What is The Real Mary King’s Close?

How is it that streets that were once the bustling heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town came to be sealed off and hidden from sight? Be transported back to 17th century Edinburgh as a costumed character guide leads you on an hour long fully guided tour through the uniquely preserved streets and spaces. Marvel at how different life would have been for the people of Edinburgh when these streets were open to the skies.

Your visit to The Real Mary King’s Close

  • Arrive at The Real Mary King’s Close in plenty of time before your tour slot, our entrance is on the Royal Mile opposite St.Giles Cathedral. While you are waiting for your tour to begin, you can discover our exhibition area and find out more about life on the Closes.
  • Meet your guide who will transport you back in time. From maid to the merchant, foul clenger to poet and even the daughter of Mary King herself, each character offers a unique perspective of day to day life on the Close.
  • Descend the steps and marvel at the stories of past residents. Imagine how their lives would have been.
  • Get under the skin of the plague, learn why it was wise to avoid the streets at 7am and 10pm, and uncover 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.
  • Discover Mary King’s Close itself, the perfect place for a unique photo opportunity.
  • Finish your tour in the Mary Kings Coffee House – you’ll have worked up an appetite!

Book your journey back in time today and get ready to be amazed by this authentic window into Edinburgh’s fascinating past.

What next?

Plan your visit – find out about opening times, prices and accessibility

FAQs – find the answers to those burning questions

Book your visit – avoid the queues and book your tour online now