It has been almost 12 years since the last Harry Potter book was released, but its magic still exists. Readers want to relive the stories and bring it to life. Each time the book is reread, new details emerge. Fans come up with new theories or write alternate endings. If only we could step inside the wizarding world, visit Hogwarts, have a drink or go shopping in Hogsmeade, buy a magic wand in Diagon Alley, or cheer at the Quidditch World Cup, our dreams could really come true.
While the locations and stories from the Harry Potter series may be not be “real,” there are hidden gems that allow us to step out of reality and into our imaginations. Still trying to plan your summer vacation or getaway? Take a step outside of the traditional and explore these magical destinations suited precisely for the Harry Potter fan in us all.
While castles in Transylvania may typically bring fans of history, ghosts, or vampires, Corvin Castle bears a striking resemblance to Hogwarts. Also called Hunedoara Castle, this destination looks like a page out of a magical fairy tale with its stone walls, conical spires, and turrets. The bridge leading to the castle looks just like the one leading from the Dark Forest in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Original construction of the castle began in 1440 with additions continuing through the 17th century and restorations starting two centuries later. This well-preserved castle is home to a Knight’s Hall, dungeon, courtyards, drawbridge, chapel, and more. Even though Peeves the Poltergeist and Nearly Headless Nick may not make an appearance, you still may want to take your magic wand with you. If you are looking for a medieval adventure or a step back in time, try a guided tour of Corvin Castle and other Transylvania castles. Corvin Castle is open daily to the public.
If a cozy cottage is more your style, you can take a page out of Hagrid’s book in a rental home inspired by Hogwarts’ animal-loving groundskeeper. Imagine curling up by the fire with your dog at your feet and a butterbeer in your hand. Now, you can in a cottage inspired by Hagrid’s Hut. This amazing rental boasts views of the sea and rolling countryside so you can relax as you soak in your magical appearance. The cottage sleeps six, has a full kitchen, and a beautiful copper bathroom. Your dog can even come along for the trip for an additional fee. Located on a restored country farm, you can even take on Hagrid’s love of creatures by enjoying time with farm animals of all shapes and sizes. Don’t forget to take your magic wand in case you see a Blast-Ended Skrewt or a dragon lurking.
Established in 1138, this library is one of the oldest on Earth. With over 200,000 texts, including some of the most important documents and books, this library is every booklover’s and Harry Potter fan’s dream. Hogwarts isn’t the only place with hidden treasures, tunnels, and secret rooms. The rooms are decked out with tall bookcases and walls of books, ornate sculptures, and ceiling murals. There is a Cabinet of Curiosities with oddities such as a narwhal horn and dodo remains to explore. There are even secret doors to be opened just by touching certain fake books. With secrets and rooms that sound like they are straight from Hogwarts, you may need your wand for added protection to what lies behind the hidden doors. This magical library is open daily to the public and is a must-see stop during your visit to Prague.
Have you ever imagined taking part in the Triwizard Tournament? Grab your wand and try to make it through the maze at Russborough House. Although this maze may not have magical beings or try to close in on you, the look and layout are very similar. Russborough House has adventures and activities for the whole family from guided house tours, walking trails, playgrounds, fairy trail, tea room, garden, bird of prey center, and more. Ireland is home to green, rolling countrysides that look like scenes out of every Harry Potter book. Be sure to stop by this magical destination on your next trip to Ireland.
Stepping inside John Ryland’s Library is like stepping inside the walls of Hogwarts. With brilliant architecture, arches, intricate details and designs, these walls could easily house Hogwarts’ students and their professors. Walls of books surrounding the tables makes it easy to imagine students studying for the end-of-term exams or the OWLs. This building is like a cathedral with books. Although your magic wand may not help you put away books, this destination is a must see for Harry Potter fans and book lovers. Founded by Enriqueta Ryland in memory of her husband, John Ryland’s Library first opened its doors in 1900 and is open daily to the public.
Magical destinations are all around us. Grab your wand and experience the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts all over the world.