Accio Greetings Wanderlusters! It’s time to put your wizarding hats on and get your wands and brooms in order. Whether you’re a witch, a wizard, or a muggle with a touch of magic, you will have a lot of fun on this journey as we take you through the top Harry Potter spots in Edinburgh.

The cobbled streets and ancient stone buildings of Edinburgh are the perfect roadway for your magical adventure. A city brimming with enchantment and intrigue, Edinburgh holds a special place in the hearts of Harry Potter fans worldwide. 

And in this piece, we will uncover the top spots that brought the magical world thought of by J.K. Rowling to life.

Check Out The Best Harry Potter Spots In Edinburgh: 

The Elephant House: Where Inspiration Strikes

Our first stop takes us to a cozy little café nestled in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. The Elephant House is a haven for Potter-heads, for it is here that J.K. Rowling famously penned the early chapters of the Harry Potter saga. Find a seat by the window, indulge in a steaming cup of coffee, and let your imagination run wild as you gaze upon the very same view that ignited the wizarding world within Rowling’s mind.

Greyfriars Kirkyard: A Touch of Magic and Mystery

Prepare to wander into the atmospheric Greyfriars Kirkyard, a graveyard that oozes both mystery and magic. As you stroll among the weathered tombstones, keep an eye out for the names that sparked the creation of some beloved characters. Pay your respects to Thomas Riddell Esquire, whose name inspired the notorious Lord Voldemort, and uncover the gravestone of William McGonagall, a possible muse for the esteemed Professor Minerva McGonagall.

Victoria Street: Diagon Alley Comes to Life

Step onto Victoria Street, a bustling thoroughfare that might just be the closest thing we have to Diagon Alley in the Muggle world. The winding cobblestone street is lined with charming shops, each brimming with curiosities and hidden gems. Peek into the window displays of stores like Museum Context and The Boy Wizard, and feel the allure of the wizarding world tugging at your heartstrings.

The Balmoral Hotel: A Suite Fit for a Wizard

For those seeking a touch of luxury, the Balmoral Hotel offers an experience fit for wizarding royalty. This prestigious hotel is where J.K. Rowling completed the final chapter of The Deathly Hallows. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of the elegant J.K. Rowling Suite, where the author herself stayed during the process of bringing the saga to its stunning conclusion. Who knows, perhaps a sprinkle of magic still lingers in the air?

the elephant house in edinburgh
The Elephant House in Edinburgh 

The Writers’ Museum: Uncover J.K. Rowling’s Journey

No pilgrimage to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to The Writers’ Museum. Here, you can delve into the life and works of Scotland’s literary legends, including our very own J.K. Rowling. Admire the displays dedicated to her journey from aspiring writer to international phenomenon. This treasure trove of inspiration will ignite your own creative flame and remind you that magic truly exists within the realms of imagination.

The Potter Trail: A Guided Adventure

Join the Potter Trail, a free guided tour that brings the magic of Harry Potter to life on the streets of Edinburgh. Led by enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides, this walking tour takes you to key locations that inspired Rowling’s iconic series. Prepare to be captivated by tales of witches, wizards, and the dark underbelly of the city. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the very essence of the wizarding world.

The Royal Mile: A Path of Enchantment

Take a stroll down the iconic Royal Mile, the historic thoroughfare that stretches from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. As you wander along this enchanting street, keep an eye out for stores like Diagon House, which is brimming with Harry Potter merchandise and memorabilia. Lose yourself in a world of wands, robes, and other wizarding essentials.

Spoon Café Bistro: A Magical Feast

Indulge your taste buds in Spoon Café Bistro, a charming eatery that holds a special place in the wizarding world. This cozy café was frequented by J.K. Rowling during her writing days, and it is said that she doodled some of her early Potter sketches on the back of napkins here. Treat yourself to a delicious meal while basking in the ambiance of this magical haven.

George Heriot’s School: Hogwarts-Inspired Splendor

Make your way to George Heriot’s School, a grand building that exudes a Hogwarts-esque charm. This historic school is believed to have provided inspiration for the famous Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Marvel at the stunning architecture, imagine yourself attending magical classes and let your imagination soar within these hallowed halls.

harry potter filming sites
The Royal Mile in Edinburgh 

City Chambers: The Home of Gilderoy Lockhart

Step into the majestic City Chambers, where you can find the real-life inspiration for the charismatic yet conceited Gilderoy Lockhart. This magnificent building served as the backdrop for the Hogwarts professor’s book signing scene in the Chamber of Secrets film. Take a moment to revel in the glory of this architectural gem while channeling your inner Lockhart.

Nicolson’s Café: A Cup of Magic

Seek out Nicolson’s Café, a delightful little spot known for its magical connection to the Harry Potter series. It is said that J.K. Rowling frequented this café while writing some of the early chapters of the books. Order a warm beverage, find a cozy corner, and let your imagination soar as you follow in the footsteps of the beloved author.

The Scott Monument: A Tribute to Sirius Black

Gaze up at the towering Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens and discover a subtle tribute to Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather. The monument’s architecture bears a striking resemblance to the design of the Black family house, 12 Grimmauld Place. Marvel at this imposing structure and let your mind wander into the world of hidden passageways and secret societies.

The National Museum of Scotland: Unveiling Magical Artifacts

Immerse yourself in the wonders of the National Museum of Scotland, a treasure trove of history and culture. Explore the museum’s diverse collections, and don’t miss the chance to marvel at the rare and mystical objects displayed within. Keep an eye out for exhibits that evoke the essence of the Harry Potter universe, from ancient cauldrons to magical creatures.

Greyfriars Bobby Statue: A Loyal Companion

Pay a visit to the endearing Greyfriars Bobby Statue, located near Greyfriars Kirkyard. This statue immortalizes a Skye Terrier who faithfully guarded his master’s grave for 14 years. It serves as a reminder of the power of loyalty and companionship, qualities cherished in the wizarding world. Even though, it may not be directly linked to the Harry Potter series.

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland: Iconic Hogwarts Express Journey

The Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland is an iconic location that was featured in the Harry Potter films. Even though it is not in Edinburgh. This magnificent railway bridge is seen in several scenes as the Hogwarts Express transports students to and from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Capture the magic by taking a trip to this breathtaking viaduct, which offers stunning views of the surrounding Highland landscape.

 harry potter sites in edinburgh
The Glenfinnan Viaduct

Dean Village: Charming Wizarding Community

Wander through Dean Village, a picturesque neighborhood in Edinburgh, known for its quaint architecture and serene ambiance. Although not directly featured in the movies, Dean Village’s charm and resemblance to a cozy wizarding community make it a delightful spot to explore. Imagine strolling down the cobblestone streets as a student of Hogwarts, encountering magical shops and hidden alleyways.

Riddle’s Court: A Magical Inspiration

Visit Riddle’s Court, a historic building in Edinburgh’s Old Town that is believed to have inspired some aspects of J.K. Rowling’s creation. While not a filming location, the architectural features and the intriguing history of Riddle’s Court lend themselves to the enchanting world of Harry Potter. Uncover the secrets that this building holds and let your imagination roam.

Travel Tips For The Harry Potter Tour in Edinburgh 

  • Make Plans in Advance: Remember to research the spots you want to visit and plan your itinerary accordingly. This will help you make the most of your time in Edinburgh.
  • Dress the Part: If you’re on a Harry Potter tour it is only obvious that you must dress the part by dressing up in your favorite wizarding attire. It will add an extra touch of magic to your experience.
  • Check Opening Hours: Make sure you verify the opening hours of all the places you plan to visit. As some spots may have specific operating hours or seasonal variations you do not want to miss them.
  • Carry a Map or Guidebook: Carry a map or guidebook that highlights the Harry Potter spots in Edinburgh. It will help you navigate the city easily and locate each location without wasting much of your precious time.
  • Click away to Capture Memories: Don’t forget to capture the magical moments along your way on the magical journey. Take millions of pictures that will surely set your Instagram feed on fire. 
  • Be Respectful: Remember that some of the locations you’ll visit may be public spaces or active establishments, so remember to be respectful of other visitors and follow any rules or guidelines the places might have.
  • Engage with Locals: Interact with locals and fellow Potter-heads during your tour to enjoy more. As they may have additional insights or recommendations to enhance your experience.
  • Stay Hydrated and Energized: Being on a tour is thirsty work. Carry a water bottle and snacks to keep yourself hydrated and energized throughout the tour, especially if you’re walking for an extended period of time.

Beyond Harry Potter

  • Explore Beyond Harry Potter: While enjoying the Harry Potter tour, take time to explore other attractions, cuisines, and cultural highlights that Edinburgh has to offer.
  • Shop for Souvenirs: You can not imagine going back home without some magical souvenirs. So take advantage of the Harry Potter-themed shops along the way to pick up unique and amazing souvenirs and mementos for yourself and your loved ones.
  • Stay Updated on Transportation: Check public transportation schedules or consider using local transportation apps to navigate between different Harry Potter spots efficiently.
  • Enjoy the Journey: Embrace the magic of the Harry Potter tour and enjoy every moment of your exploration. Let your imagination soar and immerse yourself in the world of wizardry.
harry potter locations in edinburgh
Calton Hill, Edinburgh


So you magical Wanderlsters! Now you know all you need to know about the enchanting world of Harry Potter in Edinburgh. 

So don your robes, grab your wand (or umbrella, if you’re a Muggle), get on your brooms (or your feet) and embark on this captivating journey through the streets of Edinburgh, where the realms of fantasy and reality intertwine in the most extraordinary way. Leaving you feeling full of magical vibes.

Let the magic guide you, and who knows, you may just stumble upon a hidden portal to the wizarding world.

Some FAQs For You

Was Harry Potter filmed in Edinburgh?

No, the Harry Potter films were primarily shot in various locations in England, with some scenes filmed in Scotland, but not in Edinburgh.

Where to stay in Edinburgh for Harry Potter lovers?

Stay near the Old Town or Grassmarket area to be close to many Harry Potter spots, such as The Elephant House and Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Where was Diagon Alley filmed in Edinburgh?

Diagon Alley was not filmed in Edinburgh. The set for Diagon Alley was constructed at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.

Does J.K. Rowling have a house in Edinburgh?

Yes, J.K. Rowling has a house in Edinburgh. However, the specific location is not publicly disclosed to protect her privacy.

Was Hogwarts based on Edinburgh Castle?

While there are similarities in architecture, Hogwarts was not directly based on Edinburgh Castle. J.K. Rowling has stated that Hogwarts was a creation of her imagination.


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