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About this tour

Deep beneath the streets of Scotland’s capital, you’ll discover Edinburgh’s oldest vaults. This self-guided tour is ideal for independent explorers, young and old.

Armed with a map to guide you, descend into the Blair Street Underground Vaults to explore the city’s subterranean past. See where the capital’s most unfortunate inhabitants lived and worked – and where their restless spirits tread.

An expert Mercat tour guide will start the story for you, then you’re free to roam the vaults. Peering into the darker corners might give you an idea of where the body snatchers hid their wares. Or witnessing the sparkle of the oyster shells may hint at illicit activities once part of Edinburgh life.

Want to see Edinburgh’s darkest secret?
Descend into our vaults, exclusive to Mercat Tours.

The vaults have changed little since the 18th century: in our Discovery Room you’ll find a few artefacts from the first excavation in the 1980s, as well as a 3D model of the vaults location within the South Bridge.

You’re then free to explore and walk the vaults on your own for up to 45 minutes. Go at your own pace, and spend a little time imagining life here: dark, damp, airless spaces, the heart of the city’s underworld.

Descend and Discover information and maps are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Mandarin Chinese
Les informations et cartes du tour "Discend and Discover" sont disponibles en français
'Descend and Discover' von Informationen und Karten sind in deutscher Sprache verfügbar
Disponemos de mapas en español para 'Descend and Discover'
Le informazioni e le mappe di 'Descend and Discover' sono disponibili in italiano
'Descend and Discover': информация и карты доступны на Русском языке 


Euan's guide      

Book this tour

Tickets Price Quantity Sub Total
Total: £0.00

*Family is 2 adults & 2 kids (5 - 15yrs). You need to be over 5yrs to join our tours

*Concession is seniors & students with valid ID

Your Edinburgh tour at a glance

Book this tour if you'd like to...

  • Get exclusive access to the city’s oldest, deepest vaults
  • Discover secrets and stories of Edinburgh’s underworld
  • With map in hand, explore at your own pace
  • Visit our Discovery Room with 3D model and display

Time, length & age

Daily: 11.30am

The tour is 45 minutes, with self-guided access

Children over 5 years of age are very welcome! You do need to be over 5 years old to join our tours.

Meeting point and route

Start: Mercat Cross, High Street

Finish: Discovery Room, Blair Street, off Hunter's Square

award award

Trust Mercat to show you a side of Edinburgh others don’t see. We have 5 stars and a 91% rating from VisitScotland. We’re also one of the top 11 attractions in Scotland. Our Awards