You Can Take a Nighttime Harry Potter Tour in London — No Marauder's Map Required!
Who hasn't wanted to enter the magical world of Harry Potter and do things like shop on Diagon Alley and catch the Hogwarts Express? While all of that may have been just a fantasy at first, you can actually turn it into a reality (pretty much) thanks to a new London city tour offered on Airbnb — no theme parks necessary! The tour's host, Oliver, who dubs himself a massive Harry Potter fan, will take you around to real locations used in the films, including the outdoor market that doubled as Diagon Alley and the pub used for the Leaky Cauldron. It costs $18 per person and takes two hours, so wear comfy shoes. And the best part? It all happens at night, so you get a much more realistic Harry Potter feel. Keep reading to see more of the locations you can visit on the tour!
London Bridge and Tower Bridge
The two most famous bridges in London played a part in some of the Harry Potter movies. Most memorably, the locations feature in the flying sequence early on in Order of the Phoenix, when the Order comes to escort Harry (via broomstick, of course) away from the Dursley home and to an Order safe house.
The modern, angular footbridge is one of the rare locations that actually inspired the name of a Potter location rather than the other way around. During the dark opening of Half-Blood Prince, Death Eaters destroy the bridge as an act of anti-muggle terrorism. In the books, the fictional Brockdale Bridge was destroyed, but the filmmakers chose to wreak havoc on a fictional counterpart of the real-life bridge instead.
St. Pancras Station
Every Potter fan knows how to get to Hogwarts: take the Hogwarts Express at 11 a.m. on September 1 from King's Cross Station. What many fans might not know is that the stunning exterior shots of the station in the films actually aren't of King's Cross at all. They're of St. Pancras International Station, a nearby train station also located in London.
The River Thames
The central river in London can be seen in aerial sequences from the Potter films, such as the flying scene at the beginning of Order of the Phoenix.
The Palace Theatre in London's West End theatre district (the UK equivalent of Broadway) is home to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The two-part spectacular play continues the story, following the adventures of Harry and Ginny's misfit son Albus and his best friend, Scorpius, who also happens to be Draco Malfoy's son.
One of the oldest markets in London will also be one of the most warmly familiar to Harry Potter fans. The covered market, which dates back to the 14th century, stood in for portions of Diagon Alley during the making of the films.