Every Harry Potter fan knows the most famous train platform in the world: Platform 9 and 3/4!
Each also likely knows that the station where scenes of the platform were filmed is in London.
This post will show you how to find Platform 9 and 3/4 in King's Cross Station, including tips on planning your visit.
And you are in good hands.
We are local muggle tour guides and we lead a Harry Potter walking tour of Potter film and book locations in London.
And, in the video below, Alan, one of the guides with us, Free Tours by Foot London, takes you on a virtual tour of Platform 9 and 3/4 at Kings Cross Station.
- Where is Platform 9 3/4?
- Harry Potter Tours
- Flying Car Scene
- Other Harry Potter London Locations
Located in London’s King’s Cross Station, the barrier between platforms 9 and 10 holds the secret entrance, or magical portal, to the magical platform that can only be accessed by running straight ahead - directly into the barrier.
This takes wizards and witches out of the ‘muggle’ world and into the magical wizarding world where they can pick up the Hogwarts Express, the red steam-engine train that will speed them up to Scotland to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
For all Hogwarts students, their first entrance into the world of Hogwarts comes as soon as they step through the barrier onto Platform 9 and 3/4.
Note that students take the train on 1st September which has led to that date being considered 'Hogwarts Day' at London King's Cross Station - a very busy (but exciting) time to visit!
It’s also worth noting that it was near this platform where Harry Potter first met Ron and the entire Weasley gang in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone!
The inspiration for Platform 9 and 3/4
Visitors to King’s Cross Station will know there is one small issue with the existence of Platform 9 and 3/4: There is no barrier between platforms 9 and 10!
According to J. K. Rowling, “I wrote Platform 9 3/4 when I was living in Manchester, and I wrongly visualised the platforms, and I was actually thinking of Euston, so anyone who's actually been to the real platforms 9 and 10 in King's Cross will realise they don't bear a great resemblance to the platforms 9 and 10 as described in the book. So that's just me coming clean, there. I was in Manchester; I couldn't check.”
The barrier used in the film is actually the barrier between platforms 4 & 5.
To avoid visitors clamouring onto the platforms, King’s Cross has placed the "real Platform Nine and Three-Quarters" at the back of King’s Cross Rail Station.
This means one needs to walk all the way to the end of the station to find it - a short walk and definitely worth it!
We recommend using this Google map for exact directions. (Make sure you head for King's Cross and not St Pancras Station!)
Or, why not let us take you there on our GPS-enabled Harry Potter sites audio tour?
Finding the shop is simple. From King's Cross Underground Station, take the exit for King's Cross Rail Station (look for the little red lines).
Once you enter the station, find the big black electronic boards showing all the train departures.
When facing the signs, turn to your left and walk as far back as you can go. You will come right to Platform 9 ¾ and the shop!
Oh, and don't worry, you won't need a ticket and it's free to visit.
King’s Cross Station. Follow signs to the RAIL STATION and walk to the back. If you are new to the London subway, then read our guide to using the London Underground.
King’s Cross Rail Station. When you exit your train, turn left and then walk all the way to the back.
10, 17, 30, 45, 46, 59, 63, 73, 91, 205, 214, 259, 390, 476 Get off the bus and enter the rail station (light stone and white top) then walk all the way to the back.
NOTE: There is also King’s Cross St. Pancras International Station - that’s not the one you want…it’s just across the street! However, keen Potter lovers will recognise the International Station as it serves as the outside of King’s Cross in the films.
Entrance Through The Barriers: These days there is an actual King’s Cross prop luggage trolley (or luggage cart for the Americans) that is halfway through the barrier at “9 3/4.”
Visitors can queue up and have their picture taken whilst they push their trolley through the wall.
You can take your own photo for free, or pay for a professional shot by official photographers!
You can access the platform entrance at any time King's Cross Rail Station is open.
Their current hours are:
- Monday - Friday: 5:00 am - 1:36 am
- Saturday: 5:00 am - 0:36 am
- Sunday: 5:30 am - 1:36 am
Since you can come here in the evening (after rush hour) and find shorter lines, this is one of the best free things to do at night in London.
Click on the link for even more night activity ideas.
Professional Photograph Hours
- Monday - Saturday: 8:00 am - 10:00 pm (last entry to photo queue is 9:45 pm)
- Sunday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
How Much is a Professional Photo:
- £9.50 for one photograph
- £15 for two or £20 for three
NOTE: Professional staff is not allowed to take photos using your camera!
The average wait time is around 20 - 40 minutes, but at peak times, the wait can be as long as an hour!
TIP: If you can visit before and after the professional photographers are operating as this can cut your wait time down to 10 minutes!
When possible, come on late weekday evenings as these are the slowest periods.
Skip the Queue:
Don’t have time to wait? Purchase yourself a VIP Pass!
You will get a souvenir lanyard, and a photograph taken by professional staff, and you’ll skip the queue! All for £15.00.
Harry Potter Shop
The Harry Potter Shop: A must-visit for all Potter lovers!
Located at Platform 9 and 3/4, the Harry Potter Shop is absolutely filled with everything a Potter fan could ever want.
Inside are stationery supplies, wands, house scarves, bags, books, key chains…and on and on!
You'll have never seen so many Harry Potter souvenirs in one place - we promise.
Also, whichever house you’re in, the Harry Potter Shop has merchandise for you.
So, for those of you NOT in Gryffindor, this is one guaranteed place to find all the accessories and materials you need to kit yourself out properly to show your house pride!
Be sure to check out our definitive post on all Harry Potter London film locations.
While you're here, it's also worth checking out St. Pancras Station!
This beautifully resorted Victorian building is located just across the street from King's Cross Station.
Potter lovers will recognise it as soon as they see it - just in front of the station is where Ron and Harry picked up the Ford Anglia that Ron would then use to fly them to Hogwarts.
The iconic image of the car leaving the ground is filmed right in front of St. Pancras!