From the moment we stepped out of Waverly (the downtown train station) I was in awe. The gothic architecture, quotes from Sir Walter Scott posted everywhere, and the knowing that J.K. Rowling created Harry Potter here all contributed to this magical feeling. Although one day is never enough, this guide will help you plan out your day to make the most of your time in this enchanting city.
Immediately outside of the train station stands the Scott Monument. Its gothic architecture is impressive as are the views of the city from the top! Climbing the monument's 288 steps is the perfect way to get your bearings for all the exploring you are about to do. However, this is not for the faint of heart. The staircases are extremely narrow and can be quite crowded during peak season.
Drink A LOT of Coffee
Edinburgh is dotted with cozy coffee shops that make the perfect reprieve from the chilly rains the city is known for. During our day here we visited two different cafes: Black Medicine and The Elephant House. Both of these are known for being spots where J.K. Rowling worked on the Harry Potter series. The first picture below is the latte I had at Black Medicine and the second shows the inside of the bathroom at The Elephant House where people have created a mural of Harry Potter quotes and comments!
Visit the Castle
By the time we had started to make our way up the Royal Mile to the Castle, it had started to rain. And I mean really rain! It put a damper on my mood (literally) while we waited to purchase our tickets. However, once we stepped through the gates, I hardly even noticed it anymore. The grounds are magnificent and there is so much to explore! My favourite part was the chapel and my husband's was the armoury.
Wander the Streets
Fortunately for us, the rain had significantly slowed by the time we had left the castle. With a couple hours left before we needed to catch our train we decided to use the time to explore the other parts of the old town. The best way to do this is on foot! We walked from the castle to Hollyrood Place, stopping often along the way to admire the beautiful details of the buildings.
The Things We Missed
If we had another day here we definitely would've hiked Arthur's Seat (you can see it in the background of the last picture) to get a different perspective of the city. Also, I would've loved to head North from Edinburgh to explore the Highlands, especially after reading the Outlander series! With so much to see in Scotland I know we will be back.
If you have favourites I missed, let me know!