Europe & Britain | Inspiration

6 movie locations from The Fantastic Beasts films that you can visit in real life

Muggles and magic return to the big screen with the third installment in the Harry Potter prequel series due to drop this April. To get excited for the release we’re exploring the best movie locations from all three Fantastic Beasts films.

In the latest installment, J.K. Rowling throws us back into her Wizarding World with Eddie Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander, Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore, and a new actor taking over from Johnny Depp to play Gellert Grindelwald. This time two worlds collide, as Grindelwald declares, “Our war with the Muggles begins today”.

The first Fantastic Beasts film showed us wizard life in 1927 New York, and the second took us around Paris. The third and latest film, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will take us on a tour around the globe with filming locations reported to bounce between Berlin and Brazil, but most importantly we return to the nostalgic magic of Hogwarts once more.

Here are all the filming locations from The Fantastic Beasts films that you can visit in real life.

Berlin, Germany

Set in 1930, the newest Fantastic Beasts film takes us back almost 100 years and where we land in the middle of two worlds colliding. The first two Fantastic Beast films introduced us to a French Ministry of Magic and an American Ministry of Magic, so perhaps this time we’ll explore what the Ministry looks like in Germany. While we don’t 100 percent know the movie locations from the newest Fantastic Beasts film, but rumours report that Berlin and Germany will appear in the new flick. It makes sense with Grindelwald said to be from the region.

RELATED BLOG: Have you visited these real life filming locations?

Liverpool, UK

Producer David Heyman reportedly said that thanks to the shipping route between New York and Liverpool the two cities actually share a lot of architectural similarities. Stepping in for New York City scenes in the first Fantastic Beasts film, the 1917-built Cunard Building located at Pier Head at Water Street became the facade of the grand headquarters of MACUSA, the Magical Congress of the United States of America. That is, the US version of the Ministry of Magic. The old ticketing room was transformed into a vintage department store. And the opulent St George’s Hall was used in the film, too.

The Cunard Building, behind the Beatles statue, was used as a filming location in the Fantastic Beasts

New York, USA

Unfortunately it’s tricky to make modern New York City stand in as itself in the 1920s, and so it’s said a major set at Warner Brother’s Studios in the UK and other British locations (hello Liverpool) stood in for the Big Apple. But while no filming actually took place in New York, there’s nothing like visiting the great city and you can explore a number of real locations that the film tried to recreate. The MACUSA headquarters was made to look like the Neo-Gothic Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway, which when it opened in 1913, was the tallest building in the world. The subway station was also designed to resemble NYC’s Old City Hall subway station.

GET INSPIRED BY: New York Explorer

Bath, United Kingdom

As mentioned, much of the Fantastic Beasts and original Harry Potter films were shot around the UK. The magnificent 11th century medieval Alnwick Castle in Northumberland starred as the magical Hogwarts in the first two original Harry Potter movies, but since then other locations have played starring roles in the magical franchises. In the second Fantastic Beasts film Lacock Abbey, a 16th-century country house that used to be a nunnery, steps in as Hogwarts. With the helpful tricks of CGI, the Abbey in Wiltshire near Bath, was transformed into the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry we all know and love.

Paris, France

Of course the French Ministry of Magic had to take place in a spectacular building. The second Fantastic Beasts film takes us to the city of love and the French world of wizardry. Blending Art Nouveau and Steam-punk styles, the steel and glass French Ministry of Magic was actually a studio set shot in the UK. Thankfully it’s inspired by a real building – Le Grand Palais – located in the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

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London, UK

Every Parisian scene in the second Fantastic Beasts movie was actually shot in the UK. In the heart of London, the Leadenhall Market, a filming location that many Harry Potter fans will recognise as Diagon Alley, stood in as a French market in the film. Of course, the space was transformed to look like the 1920s with stalls stocked with old world items.

Plus the famous St. Paul’s Cathedral makes a cameo as the spot where Albus Dumbledore and Newt Scamander discuss matters. It’s said Muggles aren’t allowed to stand atop the building, like the two wizards, but in real life you can climb the dome and experience spectacular views over London.

Leadenhall Market London UK

What new movie or filming locations will the third and latest Fantastic Beasts film take us too? Some rumours say Bhutan while others say Brazil. Leave a comment below if you have any clues…

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