The Creative Adventurer

The Ultimate Guide to London’s Top Attractions in 2023

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

London is chock-a-block with so-called “ must-see attractions. ” Aside from perhaps New York City, London feels like it has more things to do per square foot than anywhere else in the world. But with so much to see and do, I always advise people to think carefully about what they are genuinely interested in doing . Don’t get overwhelmed by the hype. No one should feel like they haven’t seen the “real London” just because they see a particular attraction. A part of visiting a new city is just exploring it. And if you try to hop from sight to sight, you’ll miss the real London hidden between and behind these attractions.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

That said, I want to give you a loose idea of what’s worth your precious time and money. So here is my list of the most essential sights in London. Not just the most popular but the places that really help tell the city’s life story. I love this list because it combines so many free attractions making it super budget friendly. It is an amalgamation of historical sights, key places that changed the face of London, foodie finds and beautiful galleries. Take a good read through this post and try to pick and choose two or three attractions that really call out to you. And your particular sensibilities. This is definitely a highlights tour and features the most popular attractions. If you’re looking for something more unique, check out our Hidden Gems London Guide .

Remember: don’t try to see it all. Leave some room for your own unique discoveries! With this guide, you’ll be sure to make the most of your trip to this fantastic city! If it’s your first time in London and you want more tips on visiting, check out our London 101 Guide .

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The Tower of London

Perhaps the most historic of all the landmarks in London is the great  Tower of London.  This castle has stood here for centuries; it has seen the crownings and passings of England’s Kings and Queens. It held prisoners and traitors, including Anne Boleyn, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Guy Fawkes. All the while silently watching, unchanged, as the rest of the city grew and transformed around it.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The fortress dates all the way back to the 11th century. The first structure was the White Tower, built for William the Conqueror in 1078. As the monarchy and power of England grew, so did the fortress. Today tourists can enter through its once impenetrable gates to explore the interior and various buildings. Inside you will see a showcase of England’s rich history, explore the prisoner’s cells, see the precious Crown Jewels, and sit in the Kings and Queen’s private bed chambers. My favourite part is the intimate Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula. This precious church is the burial site of many important figures, including Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, and Sir Thomas More. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Beef Eater Guides

But to me, taking one of the Beef Eater guided tours is what makes a visit to the Tower of London really worthwhile. These are included in your price of admission and are one of the best ways to feel like the history all around you is suddenly coming alive. Beefeaters, officially known as the Yeomen Warders, are ceremonial guards at the Tower of London. They are an iconic symbol of the city because of their distinctive red and gold uniforms. They were originally installed in the 14th century as guards for the prisoners of the Tower.

But today, their role is as ambassadors for the Tower of London. They take visitors around the most important parts of the building. And use their incredible storytelling abilities to take you on a journey back in time. Even after your tour, they are always around the answer all your questions. They are an endless source of knowledge and are truly an under-utilized resource for visitors. So don’t be afraid to talk to them and learn some secrets you’d otherwise never have the chance to hear.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

There is no doubt that when you picture London, the first image that comes to mind is the great golden bell tower called  Big Ben!  And the adjoining  Houses of Parliament  stand on the edge of the Thames River. These buildings have greeted visitors to the city since the 11th century. And today still serves as the heart of British democracy. Here, bills and laws are debated, and the people’s will is brought to light.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

While the Palace of Westminster dates back hundreds of years, Big Ben was only added in the 19th century. During the restoration of the entire complex after a devastating fire, the new architect wanted to create a focal point for the building. The Tower was completed in 1859, and it got its nickname “Big Ben” from Sir Benjamin Hall. Hall was the commissioner of works during the building’s construction and was well known for his loud booming voice. Although everyone still calls it  Big Ben , the Bell Tower is officially named the  Elizabeth Tower . In honour of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Exploring the  Houses of Parliament

Although visitors can take guided tours of the  Houses of Parliament  to learn about its history and see debates in action, I prefer to enjoy its beauty from the exterior for free. Start from the opposite side of the river to take in the impressive size and stature of the whole building along the banks of the Thames. Then, walk across  Westminster Bridge . And watch as the building grows and grows in size and detail as you approach. Finish up by wandering through the  Victoria Tower Gardens  to the south. Here, you can have a unique view of the buildings that not many people get the chance to see. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The National Portrait Gallery

While many people might put the  British Museum  at the top of their list, for me, it’s all about the  National Galleries . While the British Museum has the word “British” in its name, it is filled with objects they’ve “acquired” from around the world. Many of which have an intensely contested ownership.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

When you come all the way to Britain, it seems only fitting to look at some works of art that portray the country’s history and English artists. And you can find all that inside the  National Portrait Gallery .  Their collection features hundreds of portraits of famous Britain throughout history. In the curves of a person’s face, you can learn more about the person who shaped British history and culture over the centuries. There are monarchs, politicians, writers, and musicians. As well as self-portraits from artists who captured these historical figures’ most intimate details and expressions. Etched in oil and veneer for eternity.

National Portrait Gallery Collection

Long before there were newspapers, let alone Instagram and Twitter, these portraits were the only physical interpretation of many iconic people like William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, and even Sir Isaac Newton. The newer portraits of notable royals and icons provide a different perspective into the lives of these people we  feel  we know so well through the media. The artists who paint them capture a moment in time and a slice of their essence that is sometimes hard to capture in photographs. It’s a fabulous collection and worth taking the time to explore for yourself.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Joyofmuseums, CC BY-SA 4.0  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons | Joyofmuseums, CC BY-SA 4.0  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons | Marco d’Oggiono, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Westminster abbey.

One of the most powerful buildings in the city is  Westminster Abbey . While we might view the Houses of Parliament, right next door, as the current powerhouse of the city, in ages past, the power lay in the hands of the church. Just walking past, I always feel like you can sense the dense and storied histories that have taken place inside. This building has been a place of worship for over 1,000 years and is the most important religious and cultural landmark in the United Kingdom.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

As such, the abbey has been the site of many royal coronations, weddings, and funerals. Queen Elizabeth II had her coronation and was married here in the abbey. After her death, as a full circle moment, it was also here where her final funerary ceremony took place. And it will be here inside Westminster Abbey, where King Charles will be crowned monarch in 2023. There have been so many televised moments in history that have taken place here. Exploring the building for yourself feels like being a part of that history.

Architecture and Icons

Inside you’ll be able to admire the amazing Gothic architecture. The ornate stained-glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and a soaring nave create an awe-inspiring sense of space. In the multitude of little side chapels, you can find the resting places of various prominent figures in British history. Including monarchs, statesmen, writers, and scientists.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Visiting the Church

Although Westminster Abbey requires a hefty  admission fee  to enter, I find that if you’re interested in history and architecture, this place is a worthwhile way to spend your time and money. If you really have your heart on seeing the interior, but the fees don’t fit into your budget, consider attending a church service.

Services are free and welcome to all. You won’t be able to explore or take pictures, but you will get a unique experience inside. During the church service, you have the unique opportunity to listen to the incredible church choir. It’s amazing how their voices fill the space with an ethereal sound. Sit and take in the views all around you. And as you leave, you’ll get the chance to look around at least a little bit. It’s a great alternative to explore the interiors for yourself, at least in some minor way.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Borough Market

Across the river, in Southwark, is where you can find one of London’s most vibrant communities. Since the 13th century, traders and shoppers have been making the journey across London Bridge to shop inside the walls of one of the most popular foodie destinations;  Borough Market .  The market offers visitors a friendly and bustling atmosphere where you can buy fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, meats, seafood and baked goods. In addition to the fresh food, dozens of street food stalls sell everything from British classics to international fare. The market is open every day but Monday, although some traders only open their stalls on the weekends.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

As such a big attraction, the market does garner large crowds. But instead of being put off, just lean into the action and try to join in on the energetic ambiance inside! Borough Market is committed to sustainability and ethical food practices, with many of its vendors using only locally-sourced and organic ingredients. As well as incorporating environmentally-friendly packaging and techniques into their best practices. This kind of commitment to ethical consumption is unique to this market and makes you feel good about the food you’re putting into your body and the vendors you get to support!  Check out our guided tour  for a complete guide to exploring the market!

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Monument of Great Fire of London

One of the events that changed the entire history of London, and even perhaps the British Empire, was  the Great Fire of 1666 . On September 2nd, 1666, a small kitchen fire broke out in a bakery on Pudding Lane in the early morning hours. All the odds seemed to be against London when the fire broke out. No one was there that morning to extinguish the tiny sparks that started the blaze. As the fire spread, it fed on the flammable thatch on the roofs and wooden walls that lined every building in London.

Winds were especially strong that morning, and the fire began to get out of control in mere minutes. The fire raged for four days, and over that time, it destroyed over 400 acres of London. Burning down over 13,00 homes and leaving over 100,000 people homeless. Many of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the old medieval St. Paul’s Cathedral, were destroyed in the blaze.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The Great Fire of London

But most importantly, the city’s commercial and financial centres were destroyed. Including many of the warehouses, banks, and trading houses that were essential to its economy. Businesses closed, and unemployment was widespread. But in juxtaposition, the great fire also destroyed many of the unsanitary slums and overcrowded neighbourhoods. Many of which had contributed to the spread of the plague. After the fire, building regulations were passed to ensure all new buildings were made of more fireproof brick and stone materials.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Monument to the Great Fire

To memorialize this fire, a great monument was commissioned. The  Monument to the Great Fire of London  is a stone column, 202 feet tall. It was built at this exact height, as from this spot, if you laid the column on its side, it is 202 feet to the point where the great fire of London started. While the Monument looks very narrow, it actually contains a narrow spiral staircase. Inside, visitors can climb to a viewing platform at the top. From the platform, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

The column is decorated with various carvings and inscriptions that describe the history of the Great Fire and the construction of the Monument itself. The Monument offers visitors a unique perspective on the city and its history. It is a reminder of the devastating fire that shaped London’s development for centuries to come.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

V&A Museum

My favourite museum in the entire city has got to be the  Victoria and Albert Museum , more commonly known as the V&A. Founded in 1852 by  Queen Victoria  and  Prince Albert , the aim of the museum was to create a “schoolroom for everyone.” Britain was falling behind in the world of arts and culture at the time. Queen Victoria felt that creating this hub of artistic ingenuity it would help inspire the future of British arts and sciences.

Today, the V&A’s collection spans over 5,000 years of human creativity. No matter your interest, you can find something for yourself in these walls. Everything from fine art to fashion, furniture, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, and more has a home here at the V&A. Entrance the museum is free, so you can pop in and out as you like without having to commit to spending the entire day here because you paid so much for admission. Although, you can easily spend a whole week within the ever-expansive galleries. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

V&A Collection Highlights

Highlights from the 2023 collection include an exhibition featuring the glittering world of musical theatre! The museum pulled items from its fashion collection to explore the world of craftmanship of iconic musicals, from My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon and Wicked! The Cast Courts are one of the most awe-inspiring parts of the museum. These galleries are a collection of casts of the world’s most famous sculptures, including Michelangelo’s David and Trajan’s Column. It feels like travelling around the world in just one part of the building! Lastly, if you love sparkling things, head to the Jewellery collection. Here you’ll find one of the world’s most renowned jewellery collections that span over 3,000 years. Over 6,000 pieces, from ancient Egyptian amulets to contemporary designer jewellery, record the world’s history in fashion accessories!

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Columbia Road Flower Market

For a slice of East London, one of the most vibrant parts of the city, head over to the  Columbia Road Flower Market .  The best-smelling market in the town.  The history of the Columbia Road Flower Market dates back to the mid-19th century. For over 100 years, this market has drawn in locals and tourists alike looking to buy fresh flowers or just explore the beautiful local flora for sale. The market is open every Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm. If you want to see the full extent of the vendor’s wares before they sell out, get there early in the morning. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Seasons of the Market

Different traders line the entire Columbia Road from  Gosset Street  to  Barnet Grove . Some of these growers have been selling here for generations, representing an important part of the community. From Spring to Winter, there is always a selection of seasonal flowers on sale. I love how the flower selection changes throughout the year. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

In the springtime, the rainbow of tulips excites everyone for the warm weather that begins to arrive. In the summer, the smell of freshly cut roses welcomes you into the market. When fall comes, giant sunflowers combat the incoming cold weather with their sunny disposition. In the winter, the market is awash with Christmas cheer. Christmas trees are for sale on every corner. And holly, dried berries and bright green ivy are ready to deck the halls! 

In addition to the vendors, you can also explore the areas around the market. Little alleys that branch off in different directions sell everything from iced coffees (or mulled wine in the winter) to vintage clothing and handicrafts from the local artisans.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

For anyone interested in theatre, history or even architecture, a visit to  Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre  is such an immensely powerful experience. The Globe Theatre that stands on the banks of the Thames was where William Shakespeare’s productions took place back when it was first built in 1599. Sadly, the original building burnt down in 1613 during a performance of Henry VIII. Although it was rebuilt once more in 1642, this incarnation would only last another 20 years. When it was pulled down to make room for tenement apartments. Losing this piece of Shakespearean history potentially forever…

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Rebuilding the Globe

But in 1994, a modern reconstruction of the theatre began to be built. Thanks to the efforts of actor and director  Sam Wanamaker . Wanamaker had a vision to rebuild the theatre. But it would be done using historical records of the original building, using only materials and techniques available during the 16th century.

Although this would take years and years compared to simply redoing it in a modern way, they wanted the building to feel as authentic to the original version that Shakespeare himself stood inside. It was completed in 1997 and opened to the public as both museum and a functional theatre. The only modern interferences were to do with fireproofing to ensure this building didn’t suffer the same fate as the first. The theatre is designed to resemble an original Elizabethan theatre, with open-air seating and a thatched roof. Giving visitors a glimpse into what theatre-going would have been like in Shakespeare’s time.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Tickets for Plays at the Globe

Every year a different series of Shakespeare’s plays are held inside, allowing visitors to watch these performances in the same space they were first performed. You can opt for a seat in one of the upper levels or buy a ticket for “the yard,” where they still offer standing-room tickets.

While standing the entire show can be taxing, it’s an experience unlike any other. Tickets in the yard cost as little as £5 – £10. But for those who prefer to get seated tickets in the gallery, this costs anywhere from £25 – £65.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Shakespeare's Globe (@the_globe)

A peaceful walk in  Hyde Park  is a relaxing activity almost all year round. Hyde Park is one of London’s largest parks, covering an area of 350 acres! The park has been host to the city’s social and political history for centuries. It has been the site of numerous protests, demonstrations, and events. Including the famous Great Exhibition of 1851, which was held in the park’s Crystal Palace. You could spend an entire day wandering the park, exploring all its hidden corners and most impressive sights. But if you’re just looking for the highlights read on!

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Sights in Hyde Park

Speakers’ corner  on the east side of the park is where people have for hundreds of years congregated to practice their right to free (and loud) speech. Towards the southeast corner of the park is the great  Serpentine Lake.  The Serpentine Lake is a stunning place to sit and enjoy a picnic, stroll along the lakeside, or rent a paddleboat, to take in all the tranquil scenery. At the park’s south end, you’ll find the gleaming golden  Albert Memorial .  The Albert Memorial  depicts the image of Prince Albert, dedicated by his adoring wife, Queen Victoria. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

My favourite part of Hyde Park is the  Italian Gardens  located in the northwest corner. The beautiful and serene oasis is decorated with intricate fountains, sculptures, and ornate flower beds designed in the 1860s. Although Italian gardens might seem an odd choice for an English park, the gardens and surrounding buildings were inspired by those found in Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s stately home on the Isle of Wight.

The  Peter Pan Statue  is the most memorable statue of all those in the park .  The Peter Pan Statue is located in the northern corner of Hyde Park. It features a bronze statue of Peter Pan surrounded by characters from the novel of the same name. But the best part of exploring the park is simply soaking in the atmosphere. And watching locals out and about with their families, pets and loved ones. Plus, it’s completely free to explore. Perfect when looking for some downtime on a busy trip to London.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Tower Bridge

Another one of the most iconic landmarks of the city of London is the enormous, ornate bridge that crosses the River Thames,  Tower Bridge . While many people might think they have to book a tour, ranging from £12 – £26, I believe that to best experience the beauty and architectural majesty of Tower Bridge, you simply have to walk across it. A completely free experience.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The best place to get a gorgeous bridge view is from  the Horsleydown steps . These can be found on the south side of the bridge. A small set of steps leads you into a hidden passageway off Shad Thames Street. You are then led down onto a small beach where you can sit on the stairs and get this fantastic close-up riverside view of Tower Bridge. Set against the backdrop of skyscrapers behind it.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Architecture

Tower Bridge was built between 1886 and 1894. The bridge is an exemplary model of the Victorian Gothic style within its twin towers. Before its construction, there was no other way for people to get across the river at this point. And with the city’s continuous expansion east, the need for a pedestrian and horse-drawn vehicle crossing became dire. While a fixed bridge would have been a quick solution, this was not an option along the busy Thames River. Sailing ships frequented the nearby ports and couldn’t pass under a fixed bridge. The ingenious new design consisted of two towers connected by a suspension bridge. And a central section that could be raised to allow tall ships to pass through.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Some travel guides might tell you that you have to spend one day of your trip to London making a day trip to another city. And sure, if you had lots of time, that is an excellent side-trip, but for those travellers coming to London for only a week, a day trip is a massive chunk of time you might rather spend in the city. If you want to  feel  like you’ve gotten away from the big city but, in reality, are just a tube ride away, I always recommend first-time visitors make a trip out to Greenwich.

Greenwich is a picturesque borough located along the Thames River. About 30 minutes from central London on the Tube. Or you can take a riverboat along the water to Greenwich, which takes just under an hour. This is always my suggestion as you get to experience the riverside sights of London and learn a little bit about the history of the waterways.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Attractions in Greenwich

The city of Greenwich, while small, is packed with rich history, stunning architecture, and unique attractions. Stepping off the riverboat, you are face to face with the great Cutty Sark, one of the last remaining tea clippers in the world. This boat is permanently docked in Greenwich and open for tours. One of the most iconic landmarks in Greenwich is the Royal Observatory, where visitors can stand on the Prime Meridian line and have one foot in the eastern hemisphere and the other in the Western Hemisphere. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

My favourite building is the Painted Hall in the Old Royal Naval College. Sir Christopher Wren, the same architect who built the famed St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed this magnificent building. It is often called the “Sistine Chapel of the UK.” The hall features a breathtaking painted ceiling depicting scenes from British naval history and mythology.

If you get peckish, you head straight to the Greenwich Market. Here you’ll find a dazzling array of market stalls selling various goods, including handmade crafts, vintage clothing, antiques, and jewelry. But the best thing to come here for is the food! Visitors can also sample delicious food from around the world at the many food stalls and cafes in the market, with options ranging from traditional British dishes to exotic street food. The market is lively on weekends, with live music and street performers adding to the festive atmosphere. But the best part of a day trip down to Greenwich is simply to wander its charming town center, with quaint boutique shops, adorable cafes, and picturesque streets.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

London is truly a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in history, art, or cuisine, you are sure to find countless attractions and experiences to enjoy. If you’ve exhausted this list, be sure to check out our  Hidden Gems London Guide  for more secrets concealed in plain sight that are sure to make your trip all the more exciting! Feel free to drop me a comment if you have any questions about your next visit to London!

Happy Travels, Adventurers

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

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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

Rhian Daly

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 won’t cost you a penny. 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

Tower of London

1.  Tower of London

  • Historic buildings and sites

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.

The London Eye

2.  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. Step into one of its spaceship-like pods, and before you know it, you’re halfway into the sky and taking in sweeping vistas of the city.

Why go? The view, obviously. 

The National Gallery

3.  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, or drop in for one of the themed tours of the collection to get a different perspective on the work.

Why go? To be swaddled in artistic greatness.

Buckingham Palace

4.  Buckingham Palace

  • Sightseeing

What is it? A chance to see world-famous art, glimpse regal opulence and get inside HM’s headquarters. In the summer, the palace opens to the public for tours, letting you go behind the keyhole of what’s one of the most – if not the most – famous buildings in London. Inside, you’ll learn about the monarchs and the big, ornate palace itself.  

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

St Paul’s Cathedral

5.  St Paul’s Cathedral

  • Religious buildings and sites

What is it? Iconic as St Paul’s may be, the cathedral as we know it today is in fact version six, at least. The last was infamously razed to the ground by the Great Fire of London in 1666, but thankfully Sir Christopher Wren’s design, which was completed in 1708, has survived 12 monarchs and two world wars. The admission fee here comes with an introductory talk before you're taken on a 90-minute tour.

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

Westminster Abbey

6.  Westminster Abbey

  • 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. Seventeen monarchs are buried here, along with dukes, countesses and history’s ‘celebs’ (Think Darwin, Dickens and Hardy). It's also played host to 16 royal weddings 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.

Hampton Court Palace

7.  Hampton Court Palace

What is it? A resplendent palace with plush grounds on the edge of southwest London. From the Tudor indoor tennis court to the Royal Maze, 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. 

Why go? To get lost in the Royal Maze.

Tower Bridge

8.  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 . 

The London Dungeon

9.  The London Dungeon

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 get a glimpse of 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. 

Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

10.  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 movies’ special effects.

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

The View from the Shard

11.  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 that the public are allowed access to (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.

Wembley Stadium

12.  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 feel the atmosphere in the players’ tunnel and climb the 107 Trophy Winner’s steps. With the use of 360-degree video, you can also experience what it’s like to be at some of the stadium’s biggest events.

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

Up at The O2

13.  Up at The O2

  • 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.

Kew Gardens

14.  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. What sets Kew Gardens apart from other botanical gardens? Well, the treetop walkway and the beautiful Grade I-listed Temperate House, for two. The latter is 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.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

15.  Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

  • Olympic Park

What is it? The huge park created in Stratford for the London Olympics in 2012. As well as swathes of parkland, it’s home to London Stadium (host to big concerts with headliners like The Weeknd and West Ham FC as well as various athletics championships), children’s play areas, walking trails, the remarkable ArcerlorMittal Orbit , and more state-of-the-art sporting venues.

Why go? For whatever exercise takes your fancy – a swim at the Zaha Hadid-designed London Aquatics Centre , BMXing at the Velo Park, or just strolling through the beautiful park.

The Houses of Parliament

16.  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.

Kensington Palace

17.  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

18.  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. If you’re ready and willing to climb up the narrow 334-step spiral staircase, you can pay a visit to Ben himself – and stand next to him when the hour strikes. Now is a good time to visit, too – renovations on the tower were recently completed, meaning it’s in better nick than ever.

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

Madame Tussauds

19.  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). If you head down to Madame Tussauds today, you’ll come face-to-wax-face with over 150 lifelike models including contemporary stars like Drake and Dua Lipa and historic icons like Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe. 

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

Churchill War Rooms

20.  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.

Royal Opera House

21.  Royal Opera House

  • Classical and opera
  • Covent Garden

What is it? Covent Garden’s grand old opera house. Visiting for a performance doesn’t have to set you back a ton of cash – there are discounts 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.

Thames RIB Experience

22.  Thames RIB Experience

  • Victoria Embankment

What is it? A high-speed ‘rigid inflatable boat’ that will have you zooming up and down the river. Unleash your inner 007 and hop aboard the RIB to travel at speeds of around 35 knots (roughly 40 mph) – it’s almost definitely the fastest, most thrilling way to see some of London’s riverside attractions, from the Tower of London to the Cutty Sark.

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

National Theatre

23.  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, there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the vicinity to gab about your expectations or dissect the show in afterwards.

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

Royal Albert Hall

24.  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. Although the venue is most famously associated with the Proms, its prestigious hall has played host to all kinds of music, theatre and comedy – and continues to do so to this day.

Why go? To experience the dazzling Victorian opulence.

The British Museum

25.  The British Museum

What is it?  The first-ever national museum for the public. Since it first opened in 1759, the British Museum has been displaying global artefacts discovered by British explorers, and it aims to document human culture from its very beginnings. Must-see gems in its permanent collection 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.

Shakespeare’s Globe

26.  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 will shake the perception of the Bard’s poetry as stuffy memories of English homework and make it feel how it should – like first-rate drama.

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

Somerset House

27.  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. The courtyard was once an Inland Revenue car park, but now plays host to a variety of gigs, alfresco cinema and fountains in the summer.

Why go? For music and movies under the stars.

Tate Modern

28.  Tate Modern

What is it?  A riverside icon dedicated to modern and contemporary art, based in what was the Bankside power station. The permanent collection is always free, and features work by big names like Warhol, Dalí and Hockney, while the gallery’s programme of special exhibitions delves deeper into the lives and careers of important artists.

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

Kew Palace

29.  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 included in the entry ticket to Kew) so make save time to pop inside during your botanical outing. 

Why go? To discover an often-forgotten treasure.

Cutty Sark

30.  Cutty Sark

  • Ships and boats

What is it? T he world’s last surviving tea clipper. Experience life on board, see the intricate craftsmanship used in its creation and find out how the crew lived. The historic ship caught fire in 2007, but was thankfully repaired. Since its post-blaze refurbishment, visitors have been able to walk underneath the hull. 

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

London Transport Museum

31.  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. While you can swot up on the history of the city’s transport network – including why tube stations were used as war shelters – you can also learn about its future and 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. 

Highgate Cemetery

32.  Highgate Cemetery

What is it?  A beautiful, crumbling north London cemetery. It’s 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.

London Zoo

33.  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.

V&A Museum

34.  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, expect for special exhibitions.

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

The South Bank

35.  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

36.  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). There are different themed areas to explore, too, like the Coral Kingdom and Open Oceans. It can get busy but go off-peak to get some one-on-one time with the crocs.

Why go? To immerse yourself in the life aquatic.

British Library

37.  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. While it’s usually a hushed venue, 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.

Science Museum

38.  Science Museum

  • Science and technology

What is it? An incredible, free-to-enter, hands-on museum. Over seven floors of entertaining and educational exhibits, you can get up close to the Apollo 10 command module, a virtual reality space-descent experience and a 16th-century artificial arm. Interactivity is a focus here, so this is one museum guaranteed to keep the attention of kids big and small.

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

Trafalgar Square

39.  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, fountains and red buses and black cabs circling the busy roads around you in shot, and check out the latest modern art installation adorning the Fourth Plinth. Don’t be tempted to get in those fountains, though – paddling is forbidden.

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

Natural History Museum

40.  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. In winter, you’ll find an ice rink in the grounds, while this summer a new garden will open that will let you follow in the footsteps of the story of evolution.

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.  

Borough Market

41.  Borough Market

What is it? Located just around the corner from London Bridge station, Borough Market is an upmarket foodie heaven of markets, restaurants, bars and pubs. Go on an empty stomach and take a tour around its environs while sampling the dishes and flavours that have kept Londoner’s bellies full for generations... and then wash it all down with a few glugs of craft beer at a local pub.

Why go? To taste food so good you (almost) won’t have time to photograph it first.

Hyde Park

42.  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.

Royal Observatory

43.  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 that helped astronomers make discoveries about our universe, or go stargazing at a planetarium show.

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

HMS Belfast

44.  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 explore all levels of the boat, from the bowels of the vessel to the engine room, the kitchens and even the dentist’s office. And don’t forget the action stations up on the deck.

Why go? To play life-sized battleships.

Regent’s Park

45.  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.

Young V&A

46.  Young V&A

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bethnal Green
  • Recommended

What is it? The Bethnal Green museum previously known as the V&A Museum of Childhood. It’s since undergone a £13 million refurbishment project to make it shine brighter, but is still home to one of the world’s finest collections of children’s toys, dolls’ houses, games and costumes.

Why go? To see kids' toys over the ages, including bonkers 1970s puppets, Barbie Dolls and Victorian praxinoscopes.

St James’s Park

47.  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.

Design Museum

48.  Design Museum

What is it? A trove of the world’s finest design. Relocated in 2016 from its former home on the side of the Thames near Tower Bridge, the new-and-improved building in Kensington is an awe-inspiring presence that covers design over a wealth of disciplines, from architecture and fashion to graphics and products.

Why go? To be wowed by eye-pleasing works and by how design has evolved over the decades.

Hamilton

49.  Hamilton

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Victoria Open run

What is it? The award-winning musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda about US founding father Alexander Hamilton. The show modernises the history of America, pulling from hip-hop, R&B and soul in its songbook, and has won huge acclaim since it first premiered off-Broadway in New York in 2015.

Why go? For the most entertaining – and catchy – history class around.

Shrek’s Adventure! London

50.  Shrek’s Adventure! London

  • Theme parks

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. Different missions will give you the chance to meet, help, or even rescue some favourite characters, 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.

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The 21 top London attractions for 2024

By Connor Sturges

High Angle View Of Westminster Bridge By Big Ben Against Sky

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

13 of the best things to do in London

Feb 25, 2024 • 13 min read

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Make the most of your time in London with these top things to do © franckreporter / Getty Images

Fast-paced, fabulous and fun, London is packed with world-class things to see, do and experience.

You probably already have a checklist of London sights to visit, but don't forget to pause and soak up the vibe of a city that has been at the forefront of world culture for at least two millennia.

Whether you're a first-time visitor  or coming back for more, London serves up so many options that it can be hard to know where to start. It's easy to fill days or even weeks taking advantage of free entry at the city's top art galleries and museums, learning about the rich and complex history, and seeing live bands and captivating West End shows.

If you have the time – and budget – almost anything is possible in London. To help you whittle down the options, here are the top experiences in London that you won't want to miss.

Raven perched on a railing at the Tower of London, with two Yeomen Warders in the background

1. Step back in time at the Tower of London

A world of English eccentricity enclosed within the sturdy walls of an imposing 11th-century fortress, the Tower of London is the perfect place to start a visit to London. As well as taking visitors on a remarkable architectural and historical journey, the castle is home to the world's largest diamond (the controversial Cullinan diamond, part of the famous Crown Jewels), as well as a dazzling array of armor and weaponry. A palpable sense of history and heritage will greet you at every turn.

Planning tip: It’s well worth getting to the Tower early – you'll need at least half a day to explore the sprawling chambers, courtyards and jail cells, and hear about its gruesome history. Arrive as the doors are unlocked and head straight to the Crown Jewels to avoid a long wait in line. To learn more about the Tower's back story, join a Yeoman Warder’s tour for a fascinating and personal introduction to the life and grisly times of this fortress-palace.

Explore the Tower of London effortlessly with GetYourGuide.  Book your tour today .

2. Be wowed by contemporary art at Tate Modern

A vast shrine to modern and contemporary art, the much-loved Tate Modern enjoys a triumphant position right on the River Thames. Housed in the former Bankside Power Station, the gallery is a vigorous statement of modernity, architectural renewal and accessibility. Enter via Holland Street to experience the vast Turbine Hall, which used to house the power station’s electricity generators, and is now home to large-scale art installations. Upstairs exhibition spaces are pushing the conceptual envelope, too, with interesting temporary shows, installations and performance art.

Local tip: Level 10, the viewing platform atop the Blavatnik Building, has been the subject of some controversy regarding privacy because it's possible to look into the adjacent apartment buildings. There are many signs politely requesting no photography on the south side (and not as much to see there anyway). There are also great views from the coffee shop and bar in the main building. If the tide is out, there's good mudlarking – an evocative term for looking for historic junk on the exposed mud at low tide – right in front of the gallery.

Dancers in colorful costumes for the Notting Hill Carnival

3. Explore London’s Black history 

London’s Black history is rich and fascinating and stretches back across centuries. All over London, you'll sense a growing enthusiasm for acknowledging, owning and celebrating this once-overlooked part of London's story. Begin your journey by joining one of the 16 walking tours in central London run by Black History Walks , then head down to the Docklands to learn about the capital’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade at the Musem of London Docklands before meandering south to marvel at the vast Black archives at Brixton’s Black Cultural Archives . Next, indulge in some delicious Caribbean cuisine and take in many of the city’s best Black artists at 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning .

Planning tip:  Notting Hill Carnival , held over the August Bank Holiday weekend, is a colossal street party celebrating Black, Caribbean and African cultures. Join the dancing, parties and parades that fill the neighborhoods around Ladbroke Grove. The official website publishes routes and events in advance.

4. Imagine the royal weddings of yesteryear at Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey has been the heart of the country’s royal and religious life for centuries. This Gothic wonder was founded more than a thousand years ago and today it displays a mix of architectural styles, with the bulk of its structure dating back to the 13th century. As a result, almost every nook and cranny has a story attached to it.

London's great abbey has served as the venue for many showstopper funerals and weddings – 30 monarchs are buried here, and 16 royal weddings have been hosted here, the most recent being that of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011. Among the highlights, you will find the oldest door in the UK, the collection of memorials to great poets and writers known as Poets’ Corner, the Coronation Chair, 14th-century cloisters, a 900-year-old garden, royal tombs and much, much more.

Planning tip: Be warned that the crowds are almost as solid as the abbey’s unshakeable stonework, so aim to join the line first thing in the morning.

Explore Westminster Abbey effortlessly with GetYourGuide.  Book your tour today .

A large ferris wheel beside a river at dusk

5. Stroll the sights of the South Bank

A great way to get your bearings and take in a slew of sights at the same time is to take a west-to-east walk along the Thames, through the cultural quarter known as the South Bank. Getting off the Tube at Westminster will deposit you right by Big Ben , the legendary bell atop the clocktower of the Houses of Parliament . From there, cross Westminster Bridge for stellar views back toward the seat of British democracy. 

Once on the Queen's Walk, as this pathway is known, stroll east with the river to your left. Although it’s inescapably touristy, a rotation on the London Eye  is a must for any first-time visitor to the capital. This futuristic Ferris wheel takes 30 minutes to complete a full turn, reaching 135m (443ft) at its highest point, and providing spectacular views of iconic landmarks from its glass capsules. Book tickets in advance to avoid the lines.

The Southbank Centre offers up a roll call of top-draw icons and entertainment; it's a great place to go if you're traveling with kids , with lots of free activities and events in summer. Once you leave the Brutalist concrete architecture of the Southbank Centre behind, you'll find other eclectic London sights, including Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre , the Tate Modern art gallery (with views across the river to  St Paul’s Cathedral ), and the Shard , Britain's tallest building. As you walk, look across the river towards the City of London, and try to pick out its curiously nicknamed skyscrapers – such as the Gherkin, the Cheesegrater and the Walkie-Talkie.

Detour: When hunger calls, take a snack break at legendary Borough Market close to London Bridge, where there are pubs, restaurants, dairies, bakers and more than 100 gourmet food stalls.

Transform your visit to London's Eye by  booking with GetYourGuide.

6. Delve into Muslim London

London was once the capital of an empire that ruled over more than half the world’s Muslims, so it should come as no surprise that the city is home to a wide range of Muslim communities and rich in Islamic heritage. Start with the amazing Islamic collections in the Victoria & Albert Museum ’s Jameel Gallery or the British Museum ’s Albukhary Gallery  – between them, these former imperial institutes hold over 115,000 Islamic items. 

To learn where Arabic was taught in 17th century London, take an eye-opening Muslim History Tour , then treat yourself to some of the capital’s most delicious Muslim cuisine. Try a fiery curry along East London’s Brick Lane (or great Punjabi-style kebabs nearby at Tayyabs ), head north to Green Lanes for London’s most authentic Anatolian dishes, or go west along Edgware Road for varied Middle Eastern cuisine.

The blue whale skeleton in the Natural History Museum, London

7. Dive deep into history at the South Kensington museums

A trio of world-class museums lie within yards of each other in the well-to-do neighborhood of South Kensington , their grand edifices proving an equal draw to the glories within. With seven floors of interactive, educational and eye-opening exhibits, the spellbinding collection of models, machines and inventions at the Science Museum mesmerizes adults and children in equal measure. 

You could spend days in the huge Victoria & Albert Museum , which houses the world’s leading collection of decorative art objects, and still be astounded at its variety and depth. With its animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex , riveting displays about planet Earth, the research-oriented Darwin Centre and architecture straight out of a Gothic fairy tale, the Natural History Museum is an astonishing melding of science and imagination. Start in the iconic Hintze Hall, where the skeleton of a blue whale dives down from the ceiling.

Local tip: To see a more unusual side to the museums, and mingle with some Londoners, check in advance to see if any “Lates” are running; the museums periodically open their doors into the evening for special events with music and food. There are even occasional sleepover events called Dino Snores  at the Natural History Museum.

8. See a world-class theater show in the West End – and beyond

London is one of the best places in the world to catch a show, so take the opportunity while visiting the capital. For the most famous faces and well-known productions, head to the West End . This area is synonymous with musicals; look out for classics like  Les Misérables or Mamma Mia! , family favorites such as Matilda,   The Lion King  or Wicked, and offbeat hits such as The Book of Mormon (definitely not family viewing!) .

If musicals are not your thing, get onto TodayTix and see what else is playing. Be sure to check out the edgy, small-cast shows at independent theaters such as the Donmar Warehouse and Soho Theatre , to catch up-and-coming talent for not much more than the price of a pint of beer.

Detour: If Shakespeare is more your thing, attend an Elizabethan-style performance at Shakespeare's Globe . You'll need to book ahead for a standing ticket as one of the all-weather "groundlings" who watch from the open-air yard in front of the stage (or you can pay extra for a seat in the gallery). Despite being the brainchild of American actor, Sam Wanamaker, the facsimile theater is a triumph of authenticity, right down to the nail-less construction, English-oak beams, original joinery and thatched roof (the sprinklers are a modern touch).

People on deck chairs in parkland near an artificial lake

9. Relax in gloriously green Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

London’s impressive array of urban parks is second to none and the city's eight Royal Parks are the place to see locals at ease and in their element. Hyde Park alone covers 142 hectares; throw in Kensington Gardens , and you have even more space to roam. Here, you'll find everything you could want from a London park: a central setting, a royal palace , deck chairs, boating lakes, open-air concerts, art galleries, towering centuries-old trees, a tasteful granite memorial to Princess Diana, and a magnificently overblown memorial to Prince Albert facing the iconic Albert Hall .

A guard in a fuzzy hat and a red jacket stands at attention in front of a booth and next to an ornate lamp

10. Watch the guards change at Buckingham Palace 

No trip to the capital would be complete without a glimpse of what the Royals are up to. The simplest way to see a bit of sovereign ceremony is to watch the Changing of the Guard , a generations-old ritual in which soldiers in iconic bearskin hats swap shifts outside Buckingham Palace . Arrive early for a good view; the show starts at 11am, and it’s best to arrive by 10:15am (unless you happen to be very tall). If you hanker after more, you can tour the palace itself from July through September (the State Rooms are open for guided tours in the winter and spring, and for 10 weeks every summer).

Built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham and then purchased by King George III, Buckingham Palace has been the Royal Family’s official London lodging since 1837, when Queen Victoria abandoned the old royal residence at St James's Palace . On a tour, visitors can get a peek at the State Rooms – a mere 19 of the palace's 775 rooms – and wander through the stunning gardens.

People standing on the street outside bars and pubs at night

11. Drink a pint at a historic English pub

London minus its pubs would be like Paris sans cafes. Pub culture is a part of London's DNA, and the pub is the best place to see local people in their hop-scented element. Some London pubs – such as the character-filled, centuries-old  Lamb & Flag  and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese – have been fixtures on the social scene for centuries, and a pub pint is the cornerstone of a good night out across the capital. They're also favorite stops for long, family-friendly weekend lunches; gastropubs dot London’s culinary cosmos, many rivaling the best restaurants. 

Local tip: If you have to choose one place in London for an evening out, make it Soho , a densely packed warren of after-dark delights. For centuries a bohemian quarter, Soho was once a seedy red-light district, but these days, it's better known as the hub for London’s LGBTIQ+ community . For an old-school pint or four, drop into the French House , Bar Termini , Yard or the White Horse .

12. See the world’s treasures at the British Museum

With almost six million visitors trooping through its doors annually, the British Museum in Bloomsbury is Britain’s most-visited attraction. It is crammed with such an array of treasures (many of which, controversially, were obtained from other countries by force or political sleight of hand) that you could probably spend your whole trip navigating the vast and hallowed collection of artifacts, art and age-old antiquity, and still not be done.

In fact, the collection was once even bigger, but some objects have been returned to their home countries (and others, unbelievably, were stolen by a light-fingered curator). Free eye-opener tours allow you to focus on specific parts of the vast collection, or you can take in the highlights by wandering through the Great Court, with its stunning glass-and-steel roof designed by Norman Foster, and checking out the closest exhibition halls. Don’t leave before you’ve seen the Rosetta Stone, the key to deciphering hieroglyphics, and the fascinatingly macabre Egyptian mummies (including mummified calves, birds and cats).

13. Sit down to a traditional afternoon tea 

The quintessentially English indulgence of whiling away an afternoon eating dainty sandwiches and cakes and drinking tea may give you the feeling you're being observed by Lady Whistledown herself. Venues serving afternoon tea abound, and despite looking like sets from a Bridgerton party, these establishments are perfectly welcoming to all sorts of travelers. There's no need to dress to the nines; smart casual attire is fine (in other words, no trainers, joggers or sweatshirts). 

For the classic experience, head to Claridge’s or the Ritz , or in the summer try the terrace at The Goring or the stately Orangery  at Kensington Palace. It's called afternoon tea, but you can have your tea at almost any time of the day. Pre-booking is highly recommended as slots can book out, especially on weekends and in the peak season.

Planning tip: Make sure you arrive suitably hungry. The spread might not look much in the pictures, but all those plates of delicate treats really do add up to a mini feast. 

This article was first published Mar 19, 2019 and updated Feb 25, 2024.

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The 20 top things to do in London

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

From top world-famous attractions to the best parks, museums, and everything free in between, our guide to the best activities in London is guaranteed to hit a sweet spot. No matter what time of year you visit the buzzing British capital, or what your interests are, you have plenty of things to do in London .

DEST_UK_LONDON_LONDON-EYE_GettyImages-959153874

What are the best things to do in London?

In the spring, the parks explode with blooms and in the summer, the city’s streets come alive with all kinds of festivals and parades. Whether you want to indulge in blockbuster art exhibitions, eat at London’s best restaurants, or discover the capital’s iconic landmarks, London has it all.

To make planning your trip that little bit easier, we have put together a bucket list of the best things to do in London , from the electrifying Notting Hill carnival to scaling the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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  • See the Rosetta stone at the British Museum
  • Go on a shopping trip down and off Oxford Street
  • Marvel at the King’s jewels at the Tower of London
  • Eat until you are stuffed at Borough Market
  • Go for a picnic in St James’s Park
  • Watch the guards change at Buckingham Palace
  • Spend a Sunday buying flowers at Columbia Road Flower Market
  • Live like a royal at Spencer House
  • Admire the views (and the plants) from the Sky Garden
  • Watch the tennis at Wimbledon
  • Have a glamorous afternoon tea at Claridge’s
  • Stroll the magnificent sites of the South Bank
  • Free modern art at the Tate Modern
  • Visit the historical crypts of Westminster Abbey
  • Party at Notting Hill Carnival
  • Wow at London’s skyline from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Learn about the world at South Kensington’s museums
  • Drink a pint or two at a famous London pub
  • Catch a theater show in London’s West End
  • Buy vintage in Shoreditch

1. See the Rosetta stone at the British Museum

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The British Museum is the UK’s most visited attraction , welcoming almost six million people annually. Highlights include deciphering the Rosetta Stone, the Egyptian Galleries, and the Parthenon marbles.

As there’s so much to see here, it’s well worth going on an “Eye Opener” tour that will whizz you through all the museum’s must-sees. Don’t miss the view of the Great Court from the top of the building , as well as one of the numerous blockbuster exhibitions that take place every year.

2. Go on a shopping trip down and off Oxford Street

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If you love to shop, Oxford Street has your name written all over it. Several department stores can be found here, including the world-famous Selfridge’s which houses all kinds of designer fashion labels and furniture.

Household names from H&M to Nike and Ralph Lauren call the street home, and if you veer off onto Old Bond Street, you’ll find luxury fashion houses Chanel, Dior, Gucci, and more setting the trends.

3. Marvel at the King’s jewels at the Tower of London

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This UNESCO-listed architectural gem is home to the world’s largest diamond, the Cullinan diamond set within the King’s dazzling crown jewels. The priceless collection is a major draw, as is the magisterial display of armor and weaponry in the White Tower .

It’s best to arrive early as the lines to see the regal jewels are often very long and to make sure you don’t miss a thing, book yourself onto a Yeoman Warder’s tour for a fascinating insight into British royal history.

4. Eat until you are stuffed at Borough Market

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There’s been a market here since the thirteenth century so you are essentially eating your way through history at every twist and corner. Artisanal gourmet goods are at the heart of the Borough Market philosophy , with market stalls selling everything from fancy scotch eggs to kangaroo burgers.

All the classics, from fine British cheeses to cider, fruit, vegetables and more are on offer, too. To get a taste of the real market in all its flamboyant glory, visit on Saturdays when virtually every stall and shop is open for browsing.

5. Go for a picnic in St James’s Park

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London’s prettiest Royal Park is the perfect place to laze in the sun and read a book or enjoy a picnic. It used to be King Henry VII’s marshy deer hunting ground long before King James I put a load of crocodiles and elephants in.

Now, you will find squirrels playing in the pretty flowerbeds and the famous pelicans who sit atop a rock in the park’s southern stretch. At 57 acres there’s lots of room to laze, and from the Blue Bridge, you will spot one of the most scenic views of London and Buckingham Palace.

6. Watch the guards change at Buckingham Palace

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The simplest way to see a bit of Royal action in London is to head for Buckingham Palace and watch the Changing of the Guard. It’s an age-old tradition where bearskin-hatted soldiers change their shifts.

It starts promptly at 11 am, and to make sure you see all of it in full view, be outside the palace gates no less than 30 minutes before it all kicks off. It’s free to watch and takes place daily in June and July, and from August to May, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

The experience lasts 45 minutes — make sure you bring a fully charged phone and camera.

7. Spend a Sunday buying flowers at Columbia Road Flower Market

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London’s oldest flower market is an East London institution. You will find the best blooms and bargains here, along with some of the finest artisanal coffee, cakes, and buns the city has to offer.

To avoid the crowds (it does get cramped), it’s best to arrive as soon as the market opens at 9 am. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s still worth a visit to sniff all the beautiful florals and to take loads of snaps for your Instagram feed.

8. Live like a royal at Spencer House

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Most people have never heard of this stately home. Neighbor to The Ritz and Buckingham Palace, the house is the familial seat of the Spencer Family and was opened to the public by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, in the nineties.

All sorts have walked through its doors from Queen Elizabeth II to foreign heads of state to marvel at its magnificent state rooms and gardens. Its claim to fame? It was the first house of its kind to be built in the neoclassical style anywhere in Europe.

Tours only run on Sundays and are led by expert Blue Badge guides.

9. Admire the views (and the plants) from the Sky Garden

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The sad truth is you have to pay to see some of London’s best views, but not here. London’s highest public garden offers some of the most spectacular panoramas of the city’s skyline free on weekends.

Timed slots often get reserved in advance, so it’s best to book weeks before your visit (especially for golden hour and sunset slots). Located on Fenchurch Street, deep with the ancient City of London, the 35-story public garden features a winding observation deck, an open-air terrace, two restaurants, and two bars.

If you want to make an occasion out of it, the venue often puts on loads of fun events, including early morning yoga sessions, so it’s well worth signing up for their newsletter so you are kept well in the loop.

10. Watch the tennis at Wimbledon

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The oldest tennis championship in the world is one of the greatest sporting experiences you can enjoy in London town.

Set in leafy Wimbledon , the all-lawn tennis extravaganza takes place every July and  aside from the game itself, has become a favorite destination for those looking to gorge on strawberries and cream and sip glasses full of Pimm’s.

Tickets are like gold dust, so make sure you get to the famous “line” at the crack of dawn. If you want to go to the semi-final or final, tickets are available by ballot only.

11. Have a glamorous afternoon tea at Claridge’s

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There’s nothing more quintessentially British than a posh afternoon tea, and nowhere does it better than Mayfair grand dame hotel Claridge’s . The tradition began in 1840 when the Duchess of Bedford shared her love of tea and cake before dinner.

The trend took off and has become a national tradition (and a worldwide British stereotype). While Claridge’s looks like something out of Bridgerton, you don’t have to turn up in a lavish outfit to enjoy the occasion.

Smart casual attire is fine, so there’s no need to feel intimidated. Expect delicious teas, lots of jam-filled scones, and an endless supply of finger sandwiches.

12. Stroll the magnificent sites of the South Bank

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For a dose of culture, you can’t miss the South Bank . This entire stretch of the river is alive with entertainment from mime shows to buskers and revolving dancers.

Come summer, festivals and art shows add an extra dose of color to all the brutalist architecture, and once the festive period hits, lively Christmas markets take over.

Aside from all the fun, this is where you will also find some of the city’s biggest attractions and landmarks, including the Royal Festival Hall , Southbank Center , and Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.

13. Free modern art at the Tate Modern

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The free-to-visit contemporary art museum is a global Mecca to the artistic greats. Set inside the former Bankside Power Station, see original works from the likes of Picasso and Matisse, alongside often sold-out exhibitions and events.

Once you have finished exploring the permanent collection, head to the gallery’s Blavatnik Building for a free vantage point of the city overlooking landmarks such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Shard.

14. Visit the historical crypts of Westminster Abbey

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Westminster Abbey is truly an extraordinary place and worth every penny of the ticket fee, which ranges from free for children under 5 to £27. It has been the heart of the UK’s royal and religious life since William the Conqueror was crowned king back in 1066.

Since then, every royal wedding and coronation has been at the Abbey , with several famous monarchs from Elizabeth I to Edward the Confessor buried in between, too.

Other highlights include a glimpse of the UK’s oldest door, the Coronation Chair, and Poet’s Corner, where you’ll find the resting place of several famous writers.

15. Party at Notting Hill Carnival

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Europe’s biggest street party takes place on the last weekend of August every year. It’s a massive celebration of London’s Caribbean culture with steel bands and people in colorful costumes taking to the streets atop soca floats and more.

Aside from the parade, DJ sets and live reggae, salsa, and dub music performances are a huge draw, too. If you miss the carnival spirit, head to Portobello Road for a selection of London’s finest antiques and to snap the area’s famous colorful houses.

16. Wow at London’s skyline from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral

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The Grade I-listed St Paul’s Cathedral is probably most famous for its starring role in the wedding of the then Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The Christopher Wren-designed baroque marvel offers one of the best views of London from its sky-high dome.

You’ll need to climb over 500 steps to see it, but trust me, once you reach the top it’s totally worth it. The crypt is also worth a visit to learn about the cathedral’s fascinating history and to see the tomb of Lord Horatio Nelson — the man who led Britain to victory during the Battle of Waterloo.

17. Learn about the world at South Kensington’s museums

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Museum land, as South Kensington is otherwise known, is the perfect free day out for the family, especially if it is raining outside. The Science Museum is seven floors of fantastic interactive displays that will keep adults and kids entertained for hours.

The world’s leading collection of decorative arts can be found inside Victoria & Albert Museum . There are tons of exhibitions and events held here every month so make sure you plan well in advance of your visit.

Next door, the much beloved Natural History Museum is the place to go for great schooling for all the wonders of planet Earth. The best thing? All of these museums are free to visit year-round.

18. Drink a pint or two at a famous London pub

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Aside from afternoon tea, there’s nothing more British than a pint. There are over 3,500 pubs in the capital with century-old institutions like Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese and Lamb & Flag competing for your tourist dollars.

If drinking is not your thing, a Sunday roast in one of these public houses is well worth the extra calories. Prefer cocktails? French House and Bar Termini in Soho deliver all the classics, shaken or stirred.

KAYAK top tip: if you’re a Ted Lasso fan head to The Prince’s Head in Richmond — although the pub’s exterior was only used in filming, the location and surroundings will be instantly recognizable.

19. Catch a theater show in London’s West End

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The best part about London’s theater scene is that you can see the world’s biggest shows even if you are on a budget. Most big shows are on Shaftesbury Avenue, the undisputed central home of the capital’s so-called Theatreland.

The classics to look out for include The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, The Lion King, and the ever-hilarious Book of Mormon. Plays are also big here with huge productions dotted all over the city from the Soho Theater , Old Vic , and Donmar Warehouse .

They are great spots to see up-and-coming talent and cost half the price of seeing a musical, too.

20. Buy vintage in Shoreditch

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Shoreditch is one of London’s trendiest neighborhoods. Vintage shops reign supreme on Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market , so don’t be surprised if you see hundreds of people here on the weekend searching for a designer bargain.

Once you have finished shopping, head to a rooftop to take in the views (the Queen of Hoxton is a local favorite) or dine in one of the area’s eclectic restaurants. Padella is a must, as is The Smoking Goat on Shoreditch High Street.

Feel like seeing and experiencing all these things in London? Check out our themed guides to help you have the best visit to London

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If you want to find more recommendations besides our top picks to do in London, check out the below. For food recommendations, why not check out our favorite London restaurants ? If you are interested in the gay scene in London, our detailed LGBTQ+ guide includes everything you need to know to travel safely and confidently.

How did we choose what goes into our 20 best things to do in London guide?

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I have lived in London nearly my entire life. Since I was a child, I have explored every nook and cranny throughout all its major boroughs, and as a travel journalist, have visited the capital’s most famous and under-the-radar tourist attractions (many behind the scenes, too).

Over the years, these local tips coupled with KAYAK’s expert guides around the world link in nicely with London’s major hitters, regardless if you are exploring the usual suspects or all the hidden gems in between.

Visiting London. FAQS

Do i need a car in london.

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The short and sweet answer is no. The traffic in London can get extremely heavy, especially on weekdays and during peak times such as the morning and evening rush hours.

It’s much faster and easier to get around using the London Underground, local bus routes, and by foot, as most landmarks and attractions are within walking distance.

You will need to buy an Oyster card to use the entire network. They are available from stations and airports. Alternatively, If your payment card or smartphone is contactless enabled, you can pay for each ride using Apple or Google Pay.

When is the best time to visit London?

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London is busy all year round. Generally speaking, the busiest times range from June through August when the weather is usually better, major tourist attractions like Buckingham Palace open, and many sporting events such as Wimbledon and countless music festivals are taking place.

Spring and fall are generally quieter, as is the winter period (except Christmas and New Year’s Eve), so if you are a traveling family or looking to beat the crowds, this is when London is at its most accessible.

How long should I spend in London?

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It’s impossible to see London on a single trip. There’s so much to do and discover in the capital that even native Londoners like myself still find new things to check out.

If you want to see all the big tourist attractions and squeeze in a few restaurants, bars, classy hotels, and a day trip, I suggest you stay for a week. That way, you’ll see all the highlights and just enough to inspire your next visit to the capital.

Is London safe?

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Despite its vast size, London is a safe city. That said, it’s good to be vigilant as pickpockets still operate in built-up areas and on the public transport network.

You might think that this is not the case for London, but locals are generally friendly, and if you get lost, people are usually willing to offer a helping hand.

Does London have tourist passes?

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Yes! The London Pass offers access to 80 of the city’s top attractions, including The Tower of London and ZSL London Zoo.

There are also several London bus tours, and it saves to buy a weekly travel card so your transport costs don’t spiral out of control. Check out the TFL website for more information and to find the best pass that suits your plans.

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27 Best Things to Do in London

By Sonya Barber and Ramsay Short

27 Best Things to Do in London From Vintage Markets to Art Museums

London: the city that has anything and everything you could possibly want in a vibrant, world-class capital. Your only real problem is working out what you can miss. With over 170 museums, 3,000 parks, 3,500 pubs and an ever-changing number of restaurants, there’s almost too much to see, do and eat—even for a life-long Londoner.

Truly, the city is too large, and too rich in options, for you to get to it all in one visit; you'll have to make some hard choices. Which incredible food or clothing-market to browse? Tate Modern or the British Museum? Where should you pick for a perfect, full-English breakfast? Where's the best afternoon tea ? How do you pick from all the abundant pubs ? And don't get us started here on the best restaurants . Thankfully, our locally led list of the best things to do in London is here to help you decide—just don’t try to do it all in one day.

Read our complete London travel guide here .

This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

Tower of London with river in front

Tower of London Arrow

Built by William the Conqueror in 1066, this uncompromising slab of a building has been many things—including the site where Henry VIII ordered the execution of two of his wives. Now the Tower is most famous as the home of the Crown Jewels. Come, take a tour from one of the Beefeaters (offered every half hour), and gawp at the sparkling and the frightening alike.

A garden.

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A spectacular 500 acre garden in west London, Kew boasts one of the biggest and most diverse botanical collections in the whole world. There’s been a botanic garden here since the 18th century when it was a royal palace; today it’s not only a UNESCO World Heritage site with over a whopping 50,000 plants, it’s also just a really lovely place to visit. You can spend a whole day gently wandering along the winding paths through the lawns, trees, lake, Japanese garden, rhododendron dell, rose garden and kid’s play area, as well as popping in and out of the grand glasshouses. It’s a calming and tranquil place (as long as you avoid the playground on a school holiday) but you can also learn plenty about plants along the way.

Tate Modern interior

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This former oil-fired power station sits smugly in the center of the South Bank, knowing that you’re interested in what’s going on inside. It’s filled to the rafters with paintings and sculptures by the likes of Picasso, Dali, Warhol, and Rothko, all set off perfectly by that gritty industrial interior. It’s rare that any exhibition at Tate Modern is awaited with anything less than bated breath, whether they’re the paid shows across the mid-levels of the institution or the vast and clever commissions to take over the massive space that is the Turbine Hall. You’re pretty much bound to be blown away. 

People walking in front of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London

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In London, every building and street has history. And Shakespeare's Globe, although a reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre—where many of William Shakespeare's plays were first staged and which burned down in 1613 during a performance of 'Henry VIII'—is no exception. The theater was rebuilt not far from its original site, using construction methods and materials as close to the original as possible, and to watch a performance here is to step back in time with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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All Our Stories flags by designer Bethany Williams in Coal Drops Yard King's Cross

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Ever since the Eurostar undersea rail link between Paris and London rolled into Kings Cross St. Pancras station, the formerly down-and-out neighborhood of Kings Cross has experienced a total transformation. Abandoned railway land with disused gas tanks now has been turned into new offices, shopping areas, fountains, apartments, green spaces, and more. There are posh supermarkets in converted train sheds, the coveted Central St. Martins London School of Art and Fashion, artisan restaurants like Hicce, and trendy ice cream shops like Ruby Violet. Granary Square, north of the station and surrounded by restored warehouses, has a 1,000-jet fountain that's great for kids, as well as canal-side, amphitheater-style seating. There’s also the gorgeous revamped Camley Street Natural Park, which is packed with stunning wildflowers and urban biodiversity. Google is building their London headquarters here, an office complex that is supposed to be so state-of-the-art it will reinvent everything we know about workplaces. Add starchitect Thomas Heatherwick's stunningly designed Coal Drops Yard, former coal sheds that are now a super desirable luxury shopping and eating indoor and outdoor destination space, and you no doubt want to hang out at this development in what was once a dark and dusty neighborhood.

Southbank London ferris wheel

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The South Bank is one of the London’s best bits. Generally located between the Westminster and London bridges, it offers about two-miles of excellent, largely state-funded arts and entertainment venues alongside breezy, traffic-free views of a succession of city landmarks (Big Ben, St. Paul's, the Tower of London) that lie on the north bank. No wonder it attracts over 14 million people per year. If you have limited time in the capital, South Bank is great because it has everything, including a selection of good restaurants and street food offerings.

Victoria  Albert Museum London

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South Kensington’s V&A is one of the world’s largest art and design museums, and it's arguably London’s most glamorous. (Just the building itself is well worth the visit: a glorious red-brick palace filled with sculptural details, extravagant tiling, and frescos.) The collection is helpfully broken down into topics—fashion, theatre, furniture, architecture—and all are comprehensive, usually spanning several hundred (if not thousand) years. Don’t expect to tackle more than one or two galleries per visit, and do check out the seasonal exhibition. The collection is helpfully broken down into topics such as fashion, jewelry, theater and performance, furniture, architecture, ceramics etc and all are comprehensive, usually spanning several hundred (if not thousand) years. Don’t expect to tackle more than one or two galleries per visit.

An interior of a cafe.

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Chances are there will be a queue for this beloved British ‘greasy spoon’ cafe. The Pellicci family has been feeding east Londoners since 1900 and still make some of the best fry ups in town. Stepping inside is like entering a time warp: there’s beautiful ornate art deco wooden paneling, stained glass windows, formica tables and a huge steaming tea urn. In fact, it’s such an icon that English heritage has awarded it grade-II listed status. It’s lively, chaotic, and always great fun. Whatever food you choose, always order a cup of strong "builder’s" tea. There’s coffee, milkshakes, beer, wine, and even limoncello on the menu but nothing goes better with a breakfast than a perfectly brewed cuppa.

Sir John Soanes Museum London Exhibit

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This is, without a doubt, the city’s most atmospheric museum, packed to the rafters with hundreds of interesting and impressive artworks and artifacts. The collection is pretty much whatever took Sir John Soane's eye, positioned in the place it looked best—so don’t go looking for order. Instead, go curious, as the walls give way to secret rooms the unobservant might miss. It's not the unknown it once was though, so unless you go first thing in the morning you'll probably have to wait in line.

Columbia Road Flower Market london

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Weekly on Sundays, Columbia Road in East London's hip Shoreditch/Hackney neighborhood, transforms into a multicolored frenzy of stalls and flowers. This otherwise unassuming East End street is transformed into a swath of magnificent plant life, the air fragrant with blooms and the shouts of historic London's famous Cockney stallholders. It's as eccentric as it gets around here. You'll hear rushed deals and offers for a 'tenner' or 'fiver' (ten or five pounds) and because everything is so fresh, it's all gotta be gone by 2 p.m. 

An interior of a museum.

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Fancy a trip back through time? Just around the corner from buzzy Spitalfields Market, there’s a beautiful old four story house in Spitalfields that is essentially a wonderful time warp. Eccentric American Dennis Severs bought the crumbling derelict building in 1979 and turned the whole thing into an amazing work of art, evocatively recreating the home life of different generations of a Huguenot family living from 1724 to 1919 (and living there himself at the same time!). Severs died in 1999 but the house is perfectly preserved and is one of the most incredible museums in London. This is quite a niche museum: one for history fans, interior enthusiasts and those into theatrical spaces, but truly anyone visiting will be instantly immersed into the bewitching experience. There’s only a small number of people allowed in at one time and everyone is respectfully tip-toeing around peering into chamber pots and studying the ghostly paintings.

Fortnum  Mason Tea London

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This historic spot for afternoon tea has been an upper crust British favorite since it began importing leaves from Asia in 1707. It's no wonder the beloved tearoom was reopened in 2012 by the Queen after a sensitive refit. The room retains a fittingly regal affect, decorated in the store’s trademark eau de nil (take that, Tiffany). There’s often a pianist tinkling away in the corner of the airy elegant room in the afternoon. The tea itself will leave even the most discerning of tea snobs with their mouths open. There are 50 different blends and tea sommeliers to help you chose which one is for you.

An elevated view looking westwards of the London Skyline with St Paul's Cathedral at dusk

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One of the most famous cathedrals in the world, St. Paul's (finished in 1708) is the masterpiece of architect Sir Christopher Wren, and its towering dome is probably second on the definitive list of symbols of London after Big Ben. It's awe-inspiring, magical yet somber and reflective, a place for prayer whether you're religious or not. 

Gallery view of David Hockney The Arrival of Spring Normandy 2020

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The Royal Academy of Arts, or the R.A., as it's more fondly known, has been around for 250 years run by artists, and is home to an incredible collection of global art. The R.A.'s collection is vast, including sculpture, drawing, painting and architecture. There are numerous classic works on show as well as themed exhibitions from the collection, and varied and regular temporary shows that sell out quickly. Annually there is the annual Summer Exhibition featuring plenty of new work from up and coming R.A. students and alumni, and major icons in the art world; it's well worth seeing. You can come for a short visit and still get plenty out of the R.A.—the buildings themselves are worth checking out alone if you like seeing 19th-century and modern 21st-century architecture blended together.

An exterior of a department store.

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This is truly one of the most beautiful shops in London. A Grade II-listed boutique department store with an iconic mock-tudor façade constructed from the timbers of two ships, it’s well worth a visit for the shop itself. Founded by Arthur Lasenby Liberty in 1875 who wanted an emporium to show off the treasures from his travels, today the wood-paneled light-filled atriums and cozy side rooms are stuffed full of goodies, new and old. It’s atmospheric, eclectic and unlike any other department store we’ve ever visited. A visit to the store must include a peruse of the impressive fabric department: the rolls and rolls of colorful, intricate and fabulous prints that will make you wish you’d paid more attention in home economics. If sewing isn’t your thing, you can get ready-made bags, cushions, bedding and even chess boards adorned with the delicate Liberty patterns.

The Shard london

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Western Europe's tallest building at 309.6 metres, or 1,016 feet, high, The Shard houses London's first Shangri-la hotel , private apartments, offices and three high-end restaurants—Aqua Shard, Hutong and Oblix. All good reasons to visit of course but arguably the main one is the viewing gallery aka The View. Located on floors 68-72 and 244 meters above London, you have an unobstructed 360-degree, 40-mile view across the city.

Adam ChanlerBerat in “Amlie A New Musical” at Center Theatre GroupAhmanson Theatre.

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London's answer to New York's Broadway cuts across a swathe of the West End of the city in Covent Garden, Soho, and Picadilly.  From Shakespeare to contemporary comedies and dramas like Hamilton, as well as countless famous musicals of old and many new, London's West End has it all. Who doesn't want to feel again the infectious glee of musical theatre choreography and the sweating happiness of curtain calls. With the shows coming back after a long closure due to coronavirus, the Criterion Theater is offering a wonderfully quirky musical version of Amelie—the popular French movie of the same name—for more affordable prices than the big-name shows.

The National Gallery London Museum

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Set in London’s busiest open space, Trafalgar Square, this is the grandmother of galleries with more than 2,300 paintings spanning the 13th to the 19th centuries: Heavyweights include Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Velazquez's Rokeby Venus, and Constable’s six-foot long The Hay Wain . It gets packed at weekends, but its so large that you can usually find a quiet corner. You can download an audio tour covering the museum's highlights, but you can also curate your own by selecting the paintings you want to see before you arrive. The seasonal exhibitions are the only ones you’ll pay for, and as you'd expect, most are spectacular ranging from Lucian Freud to Titian.

Borough Market London

Borough Market Arrow

The food hound's favorite London market (and the city's most atmospheric) occupies a sprawling site near London Bridge, both in a large covered area and spreading into the smaller maze of streets that surround it. Records show there’s been a market here since 1276 when it apparently caused traffic jams on London Bridge. What’s on offer? Gourmet goodies run the gamut and you’d be hard pressed not to find something you can’t get enough of and simply spend all day stuffing your face.

Highgate Cemetery london

Highgate Cemetery Arrow

A graveyard is always a somber place, but Highgate is also a celebratory one. You’ll recognize parts of it if you’ve seen Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Dracula,’ and you'll find the final resting place of writers like George Eliot and Douglas Adams, science pioneers like Michael Faraday and pop culture icons like George Michael (although his grave isn't named as such;  his Panayiotou family plot is in the West Cemetery next to Lucien Freud). And believe it or not, for somewhere with so many legendary men and women buried in it, Highgate Cemetery is one of the least visited of London’s landmarks. But those who come do it for both the ghostly mystery of the place itself, as well as the celebrity dead.

British Museum London

British Museum Arrow

You could spend several lifetimes in the British Museum, Britain’s largest museum, without running out of artifacts to ponder. The collection is one of the largest in the world, arranged by location (Ancient Egypt, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Greece and Rome), and the list of big hitters includes the Rosetta Stone and other finds from Ancient Egypt, Asia and the Middle East. Come early on a weekday for a less crowded experience, pick one gallery and stick to it, or go for a guided “eye-opener” tour.

Views of Kenwood House at Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath Arrow

Forget the perfect lawns of London's Royal Parks, Hampstead Heath, the vast and, in places wonderfully overgrown, tract of countryside just north of the rock ‘n’ roll neighborhood of Camden Town is the wild heart of the city and an undisputed highlight, so much so it's said to have inspired CS Lewis’s Narnia. The Heath covers 791 acres of woodland, playing fields, swimming ponds and meadows of tall grass perfect both for picnickers and couples in search of privacy. It’s truly beautiful.

This image may contain Human Person Wheel Machine Transportation Vehicle Motorcycle Footwear Shoe and Clothing

Portobello Market Arrow

Running through the center of the ever-fashionable Notting Hill neighborhood in West London, Portobello Road is know for everything from sixties models, photographers, artists and rockstars to rows of antiques stalls, hip pubs and Hugh Grant, but what we’re talking about is Portobello Market when the street is closed off Friday to Sunday and packed with people from far and wide. It’s that famous. Portobello is actually several markets rolled into one: There are antique and bric-a-brac shops, loads of food stalls and further up next to the Portebello Green arcade, emerging designers and vintage clothing shops.

The Serpentine Bridge connecting Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

Hyde Park Arrow

Hyde Park is big. At one and a half miles long and a mile or so wide, it's one of London's largest Royal Parks, originally appropriated from the monks at Westminster Abbey by Henry VIII to hunt deer, but now the sort of space where anything goes. Think gangs of roller-bladers on the paths, mad swimmers and chill boaters in the Serpentine Lake, rowdy protestors at Speaker’s Corner and kids aplenty riding horses and tipping their toes into the Diana Memorial Fountain.

tayyabs curry london

Tayyabs Arrow

Most nights you’ll be waiting for at least half an hour before entering this famous, BYOB Punjabi diner in Whitechapel. Tayyabs is loud (and no one’s on a romantic date) but what you’re there for are the sizzling plates of meat. The main attraction is the lamb chops, served up spicy and marinated in a kadai masala with coriander, sliced onions, and chillies, and everything must be paired with freshly baked rotis, parathas, and naans. It’s a great spot for meat eaters and large groups looking for an affordable way to dine on exceptional Punjabi food.

General View of Churchill's Bedroom at Churchill War Rooms.

Churchill War Rooms Arrow

This underground lair, just around the corner from 10 Downing Street, is where Churchill spent endless hours plotting Allied victory during the Second World War. Come for the Map Room, which looks exactly as it did when the members of the War Cabinet abandoned it at the end of the war, and the Transatlantic Telephone Room, where Churchill had secret conversations with U.S. officials. Entry is currently timed so you won't be crowded, and there are some pandemic restrictions still in place in terms of social distancing, but it's easy to get around and see everything. The audio guide comes with your ticket and provides an extra insight into the operations that went on during the war, including sounds and speeches of the time. The museum is also fully wheelchair accessible.

The neon light facade at London jazz institution Ronnie Scott's

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club Arrow

Nightlife institutions are institutions for a reason. And Ronnie Scott's, Soho’s premier jazz venue on Frith Street, never, ever disappoints. One rule: book your ticket in advance. Ronnie's is a concert venue, generally hosts two sittings a night—everyone from Nina Simone to Pharaoh Sanders has played here—and gigs get booked out quickly by tourists, aficionados and fellow musicians. You can, however, usually get into Ronnie’s Bar, a smaller more dance oriented venue upstairs, without advance notice, as well as into the 'late late' shows. The place itself is everything a jazz venue should be: dark, loud and enticing, romantic even, and so very Soho—you’ll probably feel like drinking whisky but Champagne always goes down better. When the music ends, and you fall out buzzing into the street, finish up with a bite at the legendary late-night favorite Bar Italia across the road. It’s just what's done.

Recommended

The Peninsula, London

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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

38 Best Things to do in London, England In 2024

Written By: ThePlanetD Team

Updated On: February 8, 2024

There are many reasons why people visit London. Some people visit for the history and cultural attractions, such as the British Museum, The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and Buckingham Palace. Others come to see the city’s world-class theaters and a show in the West End or to go shopping on Oxford Street and in Covent Garden.

We love it for all of these reasons and more. When we first visited we didn’t realize that we needed more than 2 days. There are just so many things to see and do in London that you really need to prioritize what you are most interested in and then go from there.

Top things to do in London England

Since then we have been a few times and done different things on each visit. So, we wanted to put together the best things to do in London for every type of visitor.

Table of Contents

Top Things To Do In London

Deciding exactly what to do in London can be overwhelming, to say the least. London has a long and fascinating history that stretches back over 2,000 years. This history is reflected in the city’s many iconic landmarks, such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. add to those world-class museums, fantastic shopping, a food scene that rivals the best in the world, and stunning parks and gardens and you can see what I mean.

There is no doubt you will find something that interests you and these are our favorite things to do in London for inspiration.

The Top London Attractions

Best Things to do in London attractions

For a great introduction to all the top London Landmarks and attractions get tickets for the London Hop On Hop Off Tour  – If you don’t have a long time in London, this is a great way to get an overview of the city, with stops right by Covent Garden and at both ends of The Strand.

1. Covent Garden

What to do in London visit Covent Garden

Covent Garden is one of our favorite places in London. It is the heart of old London town, and feels like the London of Eliza Doolittle and yet completely up to date at the same time.

One of the most popular attractions in Covent Garden is the central market, which is housed in a beautiful 19th-century building and is home to a wide range of stalls selling everything from handmade crafts and gifts to fresh produce and flowers. The area around the market is also home to a number of high-end stores and boutiques, as well as street performers and buskers.

The Jubilee Market just across is the spot to find real London market sellers and some bargain gifts, and outside in the square is one of the best spots to watch street performers.

Covent Garden is easy to get to from central London, with a number of underground stations nearby, including Covent Garden, Leicester Square, and Charing Cross.

  • Hours: The area is open 24 hours, but the shops within the market generally 9 am – 6 pm, and the bars and restaurant times vary.

2. The National Gallery

Best Things to do in London The National Gallery

In our opinion, The National Gallery is the finest art gallery in London.

Situated smack in the middle of Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery is the best place to see incredible classic and contemporary art pieces by European Masters such as Canaletto, Caravaggio, Titian, Turner, Rubens, and Van Gogh. The museum is home to a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to the early 20th century.

It was founded in 1824 and has been housed in its current building since 1838. In addition to the permanent collection, the National Gallery also hosts a number of special exhibitions and events throughout the year, so be on the lookout for those.

You can access it through several underground stations nearby, including Charing Cross, Leicester Square, and Piccadilly Circus.

  • Hours : 10 am-6 pm daily, and extended to 9 pm on Fridays.
  • Cost: Free for permanent exhibitions.

Things to do in London Visit Camden

Camden is a spot in London that has always been cool. From the swinging 60s to punk 80s to hipster millennials, it has always drawn an artistic crowd.

Camden Market is a popular destination for shopping, with a wide range of stalls selling everything from vintage clothing and accessories to art and crafts. The market is also home to a number of food stalls and restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines. If you are looking for real London souvenirs, usually made by locals, this is the place to get them.

While you are in the area you will not want to miss Camden Lock which is a historic canal lock that is now a popular tourist destination. The area around the lock is home to a number of shops, restaurants, and pubs, as well as a street market.

Other highlights include The Roundhouse, The Camden Canal, and the Camden Town Brewery if you want to grab a pint with lunch.

  • Hours: Camden Market 10 am-6 pm in winter, usually extending to 8 pm May-September. High street stalls are open until 9 pm, and bars and restaurants later.

4. Carnaby Street

best things to do in london Carnaby Street Christmas Lights

Carnaby Street is the grooviest street in London. Located in the West End. it was the place to hang out in London’s swinging 60s filled with music venues, and shops, and was the place to see and be seen.

In addition to shopping and dining, Carnaby Street is also home to a number of events and festivals throughout the year. These include the Carnaby Christmas lights, which is something you should make a point to see if you are visiting during the holiday season.

Carnaby Street is easily accessible from central London, with several underground stations nearby, including Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, and Tottenham Court Road.

5. See a West End Show

what to see in london theatre

Going to London without sampling a West End show is just as sacrilegious as going to New York without seeing a Broadway show.

Located in the heart of the city, the Theatre District is home to a number of iconic theaters, including the Lyceum Theatre, the Apollo Theatre, and the Victoria Palace Theatre.

The West End is known for its wide range of shows, from classic musicals and plays to modern comedies and dramas. Some of the most popular shows in the West End include “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Misérables,” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

Insider tips for Getting Tickets to London Theatres

To get the best prices for tickets, go to the actual theatre the show is on and ask about tickets available for that day. If you don’t mind sitting alone, or a little higher up in the theatre, you can get some excellent deals. Going to the TKTS Hut in Leicester Square or one of the many ticket shops around the square are also good places to get last-minute deals.

  • Hours: Individual shows vary, but in general shows nightly except Sundays at 7.30 pm, and matinees on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Sundays, plus Saturdays at 2.30 pm.
  • Cost: From £10-200 depending on the show, but you can get tickets for many shows for around £30-40.

6. Buckingham Palace

Top things to do in London Buckingham Palace

The main residence of King Charles III is home to himself and several other members of the British Royal family most of the year.

Buckingham Palace was originally built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703, but it was acquired by King George III in 1761 and has been the official residence of the monarchy ever since. The palace is home to the Queen and Prince Philip when they are in London, and it is also used for state occasions and official receptions.

Buckingham Palace is open to the public during the summer months when visitors can take a tour of the palace’s state rooms and see some of the royal art collection. The palace is also home to the Royal Mews, which houses the royal carriages and coaches.

Highlights to see at Buckingham palace are the Ballroom, the Picture Room, the Throne Room, and the White Drawing Room. If you are a real Royalist you can check out the Changing of the Guard which takes place every from April to July, and on alternate days from August to March. It begins at 11:00 am and lasts for about 45 minutes. Read about another royal residence How to Visit Windsor Castle .

Buckingham Palace is located in the City of Westminster, near Green Park and St. James’s Park. It is easy to get to from central London, with several underground stations nearby, including Victoria, Green Park, and St. James’s Park.

  • Buckingham Palace Hours : Tours begin from 9.30 am-5.15 pm from July 14th until August 31st
  • Buckingham palace Cost: Adults: £ 30 (US$ 36.20) Young people between 18 and 24 years old: £ 19.50 (US$ 23.50) Children between 5 and 17 years old: £ 16.50 (US$ 20) Children under 5 years old: Free admission

7. The Houses of Parliament

Things to do in London Houses of Parliament

Probably one of the most iconic buildings in London, The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, is the seat of the UK government. Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Houses of Parliament is home to the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the UK Parliament.

Read more: How to Visit The Palace of Westminster and the Houses of Parliament in London

The Houses of Parliament are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are known for their impressive architecture, including the iconic clock tower, Big Ben. The palace was originally built in the 11th century, but it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times since then, and it has undergone numerous renovations and expansions.

Visitors can take a tour of the Houses of Parliament and see some of the historic rooms and chambers, including the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Royal Gallery. The tours are run by the UK Parliament and are available on most days when Parliament is not in session. There are two main ways to visit the Houses: with an audio tour (60-75 minutes) or a guided tour (90 minutes). You used to be able to do afternoon tea here but that is currently not running.

  • Hours: Days and times available vary depending on when parliament is in session, so check the Parliament website .
  • Cost: Audio tour £22.50/19.50 for concessions, children 5-15 one free per fee-paying adult. Guided tour £29.00/24.50 concessions, children aged 5-15 £13. Under-fives are free on all tours.

If you want an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour Get Your Guide offers a 2-Hour Guided Tour of the Palace of Westminster , the Royal Gallery, the Prince’s Chamber, the House of Commons, and The Chamber of the House of Lords.

8. Natural History Museum at South Kensington

Fun things to do in London Natural History Museum

London has many wonderful museums – many of them free – and this is our personal favorite. The Natural History Museum at South Kensington is a fantastic day out for the whole family. The museum is home to a collection of over 80 million specimens, including fossils, minerals, and animals.

Highlights include Hintze Hall (Green Zone) with its 75 feet blue whale skeleton and the museum’s most famous is the incredible hall of dinosaurs in the Blue Zone. The museum hosts many events such as talks, late-night openings, sleepovers, and silent discos, so it is worth checking out what is on when you’re in the city.

  • Hours: 10 am-5.50 pm daily.
  • Cost: Free for permanent exhibitions. Some temporary exhibitions have a fee, check their website for full info.

9. The Shard

Best Things to do in London The Shard

The Shard, at 95-Storys, is the tallest building in the UK and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. It is located in the London Bridge area, near the River Thames.

The Shard was designed by architect Renzo Piano and was completed in 2012. The building is home to offices, restaurants, a hotel, and residential apartments, as well as a public observation deck on the 72nd floor.

The Shard’s observation deck, known as The View from The Shard, offers panoramic views of London and is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take a lift to the top of the building and see views of the city from up to 244 meters (800 feet) above ground.

You can book your time on the website, and choose your time. Or you can grab a skip-the-line ticket here . Visits are timed to enter within a 30-minute slot, but once you’re up there, you can stay as long as you like. They even provide a weather guarantee so if the weather is bad – therefore your view is too – you can come back another day for free.

  • Hours: 10 am-10 pm Thursday to Saturday, 10 AM to 7 PM Sunday to Wednesday.
  • Cost: Standard Package £28 (booked 4 days in advance), £32 (Less than 4 days in advance). You can purchase a Fast Track Ticket for an additional £10.
  • If you purchase a London Pass , the Shard is included in the price.

10. Piccadilly Circus

Best Things to do in London Piccadilly Circus

Picadilly Circus is one of the most famous intersections in the world. Like New York’s Time Square, Piccadilly Circus is filled with neon lights and lots of activity. Located in London’s West End, Piccadilly Circus is the heart of London’s shopping district. It has held on to the tradition of showcasing billboards since 1908. But today it is one big wall of a giant neon sign.

Piccadilly Circus is surrounded by a number of popular attractions, including the London Pavilion, the Criterion Theatre, and the London Trocadero. If you are into photography this is a great place to shoot at night.

Check out this 3 Hour Private Walking Tour of London  – Get to know all the history with a knowledgeable local guide dishing you all the dirt on the area over the years.

11. London Nightlife

Best Things to do in London Nightlife

London’s nightlife is legendary. Whatever you’re interested in, you’ll find it here. Make sure to spend at least one evening out on the town in this electric city.

A few Suggested London Nightclub highlights include:

  • Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Bar in Soho for jazz
  • The Ministry of Sound in Elephant & Castle is a wild night for clubbers
  • G-A-Y between Soho and Covent Garden is a guaranteed epic night out if you’re LBGTQ or not.

If you’d rather have a more relaxed evening, London has character-filled pubs by the bucket load, which you’ll find on pretty much every street.

12. Tower of London

Best Things to do in London Tower of London

The Tower of London was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror and has played a number of roles over the centuries, including a royal palace, a treasury, a mint, a prison, and a royal armory. The Tower has several sections you can visit, and is a fantastic place for anyone interested in history, the British monarchy, or plots.

A couple of our favorite things that you shouldn’t miss are the White Tower, the Crown Jewels, and the medieval White Tower. The Tower of London is also home to the famous ravens, which are considered good luck for the kingdom. They live on the South Lawn and have been guarding the tower since the 1660s on orders of Charles II who was warned that if the birds ever left the fort, it and the crown would fall.

  • Hours : Tuesday-Saturday 9 am-4.30 pm, Sunday-Monday 10 am-4.30 pm.
  • Cost: £29.90/32.90 without donation. Grab your tickets here.

13. Tower Bridge

Things to do in London Tower Bridge

Not to be confused with the London Bridge, the Tower Bridge is located right at the Tower of London. Be sure to take a walk across the bridge and go on a tour of one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

Tower Bridge was built in the late 19th century and was designed to allow tall ships to pass through the river while still allowing for road traffic. The bridge has two towers connected by walkways, which you can go up and they offer beautiful panoramic views of the city and the river.

In addition to its iconic design, Tower Bridge is also known for its bascule bridge, which can be raised to allow tall ships to pass through. The bridge is raised around 50 times per year, and visitors can watch the process from the walkways or from the river.

14. London Eye

Best Things to do in London The London Eye

The London Eye is an icon of the city of London. It isn’t a Ferris wheel but is the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel. The London Eye was built as part of the Millenium Project, initially going to be a temporary structure as part of the celebrations moving into the year 2000.

The 32 pods of the London Eye represent London’s 32 boroughs, it stands 135m tall, can carry 800 people in one trip around, and moves at the leisurely pace of 26cm per second. It is a fun way to get a great view of the city. In addition to the views, the London Eye is also home to a number of other attractions, including a 4D cinema experience (which is pretty cool) and a sky bar.

  • Hours: Typically The London Eye is open 11am-between 6 pm. Check online for times when you visit as they vary frequently.
  • Cost: £36 on the day and £32.50 if you book Online. Our recommendation is; Grab your Fast Track Ticket here to avoid the lines.

15. St. Paul’s Cathedral

Best Things to do in London St Pauls Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral has stood on this spot for over 1,400 years and it is one of the most popular places to visit in London. The cathedral, located on Ludgate Hill in the City of London, is open to the public where they can admire the dome, stained glass windows, and the Golden Gallery, or join a service.

The cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and was completed in 1710. It is known for its impressive architecture and its large dome, which is one of the highest in the world. St. Paul’s Cathedral is also home to a number of important works of art, including paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds and mosaics by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

Visitors can also head down to the crypts and tombs where important war leaders including the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Lord Nelson are buried. There are guided tours of St. Paul’s Cathedral, touch-screen multimedia guides, and a 270-degree immersive film experience called Oculus are available.

  • Hours: Monday-Saturday 8.30 am-4.30 pm.
  • Cost: Adult – £18, Concession – £16, Children (age 6 – 17) – £7.70, Families (1 adult + 3 child) – £30.70, Families (2 adult + 3 child) – £43.70, Under 5’s – Free. Grab Your Skip the Line Ticket here !

16. Dennis Severs’ House

For those looking for a London experience with a difference, Dennis Severs’ House is the place to go, and I’d highly recommend it. This “still-life drama” captured the lives of the house’s Huguenot silk-weaver owners from 1724 to the start of the 20 th century.

Visitors are taken back in this time through the generations of the family’s ups and downs through sights, smells, and sounds throughout ten rooms. The intention is that the visitor feels like they have “passed through the surface of a painting” to experience this world.

Everything is conducted in silence, and there are also Silent Night tours in the evening, to add even more atmosphere. Reserve places for evening visits.

  • Hours: Sunday 12 pm-4 pm, Monday 12 pm-2 pm. Silent Night, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 5 pm-9 pm. Each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.
  • Cost: Full Tour: £75, Silent Night, £20, Day visits £15.

17. The Victoria and Albert Museum

Best Things to do in London Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert, named after Queen Victoria and her husband Albert – or simply the V & A, is a state-of-the-art world-leading Art & Design Museum. Five millennia of human creativity are showcased here.

The museum is home to a collection of over 2.3 million objects, including art, design, and decorative arts from around the world. The V&A was founded in 1852 and is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The museum is known for its impressive collection of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, and other objects, as well as its art collection, which includes works by artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt.

If you are an art lover you will not want to miss this museum.

  • Hours : Daily 10 am-5.45 pm, extended to 10 pm on Fridays.
  • Cost: Free for main exhibitions, charge for some temporary ones.

18. London Dungeon

Best Things to do in London The dungeon

London has a lot of macabre history, and one fun the most fun things to do in London is to visit the London Dungeon. Visitors go through a series of rooms, chambers, venues, and experiences to meet with some of the most sordid characters of the city’s past, such as Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd.

The London Dungeon is based on the dark and gruesome history of London and features a number of interactive exhibits and shows, including the Torture Chamber, the Great Fire of London, and Jack the Ripper. The show is suitable for ages 10 and up, and it is not recommended for young children or those who are sensitive to horror themes.

  • Hours:  Daily 11am-4pm.
  • Cost:  £29 online in advance to save 20%, £32 on the day. Grab your tickets here before they sell out.

19. Tate Modern

Best Things to do in London The Tate Modern

London’s premier contemporary art gallery, Tate Modern is fittingly housed in the former Bankside Power Station. Home to a huge international and national collection of modern art, the pieces are dramatic, and always provoke opinions. It is one of the four branches of the Tate galleries, along with the Tate Britain, the Tate Liverpool, and the Tate St Ives.

Opened in 2000, some of the most famous paintings from 1900 onwards by  modern artists such as Picasso, Dali, Rothko, Warhol, and Pollock are here. It also houses large-scale installation works.

  • Hours:  Daily 10am-6pm, extended to 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Cost:  Free for main collections.

20. SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Best Things to do in London SEALIFe London Aquarium

As you know we are not really fans of Aquariums and this one is really no exception. If it is something you fancy then you should know that it is located on the South Bank and is home to a collection of over 500 species of marine animals, including sharks, rays, seahorses, and tropical fish.

  • Hours: Daily 10am-6pm, extended to 7pm on Saturdays.
  • Cost: £29 online, £32 at the door. Family tickets are available. If you want Fast-Track Entry you can Get Your Ticket Here .

21. Harrods

Best Things to do in London Harrods

London’s most elite department store has been delighting the rich and chic with its wares since 1849 and wowed Victorians with England’s first escalator in 1898. Even if you aren’t going on a shopping spree, the building is very beautiful and well worth a visit.

Make sure to check out the Egyptian Room, and Food Hall. Or stop in the delicious bakery and treat yourself to a pastry and coffee. But make sure you are dressed decently to enter, as the dress code set in 1989 – no excess skin showing, no offensive pictures or writing on clothes – still applies.

  • Hours:  Monday-Saturday 10 am-9 pm, Sunday 11.30 am-6 pm.
  • Cost:  Free to stroll, but not cheap for any purchases.

22. Visit Greenwich

Top Things to do in London Visit Greenwich

Dave and I wanted to add our visit to Greenwich. Standing on the Prime Meridan with a leg in the eastern and western hemispheres at the Royal Observatory is a very cool experience. But there are a lot of other things to see and do in the area.

We took a stroll through the Royal Naval College and marveled at the  Painted Hall  – a masterpiece dating back to the 18th century. Greenwich Park is also a place to wander around with views of London and the Thames.

  • Getting Ther e: We took the boat along the Thames to Greenwich Pier and it offered us incredible views of the city. It was an outstanding way to see the sites of London on a budget. You can also get there by the Tube, train, DLR, and bus.
  • Hours: Royal Observatory, Maritime Museum, Meridian Line, Planetarium, Queen’s House, Cutty Shark, and Library are all open from 10 am to 5 pm. (last admissions 4:30 pm)

23. Westminster Abbey

Best Things to do in London Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is 1100 years old and all coronations have taken place here since William the Conquerer in 1066. Many a royal wedding has taken place at Westminster Abbey including William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Westminster Abbey is a stunning architectural masterpiece, with a mixture of Gothic and Romanesque styles. The abbey is home to a number of beautiful chapels and chapels, including the Henry VII Lady Chapel, the Chapel of the Order of the Bath, and the Chapel of St. John the Baptist.

Westminster Abbey has a number of beautiful gardens, including the Dean’s Yard and the St. Margaret’s Churchyard. The gardens are a peaceful and serene place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the abbey. Everyone is welcome to attend daily services at this church which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

24. The British Museum

Best Things to do in London The British Museum

The British Museum, located in the Bloomsberry area, is well worth a visit for its huge collection of artifacts. What’s more it free, you don’t have to pay to access it. The museum is home to a collection of over 8 million objects, including art, archaeology, and natural history from around the world.

The British Museum was founded in 1753 and is known for its impressive collection of ancient and modern art and artifacts. Some of the museum’s most famous exhibits include the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, and the Lewis Chessmen. The museum also hosts a number of special exhibitions and events throughout the year.

25. Borough Market

Borough Market Best Things to do in London

Located south of the Thames and across the London bridge, the borough market is a food lover’s dream come true. This historic food market in central London is full of stalls selling all kinds of street food and specialty dishes.

Have a sit and enjoy your meal or snack on the go as you stroll. The soft pretzel, paella, and chocolate fudge are a must-try when you visit the market. While it is busy during peak hours, there is plenty of food for all, you just might have to wait in line longer to get served.

26. Big ben

Visiting Big Ben Best Things to do in London

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster and is probably the most famous clock in the world. It was designed by Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin and was completed in 1859.

The clock tower is 96 meters (316 feet) tall and is home to four clock faces, each of which is 7 meters (23 feet) in diameter. The clock is known for its accuracy and is a symbol of the United Kingdom’s timekeeping traditions.

The clock tower is open to the public on certain days of the year, and visitors can take a tour of the tower and see the clock mechanism. Big Ben is a popular attraction, and it can get very busy, especially during peak season. To avoid crowds, you may want to visit during the week or during the off-peak season, which is usually from November to March.

27. The Royal Airforce Museum London

The museum is located in Colindale, in the borough of Barnet, and is home to a collection of over 100 aircraft, as well as a number of exhibits and displays on the history of the RAF. The RAF Museum was founded in 1972 and is known for its collection of aircraft, including planes from World War I, World War II, and the Cold War.

A great family activity especially for kids interested in planes.

The museum offers an interactive experience with a flight simulator and some games. While entry is free, you can pay extra for a tour guide. The gift shop is available and full of aircraft models and other souvenirs you can buy.

28. Hyde park

Best Things to do in London Hyde park

Take a break from all that London has to offer and enjoy a relaxing day at Hyde park which has been described as one of the best royal parks in London. The lush and spacious grounds offer the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Hyde park is very popular among locals and tourists and for good reason. Hyde Park covers an area of 350 acres and is home to a number of attractions, including the Speakers’ Corner, and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

Enjoy a stroll through the park on a sunny day or picnic with friends with breathtaking views of the serpentine lake. Other activities you can indulge at Hyde park include; cycling, boating, or skating.

29. Sky Garden

Best Things to do in London Sky Garden

Located on the top floor of the Walkie-Talkie building, The Sky Garden was opened in 2015 and is home to a number of plants, trees, and flowers, as well as a number of restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Visitors can take a tour of the garden and enjoy the views from the viewing platforms, or they can dine at one of the restaurants. Enjoy 360-degree views of London’s skyline at Sky Garden. You cannot beat the views that this skyscraper building with indoor gardens has to offer.

Enjoy some coffee and cake, food or wine while you take in the views of the London bridge or Thames. Tickets to sky garden are free online and can be booked up to 3 months in advance.

30. Churchill war rooms

Best Things to do in London Churchill War Rooms

Prime minister Winston Churchill used the massive bunker as his living and working quarters. Most of what is here are as it was left. If you love British history, then the Churchill war rooms are a must-see attraction when in London. See the papers the prime minister used to write his speeches on, maps rooms, the phone used to make calls to world leaders, and more.

The Churchill War Rooms were used as the underground headquarters for the British government during World War II. The museum includes a number of exhibits and displays on the history of the war and the role of Churchill, including a replica of Churchill’s war cabinet room and a number of interactive displays.

There is also a small section known as the Churchill museum that chronicles his life and early childhood.

31. Brick lane

Best Things to do in London Stroll Brick Lane

Located in the east end, in the borough of Tower Hamlets, brick lane is one with a 450-year legacy to its name. Fun fact the street was once used as home to a thriving Brick and tile business in the 15th century and hence the name.

Today Brick Lane is popular for its Sunday market and South Asian restaurants. The Brick Lane Market is a popular destination for vintage clothing, antiques, and other second-hand goods. The market is open from 9 am to 5 pm and is a great place to explore and shop. While it is certainly busiest on Sunday, it is the best day to visit Brick Lane.

Street food is also in abundance if you don’t want to visit the restaurants nearby.

32. Leicester Square

Best Things to do in London Leicester Square

Located in the west end of London near Chinatown, Leicester square has lots of things for you to do and see. Leicester Square is known for its entertainment, and it is home to a number of theaters, cinemas, and live music venues. The square is a great place to see a show, a movie, or a concert.

There are several world-class cinemas in Leicester square such as Prince Charles cinema and cinema world, where many film premiers are held every year. There are also statues of Harry potter and other important entertainment figures.

If you do make it out here make sure to check out Leicester Square Gardens, the London Film Museum, and the Trocadero Centre. The square is a great place to spend the day exploring.

33. Trafalgar square

Best Things to do in London Trafalgar Square

At Trafalgar square, you will find historic buildings such as the national gallery which is just 2 minutes away, and the St Martin in the field church.

Trafalgar Square is also home to historical statues such as the Nelson column and the lion sculptures.

Sit down at the fountain and experience the buzz of the city center. Lots of public events are held at Trafalgar square and there is always something for you to see.

34. All things Harry Potter

Things to do in London Harry Potter

London has a lot to offer for the fun of Harry Potter, one of Britain’s most loved literary characters.

Step inside filming locations such as Hagrid’s hut, the great hall, and Dumbledore’s office located in London. See and take photos of the original sets, costumes, and props.

With the Warner Bros Studio tour you get behind-the-scenes secrets of making the Harry Potter movies.

A truly magical experience for cinema lovers. Take a ride on the Harry Potter Hogwarts at King’s cross station. Learn more about spells and portions at The Cauldron. Booking the Harry Potter Tour of London is a great way to avoid getting overwhelmed or missing out on any spots.

35. Royal botanic gardens

Top Things to do in London Royal Botanic Gardens

Also known as Kew gardens, the Royal botanic gardens are a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to their diverse plant life. The gardens also serve as a world-class research institution.

Admire and marvel at the huge assortment of plant life from the giant trees, massive lily pads, and scented roses.

Take advantage of the treetop walkway for a bird’s eye view of the massive garden.

36. National Portrait Gallery

Top Things to do in London National Portrait Gallery

Overlooking Trafalgar Square, the national portrait gallery takes you through England’s history with portraits and photographs of its most famous personalities from royalty, artists, sportspersons, actors, singers, and much more.

Art subjects go as far back as the Tudors, a dream for those who love British history or history in general.

37. HMS Belfast

Top Things to do in London HMS Belfast

Step back in time and experience what life was like onboard royal navy worship during world war ii. HMS Belfast is not only one of London’s iconic landmarks but also a beautiful piece of war history.

The ship has about 9 decks you can explore as you learn about the history of the ship and its sailors.

38. Hampstead Heath

Top Things to do in London Hampstead Heath

Escape the hustle of the city at Hampstead Heath, one of London’s most popular green spaces that span over 320 hectares.

There is something for everyone here as the park boasts of a zoo, swimming pond, playgrounds, tracks, splash ponds, sports facilities, and more. Enjoy the views of London as you marvel at the beautiful trees and greenery at the heath.

#1 Money Saving Tip in London

The best way that you can save money and see all of the sites is to get yourself a  London City Pass Select your pass duration and enjoy  access to over 80 attractions  including the Tower of London, The Shard, and a hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

  • London city pass with an app & fast-track entry on select attractions
  • Choose the travel option to include an Oyster Travelcard for journeys across the London transport network
  • 1-10 day passes starting at £75 Adults (£55 Children)
  • Save Big on Gate Prices with the London City Pass
  • Click on London City Pass for Details and a list of attractions

With only a short amount of time, this will help you get around quickly and skip the line at a bunch of places. Definitely worth it.

Getting Around London

How to get around London Transportation

Buying an Oyster card for £3:  is a worthwhile investment to get around London on the tube if you are in London for a week or more or if you are planning on hopping about the zones a lot. You can find locations to buy an Oyster Card and places to top it up on  this website . Read our tips: How to Get from London Airport to City Centre

  • Day Pass:  If you are planning on visiting several areas in a day, getting a day pass, weekend pass, or week pass for the Tube, or bus system is a smart move.
  • Single tickets on the bus start from £1.80 and the tube from £2.90 .
  • Tickets for the Tube work within certain zones, so check which zone your final destination is in before boarding.

If you are planning on traveling a lot around London in one day or week, or month even, it is worth getting a London Travel Card.

  • Tube transport up to zones 1-4 costs £12 per day using it at any time, and across all public transport using the tube, bus, or tram systems.
  • A weekly tube pass starts from £32.10 for zones 1-2

What Time of Year Should I visit London?

Since London is a huge metropolis with things going on year-round, there is really no bad time to visit the city if you are dressed for it and prepared for rain. Since it is a busy city year-round, there is no bad time to visit London, but there are better times for weather and crowds.

  • You can expect rain any time of year when visiting London, but the rainiest season is January and Feb.
  • The high Season is between June and September and then again in December. Expect more crowds and higher prices.
  • Shoulder season – March to May is a good time to visit as the weather is mild and you will find better deals.
  • And then again in October and November. During this time you’ll be able to find  cheaper flights  and  accommodation .

Recommended Tours in London

Recommended tours in London

Make sure to plan ahead and don’t miss out on all the incredible experiences that London has to offer – find the best things to do and book them easily via  GetYourGuide

Harry Potter fans will love the  Harry Potter Tour of London  where you’ll visit Platform 9 3/4 and Diagon Alley. You may also want to check out the  Warner Bros Studio Tou r from King’s Cross for die-hard fans.

London never stops. It is always reinventing itself and is always fresh as well as reliably full of history and character. Whether you’re going for the bustle, the art, music, food, museums, galleries, or just the buzz of it all, you can have a different experience every time. So when are you going to visit London?

For more London travel information to help your London itinerary, check out these links below.

  • Where To Stay In London – A Guide to The Best Areas and Places
  • 3 Days in London – The Ultimate London Itinerary
  • How to Get from London Airports to the City
  • London’s Top 5 Alternative Attractions
  • The Top 5 Museums in London you Have to See
  • Amazing Places to Visit in the UK

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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About ThePlanetD Team

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16 thoughts on “38 Best Things to do in London, England In 2024”

Everything looks so interesting ? I look forward to doing this in London soon!

Thank you for this information i love to read this type of blog because I love to travel

wonderful and nice travel experience. Your writing skill is very good. UK is amazing and this is my dream country, i will visit soon.

So well written blog, really amazing, every word is described beautifully, I loved reading it, please keep on writing blogs like this in future as well.

Wonderful Travel experience of london. These all things are really very interesting do to.

The City of London has over 400 green spaces, and there are over eight million trees in Greater London

You forgot to mention the amazing football stadiums we can visit in London such as Wembley, Stamford Bridge, Emirates stadium to name few.

really very nice blog, I love your writing skills. Karen, thanks for sharing this.

I’m living in London and not to be biased, but I think it is one of the majestic cities in the world. 🙂

That’s a fantastic step-by-step, quite inspiring!

Yes Camden! By far the most interesting and original places in London. Cyberdog is where I take any tourist to, just for its glo-rave quirkiness, and World’s End pub opposite Camden Station is the largest bar in London and probably the coolest too 😉

Yet Brixton University is another place to visit. The museum include Clash, Sex Pistols and other artisans. The academy is originally a theater and Cinema called Astoria which was opened in 1929 and later it become academy. Now it has become the biggest rock and pop acts in the whole of the world.

All these things sound great and I would love to explore all these. Thanks for sharing this post.

When I was reading this I realize that this is the best blog as compare to others. Its really appreciated.

Feeling fantastic to hear about the most famous places in London and the top things to do in London. Once I visit in London and seen many places but I think some of the places are missing while reading your blog. Your blog is really gonna useful for me in future.

It would be nice to take a trip there someday. I’ve yet to travel to a few countries and expand my mind. 🙂

London, England   Travel Guide

Courtesy of Doug Armand | Getty Images

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

34 Best Things to Do in London, England

Whether you're keen to brush up on your history knowledge at the Tower of London , tour the home of the monarchy at Buckingham Palace or check out one of the city's many art galleries, London isn't short on things to do. Thespians will

  • All Things To Do
  • 1-Day Itinerary
  • 2-Day Itinerary
  • 3-Day Itinerary

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, King Charles III's London home, is open for touring (except for the king's private quarters, of course) from July to October. On the tour, you'll have access to the 19 State Rooms where the king and members of the royal family host guests for state, ceremonial and official affairs. Opulently accented with chandeliers, candelabras, paintings by Van Dyck and Canaletto, and exquisite English and French furniture, these rooms display some of the most magnificent pieces from the Royal Collection. Along with the grand interiors, the State Rooms, where kings and queens have entertained guests on both official and ceremonial occasions, are also a witness to history. Those who followed the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton closely will recognize the Throne Room, which served as the backdrop for the pair's official wedding photographs.

For tours in the summer, recent travelers suggested taking advantage of the multimedia guide (included with admission and available in multiple languages), so that you hear a detailed history of each room at your own pace. The palace advises you set aside at least two hours to see the State Rooms (and that you wear comfortable shoes), while recent travelers advised that you use the facilities prior to the start of the tour; there are no public restrooms available until you reach the garden. Except in the Garden Café, no food or drinks (except bottled water) are permitted in the palace.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Tower of London Tower of London

Although its exterior might be grim and even unimpressive (especially when compared to stately  Buckingham Palace ), the Tower of London's interior is always bustling with activity. Despite its name, the large complex has a long history as a palace, a fortress and a prison. Each exhibition and activity here explores this history.

If you're enchanted with the monarchy, don't miss the famous crown jewels exhibition. Among the items you'll see is the Imperial State Crown – which is still worn by the queen for each State Opening of Parliament – and the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross. In 2020, Prince of Wales' Investiture Coronet joined the display in the Jewel House. For an oral history, take an entertaining tour led by the Yeoman Warders (tower guards). During the hourlong excursion (included in your admission ticket), the guards will regale you with tales of the tower's bloody past. The White Tower is one of the world's most famous castles and a recognizable London landmark. Inside, you'll find the 350-year-old exhibition, "Line of Kings," which includes suits of armor worn by Henry VIII, Charles I, and James II. Keep an eye out for the Tower's famous ravens, who are said to guard the structure.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Houses of Parliament Houses of Parliament

Step through halls where history was made time and again by visiting the British Parliament. Guided and self-guided tours (which come highly recommended by recent travelers) take visitors through multiple areas of the building, including Westminster Hall (the oldest building on the Parliamentary estate, which is more than 900 years old), the House of Commons Chamber and the House of Lords. If you're not interested in perusing the corridors that make up the U.K.'s governing body, many travelers say that simply admiring the iconic structure's impressive exterior is enough, and an absolute must-do for anyone visiting London. 

If you're one of many looking to snap your own photo of one of the most photographed buildings in the world, the best vantage point is from Westminster Bridge. But if you want a truly smashing shot, head on over to Lambeth Bridge or the Golden Jubilee Bridges on the South Bank for a view of Parliament and the London Eye together. Keep in mind that Westminster Bridge connects two of the city's most popular attractions ( London Eye  and Parliament), and as a result is almost always very crowded.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Popular Tours

Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath from London

Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath from London

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Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Bath with Pub Lunch in Lacock

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top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey

This medieval church, graced by many royal weddings and coronations, offers a magnificent peek at London's far-reaching history. Westminster Abbey is generally busy – and the staff keeps you moving at a pretty swift pace – so do a little research ahead of time to avoid missing your personal must-sees. For instance, if you're a bibliophile, consider a visit to the Poets' Corner. This is the final resting place of famed authors Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling, among others. If you're fascinated by all the intrigue surrounding the British royalty, you might like to visit the shared tomb of enemies and half sisters Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor.

If you prefer to see the abbey at your own pace, but still want a little guidance on the history you're encountering, take advantage of the multimedia guides, which are included in the price of admission and available in 14 languages. Alternatively, you can take a guided tour (led by the abbey's vergers) and see special places inaccessible to the public, including the tomb containing Saint Edward the Confessor. If you decide to take this tour, you'll pay 10 pounds (around $14) on top of the general admission price.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

British Museum British Museum free

The British Museum is both an architectural beauty and a trove of some of the world's most noted antiquities. In fact, many travelers say it's the best museum in all of London. What's more, it's free to visit. From the Rosetta Stone to the Parthenon Sculptures to Mesopotamian objects, the British Museum is a history buff's dream containing artifacts in the millions. The immense collection can make an initial museum visit seem overwhelming: Pick the exhibits that most interest you, and plan return trips if you feel so inclined.

If you want a little help navigating the museum's exhibits – the approximately 80,000 objects on display out of its collection totaling 8 million items – consider tagging along on a guided tour. Several, including the daily eye-opener tours and the LBGTQ-themed "Desire, Love, Identity" tour and Friday evening spotlight tours are free. You can also book an "Around the World in 60 Minutes" tour for 14 pounds (around $20). Audio guides, which cost 7 pounds (about $10), are also available to rent daily.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Covent Garden Covent Garden free

Though called a garden, Covent Garden isn't all about plants and flowers. Rather, it's a piazza and a collection of urban streets boasting numerous upscale stores as well as bars, restaurants, art installations and more. In other words, it's a bustling neighborhood within London's West End. Shops range from famous trademarks like Ralph Lauren and Mulberry to independent brands. In addition to conventional shops and boutiques, Covent Garden has a covered market area where vendors sell everything from antiques to crafts. Similarly, dining options range from foodie destinations like Sushi Samba and Balthazar to casual pubs. Given Covent Garden's open-air orientation, there are appropriately more than 1,000 seats for al fresco dining.

Covent Garden is also home to the Royal Opera House. Even if you're unable (or disinclined) to see an opera, you can tour the lavishly appointed Royal Opera House. Architecture-enthusiasts find the building, especially its glass atrium, stunning and the tours informative. General admission tickets are 19 pounds (about $24) for adults and 16.75 pounds (about $21) for anyone younger than 16. (Check the opera house’s website for dates and times.)

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly Circus free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Wander over to nearby Chinatown to sample its slew of Asian restaurants and bubble tea shops, and continue on into Soho for some of the city's best LGBT-friendly bars. – Laura French

Regularly compared to  New York 's  Times Square , Piccadilly Circus is the meeting place of five busy roads and is the center of London's hustle and bustle. Whether it's people on their way to work in the morning, shoppers en route to the chain store-lined Oxford Street (just a few blocks north) or lively club and bar hoppers passing through at night, Piccadilly is always thrumming with activity. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

West End Theatre District West End Theatre District

U.S. News Insider Tip:  For a fun night out, buy tickets for a showing of Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap," which is the longest-running play in history. – Nicola Wood, Senior Editor

Catching a show in London's West End theater district is just as necessary as watching a play on  Broadway  during a trip to  New York City . The quality is some of the best in the U.K., and the constant mix of new and classic productions with local and world-renowned talent (think: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Angela Lansbury, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Benedict Cumberbatch) excites both visitors and locals alike. Even if you don't consider yourself much of a theater devotee, recent travelers said the atmosphere, specifically near the lively Leicester Square, where many of the theaters are concentrated, is worth a late-night wander.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

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The Premier Classic London: Private 4-Hour Tour in a Black Cab

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Stonehenge and Bath Tour from London

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top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens free

U.S. News Insider Tip: A short stroll from Hyde Park Corner will take you to The Grenadier – a tiny pub hidden down a cobbled alley. It opened in 1818 as an officers' mess and now serves beers and classic pub fare in atmospheric, wood-strewn surroundings. – Laura French

Just north of the Royal Albert Hall and northwest of Buckingham Palace  sit Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens: a stretch of green bisected by West Carriage Drive. Hyde Park was once the recreational stomping grounds for King Henry VIII, but now this 350-acre swath of land is open to the public and a must-visit for travelers looking for a relaxing moment away from the city's hustle and bustle. Among Hyde Park's meandering foot and bike paths and flourishing flora and fauna, you'll find a few standout attractions that are worth exploring. Watch the swans and boats glide over the serene Serpentine Lake (or rent a vessel yourself), visit the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain or stop by the Speakers' Corner, a site for public speeches and debates since the 19th century (previously used by George Orwell and Vladimir Lenin, among others). For the sporting set, Hyde Park has tennis courts, football pitches (remember: football means soccer here) and a horse-riding arena.  

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The London Eye The London Eye

The London Eye (the giant Ferris wheel found in many London panoramas) is on the River Thames and meant to deliver great views – not a thrilling ride. It circles around slowly, offering an unbeatable bird's-eye perspective of London's South Bank. However, those with a fear of heights should beware: When you're more than 400 feet high, the 360-degree views can be a bit disconcerting.

While some travelers say the London Eye is an absolute must-do, others found the experience to be overrated. Some recent travelers said the lines were too long (upward of a couple hours) and the ticket prices too high. However, many others were amazed by the views, especially  Parliament  and  Buckingham Palace . Visitors were keen to note that this ride is not a fast one, with the average rotation of the wheel at least 30 minutes long. You can also combine a ride on the London Eye with a guided boat tour.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square free

For nearly 200 years, Trafalgar square has been a London institution. Flanked by the National Gallery , the square features two fountains, several busts and bronze lions at the base of Nelson's Column. The column, which honors Admiral Horatio Nelson for his success at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, stands 16 feet tall. At its base, bronze panels detail some of Nelson's battles and the two lions are there to protect the monument.

Recent travelers appreciated this famous London locale, noting that it's a great spot for photos and people-watching. However, know that aside from the National Gallery and surrounding shops and restaurants, there isn't much to do at the square itself.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

St. Paul's Cathedral St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral is arguably the second must-see church in London (the first, of course, being Westminster Abbey ). With its imposing dome – one of the largest in the world – St. Paul's forms a predominant spot along London's skyline. It's also a survivor: Although an older incarnation burnt during the Great Fire of London in 1666, the current dome (designed by Sir Christopher Wren and officially completed in 1711) survived numerous World War II bombings.

To make the most of your visit, reviewers highly recommended climbing to the top of the dome to the Golden Gallery. You'll have to hike up 528 steps, but after catching your breath you'll enjoy far-reaching views of the River Thames, the  Tate Modern , and Shakespeare's Globe . And once you've seen the top, head below ground to the crypt (the largest in Europe), where the tombs of notable figures such as Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington as well as Wren are housed. Though some reviewers are put off by the pricey admission, most agree that a peek inside is well worth the extra coin.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Natural History Museum Natural History Museum free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Before or after your visit, head next door to the Science Museum to browse interactive exhibits and live science shows, and catch a film at the IMAX, one of the UK's biggest screens (entry to the museum itself is free, though some exhibitions are extra). – Laura French

Located in South Kensington, this museum brims with data from 70,000 different species (from animals to tiny protozoa) and exhibits showcasing everything from dinosaur bones to simulated earthquakes. The Natural History Museum is also a favorite among families, so you'll find it crawling with kids.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath Tour from London + Admission

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Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford Day Trip from London

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top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

St. James's Park St. James's Park free

One of London's eight Royal Parks, St. James's Park is nearly 57 acres. It's surrounded by three palaces: its namesake St. James’s Palace, Westminster (now the Houses of Parliament ) and Buckingham Palace . The park's semi-circular flower beds – the Memorial Gardens – which sit beside Buckingham are one of its major attractions. The park is flanked one side by the Mall, a route for royal processions that bisects the gardens and on another by the Horse Guards Parade, a parade ground where the annual Trooping the Colour is held. Other notable buildings nearby include No. 10 Downing Street (the Prime Minister's residence) and the Churchill War Rooms . The park also features a portion of the 7-mile Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk and provides habitat for various animal species, including foxes and ducks as well as its famed pelicans. Additionally, runners race through St. James's park as the final leg of the annual London Marathon.

Visitors invariably find the park to be quite stunning and well-maintained. It’s deemed an excellent place for walking while admiring the many historical structures nearby.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

National Gallery National Gallery free

Sitting in Trafalgar Square, London's National Gallery features a labyrinth interior so large that it requires a color-coded map to navigate. The museum features paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to early 20th centuries, including Italian Renaissance masterpieces and French Impressionist works. Among its 2,300 in-house pieces, visitors will find famed paintings, such as Botticelli's "Venus and Mars," Rembrandt’s “Self Portrait at the Age of 34” and Van Gogh's "Sunflowers." 

Recent visitors loved the variety of paintings at the National Gallery, saying that travelers may need more than a day to get a glimpse at all the masterpieces that grace its never-ending halls. They also commend the gallery's cafe.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Borough Market Borough Market free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Across from Borough Market sits the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garrett: a tiny museum housed in an 18th-century attic of that's the oldest surviving operating theatre (think: operating room) in Europe. It displays intriguing artifacts about the gruesome medical practices of the past. – Laura French

The food-focused Borough Market is effectively three markets in one (with restaurants, bars and shops interspersed throughout). Three Crown Square features large producers and merchants while Green Market has smaller, specialty ones. You'll find everything from cheese to wine to pastries to produce. Borough Market Kitchen provides a platform for street-food vendors. The roughly 1,000-year-old market regularly hosts cooking demonstrations and classes.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

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

U.S. News Insider Tip:  Pick an early tour time and explore slowly. There is so much to see that you may miss small details if you go too quickly. And don't worry about time. Once you're inside, you can stay as long as you like (well, until closing). – Marisa Méndez, Senior Editor

Located at the studios where all eight of the "Harry Potter" films were produced, this is a must for anyone wanting to learn more about the Wizarding World. Visitors can view original film sets – from the Great Hall to Gringotts, Diagon Alley to the Gryffindor Common Room – with hundreds of original props and costumes to browse. Glimpse the model used for Hogwarts Castle, learn about Hagrid's animatronic head, visit Platform 9 ¾ and board the Hogwarts Express; this is a comprehensive, interactive tour for the whole family that's well worth adding to your London bucket list.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Windsor Castle Windsor Castle

Home to more than 40 British monarchs and in use since the 11th century, Windsor Castle is a spectacular daytrip from London. Visitors can wander the elaborate state rooms, observe the famous Changing the Guard and admire the many artworks and collectibles on display. Should time allow, take a stroll along the Long Walk: a nearly 3-mile-long tree-lined road that is part of the castle's park. Though you'll find a cafe and souvenir shop on-site, Windsor (the town) offers a bevy of dining and shopping options.

Though always crowded, a visit to Windsor should not be missed. Time and again, travelers say that it is a wonderful place to see while in London, and many were repeat visitors. Additionally, travelers with mobility issues said they had little trouble exploring the castle.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

London in a Day with Tower, Westminster & River Cruise

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Tower of London: Entry Ticket, Crown Jewels and Beefeater Tour

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Cotswolds Small Group Tour from London

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top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Shakespeare's Globe Shakespeare's Globe

U.S. News Insider Tip: If you're able, opt for a standing ticket at the performance. You'll get a more authentic experience, plus your proximity to the actors lets you admire their facial expressions and costumes. – Marisa Méndez, Senior Editor

This is not the Globe Theatre of Shakespeare's time. The original Globe Theatre – which staged Shakespeare's plays and where the Bard wrote "Twelfth Night," "King Lear," and several others – opened in 1599 and burned down in 1613. The second Globe was erected in 1614 but was then torn down in 1644, after all theaters where shuttered by Parliament. The current incarnation – referred to as the Globe Theatre by its staff – has been in operation since 1997 and it is a celebrated performing arts venue dedicated to staging the Bard's plays. In a nod to its much older namesake, today's open-air theater has a thatched roof – the only one in the city – that does not cover the central yard. Seating is in the round. Or, for a truly memorable experience, you can choose to stand in the yard just below the stage to watch a performance (as many did in Shakespeare's time).  

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Royal Albert Hall Royal Albert Hall

U.S. News Insider Tip: Come in December to see Carols at the Royal Albert Hall; it's a spectacular, sing-along show guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit. – Laura French

Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall where musicians of all genres perform. It also hosts special non-concert events, including sporting events and dance performances. The building's famed 20,000-square-foot iron roof was the largest unsupported dome in the world when it was installed in 1869 (two years before the hall officially opened). An 800-foot long, 5,200-square-foot mosaic frieze dubbed "The Triumph of Arts and Letters" encircles the structure's exterior. The hall can accommodate 5,900 people.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Victoria and Albert Museum Victoria and Albert Museum free

The palatial Victoria & Albert Museum, named in honor of the 19th-century royal couple, is known more commonly in its shortened form – the V&A. Located in South Kensington, this free museum is a compendium of applied art across a number of genres, disciplines and time periods. The collections are arranged by categories, such as sculptures, Chinese artifacts, and so on, making it slightly easier to navigate this mammoth museum. Among the permanent collections, the V&A also offers diverse temporary exhibitions and free weekly public lectures.

Recent travelers praised the variety and sheer enormity of the art offered here. Many described its permanent collection as surprise around every corner. If you've only set aside a few hours to tour the museum, consult the building's map before you go; a map will help you plan a route of the collections you'd like to see and maximize your visit.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Tower Bridge Tower Bridge free

Along with Parliament and Big Ben, Tower Bridge is London's next must-see architectural marvel, not to mention the most famous bridge that crosses the Thames. Construction on the bridge started in 1886, which means it's practically modern by London standards, but Tower Bridge stands out for its stunning detail and moveable roadways that lift up when large ships need to pass through. The views from the bridge are an added bonus. From the elevated sidewalks visitors get a prime view of the  Tower of London ,  St. Paul's Cathedral's iconic dome, the London Eye and The Monument.

If you're interested in viewing the city from a higher vantage point (about 137 feet above the Thames), consider a visit inside Tower Bridge, during which you go to the top of the bridge – equipped with a glass floor – as well as to the bottom to the engine rooms. However, recent visitors say that those who are afraid of heights might want to forgo walking across the glass floor.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Hampton Court Palace Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace, which Henry VIII acquired in the 1520s and subsequently expanded, features the Grand Hall (with Anne Boleyn's coat of arms carved in the ceiling and antique tapestries on the walls) and the largest kitchens in Tudor England (capable of producing 800 meals a day). Its grounds include 60 acres of formal gardens complete with the oldest surviving hedge maze in the country as well as the largest grape vine in the world.

Past visitors observe that there’s a lot to see and that the huge palace necessitates a lot of walking. They also recommend the audio tour, which is included in the ticket price. The gardens are frequently singled out as worthy of attention.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

London Dinner Cruise on the Thames River

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Warner Bros. Studio Harry Potter Tour with Superior Transport from London

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VIP Tower of London and Crown Jewels Tour with Private Beefeater Meet & Greet

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top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Regent's Canal Regent's Canal free

Meandering just shy of 9 miles from Paddington in the west to the Limehouse Basin in the east, this charming river walk offers an idyllic escape from the bustle of the city. It passes several postcard-pretty spots, including Little Venice, where quaint cafes, pubs and restaurants sit on the waterfront; Regent's Park, one of London's most popular green spaces and the home of London Zoo; and Camden Lock, famous for its markets, street food stalls and antique shops. You'll also get to see the East End, including trendy Dalston, Victoria Park (home to a farmers market every Sunday) and Mile End.

There's history behind it, too; the canal opened in the early 19th century to transport coal, building materials and other goods from northern industrial cities to King's Cross – a long-standing center for trade – and operated for more than 140 years.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Camden Market Camden Market free

Londoners and out-of-towners alike enjoy spending a morning (or afternoon) at the Camden Market. Camden Market is actually multiple markets spread out in the neighborhood of Camden. It sprawls with more than 1,000 stalls, shops, bars and cafes carrying close to everything, from furniture to food and lots of fashion. Looking for cheap graphic T-shirts and dresses? Head over to the first set of Camden Market stalls located closest to the Tube station. If you're looking for more of a mix of items, walk over the bridge to the lock market, situated on the peaceful Camden Lock. You'll find stalls filled with antiques, clothing, souvenirs and a variety of food stalls. Food on offer ranges from traditional fish and chips to Middle Eastern fare, hot dogs and Portuguese tarts. This area gives way to the long and winding stables market, consisting of vendors selling vintage home decor, leather goods and clothing.

It's easy to get lost in this market, but with all it has to offer, including cool restaurants and bars tucked between nooks and crannies, visitors agree it's also very fun. The only grievance travelers had concerned the massive crowds that form during the weekend. If you don't want to be shopping amidst wall-to-wall people, consider visiting during the week. Even if you're not intent on shopping, many visitors recommend the market for its diverse food stalls. You can find the Camden Market off of the Camden Town, or Chalk Farm Tube stops, as well as the Camden Road Overground stop. Bus routes nos. 24, 214, 274 and 393 also stop in the area. The market is open daily from 10 a.m. until roughly 6 p.m. (though different businesses may open and close at different times). For more information about the vendors at the market, visit its official website .

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Tate Modern Tate Modern free

Located on the South Bank along the Thames, the Tate Modern is part of a group of four museums (all named Tate) which house the 70,000 artworks that comprise the national collection of British art. As its name suggest, this Tate holds the more contemporary-style pieces than its three other counterparts, making it more of a hit or miss among travelers. Dalí and Picasso, as well as many British artists, are represented inside this repurposed power plant – but you'll find the works are scattered. Art is grouped by theme rather than by artist.

Recent visitors said if you're a fan of contemporary and modern art, you'll enjoy the Tate Modern. If you're partial to antiquities or the more traditional works of art, you'll probably be better served at the  British Museum  or the  National Gallery . Art aside, the eateries located within the museum may be enough of a reason for travelers to visit. Both the Espresso Bar and Kitchen and Bar at Tate Modern afford stunning views of  St. Paul's Cathedral , which is situated on the other side of the river. At the very least, take a stroll along the Thames to view the museum's impressive exterior.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Greenwich Greenwich free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Skip the tube and hop on an Uber Boat to arrive in Greenwich by water – they depart from various stops along the Thames, including Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Westminster and the London Eye, with single fares from £5.20. – Laura French

Sitting southeast of central London, Greenwich is a great daytrip within city limits and well worth the trek. Greenwich's claim to fame is undoubtedly the Royal Observatory, where the prime meridian bisects the institution and travelers can stand on both the eastern and western hemispheres. Other favorite museums and attractions include the Greenwich Market, the Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum and the Greenwich Market. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Madame Tussauds London Madame Tussauds London

Famous for its waxworks, this was the first Madame Tussauds museum in the world, established in 1884 on Marylebone Road to display works by French sculptor Marie Tussaud. During the French Revolution, Tussaud was forced craft works of executed nobles – including King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette – to prove she was loyal to the crown. Following the end of the revolution, she left France and traveled to Britain, bringing the waxworks with her, in the early 1800s. Today, the museum upholds the waxwork tradition, with more than 150 realistic-looking figures displayed across 11 zones – from Leonardo DiCaprio to Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt to Harry Styles and Barack Obama to King Charles III.

Recent visitors were impressed and said they enjoyed exploring the different themed areas – from "Star Wars" to "Marvel" – as well as the new Chamber of Horrors room, which explores London's historic criminals. The taxi-themed ride and Marvel 4D show were also a hit, and many recommended it for families, especially those with teenagers. Several commented that lines can be long, even with pre-booked tickets, and it can get crowded inside.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Westminster to Greenwich Sightseeing Thames Cruise in London

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Leeds Castle, Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Day Trip from London with Guided Cathedral Tour

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top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Up at The O2 Up at The O2

U.S. News Insider Tip: Go early in the morning for crisp air and fewer crowds. Afterwards, head southwest to Greenwich for some food and shopping at Greenwich Market. – Marisa Méndez, Senior Editor

Climb over the roof of The O2 – London's arena for major musical and sporting events – for unparalleled views of the city. The Olympic Park and Canary Wharf are among the sights observable from the 170-foot apex. Excursions generally take about 90 minutes, with an hour of walking that travelers typically find rewarding.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Portobello Road Market Portobello Road Market free

Locals and tourists alike tend to adore Portobello Road Market. Located in the posh Notting Hill neighborhood (made famous by the Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts movie of the same name), the market stretches down the long Portobello Road, which is considered to be the area's high street (or main street). The market is filled with hundreds of merchants of all kinds selling a variety of common flea market items including antiques, art, jewelry, clothing and food. But what stands out about Portobello Market (aside from its adorably colorful location) is its collection of antiques and quintessentially English items. In just a few blocks, visitors can find a wellie shop, scores of vintage tea sets, quality London souvenirs and Banksy recreations. The market is also billed as being the largest antiques market in the world. If you have a penchant for fashion, the best sampling is found at the end of the market near the Ladbroke Grove Tube stop. There, visitors will not only find the greatest concentration of locals but a great selection of vintage attire as well.

Recent visitors loved Portobello Market for its lively atmosphere, wide selection of items and cheap food stalls. Although many lauded the quality found at the food stalls, some urged visitors to check out nearby restaurants, as many serve exceptional British and international fare. Others also advised visitors to pay close attention to their belongings. Portobello Market is not only very crowded, but concentrated on a narrow street, creating an easy opportunity for pickpockets to strike. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The London Dungeon The London Dungeon

Delve into London's macabre past at this interactive attraction, which explores the history of Jack the Ripper, Guy Fawkes, Sweeney Todd and other criminals through live actors, exhibits and rides. Smell, see and hear the city of yesteryear as you wander through the underground vaults of County Hall on the South Bank, exploring a darker side to this bustling city.

Travelers said the London Dungeon was a great way to get a glimpse into the history of the city and were impressed with the quality of acting and special effects. Many enjoyed the rides and other surprises, although some noted it can be frightening for younger children (a minimum age of 12 is recommended). Some also said it was expensive, but discounts are available when tickets are combined with entry to nearby attractions, including Madame Tussauds and the London Eye.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

London Transport Museum London Transport Museum

Step inside the London Transport Museum to explore the history of getting around London. Exhibits detail the first London Underground, how the city expanded, Victorian-era transport and much more. Plus, there are multiple hands-on exhibits to keep young ones entertained.

Overall, travelers were pleased with their visits to the museum and found the history fascinating. Others note it's very family-friendly, so you should expect tons of kids during a visit (unless you visit in the late afternoon, when the museum says it's a bit quieter). 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The Wallace Collection The Wallace Collection free

The collection here includes works by renowned artists such as Titian, Velazquez and Van Dyck as well as various medieval and Renaissance objects. The collection was assembled in the 18th and 19th centuries by the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace and then donated to Great Britain. The permanent collection centers on European paintings from the 14th to 18th centuries and includes notable French paintings and decorative arts from the 18th century. Special exhibits tend to focus on individual artists, such as Frans Hals and Peter Paul Rubens. Before going to see the fine and decorative arts on display in person, you can explore more than 400 items using a free digital guide available from the museum's website .

Art lovers generally find much to enjoy here, and many suggest it merits repeat visits. Some opine that the signs could provide more information about the items on view.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Best of London: Tower of London, Thames & Changing of the Guard

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Westminster Walking Tour & Westminster Abbey Entry

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top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Churchill War Rooms Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms are the underground bunker that Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his war cabinet used to shelter from bomb raids and plot their steps during World War II. The maze-like corridors tell the story of this volatile time period, centering on the larger-than-life leader that Churchill was.

Travelers describe the Churchill War Rooms as fascinating, and more than one traveler calls it a favorite London attraction. Some say that the rooms are much bigger than they had imagined and that people tend to spend a lot of time soaking in the exhibits and information. Others say that the exhibits have a strange layout, which can lead to confusion when trying to follow the sequence of events. Additionally, this popular spot gets crowded, so most museumgoers recommend that visitors get to the Churchill War Rooms early to avoid a long wait.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

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23 exciting things to do in London to start your 2023 in style

From park row's eclectic culinary journey to the first lucian freud exhibition in a decade....

london january

As we hit 2023, we're all about doing more of what we love in our favourite city - London . January is notoriously glum, so why not brighten those blues and make some plans with your loved ones?

From vibey new restaurants to wholesome candlelit evenings, family-friendly things to do and romantic date night ideas , HELLO! writers have scoured the very best offerings in the capital this month. Scroll on for the ultimate guide to things to do in London in January.

MORE IDEAS: 33 best things to do in London when it rains

Best luxury things to do in London in January

Treat yourself to a luxury manicure at petit townhouse in mayfair.

townhouse

Beat the January blues with a blissful manicure at Petit Townhouse in Mayfair, a sparkling new salon that is the height of luxury. Whether you're after the perfect set of crisp gels, overlay, nail art or removal, Townhouse has got you covered. The salon is only a few minutes

 stroll from Bond Street tube station and is nestled in The House of Elemis.

Why not visit the brand's other celebrity-approved salons which are dotted around London? Locations include Notting Hill, Liverpool Street, Knightsbridge, Kensington, Fitzrovia, Cribbs Causeway and Milton Keynes. What better way to kick off the new year than with some new nails, right?

Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome to the Kit Kat Club's Möet & Chandon Suite

moet lounge

Looking for a glimmer of pre-theatre glamour? The Moët & Chandon Suite at the Kit Kat Club will offer unforgettable hospitality to intensify the enjoyment of Ambassador Theatre Group’s and Underbelly’s award-winning production of Cabaret. With a capacity of twenty-six, the Moët & Chandon Suite is intimate, sumptuous, and ornately decorated, the perfect private theatre hideaway.

Boasting its own bartender and VIP host, guests of the suite will be offered exclusive entry to the club, enjoy the best seats, and benefit from a dedicated space (with private bathrooms) throughout the pre-show and interval. This new offering will give audiences the opportunity to enjoy champagne, cocktails, and a specially crafted food menu while entertaining friends, family, and colleagues within a dedicated private suite in the heart of the club. Have you booked your tickets yet?

Visit kitkat.club/cabaret-london for more information.

Delight at a performance from Cirque du Soleil

cirque du soliel

Returning to its coveted run at the Royal Albert Hall, Cirque du Soleil presents Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities from 13 January 2023. The mesmerising performance follows the journey of the Seeker who is convinced that there exists a hidden, invisible world – a place where the craziest ideas and the grandest dreams await. A collection of otherworldly characters suddenly steps into his makeshift mechanical world. When the outlandish, benevolent characters turn his world upside down with a touch of poetry and humour in an attempt to ignite the Seeker’s imagination, his curios jump to life one by one before his very eyes.

Don't miss it, book tickets at c irquedusoleil.com .

Get a hair glow up at GA salons

GA salons

Treat yourself to a fresh haircut and colour this new year at GA Salons . Londoners looking for a luxurious experience will love the chic interiors and incredible stylists who use only the most nourishing, organic products and methods that are kind to your hair and scalp. Salons are located in Notting Hill, Chelsea, South Kensington, Westbourne Grove and Wimbledon.

To book visit  gennarodellaquila.co.uk

Best alternative things to do in London in January

Be inspired by lucian freud new perspectives at the national gallery.

lucian freud

The new year marks the perfect opportunity to marvel at Freud's lifetime of work in his first major exhibition for more than 10 years, bringing together his work from seven decades. Through more than 60 paintings, you will see the development of an artist: paintings of powerful public figures are followed by private studies of friends and family; the familiar, domestic setting gives way to the artist’s paint-splattered studio – a place that becomes both stage and a subject in its own right – and the approximated features of his earliest paintings are complemented by the expertly rendered flesh of his final works.

To book, visit www.nationalgallery.org.uk .

Discover the works of British artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at Tate Britain

tate

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is a British artist and writer acclaimed for her enigmatic portraits of fictitious people. This exhibition brings together around 70 works from 2003 to the present day in the most extensive survey of the artist’s career to date.

Catch it before it goes, book tickets at tate.org.uk .

Visit Brian May's exhibition Stereoscopy is Good For You: Life in 3-D

brian may

Stereoscopy is Good For You: Life in 3-D is an immersive experience held at the Proud Galleries and ;celebrates 3D photography and earth. The exhibition showcases the work of over a hundred modern stereo photographers sharing aspects of life that lifted their spirits during the Covid period.

Through his personal Instagram and the LSC’s social media platforms, legendary Queen guitarist Brian May invited stereoscopists everywhere to capture and share images of living under lockdown and beyond. This showcase is the result of that and spreads beauty through the uniquely powerful 3-D photographic medium. A book featuring the work of the stereo photographers is also available to purchase via londonstereo.com .

To book, visit proudgalleries.com . Stereoscopy is Good For you is on from 3 November 2022 to Saturday 25 March 2023 .

Sing along to West Side Cabaret Story

cabaret

Proud Cabaret is showcasing the very first cabaret adaptation of West Side Story in the UK. The show is an outrageous cabaret twist on the timeless love story we all know and love. The ultimate tale of passion and rivalry performed live on the Proud Embankment stage will include your favourite songs from the West Side Story score plus modern tracks.

What to expect? Spectacular dancers, acrobats, circus performers, aerialists and fire breathers all rolled into one production. Not to mention guests can indulge in an exquisite fine dining menu, and choose an ice-cold cocktail from the tantalising selection on the drinks list.

To book, visit proudcabaret.com .

Avoiding the rain? Catch a movie

everyman cinema

Cosy up and watch a movie at one of London's most unique cinemas. From classic musical sing-alongs at The Prince Charles Cinema to an immersive viewing of the latest blockbusters at the BFI Imax, you won't be short of places to go. The Every Man Cinema is also popular with Londoners.

Find your local cinema at londonnet.co.uk/cinemas .

Experience some history at the Tower of London

tower of london

Take a step back in time to explore the Tower of London, where you can learn about its history and see the Crown Jewels on display in the Jewel House – some of which are still used in royal ceremonies today. Book your tickets at hrp.org.uk . If you're planning a day of sightseeing you might want to look into a London Pass ticket .

To book Tower of London tickets, click here .

Play a game of mini golf at Swingers

Course at Swingers mini golf

If you're looking for an activity for a fun day out with your friends, look no further than Swingers . Choose between an English country golf club setting at Swingers City or a funfair-themed English riviera at Swingers West End where you can play a round of mini golf and enjoy lots of tasty treats and cocktails.

Throughout January, Swingers are offering a round of golf for just £11 per person during off-peak times and £13.50 per person during busier times - a great way to stay social whilst pinching the pennies after Christmas.

To book, visit swingers.club/uk

Watch Newsies and make the most of Wembley Park

newsies musical wembley park cast

Based on a true story, Newsies is set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, where the young newsies from across the city come together and rise up against the exploitation of wealthy publishing tycoons and fight for justice using the only power they have – solidarity. You'll be cheering and tapping your feet by the end, but make sure your visit to Wembley Park isn't just a triumphant show! With a Boxpark, restaurants (we love Pasta Remoli), and even a designer outlet, you can have a whole day (or weekend!) of fun, and is perfect for everyone: friends, families, and couples.

Book:  newsiesthemusical.co.uk

Join Tomb Raider: The Live Experience

tomb

Situated in Camden Stable’s Market, visitors can combat the January Blues alongside Lara Croft with a morning fitness or wellness session before taking on the day ahead. With five sessions  that include strength and conditioning, yoga, guided dance, mindfulness, nutrition, and calisthenics resistance. Visitors can opt for a high-energy workout session or retreat for a calming talk on nutrition before taking on the globe-trotting journey through the LIVE experience. 

To book visit:   www.tombraiderlive.co.uk

Shoot your shot at Clay's Canary Wharf

clays

London’s premier indoor virtual shooting experience bar has now opened its doors to the second site in Canary Wharf’s buzzy West India Quay, bringing a slice of the British countryside to East London. Designed to emulate the classic British sport of clay target shooting in game form, players can book this unique take for a thrilling 90-minute experience for groups of up to 20 people. As well as offering a truly unique activity, Clays Canary Wharf also offers an impressive food and drink menu meaning guests can settle in and savour the experience.

To book visit:  www.clays.bar

Best restaurants and bars to visit in London in January

Take your bottomless brunch to new heights at wagtail .

wagtail

Have we just found London's most luxurious bottomless brunch? Wagtail has just launched its ultra-indulgent offering for weekend brunchers, which features a simple but sumptuous menu including elegant and light breakfast favourites and flavoursome sides.

Their latest menu focuses on classic dishes with a modern twist, profiling the best of British produce, provenance, and seasonality. Diners can now pick from a grill menu which showcases Britain's most prestigious cuts including rare ancient beef breed   White Park Chateaubriand, as well as Pan-seared Veal Chop ,  Olive-Fed English Wagyu Rib-eye,   Grass-Fed Sirloin , or the  Wagtail’s Butcher Burger . Guests can also choose from a number of main courses including the  Whole Brill Meunière with Lemon and Caper Butter  and  Roast Guinea Fowl Breast with Green Lentils and Red Wine Jus .

If you're a fellow skyline seeker, you'll love this upscale rooftop restaurant offering breathtaking panoramic views across the city. Even the bottomless offering is elevated, with everything from vodka to gin, house wines and Prosecco on offer. 

To book, visit   wagtaillondon.com

Make the journey to Babur in Forest Hill - trust us, it's worth it

babur

South Londoners truly are spoilt with Babur , a stunning restaurant that specialises in gourmet Indian cuisine and modish culinary creation. The menu strays away from the classics we have come to love as a nation, but don't be fooled - you certainly won't be pining for your chicken Korma when you taste the delights of Babur's Michelin-star menu. We dined out on clove-smoked lamb chops doused in roasted garlic yoghurt, followed by mouthwatering chicken labadar, swordfish tikka and creamy dal makhni that left us speechless after the first bite. Everything brought to the table was beautifully presented and packed with flavour, leaving us to savour every single bite until we unapologetically scurried home with takeaway boxes full of leftovers to delight in the next day. 

It's clear to see why so many flock to this beloved restaurant. The staff are just as much of a delight as the delicious menu, and the excellently paired wine list and eclectic Asian-themed cocktails make for a truly special dining experience. 

To book, visit  www.babur.info

Côte's alpine menu brings the slopes to London

tartiflette

Côte Brasserie has become a favourite amongst city dwellers, theatre-goers, work lunchers and date nighters alike, loved for its elegant French-inspired cuisine and much-loved tempting Prix Fixe. If you dine at any of the restaurants this winter, you'll also be treated to their new alpine menu, inspired by the deliciously indulgent dishes on the slopes. Those wanting the taste of the French Alpes but without the travel can enjoy the classic Tartiflette, and 'Diots', a traditional French starter of smoked sausage and cherry tomatoes in white wine and caramelised onion sauce served with sourdough baguette.

We loved tucking into the apple and blackberry crumble tart doused in cinnamon ice cream. Don't miss the fiery spiced blood orange mule, perfect for warming up after a day in London's sub-temperatures this winter. 

To book, visit  www.cote.co.uk

Treat yourself to brunch at temper

temper brunch january

Head down to temper on Saturdays to enjoy 90 minutes of free-flowing drinks and delicious smoky brunch classics. The new bottomless brunch menu including coal-roasted, dry-aged Belted Galloway beef, homemade smoked beef sausages and pork burnt end served with Andean yellow potatoes cooked in gochujang butter, fried eggs, charred ramiro peppers, red onions, bourbon-pickled chillies, paratha and chimichurri.

The new brunch will be available from 12-3.30pm every Saturday at temper Soho, temper Covent Garden and temper Shoreditch, and is priced at £45 per person.

Grab your table at temperrestaurant.com/reservations .

Celebrate Burns Night at The Cadogan Arms

cadogan arms burns night

Planning your Burns Night celebrations? The Cadogan Arms in Chelsea and The George in Fitzrovia have curated a three-course traditional Scottish menu in partnership with Aberfeldy Whisky. Both pubs will be kicking off the Burns Night celebrations on 25 January with a three-course menu, carefully curated by Executive Chef Alex Harper.

You’ll dine on Scottish favourites including Whisky Cured Smoked Scottish Salmon, Venison and Haggis Wellington and Scottish Raspberry and Whisky Chranachan to finish, all washed down with an accompaniment of Aberfeldy Single Malt Whisky. Priced at £75 per person, the three-course menu includes two Aberfeldy whisky cocktails and a dram of Aberfeldy 12yo.

Bookings are required, head to thecadoganarms.london to secure your spot.

Go booze-free in style 

coco restaurants alcohol free drinks

Giving dry January a go? Going alcohol-free doesn't have to be boring. Coco Restaurants are completely booze free, and once you've tried their mocktails you'll realise you don't even miss the hard stuff.

At Coco Grill & Lounge taste comes first but the theatrics are impressive too. We loved the dry ice show that accompanied our drinks and starters. There's a reason their mango and passionfruit mojito is the most popular (spoiler alert: it's delicious). Food wise? Shrimps to start and the salmon main were heavenly. With booze-free evenings looking this good, we just might consider dry Feb too!

Reserve your table now at coco-restaurants.com

Sip Cocktails at London’s hottest new destination 

viajante

This January Markus Thesleff, multi-award-winning restaurateur, opened Viajante87, an innovative and experimental cocktail bar in the heart of Notting Hill. The intimate, high-energy hideaway will thread the Baja-Nihon energy of its sister Los Mochis, through all elements including cocktail, design, and bar bites. The cocktail development will be spearheaded by Bar Director Panos Kanatsoulis, with a dedicated mixology lab sprawling across the basement (with only a handful existing in London). The seductive yet elegant late-night destination will focus on 100% agave-based signature cocktails alongside all the classics, spanning the flavour and palette spectrum.

To book visit:  www.viajantebar.com

Try Holland Park's latest Greek restaurant Vori

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This neighbourhood restaurant will be offering creative seasonal dishes prepared in a charcoal oven, award-winning Greek wines, and award-winning beer from Greek microbreweries. Alongside the heart-healthy menu, visitors can order a variety of Greek-inspired cocktails, including an all-Greek Negroni, Vori Margaritas, and Greek Gin and Tonics - each crafted with Greek spirits and liqueurs.

With olive green, white, navy blue, and terracotta orange tones, the restaurant will evoke an earthy Grecian landscape and provide a comfortable and relaxing escape from the tree-lined street.

To book visit:  vorigreekitchen.co.uk

Make your Dry January decadent at Wagtail

wagtail restaurant london food view

Nestled in the eaves of one of the capital’s grandest art-deco buildings (with a seriously incredible view!) and at the gateway to the City of London, Wagtail serves up a grill menu which showcases their decadent meats, including rare ancient beef breed White Park Chateaubriand, as well as Pan-seared Veal Chop, Olive-Fed English Wagyu Rib-eye, Grass-Fed Sirloin, or the Wagtail’s Butcher Burger. Guests can also choose from a number of main courses including the Whole Brill Meunière with Lemon and Caper Butter and Roast Guinea Fowl Breast with Green Lentils and Red Wine Jus. Feeling like this doesn't quite align with your Dry January? They also have launched a Lighter Lunch menu complete with non-alcoholic cocktails - so there's no reason for your social life to suffer!

Booking:  wagtaillondon.com/

Immerse yourself in Park Row's Batman themed-menu

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From the minute you arrive at Park Row, you know you're in for something good. Be it the curious doorman leading you through a hidden bookcase, or the towering light instalment guiding you down a spiral staircase to the Gotham City-inspired dining room, there's a reason this eclectic London hotspot has swiftly made its way to the bucket list of punters in the city.

It's difficult not to marvel at the creative cocktails that stay true to their DC theme, while the performance-based desserts see the restaurant light up as dollar bills disappear into flames at each table. Dining at Park Row is more than just a meal out, it's a culinary experience - made better by the highly accommodating staff and the enchanting addition of 'Dry Ice' in many of the dishes.

To book, visit parkrowlondon.co.uk .

Try Notting Hill's most exciting new brunch spot

los mochis outside

If you're looking for the perfect new spot for a mouth-watering breakfast then look no further - Los Mochis in Notting Hill has got you covered. The Mexican-Japenese fusion eatery has everything you need from tacos to Masa Chicken & Waffles with honey-truffle fried chicken, maple syrup & whipped butter or even treat yourself to a hearty portion of churros.

Breakfast goers can also indulge in the most perfect tequila-spiked cocktails to wash down their fabulous food and the best part is the whole menu is gluten and nut free! You certainly won't want to miss the best new place start the day.

For more information visit Los Mochis.

Celebrate Burns Night in serious style at Seven Park Place

Burns night haggis at Seven Park Place and William Drabble

Because why not? Head to Seven Park Place at St James's Hotel & Club for a decadent feast (including the fanciest haggis you've ever had), exclusive for Burns Night. Beginning in Bar 1857, enjoy a glass of whisky from notable pours including Dalmore’s 15 Year Old Highland Single Malt or the signature Dalmore Port Wood Mackenzie Highball - the perfect tipple to kickoff your night. As the evening draws on, head to the intimate dining room for a tasting of Michelin starred chef William Drabble’s Menu Gourmand with dishes including  Roasted Veal Sweetbread and Baron Bigod; black truffle with Calvados and Brioche Crumb. Exclusively for Burns Night, William will be serving his signature seasonal Haggis Raviolo, with confit turnips and Dalmore 12-year single malt and thyme jus. 

Book:  stjameshotelandclub.com/en/restaurant-seven-park-place

Indulge in Town House's new sensory experience

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If you're looking for an elegant dining experience in London, look no further than Town House at the Kensington. This candlelit spot makes for the perfect space to romance your loved one, whilst equally providing the perfect setting to catch up with friends. Their new sensory dining experience seeks to take visitors on a journey through the world of fragrance, partnering with coveted British perfumery brand Jo Loves, and legendary French aperitif, Lillet, on a menu based on pure escapism and discovery: The Golden Age.

This colourful menu guides your through the tastes of four cocktails inspired by four olfactory destinations – the rolling hills of Tuscany, a plentiful English Estate, the sun blanched landscape of the Mediterranean and the rich, vibrant vineyards of Provence - which will be paired with four Jo Loves scents. The perfectly paired cuisine is where this menu truly shines, with fragrant fresh prawns, buttery fillet steak and mind-blowing desserts that unite rich flavours with elegant, hearty food.

To book, visit townhousekensington.com .

Mark Lunar New Year at The Ivy Asia 

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The Ivy Asia, Mayfair, is making it impossible not to visit over the next few weeks, as they celebrate Lunar New Year. To mark the Year of the Rabbit, the restaurant has partnered up with Ki No Bi Gin to create a range of limited edition cocktails and sweet treats, with names such as The Good Fortune and the Lunar Martini. What's more, a beautiful golden rabbit installation is currently sitting outside the entrance of the venue - helping to bring good luck, peace, and prosperity to all.

To book, visit theivyasiamayfair.com

Best Veganuary options in London in January

Go vegan with mildreds' veganuary offerings.

mildreds veganuary menu

London’s most iconic vegan restaurant, Mildreds, is kickstarting 2023 with a Veganuary celebration inspired by the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. Known for having the tastiest vegan food in town, their limited-edition menu features three new dishes including sharing Tempeh Rice Cracker Cups filled with sesame tempeh, carrot pickles, mirabelle plum nuoc cham and peanuts followed by larger plates of Char Siu Mushroom Banh Mo, made with pulled oyster mushrooms, chilli mayo and mushroom pâté in a fresh baguette.

If you're in the mood for something light, try the Lemongrass Chick’n Goi Ga, a fragrant salad with pomegranate and pistachio. For those of you partaking in Dry January, the menu also includes three delicious, Vietnamese inspired no and low alcohol cocktails.

Mildreds' limited-edition menu runs from 2 – 31 January across all five London sites. For reservations, visit mildreds.co.uk .

Try Wagamama's new Veganuary offering - and give someone in need a wholesome meal

wagamama veganuary

Wagamama leads the way with vegan food offerings and this January it's launching another delicious meal - a vegan 'chicken' kare lomen (udon noodles served in a nourishing bowl of coconut broth with a chilli kick, topped with ean teriyaki 'chicken'). It's really delicious and a delight for both vegans and those trying for the first time.

But in a new approach for 2023, Wagas is not only inviting us to enjoy a meal out in January, but also making sure we feel great about doing it. Working hand in hand with their new charity partner The Bread and Butter Thing, the chain will ensure that they deliver 1 million meals worth of food to low income families who use the charity to receive a more affordable weekly shop. Treat yourself and someone in need at the same time. Perfect.

Visit one of its many London restaurants, more info here .

Veganuary? Bill's has got you covered

Bills restaurant vegan food

Everyone's favourite brunch spot Bill's has just launched their new, Veganuary-friendly menu, full of dishes that are perfect for vegans, fully-fledged Veganuary challengers and those flexing it with meat alternatives from time to time. For those seeking a breakfast or brunch of champions, Bill’s is serving up the THIS™ Plant Plate with the new meat alternative bacon and sausages along with roasted plum tomatoes, mushrooms, fried potatoes, scrambled OGGS, baked beans & toast served with spicy sriracha sauce.

Looking on to lunch and dishing up for dinner, Bill’s is cooking up a storm with the THIS™ Isn’t Bacon Mac & Cheese, made up of vegan bacon lardons folded through a plant-based smokey cheese sauce and served with a green leaf salad.

Check out all their vegan delights at bills-website.co.uk .

Best active things to do in London in January

Relax with yoga healing mornings.

yoga

Join yoga instructor Francesca Liviero at Zen Yoga Studio in Camberwell for a morning of healing and connection. The classes offer yoga in a deeply calming and spiritual setting. The session will begin with a grounding meditation to help you connect with your body and feel supported in the new year. You will then be able to choose an angel card for guidance, and Francesca will give you an individual reading at the end of the session, when your cards are revealed.

She will lead you through a guided journaling session for self-inquiry before you begin the gentle vinyasa flow yoga practise. The yoga practise will end with a final meditation to leave you feeling rested. Enjoy a free healthy smoothie at your first class and yoga mats are provided.

To book, visit Wild Peace Tree Yoga. Prices start from £22 per session.

Desperate to escape London? Fun things to do abroad

Discover the magical new experiences on offer at disneyland paris.

Avengers: Power the Night nighttime drone show

Whilst we've offered many fun activities to enjoy in London this January, you might be desperate to take a mini break, and where better than to Disneyland Paris, which has been celebrating its 30th Anniversary over the course of 2022.

Here you can enjoy their first ever nighttime drone show performed daily and dedicated to Marvel Super Heroes, which combines music, lights, pyrotechnic effects, video projections and up to 500 drones that will form an awe-inspiring series of icons representing the powers of iconic Super Heroes, including Captain America, Captain Marvel, Scarlet Witch and for the first time at Disneyland Paris, Shang-Chi.

For more information, visit disneylandparis.com

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The best 20 things to do in London

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

From world-famous attractions to the best parks, museums, and everything free in between, our guide to the best activities in London is guaranteed to hit a sweet spot.

No matter what time of year you visit the buzzing British capital, or what your interests are, you have plenty of things to do in London .

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In the spring, the parks explode with blooms and in the summer, streets come alive with festivals and parades. Whether you want to indulge in blockbuster art exhibitions, eat at London’s best restaurants, or discover the capital’s iconic landmarks, London has it all.

To make planning your trip that little bit easier, we have put together a bucket list of the best things to do in London , from the electrifying Notting Hill carnival to scaling the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Find flights to London

  • See the Rosetta stone at the British Museum
  • Go on a shopping trip down and off Oxford Street
  • Marvel at the King’s jewels at the Tower of London
  • Eat until you are stuffed at Borough Market
  • Go for a picnic in St James’s Park
  • Watch the guards change at Buckingham Palace
  • Spend a Sunday buying flowers at Columbia Road Flower Market
  • Live like a royal at Spencer House
  • Admire the views (and the plants) from the Sky Garden
  • Watch the tennis at Wimbledon
  • Have a glamorous afternoon tea at Claridge’s
  • Stroll the magnificent sites of the South Bank
  • Free modern art at the Tate Modern
  • Visit the historical crypts of Westminster Abbey
  • Party at Notting Hill Carnival
  • Wow at London’s skyline from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Learn about the world at South Kensington’s museums
  • Drink a pint or two at a famous London pub
  • Catch a theatre show in London’s West End
  • Buy vintage in Shoreditch

1. See the Rosetta stone at the British Museum

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The British Museum is the UK’s most visited attraction, welcoming almost six million people annually through its massive iron-clad gates. Highlights include deciphering the Rosetta Stone, the Egyptian Galleries, and the Parthenon marbles.

As there’s so much to see here, it’s well worth going on an “ Eye Opener” tour that will whizz you through all the museum’s must-sees . Don’t miss the view of the Great Court from the tippy top of the building, as well as one of the numerous blockbuster exhibitions that take place every year.

2. Go on a shopping trip down and off Oxford Street

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If you love to shop, Oxford Street has your name written all over it. Several department stores can be found here, including the world-famous Selfridge’s which houses all kinds of designer fashion labels and furniture.

Household names from H&M to Nike and Ralph Lauren also call the street home, and if you veer off onto Old Bond Street, you’ll find luxury fashion houses Chanel, Dior, Gucci, and more setting the trends.

3. Marvel at the King’s jewels at the Tower of London

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This UNESCO-listed architectural gem is home to the world’s largest diamond, the Cullinan diamond set within the King’s dazzling crown jewels. The priceless collection is a major draw, as is the magisterial display of armour and weaponry in the White Tower .

It’s best to arrive early as the lines to see the regal jewels are often very long and to make sure you don’t miss a thing, book yourself onto a Yeoman Warder’s tour for a fascinating insight into British royal history.

4. Eat until you are stuffed at Borough Market

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There’s been a market here since the thirteenth century so you are essentially eating your way through history at every twist and corner. Artisanal gourmet goods are at the heart of the Borough Market philosophy, with market stalls selling everything from fancy scotch eggs to kangaroo burgers.

All the classics, from fine British cheeses to cider, fruit, vegetables and more are on offer, too. To get a taste of the real market in all its flamboyant glory, visit on Saturdays when virtually every stall and shop is open for browsing.

5. Go for a picnic in St James’s Park

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London’s prettiest Royal Park is the perfect place to laze in the sun and read a book or enjoy a picnic. It used to be King Henry VII’s marshy deer hunting ground long before King James I put a load of crocodiles and elephants in.

Now, you will find squirrels playing in the pretty flowerbeds and the famous pelicans who sit atop a rock in the park’s southern stretch. At 57 acres there’s lots of room to laze, and from the Blue Bridge, you will spot one of the most scenic views of London and Buckingham Palace.

6. Watch the guards change at Buckingham Palace

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The simplest way to see a bit of Royal action in London is to head for Buckingham Palace and watch the Changing of the Guard. It’s essentially an age-old tradition where bearskin-hatted soldiers change their shifts.

It starts promptly at 11 am, and to make sure you see all of it in full view, aim to be outside the palace gates no less than 30 minutes before it all kicks off. It’s free to watch and takes place daily in June and July, and from August to May, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

The whole thing lasts 45 minutes and make sure you bring a fully charged phone and camera.

7. Spend a Sunday buying flowers at Columbia Road Flower Market

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London’s oldest flower market is an East London institution. You will find the best blooms and bargains here, along with some of the finest artisanal coffee, cakes, and buns the city has to offer.

To avoid the crowds (it does get cramped), it’s best to arrive as soon as the market opens at 9 am. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s still worth a visit to sniff all the beautiful florals and to take loads of snaps for your Instagram feed.

8. Live like a royal at Spencer House

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Most people have never heard of this stately home . Neighbour to The Ritz and Buckingham Palace, the house is the familial seat of the Spencer Family and was opened to the public by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, in the nineties.

All sorts have walked through its doors from Queen Elizabeth II to foreign heads of state to marvel at its magnificent state rooms and gardens. Its claim to fame? It was the first house of its kind to be built in the neoclassical style anywhere in Europe.

Tours only run on Sundays and are led by expert Blue Badge guides.

9. Admire the views (and the plants) from the Sky Garden

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The sad truth is you have to pay to see some of London’s best views, but not here. London’s highest public garden offers some of the most spectacular panoramas of the city’s skyline free on weekends.

Timed slots often get reserved in advance, so it’s best to book weeks before your visit (especially for golden hour and sunset slots). Located on Fenchurch Street, deep with the ancient City of London, the 35-story public garden features a winding observation deck, an open-air terrace, two restaurants, and two bars.

If you want to make an occasion out of it, the venue often puts on loads of fun events, including early morning yoga sessions, so it’s well worth signing up for their newsletter so you are kept well in the loop.

10. Watch the tennis at Wimbledon

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The oldest tennis championship in the world is one of the best sporting experiences you can enjoy in London town.

Set in leafy Wimbledon , the all-lawn tennis extravaganza takes place every July . Aside from the game, the event has become a favourite destination for those looking to gorge on strawberries and sip glasses full of Pimms.

Tickets are like gold dust, so make sure you get to the famous “line” at the crack of dawn. If you want to go to the semi-final or final, tickets are available by ballot only.

11. Have a glamorous afternoon tea at Claridge’s

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There’s nothing more quintessentially British than a posh afternoon tea, and nowhere does it better than Mayfair grand dame hotel Claridge’s . The tradition began in 1840 when the Duchess of Bedford shared her love of tea and cake before dinner.

The trend took off and has become a national tradition (and a worldwide British stereotype). While Claridge’s looks like something out of Bridgerton, you don’t have to turn up in a lavish outfit to enjoy the occasion.

Smart casual attire is fine, so there’s no need to feel intimidated. Expect delicious teas, lots of jam-filled scones, and an endless supply of finger sandwiches.

12. Stroll the magnificent sites of the South Bank

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For a dose of culture, you can’t miss the South Bank . This entire stretch of the river is alive with entertainment, from mime shows to buskers and revolving dancers.

Come summer, festivals and art shows add an extra dose of colour to all the brutalist architecture, and once the festive period hits, lively Christmas markets take over.

Aside from all the fun, this is where you will also find some of the city’s biggest attractions and landmarks, including the Royal Festival Hall , Southbank Center , and Shakespeare’s Globe Theater .

13. Free modern art at the Tate Modern

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The free-to-visit contemporary art museum is a global Mecca to the artistic greats. Set inside the former Bankside Power Station, see original works from the likes of Picasso and Matisse, alongside often sold-out exhibitions and events.

Once you have finished exploring the permanent collection, head to the gallery’s Blavatnik Building for a free vantage point of the city overlooking landmarks such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Shard.

14. Visit the historical crypts of Westminster Abbey

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Westminster Abbey is truly an extraordinary place and worth every penny of the ticket fee, ranging from free for children under 5 to £27. It has been the heart of the UK’s royal and religious life since William the Conqueror was crowned king in 1066.

Since then, every royal wedding and coronation has been at the Abbey , with several famous monarchs from Elizabeth I to Edward the Confessor buried in between, too.

Other highlights include a glimpse of the UK’s oldest door, the Coronation Chair, and Poet’s Corner, where you’ll find the resting place of several famous writers.

15. Party at Notting Hill Carnival

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Europe’s biggest street party takes place on the last weekend of August every year . It’s a massive celebration of London’s Caribbean culture with steel bands and people in colourful costumes taking to the streets atop soca floats and more.

Aside from the parade, DJ sets and live reggae, salsa, and dub music performances are a huge draw, too. If you miss the carnival spirit, head to Portobello Road for a selection of London’s finest antiques and to snap the area’s famous colourful houses.

16. Wow at London’s skyline from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral

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The Grade I-listed St Paul’s Cathedral is probably most famous for its starring role in the wedding of the then Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The Christopher Wren-designed baroque marvel offers one of the best views of London from its sky-high dome.

You’ll need to climb over 500 steps to see it, but trust me, once you reach the top it’s worth it. The crypt is also worth a visit to learn about the cathedral’s fascinating history and to see the tomb of Lord Horatio Nelson — the man who led Britain to victory during the Battle of Waterloo.

17. Learn about the world at South Kensington’s museums

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Museum land, as South Kensington is otherwise known, is the perfect free day out for the family, especially if it is raining outside. The Science Museum is seven floors of fantastic interactive displays that will keep adults and kids entertained for hours.

The world’s leading collection of decorative arts can be found inside Victoria & Albert Museum . There are tons of exhibitions and events held here every month so make sure you plan well in advance of your visit.

Next door, the much beloved Natural History Museum is the place to go for great schooling for all the wonders of planet Earth. The best thing? All of these museums are free to visit year-round.

18. Drink a pint or two at a famous London pub

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Aside from afternoon tea, there’s nothing more British than a pint. There are over 3,500 pubs in the capital with century-old institutions like Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese and Lamb & Flag competing for your tourist dollars.

If drinking is not your thing, a Sunday roast in one of these public houses is well worth the extra calories. Prefer cocktails? French House and Bar Termini in Soho deliver all the classics, shaken or stirred.

KAYAK top tip: if you’re a Ted Lasso fan head to The Prince’s Head in Richmond — although the pub’s exterior was only used in filming, the location and surroundings will be instantly recognisable.

19. Catch a theatre show in London’s West End

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The best part about London’s theatre scene is that you can see the world’s biggest shows even if you are on a budget. Most big shows are on Shaftesbury Avenue, the undisputed central home of the capital’s so-called Theatreland.

The classics to look out for include The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, The Lion King, and the ever-hilarious Book of Mormon. Plays are also big here with huge productions dotted all over the city from the Soho Theater , Old Vic , and Donmar Warehouse .

They are great spots to see up-and-coming talent and cost half the price of seeing a musical, too.

20. Buy vintage in Shoreditch

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Shoreditch is one of London’s trendiest neighbourhoods. Vintage shops reign supreme on Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market , so don’t be surprised if you see hundreds of people here on the weekend searching for a designer bargain.

Once you have finished shopping, head to a rooftop to take in the views (the Queen of Hoxton is a local favourite) or dine in one of the area’s eclectic restaurants. Padella is a must, as is The Smoking Goat on Shoreditch High Street.

Feel like seeing and experiencing all these things in London? Check out our themed guides to help you have the best visit to London

If you want to find more recommendations besides our top picks to do in London, check out the below.

For food recommendations, why not check out our favourite London restaurants ? If you are interested in the gay scene in London, our detailed LGBTQ+ guide includes everything you need to know to travel safely and confidently.

How did we choose what goes into our guide to the 20 best things to do in London?

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I have lived in London nearly my entire life. Since I was a child, I have explored every nook and cranny throughout all its major boroughs, and as a travel journalist, have visited the capital’s most famous and under-the-radar tourist attractions (many behind the scenes, too).

Over the years, these local tips coupled with KAYAK’s expert guides around the world link in nicely with London’s major hitters, regardless if you are exploring the usual suspects or all the hidden gems in between.

Visiting London. FAQS

Do i need a car in london.

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The short and sweet answer is no. The traffic in London can get extremely heavy, especially on weekdays and during peak times such as the morning and evening rush hours.

It’s much faster and easier to get around using the London Underground, local bus routes, and by foot, as most landmarks and attractions are within walking distance.

You will need to buy an Oyster card to use the entire network. They are available from stations and airports. Alternatively, If your payment card or smartphone is contactless enabled, you can pay for each ride using Apple or Google Pay.

When is the best time to visit London?

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London is busy all year round. Generally speaking, the busiest times range from June through August when the weather is usually better, major tourist attractions like Buckingham Palace open, and many sporting events such as Wimbledon and countless music festivals are taking place.

Spring and autumn are generally quieter, as is the winter period (except Christmas and New Year’s Eve), so if you are a travelling family or looking to beat the crowds, this is when London is most accessible.

How long should I spend in London?

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It’s impossible to see London on a single trip. There’s so much to do and discover in the capital that even native Londoners like myself still find new things to check out.

If you want to see all the big tourist attractions and squeeze in a few restaurants, bars, classy hotels, and a day trip, I suggest staying for a week . That way, you’ll see all the highlights and just enough to inspire your next visit to the capital.

Is London safe?

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Despite its vast size, London is a safe city . That said, pickpockets still operate in built-up areas and on the public transport network – so be vigilant.

You might think that this is not the case for London, but locals are generally friendly , and if you get lost, people are usually willing to offer a helping hand.

Does London have tourist passes?

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Yes! The London Pass offers access to 80 of the city’s top attractions , including The Tower of London and ZSL London Zoo.

There are also several London bus tours, and it saves to buy a weekly travel card so your transport costs don’t spiral out of control. Check out the TFL website for more information and to find the best pass that suits your plans.

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top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

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top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

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71+ Best Things to Do in London: the Ultimate List (2024)

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As someone who has lived in London for 8 years and spent thousands of days roaming the city, I can tell you that narrowing down the best things to do in London is one of the hardest tasks.

This is a city filled with iconic museums, stunning art galleries, cheap theatre tickets , street food markets brimming with life, family-friendly theatre.

Figuring out what to do in London, and not just that but the absolute top things to do in London, is very much a personal preference because one person’s random alleyway will be the next person’s favorite Instagram spot and one family’s quick trip to Borough Market will be another family’s entire day spent wafting in the smells and finding Bridget Jones’ filming locations.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

⭐️ Editor’s choice! ⭐️

The best way to fit in as much of London as you can is this Ultimate London walking tour with 30+ attractions and 5 hours of expertly guided London fun! (5 out of 5 ⭐️, 120 + reviews)

>>Click here to book in advance (recommended)

But whatever you get up to, these are the absolute best London attractions and my top picks for the places to visit in London.

The Absolute Must-Knows (from a Londoner)

  • 😍 Cheapest Way to See it All: Get the London Pass here (yes, it’s worth it)
  • 🎭 Cheapest site for West End theatre tickets: London Theatre Direct
  • 🚕 Cheapest and most reliable airport transfer service: Welcome Pickups
  • 🚉 Cheapest Way to Book Train and Bus Tickets: Omio
  • 🔌 Most Reliable Adapter for UK Plugs: This one

Hey! Want more honest UK tips and planning advice? Click here to join my London and UK Travel Tips Facebook group , where I can answer more of your questions!

Check out the YouTube channel for more London tips

Most Iconic Things to Do in London

These are the London must-dos, the most iconic things to do in London that every visitor should put on their bucketlist.

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Start your planning with this “Intro to London” guide and access to my London planning Facebook group!

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1. Westminster Abbey

You saw Will and Kate get married here (or, at least, many of you did – waking up at bizarre hours of the morning to watch these two tie the knot).

But did you know that Westminster Abbey is much more than just a royal wedding or two?

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a true jewel in London, and one that deserves to be seen.

It’s famous, yeah, but it’s famous for a reason – not only is it gorgeous, but it also holds hundreds and thousands of years worth of history that are worth exploring.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Westminster Abbey has its origins around 1042, and through the years it has been transformed and reworked into the magnificent masterpiece you see today.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

2. St. Paul’s Cathedral

It’s been rebuilt five times throughout its history, but that doesn’t stop the awe-inspiring St. Paul’s Cathedral from standing as one of London’s most iconic churches and structures.

There’s something about it that’s so peaceful and calming, both inside with its gorgeous artwork and quiet corners and outside, where the steps and gardens are an awesome place to sit and people watch or reflect on your time in London.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

As St. Paul’s is a working cathedral in addition to being a tourist attraction, you will want to plan your visit based around visitor opening times (more information below) or you should plan to attend a service which will give you more limited access but a more engaging experience.

History buffs will love exploring the entire structure, from the underground crypts to the Golden Gallery which towers high over London.

You’ll get a multimedia guide to carry around with you, pointing out all of the most important features and telling you the many stories related to St. Paul’s.

3. London Eye

Those of you who have read my “ Is the London Eye Worth it? ” article may be wondering why I’ve included in this list, but I did say that this is the list of iconic London attractions, not necessarily my favorite ones.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

That being said, I do love the London Eye on a sunny day or a clear night and you can’t deny that it has made its way into the collective conscious when it comes to London.

It’s on postcards, in the back of tons of pictures, and generally assumes a pretty dominating spot along the River Thames.

The London Eye was built as the Millennium Wheel, a structure meant to celebrate the year 2000.

4. Tower of London

From the Crown Jewels and incredible displays of the Royal’s coronation collection to the infamous Tower of London ravens that live within the grounds, there is a lot of history and British culture waiting to be explored here.

You can easily make this a full morning or afternoon adventure, as the number of hidden nooks and crannies to see and the presentations on display will keep the whole family occupied.

Use this Tower of London travel guide to help you plan.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

This is truly London’s castle – a fortress in the heart of the city that has housed prisoners, royalty and even animals.

As you go through the different rooms and areas, you’ll learn about fascinating medieval torture (seriously!) and some of the ways that residents of the Tower lived and worked.

Today, the Yeoman Warders or “Beefeaters” still live at the Tower and perform royal duties.

Instagrammable Things to Do in London

Whether you’re hoping for the perfect snap to send to family and friends back home or your audience of 10,000, these are the best Instagrammable places in London .

IMPORTANT: are you coming to the UK from abroad?

In case you’re reading this from outside the UK and will be a foreign visitor here, you need to know these 2 things to stay safe and save money.

  • Travel insurance – you need it when going overseas! I use this site to get the best quotes and purchase my packages from. Do not skip this – having medical coverage abroad as well as other coverage in case of missed flights, lost luggage, etc is essential. As I said, I have never gone wrong using this site .
  • International debit cards without fees – do not get stuck paying extortionate foreign fees when using your card abroad (and the UK is almost all card these days). I use the Wise debit and travel card which you can apply and learn more about here .

5. Notting Hill

Notting Hill might be a cliche place to snap some pictures, but that’s only because it’s one of London’s prettiest areas.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Head to Portobello Road in Notting Hill, one of the best markets in London, to capture the colorful buildings and chic vibe.

And, of course, you can see London filming locations from the film of the same name.

6. Millennium Bridge

It’s famous for being the bridge that was blown up in the sixth Harry Potter film, but rest assured the Millennium Bridge is still there and fully in tact, ready for you to get creative using it in your photos.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

At the end of the Millennium Bridge is St. Paul’s Cathedral, and this line of sight is often used by photographers to get some really cool shots.

7. Primrose Hill

There are two types of pictures you can get in the Primrose Hill area, and both are fantastic.

One is of the actual view from the hill itself – my favorite view in London and a nice way to capture one of the best parks in London and the cityscape at the same time.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The other is the area of Primrose Hill , which is filled with quaint streets and colorful houses.

Best Parks to Visit in London

Chill out, go for a run, or listen to a concert in one of the best London parks .

8. Hyde Park

Perhaps the most well known London park and one of the best parks to visit in London, Hyde Park is absolutely massive and features everything from Speakers Corner to Kensington Palace to the giant Serpentine Lake used for paddle boats.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

It hosts concerts, the yearly Winter Wonderland market, and is so sprawling that you won’t feel like you’re in a city as you walk through it.

It’s also got a fantastic playground for toddlers in London, the Diana Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery, one of London’s best art museums, and some gorgeous landscaping and ponds.

I highly recommend spending time here, but make sure you have a game plan because it’s so big that you could walk forever and still not come across the landmark you want to see if you don’t know where you’re going.

Otherwise, just enjoy a leisurely stroll or bike ride and see where it takes you.

9. St. James Park

Right in front of Buckingham Palace is one of the most picturesque London parks, St. James Park , and you can’t miss it if you just keep walking towards the London Eye from Buckingham Palace.

There are a ton of geese floating down the lake, an awesome photo op, and space for sitting on benches and sprawling out on the grass.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

I would make it a point to take a walk through this park.

It’s small enough that it’s completely manageable in a shot amount of time and you can truly feel the London buzz.

10. Richmond Park

If you love nature and are interested in seeing some of London’s deer population, make the journey to Richmond Park , a great park near London, where many of them live.

A deer with big antlers in Richmond Park London

You won’t automatically come across this park as you’re exploring London, but if you do make the journey out, you’ll be rewarded with an awesome escape to a quieter feeling and peaceful images of roaming wildlife.

This is particularly a great park to visit in London if you’re an expat in London wanting to see more of the city having covered most of central London.

Things to Do in London for Shopping Lovers

If you want to walk down iconic shopping streets with bags around your arms and a lift in your retail-loving step, these are the best shopping options in London .

11. Oxford Street

London’s premier shopping street is none other than Oxford Street, possibly one of the most famous shopping streets in all of Europe.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

And trust me, when you’re walking past the Oxford Street shops, you can feel how busy it is in the peak months with throngs of people trying to spend as much money as possible!

On Oxford Street you’ve got a variety of shops ranging from ones for the “regular person” like H&M and Primark, to more expensive shops and department stores like John Lewis and Selfridge’s.

If I have to chose a London shopping district, Oxford Street would be it.

Intersecting Oxford Street is a street called Regent’s Street which has a load more shops like Gap, Michael Kors, and a giant Apple store.

12. Harrods and Knightsbridge

If you really want to live your life in luxury, head to the Knightsbridge area where you’ll find famous London department store, Harrods .

Harrod's exterior covered in lights at Christmas

Very much still a symbol of wealth, Harrods has also now become a bit of a tourist experience where you can wander through the halls of very expensive items and dream about what you would buy if you won the lottery.

From Alexander Wang to Alexander McQueen, you’ll stumble across designer label clothes, bags, accessories, makeup and more.

13. Covent Garden

This shopping and restaurant area is one of my favorites in London and has a nice market feel while also being home to some upscale shops and boutique stores and some of the best shops in London.

Wander around here and find your way into the Covent Garden Disney store, an Apple store, Levi’s, Gap and upscale brands like Bailey Nelson for eye wear and Tiffany & Co for jewelry.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

There are also plenty of places to eat here with outdoor seating, as well as regular street performances in the pedestrianized area of Covent Garden.

I’ve also rated Covent Garden as one of the best areas to stay in London for all visitors.

What to Do in London for Film Lovers

From James Bond to Bridget Jones, here are the best filming locations in London if you’re hoping to follow in your favorite movie star’s footsteps all around the city.

14. Southbank

London’s Southbank is iconic London, and it’s no wonder it’s constantly used in films.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Guardians of the Galaxy , Fast and Furious 6 and Thor: The Dark World all feature scenes here, as well as James Bond films which use am amalgamation of Southbank buildings to make up his residence. 

If you see the London Eye pop up in a movie, you’ll know it’s on the Southbank.

15. Canary Wharf Tube Station

If you look carefully, you’ll see Canary Wharf Tube Station feature in Rogue One , the Star Wars movie from 2016.

It’s a quick glimpse, but Canary Wharf is a very modern tube station and thus works well for movies that need a fresh, out of this world feel!

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

In fact, the London Underground itself has been used in films such as 28 Days Later , Harry Potter , Mission: Impossible , Atonement , and Agent Cody Banks .

16. University College London

This prestigious university is great to walk around with such a picturesque quad, and you also may notice some similarities to films like The Dark Knight and Batman Begins , who used this backdrop to great effect.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Things to Do in London for Art Lovers

Enjoy world famous galleries or find Banksy tucked away in East London with these top art museums in London .

17. Tate Modern

As one of the largest museums filled with contemporary art in the world, the Tate Modern is a huge blessing for Londoners and visitors who enjoy modern art and getting lost in interesting shapes and thought-provoking art.

You’ll find it in the refurbished Bankside Power Station, and the entire space still has an industrial feel.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Here, you’ll find sculptures, paintings, drawings, digital art and architecture that really embraces what it means to practice and celebrate contemporary art in the 21 st century.

Best of all, the museum is completely free and one of the best free things to do in London.

18. National Gallery

If you take a trip to Trafalgar Square, you can’t miss the National Gallery , as it towers over the square in all of its glory.

This is one of the most visited art museums in the world, celebrating not just British art but European art as a whole.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Inside, you’ll find works from artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

This is truly an inspiring art museum with gorgeous views across London and also a really vibrant café that does lunches and afternoon teas if you want to incorporate the museum into more of your day.

The National Gallery is also completely free.

19. Whitechapel Gallery

Priding themselves on being an “art gallery for everyone,” Whitechapel Gallery is a fantastic glimpse into contemporary art with rotating exhibitions and gorgeous spaces, including a bookshop and café.

Entrance is free, and perhaps even more intriguing than current artists is the gallery’s history in art in London, as it played an important role in post-War British art, as well as bringing pop art to the general population in the sixties.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Today, you can take art classes, attend lectures, or just spend time soaking up the innovative and creative environment fostered here.

Rainy Day Things to Do in London

Have I mentioned that it rains a lot in London?

Don’t let the weather stop you with these things to do in London on a rainy day .

20. SkyGarden

If you want a postcard view of rainy London, then you don’t need to worry about the weather during your booking at the SkyGarden.

You’ve got loads of indoor space to get a great view and the drizzles coming down the window will just add to the atmosphere. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

There are also food options so you can plan to have something to eat to get reenergized.

And this is yet another reason why visiting the SkyGarden is much better than the touristy view from the Shard, one of my suggested things to NOT do in London.

With the view from the Shard, there’s no hang-out area and it’s a case of going up to then come back down immediately afterwards.

The SkyGarden is more of an experience, hence, a great thing to do in inside in London when the skies open!

21. Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms are completely indoors and mostly underground, so not only does it not matter if it’s raining, but you won’t know anyways!

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

This is a fantastic way to spend a few hours on a rainy afternoon or morning, as you can really dive into the museum and all of the artifacts and rest assured that you won’t get wet as you go from room to room. 

22. British Library

One of my favorite sites in all of London is the British Library , and it’s just a bonus that it’s indoors so you don’t have to get wet in the rain.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Head to the permanent collections and visitor galleries to see the Magna Carta, handwritten original lyrics from popular British bands, and a treasure trove of scientific and literary original works by names you’ll be familiar with (Leonardo da Vinci, anyone?)

23. See a West End Show

With both matinee and evening performance options, escaping the weather in a West End theater is definitely not a hardship!

The weather outside won’t matter one bit once you’re singing along to The Lion King classics or traveling to Canada in Come from Away or feeling sorry for Matilda. 

People walking in the West End, London, holding umbrellas, with show adverts in front of them

If you want last minute tickets, check out the Leicester Square Last Minute tickets booth, or just search online!

Harry Potter Things to Do in London

Welcome to Hogwarts, London visitors!

Here are the best things to do in London for Harry Potter lovers .

24. King’s Cross Station

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

How could you forget a stop at King’s Cross Station while on a self-guided Harry Potter tour?

It’s here that the Hogwarts students would push their way through Platform 9 3/4. 

Nowadays, Platform 9 and 3/4 isn’t found right in between Platform 9 and 10 as King’s Cross is a working station and the Londoners don’t need Harry Potter fans getting in the way of them making their train!

Instead, you can find a photo op in the main concourse, complete with the option to pay for a professional photographer to get a snap of you pushing your way through the wall.

Is it a tourist trap?

Is it a must-see for Harry Potter fans?

As long as you are going in knowing that it’s a tourist trap and you’re happy about that and ready to see the train station that is mentioned in the books and movies, then enjoy!

25. Australia House

You may be able to guess, by the name of this building, that it houses the Australian Embassy, but did you know that it was also used for some interior shots of Gringotts bank?

You can’t go inside, sadly, due to embassy security measures, but you can marvel at it from the outside and know that your favorite Harry Potter stars probably walked over the same patch of sidewalk you have to get in the building!

26. Reptile House at London Zoo

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

London Zoo, near Regent’s Park, is a London gem and the Zoological Society of London takes their job in animal conservation very seriously.

But Harry has also been here, speaking to the snakes in the Reptile House in the first movie when he set it free. 

Fans will instantly recognize the interior and the large window that today houses some of the zoo’s biggest reptiles, like the Black Mamba.

Foodie Things to Do in London

Dine in the Shard or enjoy a mom and pop restaurant in Bloomsbury with my picks for the best London restaurants .

27. Da Mario

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

This Italian restaurant in Kensington is a fan favorite because of the amazing food and its history.

It’s said to be Princess Diana’s favorite choice for Italian, and photos commemorating her visits there adorn the wall.

28. Brasserie Zedel

Themed like Paris, this French eatery in Piccadilly is a fantastic choice if you want a nice dinner without the expensive price tag.

You’ll find French inspired dishes and a quirky atmosphere that’s very London meets France.

29. Dishoom

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

London does amazing Indian food, including breakfast, at the well loved Dishoom restaurants.

When my mom comes to London, that’s all she wants and she could eat here for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It’s both casual and a bit luxury feeling, with different benefits depending on the location you choose, for instance the heated veranda in Shoreditch!

Things to Do in London for Pub Gurus

You can’t come to London without stopping by a pub, but don’t go just anywhere, make sure to visit one of London’s best pubs that range from literary havens to modern pubs with the best roast dinner.

30. The Churchill Arms

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

This pub named after Winston Churchill is best known for its floral arrangements that adorn the outside and the fantastically quirky interior.

I recommend it to all visitors to London as a must see London pub, and they’re always glad they went.

You can get drinks here like any normal pub, but the food they serve in the restaurant section is actually Thai food (not uncommon in some pubs), and good Thai food at that!

Address : 119 Kensington Church St, Kensington, London W8 7LN ; Nearest Tube Station : Notting Hill Gate.

31. The BlackFriar

This pub on Queen Victoria Street has its history as a friary (hence the name) and is lauded by locals as one of the most beautiful pubs inside, as well as having tons of history and a monk statue that sits outside.

Try the cask ales, as well as the afternoon tea in this sophisticated dining location.

Address: 174 Queen Victoria St, London EC4V 4EG

32. The Mayflower

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

It’s a bit out of the way of Central London, but this pub is a wonderful place to make an evening trip and enjoy riverside views and great food.

Named for the Mayflower ship, there is a pub downstairs and a restaurant upstairs so you can either get just drinks or food and drinks.

The views from the terrace are excellent, and it’s easily accessible from central London without too much headache.

It’s also not right in the middle of tourist central, which means you’ll get a great pub and a more local vibe.

Address: 117 Rotherhithe St, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4NF, Nearest Tube Station: Canada Water.

Best Markets in London

From clothing to antiques to flowers, here are the best markets in London if you want a more varied shopping experience and to feel the buzz of city life.

33. Borough Market

You can’t go to London and not go to Borough Market – it’s just not possible!

Borough Market is London’s top food market, and they have everything from pasta to potatoes, clams to pineapples, Indian to Italian.

A squid food shop at Borough Market London

Whether you want to have lunch here or you want to buy some ingredients to make a dinner back at your AirBnB , you won’t regret wandering around here and smelling all of the delicious food aromas!

There are also frequent food demonstrations and special events on at Borough Market which provide even more of a lively atmosphere.

Address: Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL Open for a full market Wednesday through Saturday and a limited market on Monday and Tuesday.

34. Leadenhall Market

You may recognize this famous London market from the Harry Potter films, where it was used as part of Diagon Alley!

This covered market is one of the oldest in all of London, and the architecture inside is stunning.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

You’ll find plenty of fresh food here, from cheese to meat to ready-to-eat meals.

It used to be a meat and poultry market, in fact!

The great thing about Leadenhall Market is that you can visit in poor weather and not have an impaired experienced like an outdoor market.

Address: Leather Ln, Holborn, London EC1N 7TJ Open Monday through Friday from about 10am to 3pm

35. Camden Market

Looking for gifts?

Shoes? Homegoods? Souvenirs?

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Something just a little bit different?

Camden Market is the place to be, considered to be an “alternative” area, it’s still popular for all types of visitors.

Don’t be surprised if you come across some funky looking stalls or some fashion styles you’ve never seen before – it’s all part of the fun of Camden.

Address: Camden Market, Camden Lock Place, London, NW1 8AF Open every day.

Things to Do in London for Sports Lovers

From cricket to football (American soccer, don’t get them confused!), London is a haven for sports fan who want to watch their favorite players live, and these are the top places to watch sports in London .

36. Wimbledon

If you’re hoping for some professional tennis in London, plan to visit in the summer during the two weeks of Wimbledon, one of the best times to come to London.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

This prestigious tournament is well attended by locals and visitors alike, and Wimbledon prides itself on still having a cheap ticket option, which can be accessed by getting there early and waiting in “the queue” on the day of play.

Click here for information about the Wimbledon queue.

Otherwise, you’ll want to enter the ticket ballot the year before you’re set to go for the chance to get seated tickets.

If you’re in London the rest of the year, you can still experience the magic of this famous tournament by visiting the Wimbledon museum or taking a guided tour.

I would highly recommend this for any tennis fan, as you really get a fantastic overview of the courts and the chance to experience them in a whole new way.

The museum is fantastic and you can view trophies, attire, and equipment from years past.

Click here to book tickets to the Wimbledon tour.

37. Watch Cricket at Lord’s Cricket Ground

If you want to try and figure out the rules behind this game that involves a bat, a ball, and lots of running in a straight line, you’ll learn everything you need to know at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

This is the most highly esteemed cricket ground in the UK and you can either see if there are any tickets available to matches by clicking here , or you can book a tour of Lord’s here where you get to go behind the scenes and learn more about England cricket history and how the grounds are maintained.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

38. Attend a Football Match

Football is perhaps the most widely followed sport across the UK and the multiple football stadiums in London can attest to that.

If you want to see a premier match, check if there are tickets at Wembley Stadium here or Chelsea Stadium here .

The best way to find tickets is simply through the websites in advance.

If you want to get to walk out onto the field yourself (called the “pitch”), book yourself into a guided tour of Emirates Stadium here or a guided tour of Chelsea Stadium here.

You can also watch more local matches in lower ranked leagues in places like Harrow, Wealdstone, Northwood and more, or check out my guide to the best sports tours in London .

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Free Things to Do in London

You can visit London on a budget and still have an amazing time.

Here’s what to do in London for free , ranging from some of the most popular attractions to lesser known free events.

39. Watch the Changing of the Guards

You don’t need a ticket or any sort of entry fee to line up to see the Changing of the Guards that takes place in front of Buckingham Palace almost every day.

To see when and where it will take place during your stay, make sure to check the official schedule and get there about an hour in advance if you want prime viewing.

This is one of the most iconic things to do in London!

Guard in red at Buckingham Palace

40. Listen to Big Ben Chime

Big Ben is one of London’s most iconic sites, and it’s of course free to look at and appreciate.

I would recommend actually going later at night or first thing in the morning when the hoards of tourists aren’t out, standing underneath it and hearing it chime.

It’s a really special experience to know that you are one of just a few people in the world at that moment that are standing near Big Ben!

Do note that Big Ben is in scaffolding until the end of 2021. Sadly, restoration works have to take place!

Ben Ben seen from above and over the river

41. British Museum

Home to Cleopatra and the Rosetta Stone, the British Museum is a massive collection of artifacts and clothing and exhibits that tell the story of the British Empire and Britain itself.

The building is absolutely gorgeous with an awesome lobby that is known for its glass ceiling that lets the sun stream in (or blanketed by grey clouds depending on the day).

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Best Museums in London

Spend hours wandering the halls and exhibits of the top museums in London , featuring everything from Cleopatra to Picasso.

42. The V & A

The V & A can best be described as “a giant collection of stuff given to the royals that they didn’t have room for.”

Okay, that sounds less awesome than it is, but whether you’re interested in Chinese art or European textiles or Greek ruins, you can find it here.

This is a wonderfully sophisticated thing for couples to do in London .

Address: Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL Open daily.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

43. British Library

Inside the British Library is an exhibit that many people skip due to the larger surrounding museums, but it is not to be missed if you’re into literature, religion, or science.

You can see original Shakespeare, old religious texts, and writings from some of the world’s most brilliant minds including Galileo.

If you look carefully, you can also find original Beatles lyrics scribbled onto a scrap sheet of paper.

Address: 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB Open Daily, with shorter hours on Sunday

44. Museum of London

If you couldn’t guess from the name, the Museum of London is dedicated to all things London.

Every part of the city’s past is documented and explained in interactive exhibits.

While they do have paid-for exhibitions on, the main part of the museum is free and worth stopping by at the beginning of your trip to get a feel for the city you’re about to explore.

Address : 150 London Wall, Barbican, London EC2Y 5HN Open Daily

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Things to Do in London for the Afternoon Tea Experience

Don’t leave London without checking out the best places for afternoon tea .

The Queen might not be there, but you should still raise your pinkey (okay, that’s not actually a thing).

45. Beas of Bloomsbury

If you’re looking for a casual afternoon tea in London, Bea’s of Bloomsbury is for you.

They have multiple locations across London, including St. Paul’s and Bloomsbury (near the British Museum), and their light and airy spaces provide a modern afternoon tea vibe with all of the normal suspects – scones, cakes, and sandwiches!

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

They cater to those with dietary needs with vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as the ability to change their menu for other needs if you let them know in advance.

I like this option for families and those who need more options in the location of where to have their tea depending on their schedule. 

Click here to book afternoon tea at Bea’s.

46. Oblix at the Shard

Want a tea with the view?

I love the afternoon tea at the Oblix, in the Shard .

It’s the best afternoon tea with a view in all of London.

Not only do you get gorgeous views spread across London as well as get to enter this famous London landmark for no extra cost, but the tea and the food is unlimited and delicious.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

47. Fan Museum in Greenwich

If you’re looking for a cheap afternoon tea in London, the Fan Museum in Greenwich is for you.

For under £30, you can get some great tea and cakes that will keep you full and give you a lovely tea experience in their Orangery. 

They don’t serve sandwiches at this afternoon tea, so it’s not a “full” one, but it certainly still feels like afternoon tea with the scones and cakes and I’ve found theirs to be some of the best tasting ones in London – more time to focus on a specific part of the tea means they nail it!

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

This makes it one of the most affordable afternoon teas in London.

Click here to book afternoon tea at the Fan Museum.

Best Street Food in London

Hungry for some street eats?

Enjoy the best London street food markets , ranging from the big and bustling to the local hangouts.

48. Leather Lane Market

This street of food stalls is a popular London local hangout, as it’s open for lunch on the weekdays.

You’ll find it near Farringdon Station, in between Holborn and Farringdon, and there are some amazing taco places, Indian food, grilled cheese stands and more. 

A bread shop at Borough Market London

As it’s a more unknown and local market, this is a great quirky thing to do in London .

Address: Leather Ln, Holborn, London EC1N 7TJ Open from 10am to 2pm every weekday.

49. Boxpark Shoreditch

If you want to go where the cool kids go, Boxpark Shoreditch is it.

This is a “pop-up mall” which puts local and global retailers next to each other in a dining experience that London visitors will love.

Tons of different street food stalls come together in a sort of warehouse experience, including London staples like the Breakfast Club.

boroughmarketlondon

I would recommend this food market to the younger crowd, study abroad students in London , and those who are staying in and around London’s East End. 

Address: 2-10 Bethnal Green Rd, Hackney, London E1 6GY Open every day.

50. Brick Lane

I’ve included Brick Lane for a very specific reason, and that is that while you can find street food here, Brick Lane is a vibrant and diverse part of London that’s famous for its bagels!

Go to Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake and get yourself some fresh bagels filled with smoked salmon or other ingredients.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

It’s popular to grab some and eat them as you walk around, and I can attest that they are some of the best savory bagels in all of London. 

Address : Brick Ln, Spitalfields, London E1 6QR Street market for goods open every Saturday and Sunday, but Beigel Bake and Brick Lane operational every day.

Things to Do in London in Winter

London doesn’t shut down when the weather turns bad.

Instead, it lights up!

Here’s what to do in London in the winter so you can make sure you’re ready for a London Christmas or New Year.

51. Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland

Ready to walk in a winter wonderland, but for real?

This Christmas market and festive area and all-around cheerful event is one of London’s most popular Christmas destinations.

It’s located in Hyde Park, which is a good thing as the market is massive and Hyde Park has the space for it.

Opening in late November until early January, you’ll find ice skating rinks, places to eat, Christmas markets, a Christmas circus, and shows like Paddington on Ice and a Winter Wonderland Comedy Club.

It doesn’t cost anything to enter Winter Wonderland, though you will want to prebook if you are interested in any of the shows or events.

Click here to learn more about Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland .

A basketball hoop stall with cuddly toys at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland in London

52. Ice Skating in London

You can’t come to London during the holiday season without ice skating!

Okay, so it’s not Rockefeller Center – it’s better.

Choose to skate in the moat of the Tower of London or head out somewhere like Hampton Court Palace for a unique ice skating rink with colorful projections onto the palace behind you .

You can rent skates from whichever option you choose, and this is another one that I highly recommend booking in advance as places do fill up.

Also, keep in mind these are outdoor rinks, so don’t forget the cozy winter wear mentioned above.

People ice skating outside the Natural History Museum in London in the winter

53. New Year’s Eve Fireworks

In all of the Christmas festivities, the New Year’s Eve fireworks shouldn’t be forgotten.

If you’re in London on New Year’s Eve, you should know that the city does official fireworks over the river.

You do need to purchase tickets in advance in order to get into the actual official event, but there are also viewing parties held throughout the city and in other areas, including the Southbank.

New Year’s Eve in London is absolutely packed, but if you go in knowing that, you’ll have a great time.

The tube also runs for free on New Year’s Eve night late into the next morning to help people get home safely.

Fireworks going off at the London Eye, with the London Eye lit in purple

Things to Do near London Bridge

One of the most talked about areas of London, these are the best things to do near London Bridge including museums that you’ve never heard of and historic cathedrals.

54. Torture Yourself at the Clink Prison Museum

Many people suggest the London Dungeon experience when traveling around London Bridge, but I say skip the London Dungeon and head to the Clink Prison Museum if you want to actually learn more about medieval torture (and who doesn’t?).

This museum is not too expensive and leads you through a series of rooms in the original Clink prison, which is where the slang term for “jail” came about.

You’ll follow the stories of multiple people who lived and died at the prison and get the chance to test your stomach strength when you get a lot of very specific information about just how people loved to torture criminals back in the day (and they weren’t all criminals like we would think now – even debt could put you in here).

For one of the most educational and iconic things to do in London Bridge, you can’t go wrong.

The Clink Prison Museum London Bridge Exterior with a hanging skeleton in a cage

55. Old Operating Theatre Museum

Have you ever taken a moment to think about what medical life was like in the Victorian era?

You probably haven’t, and the Old Operating Theatre Museum is here to change that.

This wonderfully quirky museum in London in an attic in the London Bridge area has artifacts, including bodily ones, that help explore the medical methods and fears of the 1800s.

From leech trays to amputation knives (used without anesthetic, no less!), you can explore medical and herbal history.

You can also step into an old operating theatre, which has been reconstructed on the same site it used to stand where medical students would observe surgical skills at St. Thomas’ Hospital.

The museum does regular talks and activities, as well, and there were a large group of kids taking part in an interactive activity while we were there.

A reconstructed operating theatre at The Old Operating Theatre in London Bridge

56. Enjoy Evensong in Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral is a gorgeous cathedral near London Bridge and one of the best things to do in London Bridge for couples who want to take a moment out of a busy day and sit and reflect.

The cathedral holds regular services, as well as Evensong on most nights, which is free and gives you the chance to sit and admire the gorgeous interior architecture while listening to a traditional Evensong service.

There is also a peaceful garden and places to sit in the courtyard that are removed from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding London Bridge area and give you a nice spot to sit and talk.

The exterior of Southwark Cathedral London

Things to Do in London for History Buffs

There’s no city more chock full of history than London, especially with its links to the top castles to visit from London .

57. Windsor Castle

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

A lot of people are aware that Windsor Castle is a functioning residence where Queen Elizabeth II still spends a great deal of time.

That is to say, it’s not some ancient dwelling crumbling away in ruins on a green countryside – a description that perhaps encapsulates many people’s imagination of British castles.

But many probably don’t realize just how impressive this place truly is.

Having been a home to British royals for over 900 years, it’s still awfully sturdy and beautiful, and is actually the largest occupied castle in the world .

Windsor suits a certain fairy tale vision – not quite Arthurian in appearance or nature, but like the sort of castle we imagine constituting an entire city unto itself.

Plus, of the choices we’ll list here, Windsor is particularly close to London, which makes it perhaps the easiest one to check out during your stay.

58. Hever Castle

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

This is actually a castle I’ve covered before, so I’ll keep it brief here.

This one is a day trip from London, but doable on public transportation.

This 13th century castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn , and it’s really picturesque.

It actually looks almost as if it could be a country home to some reclusive writer, gone into a bit of disrepair in the offseason.

Things to Do in London with Kids

Got the little ones in tow?

Here’s what to do in London with kids , complete with ideas for the more rambunctious and the calmer child who just wants to people watch.

59. Pirate Ship Playground

Diana’s Memorial Playground in Hyde Park is the absolute best park in London for kids of all ages, complete with a pirate ship, wooden climbing structures, and other interesting things for kids to play with.

The playground is fenced in and numbers are monitored, so you may need to wait a few minutes to get in, but once you do, your child will have the best time roaming around this gorgeous playground. 

60. KidZania

KidZania is one of the coolest things to do in London with kids, so much so that I am super jealous of people who have kids who can go in and experience this indoor kids-run city.

KidZania is part educational, mostly fun, and entirely “indoor amusement park for kids,” but you won’t find endless rollercoasters and cotton candy, but instead lots of opportunities for dress-up, playing pretend, and engaging with the world in a kid-friendly way that includes pretending to go shopping in a grocery store, being an airline pilot, and more. 

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

61. London Transport Museum

While there is a fee for the London Transport Museum , this is an excellent museum for kids due to how interactive and colorful it is.

The transport museum takes you through the history of London’s transportation system, and you get to see how tube tunnels are built, the history of trains and tubes (and get to sit on them!) and watch videos and see posters from London’s transport  past.

This isn’t a boring museum with only plaques to read and some rocks, it’s a really fun place for kids of all ages and families who want to learn a little something while being entertained. 

London Transport Museum Review

62. Science Museum

The science museum is my biggest recommendation for a wonderful museum for kids in London.

It’s so kid-friendly and interactive, which means that whether you have toddlers or teenagers, they’ll find something to be interested in here.

science museum london

There are dedicated kid’s rooms, too, for the little ones to explore at their own pace.

Also, an IMAX theater means you can catch the latest science film while escaping the weather if it’s gone south, and there is a room where you can quite literally journey into the center of the Earth that kids will love.

63. Natural History Museum

From the dinosaur exhibits to the giant whale skeleton in the lobby to the kid-friendly sleepovers they hold every few months, the Natural History Museum in South Kensington is another London museum that you can head to without fearing the kids will get bored.

natural history museum london

Sure, there are some “regular” galleries that involve rocks and fossils and maybe slightly old plaques, but overall the grand design and historic feel of this museum will really help the whole family find their love for London.

Things to Do in London by Guided Tour

Expert guides will take you on some of London’s best tours to show you around the city from their perspective and make sure you don’t miss a beat.

64. Magical Harry Potter Walking Tour

I had to start with this Harry Potter walking tour because it’s the best of the best, the crème of the crop, the perfect choice for any individual, couple, or family who want to see all of the places in London that inspired JK Rowling AND many of the filming locations for the movies.

The tour takes about 2 and a half hours and your guide will take you to places like Platform 9 and ¾, the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron, the bridge that the dementors ruined in the sixth movie, and even Daniel Radcliffe’s school.

As you walk, you’ll also come across some famous London attractions in their own right, which makes this tour the perfect blend of London and Harry Potter history.

Click here to book the best Harry Potter walking tour , and do not delay because people LOVE themselves some Harry Potter so you don’t want it to sell out!

65. Jack the Ripper Walking Tour

The classic horror story of Jack the Ripper and his London murders still permeates the culture of today’s East End – at least if you believe the guides on this Jack the Ripper Walking Tour !

There are a ton of Jack the Ripper Walking tours in London, but this is my favorite as I think you get really good value for the price and it’s one of the best tours in London. 

You’ll learn the story of this infamous criminal, hear the stories of how his victims fell into his traps, and see the spots where he murdered some of his most infamous victims.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

This tour is not for small children who would be easily scared, but if you like a little bit of gore with your London visit, this is it.

66. Guided Tour of Shakespeare’s Globe

While you can see Shakespeare’s Globe from the inside while booking tickets to see a show, the only way to really get an understanding for this famous structure is to take this guided tour .

Shakespeare’s Globe is such an iconic part of London and noticeable as soon as you head to the river, and it really boggles the mind that this is the place (well, the faithfully recreated place) that he wrote his plays to be performed in.

Any theatre lovers should make sure to add this to their London list .

At about 90 minutes and with a very central location, you can fit this into your visit and you’ll leave having a new awe and appreciation for the world of Shakespeare.

Click here to check out the guided tour of Shakespeare’s Globe.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Things to Do in London with Toddlers

From playgrounds to museums with entire sections just for toddlers, here’s what to do in London with toddlers if you’re hoping to keep them entertained.

67. Holland Park

Holland Park has two great places for toddlers in London depending on what kind of activity you want to do with them.

If you want to chill out and just have them watch the fish in a pond, check out the Japanese gardens in Holland Park for a really serene landscape with lots of fish and a peacock wandering around.

If you want them to get active so they’ll sleep at night, try the adventure playground which has an enclosed play area for toddlers so you don’t have to worry about them running off or getting lost.

Holland Park is free to enter and in a beautiful part of London, right near High Street Kensington Station.

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

68. Horniman Museum

The Horniman Museum really excels in its child-friendly nature with 16 acres of child-friendly places to play.

Toddlers will fall in love with its outdoor areas that includes a nature trail and hands-on object touching exhibits.

There’s also an aquarium which will keep them mesmerized as well as a nature base with interactive ways to explore the natural world.

The Horniman Museum is located in Forest Hill, so you’ll need to travel a bit out of Central London to get there, but it’s well worth the trip.

Quirky Things to Do in London

Wondering about the most unusual things to do in London ? Head off the beaten path and check these off your list!

69. Wellcome Collection

Right near Euston Square is a quirky museum in London with plenty of things to be fascinated with (or grossed out by, depending on your tolerance).

We all talk about London’s famous museums like the Science Museum and V & A, but the Wellcome Collection deserves a special place in the list of unusual things to do in London for its quirky collections that have been educating Londoners since 2007.

The museum was originally the collection of Sir Henry Soloman Wellcome, a traveller who had a curious collection of artifacts from all over the world.

The museum has expanded to include even more nowadays, including exhibits on the human genome project and cloning technology.

Some of the weirdest items displayed are Napolean’s toothbrush, a used guillotine and carvings of pregnant women.

Display cabinet in Wellcome Collection London

70. Postal Museum

Interested in the history of mail?

Who wouldn’t be?

The Postal Museum is London’s premier museum focusing on the history of Royal Mail and mail-delivering techniques, and it only opened in 2017 to the public so is still very new and well-loved by Londoners with an interest in this part of the city’s history.

From letters discovered from a shipwreck to an exhibition featuring old London mail delivery vehicles, this is truly a fascinating way to see the way the mail services changed over time with the introduction of technology and new ways of connecting.

You can also take a ride on London’s mail rail, an underground system full of secret tunnels that was used to deliver the mail for decades.

Pentacycle in London Postal Museum with wicker baskets on front and back

71. Visit Highgate Cemetery

Travel out to Highgate Cemetery where you can see some of London’s most unusual history and tombstones that stretch back generations.

There are over 100,000 people buried here, including some notable names like Karl Marx and the family of Charles Dickens.

The cemeteries are divided into the East Cemetery and West Cemetery, and are also a defacto nature reserve.

Highgate Cemetery is a place of peace and reflection, and with the help of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery organization, it is open to visitors for tours or simply for a calm walk through this lovely area of London.

Egyptian Avenue in Highgate Cemetary in London arches covered with greenery

What else should I not miss in London?

If you’re visiting London soon, here’s a very brief rundown of a few of my other favorites to make sure you don’t miss anything!

  • Hidden London Walking Tour – this tour is the absolute best if you want to see London in a different light and uncover hidden nooks, crannies, and histories that you won’t get on your normal, run-of-the-mill London walking tour. Click here to check prices and book.
  • Historical Westminster Walking Tour with Churchill War Rooms – if you’re a history buff or even mildly interested in all of the insane things that have happened in London, particular during the wars, you have to book this tour which is an absolute bargain for the tour + entry to the Churchill War Rooms (basically two must-dos in one). Click here to check prices and book .
  • Cutest London Afternoon Tea on a Bus – want to see the sights and enjoy afternoon tea at the same time on the upper deck? Yes, absolutely you do. This afternoon tea is a real delight and helps you get out and about while also putting your pinkies up. Click here to check prices and book.

Want more helpful London guides? Check these out!

  • 45 Things to Do in London at Night
  • 53 Things to Do in London for Couples
  • 57 Quirky and Unusual Things to Do in London
  • 11 Tourist Traps to Avoid in London
  • 23 Best London Tours
  • 41 Best Things to Do in London with Kids
  • 21 Best Castles Near London
  • 15 Best London Hotels
  • 17 Best Street Food Markets in London
  • 15 Best Areas to Stay in London
  • 23 Best Afternoon Teas in London
  • 25 Best London Museums
  • 33 Free Things to Do in London
  • 21 Best London Markets
  • 21 Best London Apps
  • 23 Best Pubs in London
  • 35 Best Restaurants in London
  • 21 Harry Potter Things to Do in London
  • 35 Things to Do in London in the Rain
  • 25 Best Art Museums in London
  • 17 Famous London Filming Locations
  • 25 Best Places to Shop in London
  • 35 Best Day Trips from London
  • 31 Best Parks in London
  • 41 Most Instagrammable Places in London
  • 27 Best Views in London
  • 27 Best Birthday Ideas in London
  • 29 Best London Cinemas
  • 29 Best Things to Buy in London
  • 41 Things to Do in London Alone
  • 16 Best London AirBnbs

UK Travel Planning Guide: the FAQs

🏥 Should I buy UK travel insurance?

Absolutely yes. Basic coverage is not expensive, and as a visitor you are NOT covered under the NHS. Compare policies and prices with Travel Insurance Master here , a big name in the travel insurance business, and cross that off your list.

🔌 Do I need travel adapters for the UK?

Yes, you do, otherwise you won’t be able to plug in your electronics/phone/lifelines. I recommend this one , which is all-in-one so you can use it in other countries.

🚗 What do I need to drive in the UK?

The first thing you need to check out if you’re planning on renting a car in the UK is this guide to driving in the UK for visitors – the roads, signs, and driving experience will likely not be what you’re used to and it’s essential to prepare yourself to stay safe and aware.

🛌 What’s the best way to book hotels in the UK?

For UK hotels, Booking is the best site as it offers free cancellation on many properties. If you want an apartment, I always recommend VRBO over AirBnb.

📳 Will my phone work in the UK?

Yes – if you set it up right. Check out my guide on making your foreign phone work in the UK to ensure that you get the type of service you need.

🚿 Can I drink the water in the UK?

Yes, UK water is great and perfectly safe. But drink out of taps in any kitchen or use water fountains. Double check before drinking out of the taps in hotel bathrooms, though, as they may be on a different system. London water is safe to drink .

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Travel London

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London’s Top 10 Must-See Attractions

A panormanic view of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge and Big Ben in London, England.

London is one of the most visited cities in the world, and for good reason. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this iconic city. Here are the top 10 must-see attractions in London:

  • The British Museum – Home to an extensive collection of art and artefacts from around the world, including the famous Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies.
  • The Tower of London – A historic fortress and palace that has served as a royal residence, prison, and museum. Don’t miss the Crown Jewels exhibit!
  • The London Eye – A giant Ferris wheel that offers stunning views of the city skyline. It’s especially beautiful at sunset!
  • Buckingham Palace – The official residence of the British monarch, with its iconic Changing of the Guard ceremony.
  • Westminster Abbey – A historic church that has hosted numerous royal weddings and coronations. Be sure to see the Poets’ Corner and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You can also check out our top 20 facts about the church.
  • Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – One of London’s most iconic landmarks, the clock tower is currently undergoing renovations but is still worth a visit.
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral – An iconic church with a famous dome that has played a significant role in British history, including hosting the funerals of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.
  • The Tate Modern – A world-renowned contemporary art museum housed in a former power station on the banks of the Thames.
  • The National Gallery – Home to an impressive collection of European art, including works by Van Gogh, Botticelli, and da Vinci.
  • The Shard – The tallest building in the United Kingdom, with an observation deck offering panoramic views of the city.

These top 10 must-see attractions in London offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and cultural significance. With so much to see and do, visitors will never be bored in this bustling metropolis. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or just want to take in the sights and sounds of one of the world’s greatest cities, London has something for everyone.

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the tour guy travel blog

Top 26 Things To Do in London in 2024 – Don’t Miss Taylor Swift’s Concert!

Cecilia Rinaldi Last Updated: May 17, 2024

London calling? With over 20 million annual visitors, London is undeniably one of the coolest cities globally. Deciding what to do in this massive city can be overwhelming, but worry not! We’ve got your back with a list of the top 25 things to do in London. Our picks cater to all tastes, ensuring something exciting for everyone.

Pro Tip: Planning what to do on your trip to London? Bookmark this post in your browser so you can easily find it when you’re in the city. Check out our guide to London for more planning resources, our top London tours for a memorable trip, and how to see London in a day .

The Best Things To Do and See in London

As a local Londoner, I’ve put together a list of the coolest and quirkiest things to do while in London. From a hidden café in a crypt to a hotel that has Europe’s highest swimming pool, you’ll agree these things to do in London will make for a fun-filled day!

Not ready to book a tour? Find out if tours in London are worth it .

1. Shake It Off with Taylor Swift’s at Wembley Stadium!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Taylor_Swift_The_Eras_Tour_1989_Era_Set_53109762009-edited.jpg

If you’re lucky enough to be in London on June 21 – 23 June and August 15 -20, 2024, you can’t miss Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concert! Swift is now lighting up the European leg of her record-breaking tour, which kicked off over a year ago with sold-out arenas across North and South America, as well as Asia. Each set pays homage to one of her 11 studio albums, celebrating the different “eras” she’s created.

So, YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN and secure your spot at the London show!

Address: Wembley Stadium

2. Don’t Eat Fish and Chips

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Now, forget what you’ve heard about British cuisine being all about fish and chips wrapped in yesterday’s news—though, yes, that was a thing once upon a time! Instead, we recommend diving into the vibrant world of Indian cuisine. One standout spot is Dishoom, with seven locations spread throughout the city, each offering a taste of Mumbai’s flavors. Reservations? Not necessary! Simply walk in and let your taste buds guide you.

Planning a group outing? Dishoom reserves tables for all party sizes until 5:45 pm. For larger groups of six or more, reservations are available after 6 pm. Now, let’s talk about the food! Get ready to be amazed by dishes like the flavorful dahl (a creamy lentil dish) and juicy chicken ruby, each bite taking you to the lively streets of Mumbai.

When in London, definitely broaden your horizons and embrace the variety of other amazing foods to eat here in London .

Where to get it: Dishoom

3. Tour Buckingham Palace and St. James Park

people posing in front of buckingham palace

Got royal fever? Head to Buckingham Palace for a chance to catch a glimpse of your favorite royal family members. You can also stroll up the road and enjoy exploring St James Park along the way. This iconic park serves as the backdrop for ceremonial events, playing host to royal weddings, jubilees, military parades, and state celebrations. Don’t forget to check out the Changing of the Guard, happening regularly in June and July, and less frequently in the off-season months.

Craving the royal treatment? Then book a tour of St. James Park, the Mall, and Buckingham Palace. While you can view the palace from the outside year-round, guided tours inside are only offered in the summer, from July to September, coinciding with the royal family’s holiday. With limited public access for just a few weeks, plan ahead and reserve your coveted spot! It’s the best way to get to know the royals.

Address: Buckingham Palace

4. Visit Westminster Abbey

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Immerse yourself in royal history at Westminster Abbey, the iconic church of British monarchs’ coronations! This 750-year-old Gothic place of worship is one of the most famous attractions in London. In the Abbey, you’ll find the famous Coronation Chair—a truly iconic piece of furniture where many royals have sat, including King Charles III in May 2023 during his coronation!!

But wait, there’s more! Did you know that Westminster Abbey is the resting place for many famous monarchs, prime ministers, and writers? Inside, you’ll also find statues and plaques honoring figures like Charles Dickens, Stephen Hawking, and Winston Churchill, even if they’re buried elsewhere.

To make the most of your visit, we suggest taking a guided tour. With a guide, you won’t miss these interesting facts and can learn even more about the abbey’s history. While you can explore on your own, a guided tour offers skip-the-line access and helps you understand the significance of what you’re seeing at Westminster Abbey.

Address: Westminster Abbey

Not ready to book a tour? Check out how to visit Westminster Abbey for more info.

5. Stay at a Downtown Hotel With Epic Skyline Views

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The Ritz and Claridge’s (both in Mayfair) and the Savoy in the Strand, are London landmarks and have the grandeur and illustrious history to demand the highest prices. So if you have the extra cash to spend, be pampered like a prince, president, or rock star for a few days. At the Savoy Restaurant, you can also dine like one, as this Michelin-starred restaurant has celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay at the helm.

If you prefer a hotel experience beyond these historic institutions, try Shangri-La at the Shard. It only opened in 2014 and has incomparable views of London as it’s the capital’s tallest building. It also has a sky pool, which is Europe’s highest hotel pool with views across London that are unmatched.

Last but not least! If you’re a Spice Girls fan, you absolutely can’t miss out on visiting the St. Pancras Hotel , the iconic spot featured in their legendary “Wannabe” music video! It’s a must-see for any die-hard Spice Girls enthusiast.

6. Talk with a Beefeater at the Tower of London

men standing with beefeater

The Tower of London harbors a dark past as a prison for the UK’s political foes and enemies of the monarch, where centuries ago, many faced imprisonment and torture. One of the most famous prisoners was Guy Fawkes, a zealous Catholic who almost succeeded in blowing up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Brits commemorate Guy Fawkes Night every November 5th with bonfires and fireworks, creating a peculiar celebration that harks back to a plot against the king.

The Crown Jewels, which are the monarch’s most valuable jewels of state, are also kept here. Its official protectors, the Yeoman Warders are better known as Beefeaters. They still dress in the distinct 16th-century red uniform and are often seen holding their pikes in processions behind the royal carriage.

Also keep an eye out for the ravens that are kept on the grounds. They’re an essential part of a Tudor-era omen that if the ravens ever leave the Tower, the monarchy would be doomed. 

Pro Tip: Meet a Beefeater in a private group or reserve your spot on an early access tour when they ceremoniously open the gates!

Address: Tower of London

Not ready to book a tour? Find out if Find out if tours in London are worth it .

7. Enjoy an Afternoon Tea like a Proper Brit

top foods to try in london

My recommendation for a “cuppa” as it’s often called in the UK is a café in a very public place (the West End) but with a secretive, understated vibe. You could almost walk past Café In The Crypt because from the outside it doesn’t look anything like a café!

The cylindrical glass front is more like the entrance to a fancy public toilet. But once inside, you’ll discover there are authentic tombstones inside. They’re a unique statement piece alongside your English tea and cakes.

Address: Trafalgar Sq

8. Get the Best View of Parliament

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The Houses of Parliament are located in Westminster, the UK’s political center. Members of Parliament, legislators, and the Prime Minister gather here to debate policy and pass laws. On Wednesday or Thursday morning, you may even catch the Prime Minister arriving with his security entourage at the Cromwell Green entrance opposite Parliament Square.

Tourists often gather at a patch of green space called Parliament Square to admire the statues of political greats such as Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, and Gandhi. Campaigners and political protestors also meet here, so it can get a bit noisy and heavily policed on occasion.

If you’re looking for quieter green, try Victoria Tower Gardens, a nearby park where you’ll also find a landmark bronze statue called the Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin. Find out more about how to visit the UK Parliament .

Address: Houses of Parliament

9. Visit Windsor Castle

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Windsor Castle is an epic site just over 1 hour from London, which makes it great for a day trip. The town feels like a medieval village (as it should) and is centered around the castle and shopping area with tons of restaurants.

Visiting the home of this historic family is something you won’t forget. We walked into one of the largest halls I have ever been in only to find out it was where Megan and Harry had their wedding reception. Walking on the same floors as the Queen of England—now that’s a royal memory! We recommend our Windsor Castle, Bath, and Stonehenge tour —an ideal way to explore three iconic destinations in one seamless journey.

Address: Windsor Castle

Not ready to book a tour? Check out how to visit Windsor Castle for more info.

10. Experience the Magic of Stonehenge at Sunset

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

For a break from the city hustle and a taste of the English countryside, embark on a two-hour journey west of London to explore the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stonehenge. This megalithic structure was built and added to over the course of a thousand years between 3,000 and 2,000 B.C. at the beginning of the Bronze Age. You could describe it as a pile of rocks—which it is—or as a glimpse of our ancient human origins.

It is also larger than life and inspiring to witness in person. The stones were dragged from Wales down to the south of England to create this impressive structure. They are definitely not just piled on top of one another. When you visit, you’ll notice there is an impressive system of joints that hold them together. You can read about it in our article on the history of Stonehenge and join one of our day trips from London to Stonehenge and Windsor Castle.

Address: Salisbury

Not ready to book a tour? Check out how to visit Stonehenge for more info.

11. Dive into Roman History in Bath!

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Visiting Bath feels like stepping into a Jane Austen novel infused with Roman history and modern luxury. Plus, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Experience the ancient Roman Baths, stroll the elegant Georgian streets, and treat yourself at the Thermae Bath Spa .

Don’t miss shopping at charming stores or savoring local cuisine. Bath offers history, culture, and relaxation for a perfect getaway. For dining, Clayton’s Kitchen in a Georgian townhouse offers delightful seasonal British fare and drinks.

Address: Bath

12. Get Wizardy at Harry Potter Studios

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

For movie lovers and Potterheads, the Warner Bros. film studio in London is a must-visit. It preserves many iconic Harry Potter sets, giving you a real connection to the magic of the movies. You can walk through the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley, and the Great Hall. Don’t forget to swing by Platform 9 ¾ and hop on the actual Hogwarts Express from the movie!

And no visit would be complete without checking out the movie magic of the special effects department and other behind-the-scenes attractions. The studios are in Leavesden, Watford, 20 miles outside London, and tour tickets start from £47.

The most convenient option is to book a guided tour of popular Harry Potter stops plus the Warner Brothers studios! It’s a great deal that will really bring to life your favorite movie and remove the hassle of getting around the city and out to the studios yourself. 

Address: Warner Drive, Leavesden

13. The London Eye

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

It might surprise you that the London Eye is our top thing to do in London. When it first opened, the London Eye received harsh criticism from many who questioned its purpose, and they were all proven wrong. It has now become the symbol of London and recognized worldwide!

It’s situated along Westminster Road which is a vibrant area full of attractions that light up at night. The dazzling lights on the wheel stand out most amongst these. Soaring to dizzying heights, you can enjoy panoramic views of landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben as you hover over the River Thames.

You’ll need to book your tickets ahead of time as they can sell out, especially in the summer months. Ticket prices start at £32.50, and they also offer multiple ticket packages to see several attractions in London.

Address: Riverside Building, County Hall

14. Spend Time at the Big Ben

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

In the heart of Westminster, London, the legendary clock tower known as Big Ben has quite the tale to tell. Initially named St. Stephen’s Tower, it embraced a royal makeover in 2012 as the Elizabeth Tower, celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee. While technically “Big Ben” refers to the bell, it’s commonly used to describe the entire clock tower situated at the northern end of the Houses of Parliament.

Great news for travelers: Big Ben is back in action! After a six-year restoration, it reopened to the public in 2023. Now, you can step inside, immerse yourself in history, and experience the timeless charm of this iconic clock tower.

Address: Big Ben

15. See the Famous Churchill’s War Rooms

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

It is at this site on King Charles Street where Winston Churchill, Britain’s greatest Prime Minister, led the allied response against Hitler. Here, you can explore the secret underground halls and corridors of the famous War Rooms. Also, there’s a Churchill Museum where you can learn little-known facts about his remarkable leadership.

There’s even a BBC Broadcast Room where the speeches from the War Room were broadcast to the nation. Churchill was known for his stirring speeches, which raised the nation’s spirits during the war. If WWII history is your thing, then stopping at the Churchill War Rooms should be at the top of your things to do in London list.

Address: Clive Steps, King Charles St

Not ready to book a tour? Check out how to visit the Churchill War Rooms for more info.

16. Travel through Time at the British Museum

the tour guy virtual tours

The British Museum is undoubtedly a must-see in London and a personal favorite! As the UK’s premier museum attraction over the years, it effortlessly secures a spot on our list of top things to do in the city. Once inside, you’ll be able to immerse yourself into the heart of ancient civilizations with iconic treasures like the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, and fascinating Egyptian mummies.

We also recommend a visit the collections in the Enlightenment Room, which is full of quaint English curiosities and inventions from the Victorian age when England led the scientific enlightenment. Check out our article on how to visit the British Museum .

Address: Great Russell St

17. Take in the London Skyline from The Shard

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

This is the UK’s tallest building, offering breathtaking views of the capital from its upper floors. This glass pyramid was designed by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano. Head up to the 72nd floor, the crown jewel and the highest open-air viewing platform for the ultimate experience. There are also restaurants and bars to enjoy the cityscape in a more chilled-out mode.

Address: 32 London Bridge St

18. Find Vintage Cars at the London Transport Museum

red double decker bus in museum

A step back into vintage British transportation a super fun thing to do in London. The red double-decker buses are almost synonymous with the streets of London, so why not explore a museum that has over a century of vintage vehicles?

It’s a great place for families, adults, and especially those who love trains and vintage cars. You’ll learn how the advancements in electricity revolutionized public transportation in an ancient city like London. They even have tours of hidden London where you can explore the Underground too! Check their website for current events and tours in case you want to do more than explore the museum.

Address: The Piazza, London

19. See London from the Thames

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The River Thames runs through London and offers a whole new perspective on the city, which is why seeing it from a boat is highly recommended. Granted, the cool London air can get a bit chilly in some months, so bring a jacket if you’re here in the off-season. We recommend taking a speedboat tour of the Thames and the unique areas along the river.

You’ll enjoy speeding on the river with several stops where the driver will explain what you’re seeing, the importance of the areas in old and new London, and fun stories about the history. It’s another experience you won’t soon forget!

20. Listen to Music at St. Paul’s Cathedral

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

St. Paul’s Cathedral, a London icon, has a rich history spanning centuries. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of 1666, it’s a marvel of Baroque architecture. From royal events to surviving World War II bombings, this cathedral has seen it all. Did you know that Sir Christopher Wren and even Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married here? Make sure to take a look at their concert schedule! Every Sunday, enjoy captivating organ recitals that showcase the stunning Grand Organ’s power and beauty.

Tickets can be purchased for a sightseeing tour of the ornate crypt, galleries, and dome. The Whispering Gallery is famous for carrying voices around the walls in a spooky way!

Address: St. Paul’s Churchyard

21. Spend an Evening in Soho and Chinatown

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

For a lively evening around locals and tourists, head over to the Soho area, which is near Piccadilly. The closest metros are Leicester Square (pronounced Lester!) and Piccadilly. You’ll find lots of things to do here from dropping a few pounds (money, that is) at the famous Hippodrome Casino, seeing a show at the Piccadilly Theater, finding tasty food in Chinatown on Gerrard Street, or shopping at some high-end stores. Try Pho & Bun if you’re into Vietnamese food.

Address: Soho, London

21. Take Pictures on Tower Bridge

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

The area near Tower Bridge and city hall where the mayor of London is based is dotted with eateries and filled with joggers and visitors. From the Tower of London side, you can usually walk up the steps and onto the bridge for free. Otherwise, you can pay to enter the inner bridge itself and enjoy views from its glass walkway. Other areas to explore include the engine rooms just under the bridge where the history of its Victorian-era engineers and workers is documented.  If you find yourself near the Tower Bridge area, don’t miss the chance to visit St. Katharine Docks Marina , the only marina in central London! It’s just a 5-minute walk from the Tower of London and is a hidden gem worth exploring. While you’re there, why not stop by The Dickens Inn, arguably the most popular pub along the River Thames? Fun fact: The Dickens Inn was opened by Cedric Charles Dickens, the grandson of the renowned author Charles Dickens.

Address: Tower Bridge Rd

23. Find the London’s Oldest Bookshop at Piccadilly Circus

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

Piccadilly has retained its reputation as a classy district since the 17th century. Back then, it was named after the fancy lace collars called piccadills that were sold there. Some of the shops on the adjoining stretch of road called Piccadilly still have Georgian-era fronts including Hatchards, which is London’s oldest bookshop, established in 1797.

My recommendation is to start your day on the steps around the statue of Eros, as it is commonly known. It’s a popular gathering place for tourists and street performers. From there, most of your options are within eyesight, including the Piccadilly Lights and the West End’s Theatreland.

Keep in mind, Piccadilly Circus can get pretty crowded – London’s equivalent to New York’s Times Square – so brace yourself for the lively atmosphere!

Address: Piccadilly Circus

24. Order a Drink in the Cellar Bar Under Leadenhall Market

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

We celebrated the 700th anniversary of Leadenhall Market in 2021. The market site dates back to Roman times but the current market was built there in the 14th century. So it’s one of London’s oldest!

The Victorian architecture and stunning arches are so incredible that scenes from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were filmed here. It’s another site that’s rumored to have inspired the look of the movie’s Diagon Alley. It’s a special to grab a bite or a drink before shopping at the many boutiques, jewelers, and bookshops.

Pro Tip: After you’ve explored this historic area, head to Old Tom’s Bar under Leadenhall Market for a super cool place to order beer and a tasty pork pie.

Address: Gracechurch St | Old Tom’s Bar

25. Stroll Through Hyde Park

bridge with pond and fence in hyde park

This is the largest and most famous of the Royal Parks and a favorite amongst joggers. It truly comes to life in the summer when tourists gather at Serpentine Lake to hire boats or soak up the the seldom-seen English sun.

You can also visit the Diana Memorial Fountain if you’re a fan of the iconic princess (I mean, who isn’t?). In the summer, hippy drummers gather in the park, and more people join in as the beats fill the air, attracting spontaneous dancers. It’s all about those Woodstock vibes!

Address: Hyde Park

26. Walk the Queen’s Walk

top 10 places in london you must visit 2023

You’ll have plenty of main attraction photo spots along this stretch of river from Lambeth Bridge to Tower Bridge. Along the Lambeth Pier section, there are great views of the Houses of Parliament and a number of places to stop off for food and drink, including our favorite Riverside Café .

Just after Westminster Bridge, you’ll also pass the London Eye and London Aquarium. It’s quite a walk, with attractions such as the BFI Southbank and the National Theatre along the way. Admire South Bank’s unique brutalist architecture without missing a stride.

Address: Queen’s Walk

See London In A Day

Headed to London and want to see all the top sights? Be sure to check out our London in a Day tour. It includes a guided tour of Westminster Abbey, an exclusive view of the changing of the guard ceremony, a Thames river cruise, and a guided tour of the Tower of London. If you have more time to enjoy the city and its surroundings, see our other top-rated London tours.

Not ready to book a tour? Check out our  London Guide for more resources.

Find the best places to stay

Where To Stay in London

There are tons of hotels in London close to every major attraction. Whether you want to stay near Buckingham Palace or in a more local area, check out our favorite hotels in London!

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Trending Post : Halal Fine Dining In London

The London Local

The London Local

The Insider's Guide To Visiting London

20+ Crazy Fun Things to Do in London in 2023 (Curious, Quirky & Cool!)

I know there are many people who talk about fun things to do in London . Yet, my goal today is not to talk about famous London attractions . I’ve written quite a few articles about the best things to do in Central London already. For instance, I’ve written about the best free things to do in London when you’re absolutely broke. I also focus a lot on things to do in London by area on The London Local, including Bethnal Green , Brick L a ne , Shoreditch , or even lately Hampstead Heath . In this article, I’m going to be focusing on cool things to do in London in 2023. 

That includes some exhibitions , some absolutely tremendous cemeteries, and some very fashionable museums and art collections. Of course, I know you are looking for the best things to do in London at night and cheap activities . I mean, we are not all very rich when we live in London – far from it.

20+ Crazy Fun Things to Do in London in 2023 (Curious, Quirky & Cool!)

Fun things to do in London

When I talk about cool things to do in London, I have a very specific idea of what cool, quirky, and curious mean.  It is not enough to look for the best free things to do in London if you’re going to be finding yourself at the Tate Modern and the usual walk around Covent Garden and Regent Street up to Oxford Circus. There’s so much more that I want to share with you, even amazing things to do in London tomorrow, during the weekend, or at night. Before we get started, you might like to take a look at these guides I’ve written for you to find them the top things to do in London:

  • the best things to do in London for free (when you’re broke af),
  •  and the best cheap things to do in London alone

If you’re just feeling like shopping a different way, how about discovering the best Japanese shops in London ? I’ve broken them down for you so you can find the coolest Japanese stationery, makeup brands, snacks, and much more!

City Exploration Games by CityDays

The secret City

The ultimate London experience for urban adventurers If you’re looking for an immersive day out in London full of fun challenges, then a CityDays exploration game could be just the thing! Not only do you get to explore some of London’s hidden secrets and historic landmarks whilst solving an array of riddles and clues, you also get to stop in top-rated cafes, pubs and bars along the way (some of which will give you a discount if you let them know that you’re on a CityDays hunt!). CityDays have 8 different treasure and scavenger hunts to choose from – The City, Greenwich Guile, A Forbidden Fayre, Secrets of the Squares, Mysterious Mews, A Rift In Time, All Gone South and Shoreditch Shuffle.

The Secret City offers 8 different treasure and scavenger hunts to choose from – The City, Greenwich Guile, A Forbidden Fayre, Secrets of the Squares, Mysterious Mews, A Rift In Time, All Gone South and Shoreditch Shuffle.

CityDays – Mystery Walks of London

Location: Various starting locations depending on which experience you book Price: From £15 per person

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🐣 Visiting London for Easter?

Check out our guide for the best things to do in London this Easter ! Including Easter Egg hunts for the kids, tasty themed afternoon teas and classic London Easter traditions .

Have a Harry Potter Themed Afternoon Tea

Interactive afternoon tea for two at wands and wizards exploratorium.

harry potter afternoon tea

Indulge in a magical and interactive afternoon tea at the Wizard Exploratorium in Soho. You’ll be invited to select a magic wand and then lead to an interactive work station where you’ll brew your teas. The magic wand also controls your afternoon tea stand which is filled with a carefully curated selection of delicious sandwiches, desserts and a traditional English scone for each ‘wizard’.

The main Wizards afternoon tea is aimed at adults and older children from ages 12+. If you are looking to take younger children, you can book in for a Little Wizards Afternoon Tea designed for ages 5-11. University students can get a 20% discount on specific dates and times.

Arcane Afternoon Tea for Two – Wands and Wizard Exploratorium

Location: 26 Greek Street, London, W1D 5DE View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Leicester Square Price: £42 per adult (ages 12+), £32 per child (ages 5-11), £33.60 University Students

DISCOUNT CODE – 10% OFF Potion Making Experience

Use code Magical_Potions to get 10% off all Potion Making experiences booked in March 2023 *End Date: 31st March 2023*

Birdies Battersea

Best things to do in London cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night Birdies Grazy Golf Battersea

If you are looking for really fun things to do in London, I think you should take a look at Battersea. I feel like this is one of the most underrated areas of London, and under the tunnel, at Battersea Power Station, you can find Birdies.  This is a totally undescribable mini-golf course focused on the most unforgettable features that a golf course in London could have.

I’m talking great menu for food, I’m talking 9 holes, I’m talking super instagrammable golf course.  I’ve never been that much of a golf lover, to be honest. That is not one of the things in London I would choose to do when with friends. However, Birdies is so instagrammable, so actually absurd… I still recommend it to you as one of the fun things to do in London this weekend, or during the week . If you want to eat great street food in London far from the famous London attractions and landmarks,  Birdies in Battersea will definitely make for a good time.

Location: 6 Arches Lane, Nine Elms, SW11 8AB View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Battersea Power Station Price: Adult Peak £12 | Adult Off Peak £8 | Children £6

Fun Things to do in London: Monopoly Lifesized

Best things to do in London cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night Monopoly lifesized london

I spotted the Monopoly Lifesized game while walking from Fitzrovia to Tottenham Court Road one day. This is not one of the cheap things to do in London, far from it, actually. However, when you get the chance to play Monopoly in real life, can you really look at the price?  You could definitely spend a day in London shopping in one of the cheap shopping centers , for instance, or going to one of the amazing art galleries. You could go to one of the famous London parks and visit instagrammable bridges like Albert Bridge or Tower Bridge.  But then, if you really want to have some good fun, Monopoly Lifesized is your immersive destination.

If you’ve played Monopoly before, you already know what the deal is. You’re going to play on your feet, buying properties, solving mysteries, and competing against the clock. In 80 minutes, you need to have won the game. There are 4 life-sized boards to choose from and they will cost you from £49 per adult and from £25 for a junior. Forget about the usual London sightseeing because Monopoly Lifesized is one of your ultimate top things to do in London this weekend. 

Monopoly Lifesized

Location: 213-215 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7PS View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Goodge Street Price: From £49 per person

Fun Things to do in London: Visit Roller Nation

Best things to do in London cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night Roller Nation Roller Disco

The reason why I don’t like golf that much is the same reason I don’t really like roller skating.  It’s not that much of a matter of not liking , it’s more that I suck at roller skating. However, Roller Nation, a roller-skating nightclub in Tottenham , is one of the best things to do in London in 2023. It goes beyond any fun you could have in the city if you just don’t mind going all the way to Tottenham.

This is one of the most amazing venues for cheap date ideas in London, for instance . To be fair, when you can have that much fun, you don’t really mind spending a few more stations on the tube. You can either meet with friends there, plan a hen party, or just go solo, you know.  If you’re looking for the best things to do in London at night , for sure, Roller Nation is one of them. Basically, it is described as a nightclub on skates. Yet, I’d like to highlight the fact that if you’re looking for the best street food in London , Roller Nation is it .

Roller Nation

Location: 117 Bruce Grove, N17 6UR View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Bruce Grove Price: From £10 per person

Otherworld: Virtual Reality in London

Best things to do in London in cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night Otherworld Virtual Reality London

Otherworld is one of the other amazing things to do in London this weekend, during the week, or in the evening. It was mentioned in many famous publications, such as BBC, The Times, The Evening Standard, or even Vogue.  We don’t often talk about cool things to do in East London other than going out in Hackney or going to dinner in one of the best halal restaurants in East London, for instance. But I’ve always been an East London girl, even when I was living in Seven Sisters, up north.

Otherworld is one of the London attractions that focuses on virtual reality . I think I speak for many of us when I say that when we’re looking for fun things to do in London, we’re looking for something that’s gonna knock us off our feet . The London crowd is a demanding one, and that’s definitely the place where you can have an otherworldly experience. You can go on your own or with friends, turn yourselves into avatars, and just ride the wave of the adventure stream in London. I’m talking immersion, I’m talking virtual, and extreme relaxation and fun in the midst of the city.

Location: 336 Acton Mews, E8 4EA View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Haggerston Price: From £14

God’s Own Junkyard

Best things to do in London cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night gods own junkyard walthamstow 2

I remember the first time I ever visited God’s Own Junkyard near Walthamstow. This full neon gallery and shop is one of the best free London attractions . I was a make-up artist when I first visited it, and just so you know, you cannot take a professional camera or a reflex when you go visit God’s Own Junkyard. Only phone pictures are allowed. We’re not talking about the best free things to do in Central London as Walthamstow is located far East. However, if you don’t go, you’re going to regret it big time. Especially since it’s free, folks. God’s Own Junkyard is full of neon signs, movie props, controversial objects, and amazing neon lights. Basically, Chris Bracey, God’s Own Junkyard’s owner has been creating art for the likes of David Lachapelle and Martin Creed for almost 40 years. The place is absolutely one of the most aesthetic places in London. There’s even a small independent coffee shop inside, where the cakes are decadent.

Location: Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St, London E17 9HQ View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Wood Street Price: FREE ENTRY!

Luna Cinema: Outdoor Cinema in London

Best things to do in London cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night luna cinema outdoor london

Luna Cinema is a company that provides an amazing open-air cinema experience in London. They focus on drive-in and open-air cinema , which means you can even watch a movie outdoors in London. Without a doubt, it’s one of the top things to do in London at night with you r other half or with friends after work. It’s not only a company that works in London since Luna Cinema is a moving attraction across the UK. At the moment, of course, since it’s cold, the Luna Cinema is closed. However, you can still follow them on social media or see straight on their website when they’re going to reopen and what kind of movies are going to be screened.  These are mostly classic movies showing in this open air cinema in London , including Dirty dancing and the likes of Pretty Woman. Not only will you pay £15 for a great classic movie but the setting is bound to be exceptional , like the Geffrye Museum and Kensington Gardens. The Luna Cinema tops all London attractions when you want to create memories with your best friends or with the city of London herself .

Location: Various locations across London Nearest Station: Various locations across London Price: Prices start from £19.50 per person

Swingers Crazy Golf – Fun things to do in Londons West End

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night swingers crazy golf

If you’re looking for unique date ideas in London, I would suggest passing by the Swingers Crazy Golf. Basically, each game lasts about 30 minutes and this is one of the most instagrammable places in London . Also, if you are a sucker for the best street food in London, you will find Patty & Bun, Pizza Pilgrims, and Crosstown Doughnuts at Swingers Crazy Golf.  That’s a true London experience, given how quirky it is and how blown off you’re going to be when you spend time there. It is true that London has always been an aesthetic place, with its skyscrapers and mix of the old and the new. But now, it seems that most of the cool things to do in London are based on Instagram . I would say that spending date night at the Swingers Crazy Golf (which has since then moved away from its Shoreditch warehouse) is one of the most fun things to do in London. Not only are you going to spend an amazing evening, but you’re going to eat well and you’re going to go to sleep with amazing memories.  Much like any of the best London attractions, right?  So if you’ve never gone mini-golfing before, that’s a place you should visit.

Swingers Crazy Golf

Location: 15 John Prince’s Street, W1G 0AB Nearest Station: Oxford Circus Price: £13.50 per person

Fun Things to do in London: Upside Down House

Best things to do in London cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night upside down house westfield

If you’re looking for amazing things to do in London, then one of the best activities I can recommend this year is visiting the Upside Down House at Westfield White City. The Upside Down house arrived in London last year, and it’s the exact replica of a home flipped upside down. There are already Upside Down houses in other United Kingdom cities like Manchester, Bristol, and another city I adore – Brighton. Aside from very overrated famous London attractions, it’s great to know that you can live street art and entertainment another way in the city. I don’t know if you are familiar with Westfield White City: it’s one of the most famous shopping centers in London. There, you can find great brands like Inglot, M&S, and even high-end brands to shop for clothes, perfume, makeup, electronics, and much, much more. 

It seems that more and more activities and installations in London are made for Instagram. To be honest, the Upside Down House is one of the most instagrammable places in London . It is not one of the free things to do in London as the ticket costs £5 per person, while kids under 3 go for free.  However, it is indeed one of the cheap things to do in London at the moment. If you pay attention to your Instagram feed, that’s one of the aesthetic places in London you are going to want to regram . For sure, you’re going to capture some crazy good pictures at the Upside Down House. It makes for an amazing cheap date idea in London whether you’re a student, a freelancer, or a couple.

Upside Down House – Westfield

Location: Westfield Square, Ariel Way, W12 7GF View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Wood Lane Price: £5 per person

Go to a Pancake Art Cafe – Fun things to do in London with the Kids

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night pancake art cafe london camden

The first time I came across the Pancake Art Cafe was actually last year. I know that when I talk to you about it, and if you have children or a child, you’re going to want to visit straight away. If you’re ever around Camden ( which, if you like aesthetic places in London, you’re bound to be ),  the Pancake Art Cafe is one of the independent coffee shops in London you’ll want to spend an afternoon at. No one is telling you to actually make pancake art if you don’t want to. But you can definitely get one of the best hot chocolates in London in this cafe. However, I have come to put more value in things I do by myself rather than things prepared by other people for me. If you’re like me, creating your own colorful pancake is something you’re gonna love to do . A few days ago, I wrote about the best instagrammable cafes in London to get your pink latte fix. Although that’s not a coffee shop where you can get a pink latte , you can definitely get an aesthetic matcha latte at the Pancake Art Cafe. That makes for one of the best date ideas in London, and one of the best things to do in London tomorrow, during the week, or this weekend. I would recommend you to go see the Camden street art, go shopping at the best charity shops , and finish the afternoon with a break at the Pancake Art Cafe . For sure, you’re going to go back home with great memories.

Pancake Art Café – Camden

Location: 3 Water Lane Arch, NW1 8NZ7 View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Camden Road Price: £25.00 per person

Go on a London rooftop

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night free London Rooftop garden fen court

One of the best things to do in London will always be to go on a rooftop. There are quite a few rooftops that I’ve talked about. From some of them, you can see the view and from others, you will just enjoy the presence of the city in the background as you’re having drinks and eating the best street food in London . It’s not all about sightseeing when I talk about the best things to do in London, actually. It’s about being able to share evenings with friends, and family experiences with the best backgrounds in the city. When I’m talking rooftops in London, I can give you a few examples that will leave you dumbfounded, including:

  • The famous Sky Garden in the Walkie-Talkie building
  • The Greenwich Observatory
  • The top of the Tate Modern 
  • The Fen Court Rooftop at Monument (pictured above)
  • The rooftop garden at New Change

I will dedicate a full article to London rooftops and you best believe that is one of the best free things to do in London . The best part is you don’t even need to pay for most of them, whether it’s a garden or one of the skyscrapers in London. 

Fun Things to do in London: Harbour Quay Gardens

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night harbour quay gardens canary wharf

I know that when we live in the city, one of the things that we miss the most is the fact that there are not that many beaches in London . There are water points, there are lakes – artificial and natural, there are natural reserves… but I often miss the feeling of a real beach in London.  Well, I’m here today to tell you about Harbour Quay Gardens. Located in Wood Wharf, Harbour Quay Gardens is a long boardwalk built along the water. When it’s spring and summer, taking a walk in this very clean piece of quiet is one of the best free things in London you can do with your other half or with your family.  I actually feel very inspired whenever I am near the water, and I cannot recommend enough ditching the famous London attractions for an afternoon at Harbour Quay Gardens . You can even have a picnic there, read the book or just chill while other people are passing by. There is also fitness equipment right on the Harbour Quay Gardens, and many people come to train here when it gets all sunny and warm. 

Harbour Quay Gardens – Canary Wharf

Location: Harbour Quay, E14 9ZX View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Canary Wharf

Go to the decadent Wallace Museum

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night Wallace Museum Wallace Collection Gallery

If you’re looking for the best free things to do in London and you’re getting kind of tired of all the famous museums , I would recommend visiting the Wallace Museum. The Wallace Collection was built between the 18th and 19th centuries and it is all about fine arts, fine furniture, armor and arms, and everything paintings and sculpture dating back to those centuries. This is even one of the cool things to do in London tomorrow if you have a day off . It used to be a private collection owned by the marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, and it was transferred to the British nation in 1897.  There are countless exhibitions and events held at the Wallace Museum, and to be fair, it might very well be one of the most instagrammable museums in London . If you like aesthetic places and are keen on being brought back in time, this all golden and burgundy gallery is one of the too underrated London attractions.

Wallace Museum London Art Gallery

Location: Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Bond Street Price: FREE ENTRY!

Visit The Chocolate Factory

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night chocolate factory london 1

It always gets better in the city when it comes to cool things to do in London. Next up on my list is visiting the Chocolate Factory in Westfield . I bet you didn’t even know there was a Chocolate Factory in London, right? It is definitely one of the best London attractions in 2023, and it is to tally built on Instagram fame. You can go with friends, solo, or with your family and visit various rooms that revolve around sweetness, cakes, and lollipops all blended together. What is super cool is that the Chocolate Factory is one of the London attractions that run challenges and competitions on their social media and allows you to win various prizes. If you’re looking for fun things to do in London this weekend and you don’t want to go sightseeing, spend an hour at this wonderland.  Rooms there are called Chocolate Town, Lollipop Forest, or the likes of Cupcake Room.   Everything around you is built for you to take amazing selfies. If you were planning in going to Westfield Shepherd’s Bush this weekend or tomorrow, why not book a ticket for the Chocolate Factory as well?  Not only will you be able to experience one of the best cheap things to do in London, but you will also be able to eat sweets and chocolate in this ethereal space . It might very well be one of the best things to do with kids in London in 2023 and I would recommend not to miss the opportunity. It’s fun, family-friendly, and everything you’d expect from the city’s curiosity.

The Chocolate Factory

Location: 1st Floor Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GF View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Wood Lane

Visit the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night harry potter photographic

For some reason, the top things to do in central London often seem to revolve around Covent Garden . Many times I have walked around the area and found amazing independent coffee shops, bakeries, and even skincare brands that I really love like The Ordinary. Covent Garden is also home to some of the best stationery shops in London like Kikki K.  Just a few minutes’ walk from Covent Garden, on Wellington Street, is one of your best things to do in London this weekend, namely t he Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition .  Although I am a die-hard Potterhead and a Ravenclaw at that, I too have gotten a bit tired of Harry Potter. Above all of the messy fame that the Harry Potter franchise has garnered over the last years, starting with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition is somewhat a different type of London attraction. If you would like to learn Harry Potter film facts, that’s a journey you’re going to want to take.  It’s not going to be one of the cheap things to do in London, since a ticket for an adult retails for £20 online. However, you’re going to be able to ride a broom, go home with a Harry Potter-style ID, and even go to a Butterbeer Bar.  I have been to the Harry Potter Warner Bros studios in Leavesden more than once, and I have always enjoyed the experience very much. This might very well be your chance to live the Harry Potter craze one more time without having to go all the way to the studios – straight in the heart of London.

Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition at The London Film Museum

Location: London Film Museum, 45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7BN View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Covent Garden Price: £20 Adult, £14 Child (discounts available on family tickets)

Go full-on kid at Ballie Ballerson in Shoreditch

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night ballie ballerson shoreditch

If you are into fun things to do in London such as a crazy golf background or neon exhibitions,  then you will love Ballie Ballerson in Shoreditch.  This is a London experience that is totally built on quirkiness and reflects the colorful area of Shoreditch . Ballie Ballerson is about colorful ball pits like the ones we used to jump in when we were kids. The goal is to give adults amazing things to do in London at night, and what’s better than jumping around in a colorful ball pool without the fear to be judged ? No one’s telling you that you can’t go London sightseeing during the day but during the night, you can get amazing street food at Ballie Ballerson and enjoy a colorful venue. Plus, if you are an Instagram freak and love finding aesthetic places in London, Ballie Ballerson provides the energy you need to go through the night with your friends or your partner.   That’s definitely one of the best cheap date ideas in London since a ticket is £7.50. I’ve written about the best coffee shops in Shoreditch to work, relax, or study a few days ago. I would totally recommend spending the day working or cramming your exams in one of these London cafes, especially Powerhouse Coffee on Curtain Road since Ballie Ballerson is located on the same street. One of the best fun things to do in London tomorrow, or this weekend.

Ballie Ballerson – Shoreditch

Location: 97-113 Curtain Road, EC2A 3BS View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Shoreditch High Street Price: From £4 per person

Fun Things to do in London: Go to a rooftop park

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night london rooftops crossrail place roof garden

Among the best things to do in London, I don’t know how I could leave out spending time at a rooftop in London. There are many more than you could ever imagine. Actually, London rooftops will be the topic of an upcoming guide on The London Local. Can you imagine that a lot of them are actually free London attractions?  One of the best-known rooftops in London is – of course – Skygarden. Located at the top of the Walkie Talkie building, it garners immense popularity because of its free access. Yet, another one of the great rooftops in London is the Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf.  Canary Wharf has always been one of my favorite areas in London. To think that you can spend time at this free rooftop garden is breathtaking. Not only is the pathway there decorated with greenery and plants from all around the world, but it’s also quiet . Plus, it’s a very romantic place if you’re looking for cheap date ideas in London. The Crossrail Place Roof Garden is located at the top of the Canary Wharf shopping center. This one I already mentioned in my guide about the best places for cheap shopping in London . If you want to know where to go shopping on the cheap in London, that’s one of the spots.  This roof garden might be one of the most instagrammable places in London. There are lots of hidden pathways and corners in the Crossrail Place roof garden. Opening times? It’s open every day until 9 pm (until sunset during the summer). The plus? If you’re looking for fun things to do in London, lots of events and shows take place at the Crossrail Place roof garden all year round . One of the best secret London attractions. 

Go to an instagrammable cafe in London

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night instagrammable cafe london saint aymes

You guys have really enjoyed my guide to the most instagrammable cafes in London for your pink latte fix. I mean, who doesn’t love colorful latte? Soon enough, I’ll write about the most instagrammable cafes in London. We’re talking pink cafes like El&n Cafe, flowers everywhere like Saints Aymes…  For me, a freelance writer , spending time at one of the best cafes in London to work and study is one of the best things to do in London. It’s not free, but when you go to an instagrammable cafe, you’re actually very happy to pay the price. Because they’re picture-perfect, the prices usually follow.  However, as in many parts of London, a latte shouldn’t cost more than £4 or £5. Which is expensive but still worth it. And balanced when you compare those cafes to non-IG-friendly cafes in Central London . So, you know. If you’re looking for the best things to do in London, I would recommend one of those instagrammable cafes. El&n Cafe probably being the first.

Saint Aymes – Instagrammable cafe

Location: 59 Connaught St, St George’s Fields, W2 2BB View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Marble Arch

Visit the cemetery parks in London

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night tower hamlets cemetery park

Back when I used to live in Mile End, I was literally 5 minutes away from the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. In France, we have a very different cemetery culture than the United Kingdom has. For instance, we wouldn’t consider mixing the words cemetery and park . It’s just not a thing. Except maybe for the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris where lots of famous people are buried.  Well, I’ve found that one of the best free things to do in London is to visit the cemetery parks. To be fair, it makes for a nice walk and a quiet moment, although I wouldn’t recommend it in a list of cheap date ideas in London. Just a bit creepy, innit?  The Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park is one of the “Magnificent Seven” cemeteries in London. It’s completely free to access, huge, beautiful, and there are even some colorful benches there. I’d say the best thing to do is to spot the names and dates on the tombs. Since it’s a cemetery park, the fauna and flora remain untouched. They’re pure and green, with great trees towering over the tombs and the occasional ray of sunlight breaking through. Absolutely worthy of any plan for your day of London sightseeing, if you’re looking for free things to do in London.   In case you’re wondering, the other cemetery parks in London are:

  • Nunhead Cemetery
  • Brompton Cemetery
  • Abney Park Cemetery
  • Kensal Green Cemetery
  • West Norwood Cemetery
  • And the very famous Highgate Cemetery

All these cemetery parks in London look a bit alike, but actually – no, they don’t . They all feature that beautiful nature in London, that’s for sure. However, they all have their own personality. Some look more like city cemeteries, while others are true natural attractions in London. 

Do a tour of fun statues in London

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night famous statues in london leicester square mr bean

I love finding new fun statues in London. That’s one of the coolest free things to do in London, no doubt about it. When I talk about the most famous statues in London, of course, I’d include memorial statues and sculptures. But unless you’re a history freak , that’s not the kind of London attraction I want to recommend.  I’m talking about fun statues in London that represent movie or cartoon characters, for instance . So that would be Leicester Square statues, implemented a few years ago in one of the most famous areas of London. Just a stone’s throw away from Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden, you can find statues of famous people and characters, including:

  • A Mary Poppins statue
  • A Harry Potter statue
  • A Mr. Bean statue
  • A Batman statue
  • A Paddington bear statue, 
  • And a Charlie Chaplin statue, among others.

If you’re looking for the best things to do in London at night, that’s one of them. At night, the Leicester Square statues get all lit up . That makes them very unusual and quirky characters to have in your Instagram feed, for instance. And that’s definitely one of the fun things to do in London with kids too.  If you’re with kids, you might love Holland Park (inside which is nestled the famous secret Kyoto Garden ). There, you’ll find several statues and sculptures. That includes a giant wrinkled yellow apple , a sculpture of a walking man, and a giant chessboard built right on the ground. How’s that for London sightseeing?

See the London views from secret places

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night wapping ratcliff beach london view

I know that when you look for London attractions, one thing you’re expecting to see is the beautiful London views. There are quite a few places in London where you can spot amazing views. I’d start with the famous Primrose Hill sunset , for instance. You can also spot the amazing view at Hampstead Heath , still in the London parks register. If you’d like to spot the London views closer to the center, these are some places I can recommend:

  • At the top of the Garden Museum
  • The Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf
  • The Madison Bar
  • Ratcliff Beach in Bermondsey

Those are all great spots to see the London views. FYI, Ratcliff Beach in Bermondsey is not really a beach, but it does provide amazing views of Canary Wharf. Going to this secret beach in London is one of the best things to do in the summer. It doesn’t matter that the actual “beach” isn’t that pretty – nor sandy. But this place, like the whole Bermondsey, Wapping, and Limehouse seashores is amazing. Especially when you can spot the London skyline under the burning sunset sky. 

Visit an ethnic market – Brixton Market

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night Brixton Market Brixton Village London

There’s nothing I like doing more than learning about other cultures. One of the cool things to do in London, since it’s such a melting pot , is to learn and taste other cultures. I mean, what is the best way to discover a new mindset, other than through food?  The ethnic market you should definitely include in your London sightseeing plans is Brixton Market . That’s one of the very best markets in London , if I may say so. There, you can buy absolutely pure shea butter in London, for instance, along with other great hair products and ethnic food. Since Brixton is such a young and lively place, there is lots of street art all around the station , and lots of cool things to do in London at night in this area of South London. I’m talking about some of the best street food in London, some amazing independent shops and brands for hair, fashion, and many events scattered all throughout the year.  Brixton Market, in Brixton Village, is an African slash Caribbean market. There, you’ll find all the necessary fresh and pantry ingredients to make jerk chicken, for instance, or mafe – both incredible dishes. You don’t even need to buy anything if you want to keep it one of the best free things to do in London. But I guarantee you’ll want to taste some of that amazing street food.   Unlike many other activities you’ll do while London sightseeing, Brixton Market is a breath of fresh air in the hustle and bustle of the super structured London life. It’s lively, colorful, tasty, and culturally richer than any other area of the city. I’d even go as far as saying it might be cooler to spend an afternoon there than in most famous London attractions.

Brixton Market

Location: Electric Ave, SW9 8JX View on Google Maps Nearest Station: Clapham Common

Go see the cherry blossom (from March)

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night london cherry blossom london

I will write a post about the best places in London to see the cherry blossom, come spring. There are countless areas where you can take super instagrammable photos with cherry trees blossoming all around London . It’s actually one of the best free things to do in London when the weather is warming up nicely and to be honest, I look forward to this season every year. Among the best places to see cherry blossom in London, I can list quite a few. That includes Notting Hill, Hampstead Heath, and Battersea Park. Stanley Crescent is one very famous street in West London to see the cherry blossom too. There, plenty of influencers take cherry blossoms pictures that you then see on social media. If you’re located in East London, you can see the cherry blossom at Aldgate Square , for instance. I would recommend going to get a filling breakfast at Grounded or Dolce Coffee. Then, start walking down towards Whitechapel and Fenchurch Street.  There, on the right, you will see an amazing little square with a church and very fairytale-like cherry blossom trees . Mark it down as it’s going to be one of the best things to do in London in 2023. You would not want to miss the beautiful flowers in bloom .

Best things to do in London in 2022 cheap things to do in London this weekend things to do in London at night 2 gods own junkyard walthamstow 2

So there you have them, the best things to do in London in 2023. I’ve included quite a big chunk of free things to do in London . Yet, I do know that some amazing activities that the city brings to us have to be paid for. To be honest, I’m very much okay with paying for London attractions that do not break the bank . And for activities that are really different from anything we’ve ever seen in London . I’ve never agreed with the fact that paying for the London Eye was a thing. And I think I never will .  I’ve tried to include some cool things to do in London at night. Most you can do without having a big budget at hand . Whether you’re looking for places to chill this weekend or during the week after work, those are my best bets. That should help you make the most of your London sightseeing experience. It’s all about learning about history, monuments, and famous landmarks. But London is much more than that . It’s about reaching out to other populations and cultures, to the past and the present, and broadening your horizons.  If you’d like to learn more about other cultures, I’d suggest taking a look at the best halal Malaysian restaurants in London . Or, why not, the best vegan bakeries for cakes and cupcakes , or the cutest cat cafes in London ! Those are definitely some of the best things to do in London, and I know you’ll enjoy the ride!

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10 top london attractions.

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Westminster Abbey is but one of London’s must-see spots.

London is a vibrant city teeming with attractions and pastimes. If you’re a first-time visitor, just walking around will introduce you to the multicultural charm that makes England’s capital city a creative hub. History and innovation seamlessly intertwine; you’ll find centuries-old architectural marvels just moments away from a thriving arts scene and mouth-watering food markets.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast or a food lover, there’s something for everyone on this list of must-see sights around the dynamic metropolis.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has witnessed countless royal weddings, coronations and state ceremonies over the centuries. And somehow, the abbey’s magnificent Gothic façade and intricate interior still inspire awe. Explore the hallowed halls and see the tombs of legendary figures buried within its walls.

See the city from new heights.

Standing tall on the banks of the River Thames, the London Eye is an iconic symbol of the city’s skyline. Offering breathtaking panoramic views of London, this giant observation wheel provides you with a unique perspective of the capital’s landmarks, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and St. Paul’s Cathedral. It’s beautiful any time of day. Just make sure you bring some patience; the queue can get long.

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Visit a bustling street market.

Portobello Road

Nestled in the eclectic neighborhood of Notting Hill, Portobello Road is a bustling street market with a bohemian atmosphere. From antique treasures to vintage fashion, the market stalls lining the streets offer a treasure trove of unique gifts. The colorful roads are particularly popular with Instagrammers. In addition to bringing your best selfie pose, come hungry because plenty of quaint cafés and street food options await.

A towering sight.

Tower of London

With a history stretching back more than a thousand years, the formidable Tower of London has served as a royal residence, prison and treasury, earning it a reputation as one of the most haunted places in England. You can delve into the darker chapters of British history with guided tours led by Yeoman Warders, known as Beefeaters, and marvel at the sparkling Crown Jewels housed within its walls. Be sure to dedicate at least half a day to your visit.

Check out amazing art.

The National Gallery

The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square displays an unparalleled collection of European masterpieces spanning more than seven centuries. The cultural institution houses works by Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh and Rembrandt, making it a mecca for art lovers. Entry is free, and temporary exhibitions are available for an additional charge. Post-visit, you can stroll up to one of Covent Garden’s many restaurants for a bite to eat.

Stop by a historic market.

Borough Market

Tucked beneath the soaring arches of London Bridge, Borough Market is a culinary paradise for ready-to-eat gourmet delights and artisanal produce. From freshly baked bread to exotic spices, the market’s bustling stalls put out a feast for food lovers seeking to indulge in the finest flavors from across the globe. Home to some of the U.K.’s most esteemed producers, the market may even have a famous chef picking up some ingredients while you’re there.

The Changing of the Guard.

Buckingham Palace

No trip to London is complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace. With its iconic balcony overlooking the vast expanse of the Mall, the palace is a must-see and a fantastic photo opportunity. Take a stroll through St. James’s Park before or after, and, if you’re lucky, you might even time your visit with the Changing of the Guard.

Where London relaxes.

Retreat into the tranquil oasis of Hyde Park, one of London’s most beloved green spaces. Encompassing more than 350 acres, this expansive Royal Park has lakes, lush gardens, sprawling meadows, cafés and a modern art gallery. Score a city bicycle to ride through the tree-lined avenues, enjoy a leisurely picnic by the water’s edge or take a boat ride across the Serpentine Lake — just keep your fingers crossed that the weather permits .

One of the world’s top museums for art and design.

Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum’s decorative arts and design collection spans some 5,000 years of human history. From exquisite textiles and fashion to stunning ceramics and sculpture, the museum highlights the ingenuity and craftsmanship of cultures from around the world. Check which exhibitions are on display before you visit, as some may require you to purchase a ticket beforehand.

An iconic luxury department store.

For a spot of shopping, step into the lap of luxury at Harrods, the world’s most famous department store. You’ll recognize its green and gold façade instantly. Whether it be exclusive boutiques and indulgent beauty halls or decadent food halls and chic cafés, Harrods caters to shoppers who are literally and figuratively hungry for the finer things in life. Pick up a Harrods teddy bear or tote bag for a special keepsake.

Eva Ramirez

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10 things you must do on your next visit to Athens, Greece

Posted: October 4, 2023 | Last updated: October 4, 2023

<p>If you were on Facebook in 2019, you probably remember the infamous “Ten Year Challenge,” where users were encouraged to take a selfie of them in the present day and upload it with a picture of them from 2009. On the surface, the challenge seemed like a great way to show off your glow-up, but some believed it to be a ploy to improve Facebook’s facial recognition technology. </p>

Athens is located in the Peloponnese peninsula, and it is the capital city of Greece. It is known as the birthplace of democracy, and many historical figures, such as Aristotle and Socrates, have traversed its cobbled streets. Apart from being historic, it is also beautiful at any time of the year. To help you navigate the city, we have devised a list of ten of the best things to do in Athens, Greece.

<p>The Acropolis is the most famous archeological site in Athens. It is a citadel located on a hill in the center of Athens. It contains several famous ancient buildings such as The Parthenon and The Temple of Athena.</p>

1. Climb The Acropolis

The Acropolis is the most famous archeological site in Athens. It is a citadel located on a hill in the center of Athens. It contains several famous ancient buildings such as The Parthenon and The Temple of Athena.

<p>While you are in the area, to get the full experience of how the Acropolis looked in the past, make sure to visit the Acropolis Museum. It contains all the artifacts recovered from the Acropolis site.</p>

2. Visit The Acropolis Museum

While you are in the area, to get the full experience of how the Acropolis looked in the past, make sure to visit the Acropolis Museum. It contains all the artifacts recovered from the Acropolis site.

<p>Located on the other side of the Acropolis is Plaka. It is a small neighborhood covered in cobblestone streets with beautiful cafés and jewelry shops. It looks out of this world, and it feels like you are stuck in the early 1900s, far away from mobile phones and the fast living style of today. The thick shade provided by its many trees makes it a perfect place to have a coffee break.</p>

3. Walk Through The Streets of Plaka

Located on the other side of the Acropolis is Plaka. It is a small neighborhood covered in cobblestone streets with beautiful cafés and jewelry shops. It looks out of this world, and it feels like you are stuck in the early 1900s, far away from mobile phones and the fast living style of today. The thick shade provided by its many trees makes it a perfect place to have a coffee break.

<p>Syntagma Square is the very center of <a href="https://www.visitgreece.gr/mainland/attica/athens/" rel="noopener">Athens</a>. It is a place where all social gatherings and concerts happen. You can see The Old Royal Palace in the Syntagma square, which serves as the Greek Parliament building. Its bright yellow color and neoclassical building style are very distinctive. The building itself was built for King Otto to celebrate Athens becoming the new capital of Greece.</p><p>The square itself was named after the first Greek constitution, and thus the meaning Syntagma Square which in Greek means The Constitution Square.</p>

4. Explore Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square is the very center of Athens . It is a place where all social gatherings and concerts happen. You can see The Old Royal Palace in the Syntagma square, which serves as the Greek Parliament building. Its bright yellow color and neoclassical building style are very distinctive. The building itself was built for King Otto to celebrate Athens becoming the new capital of Greece.

The square itself was named after the first Greek constitution, and thus the meaning Syntagma Square which in Greek means The Constitution Square.

<p>Located across Syntagma Square, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument dedicated to all Greek soldiers who died in World War 1. It is guarded twenty-four hours a day by soldiers called Evzones. The Evzones are part of the Presidential Guard and change every hour. It is quite an attraction since they have a special choreography that they perform every time the change is due.</p>

5. See The Guards Change at The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier

Located across Syntagma Square, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument dedicated to all Greek soldiers who died in World War 1. It is guarded twenty-four hours a day by soldiers called Evzones. The Evzones are part of the Presidential Guard and change every hour. It is quite an attraction since they have a special choreography that they perform every time the change is due.

<p>In our opinion, Monastiraki is one of the most beautiful squares in Athens. It is named Monastiraki due to a church in the middle of the square. The Church of Pantanassa was built in the 10th century, and after some time, the locals started calling it “Monastiraki,” which means little church.</p><p>The church is not the only thing that makes this part of Athens beautiful. The narrow cobblestone streets leading to the square give the feeling of being somewhere far from home. The streets are filled with pastry shops, tavernas, and souvenir shops.</p><p>There is one downside to mention. The streets are filled with people who offer you bracelets or some other forms of hand-woven jewelry for free, saying it is a gift from them and that you don’t need to pay. However, from the moment they put the piece on you, they start asking for money and feign ignorance of any previous conversation. It is advisable to just return the “gift” they give you and continue on your way.</p>

6. Get Lost in The Monastiraki Square

In our opinion, Monastiraki is one of the most beautiful squares in Athens. It is named Monastiraki due to a church in the middle of the square. The Church of Pantanassa was built in the 10th century, and after some time, the locals started calling it “Monastiraki,” which means little church.

The church is not the only thing that makes this part of Athens beautiful. The narrow cobblestone streets leading to the square give the feeling of being somewhere far from home. The streets are filled with pastry shops, tavernas, and souvenir shops.

There is one downside to mention. The streets are filled with people who offer you bracelets or some other forms of hand-woven jewelry for free, saying it is a gift from them and that you don’t need to pay. However, from the moment they put the piece on you, they start asking for money and feign ignorance of any previous conversation. It is advisable to just return the “gift” they give you and continue on your way.

<p>A pita gyro is a traditional Greek <a href="https://wealthofgeeks.com/eat-like-local-while-traveling/">food</a>, and it can be found on every corner. It consists of shredded meat, usually pork, served with pita bread and fresh vegetables. Oh, and of course, don’t forget the tzaziki sauce, made from Greek yogurt, grated cucumbers, garlic, and dill.</p>

7. Try The Famous Pita Gyro

A pita gyro is a traditional Greek food , and it can be found on every corner. It consists of shredded meat, usually pork, served with pita bread and fresh vegetables. Oh, and of course, don’t forget the tzaziki sauce, made from Greek yogurt, grated cucumbers, garlic, and dill.

<p>Greece is famous for its alcohol, and there are a variety of drinks to choose from if you want to get a buzz. The first on the list is Ouzo, a high-proof drink made from fermented grape skins. The drink is usually served before the meal, acting as an aperitif. After fermentation, the mix is added to anise and other herbs to make the distinct Ouzo flavor. It is a staple in Greek culture.</p><p>Rakii is also a very high-proof alcoholic drink made from grapes that didn’t make a cut for wine production. It is fermented for several weeks until all of the sugar in the grapes becomes alcohol. Unlike Ouzo which is popular in Greek culture only, Rakii is famous across the Balkan and Middle East as every country has the same name for it, and it is produced in the same way.</p><p>Metaxa is a highly concentrated drink made from fermented red wine. The wine is left to sit for a couple of years and must reach a particular oxidation part to be considered a Metaxa. It is best described as a crossover of wine and whiskey.</p>

8. Taste Local Spirits

Greece is famous for its alcohol, and there are a variety of drinks to choose from if you want to get a buzz. The first on the list is Ouzo, a high-proof drink made from fermented grape skins. The drink is usually served before the meal, acting as an aperitif. After fermentation, the mix is added to anise and other herbs to make the distinct Ouzo flavor. It is a staple in Greek culture.

Rakii is also a very high-proof alcoholic drink made from grapes that didn’t make a cut for wine production. It is fermented for several weeks until all of the sugar in the grapes becomes alcohol. Unlike Ouzo which is popular in Greek culture only, Rakii is famous across the Balkan and Middle East as every country has the same name for it, and it is produced in the same way.

Metaxa is a highly concentrated drink made from fermented red wine. The wine is left to sit for a couple of years and must reach a particular oxidation part to be considered a Metaxa. It is best described as a crossover of wine and whiskey.

<p>A for Athens is the best cocktail bar/cafe in Athens. To understand why, you just have to go there. The drinks and food are fine, but the view separates it from every other bar in Athens. A for Athens is located on top of a building, and once you get on the rooftop, you look directly at the Acropolis. No words can sum up that level of beauty until you see it for yourself. </p>

9. Check Out A for Athens

A for Athens is the best cocktail bar/cafe in Athens. To understand why, you just have to go there. The drinks and food are fine, but the view separates it from every other bar in Athens. A for Athens is located on top of a building, and once you get on the rooftop, you look directly at the Acropolis. No words can sum up that level of beauty until you see it for yourself. 

<p>The Corinth Canal is technically not in Athens itself but rather on the outskirts of town. It is a canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with The Ionian Sea, and it has been in the making since AD 1. When we say in the making, we mean they tried to make it but failed many times. Finally, in 1893, it was finished. The canal is a very creepy place. It is very deep and rather narrow, so you feel impending doom when you stand on that tiny suspension bridge while a harrowing wind tries to push you over the edge, and the ships below seem like little remote-controlled toys. </p>

10. Take a Trip to The Corinth Canal

The Corinth Canal is technically not in Athens itself but rather on the outskirts of town. It is a canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with The Ionian Sea, and it has been in the making since AD 1. When we say in the making, we mean they tried to make it but failed many times. Finally, in 1893, it was finished. The canal is a very creepy place. It is very deep and rather narrow, so you feel impending doom when you stand on that tiny suspension bridge while a harrowing wind tries to push you over the edge, and the ships below seem like little remote-controlled toys. 

<p>There are many other great places to see, so don’t hesitate to ask any local to point you where you should go, as they are very friendly and helpful. Once you get there, pick an orange from the orange trees planted all over Athens or ride their amazing subway system. It is the best mode of transportation in such a big city! Enjoy your <a href="https://wealthofgeeks.com/how-travelers-tackle-burnout/">trip</a>!</p><p><strong>More from Wealth of Geeks</strong></p><ul> <li><a href="https://wealthofgeeks.com/carry-ons-for-overseas-travel/">The Best Carry-Ons for International Travel</a></li> <li><a href="https://wealthofgeeks.com/iceland-on-a-budget/">How to Visit Iceland on a Budget</a></li> </ul>

Things To Do in Athens Greece

There are many other great places to see, so don’t hesitate to ask any local to point you where you should go, as they are very friendly and helpful. Once you get there, pick an orange from the orange trees planted all over Athens or ride their amazing subway system. It is the best mode of transportation in such a big city! Enjoy your trip !

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How to Observe the Northern Lights This Weekend

The Space Weather Prediction Center said solar activity would be high again on Saturday.

Northern Lights Glow in the Sky Amid Solar Storm

Powerful solar flare activity made the aurora borealis visible unusually far south..

[Laughing] Holy moly. I know. This — I thought it would just be over on the horizon a little — Behind us, too. Yeah. A little green on the horizon. Nothing like this. This is — This is like, ‘Oh, my god.’ Everywhere.

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By Claire Moses

Keep an eye on the skies on Saturday night for what could be another dazzling display of nature — or not, depending on your location and weather conditions.

An unusual amount of solar flare activity means that the aurora borealis, or the northern lights, could continue to appear over the weekend.

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If you’re in a place with a lot of bright lights — like a city — it’s going to be hard to see anything. And then there are other complications, like the weather.

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“This event is strong enough that the Northeast United States pretty much universally has a good shot at seeing it,” Mr. Bettwy said. “It’s just a matter of making sure that the cloud cover is absent.”

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Katrina Miller , Emmett Lindner and Judson Jones contributed reporting.

Claire Moses is a Times reporter in London, focused on coverage of breaking and trending news. More about Claire Moses

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