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So you’ve awoken from your slumber and are ready to “seize the day.” Before I delve into the next adventure, I want to take a moment to thank the German girl staying in our hostel who took my classmates and I around and shared some of Edinburgh’s history with us. If you are reading this, I am truly grateful! My experience of Edinburgh would have not been the same without you. It is moments like these which make me appreciate travelling not just for the opportunity to see a new country, but for the chance to interact with people from various parts of the world. Travel truly does remove barriers and when makes you realize how genuinely kind and amazing people can truly be when not tied down by the stresses of everyday life.
Now, with that being said, let’s get back to the adventure! If you are a Harry Potter Fan, then your visit to Edinburgh would not be complete without seeing Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, The Elephant House, and George Heriot’s School. It is in The Elephant House tea and coffee shop where J.K Rowling wrote two of the Harry Potter novels. After getting a cup of tea and snacks, head on over to Greyfriar’s Kirkyard and George Heriot’s School right next door. It is in this graveyard that J.K Rowling was inspired with the name for the major villian of the Harry Potter series: Tom Riddle/Voldemort. After you’ve visited Tom Riddle’s grave, George Heriot’s School can be seen in the distance. It is here that Rowling was inspired to create Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Although the school is not open to the public, for those who grew up on Harry Potter the glimpse of the school from beyond the gates will be more then sufficient. You may not have received your Hogwarts acceptance letter, but you have now visited the inspiration for Hogwarts. How many of your friends can say that? And with that folks, you have completed your mini Harry Potter tour. For those who are not Harry Potter fans, read below to find out what to do instead during your time in Edinburgh.
The Elephant House
George Heriot’s School
As mentioned, Edinburgh is not simply for the Harry Potter fans of the world. If the previous suggestions held no interest to you, do not fret! There are still so many beautiful places in Edinburgh to see and one of those places is the Princes Street Gardens. This beautiful public park is full of lush greenery, mature trees, flowing fountains, and beautiful flora. The backdrop to this beautiful park is none other than Edinburgh Castle. Take a moment to kick back and relax while enjoying the sounds of nature. You’ll need the energy for my next suggestion!
After you have let your body rest and relax, it’s back uphill for you guys. For a panoramic view of the city, your next destination is The National Monument of Scotland on Calton Hill. The National Monument of Scotland is a memorial inspired by the Parthenon which honours the servicemen who died fighting the Napoleonic Wars. Although it was never completed, it is a spectacular sight to see. Take a moment to enjoy your bird’s eye view from atop Calton Hill. In doing so, keep a lookout for Dugald Stewart Monument commemorating a long deceased writer and philosopher.
National Monument of Scotland
Dugald Stewart Monument
After enjoying the scenic bird’s eye view, head down to the Grassmarket, a historic marketplace and event space in Edinburgh for some food and entertainment. Here you can find permanent shops and pop up vendors to suit all your needs. There are usually events going on in this area, so do your research to see what will be happening during your visit. In addition to being a cute, historic marketplace, I have it on good authority that this is also the place to visit for all your nightlife adventures.
And with this, I conclude my walk-through of Edinburgh. I am not saying this is an all encompassing list of things to do, but rather it serves as a starting point for your adventures here in Edinburgh. Due to the time constraints I faced,there was a lot I did not get the chance to see. Thus, if you are reading this and have more than two days to spare in Edinburgh consider visiting other sights such as Arthur’s Seat, St.Giles Cathedral, Holyrood Park, etc. In addition, if you are visiting Edinburgh in August, do not miss out on The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It is the largest art festival in the world and an amazing opportunity to see some great art and entertainment. Although I did not get the chance to witness it, I will definitely be back in the future to experience the event. In short, I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my adventures and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Until next time!