London is one of the most visited cities in the whole world, and it’s easy to see why. It is vibrant, it is exciting, and there’s something to do every single night of the week. You could spend a full year in London and never run out of new places to visit, so we have created this London city guide highlighting 45 things to do in London. We hope this will help showcase some of the sights and attractions this city has to offer, and that it’ll come in handy for anyone out there planning a trip. Let’s begin!
- Trafalgar Square:
This square leads to a lot of central attractions, so it’s a nice place to people watch, get your bearings, and plan out where you want to go in the city.
- St. Martin-in-the-Fields is an Anglican church at the north-east corner of Trafalgar Square. They hold classical concerts and they also have a cafe located in the crypt if you want to grab a bite of food in an unusual setting.
- The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the Thames. It offers a bird’s eye view of the city – just make sure you don’t go on a foggy day.
- Borough Market is one of London’ most famous markets. And there is a lot of wonderful smells when you go check it out. Dating back to the thirteenth century, Borough Market is the oldest market in London. It’s a foodie’s paradise with plenty of fresh produce, baked goods, and specialty foods.
- Double-decker buses:
One fun way to get around London is aboard the iconic double-decker buses. You can opt for public transport, or take the double-decker sightseeing tours around the city.
- Platform 9 ¾
This is a must for Harry Potter fans! Take the train to Hogwarts from platform 9 ¾ in King’s Cross.
- Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since 1837. The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors every year, however, that’s something you need to plan months in advance. You must watch the Changing of the Guard. But make sure to get there at least 1 hours before the start as it can get really crowded.
- St. James’ Park connects Buckingham Palace to the Horse Guards. It’s a nice leisurely walk with plenty of wildlife and nature.
- The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament, is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Palace along with Big Ben are two of the top London attractions that dot the city-scape.
- Regent’s Park is in northwest London. It is home to an Open Air Theatre, the London Zoo, as well as a variety of cafes and restaurants.
- Westminster Abbey is right around the corner from the Houses of Parliament, and despite the long lines, it’s worth a visit. The Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of seventeen monarchs.
- Horse Guards and the Household Cavalry Museum
You can also visit the Horse Guards and the Household Cavalry Museum, which are right next to each other.
- HMS Belfast
The HMS Belfast is a museum ship moored on the River Thames. It is operated by the Imperial War Museum, and once you’re on-board you can freely roam around the ship.
- River Cruise of the Thames
Another way to see London is to take a river cruise of the Thames River. There are a variety of cruises available including dinner cruises, afternoon tea cruises, or your regular sightseeing cruises.
- Tower of London
The Tower of London sits on the north bank of the River Thames. Though this castle served many purposes, it’s mainly remembered for its use as a prison in the 16th and 17th centuries. From the outside this place actually looks really small but once you get inside it is almost like a mini city.
- Tate Modern
The Tate Modern is housed in the former Bankside Power Station and it focuses on modern and contemporary art from the 19th century to the present.
- Full English Breakfast
Enjoy a full english breakfast that includes toast, sausage, baked beans, egg, tomato, hash browns and bacon. It has got a lot of calories but it will get you through the day quite nicely. It’s very greasy, very hearty, it is almost like having lunch for breakfast but it tastes really good.
- Arsenal Football Club
You can visit the Arsenal Football Club and collect a series of hats of different football clubs from all the cities you travel in Europe. And what you can do here of course is watching a game during the season and if it is the off-season you can check out the team store or take a stadium tour.
- Camden Market is made up of a series of markets and stalls. It is the place to shop for vintage clothes, get a new piercing, people watch, or sample international food in an outdoor setting. On a sunny day, you’ll also find people hanging out long Camden Lock.
- Cereal Killer Cafe
Visit Cereal Killer Cafe anytime of the day to enjoy breakfast in the form of cereal.
- Camden Town Basement Tea Rooms
It is kind of like an alternative experience. Instead of going out for afternoon tea at the Ritz, at a fancy hotel that might cost you around 50 pounds. Here it is only 13 pounds and it is a very casual laid back experience. Our absolute favorite thing about afternoon tea is getting scones with cream and jam.
- London Street Art
Another fun thing to do in London is to check out the street art. One of the best places to do so is in Shoreditch.
- Ride the London Tube
Of course, the London experience wouldn’t be complete without riding the tube around the city. Just remember, pass on the left, stand on the right, and have your pass ready to scan on the way in and out. If you can remember all of these things, you’ll make Londoners very happy!
- Get an Oyster Card
So as a money saving tip when you’re in London definitely consider purchasing an Oyster Card to save a lot of money when using the Tube. You can load it, reload it and you can use it just basically anywhere you go.
- Hire a bike
Another alternative for getting around the city is to use the city’s bike hire system. Though this is best if you’re exploring outside central London where traffic isn’t so heavy.
- Shopping at Harrods
Harrods is an upscale department store. If you make it all the way out there, we suggest visiting their food court which is truly impressive (and expensive!).
- London Pubs
Pubs are an important part of the culture, so make time to drop by for a pint of beer or two.
- St. Paul’s is one of the most easily recognized landmarks in the city. If you don’t have a problem with heights, climbing to the top of the dome is a pretty cool experience.
- Shakespeare’s Globe is a modern construction of the original theatre associated with William Shakespeare. The theatre sits around 230 meters away from the site of the original theatre.
- The Natural History Museum focuses on life and earth sciences, and it’s a popular one with families.
- The Victoria and Albert museum is focused on the decorative arts and design. It spans 5000 years of art ranging from ceramics to textiles, and jewellery to furniture.
- If you want to catch a theatre performance, London’s West End is the place to be.
- Kensington Palace
If you haven’t had your fill of palaces, you can always swing by Kensington Palace which is set in Kensington Garden. They also have an exhibit of beautiful gowns worn by the royals.
- The Sherlock Holmes Museum is a privately run museum in London. It is dedicated to the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and it sits on Baker Street.
- The Shard is a 95-story skyscraper in London. It is currently home to the city’s highest viewing platform.
- You can alternatively go up to the Walkie Talkie building, soak in the views, and visit the Sky Garden.
- The British Museum focuses on the art, history, and culture of the world. The collection spans over 8 million objects.
- Portobello Road is a street in Notting Hill. While you can visit any day of the week, it is most popular for its Saturday market.
- Queen Mary’s Gardens
So one spot you should definitely make time for when you come to the Regent’s Park is Queen Mary’s Gardens. And there are lots of roses here. And some of these roses are called the Pride of England.
- Regent’s Canal is over 13 kilometres long and you’ll find many houseboats moored here. It’s also a popular spot with joggers and bikers.
- National Gallery
For a little bit of art in your life, you can check out the National Gallery which sits right behind Trafalgar Square.
- Then just up the street, you’ll find the National Portrait Gallery, which houses a collection of portraits of historical and famous British people.
- Try a Steak and Ale Pie
Basically is a pastry, and inside of it you’ve got stewed meat, you’ve got veggies and of course ale. There is also gravy.
- The Churchill War Rooms are home to an underground complex that was the British command centre throughout the Second World War. The museum also explores the life of Winston Churchill.
- Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
And lastly, there’s Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, which will give you a glimpse of UK celebrities.
And that’s a wrap for London! Like with any mega-city, it’s impossible to cover all the sights and attractions you can enjoy here, but hopefully this article will give you an idea of what London has to offer. As always, if you have any other suggestions of things to do in London that you’d like to share with other travellers, feel free to include those in the comments below.