Skip to content

Hop On Hop Off: The Ultimate Way to Experience Edinburgh Like a Local

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts millions of tourists annually. To fully immerse yourself in the city’s rich heritage and stunning landscapes, taking a Hop on Hop off (HOHO) tour is the perfect choice. This comprehensive guide explores the HOHO Edinburgh tour, highlighting its key features, benefits, routes, stops, and tickets.

The Hop on Hop off concept originated in Europe during the late 20th century, and since then, it has become a popular mode of sightseeing across major cities worldwide. The HOHO Edinburgh tour allows visitors to create their customized itinerary, choosing to alight at various attractions along the route according to their preferences. The buses operate frequently throughout the day, giving passengers maximum flexibility to plan their schedules.

Benefits of Hop on Hop off Edinburgh Tour:

  1. Time-efficient: The HOHO Edinburgh tour saves valuable vacation time by combining multiple tourist hotspots into one convenient package. Instead of wasting time and energy traveling between locations, guests can maximize their holiday by exploring more sights in less time.
  2. Cost-effective: Purchasing individual entry fees for each attraction can quickly add up, especially when visiting multiple sites. The HOHO Edinburgh ticket provides discounted rates for accessing top landmarks and museums in the city, offering excellent value for money.
  3. Audio commentaries: Each HOHO Edinburgh bus is equipped with multilingual audio guides providing fascinating insights into the city’s cultural and historical significance. Guests can learn interesting facts about famous personalities, prominent events, and architectural marvels as they travel.
  4. Flexibility: Passengers can choose to stay onboard for the entire circuit, enjoying panoramic views of the city’s skyline and scenic vistas en route. Alternatively, they may get off at preferred points, spend leisurely time exploring nearby surroundings, and rejoin the bus later on another trip.

Hop on Hop off Edinburgh Routes and Stops:

The HOHO Edinburgh tour operates two primary circuits – Red Route and Blue Route. Both routes cover different sections of the city, enabling travelers to select the itinerary that suits their interests best. Here’s a breakdown of both tours:

Red Route:

  1. Start/Finish Point: Waverley Bridge Bus Stop (next to Waverley Train Station).
  2. Royal Mile: Stroll through the heart of Old Town, admiring iconic structures like Edinburgh Castle, St Giles Cathedral, and Holyrood Palace.
  3. Grassmarket & Southbridge: Explore quaint alleys, vibrant street performers, and historic pubs nestled amidst narrow cobblestone lanes.
  4. Calton Hill: Ascend the hilltop parkland featuring stunning urban landscapes, monuments, and spectacular views of the city below.
  5. Arthur’s Seat: Climb the extinct volcano crater showcasing breathtaking panoramas of Edinburgh, Lothian, and Firth of Forth.

Blue Route:

  1. Start/Finish Point: Waterfront (adjacent to Ocean Terminal shopping center).
  2. Port of Leith: Discover the lesser-known neighborhood with colorful houses, bustling fish markets, and charming cafes.
  3. Dean Village: Walk along the picturesque riverbank lined with ancient stone buildings and tranquil gardens.
  4. University of Edinburgh Campus: Marvel at the stately university quarters housing classical architecture, verdant lawns, and grand libraries.
  5. National Museum of Scotland: Delve into Scottish traditions, science, art, and natural history exhibitions inside this magnificent building.


The Hop on Hop off Edinburgh tour offers flexible pricing options based on duration, age group, and frequency of travels. The validity period ranges from 24 to 72 hours, allowing guests to plan their stays accordingly. Children under six years old enjoy complimentary admission, while students and senior citizens qualify for concessions. Some tour operators also include special deals like guided walking tours, boat rides, or discount coupons for local eateries.


Overall, the Hop on Hop off Edinburgh tour presents a fantastic opportunity to discover the city’s hidden treasures, cultural landmarks, and mesmerizing scenery. Whether you’re an avid historian, nature lover, foodie, or shopaholic, there’s something for everyone aboard this exciting adventure. By selecting the right route and stop combinations, travelers can tailor-make their itinerary to suit their tastes, budgets, and availability constraints. So why wait? Book your HOHO Edinburgh pass today and embark on a magical journey through Scotland’s capital city!