Search for a place or activity

10 Things Every “Harry Potter” Fan Should Do in London

You don’t need to go all the way to Hogwarts to experience the magic of “Harry Potter” first-hand.
Hi, I'm Claire!

Claire Bullen is an award-winning food, drinks, and travel writer and editor who has lived and worked in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Paris, and London. She is the author of The Beer Lover's Table: Seasonal Recipes and Modern Beer Pairings, and the editor at Her writing has also appeared in Time Out New York, The Daily Meal, Pellicle Magazine, and beyond.

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 world. 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.

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 filming 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.

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. 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.

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.

Explore more "Harry Potter" experiences around the world

1 / 6

Keep reading

1 / 5
Do more with Viator
One site, 300,000+ travel experiences you'll remember—direct to your inbox.
Stay in the know