Let’s face it: we all feel our lives are missing something. And that something is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Sadly, there seems to have been a major communication failure at the Hogwarts main office, and the result is that none of us ever received our Hogwarts letters. (You can cry on my shoulder if you want to, as long as I get to cry on yours afterward.)
But don’t despair! Because you can still go to Hogwarts! Sort of. Maybe. OK, not really.
But these five places are so much like Hogwarts that you’ll feel like you’re at the famous wizarding school when you visit them. So grab your Nimbus 2000 (or your flying car) and take a trip to one of these Hogwarts destinations:
Without a doubt, the most Hogwarts-like place in the world is Oxford: the famous English university dating back to around 1100 A.D. It helps that many of the scenes in the Harry Potter movies (including the ones in the Great Hall) were filmed in Oxford. Fans will recognize several iconic locations, like the dining hall and staircase, immediately.
2. Bodleian Library
Another U.K. destination, the Bodleian Library is a centuries-old library in England, where many of the Hogwarts Library scenes were filmed. Some of the books are chained to the wall.
3. New York Public Library
If you’re on the other side of the Atlantic, you can always hit up the New York Public Library instead. It’s not quite as old as the Bodleian, and no Harry Potter scenes were filmed there – but they might as well have been. The Rose Main Reading Room looks a lot like the Hogwarts Library and is faintly reminiscent of the Great Hall. There are also those two lions out front – very Gryffindor.
4. Harvard University
Can’t make it to Oxford? Try Harvard. Founded in the 1600s, this university has a pretty sweet Hogwarts-esque Great Hall, complete with high ceilings, rose windows, and hanging chandeliers.
5. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
You know we’d get there eventually. Based in Florida and California, these two Harry Potter theme parks are more viable Hogwarts destinations for West-Coasters. Both locations feature a replica of the Hogwarts castle, so yeah, this is probably about as close as you’re going to get.
Unless your Hogwarts letter finally comes. In which case, please ask Professor McGonagall what happened to mine.