Holyrood Palace

Among all the celebrated memorials and attractions of Great Britain, the famous residence of Queen Elizabeth II located in Scotland is definitely worth noting. The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is the state property which passes over to the usage of the next monarchs.

A little bit of history

Once, there used to be the Holyrood Abbey on the site of the Palace. It was founded by King David I of Scotland in 1128. The legend says that during the hunting, the King saw a vision in the shape of a deer. The rood was glowing between his horns. This became the sign to found a monastery and that’s why it was called like that. However, almost after 600 years, the building of the abbey crumbled. Thus, nowadays we can only admire the beautifully renovated picturesque ruins.

The used to be a hotel attached to the abbey back in the XV century. It was the non-official residence of the Kings of Scotland. Later, James IV of Scotland ordered to build a castle on its site. It was a building in the Renaissance style which became the main royal palace. In the XVI century, it used to be the private residence of Mary, Queen of Scots. Her apartment is well-preserved with all the details. At the order of King Charles II, the castle was slightly rebuilt in 1679.

As a rule, the Queen of Great Britain uses the residence during her official visits to Scotland. By the old tradition, she must spend one week in the palace. Here, she appointed the First Minister of Scotland and arranges various royal receptions.

When the Queen is not visiting, the palace which is one of the most popular attractions in Edinburgh, open its doors to the tourists.

What to see in Holyroodhouse:

  • The Royal Apartments which are used by Duke of Edinburgh and Her Majesty during their official visits to Scotland;
  • The throne room which is used giving the knighthood of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle;
  • The Historic Apartments which used to be the private apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots and her husband Lord Darnley;
  • The exposition in the chapel for the Order of the Thistle. This reward is given to the Scots who make a significant contribution to the life and history of the nation, and people obtaining public positions.

During summers, tourists can enjoy a full tour around the territory of the Abbey. The professional guide will tell you the fascinating detail about the monarchs’ lives. Interesting stories, picturesque landscapes, and stunning architecture will leave an indelible impression about the famous Scottish attraction.

Important information for visitors

Address: Palace of Holyroodhouse, Canongate, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH8 8DX.

Working hours: daily.

  • from November 1 to March 31 - 9:30 - 16:30 (the booking office closes at 15:15);
  • from April 1 to October 31 - 9:30 - 18:00 (the booking office closes at 16:30).

Days off: April 19, 2019, June 24 - July 5, December 25-26;

All the fans to wander along the museum halls, diving into the history of the country and city, should also visit the National Museum of Scotland with a huge collection of antiquities.

Holyrood Palace on the map

Holyrood Palace - attractions nearby

Entrance tickets & Tours

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from651
Private Shore Excursion: Edinburgh City and Rosslyn Chapel
2 reviews
Explore Edinburgh and nearby Rosslyn Chapel on this 9-hour private shore excursion by minivan. See Edinburgh Castle, home to several monarchs and the Scottish crown jewels. Wander down the Royal Mile and around the New Town, experiencing both ancient Edinburgh and the modern cosmopolitan city. Drive past the Scottish Parliament and around Arthur’s Seat before heading out to visit Rosslyn Chapel, built in the mid-15th Century and made famous by the Da Vinci Code.
9 hours
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
from651EUR
9 hours
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
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from1341
London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, York, Bath, Stonehenge 5-Day Tour
9 reviews
Get acquainted with a collection of must-visit British cities on an action-packed 5-day tour from London! Including overnight stays in York, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Cardiff, the tour also visits to Stratford-upon-Avon, Chester, Bath and Stonehenge — England’s famous UNESCO-listed stone circle. Combine walking tours with visits to top attractions such as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and enjoy ample free time to explore independently, too.
4 days
Free cancellation
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from1341EUR
4 days
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
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from67
Edinburgh Sky to Sea Bike Tour by Manual or E-Bike
4 reviews
Our 3 hour Sky to Sea bike tour takes us to the highest and lowest points of Edinburgh accessible by tarmac on a choice of manual or e-bike. From our very own volcano, Arthur's Seat, with its panoramic views across the city, to the golden sandy beaches and sea views at Portobello. We also pay a visit to the Port of Leith, with over 600 years of maritime history, and the Georgian New Town, a UNESCO world heritage site with grand streets and town houses. Transport to the start of the route is provided free of charge, in our custom bike bus. Your tour will end centrally, close to the Waverley Station.
3 hours 50 minutes
Free cancellation
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from67EUR
3 hours 50 minutes
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
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from394
3-Day Edinburgh Tour from London by train
1 review
Come with us north of the border to the wonderful country of Scotland. Make the most of two nights accommodation in central Edinburgh, a guided tour of the city and a chance to travel to the stunning Scottish Highlands to visit mysterious Loch Ness and the magnificent mountain scenery of Glen Coe and Rannoch Moor.  This fully guided 3 day tour to Scotland’s capital city gives you your chance to see Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Castle, walk the Royal Mile and enjoy some whisky tasting, with an optional day trip to the stunning Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands. This is a scheduled tour operated by high speed train with a professional guide, with a maximum of 35-40 people per tour.
3 days
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
from394EUR
3 days
Free cancellation
Book now & pay later
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Hotels near Holyrood Palace

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Apartments Royal
from 188 $
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Henderson Street Apartment
from 86 $
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George St Apartments by BNBbuddy
from 369 $
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Edinburgh City Deluxe Apartment
from 175 $
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Edinburgh Apart Co Rutland Square Studio
from 119 $
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Traditional 2 Bed Apartment with Fireplace in New Town, Edinburgh
from 103 $
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The Heart and Soul of the Royal Mile
from 122 $
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Chic and Sophisticated Apartment in the West End, Edinburgh
from 101 $
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Upper bow · Elegant Traditional and Modern Apartment Near Castle
from 128 $
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Vibrant City Centre 2-bed Apt.
from 114 $
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Newly Refurbished Apartment on the Historic Royal Mile
from 123 $
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Sea view apartment
from 104 $

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