Edinburgh was always quite high up on my list of cities I wanted to visit. And that’s not just because it’s the birth place of Harry Potter, hence it gives off similar vibes to Hogsmead or Hogwards (big fan, right here). Some of the other reasons include the city’s arhitecture, pretty streets, rich history and culture. If you ever find youself in the Scottish capital, here are a few things you can do:
Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s number one paid-for tourist attraction. The entrance fee will set you back for 17£. I can not tell you much about what the inside of the castle looks like, because we decided not to go in, but it looks pretty impressive just by looking at it from the outside.
It is said that this cobbled street was the original inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. It is also said that Victoria Street was the location of Major Weir’s house, a man notorious as ‘the Wizard of the West Bow’, who was executed for witchcraft in 1670. Coincidence? Maybe…
Definitely challenges all of London’s loveliest mews for the title of the prettiest street in Britain.
Is a long path leading from Edinburgh Castle down to the Scottish Parliament. At the heart of the Old Town, the Royal Mile is always buzzing.
if you’re planning to do some shopping this is a street for you.
Calton Hill is known to be one of the best places to catch a sunset or a sunrise, which might be true if you’re fortunate enough to have great weather conditions. The view is pretty astonishing that’s for sure, but the wind… I think I was crying half of the time while being up there. From it, Edinburgh looks a bit similar to Athens and as I later learned that is also the reason why the city’s nickname is ‘’Athens of the North’’.
National Museum of Scotland
Many people come here to see the insides of the National Museum but most of them just happen to miss one of it’s best features – the rooftop. The elevator that leads to the roof terrace is a little hard to find but if you do you will get to enjoy some of the best views of the city. As most museums in the UK this one is also free to visit, which is an added bonus.
I read about the Potter Trail before but it was because of our Airbnb roommates’ recommendation why we decided to do this 90-minute tour. And because it was free (if you are also a student, you will understand) :P. We were lucky enough to have a great tour guide Richard, whose energy and impressive knowledge of the books, movies, and of J. K. Rowling kept the group engaged and enthralled. Some of the things that can be seen on this tour are the resting place of Lord Voldemort or in this case Tom Riddell, The Elephant House and many more. You can read more about the tour here.
Once known for grain milling, Dean Village is now home to some of the city’s most beautiful historic buildings. The walk along the river (the Water of Leith) that leads there is very pretty and picturesque even in the wintertime. If you decide to visit in on a Sunday, make sure you also stop by the Stockbridge Market. It’s quite small in comparison with London’s markets but still worth the visit.
Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands Tour
This full-day tour (12,5 hours!!) from Edinburgh is definitely the one you should not miss. If you’re short on time and want to see not only the capital but also as much Scotland as possible, then this is the tour for you. It will take you to many of the most dramatic and breath-taking places in Scotland for a bit less than 50€. Pretty expensive but I still really recommend it. You can find more details about the tour here.