Scotland is a veritable mecca for Harry Potter fans, considering J.K. Rowling herself lives there and wrote a large majority of the series there. Everywhere you turn, you can see Rowling's inspiration or something that could easily be found in one of the films. While our Harry Potter travel bucket list can take you all over the world, it's important to make a stop at where it all began: the Elephant House Cafe in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The cafe in the heart of Edinburgh touts itself as the birthplace of Harry Potter, because Rowling spent countless hours in this shop penning Harry Potter. She sat in the back of the restaurant, overlooking Edinburgh Castle and Greyfriars Kirkyard, where a grave for a man named Tom Riddell can be found. I'm not saying there's a guarantee that that gravestone was the inspiration for Voldemort's real name of Tom Riddle, but the likelihood is there.
The cafe, which opened in 1995 and includes more elephant decor and memorabilia than you could ever dream of wanting, serves gourmet coffees, teas, and food, but it's no surprise that many people come here to feel the Harry Potter magic and leave notes on the bathroom walls for the wizard himself and the brilliant author who created him. To get a little bit of that magic for yourself, scroll through to see pictures of the cafe and even Tom Riddell's grave. Then next time you're planning a Harry Potter-themed vacation, keep Edinburgh in mind . . .