This blog post was updated on November 21, 2016.

Are you a huge Harry Potter fan? Still bummed you never got your acceptance letter from Hogwarts? (Apparently, there are a slew of other wizarding schools around the world where you can try your luck.) We feel your pain.

Even if you didn’t get to sit in class with Professor Snape as a child, you can totally still immerse yourselves in Harry Potter’s world of magic and wizardry. For all the magic-loving muggles out there in the travelsphere, we’ve found some of the world’s top destinations that inspired the Harry Potter books, as well as the movies. Just make sure you don’t mention “you know who’s” name during your stay!

1.) Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida

Barbara Brockhauser / Shutterstock

Universal Studios is home to several blockbuster film themed attractions, so it’s no surprise that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of them. From Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade, the creative minds of Universal Studios have managed to recreate entire sections of Harry Potter’s world! The Harry Potter Express Train allows you and your family to travel through the full wizarding experience. Don’t forget to buy early park admission tickets when you’re planning your visit—this will guarantee entry into the park one full hour before it’s open to the general public. Talk about avoiding long lines!

2.) King’s Cross Station in London, England

Adrian Reynolds / Shutterstock

If you ever find yourself riding the tube in merry old London, make sure you stop at King’s Cross Station. Yes! King’s Cross is an actual train station inside London’s metro system. It was made famous by the Harry Potter books and films, and even has a permanent addition to the platform right between platform 9 and 10, 9 ¾ to be exact. Although we wouldn’t suggest walking through the the wall, feel free to take a fun photo of your attempt!

3.) Jacobite Steam Train in Lochaber, Scotland

Stefano Termanini / Shutterstock

Speaking of trains, we don’t know a soul who wouldn’t want to start their first day of school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. What better way to get there than the Hogwarts Express Train? The Jacobite Steam Train is the real life train Harry, Hermione, and Ron rode on their way to Hogwarts at the beginning of every year. Based in Scotland, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Scottish country side while sipping afternoon tea and pretending you’re actually on your way to Hogwarts!

4.) University of Oxford in Oxford, England

Chris Sargent / Shutterstock

Chris Sargent / Shutterstock

Oxford University is one of the most well-known, well-respected universities in the world. But you already knew that. What you may not know is that it served as inspiration for several of the Harry Potter film sets, including the grand staircase case and the Great Hall. Take a stroll around the campus and you’ll recognize a few scenes from the films. But remember, we don’t suggest enrolling unless the sorting hat is there to make its decision!

5.) Harry Potter Themed Hotel in London, England

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

The Wizard Chambers at The Georgian Hotel in London is a perfect place for muggles, witches, and wizards to rest their heads after a long day of wizardry or sightseeing. These rooms are almost identical to the movie sets, and have been specially designed to make you feel as though you’ve been transported into the books. The delicious complimentary English breakfast doesn’t hurt either! We should mention that if you have time, take a short walk outside the hotel to Victoria Station where you can board the Harry Potter Tour Bus. This bus takes you on the Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter.

Whether you’re a fan of the books, the movies, or both, there’s no denying that there is something magical about these Harry Potter themed destinations! If only visiting them all required nothing but the wave of a wand.

What’s your favorite Harry Potter themed spot? Let us know in the comments below!

11 Responses

  1. Claire

    Goathland Station in North Yorkshire – aka Hogsmeade Station.

    Alnwick Castle – where the first broomstick lesson was filmed.

  2. Tami

    Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh.

    where most of the characters names where taken from.

    • Michael

      And George Heriot’s School next door, which helped inspire Hogwarts!

  3. emily

    Exeter Gandy Street for Diagon Alley. Exeter cathedral, Exeter University…Just Exeter in general 🙂

  4. Dominique

    The Warner Bros Studio in Watford Junction, London. The real set of Harry Potter

  5. Deb

    Alnwick castle in Northumberland! A number of the outdoor castle scenes were filmed here. They often have special events including outdoor screenings and flying lessons!!!!

  6. Lola

    The elephant cafe Edinburgh – where jk Rowling spent a lot of time writing the books


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About The Author

Chenea Gordon is the newest addition to our travel writer team! She’s fun, enthusiastic, and has (surprise!) a deep love for travel. The Bronx native has several years of experience working in the travel industry. She’s passionate about understanding travelers’ needs and interests, as well as creating lasting memories.