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Parliament House
Holiday Travel Guide

Parliament House featuring a statue or sculpture and heritage architecture

Edinburgh’s original parliament building is often missed by most tourists, but it’s well worth a visit for the art and architecture. 

As you travel through the streets of The Royal Mile and its narrow alleyways take a slight detour and step into Parliament Square, next to St. Giles’ Cathedral. On one side of the square is Parliament House, home of the Scottish Parliament from 1639 to 1707.

Following the union of England and Scotland in 1707, Parliament was dissolved and the politicians moved to London. Today, this grand building houses the Supreme Courts of Scotland.

Amble around Parliament Hall to see the lawyers when they’re not in court. You will usually see them pacing up and down the ancient hall in their wigs and gowns. This cavernous room used to be the chamber where politicians discussed affairs of state.

Look up at the hammer-beam ceiling made of Danish oak. It’s one of the few surviving internal structures of this early 17th-century building.

Watch for some of the hall’s other standout features such as the Great South Window. This is a stained-glass depiction of the inauguration of the College of Justice and the Court of Session by King James V in 1532.

Examine the statues dotted around the hall. They include the marble statue of Duncan Forbes, a politician and judge, captured in mid-gesture. You can also see a number of portraits of 18th- and 19th-century lawyers.

The courtrooms are open to the public, but primarily they hear civil cases. Criminal trials take place in the High Court.

Parliament House is located on Parliament Square in Edinburgh’s Old Town. Parking is limited but buses service the area. As Parliament House is a working court building, visitors’ bags are subject to a search. The building is open year-round.

Top Trending Hotels Near Parliament House

Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
4 out of 5
1-3 Baxters Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
Free cancellation
The price is £44 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Located in New Town, this hotel is steps away from Omni Centre Edinburgh, Princes Street and Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre. George Street and Royal Mile are also ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (662 reviews)
"Great hotel with good amenities. Would gladly comeback here"

Reviewed on 12 May 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £132 per night from 13 May to 13 May
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this boutique hotel is steps away from City Art Centre, Princes Street and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and Real Mary King's ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (994 reviews)
"Great location! Our room was spacious and comfortable"

Reviewed on 28 Feb 2021

The Scotsman Hotel
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
4 out of 5
1 Morrison Link, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £45 per night from 13 May to 13 May
Located in Haymarket, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), Princes Street and Usher Hall. George Street ...
4/5Very Good! (1,015 reviews)
"Nice clean property, room size was good. Only negative was the hardness of the sofa bed in the family room, daughter couldn’t sleep on it so I did and I’m paying for it today with a sore back."

Reviewed on 9 May 2021

Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Parliament House Flight + Hotel Deals

Destiny Scotland - Q-Residence
No.1 Apartments – George IV Bridge
Staycity Aparthotels West End
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Top Hotel Deals

Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
4 out of 5
1-3 Baxters Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £44 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £132 per night from 13 May to 13 May
The Scotsman Hotel
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
4 out of 5
1 Morrison Link, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £45 per night from 13 May to 13 May
Leonardo Royal Edinburgh Haymarket
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
4 out of 5
19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £71 per night from 13 May to 13 May
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
4 out of 5
34 Bread Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £83 per night from 13 May to 13 May
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
3.5 out of 5
231 Canongate, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £57 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile – Hunter Square
ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile – Hunter Square
3 out of 5
6 Hunter Square, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £39 per night from 16 May to 16 May
ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile – Hunter Square
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal
3.5 out of 5
18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £99 per night from 13 May to 13 May
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal
Malmaison Edinburgh City
Malmaison Edinburgh City
4 out of 5
Buchan House, 21-22 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £75 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Malmaison Edinburgh City
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.