London is one of the most magical cities in the world, in my opinion – and that’s not even taking into account that it’s the heart of Harry Potter experiences in the world. Here you can find the places that inspired J.K. Rowling to write the books in the first place and the film locations that brought the books to life on the silver screen.
So how best to experience all of the magical spots in London during your next trip? On a Harry Potter-themed tour, of course!
There are a ton of Harry Potter tours in London, from those that show you the sights on two feet or four wheels to a few that show you magical sights in the greater London area. No matter how you choose to explore London’s Harry Potter sights, you’ll discover how the magic of the Wizarding World and the Muggle world overlap in this special city. Read on to discover the best Harry Potter tours in London.
This post was originally published in November 2021, and was updated most recently in August 2023.
1.-5. Harry Potter Walking Tours in London🚶
There are all sorts of Harry Potter walking tours. Long, short, free, interactive– there’s something for everyone. However, all these Harry Potter London tours have one thing in common; you’ll need comfortable shoes!
- You can book the Magic London Harry Potter experience to walk around central London and put your HP knowledge to the test. Your guide will take you to all the sites that inspired J.K. Rowling as you solve a quiz.
- The Harry Potter Walking Tour with Platform 9 ¾ is an excellent tour for those who want to learn as much as possible about London and the movies. A knowledgeable guide tells you every single detail about London’s muggle and wizarding history. Plus, they share lots of HP trivia you will never know or read elsewhere! Finally, we have saved the best for last.
- If you want to be the real protagonist of the walking tour, book the World of Wizards experience. You’ll be no ordinary muggle on this tour. Instead, you become Theodgar, a powerful Wizard who chose to live among humans and protect them. You’ll embark on a quest around London, following clues to defeat Ozin, the sorcerer who wants to destroy Earth.
- For more conventional (but equally magical) walking tours, can check out London: Harry Potter Walking Tour, a laid-back tour under the sun (or rain) to walk in the footsteps of your favorite wizards and witches around Muggle London.
- Who doesn’t remember the excitement of waiting outside the theater to see the new HP movie? The lights dimmed, Hedwig’s theme playing… It truly was a magical experience. Perhaps, you’d like to relive that excitement. If so, book the London: Guided Harry Potter Tour, a fantastic tour that visits the cinemas where each Harry Potter film held its world premiere.
6. Harry Potter Bus Tours in London 🚌
If you haven’t been doing your quidditch training and don’t want to walk that much, you can also check other types of Harry Potter London tours, like a bus tour.
- The Harry Potter 3-Hour Bus Tour of London Movie Sites takes you on a journey to discover the stunning film locations and buildings that inspired J.K. Rowling, from King’s Cross Station to the Millennium Bridge.
This tour is riveting, and you’ll walk away with a wealth of knowledge. The guides not only share information about Harry Potter but also about London and its buildings. You will get to see many other familiar landmarks along the way, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye. The tour guide will share amusing details about each HP location and explain how and why the film crew shot scenes there.
Of course, you’ll get the chance to see how good your Harry Potter knowledge is. The guides have prepared HP quizzes and organized trivia challenges. Have your camera ready! The tour guides invite travelers to get off the bus to take pictures and see the locations up close.
7.-10. Harry Potter Taxi Tours in London 🚕
Those who prefer a more private experience will love taking a Harry Potter taxi tour instead. Plus, they are an excellent opportunity to enjoy a ride aboard London’s iconic black taxis – another London bucket list experience.
- This family-friendly taxi tour allows up to five passengers to discover the London film location sites of the Harry Potter film series. One of its highlights is the 24-hour hop-on hop-off River Thames cruise ticket, which you can use even after the tour has finished! At the end of the tour, your guide will give you your free River Thames boat tickets to travel the same route Harry flew on his broomstick under the Tower bridge.
- Next up is the Harry Potter film locations Tour in London. Perfect for big groups with a shared love for Harry Potter can book this, this 4-hour private tour takes you and your friends to explore top Potter sights.
- If you’d like your day to be all about Harry Potter, save a seat on this Harry Potter taxi tour as it takes eight hours! Yep, eight hours full of magic. You’ll discover each of London’s historical monuments and the film locations from the Harry Potter series. You’ll also enjoy a magical lunch in a 350-year-old pub.
- If you’re traveling with your parents and they aren’t as well-versed as you in the Harry Potter saga, then this Harry Potter Movie Private Taxi Tour is an excellent option to introduce them to the wizarding world. Why? Because the tour guide is a solid expert on all things HP. They’ll tell you the whole HP story from beginning to end, plus the craziest anecdotes surrounding the movie and the books. Your guide will give you plenty of local tips on what other HP venues to see and do during your stay in Britain’s capital.
11. The Harry Potter Studio Tour 🎬
What kind of list of Harry Potter tours in London would be this one without mentioning the Harry Potter Studio Tour? Not a complete one, that’s for sure.
- Every Potterhead should take a trip to London to visit The Making of Harry Potter studio tour at some point in their lives. What makes this tour so special is that it allows HP fans to truly experience the wizarding world. Everything is highly interactive and the staff has put special emphasis on providing an immersive experience.
As soon as you step inside, you can explore the sets from the movies, taste Harry Potter-themed food and drink, learn how the crew made the movies, and even look for golden snitches! The tour can take up to six hours. However, it doesn’t have a fixed timetable. Visitors can venture on their own and decide what to explore first and for how long.
While every set and stop is as magical as it gets, here are a few highlights.
Visitors can grab a paper passport that guides them to specific ‘passport stamp’ spots throughout the tour. There’s usually a large line at each location, but it’s worth the wait since the passport makes a lovely souvenir. The passport also guides you through a scavenger hunt during the Harry Potter studio tour; it gives you hints to help find the golden snitches hidden around the place – they are everywhere, so make sure you keep your eyes open.
Another highlight is the exhibit about the history of Harry Potter, where you have a chance to see the Cupboard Under the Stairs set where Harry slept in his aunt’s house. Dumbledore’s office is a stunning set as well. It’s a prime spot for pictures, and they’ve even included the Pensieve. Would you dare to relive some memories?
While most sets remain the same, the studio holds special exhibitions throughout the year. Some are seasonal, and others are year-round attractions, like The Forbidden Forest, Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and Platform 9¾.
12.-14. Harry Potter Day Tours from London 🚆
The crew shot most of the film in the studio and in London. However, there are plenty of locations scattered throughout the UK where the crew chose to shoot memorable scenes. Check out these fascinating Harry Potter London tours that take you to discover HP film locations outside London.
- The Full-Day Tour to Oxford and Cambridge is a guided tour that picks you up at 8:30 am and takes you to explore two of the world’s oldest university cities on a day trip from London. It turns out that Oxford and Cambridge are home to several film location sites from the Harry Potter movies. The most famous is Christ Church College in Oxford, whose staircases served to shoot the entrance scene where Professor McGonagall meets Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The tour also sets apart free time in both cities to explore the surroundings or do other activities.
- Although one hour shorter, the Oxford and Cambridge Universities Tour is another good option to explore film locations in Oxford and Cambridge. The tour begins traveling across the Chiltern Hills to Oxford. You’ll also love this tour if you’re a bookworm since Oxford’s courtyards have inspired generations of writers, like Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Of course, you’ll also visit Christ Church College, where the crew shot a few Harry Potter scenes.
- If you’ve already taken a London, Oxford, or Cambridge tour, it’s time to take an excursion to the countryside! The Harry Potter Tour of Gloucester and Lacock is a magical adventure to England’s most historic places and scenic countryside. First things first, though, this fun HP tour invites all guests to dress up as Harry or any other character in the series. Along the journey, you’ll see Hogwarts classrooms and Godric’s Hollow, where James and Lily Potter lived. You can also visit the same room where Professor Quirrell taught his Defense Against the Dark Arts class.
Which one(s) of these tours will you be booking on your next London trip? Let me know any questions you have about them in the comments!