THE PLATFORM 9 3/4 ULTIMATE GUIDE
Sun – Fri: 5:00AM to 1:36AM
Sat: 5AM to 1:11AM
Time Needed: 1 hour
Located in King’s Cross Station, London’s Platform 9 ¾ is quite possibly the most famous railway platform in the world – and it doesn’t even exist. (Well, not really…)
Based off of Harry Potter series, Platform 9 ¾ is a fictional train platform located in King’s Cross Station in London. In order to be transported to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter and the rest of the students at Hogwarts would have to board the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 ¾ to get to their school in the north of Scotland.
In order to do so, the students would need to ride a train which could only be accessed from a platform which couldn’t be seen by the non-magic folk (also known as “Muggles”). The Hogwarts students would have to run through the brick wall underneath the Platform 9 ¾ sign, and would then be magically transported to the Hogwarts Express.
Due to popular request, station authorities at King’s Cross Station decided to place a Platform 9 ¾ sign up in honour of J.K. Rowling’s hit series, and since then Harry Potter fans from all over the world have ventured to King’s Cross Station to snap a photo of the famous platform sign (which is located between platforms 9 and 10).
In recent years, Warwick Davis (who played Professor Flitwick and Griphook in the Harry Potter films), decided to open up the The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾ in King’s Cross, which is located a stone’s throw away from the Platform 9 ¾ sign. It was also decided to install a half-trolley in the brick wall underneath the platform sign, which looks exactly like the trolley Harry Potter and the Weasley family used to transport their luggage through the train station.
If you are interested to hear more about Harry Potter in London you should check out the Free Harry Potter Tour
Platform 9 3/4 Highlights
Gone are the days where tourists would simply walk up to the area between Platform 9 and 10 at King’s Cross Station and snap a photo of the Platform 9 ¾ sign. Today, visitors can not only find The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾ (which is packed full of all sorts of Harry Potter memorabilia), they can even get a member of staff to snap a photo of them underneath the sign.
The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾ offers professional photo-taking sessions where visitors can choose which house scarf to wear during their photo shoot, and they can even choose a wand to use as a prop as well. Staff will then lead you to the half trolley and tell you when to hold your scarf up and jump for the photo to make it look as if you’re being transported through the platform.
If you don’t feel like paying for a professional photo, you can always get a friend or someone standing nearby to snap a photo of you underneath the sign instead.
If you have some extra time, make sure you explore The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾ in its entirety, as here you will discover a ton of different Harry Potter-related memorabilia like time turners, horcruxes, wands, games, Hogwarts school jumpers in the four different house colours, robes and much more.
If you want to beat the busy crowds, try to visit as early as possible (even before 9 a.m.) and avoid visiting during school holidays.
If you want to jump the queue, The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾ offers a VIP photo pass lanyard which costs £20, and allows you to skip to the front of the queue as soon as you arrive.
If you’re travelling alone and want your photo taken underneath the Platform 9 ¾ sign but don’t want to pay for a professional photo, be very careful about who you choose to snap a photo of you, as it’s not uncommon for robbers and pick-pocketers to linger around the area.
Address: 1, King’s Cross St. Pancras, Kings Cross Station, Euston Rd, London N1 9AP, United Kingdom.
By Tube & Train: In order to get up and close to the Platform 9 ¾ sign, you will need to travel to King’s Cross Station in London, which has its own tube and train station.
By Bus: You can reach King’s Cross Station via routes 10, 17, 30, 45, 46, 59, 63, 73, 91, 205, 214, 259, 390 and 476.
By car: The nearest car parks are located on Judd Street, York Way and North Gower Street (near The Regent’s Park).
Once you enter King’s Cross Station, keep walking straight ahead and follow the sign which points to Platforms 9 to 11. Keep walking past the ticket office, and then walk to the right of the Disabled Meeting Point sign. Continue walking straight ahead past the cash machines, and on the right you will see the Platform 9 ¾ sign (which is located directly under the footbridge). Because the Platform 9 ¾ sign is located on an open platform before you enter the ticketed platform area, you will not need to a train ticket to walk up close to it. If you want to visit The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾, it is located in the main concourse area near Platform 9 and 10.
Visiting Platform 9 3/4
Visiting time may take around 30 minutes to an hour if you want to wait in line and get your photo taken underneath the Platform 9 ¾ sign. However, if you’re short on time and just want to see Platform 9 ¾ with your very own eyes, you could easily visit it within 15 minutes.
Although anyone can wait in a line to get a photo underneath the platform sign, if you want to get a professional photo taken underneath the Platform 9 ¾ sign, you will need to speak to someone at The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾ who will guide you in the right direction. If you’re travelling alone, be aware that members of staff at the shop are not allowed to use your phone to snap a photo of you. If you are travelling with a group of friends, the photographers can also arrange a group photo underneath the sign as well.
Ticket prices and Opening Hours
Anyone can walk up to the Platform 9 ¾ sign for free, but if you want a professional photo taken, The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾ charges:
- One photograph for £9.50
- Two photographs for £15
- Three photographs for £20
You can access the Platform 9 ¾ sign anytime during King’s Cross Station’s opening hours which are:
- 5 a.m. to 1:36 a.m. (Monday to Friday)
- 5 a.m. to 1:11 a.m. (Saturday)
- 5 a.m. to 1:36 a.m. (Sunday)
The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾ is open between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m every day of the week.
If you’re interested in discovering more interesting attractions in the UK’s capital, you might want to take a look at the free tours in London that depart daily.