St Giles' Cathedral

Address: The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 1RE, Scotland
Telephone: 0131 225 4363

- Free


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.

Value for money

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.

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • Mature travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Singles
  • Education
  • Sightseeing
  • History
  • Design and architecture