London holds many magical qualities. Whether you’re visiting for the glow of the city lights or the charm of age-old buildings, you’ll find enchantment on London’s streets. Of course, if you’re looking for a different kind of magic, you can find that too. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter certainly holds its spell over the city. From filming locations to art galleries, the magic of Harry Potter’s world can be found right in our own. We’ve identified ten major locations that every Harry Potter tour london fan should visit and if we left something out, you can share that with us in the comments.
King’s Cross Station
Beginning our journey where Harry did, King’s Cross Station is home to the fictional Platform 9 ¾ where the Hogwarts Express takes students to the famed wizard academy. While there is no such platform in reality, the station has put up a sign and a luggage cart disappearing into a wall where you can snap a photo. The station is also home to the Harry Potter Store.
If you want to go to Gringott’s to withdraw some wizard gold, that may prove more difficult. Australia House in the Strand, which was used for the interior of the bank, is the home of the Australian High Commissioner. Unless you’re a member of the Australian government, it’s unlikely that you’ll be allowed inside.
While the Millennium Bridge features as part of London in a few Harry Potter films, its biggest moment in the franchise comes in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. As part of their terror campaign, the Death Eaters destroy the bridge in what’s later claimed as an “accident.”
Leadenhall Market features prominently as the entrance to the Wizard eatery and to Diagon Alley. More specifically, you’ll want to head to an optometrist’s office called the Glass House at 2-3 Bull’s Head Passage.
Those looking for the entrance to the Ministry of Magic need go no further than Scotland Place in Whitehall. There’s no red phone booth that Arthur Weasley used as the entrance to the Ministry, but you can still imagine what it would be like to take a trip into the head of all magic in England.
Claremont Square was the filming location for 12 Grimmauld Place. While Sirius Black’s actual house may not be here (remember it was hidden from Muggle view), you can still walk past and picture Kreature peering at you from behind the window curtains.
When Harry, Hermione, and Ron have to flee the wedding in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, they apparate near Piccadilly Circus. A fun fact to consider, London actually had to shut down Piccadilly Circus to accommodate filming there, which you’d know is no small feat if you’ve visited the place.
House of MinaLima
The House of MinaLima isn’t a fictional place from the books or films, but a very real design studio in London that was responsible for many of the props used in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. You can tour the studio and see a great amount of art dedicated to the Wizarding World and learn more about how the films were made. They also have a shop featuring lots of artwork, books, and even wallpaper.
Reptile House, ZSL London Zoo
The Reptile House, where Harry first learns he can speak Parseltongue, is easily accessible at the London Zoo. The zoo is home to over 650 species and is worth exploring thoroughly. However, don’t expect the snakes to talk to you as they did to young Mr. Potter.
WB Studio Tour
The Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London (technically, it’s not in London) should be the top destination of any Harry Potter fan. If you didn’t get enough of the props at the House of MinaLima, the WB Studio Tour has plenty more where those came from. You can also see painstaking recreations of the sets used in the films from Diagon Alley to the Hogwarts Great Hall. The tour also offers permanent and seasonal exhibits and activities that can make your trip feel truly magical.