London is a magical destination for Harry Potter fans, with plenty of tours, attractions, and experiences that bring the world of wizardry to life. Whether you're a die-hard fan or just looking for a fun way to explore the city, there's something for everyone.
As one of Britain's most notable literary characters, the boy who lived has made his mark on the English capital. And, sadly, why you may not be able to Visit Hogwarts in the English capital, you can still find plenty of Harry Potter in London. Here's our list of all the unmissable Harry Potter experiences in London. Just solemnly swear you'll be up to no good.
Planning Your Harry Potter Experience in London
If you're planning a trip to London to explore the world of Harry Potter, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the most of your experience.
First, be sure to book your tickets in advance for any tours or attractions you want to visit. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are both extremely popular and can sell out quickly, so it's best to book as far in advance as possible. You can also save time and money by booking a pass with The London Pass®!
Second, consider the time of year you're visiting. London can be quite busy during peak tourist season, which can mean longer lines and crowds at popular attractions. If possible, try to visit during the shoulder season or off-season to avoid the crowds and get a more relaxed experience.
Third, plan your itinerary carefully to make the most of your time in London. There are many Harry Potter-related attractions and experiences to choose from, so it's important to prioritize what you want to see and do. You might want to start with the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London to get a behind-the-scenes look at the films, then explore some of the filming locations and other sights on a walking or bus tour. Be sure to leave time to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is a must-see for any theater fan.
Finally, don't forget to take some time to explore the rest of London as well. The city is full of history, culture, and amazing food, so be sure to sample some of the local cuisine and check out some of the other attractions, such as the British Museum, the Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace. Let's dive into more Harry Potter now!
Slip into King's Cross Station and find the elusive entrance to the Hogwarts Express train platform. It was here that all the greatest witches and wizards took their first steps on their magical journeys. Fans of the series can pose with Harry's luggage trolley under the Platform 9 ¾ sign. There's even a dedicated photo spot for aspiring young magicians. And once you've got the perfect photo, venture into the stunningly designed Harry Potter Shop. Find the perfect memento to mark the occasion. There are lots to choose from. Address: King's Cross Station, Euston Road, King's Cross, London N1 9AL Opening times: Store hours 8am - 10pm, Monday - Saturday; 9am - 9pm Sunday Prices: Free
Want to indulge your Pottermania and take in London at the same time? Brit Movie Tours offers not one, but two Harry Potter bus and walking tours. They'll take you from the entrance of the Leaky Cauldron all the way to the Ministry of Magic. Available as a half or full-day tour, the route takes guests past some of London's biggest tourist attractions. Visitors can see the Tate Modern, St. Paul's Cathedral, Borough and many more. Address: Walking tour begins at Westminster tube station, bus tour begins at Temple tube station Duration: Walking tour, two hours; bus tour two and a half to three hours Prices: London Pass holders get 20% off all tickets using the coupon code LDP20; walking tour adult tickets priced at £12, children at £10; bus tour adult tickets priced at £27, children at £20
If you're looking for an immersive experience, consider visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter. This behind-the-scenes tour takes you through the sets, props, and costumes used in the films, and gives you a chance to see some of the special effects that brought the magic to life. You can also take a walking tour of London that takes you to some of the filming locations and other sites associated with the series, such as the Leaky Cauldron pub and the entrance to the Ministry of Magic. For a more panoramic view of the city, you can take a Harry Potter bus tour that covers all the major sights, from King's Cross Station to the London Eye.
The sprawling studio is ripe for exploration, with several hours of fun and entertainment. Starting at the very beginning with Harry's little cupboard under the stairs, you'll travel to iconic locations like the Great Hall, Diagon Valley and Privet Drive. The souvenir store alone makes the journey worth it. London Pass holders are eligible to purchase an exclusive studio tour package including tickets and return transportation to Central London.
Address: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR Opening times: Varying opening hours daily, all times available here Prices: £66 for adults, £61 for children, £20 for infants 3-4 (transport only), free for children aged 2 and under for all London Pass Harry Potter Studio Tour customers (including transport and tickets); £35 for adults, £27 for children 5-15, free for children aged 4 and under, various group and family packages priced £25.50-£36.95 (prices subject to change in 2017)
Not only is Westminster one of London's most iconic districts, but it's also packed with Harry Potter film locations. Begin at Westminster tube station, where muggle-fanatic Arthur Weasley bumbled his way through the turnstiles with Harry. Then, leisurely make your way over to Westminster Bridge to relive the stunning flight over the Houses of Parliament in the Order of the Phoenix. Budget time in to see the rest of the area and Westminster Abbey - while they aren't related to Harry Potter, they're still well worth seeing.
Featured in the iconic opening scene in The Half-Blood Prince where death eaters collapse the Millennium Footbridge, this pedestrian-only suspension bridge over the Thames offers awesome views of St. Paul's Cathedral as you walk from South to North.
To get into Diagon Alley, you won't have to remember the secret code or anything like that. All you need to do is head over to Leadenhall Market, where the covered Victorian walkways and charming shopfronts made up many of Diagon Alley's exterior shots. Keep an eye out for 42 Bull's Head Passage, an optician's shop with an unmissable bright blue door used as the entrance for the Leaky Cauldron. Squint, and you're there. Address: Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 1LT Opening times: Monday - Friday, 10am - 6pm; closed on weekends Prices: Free
Explore the location where Harry first discovered his 'parseltongue' ability and innate gift for talking to snakes in the Philosopher's Stone. Home to over 650 species from reptiles and mammals to invertebrates, birds, fish and more, the London Zoo is a must-visit for all visitors.
If you're a theater fan, don't miss the chance to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre. This award-winning play tells the story of Harry, Ron, and Hermione's children as they navigate the challenges of Hogwarts and the wider wizarding world. The play is presented in two parts, so be sure to book tickets for both to get the full experience.
Undoubtedly one of the most exciting things to come out of the Potter franchise in recent years, this two-part play is the official eighth part of the Harry Potter story based on a story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. Set long after the seventh book ended, Harry now works full time at the Ministry of Magic and has three young children - including Albus, the youngest who has also inherited his father's gift for troublemaking. Bear in mind that the show sells out quick, so make sure to book your tickets well in advance. And those are all the best locations to experience Harry Potter in London. Fancy discovering more of your favourite film locations? Why, step right this way.
No matter how you choose to explore Harry Potter in London, you're sure to have an unforgettable time. Don't forget to stop by the Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4 to pick up some souvenirs and mementos of your trip.