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
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.
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.
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 😉
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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? 🙂
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