Do you love graveyards? Why not take one of the best cemetery tours in Edinburgh to fuel your love of exploring Gothic tombstones that line several of Edinburgh’s most history cemeteries?
Edinburgh is known for its incredible architecture and history, cobblestone streets, gorgeous cemeteries, and graveyards.
From the dark history of an open-air prison in a graveyard to the haunting poltergeist that taunts visitors as they walk among tombstones – Edinburgh’s historic cemeteries have it all.
Edinburgh is perfect for taphophiles and tombstone tourists as it has graveyards dating back hundreds of years. Full of people who made Edinburgh what it is today.
If you are interested in Edinburgh’s history, a taphophile and tombstone tourist or just want to know more about the Scottish capital’s historic graveyards. In that case, I highly recommend taking a graveyard tour in Edinburgh.
I have taken every cemetery tour in Edinburgh and have gathered the best cemetery tours in Edinburgh for you to choose from.
The 10 Best Cemetery Tours in Edinburgh
Head to the Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard by taking a cemetery (and more) tour with the Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour. This is more than just a cemetery tour; it takes you through Edinburgh’s Old Town and Calton Hill.
Not only will you explore either the Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard, but you will hear all about Edinburgh’s grisly history. Stories include the horrific history of Scotland’s Witch History, vampire folklore and the truth behind Edinburgh’s body-snatching history.
The tour visits the Old Calton Burial Ground, one of Edinburgh’s most chilling cemeteries. See the imposing mausoleum that marks the final resting place of David Hume, who is said to have made a deal with the devil, and perhaps hear of the infamous body snatchers Burke and Hare.
The other graveyard that the tour sometimes visits is the Canongate Kirkyard. This cemetery dates back to the 17th century and has some pretty gruesome stories tied to its history. Plus, it is the burial place of several of Edinburgh’s most influential people, including the poet Robert Fergusson.
The tour is loads of walking, so be prepared! It is also perfect for people interested in real history rather than theatrics. The tour guide, Alasdair, is funny, knowledgeable and provides humour and historical accuracy while holding your attention during the tour.
Visit Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh’s most famous graveyard, by taking the Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour. The tour visits Edinburgh’s haunted Niddry Street vaults and Greyfriars Kirkyard, where you will hear about Greyfriars Bobby, Burke and Hare and the terrifying George Mackenzie.
Not only is this one of the best cemetery tours in Edinburgh, but it is also one of the best vault tours in Edinburgh too, so it is like a two-for-one deal! The tour takes you through Edinburgh’s stunningly beautiful and historic graveyard, where you will pass by gothic mausoleums and learn about the grim history of the graveyard.
You will learn about notable burials, body snatchers and the horrors of the Covenanters Prison as you wander through the macabre setting of an over 400-year-old cemetery.
Visit the Blair Street Underground Vaults and the Canongate Graveyard with Edinburgh: Underground Vaults & Graveyard Evening Tour.
This tour is another one of the best cemetery tours in Edinburgh that descends below the city streets into the Blair Street Underground Vaults. You will hear all about the creepy history and ghosts that hide in the shadows of the vaults.
Then you will be guided to Canongate Graveyard. You will visit the final resting place of well-known historical figures in Edinburgh’s history. People include Adam Smith and David Rizzio and learn about the history of the cannibal of Canongate.
This is an adult-only tour and one of the best ghost tours in Edinburgh. So, if you want to hear all about the darker side of Edinburgh’s history without children tagging along. I highly recommend this tour.
Wander through the same alleys and closes as the people who lived in 17th century Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Ghost Tour: Mysteries, Legends and Murders Tour takes you through Old Calton Cemetery and Canongate Kirkyard. You will hear the macabre history of how people lived, died and were buried during the Black Death.
As you wander through Edinburgh’s historic graveyards, you will learn about the 19th-century black market, where corpses were sold off under the cover of darkness.
If you are looking for one of the best graveyard tours in Edinburgh – this is it. This tour was incredible, and the tour guide was knowledgeable and engaging.
If you want to step inside the terrifying Covenanter’s Prison in Greyfriars Kirkyard, the City of the Dead Haunted Graveyard Tour is the one I recommend. The City of the Dead is the only tour company in Edinburgh with keys to the once brutal prison, so it’s the only way to enter.
On this tour, you will hear about the supernatural and infamous Mackenzie Poltergeist, known to touch ghost tour guests! The guided tour takes you through Edinburgh’s historic closes talking about the dark history with a bit of humour tied in before heading to Greyfriars Kirkyard.
According to the ghost tour company, they have recorded over 900 attacks by the hands of the Mackenzie Poltergeist on their tours alone.
So, not only is the tour fantastic, but the tour guides are great storytellers. You may leave with a few scratches at the hand of a poltergeist!
Book here: City of the Dead Haunted Graveyard Tour
I recommend the Small-Group 90-minute Tour in Greyfriars Kirkyard if you prefer a small-group cemetery tour in Edinburgh. The tour takes you through one of Edinburgh’s historic cemeteries, known for being incredibly haunted.
Follow a tour guide around the historic graveyard as you learn about the people buried there and the stories of their lives. Enjoy the gothic architecture surrounding Greyfriars while hearing all about the most famous and loyal canine – Greyfriars Bobby.
As you wander through the graveyard at night, the guide will tell you about the ghosts that still haunt it years after they passed.
The tour is perfect for people who want to learn about Edinburgh’s history but have a dark sense of humour. Why not take one of the best cemetery tours in Edinburgh for people who dislike large crowds??
Are you considering going on a graveyard tour in Edinburgh but prefer to have the tour guide all to yourself? I recommend the Private Greyfriars Kirkyard tour – ‘Meet’ the Dead of Old Edinburgh tour.
The tour takes you through Greyfriars Kirkyard, where you will learn about the people buried in the ground below. Tour guide Robert is incredibly passionate about Greyfriars Kirkyard history and is captivating while throwing humour into his storytelling.
The tour takes place in Greyfriars Kirkyard. So, it is perfect for anyone looking for a cemetery tour with less walking than other cemetery tours.
Stroll through Old Town and the Canongate Graveyard and learn about all the ghost tours tied to the graveyard on one of the best cemeteries in Edinburgh – The Dark History – Royal Mile Walking Tour.
The stories told on the Dark History Tour include the history of the Royal Mile. You will learn about its most famous figures, including the real Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Tour guide Mike is charismatic, funny and knows his Scottish history.
Other tales you will hear include the plague to Scottish witch history. And learn why human waste used to run rampant through Edinburgh’s streets.
This is not a ghost tour. So, if you are looking for a graveyard and history tour without all the haunted history, I highly recommend the Dark History Royal Mile Walking Tour!
If you are looking for a tour of Greyfriars Kirkyard that goes beyond the most well-known people and stories, I recommend taking the Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard Tour.
Your guide will take you to the graves of lesser-known individuals buried in the graveyard. You will hear tales about people like the mysterious Miss Cathcart. And you will visit the grave of one of Edinburgh’s best-selling authors.
The tour also takes you to several burial sites that inspired the creation of characters from Harry Potter. Plus, if you are interested in learning about the carvings and inscriptions on historic tombstones and gravestones – this is the perfect tour for you.
Book here: Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard Tour
Do you want to visit any other graveyards, burial grounds and cemeteries around Edinburgh? I wrote a post about the historic cemeteries in Edinburgh. Check it out and see them all!