When you plan a visit to Edinburgh and see all the amazing attractions you want to visit, then start adding up all the expenses for entrance fees it can be a little daunting! Luckily Edinburgh has a few options on money saving by buying a pre-paid pass. Two of the best pre-paid pass options are the Edinburgh City Pass and the Scotland Explorer Pass. Both have their benefits and faults and it depends on what you are looking to get out of your city break in Edinburgh and if you are looking to get a little further outside Edinburgh.
Edinburgh City Pass Attractions
The attractions available with the Edinburgh City Pass is quite extensive, it does miss off the Edinburgh Castle but there are plenty more things to do in Edinburgh and the surrounding area. Some of the attractions include:
- Edinburgh Dungeon
- Dynamic Earth
- Edinburgh Zoo
- Scrapheap & Wizards Golf
- John Knox House – medieval building
- Auld Reekie Walking Tours – The Vaults Tour
- Nelson Monument
- The Scott Monument Museum
- Georgian House
- Forth Boat Tour – Three Bridges Cruise
- Hopetoun House
- Glenkinchie Distillery – Whisky tour including a dram or two
- Scottish Seabird Centre
- Stewart Brewing – Brewery Tour
- Newhailes House
- Gilmerton Cove – Hidden tunnels await
- National Mining Museum Scotland – Pit Head guided tour
- Holyrood Distillery
- Hop-on Hop-off Bright Bus City Tours
- Rabbie’s Edinburgh City Bus Tour
You also get free rides on the Tram but its worth noting that your pass activates on first use at an attraction or first tram ride and the pass is for the day and not 24 hours, so its best to start early in the morning to get full use of the pass.
Passes come in 1,2 or 3 day options and can save you between 40% and 60% depending on the attractions you get to for example:
- Edinburgh Zoo entry £17.95
- Edinburgh Dungeon entry £15.00
- Hop-on Hop-off Bright Bus City Tours ticket £10.00
- Auld Reekie Walking Tours – The Vaults Tour ticket £13.00
- Nelson Monument entry £6.00
- Newhailes House entry £5.00
- Holyrood Distillery Tour ticket £14.00
- Dynamic Earth entry £16.00
2 Day Pass costing £55.00 could save £41.95 (43%) on the cost of £96.95, a 3 day pass (£65.00) or a couple more attraction visits could save even more
Scotland Explorer Pass Attractions
If you are looking to visit Edinburgh Castle then the Scotland Explorer Pass does give you that and also the advantage of skipping the queue as an advance ticket holder. This pass is aimed more at the visitor who is looking to venture outside Edinburgh so to save money you are going to need to Travel but the savings can be large. The Scotland Explorer Pass gives access to 70+ castles, palaces and other historic buildings around Scotland and any daytime activities that are happening in them.
A 3 day pass visiting:
- Edinburgh Castle entry £19.50
- Stirling Castle entry £17.50
- Urquhart Castle entry £12.00
a 3 day pass costing £33.00 could save £16.00 on the cost of £49.00, you can buy passes in 3, 7 or 14 day versions.
Making the choice
As you can see, plan ahead and you can save! depending on what attractions are on your list of “must see” things makes the decision on which pass is best for you, for a first time visit to Edinburgh, i would suggest the Edinburgh City Pass and book Edinburgh Castle separately if you have time.
Chris is a Number cruncher by work day, seeker of new experiences by weekend – always looking to spend 48 hours somewhere! Seen 4 continents, 26 countries and 100’s of city’s hoping to add a few more each year.