What do you get when you combine a Harry Potter Tour, a bus tour of Edinburgh and an Italian dinner? The Harry Potter Bistro Bus Tour, of course. Last year I went on the Red Bus Bistro Burger Tour with my dad. This year I wanted to do it again with Laura, but I found the tour had been replaced. I certainly can’t complain about the new tour. In fact, I found it better in several ways.
The Red Bus Bistro Tour
The new tour uses the same bus as did the burger tours on Friday and Saturday nights, and afternoon tea tours every day of the week. There are a few extra Harry Potter themed decorations around the bus, such as broomsticks, books and Hedwig the owl. Well, it’s not a real owl, but still fun to play with.
The tour leaves from Waterloo Place at the east end of Princes Street in the New Town of Edinburgh. The Red Bus Bistro also does tours in Glasgow, but they don’t have the Harry Potter tour. That’s exclusive to Edinburgh.
I know this post is on the Harry Potter tour, but I still have to comment about how amazing it is to ride a bus around the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh without having the food and drinks flying everywhere. It’s particularly impressive on the afternoon tea tour where they serve three-tiered platters of sandwiches and cookies which sway but never tip over. The only things on the Harry Potter tour that could tip over are the glasses of prosecco, but not one of them spilled on our tour.
Replacing Burgers with Pizza and Antipasti
Yes, just like the burger tour, the first thing we got was a glass of prosecco. I’m no wine connoisseur, but it did taste good and Laura was impressed by it. This was followed by a choice of pizza or antipasti. As with all their tours, the food is prepared fresh on the bus just before the tour begins.
We received two personal-size, square pepperoni pizzas. There are additional toppings on board you can get added for a small fee, but we were happy with the pepperoni. The dough was soft, the cheese was thick and overall it was – that word that journalists hate – yummy!
The antipasti platter was surprisingly good too. Arrayed on a cutting board were slices of salami and pepperoni, a large slab of chicken pate, divers cheeses such as brie and cheddar, crackers, herbed olives, caramelized onion chutney and a bunch of grapes. Laura and I took turns devouring it around bites of our pizza.
Adding All the Harry Potter Stops
The old burger tour had about seven or eight spots around the city where the tour guide would give us information as we passed by. Otherwise, there wasn’t a lot of information (although there were some facts I got on the tour which I’d never heard of before).
The Harry Potter Tour was quite different. Our guide was quite knowledgeable of both Edinburgh and all things Harry Potter-related. Throughout the tour, she was giving one fact after another, covering nearly as much information as the dedicated Potter Trail Walking Tour. The bus followed the same route as the other tours, although they’ve added a toilet stop towards the end after everyone had finished their meal but before the bus returned to where it started.
You know me; I don’t like spoiling the information given on tours. You’ll just have to take this tour yourself when you’re in Edinburgh.
Booking the Harry Potter Bistro Bus Tour
- Departure Point: Waterloo Place, Edinburgh
- Departure Times:
- Afternoon Tea Tour/Gin Tour: Wed-Thurs, Sun – 12 p.m.; Fri-Sun – 3 p.m.
- Harry Potter Themed Tour: Fri – 3 p.m. & 6 p.m.; Sat – 6 p.m.
- Tour Duration: 70-90 minutes
- Tour Price:
- Afternoon Tea Tour: £35 ($45)
- Gin Tour: £45 ($58)
- Harry Potter Themed Tour: £35 ($45)
- Red Bus Bistro Website: redbusbistro.co.uk
- Phone Number: (+44) 01355 229 448
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Not a fan of Harry Potter? Here are some other places to eat at, and activities to partake in around Edinburgh.
- 5 Amazing Cafes and Restaurants in Edinburgh That I Frequent
- Best Places to Eat in Edinburgh on a Budget
- How to Find the Best Brazilian Crepes in Edinburgh
- The Village Hotel in Edinburgh is So Much More Than a Hotel
- There’s a Cat Cafe in Edinburgh!
- Enjoying the Happiest Place in Scotland at Edinburgh’s Chihuahua Cafe
- Begin Your Journey in Scotland with a Secret Food Tour in Edinburgh
- What the Da Vinci Code Didn’t Show You About Rosslyn Chapel
- Camera Obscura in Edinburgh Brings Out the Kid in You
- Experience the Underground Preservation of Mary King’s Close
- Escape Edinburgh: The Most Fun Activity in Edinburgh’s New Town
- Finding the Best Ghost Tours in Edinburgh
- 9 Free Attractions to Visit in Edinburgh
- 10 Activities for The Perfect Day Trip from Edinburgh
Disclaimer: Laura and I were given complimentary tickets to the Harry Potter Bistro Bus Tour on behalf of Red Bus Bistro. As always, all views and opinions are my own. Please note that this tour is Harry Potter themed only, not an official Harry Potter tour, and no Harry Potter merchandise is sold on the tour.