From its artsy neighborhoods to its gorgeous national parks, Seoul is famous for many things. However, in 2018, it added one more: the King’s Cross Harry Potter Cafe in Hongdae.
There are many Harry Potter cafes, restaurants, and theme parks around the world. After all, the Harry Potter series is a cultural phenomenon. It has a large and devoted fan-base even after two decades.
However, the King’s Cross Cafe stands out because of its unique interpretation of Harry Potter themes. From the food to the ambiance, there are many reasons fans should visit this cafe.
For Potterheads exploring Seoul, this cafe is perfect for five main reasons:
Boasting a whopping four-story-high infrastructure, Kings Cross is the largest Harry Potter cafe in Asia. Each floor design depicts a part of the Harry Potter world. However, everything has an 80s feel to it because that’s when the books were set.
Firstly, there’s the spectacular Platform 9 ¾ entrance. You see it as soon as you enter the vicinity: a trolley of luggage disappearing into the wall. Both tourists and locals love taking pictures with this, pretending they’re off to Hogwarts.
Speaking of, the second floor (as pictured above) depicts the Victorian-esque style of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The third floor looks like the Great Hall. They even have a large chandelier:
Finally, the fourth floor mimics the Gryffindor Common Room. It’s a more casual area where you can sit and hang out with your friends (in costume, of course).
Apart from the spectacular decor, this Harry Potter cafe also has a pretty extensive menu. From sweets to savory, this cafe has all kinds of Harry Potter-themed food.
Of course, there’s the classic Harry Potter snacks and beverages: butterbeer, jelly beans, and ade.
However, the cafe also has some great food items, the most popular being the Dragon’s Leg. The Dragon’s Leg is what Harry Potter characters ate at the Great Feast.
Moreover, the cafe makes custom ‘Happy Birthday Harry’ cakes (like the one from the movie):
It’s the perfect birthday gift for a hardcore Harry Potter fan.
All in all, the entire menu is pretty good. However, the best items are undoubtedly the cakes and iced beverages (such as the Wizard’s Tea).
As mentioned, the top floor depicts a Hogwarts common room. However, there can be no common room without students. Consequently, you’ll find all sorts of uniforms and props to play with on this floor.
After all, what’s the point of going to a Harry Potter cafe if there’s no cosplay?
If you want, you can sort yourself into a Hogwarts House before choosing a uniform. The cafe provides internet access to Pottermore, making it a more authentic experience.
Whether you’re a happy Hufflepuff or a sneaky Slytherin, the ball is in your court. Once you’re in uniform, you can take pictures, wave your wands around, and do some Hogwarts activities (like ‘wizard’s chess’).
Of course, one of the most attractive qualities of this Harry Potter cafe is the Instagrammable aesthetic. There’s a photo-op on every nook and cranny. Whether it’s the rustic walls or the vintage furniture, everything makes a good photo backdrop.
You can even take photos from the vintage cameras (available on the first floor). The camera gives you a more authentic Harry Potter photograph.
Here’s an example:
While the photo doesn’t move, it certainly looks like something from the Daily Prophet. Consequently, you get a more immersive experience in the Harry Potter world.
However, if you’re going with a group of friends, you’ll enjoy the experience more. It’s more fun with loads of people than with just one or two.
Last but not least, Kings Cross also has a Harry Potter-themed gift shop. For tourists, this is the icing on the cake. You can buy all sorts of miniature Harry Potter souvenirs.
For example, the shop offers Harry Potter-themed jewelry. You can find earrings shaped like mini-snitches or rings shaped like the Deathly Hallows.
Moreover, you can also get Harry Potter merchandise such as wands, scarves, and robes. If you’re a true Harry Potter fan, you’ll appreciate the setting of the wand shop. (It’s exactly like Ollivanders in Diagon Alley.)
The gift shop is a good place to pick up presents for friends and family back home.
To sum it up, the Harry Potter cafe in Seoul is both fun and nostalgic. Each floor depicts a different part of the Harry Potter world, paying attention to the details. A visit is enough to make you binge-watch/read the movies and books again.
However, if you’re looking for something else to do, you’re in luck. Don’t forget to check out this guide on Gwanaksan Mountain in Seoul’s southern region. It’s the perfect place to unwind outside of the central city.