Where is Harry Potter's Platform 9 ¾ located at King's Cross Station in London?

Where is Harry Potter's Platform 9 ¾ located at King's Cross Station in London?

Discover our guide 

In the heart of London, hidden behind the urban tumult and the constant passage of trains, lies a portal to a world of enchantment and adventure, known to those in the know as Platform 9 ¾. This mystical platform, which emerged from the imagination of J.K. Rowling, has transcended the pages of the Harry Potter books to become a part of the London landscape, and an essential pilgrimage site for all fans of the saga. Located at King's Cross Station, Platform 9 ¾ presents itself as a promise of escape, a departure point for those who, for the time of a snapshot, wish to cross the boundaries of reality and venture into the enchanting universe of Hogwarts.

The very existence of this place, anchored between myth and reality, testifies to the incredible cultural impact of the Harry Potter saga, a work that has touched the hearts of millions of readers and viewers around the world. It is here, at King's Cross, that the boundaries between worlds fade, allowing dreamers of all ages to imagine, if only for a moment, that they are on their way to a school where magic is taught and valued.

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This article invites you to discover the secrets of Platform 9 ¾: from its origins, deeply rooted in the collective imagination, to its materialization in our world, where it continues to fascinate. We will unveil the story of this iconic place, where literature and cinema meet reality, and provide you with practical tips for an unforgettable visit. Follow us on this adventure in the heart of London, where the magic of Platform 9 ¾ awaits those who dare to believe in the impossible!

The history of Platform 9 ¾

In the Harry Potter film series, the young wizards must take the famous Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross station and board the Hogwarts Express to get to Hogwarts School.

This platform is invisible to Muggles (non-magical people) - to get there, one must be a wizard and dash at full speed through the solid brick wall located between platforms 9 and 10. Once the brick wall is crossed, a large wrought iron arch indicates Platform 9 ¾ and a red locomotive (the Hogwarts Express) awaits along the platform. The train departs at 11 a.m.

In the opposite direction, an old, wrinkled caretaker ushers the students through in groups of 2 or 3 so they don't suddenly emerge on the other side of the wall - which could attract the attention of Muggles.

Literary and cinematic origins

The secret platform of Platform 9 ¾ was born from the pen of J.K. Rowling, in the pages of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". Conceived as the departure point for the Hogwarts Express, King's Cross station is not just another setting; it becomes the symbol of the transition from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Rowling drew inspiration from the architecture and atmosphere of King's Cross, a station rich in history and literary echoes, to anchor her story in a London that is both real and magically transformed. Platform 9 ¾ embodies the threshold between two worlds, a place of transitions and beginnings, where each Hogwarts student boards the train for adventures yet unknown.

When the books were adapted into films, Platform 9 ¾ took on a new visual dimension, transcending words to materialize on screen. The filmmakers rose to the challenge of visualizing this gateway between worlds with ingenuity, using special effects to bring to life the crossing of the wall by Harry and his friends. This representation cemented Platform 9 ¾ in the popular imagination, making it a globally recognized symbol of the Harry Potter universe.

Novelist J.K. Rowling revealed in an interview with the BBC in 2001 that she had actually confused King's Cross and Euston stations when writing about Platform 9 ¾. Living in Manchester at the time, she based her visualization on the wrong platforms, thinking of those at Euston, which, like those at King's Cross, did not allow for a magical wall to be inserted between them. This anecdote highlights how a detail from Rowling's imagination was adapted despite the constraints of reality.

Platform 9 ¾ in real life

Following the enormous success of the books and films, and to answer the call of fans eager to immerse themselves in the world of Harry Potter, King's Cross station has officially incorporated Platform 9 ¾ into its space. A permanent installation between platforms 9 and 10 now materializes the famous Platform 9 ¾. The setup of a luggage trolley half-embedded in a wall, creating the illusion of disappearing, along with the appropriate signage, offers an immersive experience to visitors. This photo spot, which has become iconic, allows visitors to simulate their own passage to the magical world of Hogwarts, thus blurring the lines between fiction and reality.

Photo spot of Harry Potter's Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross station in London

This initiative by King's Cross station not only honors the Harry Potter series; it contributes to the creation of a cultural memory site, where fans from around the world come to share a moment of joy and nostalgia, thereby cementing the place of Platform 9 ¾ in popular culture. The installation of Platform 9 ¾ reflects a unique encounter between a literary/cinematic work and the real world, proving that the magic of Harry Potter resides as much in the hearts of fans as in the pages of the books or the scenes of the films.

The story of Platform 9 ¾ crosses the boundaries of literature, cinema, and our reality, offering a gateway to a universe where imagination knows no limits. This evolution underscores the profound impact of Harry Potter on our culture and our way of conceiving shared spaces, demonstrating the ability of fiction to inspire, unite, and transform.

Visiting Platform 9 ¾

The Platform 9 ¾ is not just an iconic location for Harry Potter fans; it's an immersive experience that allows you to step into the shoes of a Hogwarts student, if only for a photo.

How to get there

The King's Cross station (Euston Road, N1 9AL, London) is a central hub in London, making access to Platform 9 ¾ particularly easy. Whether you arrive by subway, bus, or even by train from abroad via the nearby St Pancras station, all roads lead to this unique experience. You'll find Platform 9 ¾ in the main hall of the station, between the real platforms 9 and 10.

There are numerous signs indicating the Platform 9 ¾ photo spot within King's Cross station.

To get there by public transport, 2 options:

  • Subway: Circle, Hammersmith & City, Piccadilly, Northern, and Victoria lines - stop at King's Cross St. Pancras.
  • Bus: lines 10, 30, 59, 73, 91, 205, 476, N73, N91, N205, 45, 46, 63, N63, 214, 17, and 390.

Platform 9 ¾ photo spot

Once there, you'll be greeted by the famous luggage trolley embedded in the wall, an invitation to imagine your own journey to Hogwarts. This photo spot has become a must-see, capturing a moment of magic for budding wizards and witches.

The Platform 9 ¾ photo spot consists of a "Platform 9 ¾" sign on a brick wall at King's Cross station, accompanied by a trolley loaded with suitcases - and sometimes an owl in a cage - half-embedded in the wall.

Right next to it, the official Harry Potter shop is full of treasures: magic wands, scarves in the colors of the Hogwarts houses, and many other wonders await visitors. It's the perfect opportunity to leave with a tangible souvenir of the adventure.

During the opening hours of the souvenir shop, scarves from the four houses (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw) and the magic wands of Harry Potter, Hermione, or even Voldemort, are available - and a staff member from the shop is on hand near the trolley to help you take the perfect photo!

In recent years, the Platform 9 ¾ photo spot has changed locations several times. It was originally located between platforms 9 and 10 - it is now inside the station itself, next to the official shop for exclusive Harry Potter merchandise: The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾. In the films, the platforms used during the shootings at King's Cross are actually platforms 4 and 5.

Practical tips for your visit

Opening hours

The Platform 9 ¾ photo spot is accessible all year round, 24/7.

During peak times, the queue to take a photo can be long.

Prices

Access to the Platform 9 ¾ photo spot is free. You can:

  • Take a photo yourself (for free).
  • Have your photo taken by a professional photographer (the photo can be collected at the shop in a Harry Potter frame, on a keychain or a magnet, etc.).

Count £15 for a fast-track pass (the wait can be long!) and a professional photo.

Unfortunately, platforms 4 and 5, which were used for filming the movies, are not accessible without a train ticket.

Guided tours

You can also opt for a Harry Potter themed guided tour - which will take you to the Platform 9 ¾ photo spot at King's Cross station:

Guided tour of Harry Potter filming locations in London

From 11.74 € (or £10)

From £10 (or 11.74 €)

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These tours take participants across the city, visiting sites that served as natural sets for the films or inspired J.K. Rowling. From Diagon Alley to Gringotts Bank, these tours enrich the Harry Potter experience by mixing history, culture, and magic.

Some guided tours include an entrance ticket to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Leavesden (Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter). This tour offers a complete immersion into the behind-the-scenes of the Harry Potter films, discovering the original sets, costumes, and props used during filming. It's a unique opportunity to walk in the footsteps of your favorite wizards through the Great Hall, the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley, and many other iconic locations.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter

From 105 € (or £89)

From £89 (or 105 €)

Plan your visit well in advance, as tickets for the Harry Potter Studio Tour sell out quickly!

Official shop

The official shop for exclusive Harry Potter merchandise is adjacent to the photo spot and offers high-quality products themed around Harry Potter: clothing, accessories, jewelry, books, magic wands, mugs, pens, plush toys, etc.

The shop also offers exceptional items for collectors.

The shop welcomes over 1.2 million visitors each year.

 

The Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross station is just the beginning of a magical adventure through London for Harry Potter fans. Whether posing next to the iconic trolley, browsing the aisles of the official shop, or exploring other Harry Potter film locations, every moment is an invitation to dream. London, with its rich heritage and deep connection to the saga, provides a perfect backdrop to live your own magical story.

Don't miss out on "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child", the stage play that continues the magical story, for a complete immersion in the Harry Potter universe.