(1) One walk down the Royal Mile and you will be able to see why J.K. Rowling wrote the entire first book of Harry Potter in a café down the street. It feels like you are walking down diagon alley, personally, more than any place in London.
(2) Speaking of that café… walk over to the Elephant House where Rowling wrote that famous first book. Here, looking out the window right off “diagon alley,” you can see the Hogwarts… uh I mean Edinburgh Castle.
(3) This castle is an amazing place to have a cup of tea, see some cannons, and even the crown jewels. It’s full of Scotland’s history which, you realize you have confused too easily with London’s. There are also some epic city views.
(4) Make sure to take a double decker bus while you’re here, to get the full UK experience. Oh and try to find one of those classic red telephone booths along the way.
(5) If you can take a tour of the highlands, I highly recommend it. It took us a day, but we got to see the wonderful landscape of Scotland and went all the way to Loch Ness where we saw some monster that apparently lives in the lake. The countryside seems almost untouched and you’ll see some of the spots the Harry Potter movies used for filming. Just trying to give you the most important facts here.
(6) In the town of Loch Ness we had some of the best fish and chips I ever did eat. Make sure you get some in the UK, pretty much any local pub will do the job right.
(7) I don’t know how many times I’ll say this throughout these city guides, but again… have a beer. You won’t be disappointed by a Scottish draft.
(8) If you’re feeling guilty about that beer you can get some exercise in this beautiful city as well. I find that running through a city gives you a completely different perspective and you always find something unexpected. Every morning we ran to Portobello beach. There is a boardwalk for running, biking, or whatever your exercise pleasure may be.
(9) On this strip you must try The Beach House (57 Bath Street) for brekky.
(10) We ran through Figgate Park on our way to Portobello beach. This park is for the morning stroll or morning workout; you really get a view into the locals’ everyday life.
(11) Back near town is Holyrood Palace aka the palace of the royal family. Sit on a bench outside for a bit to soak up some sun and channel your inner royal.
(12) Arthur’s Seat is a great hiking path right near Holyrood. The path is dominated by dog walkers, but used by anyone seeking a good uphill/ downhill exercise.
(13) And of course we must end this city guide with some ice cream. Arcari’s ice cream is some of the best I’ve had to date. I don’t know where to get this ice cream exactly because it’s owned by family friends, so we got it straight from the factory. They used to have a storefront, but now I believe they just sell to ice cream trucks and restaurants. If you want the best ice cream you’ll ever have… find a way to get your hands on some.
Can you guess what city is next? It’s back in the EU and quit close to France (my home for the past 6 months). We took a train there and it is a significant location for the European Union. If you need more than that, check out my Instagram where I posted throughout all of my travels.