10 Things Every “Harry Potter” Fan Should Do in London
London has long been a destination for writers, readers, and literature lovers—and that’s certainly true for millions of Harry Potter fans the world over. It helps that many real-life London locations inspired the books’ settings, while the eight Harry Potter movies were shot between Central London and the sprawling Warner Bros. Studio. For a magical visit to the British capital, begin there before discovering the other enchanted destinations and activities all over town. Just make sure you BYOO—yes, bring your own owl.
1. Visit Warner Bros. Studio
Located just northwest of London, and accessible via train (or air-conditioned coach), Warner Bros. Studio is a must-see destination for Harry Potter fans all around the globe. Not only were all eight films shot here, but the sprawling studios offer the chance to step into the Hogwarts Great Hall and other spellbinding sets, discover behind-the-scenes costumes and visual effects, shop for souvenirs, and even sip frothy mugs of butterbeer.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter with Transportation
2. Go on a filming locations tour
Once you’ve seen the immaculately designed movie sets, discover the real-life London locations where the Harry Potter series was shot on a film locations walking tour. From London Underground stations and St. Paul’s Cathedral to Borough Market, sightsee while you follow in the footsteps of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and other famous cast members.
Related article: 13 Must-Visit Filming Locations in London
Harry Potter London Walking Tour
3. Pose for photos at Platform 9 ¾
In the Harry Potter books, you can’t reach the hidden Platform 9 ¾ to board the Hogwarts Express without running headlong into a brick wall at London’s King’s Cross station. Luckily, real-life visitors don’t have to worry about concussions thanks to the picture-ready trolley that’s installed midway through one of the station’s walls.
Insider tip: After snapping an action shot, don’t miss the adjacent Harry Potter Shop, where you can pick up your own scarf, wand, and stuffed Hedwig toy.
Harry Potter Walking Tour with Platform 9 3/4
4. Shop the real-life Diagon Alley
For members of the wizarding world, Diagon Alley is the one-stop-shop for all of their needs, from wands and quills to cauldrons and broomsticks—and legend has it that it was inspired by a real London road. Many point to the antique- and bookshop-lined Cecil Court as the model for the enchanted thoroughfare, while others note similarities with the atmospheric Leadenhall Market. Either way, visit both on a Harry Potter–themed bus tour and browse for treasures as you go.
Harry Potter London Bus Tour of Film Locations in London
5. Immerse yourself in London’s best bookstores
Make like bookish Hermione Granger—and get comfortable with a gripping read (or a heavy-duty textbook)—at one of London’s independent bookstores. From the 4-story splendor of the Foyles flagship on Charing Cross Road to the atmospheric delights of Daunt Books in Marylebone and the historic Hatchards in Piccadilly, you’ll have no problem getting lost in a good book.
London Literary Tour with a Local Expert: Private & Personalized
6. Stroll across Millennium Bridge
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth film in the series, the iconic Millennium Bridge was destroyed by Death Eaters. Happily, the pedestrianized bridge, opened in 2002, still stands in real life—and it offers some of London’s most impeccable riverside views as well as a dose of silver-screen magic, so pass by on a Potter-themed tour.
Original Harry Potter Locations Tour - London
7. Go on a “Harry Potter” scavenger hunt
Once you’ve finished your film locations adventure, there’s a new way to explore London’s enchanted attractions—via a self-led Harry Potter treasure-hunting game. The game, run independently from your smartphone, lets you embark at a time that’s best for you, which makes it perfect if your sightseeing schedule is packed (and you don’t have a time-turner to hand).
London Outdoor Escape Game: Harry Potter Movie Locations
8. Attend “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
The theatrical follow-up to the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been a West End phenomenon since it premiered in 2016. Choose to watch both the first and second parts of this 5-hour spectacle in one day for the most immersive experience—or break it up and watch parts one and two on different days to spread the magic throughout your London visit.
West End Theatre Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour
9. Speak to reptiles at the London Zoo
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book in the series, Harry discovers that he can speak to snakes—and understand Parseltongue—while visiting the Reptile House at the London Zoo. During your visit, there’s no guarantee that the mambas and cobras will understand your hissing, though you can certainly try.
The London Pass®: Unlimited access to 85+ top attractions
10. Shop for monstrous treats
While Honeydukes—the enchanted candy shop that features in the Harry Potter books and movies—remains fictional, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies in East London might be your next best bet. After all, where else can you buy wacky treats such as Banshee Balls, Minty Maggots, and Sugar Dusted Bogies? Visit independently, after taking an East End food tour.