13 June 2024
  • 118charlottem
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Brilliant experience
    I have wanted to do this kind of tour in Edinburgh for ages and it didn’t disappoint. The tour was creepy, atmospheric and interesting, truly a one of a kind experience. Louisa was a fantastic guide, she was knowledgeable, made us all laugh and kept us on edge with her scary stories from the vaults.
    Written 13 June 2024
  • GoPlaces12339387674
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best Tourguide of 2024
    Ally was absolutely amazing, great humor even with her lack of love for dogs 🤣🥰 We had a great time, my boyfriend who’s usually not a huge fan of ‘history’ was highly entertained throughout the whole experience! Even with the rainy weather it still felt like a sunny day thanks to Ally ❤️ (Not at all saying this to prevent any paranormal activity from happening to us after the tour even though it was said that writing a review would prevent all activity from occuring) Jokes aside we loved the tour and we loved Ally
    Written 13 June 2024
  • kimberlyo250
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unique night of history, hauntings and horror
    Our guide James was an absolute delight. Enthusiastic, entertaining and filled with great stories and history of Scotland. My favorite part was when James singled out my boyfriend as a “witch” much to my delight. The tour was absolutely enjoyable and I didn’t want it to end
    Written 12 June 2024
  • R376HHjulier
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the time
    Luisa was spectacular. She shared much history above the vaults and kept us curious as we wandered below. I would recommend to others.
    Written 12 June 2024
  • sarahbN2538II
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent tour
    Tour guide Darren was excellent very informative and made the tour fun. Really enjoyed the evening and would definitely recommend going
    Written 12 June 2024
  • GrandTour229971
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Entertaining and informative
    Really enjoyed this tour of the graveyard and vaults and learning more about Edinburgh history. The vaults aren't something you can see on your own - and even if you could they wouldn't be near as interesting without the guide. Darrin was excellent and struck the right tone of entertaining/informative; highly recommended.
    Written 11 June 2024
  • davidcP8611RG
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Grave yard tour
    A great hour and a half , the tour of the grave yard was very interesting. The under ground vaults were also fantastic. A lot of history.
    Written 11 June 2024
  • 234hl
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Haunted vaults tour
    Did the 1 hour haunted tour. Very enjoyable and informative, and James was an excellent and engaging guide. Had a great time and would definitely recommend
    Written 11 June 2024
  • Journey57580499938
    0 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great way to see more off the royal mile
    James was a funny and engaging guide and we felt safe and well organized. My only complaint was that I wanted to hear more details about everything- I guess I wanted more history. The vaults were cool but I guess I missed why they were there in the first place? the cemetery was much more interesting, could have listened about Burke and hare all night.
    Written 10 June 2024
  • Camper35630642739
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highly Recommend
    Really good mix of history and scare factor! Jordan was a lovely guide and gave us plenty of opportunities to get a good look at some of the paranormal spots. Definitely sent more than a few shivers down my spine!
    Written 10 June 2024
  • U8468RNzachh
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Haunted Vaults and Graveyard.
    We went on the graveyard and haunted vault tour with James as the guide. He was great, very entertaining. He had a lot of great stories and he made the tour fun.
    Written 9 June 2024
  • winnieg859
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wild, witty, never boring
    Our tour guide, Darren, gave a wild and witty history of Edinburgh. We loved it! The tour was just the right length of time with the walking and stops and description of the history and shenanigans. It was never boring. We would certainly recommend this tour and the guide, Darren - and look forward to returning for another tour!
    Written 9 June 2024
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Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles4,260 reviews
Excellent
3,607
Very good
407
Average
133
Poor
54
Terrible
59

Gianni P
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Couples
We booked this tour expecting a more historical approach to the Edinburgh vaults than some of the other tours which market themselves as ‘ghost’ tours. Unfortunately, this tour fell flat as both a historical and a ghost tour.

On the historical side, the facts given were entirely superficial. The tour guide spent most of the tour telling us that she’d later expand on the history without ever providing any meaningful insight into the goings on in the vault.

As far as it worked as a ghost tour, the guide never delved any deeper than telling us that there have been alleged paranormal occurrences. She explicitly said that the intention of the tour wasn’t to provide any jump scares but the lack of both horror and history left the tour without much content, particularly for its price.

Overall, we were left feeling that we could have had a better experience of the vaults by spending the hour at the underground pub next door.
Written 19 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

psully136
Leeds, UK2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
This tour was brilliant. Our guide Aimee was excellent. She's a knowledgeable story teller with just the right amount of darkness and humour. With two kids age 9 and 12, the Vaults Tour seemed the most age appropriate from the info on the website. The kids (and the adults) were spooked but thoroughly enjoyed being scared by Aimee's stories of torture and the supernatural and the eerie atmosphere of the underground vaults. It really is somewhere you should see whilst you're in Edinburgh. Thanks for the experience.
Written 13 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We are so glad that you had a brilliant experience on your tour with Aimee and we will pass along your kind words.
Written 20 August 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lisa G
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Couples
We booked onto the tour less than 24 hours in advance as we had enjoyed our experience at Mary Kings close the day before. This was definitely less touristy and more personal. We were a group of 6 in total making the experience even more enjoyable without the large groups usually gathered at tourist trails. Our guid was Markus ( I think I’ve spelt that right given he was Irish!) me and my partner could of listened to him talk all day! Brilliant knowledge of not just the vaults but areas around the royal mile as we made our way down!

Once inside there was a great eerie atmosphere which is great if that’s what you’re looking for. We were shown multiple vaults, each one with thier own stories and history. If you want to be scared then this one is for you. My partner opted to go inside a stone circle, he even laid down in it!! Let’s just hope nothing malevolent follows us back home.

Such an enjoyable and energetic hour, highly recommend you book this on your trip to the old town
Written 8 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KEELAN B
Belfast, UK1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Friends
I brought my American friends on this tour as I had heard great things about it and it did not disappoint or I should say Frazer did not disappoint. He kept everyone gripped on his storytelling and was also able to lighten the mood with his charm and humour. Edinburgh city is full of beauty breathtaking views but it was great to learn of her darker colourings. Would thoroughly recommend if not for the spooky side, Frazers cheekbones and accent are more than worth it 😅
Written 28 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephanie
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021 • Family
Our guide Stewart was superb and really knowledgeable, making the whole experience fun yet informative. Beforehand, we had people in our group who weren’t keen in taking part in the tour, yet their opinions were soon changed. The tour was great value for money and is a must to anyone visiting Edinburgh, as you learn much more than you would as opposed to walking around yourself!

Again, a massive thanks to our tour guide, Stewart for making it so enjoyable!
Written 8 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wildheart
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021 • Family
Andrew was our tour guide and he was lovely. Knowledgeable and very good at telling the story of such a fascinating city, it's infamous villains and ghosts. A great balance of knowledge and humour, tour was conducted in a way that it could hold the attention of the two teenagers I had brought with me. The vaults were super interesting and I would highly recommend this for anyone with an interest in history or even the paranormal.
Written 4 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your nice review! It makes our day when we see customers enjoy their experience here :)
Written 5 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cat S
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Couples
Tour guide Andrew was brilliant. He made the tour come to life with his excellent story telling. His knowledge was second to none and he was able to answer all our questions with confidence and throw the odd joke in there too. The tour itself felt quite short as part of it was above ground with a bit of history about the surrounding area. Id have liked to spend a bit more time actually in the vaults but thats just my personal preference. I would gladly recommend auld reekie tours and will be using them again the next time i explore more of the city.
Written 16 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tobias
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
1 hour was a perfect amount of time for this kinda thing and James was exceptionally good at storytelling and feeling the mood of the crowd. He made everything interesting and fun and I can only recommend this tour if you want to check out some of the city's vaults and history. Great fun!
Written 1 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel
Milton Keynes, UK1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Perfectly pitched tour with many interesting stories from Darren our tour guide which he delivered brilliantly, along with a good dose of humour. Group was big but this didn’t matter as Darren was very conscientious in ensuring everyone was gathered around him before he started any talks which were always very clear and easy to hear. Highly recommend this tour for anyone looking for a little bit of scariness without too much horror.
Written 27 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gemma R
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Ive done this tour before once and a night tour and loved it so I wanted to bring my kids who have never been. My daughter (10 yrs) loved it, my youngest (7) was a little bit scared he said but he was fine going round, he just held my hand. We met by a tourist info booth/ telephone box at Lawnmarket/the royal mile and took a little bit of different walk to the vaults due to the royal mile being so busy with the fringe, there was a steep road to walk down but it was fine for us. Paige our tour guide was great, came across as very friendly and was enjoyable to listen to. This one isn't a ghost tour but paranormal activities are mentioned and the setting just makes the tales more eerie compared to a walking tour outside. The underground streets and vaults are fairly spacious so you don't feel claustraphopic and are quite dark and damp in places, lit by emergency lights. I do wish the tour was a little cheaper at nearly £60 for the 3 of us for an hour but I do recommend it as a unique interesting addition to your visit to edinburgh.
Written 11 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Underground Vaults Walking Tour in Edinburgh Old Town provided by Auld Reekie Tours

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