St Giles' Cathedral

Price guide: Free

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 1RE

Price guide: Free

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By Alison Craig, your Edinburgh expert

I write for BBC radio, The Scotsman, .... Read more
#20 of 22
expert-rated things to do in Edinburgh
Expert overall rating:4.2 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Culture vultures, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Singles, Design and architecture, Education, History, Sightseeing

Expert review of St Giles' Cathedral

12th century cathedral on The Royal Mile steeped in history and full of atmosphere.

Founded in 1125, this is just one of those buildings you have to go and see. It has a prominent position on The Royal Mile and its spires have featured in Edinburgh's skyline for over 500 years and it sits in a square of stunning buildings, which number the Scottish Law Courts.

St Giles' Cathedral's stained-glass windows are awe-inspiring and if you time your visit for when the sun is streaming through them, you can't help but feel there is a higher power involved. Of course it may just be the very talented architect.

There's also the biggest organ in Europe, with more than 4,000 pipes, which is worth a good look, and The Thistle Chapel, which was completed in 1911 and designed by Robert Lorimer, is a stunning piece of work.

Price advice: 

Free; suggested donation of £3.

Expert tips: 
It is a church with a thriving congregation so there are services (five on a Sunday) so bear it in mind when timing your visit.
There's a nice wee café for a refreshment before you continue your day.

More information on St Giles' Cathedral:

Price guide:
Historic site, Landmark / monument, Religious site
The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 1RE
0131 225 4363
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
May-Sept Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 1pm-5pm; Oct-Apr Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 1pm-5pm. Plus open during services

Have you been to St Giles' Cathedral? Would you recommended it?

Community comments (1)

There is a very lovely Morris & Co stained glass window designed by Burne-Jones inside St Giles.