Glasgow University students might be ridiculed on Twitter for their love of Harry Potter. But Edinburgh students can really claim to be live in the true home of the boy wizard. The capital city has a host of magical places to visit, so let us take you through our eight places all Harry Potter fans should visit in Edinburgh.

1. Diagon House

Diagon House shop Harry Potter

Where: 40 Victoria Street, EH1 2JW
How much: Free to enter

Every big Harry Potter fan is looking to buy some new memorabilia for their collection, and Diagon House definitely has a lot to offer. With wands ready to choose you, maps wanting to get up to mischief, and so much more, you’ll be sure to leave a few pounds lighter.

2. Victoria Street


Where: Victoria Street, EH1 2JW
How much: Free to enter

Thought to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley, Victoria Street should be on your to-do list. The cobbled road twists in a familiar fashion, so much so it’s easy to forget you’re just a lowly muggle.

3. Thomas Riddell’s grave


Where: Candlemaker Row, EH1 2QQ
How much: Free

If you want to pay respects to the man who may have inspired JK Rowling’s dark wizard, then Greyfriars Kirkyard is a must. The grave of Thomas Riddell, who was 72 when he died in 1806, has caused many fans to flock to the cemetery. Another gravestone, that of William McGonagall, may have been the inspiration for our favourite transfiguration professor, professor Minerva McGonagall.

4. George Heriot’s School

George Heriot's School-edinburgh

Credit: Stephencdickson
Where: Lauriston Place, EH3 9EQ
How much: Free to view

No one can deny that George Heriot’s School holds some similarities to Hogwarts. There are four houses – Lauriston, Greyfriars, Raeburn and Castle – just like Britain’s wizarding school (home to Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw). The school followed the legacy of George Heriot, providing free education for poor and fatherless children – and wouldn’t both Harry Potter and Tom Riddle fit that category?

5. The Elephant House


Where: 21 George IV Bridge, EH1 1EN
How much: Free to enter, food and drink extra

After a long day of visiting Harry Potter sights, you may have time to grab a cup of coffee. There’s no better place than The Elephant House, which claims be the ‘birthplace of Harry Potter’. It is disputed whether or not JK Rowling spent more time in The Elephant House or Nicholson’s, which became a Chinese restaurant in 2003. To sit where pages of Harry Potter may have been written, is that not worth the cost of coffee?

6. The Edinburgh City Chambers


Where: 253 High St, EH1 1YJ
How much: Entry depends on event

The Edinburgh City Chambers, built on the Royal Mile, features a tribute to the winners of the Edinburgh Award. The award is given to ‘outstanding’ residents of Edinburgh. Of course, JK Rowling won. In 2008, her hands were immortalised in bronze in the courtyard.

7. The Balmoral

the balmoral

Where: 1 Princes St, EH2 2EQ
How much: Prices vary depending on the room

Located at the end of Princes Street, The Balmoral is home to The JK Rowling Suite, where some chapters of The Deathly Hallows were written. It is believed that she spent six months in the peace and quiet that The Balmoral provided. Several Harry Potter references are still present in the suite, including a marble bust signed by JK Rowling. If you’re ever in the area, you might just get a glimpse of the room that witnessed the end of Harry Potter.

8. Perilous Potions


Where: Arch 14, East Market Street, EH8 8FS
How much: Prices change by drink

Harry Potter and drinks, is there anything better? Open until April 30, The Pop Up Geeks’ Perilous Potions has plenty of magical, mix-yourself cocktails on offer. There are some clever Harry Potter references thrown in, too, like the Half-Cut Prince and Butterbrew. But be sure to book your place soon – this is a drinking opportunity you don’t want to miss.

If you’re a huge fan of Harry Potter, then why not take a trip to one of these unis which are the BEST for fans of the book (or film). 

Last Updated on March 20, 2024