Edinburgh's Grassmarket in Victorian times

Slum life in Victorian Edinburgh history tour 

Find out what life was like for the people whom history forgot on this unique exploration of Edinburgh's Old Town

five star rated tour of Edinburgh

5 star rated on Tripadvisor

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Edinburgh Certificate of Excellence winner on Tripadvisor
Award winning tours
Edinburgh Traveller's Choice winning tour
2020 Edinburgh Traveller's Choice award winner

Your Slum life in Victorian Edinburgh tour

When you take our Slum Life in Victorian Edinburgh history tour, you’ll discover a ‘tale of two cities’. Nineteenth-century Edinburgh had the affluent New Town and the impoverished and densely packed Old Town.  This tour looks at the lives of those who lived in the overcrowded, filthy and disease-ridden Old Town.  You’re going to discover a side of Edinburgh’s history that is often forgotten and ignored. ​

Life in Edinburgh’s Victorian slums will be brought to life through excellent storytelling and extensive use of archive images and eyewitness stories.  Inequality, sectarianism and extreme poverty will be laid bare before you.  This is our most emotionally challenging tour, and we think it is our most fascinating.  You’ll also see how the positive sides of human nature sometimes broke through the unfairness.  It’s not all doom-and-gloom, but it will make you see our history in a very different light.

Are you ready to ‘meet’ Victorian Edinburgh’s slum dwellers on this unique private tour of Edinburgh?

Slums of Victorian Edinburgh tour details

  • A superb introduction what it was like to live in the Old Town slums during the 19th century.

  • Two-hour long walking tour.

  • English language.

  • Private tour.

  • Find out about one of the least well-known periods from the history of Edinburgh's Old Town.

  • Gradients and uneven paving throughout the tour.  One set of steps.

  • This tour has an average rating of five stars on Tripadvisor.


  • £70 total price for a private tour for 1-4 people.

  • £90 total price for a private tour for  5-8 people.

  • £80 evening price for 1-4 people/£100 for 5-8 ppx.

  • Please email for evening tours or larger group sizes.

  • We don't charge for family members of 16 and under.

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Highlights from the Slum life in Victorian Edinburgh tour

1647 Gordon of Rothiemay's birdseye view of Edinburgh

Recent reviews for our Slum life in Victorian Edinburgh tour

Highlights from the Slum life in Victorian Edinburgh tour

Greyfriars Kirkyard meeting place

Your guide will meet you just inside this gateway to Greyfriars Kirkyard, next to Greyfriars Bobby's Bar at the top of Candlemaker Row.

Google Maps shows only an approximate location.

Your meeting place for this tour

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Edinburgh guide wears a kilt

Friendly guide - in a kilt!

Robert was born in Edinburgh and has lived here all his life. He researched all our tours and has an extensive knowledge of Edinburgh and her history.

refunds are easy

Quibble-free refund

We offer a full refund if you cancel your tour more than 12 hours before your tour is due to start.

conveniance is important


Your tour is private. Your guide can make some alterations to the route if needed. You've got the freedom to ask all the questions you want!

equality is important to us

Accessibility options

If you have someone with mobility requirements, please contact us in advance so we can offer some appropriate changes to the route.