There’s no city quite like London. With its unique blend of old and new, the capital of England stands as a testament to its historical grandeur and its modern vibrancy. If you’re planning a visit, you’ll want to ensure you experience the very best of what this city has to offer. Here’s our definitive list of THINGS TO DO IN LONDON, ensuring you have an unforgettable time.
See The List Of 19 Best Things to Do in London;
1. Visit the Tower of London
The Tower of London stands majestically on the banks of the River Thames, a silent witness to almost a thousand years of history. Originally built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the tower has served many purposes including a royal residence, a prison, and even a zoo. Today, it’s perhaps best known as the home of the Crown Jewels. These treasures, which include the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross, are a must-see. As you wander the grounds, be sure to engage with the Yeoman Warders, or ‘Beefeaters’, who can regale you with tales of intrigue, betrayal, and mystery.
- Home of the Crown Jewels
- Historic tales from the Beefeaters
- Ancient architecture
Travel Tip: Arrive early to avoid the crowds, especially if you’re keen to view the Crown Jewels.
- Tower Bridge: 0.5 miles / 0.8 kilometers
- St Katharine Docks: 0.3 miles / 0.48 kilometers
2. Experience the London Eye
London’s skyline, replete with historical landmarks and modern skyscrapers, is best enjoyed from the London Eye. This iconic Ferris wheel on the Southbank offers panoramic views of the city, from the Houses of Parliament to St. Paul’s Cathedral. As you ascend in one of its 32 sealed and air-conditioned passenger capsules, the sprawling beauty of London unfolds beneath you. By night, the city lights create a mesmerizing vista that’s perfect for those special moments.
- Panoramic views of London
- Perfect photo opportunities
- Evening rides for a city lights experience
Travel Tip: Opt for a fast-track ticket if you’re short on time, as the queues can be long during peak seasons.
- Sea Life London Aquarium: 0.1 miles / 0.16 kilometers
- The Southbank Centre: 0.3 miles / 0.48 kilometers
3. Explore the British Museum
The British Museum is one of the world’s most comprehensive museums, showcasing over two million years of history. From the Rosetta Stone to the Elgin Marbles, the artifacts you’ll encounter are both fascinating and historically significant. The museum, which is located in the heart of Bloomsbury, boasts collections from all continents, reflecting the rich and diverse history of human civilization. Spend a day wandering its vast corridors, and be transported to different eras and far-off lands.
- The Rosetta Stone
- Egyptian mummies and ancient artifacts
- Free entry with optional donation
Travel Tip: Use the museum’s free Wi-Fi to download their official app, offering guided tours and interactive maps.
- Covent Garden: 0.6 miles / 0.96 kilometers
- The British Library: 0.8 miles / 1.29 kilometers
4. Walk Across Tower Bridge
Arguably one of the most recognized bridges globally, Tower Bridge isn’t just a marvel of Victorian engineering but also offers one of the most distinctive views of London. Completed in 1894, its impressive drawbridge mechanism and high-level walkways were designed for the residents of London to cross the river while letting tall ships sail through. Nowadays, visitors can explore the bridge’s towers, witness the magic of its engine rooms, and enjoy panoramic views from its glass-floored walkway, looking down on the hustle and bustle of river traffic.
- Historic Victorian engineering
- Stunning views from the glass-floored walkway
- Engaging exhibits in the Tower Bridge Exhibition
Travel Tip: If you can, plan your visit to coincide with the bridge’s lift times. It’s a sight to behold!
- The Shard: 0.5 miles / 0.8 kilometers
- HMS Belfast: 0.2 miles / 0.32 kilometers
5. Wander Through Hyde Park
As one of the city’s eight Royal Parks, Hyde Park is an expansive green oasis in the heart of London. It offers both locals and visitors a respite from the city’s busy streets. Whether you wish to paddle a boat on The Serpentine lake, attend one of the many concerts or events held here, or simply stroll through its verdant pathways, Hyde Park is the place to be. The park has also been historically significant, having hosted various protests and demonstrations, including the Suffragettes’ campaigns.
- The Serpentine lake and gallery
- Speaker’s Corner’s lively debates
- The touching Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain
Travel Tip: Rent a deck chair for a true London park experience, especially on a sunny day.
- Kensington Palace: 0.6 miles / 0.96 kilometers
- Marble Arch: 0.4 miles / 0.64 kilometers
6. Enjoy a West End Show
London’s West End is renowned worldwide as the capital of theatre. With its mix of classic plays and modern musicals, there’s something for every taste. Experiencing the glitz, glamour, and sheer talent on display is undoubtedly one of the top THINGS TO DO IN LONDON. From long-standing performances like “Les Misérables” and “The Phantom of the Opera” to newer hits, the array of choices ensures you’re in for a treat.
- World-class performances
- Historical theaters with rich architectural details
- Diverse selection from drama to musicals
Travel Tip: For discounted tickets, visit the TKTS booth in Leicester Square on the day of the performance.
- Covent Garden: 0.3 miles / 0.48 kilometers
- The National Gallery: 0.4 miles / 0.64 kilometers
7. Discover Camden Market
A haven for lovers of eclectic fashion, unique trinkets, and delicious food, Camden Market is a must-visit. Its maze of open-air markets, including Camden Lock and The Stables, offers an array of products, from vintage clothes and handmade jewelry to artwork and antiques. As you stroll, enjoy the vibrant street art and live music that add to Camden’s lively ambiance.
- Unique and eclectic shopping
- Delicious global cuisines at the food stalls
- Vibrant street art and performances
Travel Tip: Weekdays are less crowded than weekends. It’s the best time to explore at a leisurely pace.
- London Zoo: 0.8 miles / 1.29 kilometers
- Regent’s Canal: 0.1 miles / 0.16 kilometers
8. Marvel at St. Paul’s Cathedral
Dominating the skyline with its iconic dome, St. Paul’s Cathedral stands as a beacon of hope and resilience in London’s history. Sir Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece has witnessed numerous pivotal events, from the funerals of British legends like Sir Winston Churchill to the jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II. Ascend to the Whispering Gallery and experience its unique acoustics, or climb further up to the Stone or Golden Galleries for unparalleled panoramic views of London.
- Magnificent Baroque architecture
- The captivating Whispering Gallery
- Panoramic views from the dome’s external galleries
Travel Tip: Photography is not allowed inside the cathedral. So, soak in every detail and moment during your visit.
- The Millennium Bridge: 0.2 miles / 0.32 kilometers
- Tate Modern: 0.5 miles / 0.8 kilometers
9. Cruise on the River Thames
The lifeblood of London, the River Thames offers a unique vantage point to see many of the city’s landmarks. Numerous cruise options, from sightseeing tours to dining experiences, let you relax while taking in the sights. As you meander past the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, and the Shard, you’ll understand why a Thames cruise is one of the most popular THINGS TO DO IN LONDON.
- Spectacular riverside views of London’s landmarks
- Informative commentary on many cruises
- A chance to see the city from a serene perspective
Travel Tip: For a magical experience, opt for an evening cruise to see London’s landmarks illuminated against the night sky.
- The Globe Theatre: 0.1 miles / 0.16 kilometers
- London Dungeon: 0.6 miles / 0.96 kilometers
10. Admire Art at the Tate Modern
Housed in a former power station, the Tate Modern is a testament to London’s ability to blend the old with the new. As one of the world’s leading modern art museums, it showcases an impressive collection from artists like Picasso, Warhol, and Hockney. The cavernous Turbine Hall, which has hosted large-scale installations from renowned contemporary artists, provides an awe-inspiring introduction as you enter.
- World-renowned modern and contemporary art collections
- The impressive Turbine Hall installations
- Striking views from the museum’s terrace
Travel Tip: Admission to the permanent collection is free, but some special exhibitions may have an entrance fee.
- The Shard: 1 mile / 1.6 kilometers
- Borough Market: 1.2 miles / 1.93 kilometers
11. Relish Afternoon Tea
No trip to London would be complete without indulging in the quintessential British tradition of afternoon tea. Whether you prefer the opulent settings of The Ritz and Claridge’s or seek a quirkier experience in a themed tea room, sipping on finely brewed teas while nibbling on scones with clotted cream and jam is a delight not to be missed.
- A classic British culinary experience
- A vast selection of teas from around the world
- Delectable sandwiches, pastries, and cakes
Travel Tip: Dress smart-casual for most afternoon tea places, and remember to book in advance, especially at the more popular venues.
- Buckingham Palace: 0.5 miles / 0.8 kilometers
- Green Park: 0.2 miles / 0.32 kilometers
12. Shop at Harrods
A paradise for shopaholics, Harrods is more than just a department store; it’s an institution. Located in the upscale Knightsbridge area, Harrods spans over seven floors and boasts 330 departments, offering everything from luxury fashion to gourmet foods. Its Egyptian Escalator, a tribute to ancient Egyptian design, and the memorial for Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed are among its many attractions beyond shopping.
- Premium shopping experience with renowned brands
- The lavish Food Hall offering gourmet delights
- The iconic Egyptian Escalator and memorials
Travel Tip: Even if you aren’t looking to splurge, Harrods is worth a visit for its architecture and sheer grandeur.
- Victoria and Albert Museum: 0.5 miles / 0.8 kilometers
- Hyde Park: 0.6 miles / 0.96 kilometers
13. Tour Buckingham Palace
The official residence of the British monarch, Buckingham Palace is a site of numerous official events and ceremonies. While the majestic exterior is a sight to behold, the interior State Rooms, open to the public during certain times of the year, are a testament to opulence and grandeur. One of the most sought-after THINGS TO DO IN LONDON is witnessing the Changing of the Guard ceremony, a display of British pomp and pageantry.
- Regal architecture and luxurious State Rooms
- The iconic Changing of the Guard ceremony
- The Queen’s Gallery showcasing royal art
Travel Tip: If visiting in summer, book tickets in advance for the State Rooms’ tour, as they are open for a limited period.
- St. James’s Park: 0.1 miles / 0.16 kilometers
- The Royal Mews: 0.1 miles / 0.16 kilometers
14. Explore Covent Garden
A buzzing hub of activity, Covent Garden is synonymous with entertainment and leisure. Its cobbled piazza and market buildings offer a mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. From watching street performers dazzle the crowds to exploring independent boutiques and enjoying a meal at some of London’s best restaurants, Covent Garden promises a lively atmosphere.
- Historic market buildings and diverse shopping options
- Captivating street performances
- A wide range of restaurants and cafes
Travel Tip: The Apple Market, within Covent Garden, offers a range of antiques, art, and unique gifts from Tuesday to Sunday.
- London Transport Museum: 0.1 miles / 0.16 kilometers
- Royal Opera House: 0.1 miles / 0.16 kilometers
15. Dive into History at The Churchill War Rooms
Venture below the streets of London to discover the Churchill War Rooms, a maze of rooms that served as the nerve center for Britain’s wartime leaders during World War II. Here, you can walk in the footsteps of Winston Churchill and get an unparalleled insight into the difficult decisions made during the war. The museum also offers an intimate look at Churchill’s life, both personal and political.
- Historic underground command center
- Interactive exhibits detailing wartime strategies
- Personal artifacts and insights into Winston Churchill
Travel Tip: The audio guide, included in the ticket price, enhances the experience with anecdotes and expert commentary.
- St. James’s Park: 0.4 miles / 0.64 kilometers
- Westminster Abbey: 0.5 miles / 0.8 kilometers
16. Walk the Streets of Notting Hill
Notting Hill is more than just the title of a famous movie; it’s one of London’s most charming and colorful districts. Known for its pastel-colored houses, vibrant Portobello Market, and annual carnival, Notting Hill is a blend of culture, fashion, and history. As you meander its streets, you’ll discover antique shops, quirky boutiques, and an array of cafes perfect for people-watching.
- Vibrant Portobello Market
- Picturesque pastel-colored houses
- The cultural extravaganza of the Notting Hill Carnival
Travel Tip: Visit on a Saturday when Portobello Market is in full swing, offering antiques, vintage fashion, and fresh produce.
- Kensington Palace Gardens: 0.5 miles / 0.8 kilometers
- Electric Cinema: 0.2 miles / 0.32 kilometers
17. Attend a Premier League Match
For the sports enthusiasts, one of the most exhilarating THINGS TO DO IN LONDON is to immerse oneself in the passion and excitement of a Premier League football match. London boasts several top-tier football clubs, including Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur. The atmosphere in these stadiums is electrifying, with fans singing, chanting, and cheering for their teams.
- Experiencing the electric atmosphere of English football
- Touring iconic stadiums and their museums
- Joining fans in local pubs for pre-match discussions
Travel Tip: Tickets can be hard to come by for major matches. Consider booking well in advance or exploring hospitality packages.
Nearby Places (from Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium as an example):
- Islington’s Upper Street: 1 mile / 1.6 kilometers
- King’s Cross and St Pancras Stations: 1.5 miles / 2.4 kilometers
18. Dine at London’s Best Gourmet Spots
London’s culinary scene is as diverse as its population. From Michelin-starred restaurants to historic pubs and international eateries, the city offers a gastronomic journey like no other. Explore places like Duck & Waffle for a blend of British and European cuisine or venture into Brick Lane for an authentic curry experience.
- Fine dining at Michelin-starred establishments
- International cuisines, reflecting London’s multicultural vibe
- Historic pubs offering traditional British meals
Travel Tip: Always make a reservation for popular restaurants. For an authentic experience, ask locals for their favorite dining spots.
Nearby Places (from Duck & Waffle as an example):
- The Gherkin: 0.2 miles / 0.32 kilometers
- The Museum of London: 0.8 miles / 1.29 kilometers
19. Relax at a Traditional English Pub
No visit to London would be complete without spending an evening at a traditional English pub. These establishments, often centuries old, offer a cozy atmosphere, real ales, and classic pub grub. It’s the best place to mingle with locals, learn about London’s tales, and simply unwind.
- Savoring traditional ales and stouts
- Enjoying classic dishes like fish and chips or pie and mash
- The historic and rustic ambiance of centuries-old establishments
Travel Tip: Look for pubs that have been awarded the “Cask Marque”, ensuring the quality of their ale.
Nearby Places (from The George Inn, a historic pub, as an example):
- Southwark Cathedral: 0.3 miles / 0.48 kilometers
- Borough Market: 0.2 miles / 0.32 kilometers
In a city as diverse and sprawling as London, the list of THINGS TO DO IN LONDON is endless. Each corner of the city offers a unique blend of history, culture, entertainment, and culinary delights. Whether it’s the hallowed halls of its historic landmarks, the lively streets of its bustling markets, the refined sophistication of its theaters and gourmet restaurants, or the simple pleasure of a walk in one of its many parks, London promises a rich tapestry of experiences. So, set forth, explore, and craft your very own London story.