To this day I remember one December day in the year 2000 when my grandma gave me a book. A book that was full of magic, a book that changed and shaped my childhood. Yes, you are right – this was Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone. I loved it so much that I read it three times in the next 2 weeks! Not long later grandma bought me the next three parts. Needless to say, I was in magical heaven. In the following years, I was impatiently waiting for new books and movies to dive into magical adventures again.
The world of Harry Potter is the world we both grew up with. Together with young wizards, we shared similar teenage worries and joys. Despite the passing years, and us becoming adults, our love for Harry Potter has remained. We often come back to books and movies, as we can find comfort in them. So it shouldn’t be surprising that visiting the United Kingdom to follow Harry Potter’s footsteps was really high on our bucket list. Fortunately, our dreams have become reality and now we can take you on a magical journey and share it a bit with you!
In this post, we invite you to London where you’ll discover attractions, filming locations, stores, and even pubs connected to the Harry Potter world. Ready? Take your wand & let’s go!
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Harry Potter World – Attractions & Filming Locations in London
Harry Potter Attractions & Experiences in London
Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
Harry Potter Studio Tour London is an unforgettable location and a must-do experience for all true Harry Potter fans. During the tour you’ll experience the magic of filmmaking first-hand: you’ll visit the real sets and you’ll see countless props and costumes used during filming of all movies.
We loved it so much that we already visited twice, in 2018 & 2022. We’ll definitely visit again in the future as there are new sets added every now and then. Tour themes are also changing from time to time. There were/are for example “Hogwarts in the Snow” or the “Dark Arts” themes. During these times sets are specially decorated with matching pieces to highlight specific parts of the Harry Potter world.
- You can buy tickets:
- On the official Harry Potter Studio Tour website. Tickets there are the cheapest that we know about, and bus transfer from Watford train station is free. Unfortunately, they disappear really quickly and you need to buy in advance (about 3 months earlier). For example today (2nd November 2022) first available tickets are for mid-January 2023.
- Via other websites like getyourguide or goldentours. It’s more expensive but you don’t need to worry about getting to Watford as you’ll travel from the center of London directly. Tickets are readily available and sometimes can buy them, even overnight.
- The average time to complete the tour is 3.5h, although there is no time limit. We spent there about 6 magical hours.
All the other information you may need is on wbstudiotour.co.uk website.
Prices on the official website: £51.5 adults, £40 children (5-15 years old).
Harry Potter & The Cursed Child theatre play
The magical story continues on the stage of the Palace Theatre in London. Harry Potter & the Cursed Child is a two-part play based on an original story written by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne. The play premiered in July 2016. The story takes place 19 years after the events in Deathly Hallows book and follows the adventures of both well-known to us older generation of wizards, as well as the younger one.
Believe us – play is truly magical, and spellbinding, and will leave you speechless. We’re not surprised at all that it’s the most-awarded play in history.
- It’s a two-part play that you can see in one day, or in two different ones
- Ticket prices depend on the chosen place, starting from £30 and finishing at £290 (both parts, one person)
- You can buy tickets on harrypottertheplay.com official website
- Running time of the play:
- Part One – 2 hours and 40 minutes (including 20 min interval)
- Part Two – 2 hours and 35 minutes (including 20 min interval)
- Play is in English
- Currently, it’s possible to buy tickets even a few days earlier
Harry Potter & The Cursed Child can also be seen in five other cities around the world: New York, Melbourn, Hamburg, Toronto and Tokio.
We’ve seen this play two times – in 2018 & 2022. The first time we wanted to save a buck so we bought some of the cheapest places from which we couldn’t see or hear really well. But in 2022 we were able to buy one of the best and we don’t regret it at all, it’s a totally different experience! To be honest we don’t recommend buying the cheapest seats. If you can, pay more to see and hear better and thus enjoy it more. On seatplan.com you can check out photos from different seats in Palace Theather. The first time we were sitting on the balcony, on seats O20 & O19. The second time we picked seats B16 & B15 on Dress Circle and definitely can recommend them.
Platform 9 and ¾ at King’s Cross Station
Head to King’s Cross station main hall to take a photo of the Harry Potter trolley vanishing in the wall. You can also get in line, wait for your turn, choose your Hogwarts house scarf, and pose for a classic Platform 9 and ¾ photo. It won’t cost you a penny if you’ll take a photo with your own camera. Your other option is to buy a professional photograph in an official Harry Potter Shop which you’ll find right next to the trolley.
We’ve been to King’s Cross Station several times but never lined up in the queue – it was always terribly long!
Tip: If you’re going to Warner Bros Studio, you’ll have a chance to take same photo there but probably without the long queue.
Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition
In Covent Garden, you’ll find another fairly new (from 2021) Harry Potter attraction – Photographic Exhibition. It’s an exclusive display showcasing hundreds of behind-the-scenes photographs. There you can also take a selfie in front of a huge Hogwarts acceptance letter, or get on a broomstick to experience green screen technology on your skin.
Harry Potter Butterbeer Bar
The Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition is also home to London’s Bottled Butterbeer Bar. The bar has been designed to match the Bottled Butterbeer logo, designed by MinaLima. Inside you can take a seat and enjoy a delicious drink, as well as some sweets and sandwiches. You can also buy a bottle or two if you want to enjoy it later at home.
It’s possible to visit the Harry Potter Butterbeer Bar without buying tickets to the Photographic Exhibition. Access without a ticket is available through the rear entrance, located in the southeast corner of the Covent Garden Piazza.
Looks like the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition & Butterbeer Bar have been permanently closed (May 2023)
House of MinaLima
House of MinaLima is one of the locations often overlooked but for sure another place that Harry Potter fans can’t miss in London. It’s a charming magical gallery and shop owned by two graphic designers who worked on the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies: Miraphora Mina & Eduardo Lima. It showcases graphic arts from the movies, as well as other works designed by MinaLima. There you can also buy uniquely designed items like books, notebooks, posters, or notecards. Entrance to the House of MinaLima is free.
Wands and Wizard Exploratorium & The Cauldron
Belonging to the same company, Wands and Wizard Exploratorium & The Cauldron are two places in London offering magical experiences such as Magic Potion Making, Wizard Afternoon Tea, or Magic Wand Making. You can buy tickets on thecauldron.io website. Prices depend on the activity you want to take part in.
Georgian House Hotel
If you’re looking for a unique place to stay in London, Georgian House Hotel might be a place for you. Besides standard rooms hotel offers specially designed wizarding-themed chambers. Perfect for Potterheads! Every Saturday and Sunday you can also enjoy Wizard Afternoon Tea and take part in Wizard Potion-making experience. Check out georgianhousehotel.co.uk website for more details & book your room on booking.com.
Harry Potter Filming Locations in London
You can follow Harry Potter’s footsteps by visiting various filming locations in London:
- King’s Cross Station: Platform 9 and ¾
- St Pancras: place from where magical Wesley’s car takes off in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Leadenhall Market: entrance to Diagon Alley/Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
- Borough Market: entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Reptile House at London Zoo: Harry talks to the snake for the first time in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
- Piccadilly Circus: a place to where Harry, Ron, and Hermione escape from Bill’s wedding, almost being hit by the bus
- Millennium Bridge: bridge destroyed by Death Eaters in the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Lambeth Bridge: place where the Knight Bus squeezes in between two double-decker buses in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Westminster Tube Station: place where Mr. Weasley struggles with passing through the gates while travelling with Harry to the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Locations of all these places are marked on the map at the bottom of the post.
Harry Potter Film Locations Walking Tours in London
You don’t have to visit all these places mentioned above by yourself. Take advantage of attractions like guided walking Harry Potter tours in London if that’s your preferred way of exploring places. You can for example choose a Tour for Muggles which is highly recommended by Tripadvisor and other renowned sites.
You can also choose one of the Harry Potter walking tours offerings by Get Your Guide:
Harry Potter Attractions & Filming Locations in London – Summary
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a proper letter from Hogwart at the age of 11 and weren’t able to live it through. Lucky for us there are plenty of locations in London to follow what Harry Potter and his friends went through and at least get a tiny bit closer to that magic. So, whether you are a huge Harry Potter fan or just want to have some magic fun we are almost certain that you’ll enjoy all the attractions and places. Thank you J.K. Rowling for creating this beautiful world! The end – Nox!