J.K. Rowling first gave us a window into her incredible imagination with the magical world of Harry Potter in 1997. Fans young and old wanted nothing more than to crawl inside the books and live in this world. Twenty years later the books may have come to an end, but the magic lives on, and being a part of it is now a reality. Pack your cloak and wand and get ready to explore the best Harry Potter experiences around the world.
London Zoo, England
The moment Harry discovered he was a Parselmouth during an outing to the Reptile House in The Philosopher’s Stone was a memorable one. Explore the London Zoo and be sure to stop at the house where creatures slither and crawl to find out if you too might be versed in Parseltongue.
Tour for Muggles, England
This award-winning walking tour is a must for Potterheads while visiting London. Immerse yourself in Harry and his friends’ world as you explore film locations and iconic London landmarks, learn what inspired J.K. Rowling, and discover fun facts and behind-the-scenes stories. The 2.5-hour tour costs £14 per muggle, and includes 20 muggles per tour, so many sure you book in advance.
No stranger to film crews, Glencoe was the primary outdoor filming location for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as well as the backdrop of Hagrid’s Hut on Loch Torren. This beautiful location doesn’t only make for picturesque onscreen adventures, though. You’ll want to grab your camera and have your own little escapade as you trek through the highlands and snap some scenic shots.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, USA
No going through the fireplace necessary to reach Diagon Alley as all you need is an entrance ticket to awaken you inner wizard. Unless you’re a muggle, you’ll surely opt to take the Hogwarts Express over walking to Hogsmeade Village, where you can enjoy a frozen butterbeer. Go on the thrilling rides, have your perfect wand chosen at Ollivander’s, explore Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, and dine at the Leaky Cauldron or Three Broomsticks. Sure to be an unforgettable experience for die-hard fans, this is where every last detail of Harry Potter comes to life. Those on the west coast can check out the Wizarding World in Hollywood.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Osaka, Japan
The Osaka version of the Wizarding World has many of the attractions as its Orlando counterpart, but one of its greatest features is touring Hogwarts while waiting to get on the Forbidden Journey, an exciting flight simulator. You’ll walk down the dimly-lit corridors where you can explore Professor Dumbledore’s office, the Gryffindor common room, and the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. Other highlights include Flight of the Hippogriff, a roller-coaster for all ages that takes you past Hagrid’s Hut, and Osaka’s own Hogsmeade, where you can grab a butterbeer and sample the wizards’ favorite sweets at Honeydukes.
The Georgian House Hotel, England
Harry Potter enthusiasts have inevitably dreamed of spending the night in Hogwarts. The Georgian House Hotel in London allows guests to do just that, with its rooms inspired by the captivating novels. Although not officially affiliated with the franchise, this hotel has its own Wizard Chambers that feature stone walls, stained glass windows, and glowing fireplaces alongside furnishings like trunks, tapestries, cauldrons, and antique books to invoke a spellbinding feel. The best part? You access these magical rooms through a secret bookcase. Grab your favorite Harry Potter book or DVD and get cozy in the atmosphere.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour- The Making of Harry Potter, England
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour of Harry Potter will give visitors a new appreciation for the film adaptations. This treasure trove of sets, props, and costumes made specially for the movie has been showcased to provide an up-close and personal account. Aside from displays, you can take wand lessons, ride a broom or night bus, and learn more about the creative process that brought the book to life through interactive displays.
The Elephant House, Scotland
As well as serving some of the best coffee and tea in Edinburgh, The Elephant House seems to get writers’ creative juices flowing. This charming cafe is where J.K. Rowling spent a good bit of time working on the first manuscript while sipping hot beverages. Among other authors who have frequented this locale are Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall-Smith. Make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Harry Potter and, we dare say, get inspired to create a work of your own.
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