Harry Potter places in the world


19 November 2019

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Are you a Harry Potter fan and love travelling? This article is perfect for you then! You will discover the best Harry Potter places in the world. From England to the USA, we tell you everything!


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!


1 – Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


Edinburgh is the birthplace of Harry Potter. Although JK Rowling got the idea in a 4 hour delayed train from Manchester to London, it’s in Edinburgh that she shaped the story and characters. If you love the Harry Potter books, Edinburgh is where you want to go!


First of all, let’s set the space! JK Rowling is not Scottish. She is from England and lived for a while in Porto, Portugal, with her ex-husband and her daughter, Jessica. In 1993, she leaves her abusive husband and decides to move back to the UK. Her sister was living in Edinburgh at the time and as we all know, when things go wrong we want to be with people we love. Even though she didn’t really know Edinburgh, she moved up there. She got to Edinburgh with her daughter, pretty much broke, 3 chapters of Harry Potter and more important with many dreams in her head.


She explored the city more than most people would and her attention to detail was a big part of her inspiration for the books. She discovered the streets, the graveyard and many other places when she was going out for a stroll with her daughter. She also tried to understand the Scottish culture and folklore.

By doing this, she picked up on names, mythical creatures, architecture styles…

All of this combined with what she already knew about places like London or Porto was then beautifully put together in the Harry Potter books.

The first books were mainly written in cafes such as The Elephant House or Spoon (fka Nicolson’s café).

If you go to Edinburgh, it’s a return to the sources that you will get. You will just get to see all these little things that inspired her and more importantly realise how impressive her attention to detail and observation skills are.



Harry Potter scotland Diagon Alley


If you want to discover Harry Potter in Edinburgh, there are many places you can check including:

–          The Elephant House

–          Spoon Café

–          Potterrow

–          Greyfriars Kirkyard

–          Royal Mile

–          Victoria Street



Plan your Harry Potter trip to Edinburgh


Book a hotel in Edinburgh


Book a tour in Edinburgh


Buy the Harry Potter books

2 – London, England, UK


Harry Potter in London is a completely different experience than in Edinburgh. In Edinburgh, you can feel the story behind the books. In London, you get to see everything about the movies. It’s not about the feel, it’s about seeing and doing.

When the Harry Potter movies starting to be produced, JK Rowling made sure all actors would be British and everything would be filmed in the UK. And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened!

Many filming locations are in central London. This includes the following places:

  • London Bridge and the Tower of London
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Kings Cross station and St Pancras International
  • London Zoo
  • Millennium Bridge
  • Charing Cross Road
  • Leadenhall Market
  • Australia House
  • Westminster Tube Station
  • Lambeth Bridge


But the rest of the movies were mainly filmed in the Warner Bros Studios in Watford, North London. For almost a decade these studios became the crew’s home. Most sets were built there. Today, you can visit the studios for £49. You will get to see the main sets such as:

  • The dining hall
  • Hogwarts castle
  • Gryffindor common room
  • Gringotts Bank
  • Diagon Alley

But also the costume, the CGI studios and many other things.

If you are a fan of the Harry Potter movies, this is where you want to go! It’s a wonderful experience. You will get to discover not only the aesthetic aspects but see and understand the behind the scenes.


Harry Potter London studios and play


London West End is also home to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child the play. Located near Piccadilly Circus, The Cursed Child is an amazing show. The actors, the stage, the costumes, the special effects… are just brilliant! A must-do!


Harry Potter and the cursed child London


You can buy tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on the official website!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Play Tickets

Book your tickets for the HP play on the official website!

Warner Bros Studios

Get your ticket to discover the Harry Potter Studios!

Harry Potter Shop

Get your favourite wands and hats!

3 – Porto, Portugal


As previously mentioned, before moving to Edinburgh, JK Rowling was living in Porto. Although she didn’t write anything else than the first 3 chapters there and none of the movie took place in Porto, there is plenty of Harry Potter things to discover in Porto.

Porto is where Harry Potter came to life in JK Rowling’s imagination and we can see the influence of that beautiful city in the books.

In Porto, the streets are colourful and shops quirky. There are cute cafes and bookshops. Perfect to get inspired!

Here are a few things you should check out:

  • Majestic cafe
  • Livraria Lello
  • Escovaria de Belomonte
  • Fonte dos Leões

If you want to know more about Harry Potter in Porto, you can go on a walking tour. The guide will tell you everything you need to know about Harry Potter and its relationship with the Portuguese capital. It’s a beautiful addition to the ones in London and Edinburgh.


4 – Orlando, Florida, USA


Like everywhere else in the world, Harry Potter was a massive success in the USA. Warner Bros, who produced the movies, is an American movie. Being part of the Universal group, it was only normal to add a Harry Potter world to Orlando’s Universal Studio.

Orlando is the world’s theme park capital and Universal Studios are a must-do in Orlando.

Inside, you will get to discover the wizarding world of Harry Potter and explore the corridors and classrooms of Hogwarts.


5 – Fort Williams, Scotland, UK


Have you ever dreamt of going on the Hogwarts Express? Well, that dream is just about to come true!

The real-life version of the Hogwarts Express is named the Jacobite Steam Train. It travels from Fort William to Mallaig along the West Highland Line.

The train itself is very similar to the Hogwarts express, itself inspired by the old Scottish steam trains. But it’s not the only thing you will get to see!

The outside scenes of the train in the movies were filmed in Scotland, on that exact same train route. By taking the Jacobite train you will travel over the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct and enjoy views of Loch Shiel from your window, another key location in the films. 

The ticket costs between £36 and £65 and can be bought here.


Jacobite train tickets

Book your journey on the Jacobite train

Train tickets to Fort William

Book a train ticket to Fort William.

6 – Oxford, England, UK


Oxford is also one of the main filming locations of the Harry Potter movie. Perfect as a day trip from London, it’s a great opportunity to discover a real-life version of Hogwarts.

Most colleges in Oxford actually do look like Hogwarts and are still in use which means that Oxford students are pretty much muggles going to Hogwarts. Quite cool right?

The main Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford are: the Bodleian, New College and Christ Church.

Harry Potter tours in Oxford

Check out all Harry Potter tours in Oxford on Viator

So… are you ready to go on a Harry Potter world tour? We can’t wait to hear your thoughts about these amazing Harry Potter places in the world!


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Harry Potter around the world travel

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