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Travel Smart, Save More: Tips for Securing the Cheapest Train Tickets to London

London is a bustling city filled with history, culture, and endless attractions. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer stay, finding the cheapest train tickets to London can help you save money and make your journey more affordable. In this article, we will provide you with some valuable tips and tricks to secure the best deals on train tickets, ensuring that your travel experience is both enjoyable and budget-friendly.

Planning Ahead: Book in Advance

One of the most effective ways to secure the cheapest train tickets to London is by booking in advance. Train ticket prices tend to increase as the departure date approaches, so it’s always wise to plan your trip well in advance. By booking early, you can take advantage of discounted fares and special offers that are often available for early birds.

Many train operators release their tickets up to 12 weeks before the travel date. Keep an eye out for these releases and be ready to book as soon as they become available. By doing so, you’ll have a better chance of snagging those limited discounted tickets before they sell out.

Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates

If your travel plans allow for flexibility, consider adjusting your departure date or time. Off-peak trains tend to have lower fares compared to peak hours or weekends when demand is high. By choosing less popular travel times, such as weekdays or early mornings/late evenings, you can often find cheaper train tickets.

Additionally, avoid traveling during major holidays or peak tourist seasons when prices tend to skyrocket. Instead, opt for quieter times of the year when fewer people are traveling. Not only will this save you money on train tickets but also on other expenses like accommodations and attractions.

Take Advantage of Railcards

Railcards are a fantastic way to save money on train travel throughout the UK, including trips to London. These cards offer discounted fares for various groups of people, such as students, seniors, families, and disabled individuals. Investing in a railcard can be highly beneficial if you frequently travel by train or plan to make multiple trips to London.

To obtain a railcard, simply visit the official website of the National Rail or inquire at your local train station. While there is usually a small fee associated with purchasing a railcard, the savings you’ll enjoy on train tickets will quickly offset this cost. Make sure to check the eligibility criteria for each type of railcard and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Compare Prices and Book Online

When searching for the cheapest train tickets to London, it’s essential to compare prices from different train operators. Each operator may have its own pricing structure and offers, so taking the time to compare will help you find the best deal.

Numerous online platforms provide comprehensive information on train routes, schedules, and fares. Websites like Trainline, National Rail Enquiries, and Skyscanner allow you to compare prices across multiple operators and book your tickets directly. These platforms often offer exclusive discounts and deals that are not available elsewhere.

In conclusion, securing the cheapest train tickets to London requires some strategic planning and research. By booking in advance, being flexible with travel dates/times, utilizing railcards, and comparing prices online, you can significantly reduce your travel expenses while enjoying all that this vibrant city has to offer. So start planning ahead today and embark on an affordable journey filled with unforgettable experiences in London.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


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Buckingham Palace

The 50 best attractions in London

Discover London’s best attractions, landmarks and sightseeing spots that you’d be mad to miss, even if you‘re a local

Ellie Walker-Arnott

London landmarks are iconic for a reason.  You’ve got your London Eye, your Hyde Park, your Big Ben, and even if you’ve lived here for years and have steadfastly been avoiding ‘tourist traps’, you really ought to check these places out at least once.  Whether you’re a day-tripper or a local, marvelling at the capital’s museums , galleries , monuments and  parks  is a London rite of passage – and they’re all really bloody great.  But where to begin? We’ve pulled together a list of the best attractions in London for you to start ticking off your bucket list. And the best news? Loads of these must-see London attractions are free, and for those that aren’t, you can book below.

Still after some sightseeing inspiration? Check out our list of  101 things to do  in London, and find out what’s happening in London  today ,  this week , and  this weekend .

RECOMMENDED: the best hotels in London   RECOMMENDED: the best alternative attractions in London RECOMMENDED: the best London bus tours

This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our   affiliate   guidelines .

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London’s top attractions

The London Eye

1.  The London Eye

  • Things to do
  • Event spaces

What is it? Much like the Millenium Dome – or, as it's known to those who don’t remember the twentieth century, the O2 Arena – the London Eye was built to celebrate the year 2000. Since then, the Eye has been a resounding success and it’s hard to picture London’s skyline without it. It rarely ever comes to a stop, so you won’t be standing on the ceremony when you get on. Before you know it, you’re halfway into the sky and taking in sweeping vistas of the city.

Why go? The view, obviously. 

The View from the Shard

2.  The View from the Shard

  • Towers and viewpoints
  • London Bridge

What is it?  The capital's tallest tower, having joined London's skyline in 2012.  Measuring 310 metres, The Shard was built with everything in mind: offices, homes, hotels, bars, restaurants and, of course, the alluring viewing platform. From the highest point, the public are allowed access (floors 69-72) you get stunning 360-degree views of the city. There’s a silent disco on selected Saturday nights and other events, such as gigs and gin tastings throughout the year.

Why go? The floor-to-ceiling windows allow exceptional views out across the capital, especially on a clear day.

Madame Tussauds

3.  Madame Tussauds

What is it? In 1802 Marie Tussaud made her waxwork debut in the capital (32 years after she founded the show in Paris). By 1884 she decided to lay down permanent roots in Marylebone and she’s been there ever since (well, her legacy at least). Visitors to Madame Tussauds today will find over 150 lifelike models including contemporary stars like Drake and Dua Lipa and historic icons like Einstein and Marilyn Monroe. Elsewhere The King stands proudly on the Royal Balcony and stars like the Marvel cast have their own Hall of Heroes.

Why go? To snap a selfie with all the famous faces. Instagram, incoming.

Shrek’s Adventure! London

4.  Shrek’s Adventure! London

  • Theme parks

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What is it? An interactive tour that starts with a breathtaking 4D ride through the sky before you crash-land near a certain ogre’s swamp and find yourself having to flee from the wicked Rumpelstiltskin. You’ll encounter a few favourite characters while you take on different missions, such as liberating Pinocchio from the Wheel of Torture and cooking up some spells with the Muffin Man. 

Why go? To have a giggle on a whirlwind trip to Far, Far Away.

The London Dungeon

5.  The London Dungeon

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What is it?  A tour of London’s nastiest historical moments, with gory stories retold with humour, gooey props and gruesomely costumed actors. You can board a traitor’s boat to the Tower of London, dash through the streets of Whitechapel in pursuit of Jack the Ripper and glimpse plague London. 

Why go?   Gore-seekers can ride a recreation of The Death Express, a line which carried the deceased to their final resting place in Surrey. 

Up at The O2

6.  Up at The O2

  • Sightseeing
  • Greenwich Peninsula

What is it? Ever wondered what London looks like from 53 metres above North Greenwich? Find out with a ticket for Up at The O2 where you can choose from Daytime, Sunset and Twilight climbs. The ultimate AAA pass gains you access to the roof, where you’ll be able to see across the capital, spotting famous sites like the Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, The Shard and Canary Wharf.

Why go? For an incredible 360-degree view – and that adorable climbing onesie.

ArcelorMittal Orbit

7.  ArcelorMittal Orbit

  • Olympic Park

What is it? This network of curly-wurly red scaffolding lords it over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from its position right alongside the Olympic Stadium. Designed by the artist Anish Kapoor and structural engineer Cecil Balmond, it stands 114.5m (376ft) tall – with lifts (and a 455-step staircase) up to two platforms from which you take in the interesting, if not entirely spectacular, view. There are also two of Kapoor's entertaining distorting mirrors inside and the options to abseil or slide down to the ground.

Why go? Two things: the view and the slide. Hold on to your stomach and enjoy the speedy descent down the 12-loop corkscrew.

Westminster Abbey

8.  Westminster Abbey

  • Religious buildings and sites
  • Westminster

What is it? Like the Pantheon Crypt in Paris, where you can see the tombs and memorials of great figures from history, Westminster Abbey is a popular attraction to peruse the graves, tablets, busts and stone dedications. In fact, seventeen monarchs are buried here, along with dukes, countesses and history’s ‘celebs’ (Think Darwin, Dickens and Hardy). Founded by Benedictine monks in 960 AD, there have also been 16 royal weddings here and every single British coronation has taken place within the Abbey's walls since 1066.

Why go? To see Gothic grandeur in all its splendour.

Buckingham Palace

9.  Buckingham Palace

What is it? A chance to see world-famous art, glimpse regal opulence and get inside HM’s headquarters. Tourists and locals alike know the façade of Buckingham Palace, which stands at the end of The Mall. But it was only in 1913 that this addition was made, by King George V and Queen Mary. Before that, in 1633, the palace wasn’t even royal – it belonged to Lord Goring, who was forced to hand over ownership to the Royal Family (under King George III) due to a flaw in his contract. Poor chap. 

Why go? To snoop around the most famous royal residence in the world.

Hampton Court Palace

10.  Hampton Court Palace

  • Historic buildings and sites

What is it? A resplendent palace with plush grounds on the edge of south west London. From the Tudor indoor tennis court to the Royal Maze, from the King’s private loo to the Magic Garden adventure playground, there’s something here for all ages. History buffs and art enthusiasts should purchase a ticket for the Palace and Gardens; those with little ones in tow will appreciate the Magic Garden and Maze ticket. Make sure you keep an eye on the site for their seasonal opening times.

Why go? To get lost in the Royal Maze.

The Houses of Parliament

11.  The Houses of Parliament

What is it? The seat of British democracy. Take an audio tour through the House of Lords and House of Commons to bring the building to life. It takes around 90 minutes and features leading parliamentary figures such as Mr Speaker and Black Rod. 

Why go? For a dazzling combo of history, politics and architecture.

St Paul’s Cathedral

12.  St Paul’s Cathedral

What is it? Iconic as St Paul’s may be, the cathedral as we know it today is in fact version six, at least. Mark five was razed to the ground by the Great Fire of London in 1666, mark three was also destroyed by fire, in 1087, and mark four fell to ruins under Henry VIII’s leadership. Thankfully Sir Christopher Wren’s design, which was completed in 1708, survived 12 monarchs and two world wars, notably the German Blitz of WWII. If you’ve paid for the main admission you’ll be treated to an introductory talk before being taken on a 90-minute tour.

Why go? To test your hearing in the Whispering Gallery.

Afternoon tea at the Ritz

13.  Afternoon tea at the Ritz

  • Restaurants
  • price 3 of 4

What is it? An occasion to enjoy finely cut sandwiches, fresh cakes and the tinkling of shiny silver teapots in the gold and white splendour of the Ritz Hotel’s former Ballroom. It’s so popular that you can book sittings from 11.30am to 7.30pm every day – sure, it’s not strictly the afternoon, but it’s all accompanied by the delicate sounds of a pianist, harpist or string quartet.

Why go?  For the unlimited scones and sandwiches.

Tower Bridge

14.  Tower Bridge

  • Tower Bridge

What is it? There’s more to this ornate Victorian bridge than something cool to look at: you can actually venture inside. Check out the engine rooms with their whirring wheels and pistons, then head up to the glass-floored viewing platform above the draw bridge, where you can delve into this magnificent structure's story.

Why go?  Time it right and you'll see the bridge rising up to let paddle steamers and barges through. Want to know a fun fact? A full schedule of bridge lift times is available on their website . 

Kensington Palace

15.  Kensington Palace

What is it? Where William, Kate and the kids hang their hats. This tourist attraction has a chic style: it played host to the most fashionable salons in Georgian times, was home to Queen Victoria in her youth, then sassy Princess Margaret and then classy Princess Diana. Now the main palace is a pretty visitor magnet with tranquil gardens to wander.

Why go? To be blown away by the outfits in the ‘Royal Style in the Making’ exhibition.

Big Ben

16.  Big Ben


What is it?  Big Ben is the nickname of the Great Bell inside Westminster’s iconic clock tower, but even locals think ‘Big Ben’ when they see the Elizabeth Tower. You can’t get inside for a tour due to maintenance work but you’re a minute away from the river, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey here, so it’s an easy visit.

Why go?  To see the world's most celebrated clock face to face.

Wembley Stadium

17.  Wembley Stadium

  • Sport and fitness

What is it? The venue where England won the World Cup in 1966, and the Lionesses won the Euros in 2022. Wembley still has a magic about it, even when you don’t have a ticket for a match or a rock concert. Take the tour and you’ll get to walk down the players’ tunnel and climb the 107 Trophy Winner’s steps, plus, with the use of 360-degree video, experience the electric atmosphere at some of the stadium’s biggest events.

Why go?  To peek  behind the scenes and sense that Cup Final magic.

The National Gallery

18.  The National Gallery

  • Trafalgar Square

What is it? A huge art museum right on Trafalgar Square that’s free to enter. Perfect, whether you’ve got ten minutes in your lunch break to check out Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ or time to wander the entire collection of Western European paintings from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Check out the Friday Lates for after-hours access to exhibitions, creative workshops and life drawing sessions.

Why go? To be swaddled in artistic greatness.

Churchill War Rooms

19.  Churchill War Rooms

What is it? A secret, secure bunker, tucked behind Downing Street and Parliament Square, where Churchill and his cabinet could monitor how World War II was going, receive intelligence and give orders. It’s the little details that give the biggest impression, from a daily-updated weather noticeboard to the scratch marks on Churchill’s chair (caused by his ring on a stressed day).

Why go? For history lovers to see the rooms just as they were left after 1945.

National Portrait Gallery

20.  National Portrait Gallery

  • Charing Cross Road

What is it? Just around the corner from The National Gallery, this is the home of a stunning collection of portraits, from paintings to photography, capturing the essence of notable royalty, celebrities and our enduring fascination with the human face. The permanent collection is free to visit, with ticketed special exhibitions.

Why go? To wander among the great and good.

Thames RIB Experience

21.  Thames RIB Experience

  • Victoria Embankment

What is it? A high-speed ‘rigid inflatable boat’ that will have you zooming up and down the river. If you want to ramp up the excitement on the Thames – the kind that would make 007 proud – hop aboard the RIB to travel at speeds of around 35 knots (roughly 40 mph).  

Why go? Because it’s the most thrilling way for adrenaline junkies to see the sights.

National Theatre

22.  National Theatre

  • Public and national theatres

What is it? Only the greatest theatre in the world (well, we would argue so, anyway). Take your pick of entertainment from the three theatres, and if you’ve got time to kill pre- or post-performance, take a seat at one of the various bars or restaurants. 

Why go?  To witness shows that champion rising talents and showcase big-name stars.

Royal Albert Hall

23.  Royal Albert Hall

  • Music venues
  • South Kensington

What is it?  Across the road from the ornate golden memorial statue of Prince Albert is another dedication. The construction of Royal Albert Hall was ordered by Queen Victoria and named after her late husband. Since its completion, the hall has hosted music and theatre and continues to do so to this day – most famously the Proms.

Why go? To experience the dazzling Victorian opulence.

Tower of London

24.  Tower of London

What is it? O ne of the capital’s best and most well-known historical attractions.  The Tower of London offers wonderful architecture, gruesome stories, hands-on activities for younger visitors, costumed actors and guides, and worryingly confident ravens.

Why go? To get an eyeful of the Crown Jewels.

Royal Opera House

25.  Royal Opera House

  • Classical and opera
  • Covent Garden

What is it? Covent Garden’s grand old opera house. You don’t have to be super-rich to get in on the action – there are reductions for students, senior citizens and those on credits, plus regular ticket offers for all. Alternatively, take a backstage tour, where you can sometimes spot the Royal Ballet practising their moves. 

Why go? To see a right royal opera or ballet performance.

Kew Gardens

26.  Kew Gardens

  • Parks and gardens

What is it? Budding horticulturalists will have a field day here. There are over 300 acres to explore filled with indigenous flora and fauna, as well as exotic greenhouses and nature trails. There’s also a treetop walkway and the Grade I-listed Temperate House recently reopened after a five-year refurb. It’s the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world and quite a sight to behold.

Why go? For a breath of fresh air in the busy city.

Shakespeare’s Globe

27.  Shakespeare’s Globe

  • Shakespeare

What is it? A painstakingly accurate recreation of the kind of theatre Shakespeare would have written all his plays for. If you’ve never been, book groundling tickets and stand in the open-air pit like you’re at a rock festival. It makes Bard’s poetry seem a lot less like homework and a lot more like first-rate drama.

Why go? For a raucous, interactive take on  theatre.

Somerset House

28.  Somerset House

What is it? An elegant eighteenth-century landmark and cultural hub on the north side of Waterloo Bridge that hosts several art exhibitions and events at a time, incorporating the Courtauld Gallery and temporary exhibitions in the Embankment Galleries. Hell, even the courtyard (once an Inland Revenue car park) makes itself useful, with gigs, alfresco cinema and fountains in summer.

Why go? For music and movies under the stars.

Tate Modern

29.  Tate Modern

What is it?  A riverside icon dedicated to modern and contemporary art, based in what was the Bankside power station. You can discover works by the likes of Warhol, Dalí and Hockney, as well as unusual, eye-grabbing installations, as part of its free-to-visit permanent collection.

Why go?  For some of the best art and architecture London has to offer. 

Kew Palace

30.  Kew Palace

What is it? The favoured residence of George III looks more like a massive, ornate biscuit tin than the glittering home of a royal. In the gardens, there is a wonderful little cottage built for Queen Charlotte that trumps any garden shed. You can only visit the palace via Kew Gardens (it’s free with entry to Kew).

Why go? To discover an often-forgotten treasure.

Cutty Sark

31.  Cutty Sark

  • Ships and boats

What is it?  Experience life aboard the world’s last surviving tea clipper in Greenwich. See the intricate craftsmanship used in its creation and find out how the crew lived. Thanks to a million-pound refurbishment after a fire in 2007, you can now walk underneath the hull.

Why go?  To get a taste of life at sea without leaving the dock. 

HMS Belfast

32.  HMS Belfast

What is it? A grey warship, with its guns tilted high, moored close to Tower Bridge, that’ s a museum nowadays. Open daily, with scenes set to show you what life was like on board a working WWII warship, HMS Belfast is a lively visitor space. You can scoot around the lower levels, exploring the engine room, the kitchens and the dentist’s office, and the action stations up on deck.

Why go? To play life-sized battleships.

London Transport Museum

33.  London Transport Museum

What is it? A vast museum full of real relics of the bygone ages of London transport, where there’s always a bus or a train to hop on. Find out why tube stations were used as wartime shelters, see decades of beautiful poster artwork and discover how the latest technology will run our services in the future. The LTM always hosts a fabulous Friday Late themed around its newest exhibition.

Why go?  To discover a treasure trove of retro design. 

London Zoo

34.  London Zoo

  • Zoos and aquariums
  • Regent’s Park

What is it?  The Regent’s Park landmark has come a long way since the days when zoos were full of homesick wildlife. London Zoo does a lot of world-class animal welfare work, creating carefully designed settings in which beautiful creatures from gorillas to lizards, penguins to tigers now reside. There’s a dedicated area for small kids and daily shows for nature fans of all ages.

Why go?  To take a walk on the wild side.

Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

35.  Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

  • Hertfordshire

What is it? The Warner Bros Studio, a short trek north of London, where you can set foot inside the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest and Diagon Alley. See film sets, costumes, props and exhibits that take you behind the scenes of the Harry Potter films. Changing exhibitions are included in the ticket and you get the chance to discover the secrets of the movie’s special effects.

Why go? To finally get your mitts on a flagon of Butterbeer.

Royal Observatory

36.  Royal Observatory

What is it? For centuries, the location for the scientific study of the stars and of timekeeping – originally for the benefit of sea navigation. This is where you’ll see the Greenwich Meridian Line marked out, from which point the world’s time zones are measured. You can also see the incredible instruments with which astronomers made discoveries about our universe, long before the digital age, or go stargazing at a planetarium show.

Why go? To give Brian Cox a run for his money. 

The South Bank

37.  The South Bank

What is it? A buzzing open space and cultural nucleus of the capital, lined with some of the city’s most exciting galleries, theatres and attractions. Start at the Southbank Centre, for free art and live shows, lunch at one of the many restaurants, watch the skateboarders and then wander east past the artists’ enclave at Gabriel’s Wharf and on to Tate Modern and the Globe.

Why go? For riverside adventures and ace views. 

SEA LIFE London Aquarium

38.  SEA LIFE London Aquarium

What is it?  The home of sea creatures from all over the world, from Pacific nurse sharks to Antarctic penguins (with a glimpse of what’s swimming past you in the Thames, too). It can get busy, but go off-peak to get some one-one-one time with the crocs

Why go? To immerse yourself in the life aquatic.

British Library

39.  British Library

  • Libraries, archives and foundations
  • King’s Cross

What is it? A working resource for printed and sound archives that’s open to all. If you nip into the free entrance hall exhibitions you might get to see a scribbled page of Beatles songwriting or a Leonardo da Vinci notebook. There are some stunning illuminated scripts and landmark scientific items too, including very early photographs. Don’t expect silence to be enforced when a Late at the Library event kicks off.

Why go? For studious research or to geek out on paper-based artefacts.

The British Museum

40.  The British Museum

What is it? Since it opened in 1759 – the first-ever national museum for the public – the British Museum has been displaying global artefacts discovered by British explorers. Must-see gems include the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon sculptures.

Why go? The museum has more than eight million objects in its collection, 50,000 of which are on display. That’s a lot of bang for your buck, considering entrance to the main areas is free.

Hyde Park

41.  Hyde Park

What is it? A massive central London park that’s easy to take for granted. Wander into Hyde Park’s vast greenery and eventually, you get to the Serpentine lake, where you can take a dip, go boating, board a solar-powered ferry (in summer) or eat pizza by the water. You can also take guided tours of the gardens and a secret pet cemetery – visit the park's website to book the latter. 

Why go? Because life’s more fun if you stop for a stroll, a bike ride or a picnic.

Highgate Cemetery

42.  Highgate Cemetery

What is it?  A beautiful, crumbling north London cemetery full of overgrown paths that will lead you to several Grade II-listed catacombs and a number of famous remains, including poet Christina Rossetti, architect Sir Lawrence Weaver and philosopher Karl Marx. On a sunny day, it even feels a little less morbid.

Why go?  To try to find Karl Marx’s hidden-away grave.

Museum of London

43.  Museum of London

What is it?  A museum that traces the capital’s history from its beginnings to the present day – you can even see part of the city’s original Roman Wall from its windows. Sense the drama of the Great Fire of London, walk through a Victorian shopping arcade, see the stunning London 2012 Olympic cauldron and get an eyeful of part of the fatberg found lurking in a Whitechapel sewer. Yuck!

Why go? To find out what life was really like in Londinium – for free.

V&A Museum

44.  V&A Museum

  • Art and design

What is it? One of the greatest collections of decorative art, design, fashion and textiles in the world. The Fashion galleries run from 18th-century court dress right up to contemporary chiffon numbers; the Architecture gallery has videos, models, plans and descriptions of various styles; and the famous Photography collection holds more than 500,000 images. Admission is free.

Why go? To drool over amazing designs and gobble up cake in the sunny courtyard. Bliss.

Natural History Museum

45.  Natural History Museum

  • Natural history

What is it? The magnificent South Kensington home of around 80 million plant, animal, fossil, rock and mineral specimens. This fascinating museum, which is also a world-class research institution, is full of natural wonders and admission is free.

Why go? To marvel at a  25.2-metre-long  blue whale skeleton, a piece of Mars rock,  Mary Anning's  ichthyosaur fossil and lots more.  

Science Museum

46.  Science Museum

  • Science and technology

What is it? An incredible, free-to-enter, hands-on museum that features seven floors of entertaining and educational exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module, a virtual reality space-descent experience and a 16th-century artificial arm.

Why go? To experience the incredible Information Age gallery, from where the Queen sent her first tweet, signed Elizabeth R.

Regent’s Park

47.  Regent’s Park

What is it?  A verdant 410 acres of lush, open space, just a short stroll north of Oxford Circus. Featuring a pretty rose garden, the elegant Open Air Theatre (open throughout the summer – check the  website for exact dates) and tree-lined avenues for jogging, it’s a slice of horticultural heaven and a much-needed respite from the rest of the whirring city. 

Why go? To escape the Oxford Street crowds.

St James’s Park

48.  St James’s Park

What is it? London’s oldest Royal Park and, essentially, Buckingham Palace’s front garden. St James’s Park runs alongside The Mall and offers a handy escape from the traffic noise of Trafalgar Square. The two islands in its lake are home to wildlife and there’s the Princess Diana Memorial Walk to follow if you fancy some gentle exercise.

Why go? To watch the pelicans (which were introduced to the park more than 400 years ago) being fed at 2.30pm daily.

Trafalgar Square

49.  Trafalgar Square

What is it?  When it comes to London’s top attractions, Trafalgar Square can’t be overlooked. Bring your selfie stick because posing for pics is a must. Get the lions and fountains in shot (no paddling in the fountains, please) and check out the latest modern art installation adorning the Fourth Plinth, as London’s red buses circle on the busy roads around you.

Why go? To take the archetypal, cheesy, London tourist selfie.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

50.  Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

What is it? The green space around the Olympic Stadium that’s now open to the public . You don’t need to be a sports fan to enjoy the Olympic Park. If you fancy a break from the Westfield shopping centre crowds, you can wander around the waterways and immaculate parklands or take a dip at the Zaha Hadid-designed Aquatics Centre – and be sure to give the VeloPark a spin.

Why go? To bask in Olympic legacy. 

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The 21 top London attractions for 2023

By Connor Sturges

21 top London attractions a guide to the capital's bucket list sights

Searching for the top London attractions can often be overwhelming. In a city with so many  things to do each weekend , hot new restaurants  and  bars  opening left, right and centre, and even several places that  don’t feel like they’re in London  at all, it can be an arduous task creating a relevant itinerary. There are thousands of years of history to be uncovered across the city – hundreds of millions of years worth if you factor in the Natural History Museum’s collections. The Romans were among the first to truly urbanise this patch of  England ; you can still see some of their handiwork today. Otherwise, many of London’s landmarks are associated with the Royal Family – think The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, etc.

Looking for a culture-filled afternoon? The V&A and Science Museum are among some of  London’s best museums  and are close enough together to warrant a double-up. Hungry? Head to  London’s food markets , from Borough Market to Camden’s finest. There’s something for everyone in this beautiful city we call home.

What should you not miss when visiting London?

Experiencing a variety of top London attractions. A little bit of research can go a long way, and mean you get a taste of the capital’s food scene, nightlife, culture and history, all in accordance with your tastes and how you like to travel.

Where should I start sightseeing in London?

It’s best to start in the heart of London for sightseeing and travel further out from there, depending on the priorities of an itinerary. Longer stays are rewarded with adventures further out, to areas like Kew and Richmond. Extended trips, however, call for an exciting day trip from London .

What's worth visiting in London?

In a city with something for everyone, this truly depends on the experience you want in London. Travellers fascinated by history should prioritise London attractions like the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and The Palace of Westminster, while culture vultures have lots of museums to discover, from the Science Museum to the Natural History Museum.

What’s the most popular thing in London?

The most popular free thing to do in London is The British Museum, one of the London attractions frequently visited by both Londoners and tourists. Kew Gardens, The Tower of London and The London Eye are among the most popular paid-for attractions.

The top London attractions

Crowded street at Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill London UK

1. Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market

It may be best known for its starring role in the eponymous movie starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, but aside from the (real) bookshop, the neighbourhood of  Notting Hill  is a London attraction in its own right. Start by exploring Portobello Market, where rows of gems, vintage sunglasses, rare books and pre-loved wares take up much of the street. Notting Hill is home to some of the  best bakeries in London  (morning bakes from Buns From Home and cupcakes from Hummingbird Bakery) and super-cute pubs (look on pub blackboards for signs of  secret gardens  and terraces). On rainier days, head to the Museum of Brands for an insight into the history of advertising – it’s more fun than it sounds, trust us. Alternatively, visit the Electric Cinema for plush seats, Champagne and an extensive menu.

Top tip: The streets here come alive during the August bank holiday thanks to  Notting Hill Carnival – a colourful celebration of  Caribbean culture, food and music. Year-round, it’s also one of the best places in London for charity shopping.

Address:  Notting Hill, London

Facade of Dairy in Borough Market in London UK

2. Borough Market

Borough Market  is regarded by many as one of London’s best and oldest food markets, largely thanks to the diversity of produce and traders dotted around the site. There are more than 100 stalls selling everything from East Sussex cheeses to South Tyrol charcuterie and pots of the juiciest olives outside of the Mediterranean. While many eager-to-please dinner party hosts peruse the deli stalls for last-minute inspiration, Borough Market is also great for on-the-go grub. Expect boxes of Iraqi-inspired street food, bowls of Malaysian slow-cooked curries and some of the  best doughnuts  in town from the Bread Ahead crew.

Top Tip:  Borough Market is best experienced on the weekend. Visit early morning if weekday trips are a must. Midweek afternoons between 12 and 3 are the time to avoid – suited workers spilling out of the surrounding skyscrapers at lunchtime, snapping up on-the-go goods before shuffling back to their desks.

Address: Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL Website:   boroughmarket.org.uk

The British Museum The Great Court London England.

3. British Museum

If travellers know the neighbourhood of  Bloomsbury , it’s probably because they’re familiar with the fascinating artefacts on display at the British Museum. The museum was established in 1753 and opened to the public in 1759; the museum we know today resulted from centuries of extensions and renovations required to house all the displays. The British Museum is one London attraction you can never quite ‘complete’, as touring exhibitions and collections frequently pop up in the halls and galleries – expect to see ancient Egyptian sarcophagus alongside glittering jewels worn by Persian civilizations. Artefacts permanently on display include a collection of sculptures that once adorned the Acropolis in  Athens  and the rosetta stone – a decree in three ancient languages that was the key to deciphering hieroglyphics.

Top Tip: Explore the collection in your own time with fascinating and exclusive commentary and content when you download the free British Museum app.

Address:  The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG Website:   britishmuseum.org

Buckingham palace in the early morning light in London

4. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has long been recognised as a symbol of the British monarchy. It is the King’s official residence and a working royal palace year-round. Over the  summer , the gardens are a hub of activity as special guests are invited to picnic and mingle in aid of charity events close to the monarch’s heart. It is one of the London attractions on many a bucket list, but to experience all the royal residence has to offer, a trip to the capital needs to be carefully timed. Each summer, the doors open for ten weeks between  July  and  October  for guided tours of the grand halls and staterooms. This is a chance to go behind the scenes and peek inside the historic throne room, the white drawing room with its spectacular chandelier, and the ballroom where many important figures have been hosted over the centuries.

Top Tip: Haven’t got time to experience all Buckingham Palace offers in one day? Ask the booking team to convert your ticket into an annual pass and enjoy free readmission for a year free of charge.

Address: Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA Website:   rct.uk

Camden Market in North London.

5. Camden Market

Few London food markets cater to as wide a range of taste buds as Camden Market. Colourful Pakistani street food, fresh crepes stuffed with an assortment of fillings, classic American  burgers , Venezuelan arepas and even Yorkshire pudding burritos stuffed with roast dinner items – the market is a saviour for large groups and fussy families. Not only are the foodie possibilities endless, but there are lots to explore in this quirky corner of  North London . Explore the stalls selling curious wares, hop on a canal boat cruise through the legendary lock or eat on Primrose Hill and enjoy  views of the capital late into the summer evenings.

Top Tip:  Live music is a big thing in  Camden . The Dublin Castle, The Devonshire Arms and The Lock Tavern are some of the area's most popular  live music venues , attracting the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Adele early on in their careers.

Address:  Camden Market, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AA Website:   camdenmarket.com

View of Hampton Court Palace and topiary old yew trees London England UK

6. Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace was once a home away from home for  the royals  and aristocracy. Many of its famous residents (Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII) are rumoured to still roam the halls in spectral form, but today it’s a taste of country grandeur just a short  train journey  out of central London. Experience how the Tudors conducted their private lives in the decorative staterooms and partied under the hammer beam roof of the Great Hall. Once used for garden parties designed to impress and jousting tournaments, the grounds of the palace now encompass 60 acres of formal, manicured gardens and 750 acres of parkland.

Top Tip: Hampton Court Palace is a magical site during the winter months. Shorter visiting hours mean less time to explore the interiors, but twinkling fairy lights illuminate the ice rink outside, and glittering sculptures are often placed around the grounds.

Address: Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Court Way, Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU Website:   hrp.org.uk

Summer In Hyde Park

7. Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of eight Royal Parks dotted across London and is a hub of activity year-round. Bracing  winter walks  or laps on Santander bicycles are best rewarded with a visit to the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen or Lido Bar and Café – nurse a hot drink and tuck into an indulgent slice of  cake  while watching the world go by through the floor-to-ceiling windows. In the lead-up to  Christmas , Hyde Park becomes a playground for children and adults thanks to Winter Wonderland, the dazzling festive fair complete with ice bars, funfair rides, Bavarian beer tents and German-style  Christmas markets . In summer, several  festivals  take over the park, from foodie fairs to musical ones with superstar headliners like Adele and Elton John. Large groups use the green expanses to gather, unpack picnics and uncork bottles from local delis. Others take to the water on boats that can be hired by the hour and pedalled around The Serpentine Lake.

Top Tip: On Sundays, Speakers' Corner is taken over by public speakers sharing their views – often political ones. Hyde Park has been known as a meeting place for the opinionated for many centuries; Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell are among the historical figures who once spoke here.

Address: Hyde Park, London Website:   royalparks.org.uk

Kensington Palace gardens with spring Tulips

8. Kensington Palace

While the ruling Monarchs of recent history have used Buckingham Palace as their official royal residence, Kensington Palace is associated with the younger members of the institution. Kensington Palace was originally a Jacobean mansion built by Sir George Coppin in 1605, before William III and his wife Mary requested Sir Christopher Wren to redesign and expand the property in 1689 as they sought respite from the fog and floods along the banks of the River Thames. Today, Kensington Palace is best known for being the official residence of the  Prince and Princess of Wales , William and Catherine. Visit London exhibitions on topics like Georgian society and royal fashion through the ages and long springtime lunches in Kensington Palace Pavilion.

Top Tip:  Kensington Palace Pavilion is the only place in London where you can enjoy traditional  afternoon tea on the grounds of a royal palace. Coat freshly-baked scones in jam and cream and savour decorative sweet treats before a stroll around the manicured lawns of Kensington Gardens.

Address:  Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX Website:   hrp.org.uk

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The Waterlily House at Kew Gardens London

9. Kew Gardens

For a London attraction that feels a world away from the chaos of the city, look no further than Kew Gardens. Royal residences in this area of southwest London have influenced the layout. Still, the enclosed site, now visited by millions of visitors annually, dates to 1840, when the gardens were collectively deemed one national botanical garden of 75 acres by the Royal Horticultural Society. UNESCO put the gardens on its list of  World Heritage Sites  in 2003, and today there are 300 acres to explore. The complex has over 50,000 living plants, including rare and threatened species in Temperate House, the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse. Check the website for the latest seasonal exhibitions, installations and green-leaved arrivals. The long summer evenings see  pop-up cinema nights  and foodie events while thousands of twinkling lights and glowing sculptures in the lead-up to Christmas illuminate the paths.

Top Tip: With 300 acres to explore, visiting Kew Gardens is the perfect excuse to shun the crowded attractions elsewhere in London. Pair a visit with a trip to Richmond, one of the most village-like spots within easy reach of central London. There are quirky  brunch spots , fine dining restaurants and some of the cosiest pubs outside of  the Cotswolds .

Address: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond Website:   kew.org

The London Transport Museum England UK

10. London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum is one of the  best attractions for kids in London , documenting over 200 years of the city’s transport history. Discover how the capital’s cobbled streets were navigated by early Victorians, from the horse and carriage options available to the middle and upper classes to the boats used to transport workers across the River Thames – there were just two bridges crossing the waterway in the early 1800s. Highlights include the only surviving 1860s steam engine and permanent exhibitions explaining how  villages  were gradually incorporated into the 21st-century London we know due to the ever-expanding underground network.

Top Tip: Avoid midweek visits; the museum is a popular London attraction for school groups, which can often be found interacting with the attractions and tucking into packed lunches close by.

Address: London Transport Museum, The Piazza, London WC2E 7BB Website:   ltmuseum.co.uk

High Angle View Of Westminster Bridge By Big Ben Against Sky

11. The Houses of Parliament

The Palace of Westminster, or the Houses of Parliament as it’s better known, has been the meeting point for the UK’s highest-ranking decision-makers for centuries. However, the building on the banks of the River Thames today is by no means the original – the last palace was destroyed in 1834 by a disastrous fire. When the House of Commons and House of Lords aren’t bustling with political figures, guided tours are available led by experts on the storied property. Following the largest conservation project in Big Ben’s 160-year history – or the Elizabeth Tower to give it its official title – visitors will soon be welcomed back to the iconic clock tower.

Top Tip: Security is tight, demand is high, and capacity is limited – so ensure you book a guided tour well in advance. Visits can be booked several months prior by phone or online.

Address: Palace of Westminster, London SW1A 0AA Website:   parliament.uk

The National Portrait Gallery London UK

12. National Gallery

Another of  London’s best free attractions  is the National Gallery. The National Gallery was established in 1824, first as a collection at 100 Pall Mall, before moving to its current Trafalgar Square home in 1838. Entry is free, and millions of visitors pass through the grand halls each year to get a closer look at more than 2,000 regular collection exhibits. Some of the most iconic paintings in the gallery include  Sunflowers  by Vincent van Gogh,  The Water-Lily Pond  by Claude Monet, and  Venus and Mars , Sandro Botticelli’s 15th-century masterpiece. Regular touring exhibitions cost a small fee to access.

Top Tip:  The size of the National Gallery can be a little overwhelming. Get a feel for the collection’s highlights on guided tours when visiting between Tuesday and Thursday.

Address:  The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN Website:   nationalgallery.org.uk

Natural History Museum London

13. Natural History Museum

Few museums in the world have condensed hundreds of millions of years of history so successfully and superbly into a series of exhibitions and galleries than the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. There is a rare first edition of Charles Darwin’s  On the Origin of Species  – arguably the most essential book in the history of biology – plus a sample of moon rock collected on one of the USA Apollo missions that were gifted to the UK by President Nixon. However, the museum’s best exhibits are those documenting the history of the animal kingdom. There is the most scientifically significant fossil of one of the earliest known birds to navigate the planet, 65-million-year-old ammonites, and a barbary lion skull retrieved from the site of the early mediaeval Royal Zoo at the Tower of London.

Top Tip: Enjoy a night of fun, science, movies and music with a sleepover in the museum, or keep an eye out for morning yoga sessions. Peckish? Squeeze in lunch at one of the  best restaurants in South Kensington .

Address:  Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD Website:   nhm.ac.uk

Shakespeares Globe in South London

14. Shakespeare’s Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe has been a staple of London’s riverside for centuries – but not always in the location or form we know now. The modern theatre is an interpretation of the original Globe Theatre that burnt down in 1613 before being rebuilt and forced to close due to the First English Civil War. Today's Globe holds 1,300 spectators compared to the 3,000 theatre-goers the original catered for and was established by American actor and director Sam Wanamaker. Since it opened in 1997, the stage has welcomed stars in plays from William Shakespeare's catalogue, including Gemma Arterton and Jonathan Pryce. During the chillier months, Shakespeare’s Globe closes its doors, and the adjacent Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opens its doors for its seasonal run of sheltered performances.

Top Tip:   West End theatre shows  aren’t known for being particularly cheap. Thankfully, standing tickets at Shakespeare’s Globe cost just £5 during summer.

Address: Shakespeare's Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT Website:   shakespearesglobe.com

A view across the Thames of St Pauls Cathedral

15. St Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral captivates and shapes London as few religious buildings outside of Rome manage to. There has been a structure on the site since at least the fifth century, but the cathedral we see now is the work of celebrated architect Sir Christopher Wren. Wren had been advising on the necessary repairs to the old cathedral – a 585-foot-long wooden structure originally constructed in the 11th century – since 1661. However, the Great Fire of London in 1666 left this iteration gutted, and it was decided to rebuild in a more modern style. Admire the decorative ceilings, winding staircases and spectacular view of the cathedral’s length from the nave – this is one of the best places for  photo opportunities . The crypt is the final resting place of Nelson, Wellington and Sir Alexander Fleming, among others, but the brave are rewarded by journeying upwards; the golden gallery is reached by more than 500 steps from ground level and is a viewing platform circling the highest point of the outer dome – find some of the best, and scariest, views of London here.

Top Tip: Priced tickets allow access to all of the accessible galleries, viewing platforms and exhibitions, and there are regular guided tours for curious visitors keen to get under the skin of the cathedral. However, should a glimpse inside its glittering interiors suffice, free entry is granted to visitors attending the daily mass sessions. So get in line at least half an hour before Sunday mass for a unique experience in one of the world’s most famous buildings.

Address: St. Paul's Cathedral, St. Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD Website:   stpauls.co.uk

The facade of the Tate Britain

16. Tate Britain

There’s no doubt about it – it’s not always easy to have an  affordable day out in London . Thankfully, some of London's best galleries and  museums  are free to enter such as Tate Britain. Explore 500 years of British art across 20 rooms, from the intricate portraits of 16th-century notability to the snapshots of 1970s  Brixton  captured by celebrated photographer Neil Kenlock. In addition to the free-to-see collections, there are regular exhibitions. Luckily, entry to these doesn’t break the bank either. Previous displays have included celebrations of JMW Turner and his contemporaries and substantial loans of Van Gogh’s work uncovering his relationship with Britain.

Top Tip: Pair an art-filled trip to London with a stay at Artist Residence, a unique hotel where each of the 10 bedrooms is packed with bespoke art. There's also a neighbourhood hangout on the ground floor, serving coffee through to late-night cocktails.

Address: Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG Website:   tate.org.uk

A view of the London Eye

17. The London Eye

When the London Eye was constructed to celebrate the turn of the millennium, it became the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. While its height and scale have now been outdone many times, the London Eye remains an iconic part of the capital’s skyline. Thirty-two sealed pods hold a collective capacity of 1,600 passengers, and a full rotation takes 30 minutes, provided it does not stop rotating. As a result, it is one of the most visited paid-for attractions in the United Kingdom, welcoming upwards of three million visitors a year.

Top Tip: In London for a few days? A ride on the London Eye can be done as part of a multi-attraction ticket. Pair your sky-high adventure with a visit to Madame Tussauds or a cruise down the River Thames (among other things) and save some serious money.

Address:  London Eye, Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB Website:   londoneye.com

The Shard at sunset

18. The Shard

The Shard is the tallest building in western Europe and offers some of the best views of London. Ascend to floors 68, 69 and 72 for panoramic views for up to 40 miles as part of ‘The View from The Shard’; the official experience includes a Champagne reception and access to the open-air sky deck. Then, book a table in one of The Shard’s restaurants for a splash-out supper. Modern British cuisine and afternoon teas are served in Aqua Shard, upscale Asian fare in Hutong and classic grill dishes in a fine dining setting at Oblix. There are also bars and restaurants in the  Shangri-La Hotel ; rooms here offer the city's best views, plus access to the highest hotel infinity pool in London.

Top Tip:  Are you worried about the British weather getting in the way of fabulous views? ‘The View from The Shard’ tickets include a weather guarantee, granting access to another date if clouds dampen the experience.

Address:  The Shard, London Website:   the-shard.com

The Tower of London

19. The Tower of London

The Tower of London has kept watch over the capital since William the Conqueror ordered it be constructed in the 1070s. Kings, Queens and aristocrats used the fortress as a pleasure palace over the centuries, while others have spent their final days locked up in the draughty rooms – Anne Boleyn was held here before her execution beside the White Tower in May 1536. Explore the countless rooms, where  exhibitions  display iconic relics collected over many centuries, and save time for the crown jewels presided over by a garrison of armed soldiers.

Top Tip:  A family-friendly guided tour from the yeoman warders is an unforgettable experience. Hear the ‘beefeaters’ unravel 1,000 years of history in a matter of hours as they bring the stories and gruesome details of the attraction to life. Tours run every half hour – find the next meeting point ahead of time to get up close and fire questions at the experts.

Address: Tower of London, London EC3N 4AB Website:   hrp.org.uk

Tower Bridge

20. Tower Bridge

It’s often confused with London Bridge but, put frankly, Tower Bridge is distinguishable for being the (much) prettier of the two. The Grade-I-listed suspension bridge is a glittering example of late Victorian architecture, designed by Sir Horace Jones and masterfully engineered by John Wolfe Barry. Inside, brave the high-level walkways, peek through the glass floor at the pedestrians below, and learn how one of the world’s most famous bridges operates, letting larger boats pass under as traffic stops.

Top Tip: Maltby Street Market is a short walk away, one of the tastiest food markets. Grab  brunch  before exploring Tower Bridge for delicious takes on the classic British sausage sarnie and juices blitzed to order.

Address:  Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP Website:   towerbridge.org.uk

Victoria and Albert Museum

21. Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's largest applied arts, decorative arts and design museum. Its permanent collection dwarfs that of other London museums – more than two million objects are in the galleries and vaults. Entry is free, and 12.5 acres of combined exhibit space are split into 145 galleries. Permanent highlights span from the oldest dated carpet in the world, woven over 400 years ago for an Iranian shrine, and sculptures from Renaissance Italy, like Giovanni Bologna’s  Samson Slaying a Philistine .

Top Tip: After a visit to the museum, take a trip to Kynance Mews, one of the prettiest places in London . Bell Cottage is the home of Julie Andrews's character in Star!, while other movies that used this spot as a filming location include Twinky, The Big Sleep and Crooks Anonymous.

Address:  Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL Website:   vam.ac.uk

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Tours & Top Tens

27 Top Tourist Attractions in London

Last updated on November 3, 2023 by Touropia Editors and Jamie Gambetta - 7 Comments

Noisy, vibrant and multicultural, London is one of the largest cities in the world with a population of 8 million people. It is a leading global city of culture, fashion, finance, politics and trade and remains one of the most visited city. As one of the world’s top tourist destinations, it’s only appropriate that London is home to an abundance of things to do.

Getting around is easy; the famous London Underground, also known as the Tube, is one of the most extensive subway networks in the world. London is also home to a diverse culture that plays out in the city’s public squares, markets and performing arts. The many public parks are the perfect gathering space for locals and tourists and provide easy access to many of the iconic tourist attractions in London, such as Buckingham Palace.

In this post, we'll cover:

27. Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus

A square filled with bright lights and huge flashing advertisements, Piccadilly Circus, is instantly recognizable. London’s version of Times Square, the major intersection, has long been a prominent part of the city landscape.

A commercial hub in the 17th century, Piccadilly Circus is now at the heart of London’s arts and entertainment district. It’s home to many nightclubs and theaters, none more renowned than the famous Criterion Theatre.

For locals, the Statue of Eros is a popular meeting spot within the circus and provides easy access to boutique shops, museums and the Trocadero Houses.

26. National Portrait Gallery


When the doors first opened at London’s National Portrait Gallery, it became the first gallery of its kind anywhere in the world. The collection, which continues to grow, features portraits of prominent figures in British history.

Next to the National Gallery at St Martin’s Place, the gallery also includes caricatures and sculptures. Some of the most famous portraits found in London include the famous Chandos portrait, which features William Shakespeare.

In addition to the interior experience, there are three busts at the entrance to the National Portrait Gallery. They represent the founders of the gallery, which opened in 1856.

25. Wallace Collection

Wallace Collection

Speaking of impressive art, one of the best free things to do in London is to explore the Wallace Collection. Located in Manchester Square, the historic townhouse puts on display Sir Richard Wallace’s impressive collection of art. Upon his death, his wife donated the art to Britain, and the gallery opened in 1897.

The pieces date between the 15th and 19th century with a particular focus on French art during the 1700s. The gallery is split into 25 sections and also offers period furniture, amour, and prominent paintings from Old Masters.

24. Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road Market

A world-renowned market in the Notting Hill Region, the Portobello Road Market is open every day of the week. The market itself dates back to the 1500s and continues to be a major part of local life in London.

In the beginning, it was a humble market at the Portobello Farm. The open hayfields and orchards were replaced by a bustling neighborhood in the 19th century. Now, the market is a top spot for second-hand clothes and vintage wear.

As the largest market in the UK, there are over 1000 local vendors. Although it’s open seven days, the best experience is on Saturday, when every stall is open.

23. St. James’s Park

St. James's Park

As one of eight royal parks in London, St. James’s Park is one of the most picturesque green spaces in the city. Famously, the park has the iconic backdrops of Buckingham Palace, Whitehall and the Clarence House.

Beyond the renowned buildings, you’ll find a park that is well-manicured with colorful flower beds ready for ceremonial occasions. Rocking up with a blanket and a picnic basket is a popular thing to do at St. James’s Park.

Sit back and relax while enjoying the pelicans that roam the open space. Once a gift from Russia, the pelicans have lived at St James’s Park for almost four centuries.

22. Covent Garden

Covent Garden

After the Portobello Road Market, another popular market is found at Covent Garden. The large neighborhood is teeming with vibrant restaurants and boutique stores. While you’ll find street acts and live music along the busy streets of Seven Dials, Neal’s Yard and Central Square.

The Covent Garden Market is the perfect place to pick up a cherished souvenir to remember your travels through London. Other popular attractions within Covent Garden include the London Transport Museum, with the famous double-decker bus, along with the Royal Opera House.

21. Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park

Overlooking the River Thames, Greenwich Park offers some of the best views in London. The park features an envious collection of 17th century landscaping among pristine modern gardens.

The park has been around for over 500 years with roots that date back to the Roman era. There is a lot for visitors, young and old, to do in the park. From the gorgeous Rose Garden, which blooms spectacularly during the summer months, to the Greenwich Park Playground, where kids can blow off some steam. For lunch, head to the Pavilion Cafe, which was built in 1906.

20. Camden Market

Camden Market

With the diverse neighborhood of Camden, the Camden Market reflects the array of personalities within the district. The eclectic community market has an appropriate collection of vintage clothing stalls, along with local artwork and hand-crafted trinkets.

But it’s the cuisine at the Camden Market that should motivate you to visit. With street eats, international cuisine and one of the best vegan bakeries in London, the market is a culinary treat.

19. Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum

With a focus on international conflict from the First World War to the present day, the Imperial War Museum does an amazing job of capturing the life-changing experiences of those who had their lives torn apart by these tragic events.

As a world leading war museum, you can’t help but be touched by the stories on display. The museum was created amid WWI and will challenge how you see the world. With six floors packed with stories of everyday humans, you may ask yourself how you would react if you were living during that period.

18. Tate Britain

Tate Britain

What began as the Tate Gallery in the late 19th century has been split into two prominent galleries. Tate Britain and Tate Modern are now on either side of the River Thames, connected by the brilliant Millennium Bridge.

Tate Britain is the most popular, as it houses the original collection of significant British art. The collection is world renowned and offers an incredible experience for anyone, not just lovers of art. Once you have explored Tate Britain, simply walk across the river and do it all again at Tate Modern.

17. Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens

Hyde Park

As the largest urban park in London, Hyde Park is a top attraction for visitors and locals alike. Since opening in 1635, the park has been a common gathering place for picnics, events, or simply reading under the trees. Hyde Park comes with a man-made lake popular for boating or swimming in the summer.

Kensington Gardens were once a part of the sprawling park, but now feature a separate section of public arts, architecture and beautiful gardens. Highlights include the Serpentine Galleries, historic Kensington Palace and the Albert Memorial.

16. Borough Market

Borough Market

The historic Borough Market is the premier food market in London. After opening in the mid-18th century, the market has not lost traction with Londoners who still flock to the market for fresh produce and culinary excellence.

Where some markets celebrate the past, the Borough Market is all about living in the present. There’s no greater example of this than with the many creative eats on-site along with a focus on sustainability and international cuisine.

Long gone are the days of the market being a place of simple wholesale. The Borough Market also has lively festivals and events to keep things exciting.

15. Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Visitors could easily spend an entire afternoon exploring the vast National History Museum in London. The architectural marvel opened in 1754, with many original exhibits still on display. The world class attraction is a leading research center that houses a wonderful collection covering paleontology, botany and zoology and more.

All up the Natural History Museum is home to around 80 million artifacts from dinosaur skeletons to specimens collected by the one-and-only Charles Darwin. As it’s one of the most visited attractions in London, get an early start to beat the crowds while having more time to explore the impressive museum.

14. Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum

Also known simply as the V&A, the Victoria and Albert Museum is a part of the Exhibition Road museum district. Alongside the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, the V&A is well-worth a visit.

The museum has a total of 145 galleries waiting for you to explore. The daunting number will be hard to complete, but it’s worth a shot. On the inside, you’ll discover art and artifacts that cover 5000 years of history. It’s not just artwork either, with period costumes, jewelry, sculptures and prints on display.

Everything is categorized into different geological regions. With so much on offer, choose the area that you like best and explore thoroughly.

13. Warner Bros. Studio London

Warner Bros. Studio London

Touring the Warner Brothers Studios is one of the top things to do in London with kids. The experience will be memorable, especially for fans of Harry Potter who will be able to explore the Wizarding World.

Fans of the books and movies that took the world by storm will be able to explore authentic sets from the films. These include venturing down the iconic Diagon Alley, venturing through the Forbidden Forest, or sitting down in the Great Hall at Hogwarts!

However, nothing beats the chance to charge at the entrance of Platform 9 and 3/4. Here you can see the train where many scenes from the movies were filmed.

12. National Gallery

National Gallery

Alongside the National Portrait Gallery, London’s National Gallery is one of the top art museums on the planet. The art collection on display covers an incredible seven centuries from the 1200s to the 1900s.

But one of the museum’s best features is its impeccable collection of Dutch and Italian work from the 15th and 16th centuries. You can view works from such luminaries as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and van Gogh.

11. Churchill War Rooms

Churchill War Rooms

As one of the most interesting historical sites, the Churchill War Rooms offer an unforgettable experience. It’s an eerie experience stepping into the rooms from which Winston Churchill was able to direct Britain’s defense of its homeland during the Second World War.

It’s impressive to think that it all went down in such close quarters. Churchill presented several renowned speeches from the makeshift radio studio and also slept on-site. The museum does a significant job of bringing the early 1940s to life and is a stark reminder of how close the UK came to tragedy.

10. Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a large, mainly Gothic, church located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the most notable religious buildings in the United Kingdom and is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs.

Most of the present building dates from 1245 to 1272 when Henry III decided to rebuild an old abbey in the Gothic style. The building was later significantly expanded: the Chapel of Henry VII was added between 1503 and 1512, while the two West Front Towers date from 1745.

9. Houses of Parliament

Palace of Westminster

Appropriately following the Churchill War Rooms, the Houses of Parliament are another top tourist attraction in London. Located below the tolling Big Ben, a 318-foot (97 meter) tower, the parliament stretches along the River Thames.

The Houses of Parliament have been home to the British government for multiple centuries. Before that, it was Westminster Palace and home to William the Conqueror.

A great way to experience this attraction is to wander into Parliament Square, where you’ll find striking a statue of Winston Churchill alongside other prominent political figures like Nelson Mandela.

8. St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral

One of the most stunning pieces of architecture in London is St Paul’s Cathedral. The biggest and most renowned church in the city is found on the top of a historic Roman temple. The original church was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, but the rebuild is impressive, to say the least.

Featuring twin Baroque towers and a monumental dome, St Paul’s Cathedral belongs on the same level as other iconic churches from around the world. Although the view of the church is spectacular, the interior is just as memorable. Walk up the stairs to see the amazing interior detail plus the famous Whispering Gallery.

7. Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Close to Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square was born from Lord Horatio Nelson’s wartime victory of the Spanish and French at the beginning of the 19th century. The main attraction within the square is the 183-foot (56 meter) granite monument, Nelson’s Column.

The column overlooks the beautiful fountains and bronze reliefs which were, ironically, made from the abandoned French cannons. Trafalgar Square is in a central location, with the National Gallery and St Martin-in-the-Fields being within walking distance.

6. Tower of London

Tower of London

One building in London that has played many roles over the centuries is the impressive Tower of London. The World Heritage Site has been a prison, a private zoo and even a treasure vault over the years and now offers fascinating tours for visitors.

The iconic tower tells the tales of British history having been built back in the 11th century. As you explore the Tower of London, you will witness startling displays of royal armor, the Crown Jewels exhibition, plus the stories of ghastly executions that took place around the building. Complete the trip by seeing a famous ‘Beefeater’.

5. London Eye

London Eye

Situated on the banks of the River Thames, the London Eye is an enormous, 443 foot (135 meter) high observation wheel carrying 32 exterior glass-walled capsules. It offers fantastic views over central London.

The wheel does not usually stop to take on passengers as the rotation rate is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level. It is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually.

4. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

As one of the most iconic attractions in London, Buckingham Palace is known around the world. Built in the 1800s, the Palace has been home to the Royal Family since Queen Victoria took over the throne. If you’re at Buckingham Palace and the rooftop flag is flying, then you know the Queen is inside.

One of the best experiences to see in London is the Changing of the Guard. At any time of year, crowds flock to Buckingham Palace at 11:30 to see the procession take place. The event is an enthralling display of precision and discipline.

3. British Museum

British Museum

Containing over 13 million artifacts, the British Museum is home to one of the world’s best collections of antiquities. The artifacts hail from various eras of our ancient world, including Babylonia, Assyria, along with early Europe and China.

The expansive museum deserves a generous selection of time, but where should you begin? Some of the top permanent exhibits include the bust of Ramses the II, the Parthenon’s Elgin Marbles along with Egyptian mummies and the Rosetta Stone.

The British Museum also has a large bookshop covering ancient history plus souvenirs and replicas of your favorite artifacts.

2. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

In a city of landmarks, none may be more recognizable than London’s Tower Bridge. Next to the Tower of London, the bridge is a suspension bridge that took eight years to complete. Tower Bridge, which opened in 1994, features two striking towers that rise 213 feet (65m) above the River Thames.

Sign up for a tour to experience a fascinating behind-the-scenes excursion inside the tower, which culminates in epic skyline views from the observation deck.

Big Ben

The 150 year old Big Ben Clock Tower is one of the most famous tourist attractions in London. The name Big Ben actually refers not to the clock tower itself, but to the 13 ton bell housed within the tower and takes its name from the man who first ordered the bell, Sir Benjamin Hall.

The present-day Big Ben bell was constructed in 1858 after a first bell of 16 tons cracked irreparably two years prior. The clock has become a popular attraction and has appeared in many films. In the movie Mars Attacks! for example the Big Ben is destroyed by a UFO attack.

Map of Tourist Attractions in London

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Reader interactions.

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November 15, 2017 at 9:52 am

Best I have seen, I loved these places when I used to go to London. I still do!

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January 28, 2016 at 7:26 am

how many days will be required to visit all the above mentioned tourist attractions in London?

' src=

September 19, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Nice photos! We are a planning a trip to London this year. Great list. We’ll try to visit these places!

' src=

July 29, 2014 at 1:59 am

You have many interesting places in London. And also outside London I’ve seen awesome sites: Blenheim Palace and Windsor Castle. Nice country!

' src=

May 21, 2014 at 5:18 am

London is one of the best and most attractive tourist place for people. The main tourist attractions are tower bridge and London eye that many people feel great to visit. I love London.

' src=

February 8, 2014 at 3:44 am

We are a planning a trip to London this year. Great list. We’ll try to visit these places!

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October 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Great list!

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top 20 london tourist attractions

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Places to Visit in London

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Tourist Places in London

Here is the list of best places to visit in london:.

Visit the Tower of London, a UNESCO World Heritage site

The London Eye, one of the world's tallest overhung observation wheels, offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the city. This gorgeous and unique observational wheel, also known as the Coca-Cola London Eye has 32 high-tech glass capsules or pods inside which you can stand and whirl like a large Ferris wheel.

Top Experiences To Do in London Eye

London Eye Tickets

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens

The Kew Gardens, formerly known as the Royal Botanic gardens, is London's largest UNESCO World Heritage Site. The magnificent botanic gardens are a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It is home to the world's most diversified collection of living plants as well as an internationally renowned scientific research institute. The Kew Gardens also feature appealing cafes where tourists may relax and enjoy traditional British delicacies.

Top Experiences To Do in Kew Gardens

Kew Garden Tickets, London

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace was built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham and has been the official residence of the British royals since 1837. Today, however, it is considered one of the most prestigious tourist destinations in the United Kingdom. A tour of Buckingham Palace delivers nothing but grandeur and exhilaration, from leisurely observation to the Changing of the Guards.

Top Experiences To Do in Buckingham Palace

Stroll through the long park of Windsor castle

Tower Of London

Tower Of London

One of the most iconic historical sites in the world, the Tower of London is not just a backdrop but the lead actor in various significant events in British history. The tower has other attractions which draw non-military visitors to it. The tower’s history as a prison for various famous and unexpected prisoners attracts visitors. The tower is now a world heritage site and the most famous castle, attracting 2 million visitors annually. 

Top Experiences To Do in Tower Of London

Visit the historic castle that stands on the north bank of the River Thames

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Featured in several Hollywood movies, the beautiful London Bridge is known as the World’s largest antique and a worldwide famous attraction. Spread over 269 meters, the London Bridge is one of the many bridges in London straddling the River Thames between Borough High Street in SouthWark and King William Street in Lake Havasu City.

Top Experiences To Do in Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge Tickets, London

Warner Bros. Studio

Warner Bros. Studio

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first Harry Potter film, was shot at a studio in Leavesden in 2000. Following the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Warner Bros. stated that the location would be purchased as a permanent wizarding attraction. In 2010, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London –The Making of Harry Potter was officially unveiled. So far, all eight films' props, costumes, and sets have been stored and maintained.

Top Experiences To Do in Warner Bros. Studio

Warner Bros Studio Tour London

River Thames

River Thames

River Thames is also known as Tamesa or Tamesis in ancient times, and River Isis , is the main river of Southern England. The river is famous for its serene atmosphere and virgin beauty and is an integral part of London’s economy and tourism. This river is a great place for history buffs, bookworms and adventure junkies and exploring its surroundings will surely satisfy you and offer an exhilarating experience.

Top Experiences To Do in River Thames

Pass through famous landmarks of London such as Big Ben, Greenwich and Houses of Parliament

Alton Towers

Alton Towers

Alton Towers is the United Kingdom's largest theme park, encompassing 3.7 km2 in central Staffordshire. Alton Towers has a variety of rides and activities for the whole family's enjoyment. Theme Park goes from all over the UK and abroad to Alton Towers since it is the most well-known and popular one. Set in the picturesque Staffordshire countryside, the resort features a theme park, Alton Towers Hotel, Splash Landings Hotel, Waterpark, Spa, and the Extraordinary Golf and Conference Center. Alton Towers is a beautiful spot for a family day out because more than 75 rides are available for guests, including thrilling rides, spooky rides, rides for younger children, and a range of attractions.

Top Experiences To Do in Alton Towers

Alton Towers Resort Tickets

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds London is a well-known waxwork museum that houses statues of all your favourite celebrities. See the iconic wax statues of famous people right up close and share frames with your favourite celebrities, including Tom Cruise, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, One Direction, and many more than 300 others. Get the perfect photos with celebrities you've always wanted to meet.

Top Experiences To Do in Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds Tickets, London

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a huge and prominent Anglican Church at Westminster London that is also famous as the burial place of many notable personalities. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Royal Church boasts of a rich history that lures millions of tourists every year. The Abbey also houses many tombs, statues and memorials thus making it a must-visit attraction in London.

Top Experiences To Do in Westminster Abbey

Sea life centre.

Sea Life Centre

The exquisite underwater realm of SEA Life Centre London Aquarium is the home to 40 different species of marine creatures from across the world. It is one of the largest aquariums in Europe with 14 distinct themed zones that preserve the aquatic animals in their natural habitat. The aquarium hosts fun events and educational programs that teach around 40,000 schoolchildren every year about topics like aquatic breeding. It also works with conservation organisations to safeguard the wellness of marine biodiversity.

Top Experiences To Do in Sea Life Centre

Sea Life London Tickets

Big Ben or The Clock Tower is the most famous landmark of London which is popularly known for its striking clock and a gigantic bell. The formal name of Big Ben is Elizabeth Tower, formerly St. Stephen's Tower. The big tower represents all the four emblems of the nations of the United Kingdom by displaying a shamrock for Ireland, thistle for Scotland, leek for Wales and a rose for England. This iconic tower is named after Sir Benjamin Hall. Since 1987, Big Ben has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Royal Observatory Greenwich

Royal Observatory Greenwich

Royal Observatory Greenwich, a Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site , is the home to Greenwich Mean Time and Prime Meridian. It is situated in Greenwich Park in southeast London overlooking the river Thames offering splendid views of Queen’s House and National Maritime Museum. The observatory is a historic attraction owing to its contribution in the fields of astronomy and navigation. As a marker of time and distance, the observatory houses several ancient telescopes, amazing clocks, astronomical galleries and a planetarium.

Top Experiences To Do in Royal Observatory Greenwich

Royal Observatory Greenwich Tickets

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St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral London is home to an enormous array of art. You can discover a trail of artwork around the Cathedral and theological messaging behind them. The church owns a specific design of the cathedral’s dome, where sound carries incredibly well across the whispering gallery, which goes thirty meters up. You can see fantastic art masterpieces in this church, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Top Experiences To Do in St. Paul’s Cathedral

St Pauls Cathedral Tickets, London

Hyde Park, located in the centre of London, is one of the world's most magnificent royal parks. It hosts interesting world-class events and concerts, as well as offers plenty of tranquil spots to chill and rejuvenate. Explore the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain and go for a dive in the Serpentine, or simply take in the views from a lakeside café. Satisfy the adrenaline rush in you by playing tennis, or try horseback riding.

London Dungeon

London Dungeon

London Dungeon is located on the South Bank of London and is a popular tourist attraction for its unique concept of creation. It is made to take the visitors into past London's deathly and frightening events. These events are recreated in humorous styles by using a mixture of live actors, special effects and ride.

Top Experiences To Do in London Dungeon

London Dungeon Tickets

ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo

London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo that was intended to be used as a collection for scientific study and research. The zoo features a plethora of wildlife and aquatic creatures and boasts of housing a huge multitude of animals in the UK with over 756 distinct species. It is a haven for endangered species and provides an exclusive environment to learn from and about animals.

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Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square London is a gateway between the west of the city and the city center's main shopping district, famous for being the home of National Portrait gallery, the National Gallery, and the famous Nelson’s column. It is the heart of London and forms the largest pedestrian square, connected on three sides of the road. The place is also a popular spot for cultural events and fantastic street performers, which can be enjoyed any time of the day.

Guildhall Art Gallery

Guildhall Art Gallery

William Morris Gallery

William Morris Gallery

Osborne House

Osborne House

Osborne House is the favorite and preferred place of Queen Victoria, which is personally designed by Prince Albert in the Italian style with splendid gardens and grounds. You can enjoy gazing at the dining room which contains a fascinating exhibition about the Osborne House. You will be surprised to see the rooms that are in as good condition as they were when the Royal Family lived in them. Moreover, it serves as a spot for various characters and plays like Mrs. Brown, and Victoria and Abdul starring Dame Judy Dench’s recent books and films were set and filmed here.


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Clink Museum

Clink Museum

Clink museum is built on the grounds of an actual prison that existed for 600 years in the history of England. Located near the London Bridge, this prison was handled by the Bishop of Winchester who lived on the same street governing the Clink of Liberty. This museum educates people about the historical prison, its tortures, and the life of inmates.

ArcelorMittal Orbit Skyline

ArcelorMittal Orbit Skyline

Visit the UK’s long-lasting legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games, The ArcelorMittal Orbit Skyline stands at 114.5m tall over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with its red scaffolding swirls striking a magnificent impression from every angle of the city. Embark on an exhilarating 40-second journey through twists, turns, and drops of the world’s tallest slide which gives you a hair-raising experience. The world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide loops its way around the Orbit 12 times taking visitors through gentle curves.

Top Experiences To Do in ArcelorMittal Orbit Skyline

ArcelorMittal Orbit Tickets, London

Florence Nightingale Museum

Florence Nightingale Museum

Florence Nightingale Museum is dedicated to the life and work of the world’s most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale. She was the founder of modern nursing and a female icon of her lifetime. The museum, which is situated inside St. Thomas’s hospital contains archives, personal items, and books that narrate Florence's childhood and experiences. The three pavilions at the museum will take you through the journey of her life, from her childhood to her life as a passionate nurse and campaigner.

Kempton Park Racecourse

Kempton Park Racecourse

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Wembley Station

Wembley Station

Westminster Bridge

Westminster Bridge

The oldest structure in London, Westminster Bridge, is located in the heart of the bustling city of London. The bridge overlooks the tranquil waters of the River Thames, with the County Hall on one side and the London Eye on the other. The main attraction of its beauty is its seven graceful arches. One can take a lovely morning stroll when the city is quiet and the view is unhindered.

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

Kidzania London is an interactive city for children located in Westfield London. Made for kids aged 4-14, children can work, play and learn through different role-play activities at this miniature city. The zone is meant to empower and educate children about the world by imitating real-life situations. There are ample activities for the children like Aviation Academy, Spy Agency, dance club, and music academy which allow them to discover their talents and future professions.

Top Experiences To Do in Kidzania London

Kidzania London Tickets

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus

Founded in 1819, Piccadilly Circus is located in the heart of London. It is considered one of the liveliest areas in London and heaven for party freaks. Piccadilly Circus is often termed synonymous with entertainment and leisure. Piccadilly, located in London's West End, is one of the top tourist attractions in London.


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Battle Of Britain Memorial

Battle Of Britain Memorial

The Battle of Britain Memorial is a tourist attraction in London, dedicated to those who laid down their lives in the Battle of Britain during the Second World War. It is a panelled granite sculpture which sits on the Victoria Embankment, overlooking the Thames River.

The centrepiece is a life-sized sculpture depicting airmen scrambling for the aircraft during the battle. The battle scene extends for a total of 25 metres or 82 feet in length and with the outer border consisting of plaques with the names of 2,936 pilots and aircrew who took part in the battle.

The sculpture was sculpted by Paul Day and cast by Morris Singer, the same foundry that cast the lions and fountain of Trafalgar Square.

79 Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A 2NS, United Kingdom

Bunhill Fields

Bunhill Fields

Barbican Centre

Barbican Centre

Barbican Centre is regarded as the largest performing arts centre in the entire Europe. One can never miss this famous tourishttps://www.thrillophilia.com/attractions/st-katharine-dockst attraction during their visit to London where the famous Shakespearean plays were performed. From classical to contemporary, events such as film screenings, crafts exhibitions and orchestra performances take place at this centre. The Barbican Centre London has a library, three restaurants and a conservatory.

Dulwich Park

Dulwich Park

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LEGOLAND Windsor Resort

LEGOLAND Windsor Resort

If you're looking for a unique family vacation, LEGOLAND Windsor Resort offers themed staycations and a LEGO adventure! A staycation in this LEGO-themed hotel with stunning rooms, such as swashbuckling pirates or mystical wizards, can provide you and your children with lifelong memories. With an overnight stay, you also get one-day access to the LEGOLAND Theme Park and a fantastic opportunity to participate in over 55 adventures.

Top Experiences To Do in LEGOLAND Windsor Resort

Legoland Windsor Tickets

Royal Mews Buckingham Palace

Royal Mews Buckingham Palace

The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace is a beautiful collection of stables where the elegant carriages and vehicles of the royal family are kept. Here you can see the royal family's dazzling state vehicles, which are used for important events like royal weddings, coronations, and state Visits. Keep an eye out for the magnificent horses that draw the carriages and special coaches such as the Gold State Coach and Diamond Jubilee State Coach in the Royal Collection.

Diana Princess Of Wales Memorial Playground

Diana Princess Of Wales Memorial Playground

National Gallery

National Gallery

Explore the journey of European art at the National Gallery, masterpiece by masterpiece, including paintings by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and other well-known artists. Free guided tours, audio guides in many languages, and family activities for children of all ages are provided. The National Gallery has one of the world's most important collections of artworks. 


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The Victoria And Albert Museum

The Victoria And Albert Museum

Jack the Ripper Museum

Jack the Ripper Museum

Jack the Ripper Museum is a famous tourist attraction in London that tells about the unsolved murders of Jack the Ripper in the streets of Whitechapel in 1888. The museum houses East London settings, the recreation of the police station in the locality, original relics from the period, and wax models of the crime scene and victims. It is a six-storied Victorian-style building that exhibits the details of the victims, original newspaper reports about the murders, and the main suspects of the crime.

Top Experiences To Do in Jack the Ripper Museum

Jack The Ripper Museum Tickets

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Located in London’s West End, Covent Garden is an exciting, must-visit location for anyone who loves culture, history, bands, restaurants, theater, and shopping. It is also famous for its vast market, Somerset House, Royal Opera House, and London Transport Museum. Music festivals and street performances are unique and should not be missed. Neal’s Yard and Apple market are the best market places to visit in Covent Garden UK.

Notting Hill Gate

Notting Hill Gate

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Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is located in Hampton Ct Way, East Molesey KT8 9AU, London, United Kingdom. It is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond located upon the river Thames. This place is currently under the possession of Queen Elizabeth II and the Crown. The Hampton Court Palace is open to the public, and the Hampton Court Palace Festival is celebrated every year.

Golders Hill Park

Golders Hill Park

Museum Of Brands

Museum Of Brands

Established in the year 1984, this tourist place in London is home to over 12,000 items of everyday products. The collection consists of everything from packaging, posters, toys and games dating back to the Victorian era. The place is set up in the form of a time tunnel and travels back in a chronological manner, dating back to the 1800s.

It is complete with everything from cafes and a garden area serving tea, coffee, freshly made sandwiches, soups and biscuits. The museum was moved to its current location at Notting Hill in the year 2005.

111-117 Lancaster Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 1QT, United Kingdom

- Monday - Saturday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

- Sunday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Top Experiences To Do in Museum Of Brands

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Richmond Park

Richmond Park

  • Richmond Park is located in the southwest of London and surrounded by Richmond, Roehampton, Kingston upon Thames, and Twickenham from the north, east, south, and west directions respectively. 
  • The park is known to be the home to a varied range of flora and fauna populations.
  • In the past, Richmond Park was used as a hunting ground by Charles I in 1637. He enriched the place with around 2000 red and fallow deer for the same purpose.
  • If you are lucky enough, then there is the chance that you may get a glance of successors of these deers while wandering through the wildlife enriched Richmond Park. 


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The Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum

Imperial war museum London reflects the stories of people’s experiences from the first world war till the present day. Tourists can visit the first world war galleries to see what life was like abroad and at home during the first world war. You can experience times from a front-line trench to a life at home in munitions factories. The museum also shows the impact of the second world war and today’s conflict and warfare on the places and people.

Saatchi Gallery

Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in London and an independent charity founded by Charles Saatchi in 1985. It is one of the most well-known art galleries, built to showcase new artists and their art forms. The gallery is well-known not only for its artwork display but also for its cutting-edge educational institution, which provides students from all over the world with in-depth knowledge.

St Katharine Docks

St Katharine Docks

St. Katharine Docks is a beautiful combination of dock and district in Central London. It is located on the banks of the astounding River Thames. Apart from this, the beautiful Tower of London and Tower Bridge are close to this place. It features a pub, a yachting marina, large restaurant, and many more recreational locations and facilities to entertain its visitors.

Churchill War Rooms

Churchill War Rooms

Churchill War Rooms is a historic museum that is one of the five wings of the Imperial War Museum. It is a secret underground control centre that was used by President Winston Churchill during World War II. It became the headquarters of the British war cabinet where important decisions, planning the strategies of the war and plotting against the enemies were decided. The Churchill Museum here houses a wide range of momentous objects, artefacts and exhibits that depict the life and legacy of Churchill.

Tate Modern

Tate Modern

This art museum on Millbank is among the most popular places to visit in the United Kingdom as it houses works of art that date back to more than a hundred years. It comprises paintings and sculptures that have been created by some of the greatest Masters in the world.

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24 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in London

Written by Bryan Dearsley and Shandley McMurray Updated Mar 2, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Author Bryan Dearsley has visited London many times, most recently on an extensive tour of England in the spring of 2022. Author Shandley McMurray lived in London and always enjoys returning.

London is one of the world's most mesmerizing cities . Modern architectural marvels like the Shard line medieval laneways peppered with historic monuments, high-end shops, and award-winning theaters. Picturesque streets and avenues connect renowned attractions like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul's Cathedral, causing visitors to gape at their beauty and exhaust their phone's photo storage.

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in London, England

With so many impressive tourist attractions and captivating things to do, it's no wonder London is one of the most popular places to visit in the world , attracting over 20 million tourists each year. Britain's bustling capital offers something for everyone, including shopaholics, foodies, adventurists, historians, and kids, making it tough to choose what to do first.

Should you hit one of the top museums, many of which are free to enter, or enjoy a picnic in one of the city's expansive parks ? Maybe tour a royal palace, or wander around a breathtaking garden? Perhaps you'd prefer to take in a show; enjoy a horseback ride; see the city views from atop the London Eye; or enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in Harrods, the world's poshest department store?

Use our list of the best attractions and things to do in London to help decide what to see and do in this phenomenal city you'll want to visit again and again.

1. Visit Buckingham Palace and Watch the Changing of the Guard

2. see the crown jewels at the tower of london, 3. beat the crowds: take a morning stroll across tower bridge, 4. get cultured at the british museum, 5. big ben and the houses of parliament, 6. get creative at the national gallery, 7. tour the art displays at the victoria and albert museum, 8. wander around piccadilly circus and trafalgar square, 9. journey to the top of the shard, 10. get your art fix at tate britain and tate modern, 11. walk the hallowed halls of westminster abbey, 12. head underground to the churchill war rooms, 13. walk with dinosaurs at the natural history museum, 14. enjoy a picnic in hyde park, 15. climb the dome of st. paul's cathedral, 16. shop at london's best markets, 17. be entertained by buskers at covent garden, 18. take flight on the london eye, 19. meet henry viii at hampton court palace, 20. straddle the meridian line at greenwich, 21. the imperial war museum & hms belfast, 22. explore the london docklands & canary wharf, 23. visit picturesque richmond park, 24. ogle the flora and fauna at kew gardens, tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to london, map of tourist attractions & things to do in london.

Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard

One of Britain's most iconic buildings, Buckingham Palace is also the scene of London's most popular display of pomp and ceremony: the Changing of the Guard.

Drawing crowds at 11:30am most days regardless of the season, this colorful display of precision marching and music also takes place at St. James's Palace . One of the top free things to do in London , you can then follow the band along The Mall as they march between sites.

Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace was built in 1837 and has been the London residence of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria's accession. If you're wondering whether the King is in, look at the flagpole atop the building: if the royal standard is flying day and night, he's at home. On special state occasions, he and members of the Royal Family may even emerge on the central balcony.

When the King's away at the Royal Family's summer residence in Balmoral Castle, Scotland , visitors can purchase tickets for tours of the State Rooms, the Queen's Gallery, and the Royal Mews.

The Tower of London

From prison to palace, treasure vault to private zoo, the magnificent Tower of London has fulfilled many different roles over the centuries. One of Britain's most iconic structures, this spectacular World Heritage Site offers hours of fascination for visitors curious about the country's rich history, so much of which happened here.

Inside the massive White Tower, built in 1078 by William the Conqueror, is the 17th-century Line of Kings with its remarkable displays of royal armaments and armor. Other highlights include the famous Crown Jewels exhibition, the Beefeaters, the Royal Mint, and gruesome exhibits about the executions that took place on the grounds.

The Tower of London

The Bloody Tower is also worthy of a visit. Here you'll find stories of ancient torture, and you can learn about the mystery of two princes who disappeared many years ago.

For the best use of your time, especially during the busy summer season, purchase the Tower of London Entrance Ticket Including Crown Jewels and Beefeater Tour in advance, to bypass the ticket office lines. This pass guarantees the lowest price, helps avoid the crowds, and saves time and hassle.

Tower Bridge

Located adjacent the Tower of London, Tower Bridge features two huge towers rising 200 feet above the River Thames.

This is one of London's best-known and most photographed landmarks. While fascinating behind-the-scenes tours are available, you can easily walk across the bridge from the Tower of London.

For the best Tower views, as well as a glimpse of HMS Belfast and London Bridge (which many mistakenly believe Tower Bridge to be), find a spot mid-way across. While it can be crowded, especially around sunset, an early morning arrival before the throngs of tourists get there is well worth the effort.

Afterwards, head over to the renovated Butlers Wharf district on the bridge's south end for a unique twist on the classic "full English" breakfast at WatchHouse Tower Bridge. This now ritzy area is fun to wander and is home to a funky selection of restaurants, luxury housing, and shops.

Address: Tower Bridge Road, London

Official site: www.towerbridge.org.uk

The British Museum

Displaying one of the world's finest collections of antiquities, the British Museum contains more than 13 million artifacts from the ancient world. With priceless objects from Assyria, Babylonia, China, Europe, and elsewhere, it's hard to know where to begin in this expansive attraction.

Most tourists head first for the museum's most famous exhibits: the controversial Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, the Rosetta Stone , the colossal bust of Ramesses II, the Egyptian mummies, and the spectacular hoard of 4th-century Roman silver known as the Mildenhall Treasure .

In addition to a well-stocked, on-site bookshop boasting an exhaustive array of titles on ancient history, archaeology and art history, there's a shop selling kids' games and souvenirs, along with one that sells replica sculptures and jewelry.

For those able to linger longer, the museum offers a variety of lectures and workshops, plus a restaurant and café.

Address: Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London

Official site: www.britishmuseum.org

Houses of Parliament

Nothing screams "London" more emphatically than the 318-foot tower housing the giant clock and its resounding bell known as Big Ben. It's as iconic a landmark as Tower Bridge , and the tolling of Big Ben is known throughout the world as the time signal of the BBC.

Below it, stretching along the Thames, are the Houses of Parliament . The seat of Britain's government for many centuries, it was also once the site of the royal Westminster Palace occupied by William the Conqueror.

Big Ben and Parliament

The best view of the parliament buildings can be had by crossing Westminster Bridge and looking back. Or, turn left after crossing the bridge and walk along the path towards the SEA LIFE London Aquarium (a fun spot to take kids). Gather your crew along the wall for a perfect photo with Big Ben in the background.

Tours of the Houses of Parliament offer a unique chance to see real-time debates and lively political discussions. From Parliament Square, Whitehall is lined by so many government buildings that its name has become synonymous with the British government.

Official site: www.parliament.uk/bigben

National Gallery

It's almost impossible to visit London without catching a glimpse of the impressive National Gallery. This iconic, columned museum is set at the edge of Trafalgar Square , home to incredible masterpieces that make it one of the best attractions in London.

Ranking among the top art museums in the world, London's National Gallery represents an almost complete survey of European painting from 1260 until 1920. The museum's greatest strengths are in its collections of Dutch Masters and Italian Schools of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Among its highlights are a cartoon (preliminary sketch) of the Madonna and Child by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo's The Entombment , Botticelli's Venus and Mars , van Gogh's Sunflowers , and The Water-Lily Pond by Monet.

Address: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London

Official site: www.nationalgallery.org.uk

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum (aka the V&A) is part of a South Kensington-based group of museums that includes the Natural History Museum and Science Museum . Founded in 1852, the V&A covers close to 13 acres and contains 145 galleries spanning some 5,000 years of art and related artifacts.

Exhibits include ceramics and glass, textiles and costumes, silver and jewelry, ironwork, sculpture, prints, and photos, and are conveniently arranged into four main categories: Asia; Furniture, Textiles, and Fashion; Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics, and Glass; and Word and Image.

It's impossible to get around this vast museum in a single visit, so the best plan to tackle it is to decide in advance which sections you most want to see. Taking a V&A tour is highly recommended, and often free, with options including everything from daily introductory tours to specific gallery or themed tours.

The Main and Garden Cafés are more impressive than any museum eatery you've seen. The intricate detailing on everything from the floor to the columns to the ceiling make them worthy pieces of art themselves. Plus, the food is quite tasty. Also, don't miss an opportunity to luxuriate in the John Madejski Garden , which is so beautiful and serene, you'll forget you're in the center of one of the world's largest cities.

If you're around, check into one of the fun "Friday Late" programs held on the last Friday of the month (except for March and December). These fun events are popular for their food and drink experiences, along with late-night exhibition openings.

Address: Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London

Official site: www.vam.ac.uk

Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square

Two of London's best-known tourist spots, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square lie not far apart and mark the gateway to Soho , London's lively theater and entertainment district. The walk from one to the other is truly enjoyable, lined with eclectic boutiques, tasty cafés, ice-cream shops, and winding laneways evoking a bygone era when only horses and buggies traipsed through these historic streets.

Trafalgar Square was built to commemorate Lord Horatio Nelson's victory over the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson's Column , a 183-foot granite monument, overlooks the square's fountains and bronze reliefs, which were cast from French cannons. Admiralty Arch, St. Martin-in-the-Fields , and the National Gallery surround the square.

Trafalgar Square

Piccadilly Circus marks the irregular intersection of several busy streets, including Piccadilly, Regent, Haymarket, and Shaftesbury Avenue. Overlooking this somewhat untidy snarl of traffic stands London's best-known sculpture, the winged Eros delicately balanced on one foot, bow poised.

"It's like Piccadilly Circus" is a common expression among Londoners to describe a busy and confusing scene.

The Shard and the London skyline

Since it opened in 2012, The Shard has taken its place as one of the most-recognizable and most-visited landmarks in London.

Standing 1,016 feet tall and encompassing some 95 stories, this remarkable structure is so-named for its resemblance to a shard of glass. Yet, while it dominates the skyline south of the River Thames, its pleasing design doesn't seem at all out of place when seen next to neighbors such as Tower Bridge.

The Shard

In addition to its office space on the lower levels, The Shard is home to a stunning Shangri-La Hotel and three superb restaurants, all boasting some of the most incredible views over London. For those not staying here, the upper-most levels consist of a choice of viewing platforms: indoor and outdoor.

Another London skyscraper that's worth a visit is the "Walkie Talkie" with its popular Sky Garden attraction. Located around the corner from the Tower of London and set on the building's 34th to 37th floors, the garden's terraces offer some of the best views over the city. If you've got the time, reserve a table at one of the restaurants here in order to enjoy the views while you dine.

Address: 32 London Bridge Street, London

Official site: www.the-shard.com

Tate Modern

Art lovers cannot visit London without touring its most impressive art museums: the two Tates. Located on opposite sides of the Thames, Tate Britain and Tate Modern together comprise one of the world's most important art collections .

The original gallery opened in 1897 as the basis of a national collection of significant British art, and continued to make acquisitions, needing more space to properly display its collections. The end result was the establishment of Tate Britain, in Millbank on the north side of the Thames, as home to its permanent collection of historic British paintings.

A superbly transformed power station across the Thames became home to the modern art collections. Art lovers can spend a whole day viewing both sites, conveniently connected by high-speed ferry. Better still, walk across the Millennium Bridge , a footbridge that connects the two banks of the river close to the Tate Modern. The views are spectacular.

Tate Britain

  • Address: Millbank, London
  • www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-britain

Tate Modern

  • Address: Bankside, London
  • www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern

Westminster Abbey

Another location with a long association with British royalty, Westminster Abbey stands on a site that's been associated with Christianity since the early 7th century. Officially known as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster, Westminster Abbey was founded by Edward the Confessor in 1065 as his place of interment.

From his burial in 1066 until that of George II almost 700 years later, most sovereigns were not only crowned here but were buried here, too. More recently, it's become famous as the preferred location for Royal Weddings.

This masterpiece of Gothic architecture not only has the highest Gothic nave in England (102 feet), it's also one of London's most popular tourist attractions, drawing well over a million visitors each year.

Westminster Abbey

Highlights of a visit include seeing the more than 600 memorials in the Nave, including the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior; Poet's Corner in the Transepts , with its memorials to the likes of Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Dickens; the Westminster Abbey Museum; and the attractive gardens.

Address: 20 Dean's Yard, Westminster, London

Official site: www.westminster-abbey.org

Westminster Abbey - Floor plan map

Among the most fascinating and evocative of London's historic sites are the perfectly preserved Churchill War Rooms.

The nerve-center from which Prime Minister Winston Churchill directed British military campaigns and the defense of his homeland throughout World War II, their simplicity and cramped conditions underline the desperate position of England as the Nazi grip tightened across Europe.

You'll see the tiny cubicle where Churchill slept and the improvised radio studio where he broadcast his famous wartime speeches. Simple details, such as Clementine Churchill's knitting wool marking the front lines on a map of Europe, bring the era to life as no other museum could possibly do.

Audio guides are available (a thorough self-guided tour takes about 90 minutes), and a café and bookshop are located on the premises.

Address: Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London

Official site: www.iwm.org.uk/visits/churchill-war-rooms

Natural History Museum in London

Established in 1754, London's spectacular Natural History Museum remains one of the most-visited such attractions on the planet. It's easy to spot for its huge Romanesque façade, and a visit is something you'll not want to rush. Arrive early as it can get quite crowded.

Many of the museum's original exhibits are still on display centuries later, and together comprise a massive collection of more than 80 million items showcasing everything from botany to zoology, plus pretty much everything in between. A highlight of a visit is seeing the preserved specimens that Charles Darwin collected on his epic journeys.

If you're not in a hurry, start your visit by joining one of the formal guided tours on offer, ranging from 30 to 50 minutes. You'll be introduced to highlights you may wish to return to at a later date to explore in greater detail.

A variety of fun events are held regularly, from workshops for kids to late night openings. Shopping opportunities are located on-site, along with a number of dining options.

Address: Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London

Official site: www.nhm.ac.uk

Hyde Park

Covering 350 acres, Hyde Park is London's largest open space and has been a destination for sightseers since 1635. One of the park's highlights is the Serpentine, an 18th-century man-made lake popular for boating and swimming. Hyde Park is also where you'll find Speakers' Corner , a traditional forum for free speech—and heckling.

Another Hyde Park landmark is Apsley House , former home of the first Duke of Wellington and purchased after his famous victory at Waterloo. Now a museum, it houses Wellington's magnificent collections of paintings, including Velázquez's The Waterseller of Seville , along with gifts presented by grateful European kings and emperors. England's greatest hero is also commemorated at the Wellington Arch.

Another lovely London green space to explore is Regent's Park . Just a short walk away from Westminster, this 410-acre attraction is a delight to stroll around. If you're traveling with kids, be sure to visit London Zoo , located within the grounds of the park and one of the most popular things to do for families visiting the city.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions around Hyde Park

St. Paul's Cathedral

The largest and most famous of London's many churches, and undoubtedly one of the most spectacular cathedrals in the world, St. Paul's Cathedral sits atop the site of a Roman temple. The previous church structure was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, and Sir Christopher Wren designed the rebuild .

St. Paul's Cathedral

Today, the twin Baroque towers and magnificent 365-foot dome of St. Paul's are a masterpiece of English architecture. If you're up to it, be sure to walk the stairs with their spectacular views of the dome's interior, including the Whispering Gallery , undoubtedly one of the top things to do in London.

  • Read More: Exploring London's St. Paul's Cathedral: A Visitor's Guide

Camden Market

Whether you're a fan of food, flowers, art, or clothes, you'll find something to love in London's best markets . While most open only on weekends (Fridays included), some of the most eclectic venues, like the vibrant Camden Market in North London, welcome shoppers daily.

Camden Market is home to over 100 stalls, shops, and eateries offering everything from gluten-free goodies to hand-made jewels to bohemian clothing. If you're looking for a distinct urban feel, you'll find it here.

Borough Market is a must-visit for foodies in central London. This popular venue, which is situated near London Bridge, is so busy on weekends, you'll have to fight your way through crowds to nab the best produce or mouthwateringly good sample of giant paella.

Hats for sale at Camden Market

Arrive early (we'd suggest no later than 10am) to enjoy a little more elbow room. The line for coffee can extend for blocks, so head there first. While some stalls are open during the week, most don't unveil their goods until Friday morning.

Old Spitalfields Market is another beloved spot offering some of the city's most gorgeous flowers, interesting antiques, art, jewelry, and more. Built in 1876, this is one of the best examples of a Victorian Market Hall.

Other popular markets include, Maltby Street Market , Brick Lane Market , and Portobello Road.

Read More: Best Places to Shop in London

Covent Garden

The market halls of Covent Garden are only the beginning of the neighborhood, which encompasses the shops and restaurants of Long Acre and other adjacent streets, those of Neal's Yard and Seven Dials, as well as the Central Square with its incredibly talented, and unique, street performers.

The halls and arcades of Covent Garden Market are lined with specialty shops and kiosks selling everything from teas to fine handcrafts to tacky souvenirs. A few restaurants are sprinkled in as well, some offering patios for you to enjoy a tasty treat while people-watching.

Covent Garden

Housed in the former flower market, you'll find the London Transport Museum , a kid-centric haven for those who love all things vehicular. Filled with historic buses, trolleys, and trams, children and adults alike will love this interactive transportation hub. "Drive" a London bus, pilot a tube train, or sit on an ancient trolley.

This area is also where you'll find the Royal Opera House and a variety of other leading London theaters.

The London Eye

Built to mark London's millennium celebrations in 2000, the London Eye is one of the world's largest observation wheels. Its individual glass capsules offer the most spectacular views of the city as you embark on a circular tour rising 443 feet above the Thames. The journey lasts close to 30 minutes, often quicker than the time spent lining up for your turn.

If you can, reserve your time in advance. Better still, skip the line completely with a London Eye: Skip-the-Line Ticket . This advance ticket allows you to take a flight at any time on the day you plan to visit. If you can afford it, rent one of the private capsules and share the experience with friends and family.

The London Eye

Another fun way to view London for above is aboard the Emirates Air Line , a cable car system that crosses the Thames between Greenwich and the Royal Victoria Dock. The journey travels one kilometer and lasts 10 minutes, long enough to enjoy spectacular views and grab a few memorable selfies.

Official site: www.londoneye.com

Hampton Court Palace

Another great Thames-side attraction, Hampton Court is one of the world's most famous and grandest of royal palaces, and a truly remarkable place to visit in London. Its Great Hall dates from Henry VIII's time (two of his six wives supposedly haunt the palace), and it's where Elizabeth I learned of the defeat of the Spanish Armada .

Meet Henry VIII himself or have a chat with Anne Boleyn, both of whom wander the grounds and involve guests in their interesting antics at random points throughout the day. Depending on the time and date you visit, you may even be asked to participate in a session in court.

Grab an audio guide upon your arrival and choose a velvet cloak to wear as you tour the grounds, if you're hoping to feel a bit more authentic. Get lost in the palace's famous Maze , or grab a bite in the on-site café,

Other interesting features include the Clock Court with its fascinating astronomical clock dating from 1540, the State Apartments with their Haunted Gallery, the Chapel , the King's Apartments , and the Tudor tennis court. Don't miss the Tudor Kitchens and their massive fireplaces.

The gardens are also worth visiting, especially in mid-May when in full bloom. Highlights include the Privy Garden, the Pond Garden, the Elizabethan Knot Garden, the Broad Walk, and an area known as the Wilderness.

Although a little farther outside the city center, Hampton Court is a must-do sightseeing trip when visiting London. It's a bit of a haul on the tube, but taking a taxi, renting a car, or even grabbing a car service will make this trip more than worthwhile.

  • Read More: Visiting Hampton Court Palace: Top Attractions, Tips & Tours


For centuries the hub of Britain's naval power, Greenwich is best known to tourists as the home of the Cutty Sark , the last of the 19th-century tea clippers to sail between Britain and China. The ship is located adjacent to the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre with its exhibits showcasing more than 500 years of maritime history, and the Palladian mansion known as Queen's House .

The impressive collections of the National Maritime Museum , the largest of its kind in the world, illustrate the history of the Royal Navy. And one of the most unusual things to do in London is standing with one foot in each hemisphere, astride the Meridian Line in the Meridian Building in the Royal Observatory.

Read More: Top Attractions in Greenwich & Docklands Districts, London

Imperial War Museum

If you've time in your travel itinerary, two other military attractions related to the Churchill War rooms are also worth visiting: The Imperial War Museum and HMS Belfast .

Located a short distance from the popular Southbank cultural district, the Imperial War Museum London can easily occupy the best part of a day with its fascinating exhibits and collections of military vehicles, weapons, and aircraft.

Set in chronological order, displays portray the very real experiences of participants and victims in the world's major conflicts, with many hands-on exhibits allowing unique incites into their place in history. The Holocaust Galleries are particularly sobering.

A shop and café are located on-site, and before leaving, grab a selfie standing next to the huge shells and guns located out front.

The other must-see under the Imperial War Museum umbrella, HMS Belfast is a well-preserved WWII-era cruiser that served during D-Day. Located on the River Thames opposite the Tower of London, this historic vessel can be explored as part of a guided or self-guided tour.

For a truly memorable experience, consider booking a fun family tour. A gift shop is located on the premises.

St. Katherine Docks

The revitalized Docklands area of East London has been transformed into an international place of business and recreation, filled with some of London's smartest new restaurants and entertainment experiences.

The revitalized Docklands area also includes Canary Wharf. This important financial and business hub offers a variety of fun things to do, including shopping and dining.

The excellent Museum of London Docklands is the place to visit to learn more about the area. Located in a series of old Georgian warehouses on Canary Wharf, it brings to life the river, port, and its people from Roman times to the present through hands-on displays that are especially interesting for children.

A little closer to the Tower of London, St. Katherine Docks is fun to explore, too. Redeveloped as a mixed commercial and residential area, here you can spend time wandering the marina or enjoying a great meal or respite while watching the world go by.

Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park

It's hard to believe you're in London (well, technically just outside London) when on a visit to Richmond Park. One of the most captivating of the eight Royal Parks, this lavish natural wonderland has everything you'd look for in an English park: winding paths, verdant woodland, sparkling lakes, horse stables and trails, bike lanes, and multiple picnic spots.

Enjoy unparalleled views of St. Paul's Cathedral from King Henry's Mound , a picturesque hilltop surrounded by wild deer. Luxuriate in a warm tea and traditional scones at the Pembroke Lodge Tea Room , or rent a bike and cycle through this spectacular 2,500-acre nature reserve.

If visiting during spring, particularly late April or early May, make your way to the Isabella Plantation , a remarkable Victorian woodland garden set within the park. Its vibrant 40 acres are filled with colorful rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias so resplendent, you'll think you're walking through a fairy tale.

Official site: https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park

Kew Gardens on a beautiful summer day

Spending at day at Kew Gardens is one of the best things to do in London. A UNESCO Heritage Site , this phenomenal spot is home to over 50,000 living plants and some of the most majestically manicured gardens in England.

Officially called the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is situated in southwest London on the south bank of the Thames and offers visitors a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of central London, and a welcome breath of fresh air. Located on a flight path, you'll spot multiple jumbo jets, but these add to the allure for little ones.

Also family-friendly is the expansive indoor and outdoor playground, which comes complete with a zipline. Visit on a sunny day, and you should prepare to jostle for a picnic spot on the lush lawns, as this is a popular spot for families to enjoy a lunch out. Didn't pack snacks? Visit one of the on-site restaurants for a tasty treat-they even offer dairy and gluten-free options.

Laid out in 1759, the gardens became government property in 1841. In 1897, Queen Victoria added Queen's Cottage and the adjoining woodland. A variety of tours are available free with admission, and many musical and cultural events are held here throughout the year.

Don't miss the towering Pagoda ; Japanese gardens ; Treetop Walkway ; and the remarkable Palm House , an indoor rainforest with an aquarium in the basement. The impressive Rhododendron Dell is a breathtaking treat popping with vibrant blooms during spring.

  • Read More: Exploring the Top Attractions of London's Kew Gardens
  • In-depth tours. It's hard to choose the best sights to see in London; there are so many awesome spots on offer. This nine-hour, Best of London Sightseeing Tour makes sure you don't miss anything essential. In addition to taking you to some of the city's top spots like Westminster Cathedral and Buckingham Palace, guests receive pre-arranged tickets for a boat cruise, as well as comprehensive tours of the Tower of London and St. Paul's Cathedral, plus a stop to watch the Changing of the Guard. Upgrade to receive a cream tea at Harrods or a flight on the London Eye.
  • Seeing the Sights . One of the best ways to see the sights of London is on a traditional, double-decker Hop-On Hop-Off London Sightseeing Tour . This has been the classic sightseeing tour for years, and it's popular for good reason: it's easy, convenient, informative, and ensures you see the most important attractions. Tickets are flexible, with open dates, and are valid for a 24-hour period. Even if you are in London for several days, this is a great way to spend a day getting oriented, especially for first-time visitors to the city.
  • Day Trips . Beyond the city, there are some excellent sightseeing opportunities that can be easily undertaken on a day trip tour from London. The Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath Day Trip from London is an 11-hour guided trip that takes visitors to these must-see places to visit. It's a great way to see the surroundings without the hassle of driving, navigating, and parking.
  • Harry Potter Experience. Fans of Harry Potter will definitely want to take the Warner Brother's Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter for a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the movie and a walk through the incredible sets where the film was made. Visitors can explore the site on their own, see the costumes and props, wander through the Great Hall, and learn about the whole experience of filming. The tour includes transportation to and from the studios from central London and an entrance ticket.

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Other English City Destinations : Given its relatively small size, it's easy to travel from London to other great English cities, including lovely Liverpool , famous as the birthplace of The Beatles. The industrial city of Manchester is also within easy reach and is popular for its historic canal network and fine museums. Birmingham is another northern city worth visiting and celebrates both its rich industrial past along with modern museums, art galleries, and other cultural attractions.


Easy Escapes : From London, you're only a short train ride away from the idyllic countryside of the Lake District , a popular walking destination and known for the stunning scenery around Lake Windermere. The historic city of Bath , named after its well-preserved Roman baths, is another great escape, whether for a weekend or a week. So, too, is the cathedral city of Durham , which is also home to one of the most-visited castles in England.


Top UK Vacation Ideas : Scotland makes for an excellent UK vacation, and is where you'll find the spectacularly beautiful city of Edinburgh , recognizable the world over for its lovely castle. The tiny nation of Wales , too, is worth exploring, especially its capital city of Cardiff and the stunning scenery of Snowdonia in North Wales .

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20 top tourist attractions in London

Tourist attractions in London

London is a charismatic city that combines culture and heritage with a vibrant cosmopolitan energy. As one of the most visited cities in the world – and my personal favourite city – London offers an impressive collection of tourist attractions and landmarks. 

I’ve lived near London my whole life – so I may be biased, but I absolutely adore London. My guide to the top tourist attractions in London highlights the best destinations which I think are worth visiting.

From iconic landmarks and world-renowned museums to lesser known spots and hidden gems, I’ve tried to include something for everyone in this list.

This post was written in collaboration with Go City. I’d recommend choosing your own package of attractions with the Explorer Pass , as it’s a great way to benefit from amazing savings on London attractions, rather than booking individually. Plus, you get all tickets in one handy digital pass.

Author Bio: Jessie Moore

Jessie Moore is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

1. The View from The Shard

Opening times: Wed-Fri, Sun: 11:00-19:00, Sat: 10:00-22:00

Admission price: £32

Time needed: 1 hour

Nearest tube or station: London Bridge train & tube station

Tickets: Book here

View From The Shard

The Shard is one of the most iconic buildings in London , and a visit to the top is an unforgettable experience.

The View from The Shard is the highest observation deck in Western Europe and, on a clear day, you can see up to 40 miles away.

The 360-degree views take in some of London’s most famous landmarks, including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The journey to the top starts in The Shard’s lobby, where you’ll board a high-speed elevator that whisks you skyward at 22 miles per hour. I’m always surprised at how quickly you get to the top!

As you ascend, you’ll be treated to a fascinating audio guide that tells the story of The Shard’s construction.

Once you reach the observation deck, you’ll have ample opportunity to explore and take photos before descending back to ground level.

I’d suggest treating yourself to a glass of Champagne while watch you watch the world unfurl across the city.

A visit to The Shard is a must for any fan of architecture or anyone who simply wants to enjoy breathtaking views of one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

Insider travel tip: You must book a ticket in advance. I recommend booking your ticket for sunset for gorgeous golden views over the city.

2. Westminster Abbey

Opening times: Mon, Tues, Thu, Fri: 09:30-15:30, Wed: 09:30-18:00, Sat: 09:30-13:30

Admission price: £20

Time needed: 2.5 hours

Nearest tube or station: Westminster tube station

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous churches in the world, and it has been at the heart of British royal history for centuries. Trust me when I say that it is utterly breathtaking.

The building itself has an interesting history, having been constructed over a thousand years ago in the Romanesque style.

The Abbey has been the site of numerous important events in British history, including the coronation of kings and queens, and the burial of many notable figures.

Visitors can explore the beautiful Gothic architecture and learn about the Abbey’s long history.

The Abbey is also home to many famous artefacts, including the coronation chair and the Shrine of Edward the Confessor. 

Westminster Abbey is an important World Heritage site, and for that reason, I consider it to be one of the absolute must-see tourist attractions in London.

Insider travel tip: I’d advise planning to visit Westminster Abbey from 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon to avoid crowds and queues. No groups or tours are allowed in during these hours and not everyone knows about the extended opening times on a Wednesday.

3. St Paul’s Cathedral

Opening times: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat: 08:30-16:30, Wed: 10:00-16:30

Admission price: Adult: £18, Children: £7.70

Time needed: 2 hours

Nearest tube or station: St Paul’s tube station

St Pauls Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most iconic landmarks. The cathedral, which is the seat of the Anglican church in London, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1708.

I’m sure you’ll recognise St Paul’s from its impressive dome, which is the second largest in the world after St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The cathedral is also home to a number of works of art, including paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds and stained glass windows by Sir Christopher Wren.

Visitors to St Paul’s can explore the cathedral’s beautiful interior, climb to the top of the dome, or simply enjoy the views of London from the famous steps. I really think this is such a wonderful tourist attraction in London.

Insider travel tip: I’d suggest checking the calendar before you plan your visit, as opening hours can change depending on different events. 

4. Tower Bridge

Admission price: Adult: £11.40, Children: £5.70

Nearest tube or station: Tower Bridge tube station, London Bridge train & tube station

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is another of London’s most iconic landmarks. Situated in the heart of the city, it spans the River Thames and offers stunning views of both the river and the skyline.

Rather than simply seeing it from the outside, I’d recommend walking across the bridge’s high-level walkway, which opens up to reveal a glass floor above the river below.

It’s one of the few places in London where you can actually see the river flowing beneath your feet.

The bridge is also home to a number of historical exhibits, including a Victorian engine room that is open to the public. 

Insider travel tip: I’d advise arriving early if you can to avoid the crowds.

5. Royal Observatory Greenwich

Opening times: Daily: 10:00-17:00

Admission price: Adult: £16, Children: £8

Time needed: 1.5 hours

Nearest tube or station: Greenwich & Maze Hill stations

Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London and I can see why.

Home of Greenwich Meantime (GMT) and the Planetarium, the Observatory offers a unique opportunity to learn about time and space.

Established in 1675 by King Charles II, the Observatory has been used to set the standard for timekeeping ever since.

It’s also home to the Prime Meridian, which is the imaginary line that divides the Earth into East and West – so it’s a pretty important place!

The Observatory itself offers views of the cityscape and the opportunity to learn about the history of timekeeping.

While the Planetarium offers a chance to view the night sky and learn about the stars and planets – I’d really recommend doing this, as I found it to be a truly fascinating experience.

Insider travel tip: I’d advise combining your visit to the Royal Observatory with a visit to Cutty Sark, as you can get a Day Pass ticket for £25 that includes both.

6. Cutty Sark

Nearest tube or station: Cutty Sark DLR station & Greenwich station

Tickets: Book here 

Cutty Sark London tourist attraction

The Cutty Sark is a historic sailing ship and award-winning tourist attraction that is located in Greenwich. Built in 1869, it is one of the last surviving tea clippers. 

I’d recommend a visit to the Cutty Sark so you can explore the ship’s decks, view the historic rigging, and discover what life was like aboard the iconic ship.

The Cutty Sark was awarded the prestigious title of top tourist attraction in London a few years back – so you can trust me when I say that this attraction will deliver!

Note that you must have a timed entry ticket, so be sure to book in advance of your visit.

Insider travel tip: Rather than getting the DLR to the Cutty Sark, I’d recommend arriving via the Thames on an Uber Boat by Thames Clipper. You can pay with an Oyster card or contactless card, just like on the underground.

7. Kensington Palace

Opening times: Wed-Sun: 10:00-16:00

Nearest tube or station: High Street Kensington & Queensway tube stations

Tickets : Book here

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is the royal residence of TRH The Prince and Princess of Wales and their children.

It’s also a popular tourist attraction in London and I’d especially recommend it for those interested in British history and royal palaces.

You can explore the beautiful grounds, tour the state apartments, and see important historical artwork.

Kensington Palace is also known for its afternoon tea, which is served in the Orangery restaurant, and I definitely think it’s worth stopping by.

The restaurant has an outdoor terrace with views of the palace gardens, making it the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea on a sunny day. 

Insider travel tip: Although an appealing attraction to anyone with an interest in England’s royal history, there is not much to keep smaller children entertained at Kensington Palace.

Exploring London on your own? Check out my guide to the best London hotels for solo travellers .

8. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Opening times: Daily tours available

Admission price: Adult: £17, Under 16: £10

Time needed: 50 minutes

Nearest tube or station: Blackfriars train station

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London

In my opinion, a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a must-do for any fan of the Bard. Located on the banks of the River Thames, the iconic Globe is a replica of the open-air theatre where Shakespeare’s plays were first performed.

You can explore the theatre, learn about its history and see how it was used in Elizabethan times. The education centre features interactive exhibits on Shakespeare’s life and work.

The Globe is more than just a London tourist attraction – it’s a cultural landmark that offers a unique insight into the life and work of one of the world’s greatest writers.

Of course, if a tour isn’t enough, I’d suggest checking what’s on and booking to see a performance. 

Insider travel tip: If you’re watching a performance at the Globe, it’s worth renting a cushion for £1 if you’re sitting on the wooden benches. Trust me, your bottom will thank you!

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9. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Opening times: Daily 10:00-15:00/16:00/17:00 (depending on season)

Admission price: Adult: £11-£20.50, Child: £4-5 (depending on season)

Time needed: 3 hours

Nearest tube or station: Kew Gardens tube station

Kew Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous institute for the study of plant life and a major tourist attraction in southwest London. I love Kew, as I think it’s a real sanctuary of peace within the city.

This London landmark features 500 acres of woodland and contains more than 50,000 different types of plants. As well as several glasshouses, a herbarium, and a museum.

You can stroll through the beautiful grounds, which contain rare and exotic plants from all over the world, or take a guided tour of the glasshouses.

Don’t miss the lily pads behind the greenhouse and be sure to stroll along the Treetop Walkway – my personal favourite spot when the weather is good!

Kew Gardens is also home to the seed conservation project. Seeds are collected and stored from all over the world in an effort to conserve rare and endangered species.

The gardens offer a number of educational programs, for those interested in learning more.

Insider travel tip: I’d advise arriving shortly after opening (10am) to get the most out of your day at Kew Gardens. 

10. Hampton Court Palace

Admission price: Adult: £26.10, Child: £13

Time needed: 4 hours

Nearest tube or station: Hampton Court train station

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is a historic palace in London that was first built in 1514 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.

However, Wolsey fell out of favour with King Henry VIII, and the palace was taken over by the king.

It remained a royal residence for centuries, and today I’m pleased to say that it is open to the public. You can explore the palace grounds, which include a stunning maze, as well as the beautiful state apartments. 

I love that Hampton Court Palace is full of fascinating history and beautiful architecture. I think it’s a must-see London tourist attraction for anyone with an interest in British royal history.

Insider travel tip: The gardens and landscaped areas of the palace grounds cover an astonishing 750 acres.

So I’d advise wearing comfortable shoes, as you’ll need to do a fair bit of walking to thoroughly explore everything on offer.

11. London Stadium Tours

Times & prices: See individual stadiums

Tickets: Stamford Bridge , Emirates , Wembley , Tottenham Hotspur , Twickenham

Wembley Stadium

London is home to some of the most iconic stadiums in the world. Visitors can now get an up-close look at these architectural marvels through London stadium tours.

Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Wembley Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Twickenham are just a few of the incredible venues that are open to the public.

With London stadium tours, visitors can explore the facilities, learn about the history of each stadium and even stand on the pitch itself.

Whether you’re a diehard sports fan or simply an admirer of architecture, London stadium tours offer a unique opportunity to explore some of the world’s most famous sports venues.

Insider travel tip: For those looking for an even more thrilling experience, The Dare Skywalk at Tottenham Hotspur offers stunning views of London from high above the pitch. I’m not a big sports fan, but this does sound right up my street!

12. Royal Albert Hall

Opening times: Daily: 10:00-16:00 (varies according to what’s on)

Admission price: Adult: £16.25, Child: £8,25

Nearest tube or station: South Kensington tube station

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is one of the most iconic buildings in London. I’ve had some of my most memorable evenings watching various performances here.

The grandiose concert hall has been the site of some of the world’s most famous performances, from classical music concerts to rock shows.

Built in the late 19th century, the hall is named after Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.

The Royal Albert Hall is home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and plays host to many other musical events throughout the year.

Aside from seeing a performance, you can take a tour of the hall to learn about its history and see its beautiful architecture up close.

You’ll start in the grand foyer, where you will see the stunning marble staircases and get a sense of the scale of the building.

From there, you will head into the auditorium. Here you will see the famous circular seating arrangement and learn about the acoustics of the hall.

Insider travel tip: Around 20 times a year, the Royal Albert Hall runs a Behind-the-Scenes tour. It takes visitors to areas usually off limits to the public, such as under the stage and into the dressing rooms.

I think this a truly unmissable experience but there is limited availability so be sure to book in advance. 

13. Household Cavalry Museum

Opening times: Wed-Sun: 10:00-17:00 Nov-Mar & 10:00-18:00 Apr-Oct

Admission price: Adult: £10, Child: £8

Nearest tube or station: Westminster, Charing Cross & Embankment stations

House Cavalry Museum

The Household Cavalry Museum is located in the heart of London, next to Horse Guards Parade. The museum tells the story of the Household Cavalry, from their formation in 1660 to the present day.

You can discover what life was like for a soldier in the cavalry, learn about the role of horses in warfare, and see a range of artefacts, including armour, weapons, and uniforms.

There is also an interactive exhibit where visitors can try on an actual Queen’s Life Guard uniform. While I know that kids will love the arts and crafts area.

I think the Household Cavalry Museum is a must-see London tourist attraction for anyone interested in military history.

Insider travel tip: Be sure to catch the public inspection of the Household Cavalry – it takes place every day at 4pm.

14. ArcelorMittal Orbit

Opening times: Mon-Thurs: 12:00-17:00, Fri-Sun: 10:00-18:00 (varies throughout year)

Admission price: Adult: £11.50 (£16.50 with slide), Child: £5.50 (10.50 with slide)

Nearest tube or station: Stratford tube station

Arcelormittal Orbit tourist attraction in London

ArcelorMittal Orbit is a 115-metre-high sculpture and observation tower in the Olympic Park in Stratford. It was designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond for the 2012 Olympics.

The Orbit has a breathtaking viewing platform at 80 metres high. Don’t worry though, I’m pleased to say that there is a 34 second lift which whisks you to the top of the UK’s tallest structure.

When it comes to getting down, you can descend via the lift, the 455 steps or in the 45-metre slide. The latter is undoubtedly the highlight of a visit to ArcelorMittal Orbit and I know what I would do!

Insider travel tip: If you’re claustrophobic then this London tourist attraction may not be for you.

You’ll need to contend with the lift up, plus the slide is enclosed and therefore not suitable for anyone who is claustrophobic. 

Discover my guide to the best quirky things to do in London .

15. Museum of London

Admission price: Free

Nearest tube or station: Barbican & St Paul’s tube stations

The Museum of London is a must-see tourist attraction for anyone interested in the history of the city.

Spanning over two million years, the museum tells the story of London from its humble beginnings as a small Roman settlement to its current status as a global metropolis.

The exhibits are both informative and interactive, making it a great place to spend a few hours, whether you’re a history buff or not.

And if you get tired of walking around, I’d suggest pausing in the cafe where you can grab a bite to eat and relax.

Insider travel tip: Make sure that your phone is charged before visiting, as you can access online content via the QR codes as you explore the museum.

16. The Monument to the Great Fire of London

Opening times: Daily: 09:30-13:00 & 14:00-18:00

Admission price: Adult: £5.80, Child: £2.90

Time needed: 45 minutes

Nearest tube or station: Monument tube station

Monument to the Great Fire of London

The Monument to the Great Fire of London is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. The towering stone column stands over 202 feet tall.

It’s topped with a gilded urn that serves as a memorial to the devastating fire that consumed much of London in 1666. The Monument stands at the exact site where the fire started.

The Monument is open to the public, and I’d recommend ascending to the top for breathtaking views of the city.

The climb is not for the faint-hearted though, as there are more than three hundred steps to navigate. Quite the calorie burner if you ask me!

Those who make the journey are rewarded with a unique perspective on London’s history and architecture.

The Monument is a must-see for any visitor to the city, and provides a stirring reminder of the power of resilience in the face of adversity.

Insider travel tip: There is a mesh cage surrounding the viewing area at the top, so you may struggle to capture photos if you’re using a camera with a large lens. 

17. Old Royal Naval College

Admission price: Adult: £13.50, Child: Free

Nearest tube or station: Maze Hill train station

Old Royal Naval College

In my opinion, the Old Royal Naval College is a spectacular sight. Situated on the banks of the River Thames, the buildings were designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in the late seventeenth century.

Today, the college is home to a number of museums and art galleries, as well as an iconic Painted Hall (known as ‘Britain’s Sistine Chapel’) and a beautiful riverside garden.

Here you can explore the history of the site, marvel at the architecture, and enjoy views of London from across the river.

Whether you’re interested in maritime history or simply looking for a place to relax, I really think that the Old Royal Naval College is well worth a visit.

Insider travel tip: The Old Royal Naval College is one of the most popular filming locations in the world. From Thursday to Sunday, there are special film tours of the College – perfect for film buffs (like me!).

18. Tower of London

Opening times: Tues-Sat 09:00-16:30, Sun-Mon: 10:00-16:30 (varies throughout year)

Admission price: Adult: £29.90, Child: £14.90

Nearest tube or station: Tower Hill tube station

Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of the most historic sites in the world. For centuries, it has been a symbol of the British monarchy and a part of the country’s rich history.

Today, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, drawing visitors from all over the world – and I can see why.

The Tower of London was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1066 as a fortification against invasion.

It later served as a royal palace, a prison, and even an execution site. Its most famous prisoner was Anne Boleyn, who was infamously beheaded in 1536.

A visit to the Tower of London is a truly unforgettable experience. From the moment you step inside, you feel like you are stepping back in time.

The imposing stone walls and high towers loom overhead, creating an atmosphere of awe and mystery. As you explore the different rooms and exhibits, I know you won’t be able to help but marvel at the Tower’s rich history.

The Tower also houses the Crown Jewels, which are among the most valuable objects in the world.

Insider travel tip: Queues to see the Crown Jewels can get extremely long, especially at peak times. So when you visit the Tower of London, I’d advise aiming to see the Crown Jewels first, before anything else.

Note that photography isn’t allowed in this exhibit.

19. Apsley House

Opening times: Thurs-Sun: 11:00-17:00

Admission price: Adult: £11.60, Child: £6.90

Nearest tube or station: Hyde Park Corner tube station

Apsley House in London

Apsley House was built in 1771 for the Earl of Apsley, and it was designed by the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt.

It has been home to a number of notable residents over the years, including the Duke of Wellington.

This stately mansion is considered to be one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in England.

I think the interior of the house is just as impressive as the exterior, with a grand staircase, high ceilings, and several ornate fireplaces.

Visitors to Apsley House can tour the public rooms and learn about the history of the house and its owner, the Duke of Wellington.

A visit to Apsley House is a wonderful opportunity to step back in time and experience nineteenth-century luxury.

Insider travel tip: If you enjoy visiting this type of tourist attraction in London, I’d recommend visiting Sir John Soane’s Museum and the Wallace Collection too.

20. Eltham Palace

Opening times: Check online , dates and times vary

Admission price: Adult: £16.00, Child: £9.60

Nearest tube or station: Mottingham train station

Eltham Palace in London

Eltham Palace is a remarkable stately home in London. The building has a long and interesting history, dating back to the 12th century when it was first built as a royal palace.

Over the centuries, it has been remodelled and expanded several times, most notably during the reign of King Henry VIII.

Today, Eltham Palace is open to the public. I’d recommend exploring the beautiful gardens, state rooms and Great Hall. There is also a wide range of amenities, including a café, restaurant, and gift shop.

Whether you’re interested in architecture, art, or British royalty, Eltham Palace, I’m sure you’ll love this hidden gem.

Top tip: In late summer, Eltham Palace plays host to their annual Legendary Joust event. It’s a jousting tournament that transports visitors back to the 15th century, and I think it’s a fascinating event!

So if you’re visiting London in late summer time, I’d suggest checking when this unique event is on.

Planning a trip to England’s capital city? Discover my pick of the best luxury hotels in London , the best spa hotels in London and my guide to the top Michelin star restaurants in London .

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82 Best Tourist Attractions in London

best tourist attractions in London

London boasts grand palaces, ancient buildings, world-class museums and excellent choices of restaurants and shops — attracting millions of tourists every year !

Famous for Buckingham Palace, home of Queen Elizabeth II, London has been the main residence of kings and queens of England for about 1,000 years.

While preserving its classical architecture and traditions, this cosmopolitan city maintains a harmony between the old and the new . You can find stately old buildings standing close to sleek skyscrapers. See the 900-year-old Tower of London just a stone throw away the 87-storey modern building, The Shard.

After exploring royal palaces and gardens, head to Leicester Square to watch Broadway shows, catch a movie premier or enjoy shopping. Harry Potter’s famous Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross station continues to attract fans from around the world.

These are just a few of the best tourist attractions in London and there are many more to explore in this modern yet historic city.

1 – The British Museum

The British Museum, London

With one of the most varied and impressive collections of antiquities in the world, The British Museum is without a doubt one of the best tourist attractions in London .

From its extensive collection of classical Greek pottery to its outstanding Assyrian and Ancient Egyptian artifacts, this is a museum experience like no other.

One of its most important pieces, The Rosetta Stone, was essential in helping historians understand the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphics and is a truly invaluable historic artifact.

The museum has important artifacts from cultures all around the globe so whatever your specific interest, you’re sure to find it here.

Admission to the museum is free. Don’t miss this one!

  • British Museum tours

2 – Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, London

The official home of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace is at the top of most people’s must-see places in the British capital .

The palace has been at the center of Royal Life in London since 1837 and is often the venue for national celebrations and commiserations alike.

The palaces staterooms are open throughout the Summer months and visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the fascinating history of the building and its royal residents.

Another popular reason to visit Buckingham Palace is to witness the changing of the guard . This occurs a couple of times a week between 10.30 and 11.00 in the morning and is totally free to attend.

  • Buckingham Palace tickets & tours

See also: Buckingham Palace Last Minute Tickets – It’s not Sold out!

3 – London Eye

London Eye

For some of the best views over the city, there’s only one place you need to go, The London Eye.

This huge observation wheel towers over 130 meters above the city and has views over Waterloo and the entire north bank of the River Thames . On a very clear day, it is said to be possible to see Windsor Castle which is almost 30 miles away.

Experiencing the majestic view at night, with the city’s dazzling lights spread out beneath you, is undeniably one of the most captivating night-time activities in London .

Many of the city’s best-loved landmarks are visible from “The Eye”, including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament.

It takes around 30 minutes to take the 360-degree trip around the wheel and is the ideal place to grab those stunning travel photos of the city.  There’s no wonder this is one of the most popular attractions for first-time visitors to London.

  • London Eye tickets

See also: Cheap London Eye Tickets – How to Save up to 30%

4 – Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Harry Potter Studio Tour London

Visiting London with teens ? If you’re looking for the ultimate Harry Potter experience , a tour of Warner Bros. Studios is sure to fit the bill.

Including a number of the best-loved sets from the film series, this magical tour of the Warner Bros film studios will be a highlight of all aspiring witches and wizards in the city.

Step into iconic places such as Hogwart’s Great Hall, the Forbidden Forest, Hogwart’s Express and Diagon Alley. See artifacts and costumes from the movies, including Quidditch uniforms, ball gowns, potion jars, memory vials and much more.

This is the ultimate behind-the-scenes Harry Potter experience!

  • Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour London

See also: Harry Potter Studio London Tickets Last Minute – It’s not sold out!

5 – Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge, London

Tower Bridge is the grandest and most distinctive of the Thames River crossings , for this reason, it is often mistakenly called London Bridge.

Many visitors to the city presume the attractive and historic Tower Bridge, which appears often in movies and television shows, is the famous London Bridge from the nursery rhyme. London Bridge is in fact the next bridge along the river.

Nevertheless, Tower Bridge is a must-see landmark in the city and is very easy to find. It is close to major attractions including the Tower of London, St Katharine Docks and The Shard.

  • Tower Bridge tickets

6 – Big Ben

Big Ben, London

Quite possibly the most iconic clock tower in the world , Big Ben has graced the north end of the Palace of Westminster since 1859. Its real name is actually the Elizabeth Tower which is a fact even many Londoners do not know.

Big Ben was originally the name given to the clock’s largest bell but over time it became used to refer to the whole tower. There are a number of stories but no one can agree where the nickname originated or why. Its largest bell, the one that chimes the hour, weighs over 13.5 tons.

The clock is known for its incredible accuracy and works by an ingenious Victorian-era mechanism that counteracts wind and atmospheric pressure on the clock hands. Each new years eve, the sound of Big Ben chiming is broadcast all across the UK to mark the turning of the New Year.

Don’t miss this top London landmark on your trip to the city.

7 – Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum, London

To say there are lots to see in the Natural History Museum would be an understatement. Home to over 80 million artifacts covering the history of life on Earth , and much more, the museum is a must-visit for all ages.

Upon entering the very grand Victorian-era building, visitors are met with the colossal skeleton of a Blue whale — which has come to be known as Hope. There are galleries where you can come face to face with life-sized dinosaurs and hippos and learn about the powerful force of volcanos.

Discover ancient fossilized sea creatures that once ruled the oceans and check out the Darwin Centre, with its collection of spirit-preserved creatures, including a giant squid.

There’s so much to see in London’s Natural History Museum, you’ll want to return again and again.

  • Natural History Museum tours

8 – Science Museum

Science Museum, London

The Science Museum is, without doubt, one of the best attractions in London . The museum is over 160 years old and welcomes millions of visitors each year.

Its major exhibitions focus on the science behind energy, space exploration and manufacturing but it also has captivating displays related to clockwork mechanisms, medical science and pre-1800s science.

Catch a science movie in the IMAX Theater or visit one of the temporary exhibitions which have included diverse topics such as the effect of science fiction on modern science, the use of technology to understand the past, and the history of flight.

General admission to the Science Museum is absolutely free and is sure to be a highlight of your trip to the city.

9 – The Shard

The Shard, London

One of the greatest places to visit in Central London , The Shard towers more than 80 stories over the city. It was completed in 2012 and at the time was the tallest building in Europe.

At its highest point, it is 309.6 meters tall and its striking appearance has made it a dramatic focal point of the city. In its short life, it has appeared in a number of video games, TV shows and movies, including Doctor Who and Spider-Man.

The Shard houses offices, a Shangri-La Hotel, a number of restaurants and bars as well as public viewing decks on floors 68, 69 and 72 . It is safe to say you won’t find many views of the city to rival this one, except perhaps the London Eye.

  • The Shard tickets

10 – Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace, London

The favorite residence of many of the Tudor Kings and Queens, including Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace has seen its fair share of historic events .

Henry’s VIII only son and successor to the throne, King Edward VI was born at the palace and his mother, Jane Seymour died there within weeks of his birth. It was also here that Henry’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard was arrested before her execution.

The impressive Great Hall was created for King Henry in the 1530s and it houses a unique collection of priceless tapestries from the era. The Tudor Kitchens are also a sight to behold and feature a fireplace large enough to roast whole animals.

History buffs will really enjoy a trip to Hampton Court Palace , especially those interested in royalty and the Tudor era.

  • Hampton Court Palace tickets & tours

11 – Borough Market

Borough Market, London

One of the oldest and largest markets in London, Borough Market has a history that dates back to at least the 12th-century .

It was formerly a wholesale fruit and vegetable market until the 1990s when it began to offer more specialty items and high-quality local products.

Now visitors can pick up artisan bread, specialist meats and cheeses and a variety of locally produced ingredients . You can also find international flavors from Italy to Mexico and grab a bite to eat at one of the numerous food trucks.

Check out this historic market in the heart of the action right by London Bridge.

12 – Houses of Parliament

House of Commons, Houses of Parliament, London

The iconic Houses of Parliament are one of the most defining attractions on the Westminster skyline . The official name of this sprawling and monumental building is the Palace of Westminster and, in its current form, dates back to the mid-1800s.

There was an older Westminster Palace that burned down in 1834 and had origins going back 1,000 years. The fire was immortalized in a number of paintings by the artist J.M.W Turner who witnessed the occasion.

Westminster Palace has been a meeting place for the country’s parliament since 1295. The current two branches of parliament, the House of Lords and the House of Commons occupy different chambers of the building.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament and attend a number of events there, including Prime Minister’s Questions as well as debates and more.

  • Houses of Parliament tickets & tours

13 – Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The world’s largest museum of applied arts and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum holds over 2 million items in its collection .

The V&A is sure to be a highlight of your trip to the city and is definitely one of the best museums in London for the whole family. It has enough to keep everyone interested and features a wide variety of exhibitions , from textiles to technology.har

It holds a huge selection of garments and clothing for those who are interested in fashion as well as furniture, paintings, photography, modern design innovations and much more.

This fun and vibrant museum is always fun to explore and has a rotating program of exhibitions so you are sure to see something new each time you visit.

  • Victoria and Albert Museum tours

14 – Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Kew Gardens, London

The Historic Kew Gardens in South-west London is home to one of the largest plant collections in the whole world with more than 8 million varieties and specimens .

The gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and date back to the 1840s with a number of historic buildings within the grounds, including a royal palace and one of the world’s largest surviving Victorian glasshouses.

It has plants from many different climates and zones, including Alpine, desert and tropical plants and a wide variety of palms. You can also see bonsai, aquatic and carnivorous plants in its world-class collection.

  • Kew Gardens tickets

See also: Kew Gardens Tickets Price – How to Save up to 25%

15 – ZSL London Zoo

London Zoo

There are so many exotic and beautiful creatures to meet at ZSL London Zoo you’re sure to have an enchanting time there.

It is thought to be the world’s oldest scientific zoo and dates back to 1828 . Located in Regent’s Park, it is the perfect day out for kids and adults alike right in the heart of the city center.

One of the most popular attractions at the zoo is the brand new and super-adorable tiger cub, Loki. There are many other fantastic creatures to admire also, including lions, giraffes, gorillas and much more. In fact, London Zoo has one of the largest animal collections in the UK.

Take a break from the busy city to enjoy this historic and fun London institution.

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See also: Cheap London Zoo Tickets – Save up to 30%

16 – The National Gallery

The National Gallery, London

Home to an inspiring collection of masterpieces, The National Gallery is one of the best places to visit for lovers of Renaissance art in the city.

Its collection includes over 2,000 paintings that date from the 14th-century to the end of the 19th-century . Here visitors can trace the history of European art through some of its most important artists.

See vital works by Hans Holbein the Younger, Jan van Eyck, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. Discover important national artists such as J.M.W Turner and John Constable as well as the works of highly-influential international artists.

General admission to the National Gallery is always free.

  • National Gallery tours

17 – Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace, London

The official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kensington Palace is one of London’s finest royal home s.

It is steeped in significant royal history and was the childhood home of Queen Victoria as well as a regular residence to Kings George I & II, Queen Mary II and Queen Anne.

The building was expanded to its current design by renowned royal architect Christopher Wren in 1689. It features King’s and Queen’s State Apartments which can be visited including the very grand King’s Drawing Room.

Kensington Palace is a great place to visit to get a further look into the country’s historic royal palaces and to see the splendor in which its rulers lived.

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18 – Tate Modern

Tate Modern, London

The modern art branch of the Tate family of museums, Tate Modern is located in the iconic and industrial former Bankside Powerstation.

Its exhibitions feature many highlights of modern and contemporary art with a wide range of installations and interactive exhibitions sitting side-by-side with more traditional paintings, prints and sculptures.

Its varied and lively exhibits make it one of the most popular places to visit in the city and you’re sure to see works that are both engaging, challenging and cutting edge.

Some of its must-see permanent works include pieces by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee.

  • Tate Modern tours

19 – National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum, London

Uncover Britain’s seafaring history at the excellent National Maritime Museum in the heart of Greenwich.

The museum tells the story of Britain at sea through objects, artworks and photographs covering centuries of global exploration. It holds a collection of over 100,000 maps and charts as well as 3,500 model ships which date back hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of years.

See ingenious clockwork inventions for keeping time at sea as well as uniforms and flags, ship’s furniture and much more. Discover photographs and objects from the early polar-exploration missions that took place between the late 19th and early 20th-centuries.

This fascinating collection is sure to awaken your sense of adventure.

20 – Barbican Centre

Barbican Centre, London

This huge entertainment complex in the city center is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

Housed in a Brutalist-style building from the 1970s, the Barbican Centre is home to two of the country’s musical institutions, the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra .

Inside you can find a few cinemas, a couple of art galleries, a concert hall and a really beautiful Tropical Conservatory.

The Barbican hosts a wide variety of events, including orchestral concerts, dance and theatre events and much more.

21 – Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall, London

Host to the BBC Proms concert series each year, The Royal Albert Hall is one of the UK’s best-loved venues and has just celebrated its 150th birthday.

Though widely known as a place for orchestral, ballet and operatic performances, the Albert Hall has hosted many popular events , including everything from boxing matches to motor shows and rock bands.

Some of its most popular shows include the yearly Royal Variety Performances, The Brit Awards and The Cirque du Soleil.

Check out the website to see what events are happening during your time in the city and experience this majestic building for yourself.

22 – Covent Garden

Covent Garden, London

Located in the heart of London’s West End, Covent Garden is one of the best places to go for shopping and entertainment in the city .

Alongside chic upmarket boutiques, restaurants and bars you can find some of the biggest names in luxury goods, including Chanel, Dior and Tiffany & Co. as well as much more.

There are many great dining opportunities here with a range of international flavors from the likes of Balthazar, Frenchie and SUSHISAMBA.

You can also check out the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition on Wellington Street, take a tour of the Royal Opera House or peruse the stalls at the much-loved Apple Market.

You’ll find all you need and more in this shoppers paradise.

23 – St. Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral, London

There has been a St.Paul’s Cathedral, in one form or another, for nearly 1,400 years on the hilltop site in the city center.

The current cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the 1670s and its familiar domed roof has been an iconic part of the city’s skyline ever since.

It has often been used in times of great national celebration and mourning including royal weddings, birthdays and coronations and for funerals of leading figures such as Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill.

Visitors can take a tour of this magnificent building including its crypts, which hold the tombs of Sir Wren, Lord Nelson and the first Duke of Wellington, and the Golden Gallery in the uppermost part of its dome.

  • St Paul’s Cathedral tickets

24 – National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery, London

Home to what is thought to be the largest collection of portraits in the world , The National Portrait Gallery is an enjoyable place to visit.

It holds important paintings in its collection of 11,000 works , including a very iconic portrait of William Shakespeare and other famous figures in British society.

In here you can see television and movie stars, sports personalities, musicians, writers, businessmen and women and much more. the oldest portrait in the collection is of King Henry VII and dates from the year 1505.

As well as paintings there are also sculptures and thousands of drawings and photographs that make up the extensive pictorial history of the UK’s most notable individuals.

25 – Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark, London

Thought to be the fastest ship of its time, the Cutty Sark is a clipper ship and was historically used to ferry tea and other perishable goods from India and China .

It is now a museum ship at the heart of Greenwich’s riverfront and sits on dry land at last. The ship’s exhibits allow visitors to discover what life was like on board these small but swift ships.

Walk the deck and take the wheel to see how it felt to captain this historic ship. Discover the innovative Victorian engineering that produced the world’s fastest sailing ship and see the original wooden features that have survived the stresses of time.

The Cutty Sark is just one of the excellent attractions in this bustling part of the city.

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26 – Design Museum

Design Museum, London

One of the city’s most interesting and diverse attractions, The Design Museum displays a wide range of practical and beautiful objects.

Its permanent display, called Designer Maker User, contains almost 1,000 objects from the 20th-century to the present day . It is arranged from the perspective of the creator, manufacturer and user of the product.

You can see all kinds of items here including iconic computers by Apple, the famous London Underground Map and a vintage Vespa scooter. You’re sure to uncover items that are at once totally familiar and also groundbreaking.

The museum also has a bunch of fun temporary exhibits covering everything from style icons and fashion to upcycling and cutting-edge materials.

27 – Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market, London

Dating back to the early 1300s, Leadenhall Market has long been one of the best places to shop in the city .

Its current form features a magnificent Victorian-style roof and a cobblestone arcade which were built in the 1880s as well as ornate stone decorations.

Visitors to the market can grab a drink in the historic Lamb Tavern or try out the many restaurants offering a range of international gourmet flavors. There are also a bunch of boutique shops selling clothing, jewelry and spa services.

You can still pick up some groceries at Leadenhall Market and the stalls are open Monday to Friday selling cheeses, meats, flowers and more.

28 – Royal Observatory Greenwich

Royal Observatory, London

One of the oldest observatories in the world and home to Greenwich Mean Time, also known as GMT, you could say the Royal Observatory is the “home of time”.

The observatory was built in 1676 and contributed significantly to the standardization of time around the globe. Some of its most important achievements have been in the field of practical astronomy for the purpose of timekeeping and navigation .

Visitors to the Royal Observatory can attend a number of interesting talks and demonstrations on Astronomy, visit the Peter Harrison Planetarium and check out some of the observatory’s historic devices such as the H4 and the Great Equatorial Telescope.

See clocks designed to keep accurate time at sea as well as the famous Meridian Line , where the western and eastern hemispheres of the globe meet.

  • Royal Observatory Greenwich tickets

29 – Shrek’s Adventure! London

DreamWorks Shrek's Adventure in London

If you’re looking for fun things to see and do with kids in the city, Shrek’s Adventure London might be just the thing.

Join Shrek, Donkey and the gang for a fairytale adventure that you’ll never forget. Take part in a selection of immersive and entertaining shows as you travel to the kingdom of Far Far Away.

Visit some of the best-loved places from the Shrek movies, including Shrek’s Swamp, The Poison Apple Pub and The Bakery.

Meet all of your favorite characters including Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots, The Muffin Man and more at this great family-friendly attraction.

  • Shrek’s Adventure London tickets

30 – Serpentine Galleries

Serpentine Gallery, London

Operating two sites just a stone’s throw from each other in London’s Kensington Gardens,  Serpentine Galleries host some of the most groundbreaking contemporary art exhibitions in the city .

Founded in the 1970s Serpentine has displayed artworks and exhibitions by notable artists, including Henry Moore, Man Ray and Andy Warhol among many others.

The galleries are located on either side of Serpentine Lake and are probably some of the most tranquil spaces in the whole city. As well as a range of art exhibitions, Serpentine also commissions a temporary pavilion in the park each year created by a distinct artist.

You’re sure to find interesting and thought-provoking exhibitions here exploring the forefront of where art and technology meet.

31 – LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort


LEGOLAND is one of the most popular theme parks in the whole country and is great fun for the whole family.

With a whole bunch of Lego-themed rides and attractions , this is sure to keep the kids happy during your time in London.

Fly through magical forests on a Lego dragon or discover hidden underwater worlds in the Lego City Deep Sea Adventure. Ride on the thrilling Flight of the Sky Lion or steer your way through the Hydra’s Challenge.

Catch an exciting show, including Lego Ninjago 4D movies and live puppets at the Duplo Valley Theatre. LEGOLAND Windsor is one of the best tourist attractions in London for kids and is one place you’ll want to return to again and again.

32 – Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy of Arts, London

Home to the longest established art school in the country , the Royal Academy of Arts promotes the enjoyment and production of arts in the capital.

Founded in 1768, the academy is headed by distinguished artists, architects and Royal Academicians. As well as being an institution for learning it also houses a gallery that puts on exhibitions throughout the year.

Visitors can see works by many of the country’s leading artists, both past and present, in the academy’s permanent collection, this includes pieces by Constable, J.M.W Turner and many more.

With almost 1,000 paintings, 25,000 prints and drawings and 350 sculptures you are sure to be inspired by this fantastic and historic British art institution.

33 – Queen’s House

Queen's House, London

Thought to be the first classical building in the UK, Queen’s House is a former royal palace in Greenwich , London.

Built for Queen Anne of Denmark and later Queen Henrietta Maria in the early 17th-century, the house was designed by renowned British architect, Inigo Jones. It later became a residence for royal servants, artists and a school for orphaned children.

Now it houses a unique collection of art that is open to the public. It includes the important Armada portrait of Elizabeth I and paintings by Hogarth, Gainsborough and Lely.

In the run-up to Christmas, visitors can also enjoy a unique outdoor skating experience at the Queen’s House Ice Rink. Skate in style surrounded by the opulent grounds of this distinguished royal home.

34 – The London Dungeon

London Dungeon

For a gruesome look into the city’s past, the first port of call should be The London Dungeon.

Take a macabre tour through the streets of old London and uncover the grisly truth of the city’s history. Meet icons of Victorian London, including the infamous barber Sweeney Todd and the mysterious Jack the Ripper.

Visit the Dungeon torture chambers and tour The Tyrant Boat Ride where you’ll learn all about Britain’s most cruel and vengeful monarchs. Take a trip through the infamous Traitor’s Gate and learn what life was like for those who crossed the Crown.

Take a spin on the Drop Dead Ride to discover the “more humane” method of corporal punishment used in British prisons— The long drop gallows.

These ghastly tours through Londons deep dark dungeons are sure to frighten , enlighten and entertain. Check them out, if you dare!

  • London Dungeon tickets

35 – London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum

London’s transport system is one of the most visually iconic in the world, from its red double-decker buses to its black cabs it is truly unmistakable.

The London Transport Museum celebrates over 150 years of the transport network which helped make the city what it is today. From early horsedrawn trams and carriages to rail trams buses and much more, you can find it here.

Discover the history of the world’s first underground railway system, The London Underground . See how it has become a quintessential part of the city and popular culture from its famous “Mind the Gap” notification to the design of its route maps.

There is a lot to see and explore at this enjoyable museum devoted to the lifeblood of the bustling city.

  • London Transport Museum tickets

36 – The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, London

Once the private collection of the Marquesses of Hertford, The Wallace Collection is home to a wide variety of artworks and decorative arts .

Its collection of paintings has works by some of the great masters, including Titian, Rubens and Van Dyck.

You can find famous paintings here such as Two views of Venice by Canaletto and The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals, thought to be one of the finest portraits from the Baroque era.

The Wallace Collection also includes a fantastic selection of ornamented armor and weapons , including antique shields, flintlock pistols and a jeweled dagger from the 1600s. There are also many fine pieces of furniture and a number of decorative and historic clocks.

37 – Sky Garden

Sky Garden, London

Located on the top floor of the Fenchurch Building, known to many as the Walkie-Talkie for its boxy shape, London’s Sky Garden is the highest public garden in the city .

The garden boasts a number of restaurants and bars with some of the best panoramic views in the city, as well as an outdoor terrace that opens throughout the daytime.

The 36th floor of the building is a lush landscaped garden with exotic plant species from the Mediterranean and South Africa, including Bird of Paradise plants, African lilies and French Lavender.

Though general admission to Sky Garden is free of charge it is best to book in advance to avoid disappointment. This is one of the most popular attractions in the city.

38 – Churchill War Rooms

Churchill War Rooms, London

One of the best tourist attractions in London for history lovers is the Churchill War Rooms.

Located close to 10 Downing Street — the Prime Minister’s residence and office, The War Rooms are a formerly-secret underground bunker complex from the Second World War.

It was from here that Winston Churchill lead the country through some of its most difficult times. He worked and sometimes slept in the deep underground bunkers and it is where many important strategic decisions were made.

The Churchill War Rooms were closed at the end of the Second World War so have been well preserved. Visit the Cabinet Room, see the original 10 Downing Street door and the high-security Map Room that was once top secret!

This is sure to be fun and educational for everybody.

  • Churchill War’s Room tickets & tours

39 – SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium

SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Step into the colorful underwater world of London’s SEA LIFE Centre.

Check out the Ocean Invaders exhibition to see majestic jellyfish of all shapes and sizes. Discover more about these beautiful yet enigmatic sea creatures that have lived in Earth’s oceans for 500 million years.

See a vibrant coral reef — the largest in the UK , and discover all kinds of magnificent tropical fish. See hundreds of clownfish as well as cardinalfish and unusual anableps in this leafy and diverse ecosystem.

See unusual rainforest creatures such as the rose tarantula and Bowza the snapping turtle. Discover a murky shipwreck with circling sharks , meet rowdy penguins and curious but shy octopuses, all in this captivating London aquarium.

  • Sea Life London Aquarium tickets

40 – Madame Tussauds London

Madame Tussauds London

The original world-first Madame Tussauds Waxwork Museum is still a popular London tourist attraction after nearly 200 years in business.

With over 250 lifelike wax figures , this is the place to visit to get up close and personal with your favorite stars.

See the waxworks of famous musicians like Ed Sheeran and movie stars and fashion icons, including Zendaya. Come face-to-face with Her Majesty the Queen and see sports heroes such as Muhammad Ali, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Usain Bolt.

The iconic waxwork museum also has Marvel and Star Wars exhibitions so you can meet all your favorite characters from the cinematic universes, including Spider-Man, The Hulk, Black Panther, Han Solo, Princess Leia and many more.

  • Madame Tussauds London tickets

41 – Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens, London

There’s a lot to see on a stroll through Kensington Gardens , just one of the city’s eight Royal Parks .

A great place to start would be Kensington Palace, the historic birthplace of Queen Victoria and the official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge . The Italian Gardens and Albert Memorial were commissioned by Queen Victoria and still grace the gardens today.

The Serpentine Galleries , located on either side of Serpentine Lake, are a great place to check out contemporary art. In the Summer months, you can hire a rowing boat and take it for a cruise around the lake.

There are a bunch of interesting statues and monuments in Kensington Gardens, including a much-loved statue of Peter Pan, The Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain and The Arch by artist Henry Moore.

42 –  The River Thames

River Thames cruise in London

The iconic River Thames snakes its way through the heart of the city and is an ever-present sight on a tour of the capital.

There are a number of things to see around the river including the famous Tower Bridge and many of the city’s most impressive buildings, including The Houses of Parliament, The Tower of London and the London Eye.

For visitors, or even locals, who want to see the city from a new and unique perspective, why not try a River Thames boat tour ? There are river tours to suit all tastes and budgets.

Looking for some romantic things to do in London ? Take to the water for a romantic dinner cruise and see the lights of the old city reflected in the water. Or maybe you prefer a white knuckle speedboat ride to see the waterfront sights of this historic and bustling city.

This is a fun way to make the most of your time in London.

  • boat tours in London

43 – Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill, London

One of the city’s largest markets and one of the best tourist attractions in London for those who love to shop , Portobello Road Market is an enticing bunch of markets all rolled into one.

The market is open every day except Sunday and visitors can find a range of stalls selling food, fruit and vegetables, bric-a-brac and clothing.

It is a great place to shop for vintage apparel and accessories which can be found in the North Portabello and Portobello Green areas. You can also find collectibles and assorted fun and kitsch items here.

Portobello Road Market is also considered to be the world’s largest antique market and each Friday and Saturday is buzzing with hundreds of dealers and stalls selling their wares.

For the best experience visit on a Saturday when the whole market is in full swing.

44 – Saatchi Gallery

Saatchi Gallery, London

Displaying some of the finest contemporary art exhibitions in London , The Saatchi Gallery has been one of the leading art spaces in the city since 1985.

For over 35 years the gallery has been introducing the world to some of the freshest artists and providing the public with a place to discover great new art.

There is always something interesting to see at Saatchi Gallery and it exhibits a wide range of media. As well as paintings visitors can also find prints, installations, high-tech interactive artworks and photography.

This is a must for contemporary art enthusiasts .

45 – The Gherkin

The Gherkin, London

Definitely one of the city’s most recognizable buildings, 30 St Mary Axe — or The Gherkin as it has come to be known as one of London’s most unique skyscrapers .

Though primarily an office building it has the Searcy’s Helix and Iris restaurant and bar located on its top floors, among others. Here visitors can get terrific views to enjoy with their meals and sophisticated cocktails.

If you want to visit the upper floors you can of course catch one of the 18 elevators or climb the mammoth 1,037 steps to the top.

The Gherkin’s glass facade looks terrific through the day but at night it is entirely illuminated and takes on another look.

46 – Harrods

Harrods, London

Harrods department store on Brompton Road is the place to go for luxury shopping and dining in London . It has long been a favorite haunt of the super-rich and curious tourists alike.

Founded in 1849, it is, without a doubt, the poshest department store in the country — it even has a dress code. It has over 300 different departments in its huge premises and over 20 restaurants and cafes .

It is definitely on the pricey side but is great fun if you have money to burn, or if you just want to do some window shopping and dreaming.

Check it and live the high life in “The world’s most famous department store”, even if just for a moment.

47 – Old Royal Naval College

Old Royal Naval College, London

The Old Royal Navy College is home to a masterpiece that has been called the Sistine Chapel of Britain .

The Painted Hall is the heart of the building and features a magnificent series of frescos created by British painter, Sir James Thornhill. The decorations took 19 years to complete and were finished in 1726.

The room also has historical significance as the place where Lord Nelson’s body lied-in-state after his death in 1806. There is a plaque on the floor commemorating the place and occasion.

The building is now part of the UNESCO Heritage Site and due to its magnificent decorations is a popular filming location .

It has appeared in a number of TV shows and movies, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Dark Knight Rises and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

  • Old Royal Naval College tickets

48 – Leicester Square

London musicals in Leicester Square

London’s glitzy entertainment center, Leicester Square, is packed with exciting theaters , stores, bars and restaurants to visit .

The Leicester Square Theatre is an intimate but popular spot that puts on a variety of shows and comedy events . Some of the nation’s best-loved comedians can often be found trying out new material at this small but historic venue.

The square has three large cinemas — Odeon, Vue and Cineworld, that host red carpet premieres on a weekly basis. There is also the smaller Prince Charles Cinema that shows cult and international movies.

Some of the city’s biggest hotels are located nearby as are four of its famous casinos. You won’t be short of places to shop and kids will love a trip to one of the world’s largest M&M and Lego stores, right in the heart of the city.

  • London show tickets

See also: 41 Best West End Shows & Musicals

49 – Somerset House

Somerset House, London

One of the city’s most exciting contemporary art spaces and creative hubs , Somerset House is home to more than 100 creative associations.

This sprawling venue, which was formerly offices for the Navy as well as the Tax Bureau, has a huge program of engaging exhibitions, workshops and events to explore.

This creative complex of spaces hosts courses on everything from sound production and game technology to arts, crafts and writing events.

Check out the website to see what’s on during your time in the city and get inspired to try something new.

50 – Tate Britain

Tate Britain, London

Tate Britain houses a huge collection of artworks from the United Kingdom and is the oldest of Tate’s four galleries.

Formed in 1897, the museum’s collection includes historic and contemporary artworks ranging from the 1500s to the present day. It has the world’s largest collection of paintings by the popular landscape artist J.M.W Turner .

There are important paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable and William Blake as well as works by Pre-Raphaelite artists, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John William Waterhouse.

It also houses a collection of fantastic portraits by John Singer Sargeant as well as two rooms of works by the sculptor Henry Moore.

Admission to all Tate Galleries is free of charge.

51 – Museum of London

Museum of London, London

The British capital has been through many changes before becoming the modern London we know and love. Uncover thousands of years of the city’s history at the Museum of London .

Travel back to the year BC 4,500 to discover who were the earliest residents on the banks of the River Thames . Visit Roman Londinium in the year AD 50 to see the first traces of the city emerge.

Explore the Medieval times which were rife with wars, plagues and destructive fires. Visit the Victorian era which saw London boom into the world’s largest city and find itself at the cutting-edge of scientific and industrial advancements.

There’s a long history to discover here at the Museum of London .

52 – Whitechapel Gallery

Whitechapel Gallery, London

Founded over 100 years ago as a way to bring world-class art to the public, Whitechapel Gallery stays true to its mission even today.

In its lifetime it has hosted some very historic art exhibitions, including the only British appearance of Pablo Picasso’s career-defining artwork, Guernica .

It has also held exhibitions by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Frida Kahlo, David Hockney and Cy Twombly and remains a vibrant and lively center for the arts.

Check out the works in its gallery spaces or join one of the talks and workshops the Whitechapel Gallery hosts weekly.

53 – Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, London

Britain’s most iconic and prestigious church, Westminster Abbey, has hosted every royal coronation since William the Conqueror in 1066 .

Founded in the year 960 by Benedictine Monks, Westminster Abbey has been at the heart of the country’s celebrations and mourning for almost 1,000 years.

The Abbey’s crypt holds the remains of no less than 17 British monarchs and some of its most distinguished scientists, including Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and, more recently, Stephen Hawking.

No less than 16 royal weddings have occurred here through the centuries the most recent being that of Prince William and Kate Middleton, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

This is one of the capital’s most historic spots and is open to the public daily.

  • Westminster Abbey tickets

54 – The O2

O2 Climb, London

London’s O2 arena hosts the biggest shows that pass through the country, including some of the world’s most famous stars such as Ariana Grande, Prince and the yearly country music festival C2C.

There is more to the arena than just concerts though. You can catch a wide variety of shows happening here each week including boxing and UFC matches, movie screenings and much more.

For thrill-seekers looking for something adventurous to do in the city, why not try a dome climb? Walk over the roof of the building in a guided tour to see the sights from on top of one of the country’s busiest arenas.

While you’re there why not check out the arena’s many other attractions? As well as great restaurants and bars the O2 also has cinema screens, a shopping outlet, a Tikky Town — where visitors can snap Insta-worthy photos and much more.

  • O2 roof climb tickets

55 – Shakespeare’s Globe

Shakespeare's Globe, London

Shakespeare’s Globe is an exact replica of the famous Globe Theatre which was part-owned by William Shakespeare. It is located near to the original theatre’s location in Southwark on the banks of the River Thames.

Constructed in 1997, it is an accurate reproduction of the theatre of Shakespeare’s era. The original theatre existed from 1599 to 1642 and was built from the repurposed materials of an earlier theatre.

Visitors can take a tour of the Globe to discover its famous design or stop by to see a Shakespearean show . The theatre is open air and can hold 1,570 people and has the only thatched roof in London.

This is a must-see for Shakespeare fans.

  • Shakespeare’s Globe tours

56 – Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium, London

The most historic stadium in the whole of the United Kingdom, Wembley has hosted world-class sports events and some of the biggest concerts of all time .

With a capacity to hold 90,000 Wembley Stadium is well prepared to host the biggest sporting events in the country. The venue is well known for its connection to soccer and has held 78 FA Cup finals, six Euro Cup Finals and one World Cup Final in its 80-year life.

It also hosts other major sports competitions, including Rugby World Cup matches and was the location for the 1948 Olympic Games.

Wembley is a great place to watch live music too. Some of the biggest concerts in the world have taken place on this very spot, including the momentous Live Aid in 1985.

Definitely take time to visit Wembley Stadium during your trip to the city where you can tour the grounds , catch a match and see a concert on any given week.

  • Wembley Stadium tours

57 – Chessington World of Adventures Resort

Chessington World of Adventures Resort

There are tons to see and do for the whole family at Chessington World of Adventures. Take a white-knuckle ride on the park’s rollercoasters or visit the zoo for a safari-style experience.

Chessington has plenty of fantastic attractions for all ages . There are fast and scary rides for older kids and adults and more gentle ones for younger children.

Adventure through the park’s exotic worlds and take on the Dragon’s Fury, Croc Drop and the Vampire rides for thrills galore.

Check out the Chessington Zoo and SEA LIFE to see amazing animals such as Asiatic lions, capybaras, giraffes and many more.

  • Chessington World of Adventures tickets

58 – Garden Museum

Garden Museum, London

Take some time to escape from it all at the Garden Museum . This idyllic and tranquil museum celebrates the history of British gardens and the national obsession .

The museum is located on the grounds of St Mary’s of Lambeth Church which itself has ties to the country’s gardening past.

The church is the resting place of John Tradescant (1570-1638), one of Britain’s earliest botanists as well as Royal Gardener to Queen Henrietta and a voracious collector of exotic plants.

The centerpiece of the museum is the Sackler Garden which is home to a number of rare plants. The garden is a great place to sit and contemplate surrounded by contrasting but beautiful architecture, which is both classic, natural and contemporary.

59 – Camden Town

Camden Town, London

Its continuously changing style and a wide variety of interesting stalls make Camden Market one of the best tourist attractions in London. Don’t miss this!

If you love to shop for niche fashion items or specific styles , this is the place to be. Mods, Bohemians, goths, rockabillies and punks are well catered for and you can pick up all kinds of vintage clothes and retro-styled apparel here.

There are also a lot of fun and quirky boutiques selling everything from high-quality tea to circus toys, art and jewelry.

Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of the market’s excellent food stalls and trucks. London is a very diverse city and, at Camden Market, you can try some of the best flavors from all four corners of the globe.

60 – Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum, London

Covering the story of modern warfare from the First World War to the present day, the Imperial War Museum is one of the best tourist attractions in London for history lovers .

Here visitors can learn all about Britain’s foreign and domestic wars , from both World Wars through the Korean and Cold War eras and more.

See a large selection of weapons, photographs and military vehicles and explore recreations of a First World War trench and London in the Blitz.

Hear the personal stories of soldiers who fought and the inspiring tales of those who survived the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe.

The Imperial War Museum is one of the best places to learn all about war and its continuing effect on our world.

61 – Emirates Air Line cable car

Emirates Air Line cable car, London

A really unique thing to do in London is to take a trip on the Emirates Air Line Cable Car .

It spans the River Thames, running between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks right past the O2 Arena. Here you can get clear views of the city below which are spectacular whenever you travel, day or night.

The cable cars run continuously with one arriving every 30 seconds. The whole trip takes about 10 minutes in the daytime and 25 minutes after 7 pm when the cars are slowed down to a more leisurely pace.

If you’re looking for a romantic place to take your beloved or an unforgettable thing to do as a family , Emirates Air Line Cable Car is a good choice.

62 – Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace, London

There is a lot to discover at Alexandra Palace from shopping and live music to ice skating and treetop rope courses.

This popular leisure complex, referred to affectionately as “Ally Pally”, has been a staple of the city’s music scene for over 100 years . It has hosted legendary concerts by The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd and puts on a wide variety of music shows and other events to this day.

Alexandra Palace is also home to a number of fun attractions that are great for kids , including an ice skating rink, a skatepark, a Go-Ape and a mini-golf course. There is also a soft play area for younger kids to enjoy and a playground for kids of all ages.

Why not take a spin around the Boating Lake or check out the Sunday Farmer’s Market. There’s enough going on here to keep the whole family entertained.

63 – The Sherlock Holmes Museum

The Sherlock Holmes Museum

221B Baker Street is the world-famous address of the legendary Consulting Detective, Sherlock Holmes .

Now it is also a museum to Sherlock where visitors can see the original super-sleuths home and office. Trip back to Victorian London and see the elegant but chaotic lodgings of the famous fictional detective .

Tour this fun and factual museum decorated with period items and decorations, including Holmes Laboratory, his famous violin and more.

Visit the shop to pick up souvenirs of your visit, including deerstalker hats, books, antiques and Victorian curiosities. The Sherlock Holmes Museum is tons of fun.

  • Sherlock Holmes tours

64 – The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9¾

Platform 9 ¾, London

For fans of the Harry Potter movies, Kings Cross Station is one of London’s absolute must-visits.

This bustling city station has become a pilgrimage for fans from around the world as the location of Platform 9 3/4, where young witches and wizards catch the Hogwarts Express.

Grab a picture under the Platform 9 3/4 sign on the station wall and check out the shop of the same name.

Here you can pick up all manner of Harry Potter souvenirs from wands, to spellbooks, jewelry and jumpers it’s all here. Make your Harry Potter-loving friend or family member’s day by visiting this fun and fantastical landmark.

  • Harry Potter locations tours

See also: 10 Best Harry Potter Tours in London , 30 Places Every Harry Potter Fans Should Visit in London

65 – Royal Air Force Museum London

Royal Air Force Museum London

Located at the Hendon Aerodrome, The Royal Air Force Museum tells the hundred-year history of the RAF .

From the Air Force’s formation in 1918 — near the end of the First World War, through to the present day, it has always been at the cutting edge of aviation technology. The museum is spread over six hangers containing exhibitions, aircraft and training simulators .

Explore historic airplanes from the Second World War, including British spitfires, hurricanes and Lancasters and a Messerschmitt, used by the German Luftwaffe.

Discover the increasing role the RAF has in providing national security in an age of increasing technological advancement. You can even pilot a Eurofighter Typhoon in the museum’s flight simulator.

66 – Horniman Museum and Gardens

Horniman Museum & Gardens, London

Constructed in 1901 by wealthy local tea merchant and philanthropist, Frederick John Horniman, The Horniman Museum has a vast collection of over 350,000 objects .

The collection includes musical instruments, anthropological items, a large selection of taxidermied animals and natural history displays.

It has one of the best ethnographic collections in the country with items from all corners of the globe.

It also has extensive gardens with a Victorian glass conservatory, nature trails, a bandstand and a musical garden with playable instruments. Exploring this unique collection is just one of the great free things to do in London .

67 – Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands, London

The Docklands was once a thriving import and export center in the city of London. The Museum of London Docklands helps us discover the history of this industrial hub that was once the largest of its kind in the world .

Up until the 1980s, when the shipping industry moved further downriver, London’s Docklands were where many goods came in and out of the city. Its surviving No.1 Warehouse is a good example of the brick buildings that were used to store items from the 1800s onward.

Learn about the most popular goods traveling to the city and the far-off destinations they came from at this engaging industrial museum.

68 – National Theatre

National Theatre, London

The place to go to catch world-class plays and productions , The National Theatre aims to make its performances accessible to everyone.

Home to three separate theatre spaces, The National Theatre hosts a diverse selection of theatrical productions from Shakespeare to Emily Bronte to Neil Gaiman, there’s sure to be something on that you’ll love.

Take some time out from sightseeing to see a production at one of the country’s best-loved theatrical institutions. It could be a highlight of your time in London.

See also: Best indoor activities in London

69 – Hayward Gallery

Hayward Gallery, London

Based in the country’s largest arts center, The Hayward Gallery hosts a number of fresh contemporary art exhibitions each year.

The gallery has previously displayed important works by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Edward Munch and exhibits artworks from all eras.

It mostly focuses on the work of new artists however which results in some of the most interesting art exhibitions in the city.

The gallery is part of the Southbank Center, one of the top cultural spaces in the city . Don’t forget to check it out during your time in London.

70 – Tower of London

Tower of London

The historic Tower of London is a royal castle and one of the oldest palaces in the city. It dates from the late 11th-century.

Over its near-thousand-year history, it has served as the home of royalty in the city but is mostly known as a notorious prison for enemies of The Crown .

It is here that Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, and a host of political prisoners such as Guy Fawkes were kept before being executed.

The Tower functioned as an occasional prison until the 1950s and prisoners were often brought in by boat through the aptly named Traitors Gate.

The Tower of London also houses The Crown Jewels which includes the important St Edward’s Crown, which has been used in coronation ceremonies since the 1660s.

  • Tower of London tickets & tours

See also: Tower of London Tickets Price – All you Need to Know

71 – Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House, London

If you’re looking for a night of culture in the city, why not check out a performance at the Royal Opera House .

One of the world’s leading Opera Companies since its formation in 1946 , the Royal Opera House carries on a long tradition of opera in Covent Garden dating back to the 1700s.

Home to the Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, the company gives up to 150 performances per season — which runs from September to July.

A night out at the ROH is sure to be fun for everybody where you can see performances of popular and accessible opera and ballet such as The Nutcracker, La Traviata and Romeo and Juliet.

72 – HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast, London

If you’re craving some more recent history while in the city, you should definitely visit the HMS Belfast .

One of the best-preserved Royal Navy Warships from the Second World War , the Belfast is great fun to visit for all the family.

Discover its historic gun turrets, which fired some of the first rounds at the D-Day Landings, and explore its nine decks and the many exhibits onboard. Discover what life was like for the ship’s crew and take your place at the helm as you sit in the Captain’s chair.

The HMS Belfast has gift shops selling all kinds of souvenirs and memorabilia and a cafe to grab a drink and a snack.

Kids will enjoy a visit to the World of Warships gaming room where they can captain the Belfast into battle themselves.

73 – The British Library

The British Library, London

You might expect The British Library to be as old as many of the country’s other institutions but in actual fact, it was only founded in 1973.

Since this time its collection has expanded to include almost 200 million texts from all over the world . The library receives a copy of every book published in the UK as well as newspapers and periodicals adding millions of volumes to its collection each year.

It is also home to some very old items, including Buddhist manuscripts and ancient Latin and Greek texts that are almost 2,000 years old.

The library is free to visit and hosts a program of temporary exhibits. In order to look at the books, you must first apply for a Reader’s Pass which can be requested from the website.

74 – Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square, London

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Westminster is Trafalgar Square, home to the famous and iconic monument, Nelson’s Column .

The name of the square commemorates the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Unfortunately, Admiral Nelson was killed during the battle by a sniper while walking on the deck of his ship.

His statue looms more than 50 meters above the square in tribute to his many military victories.

There are also a bunch of fountains in the square as well as statues of other prominent British figures, including King George IV, Admiral Beatty, Admiral Jellicoe and Admiral Cunningham.

75 – ArcelorMittal Orbit

ArcelorMittal Orbit, London

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is a huge art sculpture and observation tower located near the London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

It was created for the London Olympic Games in 2021 by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond and is the tallest sculpture in the country.

Produced from 60% recycled steel, the iconic tower is 114 meters tall and offers great views of the city from its observation deck .

There is another trick to the tower though, it also has the world’s longest tunnel slide built into its structure. That’s right, you can climb up the inside and slide down the outside of this humongous piece of public art. Pretty cool indeed!

  • ArcelorMittal Orbit tickets

76 – The Household Cavalry Museum

Household Cavalry Museum, London

Covering the history of the Queen’s Mounted Bodyguards , The Household Cavalry Museum is great for those who just can’t get enough of the royal pageantry.

Located in the heart of Horse Guards in Whitehall, the museum gives visitors a sneak peek into the lives of the best-dressed guards around .

See the iconic guardsmen in their red jackets and golden helmets and witness the daily processions and guards changes at this living museum.

Take a glimpse inside the stables to see how much work goes into caring for the horses and preparing them for their daily duties. This is sure to be a highlight of your trip to London.

77 – Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park

If you’re looking for thrills during your time in London, Thorpe Park is home to some of the craziest roller coasters in the whole world .

Experience the terrifying horror-themed SAW – The Ride or hold on tight through the twisted tracks of Nemesis Inferno. Experience super G-Force on the UK’s fastest roller coaster, Stealth , or ride the world’s first ten-loop coaster — Colossus.

If you love a good scare there are also plenty of spooky rides to try out. Experience the Labyrinth, based on the hit TV show Black Mirror, or step on board Derren Brown’s Ghost Train or the Walking Dead ride for some zombie mayhem.

This place is great for the whole family and won’t disappoint those who like their rides fast and extreme.

  • Thorpe Park tickets

78 – Museum of Brands

Museum of Brands, London

The Museum of Brands is one of the best tourist attractions in London for nostalgia and a good old trip down memory lane.

Here you can find all kinds of toys, games, magazines and food products from the Victorian era through to the modern-day. There’s tons of fun stuff here for the 70s, 80s and 90s kids to rediscover .

This museum is great for everybody. Kids and younger adults will enjoy seeing the vintage food packages and retro games and older people will enjoy reminiscing about the products and toys they loved as a child. Check it out.

  • Museum of Brands tickets

79 – The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum, London

The Postal Museum is a great city center attraction which younger children and adults are sure to enjoy .

Home to a large collection of postal-related items including vehicles, mailbags, uniforms and much more it covers the history of Royal Mail through the centuries, as you might expect.

However, the lower floors of the museum allow visitors to take a train ride on the underground Mail Rail!

The Mail Rail was the world’s first driverless electric railway and was developed by Royal Mail and the underground system to ferry mail beneath the city. There’s also a cafe and playspace for children.

80 – Kia Oval

Kia Oval, London

Home to Surrey County Cricket Club since 1845, Kia Oval is one of the country’s most historically significant cricket and sports grounds .

It hosts a full season of home matches and usually the final match of the English Test Cricket season.

Early football matches were also played here when the oval was still known as Kennington Common and some of the first international and FA Cup final competition s occurred right here on the grounds.

Check out a game during your time in the city and see where some of the country’s favorite sports found their feet.

81 – Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, London

Summer in the city wouldn’t be the same without the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum has all you ever wanted to know about “The Fortnight” and much more. Learn everything about the historic contest, which has been taking place yearly since 1877 .

Feel the material of classic Victorian tennis clothes and glimpse a whole range of trophies, prizes and awards. See equipment belonging to some of the biggest names in tennis and discover more about your favorite player.

Visitors can also tour the famous courts and tread in the same footsteps as the sport’s biggest stars. This is a must-see for tennis and sports fans.

  • Wimbledon Museum tours

82 – Charles Dickens Museum

Charles Dickens Museum, London

48 Doughty Street was the London home of one of the English language’s best-loved writers, Charles Dickens .

Most of Dickens’ stories are set in Victorian London and focus on its poor and misfortunate people. His characters and locations were inspired by the nearby Cleveland Street Workhouse and impoverished neighborhoods.

The house is now a museum to the author who crafted some of his most famous works while living there, including Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby and The Pickwick Papers.

Visit the study where Dickens spent his days writing and the rooms he shared with his wife and family.

See a number of handwritten letters, early manuscripts and editions of his books as well as clothing, furniture and a portrait of the writer made just after his death by the illustrator R.W. Buss.

Save money with an attractions pass

For great deals on tickets and fast access to attractions , it’s worth picking up one of the London passes .

We hope you enjoyed this list of the best tourist attractions in London to help you plan your next vacation.

Let us know in the comments below which is your favorite place to visit.

Happy travels!

World of Wanderlust

The 20 Best Things to do in London

London has many iconic buildings, landmarks and sights to be seen, whether they be old or new the city is constantly evolving and is rich in historic culture. To help you along your way if you haven’t been to the city before, we’ve created a list of the 20 must-see London attractions whilst you’re there. From spotting a royal to riding on top of a double-decker bus for the first time, these are the best things to do in London for your first time.

1. Big Ben 

Big Ben is located in Westminster and is the nickname for the ‘Great Bell’ of the clock but is often used to refer to the clock and clock tower, the clock tower’s official name is now the Elizabeth Tower named after Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 for her Diamond Jubilee. Big Ben is an iconic London landmark and a must on your list to see while you’re here!

top 20 london tourist attractions

2. The Houses of Parliament 

The Houses of Parliament’s official name is actually the Palace of Westminster, however, due to its inhabitants, it is commonly referred to as the former. They’re on the banks of the River Thames in Westminster and the building itself is exquisite, you can arrange tours around the Houses if you’re interested in learning more about British politics, if not just admire them from the outside!

London at Christmas | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

3. Buckingham Palace 

Buckingham Palace is the London residence of the Queen. Located centrally Buckingham Palace is at the top of Pall Mall next door to Green Park and St James’ Park. Similarly to the Houses of Parliament, you can book tours around the Palace if you’d like to pretend you’re a royal for an afternoon or you can admire its beauty from outside the gates!

top 20 london tourist attractions

4. The London Eye 

The London Eye was opened to the public in the year 2000, when it was first built it was the largest Ferris Wheel in the world and until the opening of the Shard in 2013 it was the highest viewing point over London. You can buy tickets to go up in the London Eye in one of the little pods, it’s definitely something to consider on your first trip to London so you can see out over London. The view of it from the ground is also pretty spectacular, it adds a different dimension to London’s skyline!

London Trafalgar Square World of Wanderlust

5. Trafalgar Square 

Trafalgar Square is the square surrounding Nelson’s Column. The name refers to the Battle of Trafalgar which was a British naval victory against Napoleon. The square is a very large public area where you can sit or admire the fountains with the backdrop of the  National Gallery. It is often used for big public events or sometimes protests congregate here, at Christmas the huge Christmas Tree can be found in the square making it feel completely magical!

natural history museum

6. The Natural History Museum 

The Natural History Museum is located in South Kensington on Cromwell road. Even if you’re not particularly interested in Natural History the building is stunning and a must-see on your trip to the capital. You don’t have to pay to get in so it’s worth having a wander and admiring the beautiful architecture.

The Ned London Review | World of Wanderlust

7. St Paul’s Cathedral 

St Paul’s Cathedral is a landmark in the London skyline, the cathedral’s dome is what makes the architecture so exquisite and iconic from the outside. The present church has been there since the 17th century and was constructed in the rebuild of London after the Great Fire of London which destroyed much of the city. You can go inside the Cathedral and walk around as well as view it from the Millennium bridge which runs over the Thames directly in front of the cathedral.

Tate Modern London

8. The Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is located on the banks of the River Thames in a former power station. It holds both British and international modern art as well as showcasing some one-off exhibitions. The museum is well worth a trip to, not only is the gallery building itself completely unique but there’s always lots to see!

9. The Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre is nearby the Tate Modern, it is a modern reconstruction of the original theatre which was closely associated with William Shakespeare that was first built in the 17th century. You can buy tickets to see shows being performed here and it is iconic for its circular shape, thatching and open roof! And if you fancy seeing a modern theatre show in London, check out these London theatre tickets for current shows.

top 20 london tourist attractions

10. Tower Bridge 

Tower Bridge is one of London’s most iconic landmarks crossing the river. The bridge has stood in London since the 19th century and is infamous for its drawbridge effect making it able to let tall ships through and down the Thames. You’ll find it close to the Tower of London and the nearest tube stations are Tower Hill and London Bridge . Take photos from the banks of the Thames or you can walk across too!

top 20 london tourist attractions

11. The Shard

The Shard is the tallest building in London, towering above every other landmark and unmissable from many places in London. The skyscraper was opened in 2013 and is home to multiple high-end restaurants, the Shangri La Hotel and a viewing platform which you can buy tickets to head up. It’s well worth admiring the view from up there but the only problem with viewing London from the Shard is you miss a view of the building itself, so be sure to make sure you admire it before going in.

top 20 london tourist attractions

12. The Tower of London

The Tower of London was founded in 1066 and the castle was a prison from 1100 until 1952. The building reeks with a history that is waiting for you to discover it. You can also go and view the Crown Jewels in an exhibition here and marvel at how sparkly they are. Add the Tower of London to your list and go and see one of London’s oldest monuments!

The Gherkin

Image via wikicommons

13. The Gherkin 

The Gherkin is the building that looks like the shape of a Gherkin, it’s become iconic to the London Skyline and an unmissable feature when you’re looking towards East London. The building itself is composed of offices so it’s not a monument you can go inside of but it’s well worth trying to spot on your trip to the city!

Brooke Saward Hyde Park

14. Hyde Park

Hyde Park is right in the heart of the city and one of London’s biggest parks. There’s a beautiful pond in the middle called the Serpentine which you can rent pedalos and row boats on and you can see the grounds/gates surrounding Kensington Palace which are located at one end of the park. It’s a beautiful park to wander around and it’s unmissable when visiting London.

harry potter platform

15. Platform 9 3/4

This is one for all the Harry Potter fans out there! If you want to find Platform 9 3/4 they have it all set up, permanently, at King’s Cross Station. You can have your photo taken, where a Gryffindor scarf and imagine you’re off to start a term at Hogwarts!

top 20 london tourist attractions

16. Horse Guards Parade

Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground that can be found off of Whitehall near Downing Street in Central London. This is where events such as the Trooping of the Colour happen, there’s also a number of monuments located around the parade ground that is worth having a look at, it’s located right next to St James’ Park and lined with beautiful buildings.

Picadilly Circus London

17. Piccadilly Circus 

Piccadilly Circus is London’s measly attempt at Time’s Square. It’s always ridiculously busy with bright billboards lining the edges of the buildings and you’ll probably find yourself here if you’re planning an evening in the West End or Soho! It’s worth marvelling at night and taking in the atmosphere that surrounds it.

Downing Street London

18. Downing Street 

Number 10 Downing Street is where the British Prime Minister lives during his time as PM. It’s located off of Whitehall and whilst you can’t get passed the gates for obvious reasons you can certainly have a look up there and see the famous number 10 door!

Changing of the Guard

19. Changing of the Guard 

The Changing of the Guard happens daily and you’re able to witness it if you get the timings right. It happens almost every day from April till the end of July, between 11.15am and 12pm, for the rest of the year it happens on alternate days. This daily ceremony is a must see on a trip to London, it is when one regiment takes over from another, in their ‘guarding’ duties of Buckingham Palace. It sees the New Guard marching from Wellington Barracks to Buckingham Palace to become the Queen’s Guard. If you want a little bit of culture and British pageantry then this ceremony is for you!

Covent Garden London

20. Covent Garden

Located in the heart of London Covent Garden is always buzzing. It’s filled with shops, restaurants, bars and street performers. You can wander through, sit down for a coffee in the square or dine out in the evenings here. It’s a really fun area of London to visit if you haven’t been to London before, it’s got a real atmosphere about it and it should be on your list for your next trip!

London City Guide | World of Wanderlust

Brooke Saward founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen, with a particular weakness for French pastries.

Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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23 TOP London Sights & Tourist Attractions (+Map & Tips)

By Author Jurga

Posted on Last updated: October 12, 2023

23 TOP London Sights & Tourist Attractions (+Map & Tips)

Looking for the best things to do in London and feeling overwhelmed? Deciding which of the most popular London attractions to see is indeed not easy, especially if you are visiting for the first time and your time in the city is limited…

So to help you figure out where to go and what to see in London, in this guide we share only the VERY BEST sights and TOP tourist attractions in London that are worth your time the most . For each attraction, we also include our top tips and tricks for your visit. And finally, we also created a map of London attractions that should help you plan your sightseeing itinerary. Find out!

London is not just one of the most beautiful UK cities , but it’s also one of the most beautiful and most unique cities in the world. With centuries-old history, royal heritage, a mix of ancient and modern architecture, world-class museums, shopping, and entertainment, it has so much to offer to all types of visitors.

However, with so much to see and do in London, it’s often overwhelming for the first-time visitor to even know where to start. So if you are wondering what are the absolute best things to do in London for tourists , this guide will give you a good overview of the best London attractions.

In this London sightseeing guide, we only list top tourist attractions, best places to see, and absolute-best things to do in London that are considered a must-see and are worth your time the most.

Good to know: In order to help you plan your trip, we also created a map of all the top places in London . You can find it at the bottom of this article. In addition, for every sight, we include some practical tips that will help you make the most of your visit. Take a look!

Main landmarks, top attractions, and very best things to do in London for tourists

These are the main landmarks, best sights, and top tourist attractions in London:

1. Big Ben & The Houses of Parliament

The most iconic landmarks of London, the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben Tower , are now known as the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower. No matter how you call it, this is one of the must-see places in London!

The Houses of Parliament have been used for political meetings since the Norman conquest in 1066. Today, they are the center of the British government, where the House of Commons (elected MPs) and the House of Lords assemble.

The oldest part of the Houses of Parliament in existence is Westminster Hall, which was built in 1097. There are tours available where you can view the magnificent architecture of the stunning Neo-Gothic building and learn more about Parliament’s fascinating history.

Perhaps the most famous part of the Houses of Parliament is Elizabeth Tower – commonly known as Big Ben . Completed in 1869, this is the most recognizable clock in the world. The name ‘Big Ben’ actually refers to the clock’s 13th – and largest – bell. This bell, weighing 13,76 tons (30,000 lbs) tolls on the hour, every hour.

The clock tower itself is 96 m (105 yards) tall and has 399 steps inside, leading all the way up to the ‘Ayrton Light’ at the top. Sadly, you can’t take a look inside the tower, but Big Ben is impressive enough when viewed from the outside.

TIP: For the very best photo angle, head to either the southern sidewalk of the Westminster Bridge or to the other side of the river. Look out for a light illuminated at the top of all four clock faces – that indicates that the Parliament is in session. The clock faces are always illuminated at night when they look particularly spectacular.

Best things to do in London - Big Ben and Houses of Parliament

2. London Eye

No trip to London would be complete without a visit to the London Eye , the UK’s most popular paid tourist attraction. It is also the highest observation wheel in Europe, offering easy access to some of the best views in London .

This mighty structure – first known as the Millennium Wheel – was installed on the South Bank of the River Thames to mark the start of a new century. It was officially opened just before New Year 2000. It was later known as Coca-Cola London Eye and is now called lastminute.com London Eye .

London Eye is 135 m (443 ft) tall and has a diameter of 120 m (394 ft). But despite its giant size, it was initially only meant to be a temporary attraction. More than 20 years later, the London Eye is still turning and is more popular than ever!

The Eye has 32 fully enclosed glass capsules or ‘pods’ that are in constant motion, although they move very slowly and you have plenty of time to safely get on and off. A ticket buys you a ride on one complete revolution of the wheel, which takes around 30 minutes.

The views across the capital are stunning, taking in many of the popular sights of London, including some of the best views of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Even on a cloudy day, you can still get some breathtaking shots!

PRO TIP: London Eye is extremely popular and waiting times can be very long. For the best experience, get your tickets online in advance . It’s cheaper if booked at least a day upfront AND it will save you time not having to queue at the ticket office (you’ll still have to queue at the London Eye itself unless you get fast-track tickets – see below).

To save time for that too, consider fast-track tickets that give you immediate access. On a busy day, this can easily save you 2-3 hours. It’s totally worth it, especially if you are only in London for a few days and want to see as many of the popular sights as possible.

Top London Sights - London Eye

3. Buckingham Palace

Your London bucket list wouldn’t be complete without seeing one of its most important places – Buckingham Palace . Built in 1703, this is one of only a few working royal palaces in the world. It has been the London home of the British Royal family since 1837.

When Queen Elizabeth II lived here, you could tell whether or not she was at home by taking a look at the flag flying above the Palace. If she was in residence, then the Royal Standard was raised. When she was away, you saw the Union flag flying instead.

When the royals are on yearly holidays (usually from the last week of July to the end of September/first week of October), you can visit the inside of Buckingham Palace ( more info and tickets here – only in season).

As you would expect for a home befitting a royal family, it is lavishly decorated, with stunning rooms and halls, sweeping staircases, and examples of fine art throughout. You can even visit part of the Royal Gardens with wildflowers and lakes, right in the very heart of London!

Good to know: When the Palace is closed to visitors, you can still see it from the outside.

Additional recommendation. Make sure to also visit Royal Mews . This site is open to the public even when the Palace is closed ( more info and tickets here ). Here, you can see the impressive collection of royal carriages and vehicles. It’s especially great for families visiting London with kids .

Buckingham Palace is must see in London

4. Changing of the Guard

Almost every London postcard will feature a photograph of the Queen’s Guards (now King’s Guards) in their distinctive bearskin caps. At Buckingham Palace, you can see them for yourself!

When sightseeing in London, don’t miss the iconic Changing of the Guard ceremony! This happens almost every morning when the Old Guard (the guards already on duty) is replaced by the New Guard.

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace takes place daily in June and July. During the rest of the year, you can see it on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. It starts at around 10.45 am and lasts about an hour. The official start time is 11 am; that’s when St James’s Palace relief leaves Buckingham Palace.

The ceremony is accompanied by music from the military marching band. But don’t expect to hear JUST military marches – you’ll often be treated to show tunes and maybe even one or two of the latest pop songs!

TIP: This is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, so make sure you arrive early and secure a place right by the Palace gates for the best view. Alternatively, join a walking tour ; they know just the right places and the best times to be there.

Good to know: This is not the only place where you can see the Royal Guard in London. More info further below.

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London

5. Westminster Abbey

A visit to Westminster Abbey gives you the opportunity to step back in time, at the site of many of Britain’s most important moments in history. The building was consecrated in 1065 and every British monarch has been crowned there since 1066. It has also been the venue for 16 royal weddings.

The Abbey is open for regular worship, although it is not a normal parish church or a cathedral. Instead, Westminster Abbey is known as a ‘Royal Peculiar’, which means it isn’t subject to a bishop or archbishop – only to the reigning Sovereign.

There is a lot to see and appreciate at Westminster Abbey besides its beautiful Gothic architecture!

Most fascinating is the ancient Coronation chair in St. George’s Chapel . This is the magnificent oak seat where British kings and queens have received their crowns throughout the centuries. You can also see the Grave of the Unknown Warrior , where the body of a soldier was buried after being brought from France in 1920. This is a place of pilgrimage and the site to which many visiting heads of state come to lay a wreath when in England.

There are also over 600 wall tablets and monuments commemorating important figures in science, battle, music, and more. If you are a fan of literature, be sure to visit Poet’s Corner , which is devoted to notable Brits such as William Shakespeare, CS Lewis, and Charles Dickens.

Alternatively, listen to the beautiful and atmospheric sound of the practicing choir as you tour the tombs of British monarchs. You can even visit the 950-year-old Pyx Chamber , which still has its medieval tiled floor. Indeed, nowhere brings history to life quite as much as Westminster Abbey!

PRO TIP: If you want to visit Westminster Abbey inside, it’s best to book your tickets online in advance . Otherwise, you’ll easily waste a few hours in line. Alternatively, visit with a guided tour that includes a visit inside – not only will it save you time, but you’ll also be sure not to miss any of the most important sights and get a good introduction to the place. If going without a guide, we recommend hiring an audio tour!

Westminster Abbey in London

6. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is another must-see landmark of London. An integral part of the London skyline, it’s probably the most recognized bridge in the world!

Tower Bridge may appear to be very old, but the construction was only started in 1886, and the bridge was opened in 1894. It was designed to look older than it is so that it would blend in with historic buildings like the Tower of London, just nearby (see below).

Not to be confused with London Bridge, Tower Bridge opens to let tall ships pass by, which is why some people refer to it as a drawbridge. But it is actually a double-leafed ‘bascule’ bridge. The word bascule comes from the French word for seesaw, which is the best way to describe how the lifting mechanism works.

Of course, seeing the bridge in action is part of the fun of visiting it. As it is raised between 700 and 1000 times a year, the chances of watching it happen are pretty good! You can even view (and feel) the raising of Tower Bridge from the walkway at the top if you book tickets to take an official tour.

If you go on top of the Tower Bridge, you’ll also get to see the inside of the North and South Towers, along with the engine room. This contains the steam engines that were originally used to power the lift mechanism. The walkway gives you a fantastic, panoramic view across London. There’s also a glass section so you can look down at the city directly beneath you.

TIP: Just as with all the main tourist attractions in London, it’s best to book your visit online in advance . On the other hand, if you are short on time, don’t worry about going on top. Seeing the bridge from walkways near the river is impressive enough, and you can walk across as many times as you want as well.

Top London Sights - Tower Bridge

7. Tower of London

No other place in London has a history quite so varied and captivating as the iconic Tower of London . If you visit just one museum in London, make it this one. The Tower of London is one of the most iconic London attractions that you really have to see!

Surrounded by modern city buildings and on the banks of the River Thames, this London landmark was originally built as a fortress. It was also designed to show off the power of British royalty and doubled up as a royal palace, with luxuriously furnished apartments and staterooms. In fact, it is still the official palace of the reigning monarch.

But the Tower has a grim and grisly past!

It was used as a prison for many years, with unfortunate convicts entering through the Traitor’s Gate and some later being executed on Tower Green. During a tour of its walls, you can learn all about the fiendish devices used to torture prisoners during the 16th and 17th centuries. You’ll also hear some of the dark stories associated with the Bloody Tower, where 12-year old Edward V and his brother Richard were believed to have been murdered in 1483.

It’s not all doom and gloom though – the Tower is also home to the Crown Jewels and a vast collection of over 23,000 gemstones. Plus, you can meet the Yeoman Guards – popularly known as the Beefeaters – who are the ceremonial guards of the Tower.

Since they are no longer required to guard prisoners, they act as tour guides and can tell you all about the Tower’s famous ravens. Legend has it that if the six resident ravens ever leave, both the Tower of London – and the kingdom – will fall! There are actually seven ravens living at the Tower now – which includes a spare one, just in case!

Good to know: The Tower of London is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. So expect big crowds! Also here, it’s advisable to book your ticket online in advance . Alternatively, join a guided tour that already includes skip-the-line tickets.

Tower of London - one of the top landmarks in London

8. Thames Cruise

Another must-do in London is taking a cruise on River Thames . Cruising along the Thames allows you to view the city from a whole new perspective! It’s a unique way to see London and some of its most iconic sights from another angle.

There are lots of companies offering different types of experiences for London sightseeing on the Thames River. The most popular option among tourists is taking a cruise between the London Eye/Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge/Tower of London. It is also often included with hop-on-hop-off bus tickets . Taking a boat on the river is also a popular way to get to Greenwich.

If you have more time, you can opt for hop-on-hop-off cruises that allow you to disembark and rejoin another cruise when you’re ready. It’s a great way to see London sights that are close to the river.

For a more luxurious experience, you might prefer a luxury dining cruise. There are afternoon tea cruises , lunch cruises , or dinner cruises . Or perhaps you are a thrill-seeker, in which case you might prefer a speedboat experience . Some operators even offer to accompany your trip with a James Bond soundtrack – definitely the coolest way to enjoy the Thames!

No matter how you choose to do it, a boat ride on the River Thames is not to be missed in London!

Alternative: If a regular boat isn’t quite your style, you can also join a guided kayak tour to explore the river and waterways, or a barge cruise along the Regent’s Canal north of the Thames.

Iconic London landmarks seen from River Thames cruise

9. Trafalgar Square

Established in the early 19th century, Trafalgar Square was named to commemorate the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar, when Horatio Nelson and the British navy defeated Napoleon. Right in the middle of the square sits the 52m (169 ft) Nelson’s Column, on top of which is a statue of Nelson himself.

On either side of the Column are two large fountains and four large lion statues. You can also see other commemorative statues, along with various contemporary works of art displayed on the Fourth Plinth. The National Gallery , one of the best museums in London, is also located here.

But perhaps the main reason to visit Trafalgar Square is simply to sit awhile, soak up the lively atmosphere, and watch the world go by!

The Square is always filled with groups of tourists taking photos of the monuments, or London city workers relaxing and enjoying their lunch. Indeed, Trafalgar Square has long been a public gathering place and you may even come across some type of demonstration or celebration taking place there when you visit.

If you’re lucky enough to visit during the festive season, look out for the huge Norway spruce or fir Christmas tree. A tree is given as a gift every year by the citizens of Oslo, as a thank you for Britain’s help during WW2. Trafalgar Square is also a popular place for revelers to meet on New Year’s Eve.

Good to know: You don’t need much time to visit Trafalgar Square, but it’s one of the must-see places in London. So don’t miss it! This area is also one of the best places to stay for sightseeing in London – see the ‘ where to stay for sightseeing’ section below for more info and hotel suggestions.

Trafalgar Square - must see places in London

10. Downing Street & Horse Guards

No visit to London would be complete without taking a glimpse of 10 Downing Street , the official residence of the UK’s Prime Minister. Another must-do is seeing the Horse Guards at the nearby Household Cavalry Museum.

We list these two places together because they are so close by to each other. You’ll pass them both if you walk between Westminster/ Big Ben and Trafalgar Square.

Downing Street is closed to the public, so you can only see the famous no. 10 from a distance. There’s a big gate at the crossing of Whitehall and Downing Street – this is usually as close as you can get to it. We indicated the location on our map of London sights at the end of this article.

Whereas the Horse Guards can be admired from close-by and there are always tourists taking pictures here. In addition to the hourly guard changes, there are also daily morning guard changes and daily afternoon Garrison Inspections. At the Household Cavalry Museum , you can learn more about HM The Queen’s Mounted Bodyguard and take a peek at the working stables, etc.

Good to know: For the daily Changing of the Guard, be here at 11 am. On Sundays – 10 am. This is not the same ceremony as the one at Buckingham Palace. There is also a daily parade that takes place on the courtyard in front of Horse Guards at 4 pm. It’s also known as The 4 o’Clock Parade.

Downing Street in London

11. Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus is another of the must-see places in London. This hip and happening attraction in the heart of London isn’t actually a circus at all. It’s a road junction, connecting London’s Regent Street with Piccadilly. The ‘Circus’ part of its name comes from the Latin word for circle and refers to the round open space it occupies.

But whilst a road junction may sound uninteresting, Piccadilly Circus is quite the opposite!

Surrounded by bars, restaurants, and designer stores, the area is lively day and night. It lies in the center of theaterland, with the Criterion, Plaza, and Piccadilly Theaters all close at hand.

The Circus is perhaps most famous for its enormous digital billboards which cover the upper stories of the corner building on the north side. They look especially captivating at night, as does the entire area, with its performing street artists and its relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. If anything, you could probably compare it a bit to Times Square in New York.

Piccadilly Circus is also very well known for the bronze Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain at its center. This fountain is often described as the ‘Eros’ fountain because of the statue of a winged archer that sits atop it. But the archer actually represents a sibling of Eros – Anteros, the ancient Greek god of requited love and the avenger of the unrequited!

Piccadilly Circus in London

12. Hyde Park

When you step into London’s beautiful Hyde Park , it’s hard to remember that you are actually in the middle of a bustling city! Covering an immense 350 acres, it is filled with a wide variety of interesting things to see and do. There are also many cafes throughout the park, so it’s a great place to come for lunch as well.

Of course, the main reason to visit Hyde Park is to connect with nature. And with its ornamental flower gardens, meadow, and 40-acre Serpentine Lake , it’s very easy to do. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see a red squirrel darting between the trees – a species native to Britain but becoming increasingly rare.

If you’re feeling active, there are plenty of opportunities to expend a little energy, from swimming or cycling to roller-skating along the wide tree-lined paths. In summer, you can hire a (paddle) boat on The Serpentine. In winter, there’s usually an outdoor ice skating rink at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

There are also various monuments and statues scattered throughout the park, including the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain and the Holocaust Memorial.

But one of the most interesting aspects of Hyde Park is its history as a protest site, with many marches and rallies being held there over the years. Hyde Park was, in fact, the meeting place of the suffragette movement as it campaigned for votes for women. Head to Speaker’s Corner on any Sunday morning, and you can listen to various members of the public sharing their opinions on any (legal) subject they choose. Notable past speakers have included Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and George Orwell!

Swans at Hyde Park in London

13. St. Paul’s Cathedral

Instantly recognizable by its world-famous dome, St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the iconic London landmarks that you should try to visit as well. As a minimum, try to see it from the outside.

The current St Paul’s Cathedral was designed by the architect Sir Christopher Wren and built from 1675 to 1710. Its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Still an active place of worship, St Paul’s has been central to some of Britain’s most important events, including the 1981 marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. It has also hosted the funerals of key figures in history, including Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female Prime Minister.

There is an incredible amount to see in the Cathedral and you can easily while away an afternoon admiring its various chapels, beautiful frescoed ceilings, and religious artwork.

But the highlight of a visit to St Paul’s is the walk up into its dome ! Not for the faint-hearted, the walk starts with 259 steps up to the Whispering Gallery , from where you’ll get the most incredible views of the inside of the Cathedral. The dome’s excellent acoustics mean that the slightest whisper will be heard right across the other side of the Gallery – hence its name.

Another 117 steps will take you up to the Stone Gallery . But for exceptional, panoramic views across London, take the extra 150 steps up to the Golden Gallery at the very top.

Good to know: If you want to visit inside and climb the dome, it’s best to book your tickets online in advance. For opening times and tickets, see here .

TIP: For a great view of the Cathedral from the outside, head to the rooftop terrace of the One New Change shopping center, right across the street. It offers some of the best views in London .

St Paul's Cathedral in London

14. Greenwich

The London borough of Greenwich sits on the banks of the River Thames (and can be easily reached from the center by Thames cruise , which is something nice to do in itself). This fascinating part of the city with strong royal connections and rich maritime history, has something to offer everyone.

Even though it’s located a bit further away from the main sights in London city center, this is also one of the most visited areas of London. And it is well worth your time even if you are traveling from the other side of the world and have to be selective with how you spend your time.

The tranquil Greenwich Royal Park is home to the Royal Observatory , which played a huge part in the history of astronomy and navigation. Here, you can view its incredible collection of timepieces and astronomical equipment. You can also take an incredible journey through the stars at the Planetarium , where digital lasers project views of the heavens!

Something you MUST do when visiting Greenwich is stand astride the Prime Meridian Line. This line represents 0° longitude, dividing the planet into eastern and western hemispheres and running all the way from the North Pole to the South. The Line passes through the Royal Observatory ( get tickets here ) and provides the unique opportunity of being photographed with one foot in the east and one foot in the west!

The architecture in Greenwich demonstrates its royal connections, with the stunning Queen’s House and its famous Tulip Staircase . If you’re interested in maritime history then you could easily spend a couple of days exploring the stunning Old Royal Naval College and National Maritime Museum . As a minimum, check out the Painted Hall !

The Painted Hall in the Old Royal Naval College - must see in Greenwich

One of Greenwich’s most popular attractions is the Cutty Sark – a restored British clipper ship that now stands proudly on a glass pedestal. The whole family will enjoy exploring everything from the rigging on deck to the crew’s quarters and engine rooms.

The bustling and popular Greenwich market provides a great place to shop and eat, with some of the best street food in town.

And as the sun starts to set at the end of the day, be sure to take a walk through the Greenwich foot tunnel , which takes you from one side of the River Thames to the other. Not only is the experience of walking underneath the river a pretty cool one, but the views back across to the Greenwich skyline glowing in the setting sun are quite unforgettable.

Good to know: There is so much to see and do in Greenwich that you could easily spend at least one full day here! As an absolute minimum, you’ll need to plan half a day for a visit here. See our complete guide to Greenwich attractions via the link above.

Royal Observatory Greenwich - one of the top places to visit in London

15. London Museums

No list of the top London attractions would be complete without mentioning at least some of its museums. Indeed, London has some of the finest museums in the world, covering all fields of interest.

The British Museum is the largest and one of the most visited. It houses over 8 million objects representing human history, culture, and art. These include the controversial Elgin Marbles and the Rosetta Stone, which helped scholars decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.

South Kensington is home to both, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum . A leading center for scientific research, the Natural History Museum houses a vast number of exhibits related to all aspects of the natural world. The Victoria and Albert Museum, however, is devoted to human creativity. Here you can see over 4 million examples of decorative art and design from all over the globe.

Also on an artistic theme is the Tate Modern – one of the four Tate galleries in the UK. It features both modern and contemporary work from artists worldwide and is made all the more impressive by its Turbine Hall. This vast space runs the whole length of the building and is capable of displaying very large sculptures and installations. This gives you the chance to appreciate art on a scale you may never have experienced before.

Good to know: Many London museums can be visited free of charge. However, they do require quite some of your time. Depending on your interests and how many days you have in London, try to visit at least one or two museums. But if you want to truly explore them, you’d need several days for the main museums alone.

Natural History Museum in London

16. London Theaters & Musicals

One of the very best things to do in London is to see a theater performance . With so many theaters, concert halls, world-class shows, and musicals, there’s always something going on in London that will suit your interests.

TIP: For the best seats and the most popular shows, it’s best to book your tickets well in advance . It’s very hard to get tickets for the show and the time that suits you on the day itself, especially if you are traveling in the high season.

If you are not that particular about which show to watch or where to sit, you can usually find some last-minute tickets as well. There are some last-minute ticket booths in the city center (Leicester Square is a good place for that) and also tourism offices and even hotels can usually help you arrange this. But, ideally, you do it at least a few days upfront.

Lyceum Theatre in London

17. The View from The Shard

The Shard is one of the most iconic skyscrapers in London. The View from The Shard is one of the absolute best viewpoints in the city that can definitely compete with the views you get from the London Eye.

The Shard has several viewing platforms, both indoors (66th and 69th floors) and in the open air (72nd floor). The open-air sky deck on the 72nd floor is the highest viewing platform in Western Europe. The Shard also has several bars and restaurants. The bars normally work on a ‘walk-in’ basis with no admission charge (but very pricey drinks).

But the main reason to come here are, of course, the viewing decks which offer 360° views that you won’t get from any bar or restaurant. From the top, you get unparalleled views over the entire city of London and its wide surroundings. It’s also really nice to visit here at sunset or in the dark.

Good to know: The Shard is located relatively close to the Tower area (just 10 minutes walk from Tower Bridge). So it’s really easy to include a visit here in your itinerary.

TIP: The View from The Shard is one of the most popular things to do in London and they operate with timed-entry slots. So if you want to visit, be sure to book your tickets in advance !

The Shard, London

18. Madame Tussauds

If you’ve ever wanted to get up close and personal with the stars, then be sure to visit Madame Tussauds wax museum . For several decennia already, Madame Tussauds has been on all the top lists of London’s must-see attractions.

It contains more than 250 wax figures of celebrities from the worlds of history, glamour, music, popular culture, and more. Best of all, there are no ropes separating you from the exhibits, so if you’ve ever felt like taking a selfie with James Bond or the Queen of England, this is your chance!

But there’s more to Madame Tussauds than simply walking around and looking at the incredibly lifelike figures. Various interactive displays and immersive experiences really bring all the characters to life, and you can even get a backstage look at how they are created.

The host of celebrities on display is constantly changing, so it’s easy to see who’s hot in popular culture – and who’s not! Although… there’s always a place for The Beatles here!

TIP: Madame Tussauds is another extremely popular tourist attraction in London and it’s always very busy here. So make sure to book your tickets online in advance ! This is not only cheaper than buying tickets on the same day, but it can also save you from wasting a few hours waiting in line as well!

Also here, fast-track tickets are available and they are well worth it if your time in London is limited.

British Royal family at Madame Tussauds London

19. Covent Garden

Located in London’s west end, Covent Garden is a fun and lively mixture of trendy bars, restaurants, upscale shops, and cultural attractions, all centered around its historic market. Even if you don’t feel like shopping, a visit to Covent Garden Market is a must, if only to admire its 19th-century glass roof and fantastic architecture!

Step away from the market and into the fully pedestrianized 17th-century Piazza. Here, you can enjoy the eclectic (and free!) street entertainment whilst sipping a glass of wine at one of the many bars that surround the square.

If you’re a fan of opera or ballet, then you’re in the perfect spot – Covent Garden is home to the Royal Opera House . And the nearby London Transport Museum is a great place to visit if you’d like to see some of England’s historic vehicles and iconic London transport signage.

The most surprising part of Covent Garden is Neal’s Yard , one of the hidden gems of London . Maybe the prettiest street in London, its winding alleys are lined by buildings painted in all colors of the rainbow. These are home to independent and ethical businesses selling everything from pizza to natural remedies.

TIP: Before you leave, be sure to check out the Infinity Chamber in Conduit Court. Made with hundreds of colored LED bulbs, it’s open 24 hours a day and guarantees you the perfect shot to remember your visit to this part of the city.

Covent Garden Market is one of the top places to visit in London

20. Oxford Street

If you want to do some serious shopping in London, then make sure Oxford Street is on your London sightseeing itinerary. But even if you don’t plan to buy anything, a visit here is a great way to experience yet another facet of the city.

This 1.9 km (1.4 mi) road in the city’s west end is the most popular (and therefore busiest) shopping street in Europe. It features all kinds of stores from affordable high street fashion chains to exclusive designer names, sometimes with lower prices than you’ll find elsewhere.

There are plenty of eateries and pubs to keep you fortified and much of the architecture is interesting too, with some stores occupying listed buildings.

Not for the faint-hearted, Oxford Street is busy, and both the sidewalks and the road itself are almost constantly congested. If you want to avoid the worst of the crowds, visit first thing in the morning on a weekday.

But if you want to indulge in a little people-watching as you shop, head to Oxford Street at night. The bright lights and buzzing atmosphere will remind you just what makes this shopping mecca such a draw for visitors from all over the world.

Oxford Street in London

21. Leicester Square

Leicester Square is another bustling place in London that you just can’t miss. This public square – established in 1670 – has a distinctly cool and vibrant atmosphere, especially at night when it really comes to life. There is something here for the whole family to enjoy.

Kids, in particular, will love M&M’s World – the biggest candy store on the planet! You can also visit the world’s largest LEGO store , where you can see a huge – and fully working – replica of Big Ben.

Outside the shops, you’ll find plenty of statues of famous figures from literature to popular culture and more. These include Mary Poppins, Paddington Bear, and even Mr. Bean!

The Square is especially popular for its entertainment, offering London’s very best shows and movie theaters . If you’re lucky, you may even get to spot a celebrity at one of the 52 red-carpet movie premieres that take place here every year.

As you would expect for such a busy area, there are lots of excellent bars and restaurants to choose from. And you are just a short walk away from London’s Chinatown , with its incredible restaurants offering a wide variety of Asian specialties.

Before leaving Leicester Square, make sure to visit the Swiss Glockenspiel clock , which is located close to M&M’S World. It’s easy to walk past without noticing – but on the hour, every hour, its bells begin to chime and its figures rotate. This charming clock looks even better at night when it is fully illuminated and it makes a great photograph to add to your collection of London’s diverse and iconic sights.

Leicester Square in London

22. Borough Market

Borough Market dates back to the 13th century and is both the oldest – and the largest – market in Britain. Just steps away from the Shard in Southwark, it is – without a doubt – London’s foodie paradise!

Featuring both British food and lots of international options, the market is packed with stalls and food trucks selling dishes as diverse as spicy empanadas, fresh oysters, specialty fudge, and handmade chocolates. There are also booths heaped with fresh produce and herbs, along with exotic ingredients you’d struggle to find elsewhere. In fact, there are so many stalls that you could spend an entire day here if you decided to visit each and every one!

Borough Market is a great place to visit for lunch! In addition to the artisanal street food, there are plenty of popular restaurants and cafes both inside the Borough Market and in the streets surrounding it. That being said, most visitors would agree that the very best food is to be had at the stalls themselves. The only problem is choosing just which regional specialty to have!

Good to know: The best days to visit are from Wednesday through to Saturday, when the full complement of traders are there. Keep in mind that the market is open during the day, until around 5 pm and it’s closed on Sundays.

TIP: If you are looking to visit more markets in London , definitely check out Camden Market in Camden Town . It’s one of the most unique, quirkiest neighborhoods in the city! Also Greenwich Market , Spitalfields Market, Portobello Road Market, and Columbia Road Flower Market are all really nice.

Borough Market in London

23. Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

Last but not least, the hop-on hop-off bus also deserves a mention among the best things to do in London! London is a huge city and there’s no way to see everything in just a few days (not even to mention that your feet will get sore). A journey on a London sightseeing bus is a great way to familiarize yourself with the city and see the best of London’s landmarks in the shortest amount of time.

You can choose to board the bus and enjoy a complete loop of the city, taking in iconic sights such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London. If you decide you want to explore an attraction a little more thoroughly, then you can just hop off and jump on the next bus that comes along when you’re ready.

Each bus has an open top which gives you a great 360° view. In addition, most providers offer features such as live or audio guides, special commentaries for kids, and even activity books.

The raised position of the upper deck of the bus gives you a whole new perspective and a real appreciation for London’s architecture, particularly that of the upper floors that you might have missed otherwise!

Tickets are generally valid for either 24, 48, or 72 hours and usually include extras, such as a free Thames cruise or walking tour. Some providers also offer night tours – a real treat if you choose to take one, as the view of the city lit up at night is unique and unforgettable.

Good to know: The two main hop-on hop-off bus companies – London Tootbus and the Big Bus Tour – both offer very similar routes and prices. Tootbus is usually slightly cheaper than Big Bus. In the past, Big Bus tickets were valid for 1-3 calendar days, whereas Tootbus – for 24-72 hours. So if you only started your Tootbus tour in the afternoon, you could still use it the next morning as well. But Big Bus has recently adjusted its system as well, so now both offers are pretty much identical, and the tickets are valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours from the first validation.

TIP: We recommend booking a ticket for a longer duration , as one day will not be enough to take full advantage of all that’s included. Also, 2-3 day tickets offer much better value than a day ticket.

When we were in London, we took the Tootbus for a day. It was good, but I really regretted we didn’t book it for a longer duration. Multi-day tickets offer much better value and you can also take more time to explore the landmarks along the way.

London sightseeing bus at Big Ben

Map of Top London Attractions

To help you get a better idea of where all the main London attractions are located, we created a map indicating all the points of interest and sights mentioned in this article.

This should help you plan your time a bit better. But please keep in mind that you can only visit 2-3 of the main tourist attractions in a day. It’s busy everywhere, distances between places are big, and even with the skip-the-line tickets, you’ll need several hours for each place (if you visit inside). So plan your time well!

TIP: For more information and useful tips for your visit, please also see our guide with top travel tips for London via the link below. It’s an essential read when planning your trip!

LEARN MORE: Top Tips for Visiting London

How To Use This Map:  Use your computer mouse (or fingers) to zoom in or out. Click on the icons to get more information about each place. Click the arrow on the left top corner for the index. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account – that way you can also consult it when sightseeing in London. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open Google Maps, click the menu button, and go to ‘Your Places’/’Maps’.

So, this is our list of the very best things to do in London for tourists. It might not look like much for such a big city, but you’ll need at least 2 days in London to see just the main places, and 3-4 days to try to cover all the main sights of London mentioned in this guide (and you won’t have enough time to actually visit everything inside).

In addition, there’s so much more to see and do in this fascinating city than just the most famous London tourist attractions! So if you have more time, then definitely take some time to visit at least a few hidden gems of London as well and check out some of the best viewpoints in London !

TIP: If you want to see all the top London sights from this list, visit the main attractions inside, check out some of the lesser-known places, and truly enjoy your visit, make sure to plan at least 5-7 days in London. Staying for a week will allow you to also take one or several day trips from London .

Don’t despair if this is your first visit and you only have a day in the city. With some good planning and advance preparation, you can see some of the musts in London in just a day too. In that case, be sure to check out our recommended London itinerary for one day .

Where to Stay for Sightseeing in London

PRO TIP: In order to make the most of your visit to London, we recommend staying in the heart of the city. Our favorite area to stay for sightseeing in London is close to Westminster Bridge (near Big Ben – London Eye). For example, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London hotel has a great price/quality/location ratio in this area.

Another really nice central area for sightseeing (but also shopping, dining, and theaters) is the area around Trafalgar Square – Covent Garden .

Here are some of the best hotels in this area for all budgets:

  • £££££ St Martins Lane – a modern 5* hotel with nice light rooms.
  • ££££ Citadines Trafalgar Square – one of the most popular and good value 4* hotels.
  • £££ Assembly Hotel – 3* hotel – a nice choice in the mid-range budget.
  • ££ The Z Hotel Trafalgar – the most popular and best-rated lower-budget hotel in this area.

READ ALSO: Best Areas to Stay in London

Using the map below, you can also compare hotels and short-term rental accommodations in central London . Simply insert your travel dates and group size, and you’ll see what’s available for your stay. Check it out!

More travel inspiration for your trip to the UK:

  • Where to go:  Best Cities to Visit in the UK
  • Near London: Best Day Trips & One Day Tours from London
  • With kids:  London with Kids & Family-friendly Afternoon Tea in London
  • Yorkshire:  Yorkshire Day Trips
  • Liverpool: Top Places to See in Liverpool & Liverpool Day Trip from London
  • Manchester: Best Things to Do in Manchester & 1-Day Manchester Itinerary
  • Cornwall: Best Places to Visit in Cornwall & Where to Stay in Cornwall
  • Blackpool: Best Things to Do in Blackpool & Where to Stay in Blackpool
  • Scotland:   Isle of Skye Itinerary  &  Scotland Whisky Tour
  • Edinburgh:  Best Things to Do in Edinburgh  &  One Day in Edinburgh & Tips for Visiting Edinburgh
  • Glasgow:  One Day in Glasgow

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin these images!

Best things to do and top places to see in London

Photos: personal collection, Pixabay.com & Depositphotos.com

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Sunday 26th of June 2022

Hello, my sister sent me your web address, which is so helpful! My husband and I will be visiting London and probably Paris in June or July 2023 with our 14 year old daughter. The only thing she wants to do is go to visit the Harry Potter studios, which we will do, but we are trying to plan this trip to decrease the complaining she will do with boredom (worse as an only child) and asking to just sit in the hotel on wifi.... So, your list is so helpful!!. I was also looking at your article on afternoon tea with children, and you mentioned it was hot so it was nice to be inside. When I look at the average high in July in London it says 72, which is much cooler than by us in the states in New Jersey, it's June now and in the mid 90's! I wanted to go in July so that would would be able to tour the palace, but now I'm thinking June would be better if July is too hot and more crowded. Any thoughts? Is it really a high of 72 in July which seems comfortable to me, or is it actually hotter in the city?

Thanks so much-

Monday 27th of June 2022

Hi Lisa, if there is one thing you can't predict in London in advance, it's the weather. And what's hot for us (25-30°C (77-86 F)) is probably very comfortable for people who are used to much higher temperatures. It's very rare that it would get to 90°F in London, maybe just a few days in July or August. But you never really know. It can just as well be 70°F or even lower. As for the crowds, in general, June should be less busy than July. Most European countries only start their summer school break in July, some even mid-July, so June is generally better (just avoid long weekends around bank holidays).

London Kensington Guide

Guide to London's coolest places to visit

Things To Do

Top 20 Places To Visit In London – Unmissable Tourist Sights

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

Last Updated on 7 November, 2023

A city with so much to see and do, to help you decide I am sharing the top 20 places to visit in London. Many of these are also covered in my one day London itinerary , which helps you to navigate to some of these to maximise your time in London.

I have also shared the unmissable and colourful side of Covent Garden , a touch of Romance on Southbank , this supplements those posts with a list of places that are a must see when you visit London.

One place I nearly forgot to add in the top 20 places and London Best Tourist sights in London is Monument. This little gem(if you can manage the 200+ steps) has one of the best views in the city in addition to the  5 London Viewpoints I have blogged about.

For those that have the energy to explore into the night, I have also shared things to share in London at night .

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

Top 2O Tourist Sights In London To Visit

There are plenty of sights in London to get lost in. Below are just some of the top must-see sights to add to your list of places to visit in London.

In addition sites like Attraction Tix usually has plenty of deals on tickets for these attractions even though I have tried to include plenty of free attractions below.

You can also check out Viator for an endless list of tours in London, from food tours to sightseeing and street art spotting in London .

Big Ben is a clock tower belonging to London’s House of Parliament. A lot of people actually don’t know that its official name is actually the Elizabeth Tower.

At night, the tower’s four clock faces are lit up and this allows Big Ben become a center of attraction to the public and its a popular attraction to photography at night. Nearest Tube Station:  Westminister Station – literally outside the station.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

Tower Bridge

The Tower Bridge is  one of the famous and iconic bridges that exist in London and possibly the world.

There is actually a timetable that tells you when the bridge opens so that you can spot this cool bridge open and close during your visit. (This is no so fun for us Londoners when it opens up during the day as traffic backs up until the bridge reopens).

You can also now walk across the glass on the Tower bridge above the Bridge road itself. Nearest Tube Station:  London Bridge and Tower Gateway Stations

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

National Gallery

This museum is located in Covent Garden and can be found on Trafalgar Square in Westminster City. The museum houses several collections such as The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger , The Origin of Milky Way by Tintoretto, among others.

This is among many of London museums to add to your list of places to visit in London. Nearest Tube Station:  Charing Cross Station and Leicester Square Station.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

Trafalgar Square

The Trafalgar square is a located in Westminster city, London and a must for any visitor to London.

This square plays host to many events in London from London’s Westend Live which is an event that brings together all the Westend’s theatre shows on one stage to sample all the shows songs across the day.

This is also where you will find London’s famous London Lions. You can read more about Trafalgar Square in one of my post linked. Nearest Tube Station: Nearest Tube Station:  Charing Cross Station and Leicester Square Station.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

As the name suggests, it is a monument, and it is often called The Monument to the Great Fire of London. It is located near the North of London Bridge and offers great views across London.

Just make sure you where comfortable sure to walk up the steps to the top.

Nearest Tube Station:  Bank Station – 1 minute walk from the station

The London Eye offers one of the most unique viewpoints in London. It is a giant Ferris wheel at the banks of the River Thames on the Southbank. It has a record of over 3 million visitors in a year and absolute must visit in London.

In 2000, it was the largest Ferris Wheel in the world when it was open to the public. You get your London Eye tickets in advance here as weekends and most holidays the queues can be quite something.

Nearest Tube Station:  Waterloo Station and Westminister Station.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

Tower Of London

The Tower of London is located within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets but centrally located in London and can be easily combined with visits to the Shard, Borough Market – London’s oldest market , and Tower Bridge as they are in close proximity to each other.

Nearest Tube Station:  London Bridge and Tower Gateway Station

It consists of the White Tower and the inner ward. The white tower was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror. This is always where you will find the crown jewels. You can buy you purchase Tower of London advance tickets here.

This is also where they had the London Poppies exhibitions at Tower of London which are now touring around the UK.

Buckingham Palace

Explore the royal residence of with a Buckingham Palace tour  and access the offices and London residence of Her Majesty The Queen!

While The Queen makes her annual summer visit to Scotland, the magnificent Buckingham Palace State Rooms are opened up for visitors to venture behind the scenes and get a glimpse into the lives of the Royals.

The State Rooms are the heart of the Palace, and are used by the Royal Family to receive and entertain guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions.

These spectacular rooms are opulently furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection. You’ll see paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Poussin and Canaletto, sculpture by Canova, exquisite Sèvres porcelain and some of the world’s finest English and French furniture. Nearest Tube Station:  Charing Cross Station and Westminister Station.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

Greenwich Gmt Observatory

In Greenwich London, this is the home and Royal Observatory of the Greenwich Mean Time, a mean solar time.  The observatory overlooks River Thames and can be found in Greenwich Park, situated on a hill.

This is such a beautiful part of London to explore and not just of the Observatory. For more on what else to see in Greenwich, check out my post on Top 10 Things To Do In Greenwich .

Nearest Tube Station:  Cutty Sark on DLR.

Among many of London’s Instagram-worthy sights is The Shard. London’s skyscraper with 95-storeys. Built on the banks of the River Thames, it houses the luxury hotel the Shangri-La, in addition to many cool restaurants and bars as well as offices.

There is also a viewing gallery right at the top.

I have had the pleasure of staying over at the Shangri-La , so if you are after an amazing London experience then don miss that. One the blog you can also find a post on a visit to check out the views at the Shard .

You can buy Shard tickets in advance here although not always necessary unless its the busy seasons.

Nearest Tube Station:  London Bridge Station – 1 minute from the station.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

The O2 Arena

This multipurpose indoor arena is situated in the O2 entertainment complex at the centre arena has hosted many events since its inception; events such as Under the Iron Sea Tour, ATP World Tour Finals and C2C: Country to Country.

A lot of tourists dont know that you can actually climb across the O2 . While you are here you can also check out Emirates cable cars to cross the Thames . For where to stay, you can check out these cool hotels near 02 Arena .

Nearest Tube Station:  North Greenwich Station – only 1-minute walk outside the station.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

Piccadilly Circus

This circus was built with the intention of connecting Regent Street with Piccadilly. The Piccadilly Circus is a round open space and it is also a road junction of West End, London in Westminster City.

Piccadilly Circus is a site which is always busy with many people and activities and this is also where many a tourists and locals come to experience London’s retail shopping as it’s a gateway to London’s famous Oxford Street.

Nearest Tube Station:  Piccadilly Circus Station.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

Westminster Abbey

Previously called the Collegiate Church of St Peter is a Gothic abbey church in Westminster City, it is known for events such as coronations, burials, royal weddings, and Anglican Church music.

This is a stone’s throw from Big Ben and a must see when exploring the area, you can also combine this with a visit to Trafalgar Square and London Eye as all these tourist sights are close to each other and within walking distance.

You can purchase advance tickets here to combined tickets for Westminister Abbey and St Pauls Cathedral as both can sometimes have long queues.

Nearest Tube Station:  Westminister Station.

Paul’s Cathedral

This Anglican cathedral is situated on Ludgate Hill. It is dedicated to Saint Paul, one of the Apostles of the Early Church. Its construction was one of the major parts of the rebuilding after the Great Fire of London.

You can have magical views of the city of London from here but I love the views from Madison’s Bar nearby(free). Try to combine both if you can.

Nearest Tube Station:  St Pauls Station – 2-minute walk from the station.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

Kensington Palace

Located within Hydepark, The State Rooms of the Kensington Palace were opened to the public during Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and this was one of the events that led the palace to become a tourist attraction. The Palace has experienced many renovations over the years.

This is of course where Prince Harry presented this fiance and now Duchess of Sussex. Near the palace , you will also find the Diana memorial playground, the beautiful Serpentine Lake and Serpentine Gallery.

To grab ticket deals to Kensington Palace click here .

Nearest Tube Station:  Notting Hill Gate and Queensway –  about 10 minutes walk from each of the stations.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

This Grade-I listed park in London is situated in Central London. The park is known for housing debates such as protests and public campaigns, concerts such as musical performances and event grand openings, sports such as football, tennis and the 2012 Summer Olympics that hosted the triathlon.

During summer this is the place for a perfect picnic as you can also go for pedlo rides on the Serpentine as well as visit some of the galleries in the park.

Nearest Tube Station:  surrounded by several stations; Lancaster gate will bring you close to the Italian Gardens you also have Hydpark Corner Station and Marble Arch Station.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

Kew Gardens

It is said to be ‘the largest botanical garden in the world’. It is located at the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Its official name is ‘Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’.

You can plan a visit to Kew Gardens , as there is so much to see and do there.

Nearest Tube Station:  Kew Gardens –  Station British Rail Station.

This sailing ship is celebrated throughout London’s history, and is known as the fastest ship of its time. It is often visited by people and is found in Greenwich, London.

When visiting Cutty Sark, you get to meet the crew, explore the ship and give yourself a spectacular treat. However, you would need to purchase tickets to enjoy this heartfelt experience.

This is also a popular attraction with kids and perfect for families visiting London. You can see more in my posts on things to see and do in Greenwich .

Nearest Tube Station:  Cutty Sark DLR Station.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

Hms Belfast

The Imperial War Museum is in charge of the HMS Belfast which became its third branch in 1978. This is known to be a town-class light cruiser initially built for the Royal Navy. However, it is now used as a museum ship sailing on the River Thames.

Nearest Tube Station:  London Bridge Station.

Natural History Museum

This museum exhibits certain specimens of living things. It is located at Kensington & Chelsea, London. According to records, it has over 4 million visitors annually. The collections in the museum have both scientific and historical values. It is popularly known for its collections of dinosaur skeletons.

Also nearby this must-see museum is London’s Victoria and Albert Museum which is a must visit while you are in the area. Also among the top 10 London Museums you need to visit in London .

Nearest Tube Station:  South Kensington.

20 Of London's Unmissable Tourist Sights To Add To Your Itinerary Now | Piccardily Circus London

My name is Bianca and welcome to my local guide of London's Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. Everything you need to know about exploring London in addition to the coolest hangouts and Instagrammable spots.

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