London is a thrilling city to visit, but for fans of the Harry Potter series, it is also a magical destination where their favorite books and films come to life.
How To Enjoy a Harry Potter Weekend in London
From exploring the locations that inspired the books and visiting the incredible sets and movie props to watching a unique two-part play that transports you back to Hogwarts – a Harry Potter weekend in London is a magical experience for muggles. These are our top tips for a magical wizarding weekend.
If visiting from outside London, arrive in the capital early and drop off your bags at your hotel. While no official Harry Potter-themed hotels currently exist in London, plenty of hotel options are available that won't break the bank.
Have a Wizarding Stay at The Georgian House Hotel
For a wizarding stay, check out the historic Georgian House Hotel – a Grade II-listed townhouse in Pimlico. Victorian heritage meets wizardry wonder with decorated wizard chambers, immersive potion classes, and enchanted afternoon teas for the whole family.
Fantasy fans will love The Wizard Chambers hidden away on the hotel's lower ground floor. Enjoy a snug stay inside a beautifully themed room with a four-poster bed, stained glass windows, trunks, cauldrons, and other trinkets the whole family will love.
Breakfast is excellent here, and dishes are packed with local produce. It is served in the uniquely styled Pimlico Pantry, which features a large vintage map of London and retro furnishings.
Watch The Harry Potter and The Cursed Child
After checking in to your hotel, you must see Harry Potter as you never have before in the most awarded new play. Based on a new, original story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child“ is an immersive two-part play showing at the Palace Theatre in London's West End.
This extended play is split into two parts, lasting approximately two and a half hours each. You can watch both halves on the same day – the first in the afternoon and the second in the evening.
Prepare for an epic race through time, jaw-dropping spells, and a battle against dark forces; all brought to life with wildly impressive theatrical magic that has won huge praise from fans and critics.
What Is The Harry Potter Play About?
The eighth story in the Harry Potter series begins nineteen years after we left Harry and his Hogwarts friends. In this big-hearted family show, we catch up with your fave characters, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, now middle-aged parents, who happily still have a spark of mischief.
We also meet Harry Potter's head-strong son Albus, who befriends the son of his fiercest rival – Draco Malfoy, as they both face new challenges and old foes. One of the highlights is the mesmerizing special effects that combine lighting, sound, and stage effects to recreate Hogwarts before your eyes.
The clever use of special effects is wildly impressive. Watch characters levitating, disappearing, reappearing on stage, and even facing off against terrifying death eaters.
My top tip: In the interval between the two parts, head to nearby Whitcomb's at The Londoner – located in the heart of Leicester Square for a quick bite. Enjoy a sophisticated dining experience with fixed-price & a la carte French-Mediterranean meals, excellent wines, and carefully crafted cocktails.
It's time to head into the city to explore the iconic filming locations from the Harry Potter film series and sites that inspired the books.
Hit Platform 9 ¾ in Kings Cross
Head to King's Cross station to see where Harry Potter & his classmates depart for Hogwarts. Here, you can get all your Potter-themed gifts and Hogwarts merch at the Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾. This wizarding treasure trove was the first ever Harry Potter Shop to open anywhere outside of a themed visitor attraction. It's packed with exclusive designs, one-of-a-kind personalization, and unique fan favorites.
Outside, you'll find the famous trolley photo opportunity where you can have your very own Platform 9 ¾ snap taken by professional photographers, complete with house scarves and wands. The queue is often long, so try to come early!
My top tip: You can buy photos taken by the photographer, but you can also take snaps on your phone for free!
Go on a Harry Potter Walking Tour
Go on a guided walking tour and visit the many filming locations used in the Harry Potter films. You'll see the exterior of Gringotts Bank, the entrance to the Ministry of Magic, and many more iconic locations. Leadenhall Market, Kings Cross Station, London Zoo, Lambeth Bridge, and Borough Market all served as locations in scenes in the Harry Potter movies.
Take a stroll down Charing Cross Road (complete with real spell books), visit the entrances to the Ministry, and get insider tips on where to buy the best wands and Harry Potter goodies in London.
What To Expect on a Walking Tour
Book a Wizard's London Walking Tour for Two for the afternoon and visit the recognizable landmarks used in the Harry Potter films. This expertly led tour will take you to numerous film locations, including the visitors' entrance to the Ministry of Magic and the site where Ron, Harry, and Hermione infiltrate the Ministry using a magical potion.
You'll also venture to the location used as the Leaky Cauldron in the first and third movies and pass under the bridge destroyed by the dementors in the fifth movie.
Visit The Leaky Cauldron
After the tour, head to the historic Borough Market, near London Bridge tube station, to see the location of the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). Head to the small shop under the railway bridge to see where this Hidden pub was located in the film.
My top tip: Borough Market has some of the best street food in London, so grab bowls of steaming Thai curry, homemade gnocchi, and Tel Aviv-style stuffed pitas. Grab delicious eats as you get your Potter location snaps for the gram'.
Dedicate a whole day of your long weekend in London to visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter and witness the magic behind the movies. Don't forget your house scarf!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter is a must-visit for super fans and is one of the best things to do in London for film enthusiasts. Getting to the studio tour from central London is straightforward as it's located just outside London in Leavesden. Take a train to Watford Junction and hop on a branded shuttle bus to the studio.
This massive tour offers visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Harry Potter film series, showcasing the incredible creativity, artistry, and attention to detail that brought J.K. Rowling's Potter world to life on the big screen. The Harry Potter film series made Leavesden Studios home for over ten years, and thankfully, the dedicated production crew saved many of the sets, props, and costumes from the films.
These carefully preserved iconic movie artifacts and sets are now on display. Today, you can visit soundstages and a backlot filled with original movie sets, step inside the Great Hall, browse the costumes and props from the films, and witness animatronic creatures and nifty special effects.
What's Inside The Harry Potter Studio Tour?
The first stop on the tour is the iconic Great Hall – one of the most iconic sets from the movies. Step through the doors into an impressive sight of towering stone walls, long tables, giant chandeliers, and costumes from your favorite characters. After the Great Hall, explore a series of sound stages transformed into detailed exhibits showcasing the various sets, costumes, and props used in the eight films. Peek inside the Gryffindor common room, marvel at the potions classroom and watch interactive demonstrations.
The newest addition to the tour is the Forbidden Forest exhibit, which allows visitors to explore the mysterious forest surrounding Hogwarts. Filled with nineteen trees, each with a diameter of over twelve feet, you can walk beneath the giant entwined roots and encounter full-size models of Buckbeak the Hippogriff and Aragog the giant spider.
Walk Down Diagon Alley
The most memorable part of the trip is walking down the recognizable Diagon Alley. Each crooked shop along Diagon Alley has a unique façade, reflecting its shopkeepers' distinct personalities and magical store specialties. Stand outside Ollivanders, where Harry Potter's wand chose him, and Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, the joke shop owned by mischievous twins Fred and George Weasley. Here, you'll spot broomsticks, cauldrons, and spellbooks that instantly transport you into the wizarding world.
The Diagon Alley set at the Harry Potter Studio Tour allows you to explore this location at your own pace and admire the intricate craftsmanship. It's an opportunity to feel part of Harry's world and get some brilliant snaps for your socials.
My top tip: Book your studio tour ticket during its opening hour to beat the crowds!