It might have been 20 years since we picked up our first Harry Potter book, but the magic for us muggles is still palpable. If you're in Seattle, you can now come just a little closer to the world of witchcraft and wizardry at this Washington library that looks straight out of Harry Potter — the Suzzallo Library in the heart of the University of Washington. 

The gothic-styled library is an architectural marvel with 65-foot high vaulted ceilings, gorgeous stained glass windows, and 22 ornate chandeliers that would make Professor McGonagall in her Animagus cat form purr!

The best part? It's free to visit, although you'd have to be a student at the university to borrow books. 

The then UW's president Henry Suzzallo envisioned this 1926-library as a magnificent cathedral — so magnifique that his bosses are said to have fired Suzzallo for his opulence. So, you know this place won't disappoint. 

You can still see hints of that extravagance in its terracotta figures, 2 dozen rows of solid oak tables and chairs, all resembling the great walls of Hogwarts. But instead of owls bringing you letters, you can access the modern magic of free Wi-Fi from the pews.

If you're lucky enough, Seattle's weather gods will bless you with some good weather — meaning filtered sunlight through the stained glass windows for additional enchantment. 

 

This bibliophile's dream also has a grand, old staircase that is slightly worn from over a century of students walking through it. The Grand Stair Hall is also home to one of the world's biggest books.

The library is open every day On weekdays from 7.30 a.m. to 10 p.m. It operates on special timings from Friday through Sunday.

Here's an insider's tip: The best time to visit is when the campus is bursting forth with cherry blossoms in spring. If you want a Potter-esque picture with no one in your frame, your best bet is when the school is on break. The next one is mid-December to early January.

 

Don't forget to peek into the popular Reading Room with its gilded details.

While you're free to explore, read books from the opulent oak bookcases, or take in details like the hand-carved native plants of Washington, remember to respect the many studying Hermiones and to stay silent — this is a library after all. 

 

Once you've fangirled enough at this bewitching nook, it's no butterbeer, but you can grab a clover or nitro cold brew (or two) at the newly-opened Starbucks.

Here, you can sit back and take in an art sculpture curiously made of coffee-related and historical objects from Suzzallo while reminiscing (or editing your pictures) from a magical day. 

Suzzallo Library

Price: Free

Address: 4000 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98195

Why You Need To Go: To stop and stare at a library that looks straight out of Harry Potter! 


Start the Conversation
Account Settings
Notifications
Favourites
Log Out