Must-see London attractions for Potterheads

J.K. Rowling’s bestselling book series Harry Potter has captured the hearts of millions of through its big screen adaptations. Since scenes have been set in Britain’s capital throughout the film series, Potterheads flock to London year round to visit some of the iconic filming locations. Here are our top picks for a magical experience.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

At Warner Bros. Studios you get to experience the real sets used for the eight Harry Potter movies. As Harry Potter fans know, the books were still being written by J.K. Rowling after the films had started being produced, so the production crew saved a lot of the iconic sets, props and costumes created for the movies in case they were going to need them again later on in the series. Thankfully for us, Warner Bros. Studio decided to keep the props and costumes after the movies had all been filmed and decided to offer studio tours, allowing Harry Potter enthusiasts to revisit Hogwarts and experience the magic of filmmaking.

King’s Cross & Platform 9 ¾

The most memorable London location of all may well be platform 9¾ in King’s Cross station. While there are only train tracks between platforms 9 and 10, fans can find the sign to platform 9¾ on the wall at the back of the main concourse, where the back half of a trolley protrudes from the wall. What most fans don’t know is that J.K. Rowling actually confused King’s Cross station with another station, because in reality there is no wall between platforms 9 and 10. For the movies, the wall between platforms 4 and 5 has been used. A small Harry Potter Shop has been set up close to the original filming location, selling Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Beans.

Reptile House at London Zoo

You all remember when Harry had his first encounter with a snake in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, don’t you? Well London Zoo certainly remembers the scene, because it was filmed in their very own Reptile House. Although Harry is seen speaking to a Burmese python, the enclosure used in the scene is actually home to a black mamba. There is now a plaque next to the snake enclosure commemorating the event. The Reptile House was built in 1926 and was considered one of the most sophisticated buildings of its type at the time. Whether you’re a Harry Potter freak or not, London Zoo is a great place to visit, with an incredible 752 animal species (as of 2011).

Harry Potter in the Theatre

When in London, you better remember to check if there’s a chance to catch a performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eight part of the saga, live in the Palace Theatre. The story begins nineteen years after the events of the previous book. It follows a 37 year old Harry Potter, now a Ministry of Magic employee, and his youngest son Albus Severus Potter, who is about to begin his schooling at Hogwarts. The audience gets a glimpse of what happened to our beloved characters and also introduces some exciting new ones. You should buy your tickets as early as possible though since they quickly sell out. Should you decide to go and see the play, you should keep in mind that it’s a two-part stage play, which takes place on two consecutive days.

House of MinaLima

At 26 Greek Street, Soho, the two designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima present a beautiful exhibition of the graphic art by MinaLima from the Harry Potter films. You’ll see lots of “Have you seen this wizard?” posters from Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban as well as Hogwarts Express Tickets, the Marauder's Map and Harry Potter’s very own Hogwarts letter! A little shop on the ground floor gives you the opportunity to buy small souvenirs from the Harry Potter universe for friends and family. On special days there is even the opportunity to meet the two designers themselves and ask them questions. You can find the exact dates on the MinaLima Website or on their Facebook page.

Harry Potter Tours

There are also less famous locations from the Harry Potter films to be found in the ancient heart of London. The curved entrance to the Leaky Cauldron can be found at 42 Bull’s Head Passage, and just around the corner is the splendid Leadenhall Market, where Diagon Alley was filmed. The charming building was built in the Victorian era. Discover all these places by booking a guided Harry Potter Tour.