Visit a historic marketplace in Edinburgh's Old Town.
The Grassmarket is a historic marketplace in Edinburgh's Old Town, located directly below Edinburgh Castle. It was one of 15 city markets that were formed in 1477 by King James III of Scotland. As with many other historical landmarks in Edinburgh, this area has a chequered past.
In the old days, it was a gathering point for traders, with an abundance of taverns and seedy lodgings, and through most of its history it was one of the poorest areas of the city, associated with outlaws and poor Irish immigrants in the 19th century. But Grassmarket's most grim notoriety comes from its past as a public execution spot, particularly during the religious intolerance of "the killing time" in the 1600s.
Thankfully the neighbourhood has cleaned up its reputation since then, and though the last executions took place in 1784, you will still find traces of this bloody time in the names of pubs like The Last Drop and Maggie Dickson -- named for a woman who "miraculously" survived a hanging. Grassmarket is now a buzzing area with lively pubs that are popular with students, eclectic shops, medieval architecture and fantastic views of the castle.View Edinburgh & Area