Edinburgh Open Doors Days 2019: dates, participating venues and tickets

Have you ever wanted to explore buildings in Edinburgh that are usually closed to the public? With Open Doors Days, this is your chance to do so.

By Rhona Shennan
Thursday, 19th September 2019, 11:35 am
Are there any venues you'd love to explore? (Photo: Shutterstock)
Are there any venues you'd love to explore? (Photo: Shutterstock)

With Edinburgh Open Doors Days kicking off at the end of the month, this is everything you need to know about the weekend.

What is Open Doors Days?

Open Doors Days allows the people of Edinburgh to explore and discover some of the city’s most interesting and unique buildings that are usually closed off.

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With a history of beautiful architecture, Edinburgh has no shortage of important places to show off to curious explorers.

Many venues taking part in the weekend will offer behind the scenes tours, talks or exhibitions to truly bring the history of the building to life.

Described as “one of the city’s favourite free days out”, Edinburgh residents won’t need to reach for their wallets to take part in the weekend.

When is it on?

The Doors Open Days will take place on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 September 2019.

Do I need tickets?

While the Doors Open Days are free for the public to attend, some require tickets to be booked.

Certain venues are already fully booked, so if you’re interested in any event taking place over the weekend, you should book a ticket as quickly as possible.

Participating venues

With so many venues across the city taking part in the weekend, you can see the full list from the Doors Open Days website.

Central Edinburgh boasts 58 venues, Edinburgh North has 23, Edinburgh East has 10, Edinburgh South has 11, Edinburgh West has 20, Edinburgh North West has 7, Edinburgh South West has 5, East Lothian has 13.

Overall there are 149 official venues taking part in the weekend for you to choose from.

To get you started, here are some venues that are worth checking out:

Northern Lighthouse Board

This venue has been the offices of the Northern Lighthouse Board since 1832. They currently operate and maintain 206 lighthouses and are responsible for the waters surrounding Scotland and the Isle of Man.

There will be regular talks in the boardroom until 2:30pm each day, as well as the opportunity to try on their heli suits and boat suits.

84 George Street, EH2 3DA

No booking required.

Festival Theatre

Found on Edinburgh’s longest continuous theatre site, it has seen three major remodelings during its rich and varied history. It’s current glass fronted design opened to the public in June 1994.

There are lots of activities on at the theatre over the weekend to take part in. There will be hour long building tours highlighting the history and heritage of the building. These tours will take place at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm.

There will also be intergenerational dance workshops where visitors can learn dances from across the globe. Musical storytelling workshops are also on offer, where participants will engage with storytelling and song in multiple languages.

The Vintage Chorus, the Festival Theatre choir, will also be singing a medley of songs on a global theme from 1:30pm to 2:30pm.

13-29 Nicolson Street, EH8 9FT

Click here for tickets for the music workshops, here for the building tour and here for the dance workshops.Advocate’s Library

The Advocate’s Library is part of the Parliament House complex and is a private law library for the Faculty of Advocates, Scotland’s Bar. The Corridor, designed by William Playfair, was opening in 1833 and the Law Room was the former site of the trial of Burke and Hare.

Times tours will take place throughout the day, allowing visitors to see the main part of the library. The last tour will begin at 3:15pm.

Parliament House, Parliament Square, EH1 1RF

No booking required.