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10 Ways To Get Around In the Harry Potter Universe, Ranked

Harry and Buckbeak in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter movies and books. I can re-watch those films over and over again and still never find a way to get bored. The magic always returns to me to the Wizarding World one way or another. But, one thing that’s stood out to me over the years is that the transportation in Harry Potter is freaking amazing. 

Like, think about it - there are so many amazing ways to travel in Harry Potter books and movies, from trains to magical ways that you’d never even imagine. Today, I wanted to take a look at some of the best ways and rank them.

The trio on the Hogwarts Express.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

10. The Hogwarts Express 

I really didn’t want to put this so low, but think about it. 

You really can only use it to get to Hogwarts and back - hence the name, obviously. But because of that, it’s not like you can really get anywhere else with it. 

On the bright side, the views are astounding and it’s certainly the best way to get to Hogwarts, but at the end of the day, you really can’t do much else. Even so, I’m happy that it didn’t get scrapped from the movies

The Thestrals in Harry Potter.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

9. Thestrals 

Look, man, thestrals are cool as hell. They can fly anywhere and are such majestic and beautiful creatures that you can’t help but love them in Harry Potter.

But, there’s one caveat. You have to have witnessed death in order to see them - and ah, that might be a little bit of an inconvenience. 

If I can recall, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, several of Harry’s friends actually make comments about this as they’re told to climb onto literally nothing, thin air, in order to get to the Ministry of Magic. While they know that there are creatures underneath them that they can't see, the feeling of riding on nothing when it feels like there's something underneath it is so profoundly strange to them. Unless you’re lead by someone who has seen thestrals for themselves, it’s pretty hard to access them.

The flying carriages in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

8. Enchanted Transportation (For Larger Groups)

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we got a taste of how other magic schools (which we’d love to see spinoffs of) travel across the world. For Beauxbatons, they seemed to use flying carriages with winged horses (like Pegasus) attached to them. For Durmstrang, they used an enchanted ship to travel underwater before appearing on the lake. 

Both of these, respectively, are cool as heck, but at the end of the day, it might be hard to even gain access to one of these unless you’re part of a big group or something like that. Also, for the winged horses, I’m pretty sure those steeds require constant maintenance in order to keep them in tip top shape - kind of hard to do when you have to travel everywhere. A very cool means of transportation, but not the best. 

The flying car in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

7. Enchanted Vehicles 

When it comes to enchanted vehicles, I’m all for it. In my mind, in Harry Potter, enchanted cars almost remind me of Teslas now, since they basically drive themselves. And, if you’re trying to get from point A to point B, and you know how to work these vehicles, these are certainly a great buy for you. A great example would be Hagrid’s flying motorcycle - super cool and well-used. 

But then there’s the fact that something can always go wrong, and if you don’t know how to drive one properly, they just might end up in a Whomping Willow. Case in point, when Harry and Ron drove the Weasley’s enchanted car into one when they were trying to return to campus. They were even spotted by muggles as they were driving in the air, which is a big no-no in the wizarding world. 

Harry and the Knight Bus in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

6. The Knight Bus 

I have to say, when I first saw the Knight Bus in Harry Potter, I was astounded by how cool it looked, whether that be from how big it was, the beds moving everywhere, to how fast it traveled, I loved it. 

But now, looking back on it, I’ve come to realize that it’s really just a normal bus - just updated with magic. 

The thing with the Knight Bus is, while it is cool, it’s a bit grounded in what it can do. I’m not entirely sure that the Knight Bus operates outside of the United Kingdom, which makes sense, and I also don’t believe it’s able to fly or go underwater like some of the other modes of transportation here. I’m also pretty sure that because it’s called the Knight Bus, you can only travel on it at night. Which makes it a big inconvenience. 

However, it’s still a cool mode of transportation. 

Harry in the Floo Network in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

5. Floo Powder 

Ugh, don’t even get me started on floo powder. 

Again, a very cool way to travel. You’re literally traversing through the flames in order to get from one place to another, which is why it’s ranked so high. But then you run the risk of saying the name of the area you want to travel to wrong - like Harry did in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - and ending up in a completely different area. 

There’s also the chance that you might not even be able to transport using this method unless you and the place you’re traveling to has a fireplace. If there’s nothing there, you’re out of luck. You literally have to install a fireplace for this to work. What about all of my apartment buddies out there? How am I going to visit them?

A hippogriff in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

4. Hippogriff 

Hippogriffs are magical creatures that first appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and they are freaking cool. I mean, I can’t tell you how often I have listened to the soundtrack that was playing when Harry rode across Buckbeak in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The hippogriffs are so popular they even have their own ride at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.

But the thing is, hippogriffs are hard to get. That’s why Buckbeak was such a rare and beautiful animal, because there’s barely any of them in the world. And then there’s also the fact that you need to gain the trust of the animal first before you ride it, which can be taxing in of itself, which is why it’s number four.

Harry on a broomstick in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

3. Broomstick

If we’re being honest, I would have put this at number one if not for a select few, because broomsticks are always one of the best ways to travel. 

As long as you have balance and you’re able to fly and aren’t afraid of heights, getting on a broomstick is as simple as one-two-three. We’ve seen them in several films and how easy it is to get from one destination to the next. 

The only downside really to this is that because you’re traveling so far, I highly doubt you’re going to look all that cute coming off that broomstick. Another is that you have to have an acute sense of direction in order to get where you have to go - otherwise, you’ll just end up lost. 

The group gathering around a portkey.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

2. Portkey 

Portkeys were underutilized in Harry Potter and I will stand by that. It’s such a simple mode of transportation, but so great. It can be any item that’s enchanted to take you to a certain place, and just touching it will bring you there instantly. 

Sure, you might get a little nauseous on the way down, but it’s certainly better than spending the time flying or having to literally see a death in order to use one of the modes of transportation on here. It’s one of the better ways of travel, and it’s only beaten out by one. 

Harry and Dumbledore after apparating in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

1. Apparition 

This has to be number one. The best way to travel in Harry Potter, hands down. 

While apparition is illegal in Hogwarts, anywhere else in the world is fair game. You do need to pass a test in order to use it and be of age (which I believe is seventeen), but once you reach those two requirements, you’re golden. Anywhere in the world you can think of, you can travel there in seconds flat. 

Although apparition isn't a fun process. It can make you nauseous, and can cause you to feel like you’re being pulled apart and put back together. You also run the risk of getting splinched if done incorrectly, like Ron in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. But if you’re safe and want to get somewhere quick, that’s your main go-to right there. 

To be honest, this just makes me want to re-watch all the Harry Potter movies all over again. Now, if HBO Max could just adapt some new Harry Potter stories, that would be great. 

Alexandra Ramos
Alexandra Ramos

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!