Calling all muggles – we have compiled the ultimate list of Harry Potter sites and things to do in London. Next time you’re out walking in London stop in one of these Harry Potter places and feel the magic!
The Ultimate List of Harry Potter Things to do In London
Want to explore London like a muggle or a wizard? You are in luck. London is, of course, the best cities in all of England to see and explore the wizardry land where Harry Potter once stood.
London is a big city, but Harry Potter should always have a place in your itinerary of London.
London has vast history ranging from World Wars to modern to Medieval. There is no shortage of things to do in London. Harry Potter is a great example of a modern gem in the history and culture of London.
We will provide you with a variety of things to see and do that solely revolve around Harry Potter.
Best Harry Potter things to do in London
Obviously, Harry Potter was based in England and much of the movies takes place in London proper. But with so much to see it is hard to keep track of what Harry Potters things to cross off your list.
Hang on tight to the Millennium Bridge
The infamous bridge that twists and turns in the seventh book is all sturdy now. Walk the bridge across the river Thames and take in all the wonderful views of London.
At the end of the bridge is the Tate Modern, and plenty of pubs to ease a woozy stomach if the bridge starts to sway. (Death eaters might still be out there!).
Visit Platform 9 ¾
Located at King’s Cross Station, if you venture over to the entrance for platforms 9 through 11 you will see a cart disappearing into the wall under the Platform 9 ¾ sign.
Come early in the morning to avoid the line! Otherwise, it can take a long time to get your picture.
SECRET TIP: go across the street to St. Pancreas. The outside of St. Pancreas is where the Weasley’s flying car takes off to try and catch the Hogwarts Express in Harry’s second year.
Talk to snakes at the Reptile House
No matter which side of the “it was Nagini” debate you are, come visit the Reptile House at the London Zoo to see where poor Dudley was stuck behind the glass while the snake slithered away.
Don’t worry, the zoo has upped their glass since Harry’s fiasco. No snakes are getting out today.
Explore Diagon Alley
The Muggles call Diagon Alley “Charing Cross Road” but we all know it as Diagon Alley. The magical shopping street where you can pick up cauldrons, owls, and a wand.
Charing Cross Road is where Diagon Alley was filmed. The street, located in the West End, is lined with antique shops and old book shops.
We bet if you look close enough at the antiques and books you’ll stumble upon something magical. Just watch out for books that scream and hands that move.
See Related: Best Travel Credit Cards
Withdraw some knuts from Gringotts
Many think that Gringotts is at the Royal Exchange. But they are wrong. Gringotts is actually at the Australia House just north of Temple Station.
Between the gargoyles and impressive stone work, it is easy to see why goblins chose the Australia House as their place to do business. We haven’t seen a dragon yet. YET.
Visit the Order at Number 12 Grimmauld Place
Just a short walk from Platform 9 ¾ is the safe house for the Order of the Phoenix: Number 12 Grimmauld Place.
Located among a street of houses, Grimmauld Place is as unsuspecting as the films made it look. The houses you are looking for are 23-29 Claremont Square. Walk quietly though, we don’t want the death eaters to come knocking.
Explore Leadenhall Market
Another location where Diagon Alley was filmed, the Leadenhall Market just feels like a magical place. Colorful walls, painted ceilings, and a bustling market with everything one may need.
Pop in for a bite, a pint, and a picture. Watch for wizards floating between the muggles – we swear we saw one last time…
See Related: 11 Top Nicknames for London
Enjoy a butterbeer at The Leaky Cauldron
At Leadenhall market is the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron. Of course, to us Muggles it looks like a glasses store (The Glass House), but we know deep down there’s a hidden bar in there.
Since Muggles can’t see The Leaky Cauldron, head around the way to Old Tom’s Bar. Its entrance is sneaky, and you get to hide underneath Leadenhall Market while enjoying the best beers in town.
Escape death eaters at Piccadilly Circus
A London favourite regardless, Piccadilly Circus is where Harry, Ron, and Hermoine apparated to from Bill & Fleur’s wedding. They were barely able to order a cappuccino before the death eaters found them.
Walk around and people watch and see how fast the buses go around. Good thing Harry, Ron, and Hermoine jumped out of the way of that bus fast!
Pretend you’re a shrunken head on Lambeth Bridge
“Mind your head” says the shrunken head when the Knight Bus squeezes between two muggle buses. That scene happened on this bridge (no computer editing of course).
The bridge is over by Westminster, so it’s easy to see when you’re around seeing the sights.
Flush yourself down a toilet at the Ministry of Magic
The Ministry of Magic is located along Whitehall, right next to Westminster (coincidence? I think not!).
While there aren’t any toilets nearby to visit the Ministry, there are plenty of phone booths. Hop in, press some numbers, and see if it works for you.
Visit the Dursley’s in Berkshire
The Dursley’s have sold their house (under a pseudonym no doubt). But you can still travel to Berkshire to see Number 4, Privet drive.
Located about an hour outside London, this Harry Potter activity requires a flying car.
Take a tour at Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studios
For the ultimate Harry Potter fans who are willing to take a day and explore everything to do with the magical world. But you must buy tickets in advance.
- Step into film sets
- See original costumes
- Find props
- Observe the art design
- Watch creature effects
- And more
If you are going to visit Harry Potter studios we recommend going during a holiday. They have themed exhibits for winter holidays, Valentine’s day (including candlelight dinner packages), Halloween, and more.
How fun would it be to have dinner during Halloween in the great hall? Or taking a partner to a fancy dinner on Valentine’s day? We’ve never been but it is on our list.
Get your tickets in advance though. They often sell out so it’s best to be on the ball with this one.
See the Cursed Child
Now that the opening set has gone by, it is easier to score tickets to see The Cursed Child. The play runs year-round and takes place after Harry’s children are grown and off to Hogwarts.
Last we checked it was playing at The Palace Theater in London. Check their website for tickets and showtimes.
Go to a Harry Potter themed place
There are many Harry Potter themed places around London. From bars to hotels to shops there is something for every fan. Here are some of the best Harry Potter themed places in London.
- The Cauldron: a cocktail bar with Harry Potter themed drinks
- Cutter & Squidge: afternoon tea in the potions room
- The Georgian House Hotel: stay in a hogwarts themed room
- Harry Potter escape room
Whatever spot you choose to try make sure to bring your wand!
See Related: Ultimate Packing Checklist for London
Take a Harry Potter Tour in London
Harry Potter is popular for locals and tourists alike. Luckily, London has a lot of Harry Potter tours to offer any type of sightseer. Pick your favorite way to see it all and embrace the magic.
List of the Best Harry Potter Tours in London
Want to see it all by taking a tour? You are again in luck. There are plenty of Harry Potter tours in London even if you want to walk, drive, bus or go on a boat. You’ll likely hear more stories and get some good laughs along the way than doing your own impromptu tour.
Let’s get into some of the top Harry Potter tours in London.
1. Do the Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour
There are a lot of Harry Potter walking tours to do in London, but the one that stands out the most is the Magical London Guided Walking Tour. The tours will take you to most of the spots we mention in this post, and the tour guide is likely a Harry Potter fan who will tell you little known secrets about each spot.
Ready to get a tour of London Harry Potter style? Book the guided walking tour now.
2. Join the Harry Potter Tour for Muggles
We recommend the Tour for muggles. Why? Because you likely are one.
3. Ride a Harry Potter Tour bus
Similar to those hop-on, hop-off red buses, the Harry Potter tour bus drives around London to all the spots. Bus tours are ideal for people who would rather take in the scenes from a comfortable bus and want to avoid the weather.
4. Take a private taxi for an elite Harry Potter Tour
Clearly the best option for everyone. No tourists (other than you and your friends) highly customized commentary, close up stops of well-known spots, and a private chouffer. Could you ask for anything more?
Book your private Harry Potter Taxi Tour here for a discount.
5. Take a river cruise on the River Thames
A two-hour Harry Potter themed tour followed by a river cruise? Sign me up. The London Harry Potter Film Locations Tour and River Cruise is the best way to see it all with a relaxing event at the end.
You can book your tickets here to skip the line and save your spot.
Harry Potter sites outside London
For those fans wanting to explore Harry Potter sites outside of London, we have the list for you. It will take some travel by car or train. Pick your favorites and make a visit!
Get inspiration at The Elephant House in Edinburgh
One of the most visited for Harry Potter fans is The Elephant House. It was here that J.K. Rowling started writing the wonderful tales of Harry Potter that whisk us away to Hogwarts.
The coffee shop is quaint and pays homage to Harry Potter fans while still retaining its cozy culture. Pop in for a flat white and a scone and pick up a souvenir while you’re there.
Go to Godric’s Hollow
Located in Suffolk, England, you can walk Godric’s Hollow and see Harry’s childhood home. The house has been restored since Voldemort blasted it, but the city’s charm is still there.
The property you’re looking for is known locally as “De Vere House” and it recently sold for over $1M.
Find a screaming book in the library’s restricted section
Remember those sprawling ceilings with shelves of old books in the library? Well you can find all of this at Oxford University’s Bodleian Library.
The Library is famous not only for its Harry Potter reference, but also due to their collection of books. Many famous writers studied here including JRR Tolkein and Oscar Wilde.
Walk through the rows and pick a book or two to check if one screams. Stay quiet though – you wouldn’t want Madam Pince to kick you out.
Visit the Hogwarts Quad
You’ll recognize the Durham Cathedral the second you enter their grounds. The heart of many scenes in the film, and inspiration for the mobile game, Durham Cathedral has beautiful stone work, long halls, and arches.
Located at Durham University in Durham, the Cathedral was built in the early 1000s. Yes, it’s old.
Visit the cathedral, walk the halls, and pretend you’re a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Maybe you’ll even find a toad to name Trevor.
Chat with Moaning Myrtle & Nearly Headless Nick at Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral is absolutely stunning, and of course, where Harry Potter was filmed. These cavernous halls are fluttered with light from the stained glass that instantly feels like Hogwarts.
Practice flying your broomstick at Alnwick Castle
But actually – you can fly a broomstick here! Alnwick Castle is located in Alnwick, south of Edinburgh and north of Newcastle. It is actually the second-largest inhabited castle today.
There are multiple reasons to visit Alnwick Castle for Harry Potter fans. You can practice flying a broomstick for one. And, the halls and grounds were used for general filming of students and professors walking around Hogwarts.
Also, check out Lions Gate, which is the exit out of Hogwarts leading to Hagrid’s Hut.
A lot of Harry Potter Things to do in London
As you can see, there are a lot of Harry Potter things to do in London. From seeing the plays, to walking and seeing the sights, to exploring outside London, there is something for every Harry Potter fan.
London is the perfect place to visit for Harry Potter fans. What will you explore while you are there?