Edinburgh / Attractions / Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace of Holyroodhouse Edinburgh

Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is the king's Scottish palace

Palace of Holyroodhouse Edinburgh

The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is the King's official Scottish residence. All info and tickets for visiting the palace and its treasures.

Info & Tickets Palace of Holyroodhouse

Location Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX (The palace is at the end of the Royal Mile. Some hop-on hop-off bus tours stop near the castle).
Tickets

Tip 1: to guarantee your time slot you can easily reserve tickets online

  • Tickets Palace, incl. audio guide £ 18.50 (book tickets online)
  • Tickets Queen's Gallery £ 8.50
  • Children 5 - 17 years £ 10.50
Book your tickets

Tip 2: Would you also like to visit Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia? Then we recommend to buy the Royal Edinburgh Ticket. In this Royal Edinburgh Ticket also a Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour is included. With this city pass you have arranged the important sights!

Royal Edinburgh Ticket
Hours
  • November 1 - March 31: Thursday to Monday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm (last entry 3:15 pm)
  • 1 April - 31 October: Thursday to Monday 9:30 am - 6:00 pm (last entry 4:30 pm)
  • Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Closed 25 and 26 December
Note The use of photo and film equipment is not allowed in the palace, as is the use of mobile phones.

Audience at Holyroodhouse

At the foot of the Royal Mile King David I founded a monastery in the twelfth century, which soon became the main residence of the Scottish monarchs. Today, the palace is the residence of the British Royal Family when they are in Scotland for state visits. Queen Elizabeth II stayed at Holyroodhouse every summer .

Holyrood Abbey

The ruins of the former monastery still stand next to Holyrood House and can also be visited with during your tour. The abbey used to be for coronations and royal weddings, until the roof collapsed in the eighteenth century. In the fifteenth century there was a guest house to the west of the monastery, where many medieval kings stayed when the palace was built. At the end of the fifteenth century Holyrood House really became a royal residence, after which James IV built another new building.

The Royal Palace of Edinburgh

The Royal Palace of Edinburgh was built around the square to the west of Holyrood Abbey. The palace contained a chapel, the great hall, the royal chambers and the galleries. Later, gatehouses and towers were added. From 1999, the importance of the palace increased again with the creation of the Scottish Parliament. For example, Queen Elizabeth always appointed the Prime Minister of Scotland in the Royal Palace.

palace of Holyroodhouse EdinburghRoyal Palace of Holyroodhouse
Palace EdinburghAbbey of Holyroodhouse

What to visit in Holyrood House?

The Great Gallery

The Great Gallery is the largest room in the Holyrood Palace. The gallery shows various portraits of real and fictional Scottish monarchs. The portraits show the long lineage of the Stuart royal family. Originally there were 111 portraits, but many were damaged in 1746 during the Jacobite Rising. Today, the British Queen hosts state banquets, dinners and receptions in this gallery.

The States Apartments

The rooms of successive kings and queens can be visited, where you can enjoy an extensive collection of French and Flemish tapestries. As you get closer to the king's bedroom you will notice that the rooms get bigger and bigger. Only the most important people were granted an audience in the king's bedroom of Holyroodhouse.

The Queen’s Gallery

If you like art, you should also visit the Queen's Gallery (you need to buy seperate tickets). Here you will find temporary exhibitions of art from the royal collection. View old masterpieces, rare furniture and images from the extensive photo collection. Previously, for example, the Queen's Gallery featured manuscripts and paintings from South Asia. This collection was later succeeded by the collection of watercolor paintings of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

palace of HolyroodhouseHolyroodhouse from Calton Hill
Palace EdinburghCourtyard of Holyroodhouse palace in Edinburgh

The Throne room

The throne room is still used today for receptions and state affairs. The most famous object in the throne room are the two thrones, commissioned by King George V in 1911.

The Palace Gardens

The Palace Gardens in Edinburgh are approximately four acres in size and overlook Holyrood park. Highlights of the Palace Gardens include: the Jubilee border of silver plants in honor of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. Queen Mary's Sundial and Wentworth Elm are also must sees in these beautiful gardens. The palace gardens are accessible with a normal ticket, but in the winter months the Palace Gardens are only open on weekends.

Want to visit Holyrood House?

If you want to visit Holyrood House, you can do so when the royal family is not present. The palace is open daily from 9.30am to 3.30pm in the winter months and from 9.30am to 4.30am in the summer months. Please note that the palace is always closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and on public holidays. You can buy a ticket to visit the Holyrood House, but you can also opt for an extra ticket for the Queen's Gallery. With this ticket you can visit the exhibitions in the Queen's Gallery. To visit the ruins of the Abbey, you only need a regular ticket (book your tickets online).

Where is Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh Holyrood Palace
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