8 Harry Potter related things to do in Edinburgh

You’d have to have been living in a cave not to have heard about the newest Harry Potter themed attractions in Edinburgh. From escape rooms to wizard themed parties the city is brimming with charms, spells and potions.

And indeed, with its magical charm, cobbles and dramatic old worldly style, Edinburgh is the dream destination for Hogwarts fans. J.K. Rowling herself wrote most of the books in the Scottish capital, supposedly inspired by its graveyards, antique streets, castles converted into schools, schools converted into castles and plain old, purpose-built, castle schools.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of things that every real Potterhead should know about when visiting Edinburgh:

  • Department of Mysteries. Harry Potter themed Escape room. Do we really need to tell you more about it?
  • Victoria Street. Said to has been the inspiration for Diagon Alley, Victoria Street is a two stories street, lined with colourful and delightful quirky independent boutiques, pubs and restaurants. There’s even a joke shop at the bottom of the street and it houses not just one but two Harry Potter official items shops! The newest one, The Boy Wizard, just opened a few days ago and houses every wizard item you can think of, from Nimbus 2000 to colour changing mug!
  • In Edinburgh between 27th and 30th December? Check out our Christmas Magic Show – The Miracle of Christmas Future, on at the Traverse Theatre in the centre of Edinburgh. More magic than you can shake an Elder wand at. Get tickets here. 
  • Spontaneous Potter. Spontaneous Potter is an entirely improvised Harry Potter comedy play, based on an audience suggestion of a fanfiction title. An entirely new Potter adventure is magically improvised on the spot every other Thursday evening at the Monkey Barrel Comedy – with live musical accompaniment!
  • Greyfriars Kirkyard. It’s not surprising that Greyfriars Kirkyard has been proven to be UK’s most haunted place when you learn that Lord Voldemort is buried there! Indeed, along other well-known names from the Harry Potter saga, Thomas Riddell Esquire’s grave is tucked away alongside Moodie, McGonagall and others…
  • The Potter Trail. Join your robed guide on the only tour in Edinburgh designed especially for Potter fans! You’ll discover the magical locations that inspired characters and scenes in the series, visit the places where JK Rowling wrote the books, and even learn a spell or two along the way! Happening daily – more info here
  • The Balmoral Hotel – JK Rowling suite. The Balmoral is known as one of Edinburgh’s most exclusive hotels. And this suite is where the J.K.Rowling finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It contains a marble bust of Hermes, the Greek god of travel, signed by J.K.Rowling herself. The door knocker is a brass owl in her honour. It’s a bit expensive to stay overnight but it’s a unique opportunity to walk in your favourite author’s footsteps!
  • Alternatively, if you can’t afford a stay at the Balmoral there’s a Harry Potter inspired flat. Located in Edinburgh’s Canongate, the extraordinary apartment includes a master bedroom fitted out like a Gryffindor dorm room, complete with a four-poster bed and candles that look like they’re floating. The second double bedroom is smaller and has been decorated like a carriage from the Hogwarts Express. The living room is decked out like the Gryffindor common room, while the hallway is covered in portraits (though sadly they don’t move). Each door in the flat has been painted in a Hogwarts house colour, along with the house crest. At £150, it’s still expensive, but promises an unforgettable stay!