15 Awesome Things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh draws visitors from around the world, as the capital of Scotland. But there’s another main reason for its popularity. Edinburgh is where all the magic began. That’s right, the famous Harry Potter series was born here. It’s not hard to see why it inspired J.K. Rowling and let her imagination fly. Since Edinburgh is so stunning – it’s sparks with magic! Whether you’re a Potterhead or a muggle, this list of things to do in Edinburgh will make your visit fairy-like!

things to do in Edinburgh

Things to do in Edinburgh

Have a coffee at the Elephant House Café

This is the birthplace of Harry Potter. Literally! J.K. Rowling used to come here in the early days of her career, and splash her magical imagination into the pages of Harry Potter. The café serves a wide range of hot drinks as well as food. You can check out their menu online. I strongly recommend ‘Fleur’s Fantasy’ (hot chocolate with Bailey’s, yummy!). However, if you want to try something with a liquor, they only serve it after 12pm. The Elephant House is open every day from early morning till late at night. As it’s a famous attraction in Edinburgh, it attracts lots of Potterheads.

The Elephant House Cafe

The Elephant House Cafe

The Elephant House Cafe

Check out J.K. Rowling HAND PRINTS

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, in addition to visiting the Elephant House cafe, you can also check out J.K. Rowling’s hand prints. You will find these at 253 High Street.

J.K. Rowling hand prints in Edinburgh

Find Lord Voldemort graveyard at Greyfriars Kirkyard

It’s one of the unusually interesting things to do in Edinburgh. Since it’s just nearby the cafe, it’s a pretty place to visit. Walk around the cemetery and see if you can find the one with Thomas Riddle on it. Also if you look hard enough, you just might find his wand 😉

Greyfriars Kirkyard

If you like the Harry Potter things to do in Edinburgh and would love to discover more magical places while in Scotland, you should also check out my post about the University of Glasgow, which looks just like the Hogwarts!

See Greyfriars Bobby Memorial

Just across the cemetery is a dog statute with a heart-felt story behind it. The memorial dedicated to Bobby, the loyal dog who spent 14 years guarding the grave of his master. Bobby would sit on the grave every day until the day he passed away. He was buried in the same cemetery very close to his owner. This well-known story in Scotland continues to live in forms of books and movies.

Greyfriars Bobby

Visit Edinburgh Castle

One of the main things to do in Edinburgh is visiting the castle. Edinburgh Castle is a world famous icon of Scotland. The beautiful architecture filled with interesting history. You can go inside the castle, but the entrance costs £18.50, unless you purchase for a small discount price online.

Edinburgh Castle

Climb Arthur’s Seat

Situated in Holyrood Park, it’s the highest peak in Edinburgh. A short hike up the hill will get you to the top of Edinburgh. You can get a great view over the city from here. Strongly recommended to come here for a sunset. If you don’t like climbing, make sure to check it out from a distance. It looks impressive either way.

Arthur's seat in Edinburgh

Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh

Hike to Calton Hill

Another hill in Edinburgh, although it’s smaller than Arthur’s seat. Yet, you can still get a nice panoramic view of the city from here. Furthermore, there are several monuments around, which can explore as well.

Calton Hill Edinburgh

Calton Hill Edinburgh

Calton Hill Edinburgh

Walk around the old town

Edinburgh has many winding, cobblestone streets that are filled with many bars, restaurants and shops. It’s easy to get wander-fully lost here! Moreover, there are many historical buildings.

things to do in Edinburgh

things to do in Edinburgh

Shop at Victoria Street

The most colourful street in Edinburgh. Almost makes you feel like you’re in Notting Hill. While you’re there, make sure to get a Scottish souvenir.

Victoria Street Edinburgh

Victoria Street Edinburgh

Listen to the scottish music

In the city centre, it’s very common to see a Piper. Dressed in a traditional Scottish outfit and playing bagpipes. The traditional Scottish music, although may not be the one to listen to on a daily basis on your ipad, it’s definitely on top of the things to do in Edinburgh. This will get you right into the Scottish spirit.

things to do in Edinburgh

Visit Dean Village

While the old town offers a great things to do in Edinburgh, you might want to escape to somewhere more quieter. If so, head to this is a hidden gem. This tiny little section is nestled on the banks of the river and offers truly scenic views.

Dean Village Edinburgh

Photo credit: www.taypearls.co.uk

Have a picnic at the Royal Botanic Gardens

This huge park is home to trees and flowers of all shapes and sizes. In addition, the colours of the park changes with season, and each season makes it look so beautiful. Since, it’s a free entry (unless you want to go into the glasshouse), it should be one of the must things to do in Edinburgh during your visit.

Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh

Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh

Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh

Go inside St Giles Cathedral

St Giles Cathedral is also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh. Take a peek inside and admire the beautiful paintings and design.

St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh

Drink Scotch

Now then, you can’t really visit Scotland without trying Scotch! It’s their national drink after all. Right next to the Edinburgh castle is a Scotch Whisky Experience, where you can learn all about it. However, this privilege comes with a price. You can choose from a range of different tours available.

The Scotch Whisky Experience

get a beer at breWdoG

On the other hand, if you’re not a big fan of Scotch, head to BrewDog for a pint! It’s a beer heaven also serving delicious food… and free games! What more could you ask for? 🙂

Brewdog Edinburgh

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things to do in Edinburgh

10 thoughts on “15 Awesome Things to do in Edinburgh

  1. Katherine says:

    I did a day time ghost tour through Edinburgh and thought it was amazing. It wasn’t cheesy at all and I liked it so much that once it was done I went to a book shop to buy the tour guide’s book, before catching my train back to London.

  2. Lauren says:

    I studied near Edinburgh but have been backpacking for 6 months so haven’t been home to Scotland in so long – this post made me really homesick. You captured Edinburgh beautifully 🙂

  3. Anisa says:

    Such a great city with so much to do. I haven’t gotten to hike Arthur’s Seat yet, so that is top of the list for my next trip. I did also visit Holyrood Palace, which was a really interesting place.

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