The Harry Potter movies play host to a number of amazing and beautiful locations, each one wanting you to live in the Potterverse more than the next. Whether it be the beauty of Hogwarts castle itself, the darkness of the Forbidden Forrest or even the coziness of The Burrow, there’s no denying that the movies succeeded in making the world as immersive and spectacular as possible.
With that in mind, we now take a look at the eight Harry Potter movies and pick our favorite location from each one. Starting with 2001’s Sorcerer’s Stone...
8 The Sorcerer’s Stone: The Great Hall
The first Harry Potter movie released 18 years ago (that’s right, we couldn’t believe it either) and it immediately took the box office by storm. Just about every young person on the planet wanted to go to Hogwarts and learn intriguing subjects such as Defence Against the Dark Arts, Potions and Charms rather than sit through the likes of English, Maths and Science.
The best location from the series' first blockbuster is easily the Great Hall. Seeing it for the first time audience members felt as shocked and awestruck as Harry himself, enchanted by everything from the clear roof to the thousands of candles around the room. It also looked the part at Christmas with the winter vibes and Christmas trees only adding to its splendor.
7 The Chamber of Secrets: The Chamber of Secrets
In the second Harry Potter book and movie, the Boy Who Lived finds himself under scrutiny as Hogwarts’ muggle-born students are picked off one by one by a mysterious force. It’s a movie darker in tone to the first but, despite that, it still manages to present audiences with some outstanding locations.
And for this pick, we’ve gone with the titular Chamber itself. It’s dark and dreary - which makes it the exact sort of location young Lord Voldemort aka Tom Riddle would want to hang out. Throw in the fact it contains the fearsome beast, the Basilisk, and it stands out as the best place in the movie. An honorable mention must also go to Knockturn Alley, which isn’t somewhere any teenager would want to end up.
6 The Prisoner of Azkaban: The Forbidden Forest
While The Chamber of Secrets was darker than The Sorcerer’s Stone, there’s no denying that the darkness is definitely upped several notches in the third Harry Potter movie, The Prisoner of Azkaban. Out are the blue skies and sunshine of the first two movies, with the entire film instead set in front of a backdrop where the sky never shines and darkness seems to consume every frame.
And that’s why the Forbidden Forest is our favorite setting. It’s a place that perfectly captures the eery, gothic style of the entire movie. It also hosts the dramatic final showdown between Harry, Hermione, Sirius Black and the Dementors of Azkaban prison - as well as being the place where Remus Lupin roams as a werewolf.
5 The Goblet of Fire: The Graveyard
It’s difficult choosing our favorite location of The Goblet of Fire, particularly given there are so many good ones. There’s the Great Hall in Yule Ball form, which sparkles and glistens as the students of Hogwarts, Beuaxbatons and Durmstrang waltz into the night. The maze for the third Triwizard Task is amazing, too, while the other two Triwizard Tournament tasks are also visually stunning.
But the graveyard of Little Hangleton has emerged as the winner. It’s the perfect spooky setting for the place where Cedric Diggory dies and Harry and Voldemort both do battle. And it’s the ideal location for one of the best duels in the entire franchise.
4 Order Of The Phoenix: The Ministry of Magic
Everybody was intrigued to see what the Ministry of Magic headquarters would look like when the Order of the Phoenix released back in the summer of 2007. Needless to say, nobody was disappointed with the filmmakers and the bigwigs at Warner Bros who managed to build a set that, to this day, lives long in fans' memories.
Whether it be the court room where Harry is tried for doing underage magic, the Department of Mysteries where the Order fight the Death Eaters or even the atrium, where a beautiful golden statue stands tall, it’s all a feast for the eyes. And the fight that takes place between Lord Voldemort and Albus Dumbledore is Harry Potter at its thrilling, rip-roaring best.
3 Half Blood Prince: Horace Slughorn’s Office
Once again, the Half Blood Prince is a dark movie. It has to be, too, given everything that goes on. Not only does Harry and the rest of the wizarding world fall into a pit of despair following Lord Voldemort’s return to the public eye, but the students of Hogwarts find themselves battling hormones as they continue their journey to adulthood.
Yet the only place in the whole movie where there’s some color is Professor Slughorn’s office when he decks it out for one of his ‘Slug Club’ parties. It’s not in the movie very long but is the setting for a funny scene involving Hermione Granger swerving the repulsive Cormac McClaggen and also where Severus Snape comes to Draco Malfoy’s aid after he attempts to gatecrash.
2 Deathly Hallows Part 1: Godric’s Hollow
Given how Harry, Ron and Hermione spend most of their time in Deathly Hallows Part 1 traveling, looking for Horcruxes to defeat Lord Voldemort, we see many locations. But the pick of the bunch is Godric’s Hollow.
It’s no small task managing to recreate the same cosy atmosphere as Hogwarts but the place where Lord Voldemort lost his powers is able to achieve that. The scenes that occur are sweet, tender and emotional too. The sight of Harry seeing his parents’ graves is enough to reduce even the hardest person to tears and the battle with Bathilda Bagshot, who has been inhabited by Nagini, is nail-chewing stuff. Godric’s Hollow just edged out The Burrow - which is at its warm, lovely best as Fleur Delacour and Bill Weasley tie the knot.
1 Deathly Hallows Part 2: The Room Of Requirement
We nearly went with The Room of Requirement for the Order of the Phoenix given it’s the ideal place for Harry Potter and the rest of Dumbledore’s army to learn Defence Against the Dark Arts under the nose of Dolores Umbridge. But it makes the cut for the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 given how much Warner Bros nailed the place where people hide every illicit object they own.
There’s Easter Eggs galore as Harry, Ron and Hermione enter the room to try and locate the lost Diadem belonging to Rowena Ravenclaw. We see a chest piece from the first movie, the harp used to send Fluffy to sleep and much, much more. Given how many throwbacks there are to the previous Potter movies, it may just be our favourite of the entire franchise.