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“All aboard the Hogwarts Express!”
Alright Muggles, Witches, and Wizards of all houses, did you know that you can visit Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station in London?
Although it doesn’t logically exist, you can still visit the filming locations from the movies and have your photo with the Platform 9 3/4 trolley at The Harry Potter Shop!
It’s a must-visit for Potterheads and you can even take home some magical souvenirs while you’re here.
Here is how to visit Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station in London and how to get a famous trolley photo at the Harry Potter Shop!
What is Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4?
Harry Potter fans will need no introduction to what Platform 9 3/4 is but if you haven’t heard (where have you been?!), I’ll let you in on a little secret that Muggles’ don’t know.
Each year witches and wizards attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and to get there they take the Hogwarts Express from King’s Cross Station.
Of course, this is a magical train and therefore you have to access it from a magical platform. This is Platform 9 3/4.
It’s not visible to the non-magical eye or accessible for non-magical folk and you have to transport your way through Platforms 9 and 10 in order to access it.
We are first introduced to Platform 9 3/4 in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which starts our journey into the Wizarding World.
Although it is a fictional story, lots of Harry Potter fans wonder if Platform 9 3/4 really does exist at King’s Cross Station.
Does Platform 3/4 at King’s Cross exist in real life?
No, I’m sorry to tell Harry Potter fans that Platform 9 3/4 that leads you to the Hogwarts Express does not exist in real life!
Although Platform 9 3/4 could be considered one of the most famous train platforms in the entire world, it is entirely fictional.
It is a shame but a 3/4 platform isn’t logically possible. Well, it could be in the Muggle world but that would take away some of the magic wouldn’t it?
How to find Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station
Although 9 3/4 isn’t a real platform, Potterheads will be excited to know that King’s Cross Station in London is very much real.
It’s one of the busiest train stations in the city that sees over 90 million Muggles travel through it each year (and that’s not including magical folk)!
Here, you can visit the inspiration for the books and some of the filming locations from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and other movies.
The filming location for Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station can be found on an archway between platforms 4 & 5. But, there’s not much more to see here than that.
The best place to capture a photo of Platform 9 3/4 is the official Harry Potter Shop!
The King’s Cross Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4!
The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9¾ was the first ever Harry Potter shop to open outside of a themed attraction in the world.
The opening ceremony featured Warwick Davis who played Professor Flitwick and Griphook in the films!
Since then, there have been many magical shops opened worldwide and even a Harry Potter shop at Heathrow Terminal 5.
It’s the perfect place for witches and wizards to explore. You’ll find plushies of your favourite magical creatures, Hogwarts House robes for every house, a huge wand shop, and treats like Chocolate Frogs straight from Honeydukes!
But, the most famous attraction here has to be the Platform 9 3/4 sign where you can get your very own photo with a luggage trolley.
Important Muggle Announcement: You don’t need a train ticket to visit the King’s Cross Harry Potter Shop or Platform 9 3/4 in London! The shop and trolley are located outside of the ticketed platforms.
Platform 9 3/4 trolley photo London
Just outside of the King’s Cross Harry Potter Shop, you’ll find the famous Platform 9 3/4 sign with a luggage trolley underneath it!
Here, you can take a photo that looks like you’re travelling through the wall to the Hogwarts Express to start your school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
It’s a must-visit for Potterheads while in London and you can get some professional souvenir photos taken of you which is a nice momento of the occasion!
Once you get your chance, you’ll be able to pick your Hogwarts House scarf and pick up a wand to pose with.
The staff will help you create some magic and make you look like you’re transporting out of the Muggle realm to the Wizarding World.
I would definitely advise getting here as early as you can to queue for photos as this shop sees over 2 million visitors every year. So, you could be waiting over an hour during peak times.
How much is a Platform 9 3/4 photo in London?
Taking a photo with the trolley under the Platform 9 3/4 sign in London is completely FREE.
You can take your own photos/videos with your phone or camera with the sign and it doesn’t cost a penny.
However, there are official photographers that are part of The Harry Potter Shop that will take some professional ones for you.
These photos can be purchased in the shop at an extra charge. You can get the photos in a souvenir slip, printed on a keyring, and all sorts to remember your magical visit!
Top tips for getting a Platform 9 3/4 trolley photo
- There are almost 90 million travellers that travel through King’s Cross Station annually and approximately 2 million that visit the King’s Cross Harry Potter shop. So, you can expect queues to be extremely long throughout the day, especially in summer. I would visit as early as possible to avoid long queues!
- VIP Photo Passes are available for £20 per person. This allows you to jump the queue and includes a photo but it’s best to pre-purchase. Click here for details.
- The staff will not take photos of you with your own phone/camera. You must ask someone else to take it for you if you’re on your own. The safest bet would be the person behind you in the queue. Be careful who you loan your phone to!
- The Harry Potter shop usually provides all house scarves and a couple of wand props for posing with (safety permitting)! The staff will help you create movement with your scarf that looks like you’re travelling through the wall to the platform. But, you can dress up in your own house robes if you want!
- Once you get to the front of the queue, it can be quite quick and hectic for photos! So, make sure you’re happy with your photos before you leave the trolley.
- You don’t need a train ticket to visit the Harry Potter Shop or the trolley. It’s free to browse in King’s Cross Station.
The King’s Cross Harry Potter Shop opening times
The opening hours for the Harry Potter Shop in London are;
Monday to Saturday: 8am – 8pm
Sunday: 9am – 8pm
King’s Cross station opens much earlier than this. But, it’s good to note that the trolley will not be here under the Platform 9 3/4 sign when the shop is closed!
Visit the King’s Cross station Harry Potter filming locations
After your visit to the Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4, you can find some of the Harry Potter filming locations at King’s Cross Station.
The famous scenes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone where Harry magically transports to the Hogwarts Express can be found between platforms 4 and 5 at King’s Cross Station. You may have to buy a ticket or tap your card to visit them depending on the time of day!
The old-fashioned bridge where Harry walks with Hagrid and then Sirius Black in the later movies is no longer there. It’s been replaced by a glass bridge so it may look a little different on your visit these days.
Nonetheless, dedicated Harry Potter fans will love exploring the station and seeing the inspiration for the books!
Back to Hogwarts Day on the 1st September
Did you know that 1st of September is otherwise known as Back to Hogwarts Day in the Wizarding World?!
This date marks the annual event of students arriving at King’s Cross Station to board the Hogwarts Express for the new term.
There are always lots of magical events happening all over the world but the best is at King’s Cross Station in London.
Every year they have a special Hogwarts Express train announcement at 11 am along with a huge celebration. It’s such a magical vibe!
Why not visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour?
If you’re planning on visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London on your visit, you may want to avoid these big queues at King’s Cross Station!
The Making of Harry Potter has the exact same Platform 9 3/4 trolley photo opportunity and it has far fewer crowds. In fact, most of the time you don’t have to wait at all.
There are three trolleys in a row and so you can spend a lot more time getting your photo with the Platform 9 3/4 sign.
The Warner Brothers Studio Tour is a must-visit for any Harry Potter fan visiting London and is easily accessible in Watford. You can easily take the Harry Potter bus over there from London Euston Station.
Are you looking for more Harry Potter locations in London?
There are plenty more locations that you can seek out if you’re a Potterhead in London!
After your visit to King’s Cross Station, there are many Harry Potter locations in this area. You can head on to Claremont Square which was the Order of the Phoenix HQ. Or, visit the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel where Ron flies his Ford Anglia!
Talking of Diagon Alley, one of my favourite locations I visited has to be Leadenhall Market. A gorgeous Victorian wonder that featured as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley.
I would then catch the tube over to the River Thames to see sights like the Millennium Bridge, Tower Bridge, London City Hall, and Borough Market which all featured as filming locations.
You can head into St Paul’s Cathedral to see their Geometric Staircase which was the Divination Stairwell at Hogwarts.
You could go for a Harry Potter afternoon tea at Cutter & Squidge and then finish the day off with immersive experiences like magical cocktails at The Cauldron.