When it comes to Harry Potter, there never seems to be enough. The books that started the phenomenon of the famous boy wizard were published in 1997 and it's subsequent eight features films started making headway in 2001. Knowing the magical power this tale told by J.K. Rowling holds over its audiences, Universal Studios decided to cash in on the concept by creating an actual Wizarding World of Harry Potter which makes visitors feel like they've actually stepped into the narrow streets of Diagon Alley.
And ever since, anyone and everyone is trying to do their part to memorialize Harry Potter. Whether it's a bar, a classroom, or a personal apartment, fans of The Boy Who Lived are theming their local surroundings to help draw in customers or, at the very least, to feel like Hogwarts is their home. There are plenty of locations to choose from, but the following are probably the top ten places for Harry Potter fans to visit.
10 Leavesden Studios
Leavesden Studios is the mainstay location where all eight Harry Potter movies were filmed. While they did travel abroad for a couple of key shots, the majority of the casts time was spent behind these walls. Leavesden Studios decided to capitalize on this fact by opening the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, where Harry Potter fans can see exhibits of what went into films' production. Every day, up to 6,000 visitors take a tour to see Dumbledore's office, props and costumes , and indulge in experiences like the Wand Choreography Interactive.
9 King's Cross
While Walt Disney's claim to fame is that "it all started with a mouse," J.K. Rowling's tale of Harry Potter literally and fictitiously starts at King's Cross Station. Rowling dreamed up the idea of Harry while traveling on a train to King's Cross Station and Harry himself begins his Hogwarts journey by entering Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station. King's Cross is the main hub for London travelers making their way across the country.
Because it had such a unique influence on Harry's story, the station now has a photo op spot that pays homage to the boy wizard. Now travelers can visit a literal Platform 9 3/4, complete with a luggage cart that is halfway into the Hogwarts Express station.
8 The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter started at Universal Studio's Florida location in 2010. The Hogwarts castle and its surrounding streets of Hogsmeade were the first grand-scale replicas that guests could visit, followed by the 2014 anticipated opening of Diagon Alley. Due to popular demand, the theme parks of since made their way to various other Universal locations around the globe. It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that you won't find at any of the other locations on this list. Visitors can get their own wand (that actually work), eat a Chocolate Frog and Butterbeer, ride the Hogwarts Express, and take journeys through interactive rides alongside the cast of the films.
7 Elephant House
Although The Elephant House isn't the actual birthplace of Harry Potter, it's still a major Potter tourist attraction. Author J.K. Rowling in the early days of Harry Potter would come to this precise location where she would pen the fantasy world of witches and wizards. It's located in Edinburgh, England where its connection to Rowling has people lined up outside the door almost consistently.
Although she wrote her books in many cafes throughout England, this one is by far the most popular. If you visit the restroom, you can even leave your own passage on the walls where other Potter fans have written their thanks to Rowling for her stories.
As much as fans would like to believe Hogwarts is a real place...well, it kind of is! The outside shots for the magical castles for the first two films is actually Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. Travelers can visit the castle's grounds where they even offer broomstick "flight" training for anyone who might be interested. If you want to visit the interior of the castle, however, then you will have to make your way to the Gloucester Cathedral. The gothic corridors were used for shots inside of Hogwarts for the first few films.
5 The College Of Wizardry
At the Czocha Castle in Poland, the College of Wizardry gathers like-minded individuals to partake in role-playing scenarios. Visitors stay a few days at the school and are completely immersed in a daily magical agenda. They eat, sleep, and study magic, but there is no direct reference to Harry Potter, Hogwarts, or the copyrighted spells. It's one of the most intricate live-action role-playing games that a Potter fan could hope to indulge in.
4 Harry Potter: The Exhibition
For anyone interested in the nitty-gritty that went into making the Harry Potter films, Harry Potter: The Exhibition is the place to be. It's actually a traveling exhibit, which means you just have to catch up or wait for it to come to you (it's currently hosted in Spain)!
The exhibit is made up of 15,000-square-feet of Harry Potter costumes, props, and artifacts used or directly influenced by the films.
3 Number 4 Privet Drive
Forty miles outside of London, England Potter travelers can find 12 Picket Post Close, Bracknell, Berkshire. You will be able to pick out spectacle right away, despite the fact that the tan and brown-bricked homes blend into one another. Outside of this particular home, there is a sign that says Privet Drive, where the inside and outside shots of Number 4 Privet Drive were filmed. Warner Bros only used the house for the first Harry Potter film, but that doesn't dissuade visitors from getting a real-life glimpse of the Dursley's home.
2 The London Zoo
The London Zoo is a popular spot for Harry Potter fans as it acts as a reminder to one of the first scenes in the Harry Potter film franchise. This zoo acted as the filming grounds for the moment that Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) enters the Reptile House and discovers his ability to speak Parseltongue for the first time. The actual zoo from the books doesn't have an actual name, but it is said to be a fictitious zoo in Surrey, England. Still, wouldn't it be cool to visit the Burmese boa constrictor and test your own ability to talk to snakes?
1 The Wizard Chamber
And to wrap up a night of Harry Potter tourist traveling, an avid Harry Potter fan might want to book a stay in The Wizard Chamber in London. The Wizard Chamber at the Georgian House Hotel transports its guests into a magical-themed hotel room which can only be accessed from behind a secret bookcase. The family-run B&B serves hot breakfast and as much tea and biscuits as you can manage. Its gothic aesthetic ties in perfectly to the wizarding world and fans will be impressed with their portrait-lined passageway and the glowing candle lights that are standard in this 19th-century hotel.