The top Harry Potter attractions in Edinburgh - to celebrate 20 years of the boy wizard films
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It has been 20 years since the first film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone hit the silver screen. Now that restrictions have eased, fans can visit these Harry Potter inspired Edinburgh attractions.
Stay in a Harry Potter inspired suite
The final book in the series was finished in the Balmoral hotel, which has since created a special themed suite in which fans can soak up the magic atmosphere.
Named the JK Rowling suite, decor touches inspired by the film include an owl door knocker, a walnut, orange and cream colour palette reminiscent of Hogwarts and featuring wildlife prints and a marble bust of Hermes that J.K. Rowling signed when she finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Tour Greyfriars Kirkyard
Characters from the books are said to have been inspired by tombstones in this historic kirkyard. Thomas Riddell, otherwise known as Lord Voldemort as well as poet William McGonagall, who inspired the character of Professor Minerva McGonagall.
Enjoy a coffee where the books were written
Nicholson’s Cafe, now known as Spoon, and The Elephant cafe are both mentioned as places that JK Rowling spent time in when writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Spoon. A small plaque outside Spoons mentions the Rowling link, below the window where she once sat.
Book a wizarding themed walking tour
The Potter trail tour, billed as the original and best, is back now that restrictions are eased.
The free tour, which started in 2021 visits George Heriot’s School, said to be the inspiration for Hogwarts Castle, and Victoria Street, which is said to have inspired Diagon Alley, the magical promenade from the books and films.
View JK Rowling’s handprints
At the Edinburgh City Chambers you’ll find the author’s handprints reproduced in bronze from when JK Rowling won the Edinburgh Award in 2008.
Other handprints and award winners include Iain Rankin, Sir Chris Hoy, Doddie Weir and Tom Gilzean.
Stock up on Harry Potter merchandise
Edinburgh is home to a number of wizarding themed shops, which sell robes, wands and potions. Museum Context is officially licensed to sell Harry Potter items, and is located in Victoria Street.
Visitors can imagine that they are shopping in Diagon Alley as they browse items including scarves and broomsticks. Another shop is The Enchanted Galaxy which sells wands, goblets and Hogwart’s school houses apparel.
Cook up some potion inspired cocktails
Edinburgh bar, The Cauldron, offers an magical experience for those looking for drinks with a difference.
The bar is an immersive experience combining science and technology with magic and fantasy - guests are encouraged to don a robe and will use The Cauldron's specially crafted wands to open doors, turn on lights and change cocktails.
Book Rabbie’s Harry Potter tour
It’s a well known fact that author JK Rowling started the Harry Potter books in Edinburgh, and tour firm Rabbie’s have specially designed itinerary for fans.
This includes sights such as the Elephant Cafe, known as the "birthplace of Harry Potter" where the chosen one was born, plus a pitstop to try Butterbeer at the Doghouse Pub.