Harry Potter novels are the best-selling book series in the world. So, the chances are that you’ve read them to your kids already and that they love them. Most likely, so do you, because those books are amazing.
And if, for some reason, you haven’t read Harry Potter yet, you definitely should make it your priority. Once you are done, a visit to London is a must. When there, here are the things that a true Harry Potter fan mustn’t miss.
Platform 9 ¾
Platform 9 ¾ at the King’s Cross station is a special place for every Harry Potter fan. This is where Harry’s journey to the world of magic truly begins and the importance of this place is highlighted by the fact that it acts as a kind of purgatory in the last book.
No London Harry Potter adventure can go without visiting this special place and taking a picture at the Platform 9 ¾ set installed at the iconic location. However, be prepared to spend a lot of time waiting for your turn to take the picture. Lines there are humongous, and so are the prices at the Harry Potter souvenir shop nearby. Sadly, while you can find cheaper memorabilia elsewhere, you won’t be able to find another authentic King’s Cross Station, so lines are unavoidable.
Ministry of Magic (intersection of Scotland Place and New Scotland Yard)
The Ministry of Magic in our muggle world is located in the right place because it’s surrounded by government buildings. Go to the intersection of Scotland Place and New Scotland Yard and you’ll see the views reminiscent of one of the more intense scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One.
This is where Harry, Ron, and Hermione drank Polyjuice potion to get into the Ministry so they could get to Dolores Umbridge. Today, there are specialized walking tours in London that will take you to this place so you can learn exactly which buildings were in the movies and even the angles they were shot from. Dress up for this tour so you can roleplay while taking pictures.
Reptile House in the London Zoo
The hateful family of our young hero takes him to the London Zoo at the very beginning of the first movie. That’s where he, arguably, makes his first friend in the story. The Reptile House as well as the Zoo are worth a visit regardless of whether you are a Harry Potter fan because they are incredible.
Be sure to check out the list of events happening there so you can enjoy those during your London trip. Meanwhile, pay your respects to the snakes living in the Reptile House and don’t let any bias against the Slytherins stop you.
The Gringotts Bank (Australia House)
Speaking of the intense scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The second movie gave you an adrenalin rush when you followed the mad dash of our heroes through the Gringotts Bank, right?
Well, you can see the place in real life as it’s the Australia House. However, for tourists it’s as impregnable as the goblin bank because the building houses the Australian Embassy and you do need to be an authorized “client” to get inside.
The Millennium Bridge
Walk across the Millennium Bridge and simply enjoy the fact that you can do that. Because in Harry Potter’s world this place was destroyed by Death Eaters in a rather spectacular fashion.
Luckily, that was CGI and the bridge is standing strong today with millions of tourists and Londoners walking across it.
Note that if you’ve only read the books, you won’t find any mention of this bridge there. That’s because it wasn’t even built when those were published. However, this is one example of where movie adaptations of novels truly deserve praise because the scene in the movie is intense and memorable.
You’ll learn that many locations in London were featured in the movies or were used as inspiration for the famous wizarding shopping district, Diagon Alley. However, none are as charming as Leadenhall Market.
This is another Harry Potter-themed landmark that’s worth a visit regardless of how much you like the novels. The Victorian market is beautiful and bustling with life. Fans can have fun looking for the Leaky Cauldron entrance.