For the better part of the past two decades, the Harry Potter books and films have enriched the lives of millions of readers across the world. They have also introduced foreign readers and moviegoers to the wonderful country that is England. From the gorgeous film locations showcasing some of the country’s most magical places to J.K. Rowling’s amazingly detailed stories about life (both magical and non-magical) in Britain, Harry Potter has provided a wonderful introduction to the United Kingdom, and to its capital London.

London has played a big part in the Harry Potter universe. It’s the fictional home of some of the most astonishing places in each book, such as the Ministry of Magic, Platform 9 ¾ and Diagon Alley. London was also emphatically used in the Harry Potter movies to bring the magical universe of these novels to life. Today, you can still find many of the wondrous Harry Potter locations from the books and the movies in London. These locations aren’t just great fun to visit for Harry Potter fans, but also provide visitors with the chance to discover some fantastic lesser-known landmarks in London they wouldn’t necessarily see otherwise. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 Harry Potter locations in London to inspire you to go on a magical exploration of the city!

1. Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station

Picture of a plaque of Platform 9 ¾ at London’s King’s Cross Station
Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station in London
To start off with the beginning – and ending – of Harry Potter’s magical journey, head to King’s Cross Station on Euston Road. King’s Cross is the station where students board the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9 ¾. Unfortunately, J.K. Rowling was actually thinking of London Euston Station when she was writing the books, so you won’t be able to find the secret barrier between platforms 9 and 10. You will, however, find a lovely plaque stating Platform 9 ¾ on a wall with a disappearing luggage cart at King’s Cross. Here you’ll have the chance to take a picture (complete with a Gryffindor scarf) and to check out the adjacent Harry Potter shop where you can buy merchandise from the books and films. Incidentally, the beautiful Victorian building of next-door neighbor St. Pancras Station was used as the exterior of King’s Cross Station in the Harry Potter films.

2. The Reptile House at the London Zoo

Another defining moment for Harry took place at the London Zoo in Regent’s Park in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. While visiting the Reptile House with the Dursleys, Harry found out he could talk to snakes, and accidentally released a huge boa constrictor. The first Harry Potter film also shot this scene in the Reptile House, and you’ll find a plaque beside the tank that held the snake in the movie, but in reality is home to a black mamba. Also be sure to explore the other parts of the London Zoo, which is a great attraction for kids. For more family-friendly activities, see Visit London with the Kids.

3. Diagon Alley at Leadenhall Market

Image of Leadenhall Market in London, which was used to shoot Diagon Alley
London’s Leadenhall Market was used for the exterior of the shops in Diagon Alley
Diagon Alley is one of the most iconic locations in Harry Potter’s London, as it’s the high shopping street of the wizarding world. In the first movie, Leadenhall Market was used to shoot the exterior of the magical shops found in the alley. Located in the City of London, Leadenhall Market is a beautiful Victorian covered market with many different specialty shops. In the section of the market called Bull’s Head Passage you’ll find the blue shop front that was used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in the film. To find out more about Leadenhall Market, check out our video tour of the City of London.

4. Gringotts at Australia House

Picture of London’s Australia House, which inspired Gringotts
It’s easy to see how the Australia House in London inspired the wizarding bank Gringotts
In the books, the wizarding bank Gringotts is located inside Diagon Alley. In the movies, the exterior of the bank is a set inspired by Australia House on the Strand. The magnificent interior of the bank was shot inside the Australia House. As the Australian High Commission is housed in the building you’ll need a valid reason to get inside, such as a visa application, and will otherwise unfortunately be denied access. The beautiful exterior, however, is also quite worth a visit.

5. Grimmauld Place at Claremont Square

Image of Claremont Square in London, or Grimmauld Place in the Harry Potter films
The row houses of London’s Claremont Square doubled as Grimmauld Place in the Harry Potter movies
12 Grimmauld Place is the house of Harry’s godfather Sirius Black and headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix in London. It is said that it was inspired by Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the largest public square in the city. However, in the movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the row houses on Claremont Square were used as the exterior of Grimmauld Place. It’s not hard to understand the mix-up: London is simply filled with public squares and private gardens surrounded by beautiful townhouses.

To see what it’s like to stay in one of these gorgeous townhouses, check out this 1-bedroom apartment on Elgin Crescent in Notting Hill. This loft apartment has access to a magical private garden, the likes of which you can only find in London. Furthermore, by staying in an apartment during your visit to the city you’ll get to see what it’s like to live in London like a local! Have a look at our other vacation rental apartments in London to see our whole selection.

6. London City Hall

The Harry Potter movies added some beautiful modern landmarks that weren’t mentioned in the books. London City Hall, the headquarters of the Greater London Authority, was featured in one of the first scenes of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The unusually shaped building is located next to Tower Bridge on the south bank of the River Thames. In the movie, employees of City Hall witnessed a Death Eater attack on the Millennium Bridge, which is the next modern landmark on this list.

7. Millennium Bridge

In the books, only an attack on a (different) bridge is mentioned. However, in the 6th movie of the series moviegoers get to see how the Death Eaters destroy the Millennium Bridge, a pedestrian bridge crossing the River Thames in London. Luckily, in reality the Millennium Bridge is still very much intact, and provides a wonderful view of the River Thames, Tower Bridge and the nearby St Paul’s Cathedral.

8. Surbiton Railway Station & Westminster Tube Station

In the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry reads about the attack on Millennium Bridge while sitting in a café inside a train station, which is also where he is picked up by Dumbledore. The café and platform are both inside the Surbiton Railway Station, southwest of London in the suburbs. If you find the station to be a little too far out of the way, the Westminster Tube Station is a great alternative. This London Underground station was featured in the 5th movie, as Harry and Mr. Weasley pass through it on their way to the Ministry. This station is right outside the Big Ben and Houses of Parliament, so it’s a nice place to visit if you want to check out some of the most famous landmarks in London.

9. Professor Flitwick’s Classroom at Harrow School

Tiny professor Flitwick teaches Charms at Hogwarts. The Charms classroom used in the movies is actually the Fourth Form Room at real-life boarding school Harrow. The ancient school for boys dates back to the 16th century, and the building and grounds are absolutely gorgeous. During a tour of Harrow School you won’t only visit the Fourth Form Room, but also discover how top-notch boarding schools in Britain operate. You can easily travel to Harrow from King’s Cross Station.

10. No 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging at 12 Picket Post Close, Berkshire

Picture of Picket Post Close, or No 4, Privet Drive in the Harry Potter movies
Picket Post Close was used as the exterior for No 4, Privet Drive in "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone"
To end where it all began, the last location of our top 10 list is Number 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, which is the home of the Dursleys. Harry spends most of his summers here in the books and movies, and grew up in this house before he went to Hogwarts. The house that was used to shoot No 4, Privet Drive in the movies is actually 12 Picket Post Close in Martins Heron, Berkshire. This is more than twice as far from London as Harrow, but the train station in Martins Heron is conveniently close to Picket Post Close, and you can easily get there from London Waterloo Station. If you decide to visit, do remember this is a private home!

Bonus: Warner Brothers Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Image of the Great Hall set from Harry Potter at London’s Warner Bros Studio Tour
Harry Potter’s Great Hall set in the Warner Bros Studio Tour London
It didn’t feel right to end this list without mentioning the Warner Bros. Studio Tour at the Leavesden Studios. This wonderful attraction is simply a must-visit for Harry Potter fans coming to London. All of the Harry Potter films were based out of the Leavesden film studios, and after the franchise ended Warner Brothers converted the original Harry Potter sets into one big Harry Potter studio tour. On the tour you’ll be able to visit the original sets of the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s Office, Hagrid’s Hut and many more. There’s also a beautiful scale model of Hogwarts, several props and costumes, as well as a café where you can taste butter beer and a shop where you can buy merchandise. Most of all, it’s a chance to see the real magic of the movie-making process up close.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of Harry Potter locations in London! If you’re looking for more movie magic while in the city, have a look at our Landmark Cinemas in London. Have you ever visited one of the Harry Potter locations in London?