The idea of going to Scotland had always appealed to me. Even though I never got my letter to Hogwarts I was determined to find it while I was there. Okay, maybe that wasn’t what I was going to do with my time but it still felt magical to me. After all this is the birth place of Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling did sit in The Elephant House Cafe diligently creating one of the best book series of all time right there in middle of town!
Sorry but this post may be filled with my love for all things Harry Potter.
The first time I went to Edinburgh was about five years ago. I loved Scotland while I was there. It is just as green as Ireland and the people seemed just as friendly to me. I spent time taking in the country side, visiting Nessie, eating Haggis and complaining about all the damn hills in Edinburgh. I hope you have good leg muscles because it is a hilly city. Gorgeous, cobbled stoned and perfect but HILLY. After a long night of drinking, which you will most likely partake in, trying to get back to your hotel can be a challenge.
This trip had me visiting a friend. Someone who was not a local but had been living there for sometime and was going to show us where we needed to go. I spent a lot more time drinking and geeking out over all things Harry Potter.
One of the my favorite things in Edinburgh is the Greyfriar’s Cemetery. It is gothic with lush green grass growing up over the aging tombs. It is believed that J.K. Rowling got a lot of inspiration from the names off of these graves you can find the likes of Tom Riddle there if you look hard enough. Or take a tour and they will help point them out to you.
Greyfriar’s also has a really cute local legend about a dog named Bobby who watched over his masters grave.
The main attraction is obviously the giant medieval castle that looms over the city. Take it in or take a tour. Either way you wont be disappointed. The building dates back to the 12th century and it not short on history. It is easy to spend a full day exploring the castle and its grounds. Plan accordingly if it is something you wish to spend a lot of time at.
The first time I went to Edinburgh I did not realize it has such a vibrant night life. There are several universities in the city which makes for a young, hip crowd looking for places to hang out. At all hours of the night the streets are filled with people chatting, partying and trying to make it home. The great thing about Edinburgh, unlike London or Paris, it is completely walkable. You don’t need to take public transport. From where I was staying it was easy to walk to and from my hostel to any bar. Which makes it easier to stay out later and not have to worry about catching the dreadful night bus. The diversity in the bar scene is great as well you can rave with young college students, sip cocktails at quiet lounges set in a library or head to an underground rock club. I spent the weekend doing just that.
After a night of partying you can spend the next morning recouping at The Elephant House Cafe. No trip to Edinburgh is complete ( for a Harry Potter fan) without a visit to the now very famous, very touristy cafe. The food and drinks are worth the visit and so is a trip to the bathroom which is covered in Harry Potter quotes!
Edinburgh is a picturesque city with an interesting history and a great bar scene. You can easily spend a long weekend here or set up camp and spend some time. It is a great location to do to day trips from and explore the rest of Scotland.