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The Real Mary King's Close, Edinburgh

#3 of 786 in Historic Sites in Scotland
Must see · Historic Site · Landmark
Experience 17th-century Edinburgh by touring The Real Mary King's Close. This collection of underground alleyways features buildings dating back to period of the Plague, and gives you a glimpse of Edinburgh life hundreds of years ago. Take a tour with a guide in period dress who will recount the close's history, share its associated ghost stories and myths, and bring you into a handful of homes left in their original condition. Named for Mary King, a famous local fabric trader and seamstress in the 1630s, the area was open to the sky before the city built over it and put it beneath street level. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, because you'll be walking on cobblestone streets. To visit The Real Mary King's Close and get the most from your holiday in Edinburgh, create itinerary details personal to you using our Edinburgh vacation planning tool.
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The Real Mary King's Close reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
18,039 reviews
  • Great visit. Very interesting! Would definitely recommend. Was fascinating finding out how the old Edinburgh lived years ago. Our tour guide was amazing too wish I could remember her name, sorry!  more »
  • This was a great tour and very informative. We learnt a lot of things about early life in Edinburgh including the plague era. Michaela made the tour really fun and amusing. Her knowledge was amazing.....  more »
  • The tour guide was nice enough and we did enjoy seeing Mary King's close. However, the story telling was not as good as Mercat's, nor was it as long. We didn't feel like we got to see as much of the underground as we'd have liked. Being able to walk down the main Street of Mary King's close, rather than just look down it longingly from an end would have made the experience better. The ambient sound in the close was amazing! It really added to the ambience and the tour experience. All-in-all good experience, but I do feel like improvements could be made to transform this experience from a good one to an unforgettable one.
  • We did a timed reservation online weeks beforehand and good thing because when we arrived, others were trying to get a ticket and couldn't, as everything was sold out for two days! (We went in early August.) It was interesting to go through all the different alleys and buildings and the tour guide Maggie was very expressive and cheery, her voice carried well so we could hear clearly and she helped to create the atmosphere so we could imagine how it was living there hundreds of years ago. Would definitely recommend a visit! By the way, our cruise ship docked 7 am to 1 am and I managed to see the Royal Yacht Britannia, did Rick Steves audio 'Royal Mile Walk' (do a search online for the free download), Edinburgh Castle, and Mary Kings Close.

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