Quick Content Guide
Like most muggles, I almost missed Platform 9 3/4 entirely.
Tucked deep into an alcove to the right of the entrance for platform 9, the 9 3/4 platform sign and luggage cart jutting from the wall, sitting adjacent to the year-old Harry Potter Shop, are only obvious to those who know to look for it. But I didn’t have Harry Potter on my mind as I went to King’s Cross station on that day. In fact, I completely forgot about the station’s association with JK Rowling’s much-loved series of books.
On this day, I was running late and only focused on catching my train for my day trip to Cambridge. It only took me 10 tries at the ticket machine to realize that no, my American credit card, lacking a chip and pin, was not going to work. Defeated, I impatiently waited in the long line to buy my ticket from an agent, along with other tourists that were similarly chipless or just required a lot of hand holding. This was not a line that moved quickly.
Sure enough, I missed my train and was left with nearly an hour to kill until the next one. I walked towards the tracks to make sure I knew where my train would be boarding, and in the corner of my eye, I noticed the alcove and small crowd by it.
The Harry Potter Gift Shop at Platform 9 3/4
Note: you can buy the official Harry Potter souvenirs online here.
And this was how I’d stumbled upon the Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4. It was a fun surprise to accidentally “discover” the gift shop, and definitely a great way to kill time before my train.
In the unlikely event someone is reading this who is wondering why the heck there is a Harry Potter gift shop in the middle of King’s Cross station, I’ll provide a brief explanation. In the Harry Potter books, Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross station in London is the critical juncture between the muggle and wizard world, serving as the departure point for young wizards leaving for Hogwarts via the Hogwarts Express.
What’s it like to browse through the Harry Potter gift shop? Wood-panelled, with lots of drawers and dim lighting, the gift shop has the feel of what I imagine Ollivander’s, the wand shop described in the books, must be like.
The first thing you see when walking through the door are these Harry Potter Undesirable No. 1 prints ( £10).
As expected, the walls are lined classic souvenir gifts like mugs ( £8) and magnets. I liked the subtlety of these items, marked with the platform name only, the words Harry or Potter nowhere to be found.
I thought the Platform ticket was a clever souvenir, but the Hogwarts trademark symbol mars the “authenticity” factor.
These 9 3/4 platform tee shirts ( £19.99) are exclusive to this shop and are not available at other Harry Potter gift shops.
Lots of sweaters and ties in the Hogwart’s House of your choice. I liked the Gryffindor colors best.
The gift shop’s biggest draw is the extensive wand collection at the back of the shop.
Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans and Chocolate Frogs make fun, inexpensive Harry Potter souvenir gifts. Warning– they are not kidding when they say the beans come in “every flavor”. I got lucky with a fruity flavor but my friend tried the “bogey” flavor and confirmed it was not pleasant tasting.
Check out our tour of more Harry Potter souvenirs at Hogsmeade Village at Universal Studios in Orlando!
Have you been to a Harry Potter gift shop? What are your favorite souvenirs? Share in the comments below!
Souvenir Shopping Details:
Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4
King’s Cross Station, London England
All photos copyright 2013 by Souvenir Finder, all rights reserved.
This post contains affiliate links.