There are endless great things about studying abroad. One of the best things about being in Europe in particular is how easy (and affordable) it is to explore and travel to other countries within the continent! We have a friend from Drexel who has been studying in Edinburgh, Scotland since January. Our first weekend experience away from London was to make a trip to Edinburgh and go visit another Drexel adventurer!
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. Scotland, neighbor’s of England, is also in the United Kingdom. While it is accessible by train, we flew to Scotland due to cost and time. After an hour flight, we landed in a whole new country! Our friend was a great personal tour guide through Edinburgh, so we were able to make the most of our four days in Scotland.
As a huge Harry Potter fan, Edinburgh is a great attraction, because this is where J.K. Rowling wrote some of her books here and based some parts of the books off places in Edinburgh. We started our journey through the city with a “Harry Potter Tour.” We were able to see the original Diagon Alley, the school Hogwarts is based off, the restaurant J.K. Rowling wrote in, and the cemetery in which she based many of the characters names off of.
Edinburgh is one of the most haunted cities in the world. Our first night, we participated in a (free!) guided ghost tour. We were taken around the city learning about the haunted history of Edinburgh. Not only was it pretty spooky, but we were able to explore the city and learn a lot. We ended the tour at Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, the most famous (and the most haunted) cemetery in Scotland!
During our stay, we participated in more tours. We toured the Edinburgh Castle, which is the castle that sits on a great hill in the middle of the city. Although this one was not free, it was worth the investment. Edinburgh is home to many incredible historical monuments. On the tour, we were able to learn an abundance of history. It is truly breathtaking to be able to stand where world-altering history occurred, thousands of years ago.
Of course, when traveling to any country, a huge part of the experience is submerging yourself in it’s culture! This is a great excuse to try new things, and most importantly, new foods. One of Scotland’s traditional foods is haggis. If you don’t know what haggis is, don’t feel bad, because I don’t either. It is a meat, made up of some questionable ingredients. Actually, haggis is illegal in the United States, which made it even more intriguing. I did not plan on eating haggis ever in my life, but When in Scotland! Haggis was not for me, but I am glad I tried it. Experiencing new cultures is all about taking risks!
Edinburgh, Scotland was an amazing city to experience and I would highly recommend it to anybody. If you have any friends studying abroad and are able to to visit them, take advantage of it. Not only do you get to enjoy a new country, but you get a free personal tour guide. Also, engage in tours when visiting a new place. Learning from the locals is the best way to learn!
Thank you Edinburgh!