London is one of the most popular cities in the world. Visitors come from all over the world to see this historic city for its many sights and sounds. There are plenty of things to do there, but it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve put together a list of things that will make your visit unforgettable. These are the top things travelers like you mention they never want to forget about their time in London. If you’re planning a visit soon, read our list of 21 must-dos for your trip!
Here’s a list of the 21 Best Things to do in London.
- 1. Walking Tour in the City of London
- 2. Visit One of the Many Museums in London
- 3. Check out Some Street Art and Graffiti in London
- 4. Enjoy a Pint in One of London’s Many Pubs!
- 5. Afternoon Tea at one of London’s Restaurants
- 6. Enjoy Some Live Theatre
- 7. Treat Yourself to High Tea
- 8. Have Dinner at a World-Class Restaurant
- 9. Visit London Zoo
- 10. River Cruising on The Thames
- 11. London Eye
- 12. London’s Famous Landmark – Buckingham Palace
- 13. Afternoon Tea Tour in London
- 14. St. Paul’s Cathedral
- 15. Westminster Abbey
- 16. Visit London’s oldest markets like Portobello Road Market or Camden Market (great for souvenirs!).
- 17. Visit Kew Gardens
- 18. Tour Tower Bridge
- 19. Evening Light Tour on Millennium Bridge London
- 20. London’s Michelin-Starred Restaurants
- 21. Try Out Other Top Foodie Experiences
Best Things to do in London 1-10
1. Walking Tour in the City of London
We recommend a walking tour of London city to get your bearings and learn about interesting facts from your guide. Walking tours are a great way to explore London on foot and find out more about it from an experienced local. There are plenty of things you can see and learn on Walking tours in London. The best part is that you will have a local tour guide showing you around.
Walking tour of London city
A walking tour of London city is a great way to explore the famous landmarks and attractions that make up this historic metropolis. The following are some of the highlights of any such walk:
- Trafalgar Square features Nelson’s Column in honor of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson who led British forces during Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion between 1805 and 1815. The square also contains a memorial for Queen Victoria erected by her son Edward VII in 1908 as well as an equestrian statue commemorating General Charles James Napier (1810–1853).
- Piccadilly Circus, where you can see Eros at work with his bow from atop his pedestal or watch people gather around one of six fountains spraying water every two minutes.
In addition to these sights, there are also plenty more including Leicester Square, Theatreland, Chinatown, Soho Covent Garden, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Houses Of Parliament, Tower Bridge, National Gallery, Tate Modern Museum, and much more!
2. Visit One of the Many Museums in London
Visit one of London’s many museums, parks, or galleries. London has many museums, such as the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. If you are interested in art, then visit one of London’s many art galleries. There are also many parks, including Hyde Park and Regent’s Park.
British Museum in London
The British Museum in London is one of the world’s great museums. It was established with a collection of natural history specimens, antiquities, and curios collected by Sir Hans Sloane. The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759 at Montagu House, Bloomsbury Square (now part of University College). Its expansion over subsequent years has made it Britain’s largest museum complex.
The total number of objects from around the globe now stands at approximately 8 million which makes it one more than any other institution in Europe or North America that cares for collections spanning both art and archaeology.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is a major museum of natural history and human history located in London. Its exhibits include animal remains, fossils, the world’s largest collection of dinosaur skeletons as well as galleries on geology and geography. The Museum is an important educational resource; it supports school curriculum development for all ages from primary schools to universities worldwide and provides public engagement through its research, exhibitions, and open days.
The Natural History Museum has been part of UCL (University College London) since 2000 but continues to be financially independent with both academic freedom within the university framework and full control over financial matters such as funding sources or profit distribution.
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection that spans over 2,000 years of art. The V&A was founded in 1852 by Prince Albert with his extensive personal collections which include works from ancient Egypt to contemporary art. It also has international curatorial teams who look after specific departments such as Asian Art or European Sculpture & Decorative Arts. In 2003 it became a public service under English law rather than an independent trust making it one of the most important museums for both British cultures as well as global design history.
3. Check out Some Street Art and Graffiti in London
Street art and graffiti in London are an important part of the city’s culture. Graffiti has been a significant form of expression for artists since as early as 1970 when it first appeared on buildings around New York City. It was also during this time that the term “graffito” became associated with such works, although its use to refer to something written or drawn on a wall goes back much further than that. In some cases, these pieces have taken their place among other traditional arts but more often they exist outside official displays and competitions because street art is illegal in many places where it might be seen by authorities. Street artists can face legal penalties including fines or imprisonment if caught creating work without permission from property owners; however, enforcement varies depending on location and political climate.
4. Enjoy a Pint in One of London’s Many Pubs!
We recommend going to The George Inn in Borough Market for a taste of traditional English ale or The Globe Theatre on Bankside for a famous historic pub experience complete with Shakespearean actors performing throughout the day.
The Globe Theatre on Bankside, London
The Globe Theatre on Bankside was built in 1997 and is a replica of the original Globe Theatre. The building was designed by architect Theo Crosby who wanted to create an environment where people could enjoy live performances, watch Shakespearean plays, or just have a drink with friends. It’s not only about watching shows though; it also has some eateries on site so you can grab something before or after your show if you want to eat there too!
The theatre itself seats 450 people and has three stages: one for comedy acts, another for music concerts (which we’ll get into later), and one that hosts their monthly Shakespearian productions which are performed exclusively in verse – all thanks to the director Anthony Taylor who tries his best at keeping things as authentic as possible while still making sure they’re enjoyable for modern audiences.
5. Afternoon Tea at one of London’s Restaurants
Take an afternoon tea at one of London’s restaurants like The Wolseley or The Berkeley Hotel (both well-known historic establishments).
The Berkeley Hotel in London
The Berkeley Hotel is a luxury hotel in London, England. It is located at the south end of Piccadilly Circus and near Hyde Park Corner. The Berkeley Hotel has been one of the most prestigious hotels in London since it opened its doors to guests on 16th May 1931.
The original building was constructed between 1887-88 by architect Charles Fitzroy Doll for Sir William Jowitt (later Lord Chancellor). In 1926, this building became home to an art school called “the Royal Academy Schools”. When plans were drawn up for rebuilding after World War II, it was decided not to demolish but simply renovate and enlarge the existing structure which had become run down over time. Hence, today’s facade bears no resemblance whatsoever with that built originally back in 1888!
The first phase of the refurbishment took place between 1958 and 1961, the second phase between 1961 and 1964, and the third phase in 1982. The hotel was bought by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in 1996. It has been voted London’s best hotel by Condé Nast Traveller every year since 1998. The Berkeley Hotel is one of London’s most prestigious hotels – it is also one of its most expensive – but if you can afford it, we think it is worth it!
6. Enjoy Some Live Theatre
Take in some live theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre or The National Theatre near Southwark Bridge (London’s two major theatrical venues).
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was the first permanent theatre built in London, England. Built by a group of actors from Norfolk who had grown tired of traveling to play at other theaters, it was opened on 7 February 1599 and is known for being the site where William Shakespeare’s plays were performed during his lifetime. The building that stands today dates back to 1738 when an earlier Globe Theatre failed due to fire damage and was later rebuilt in 1814 with some alterations such as box seats around the stage which gave more room for audience members than benches would have done.
The original theater was torn down after its destruction but many replicas now exist all over Britain including one near Southwark Bridge called Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (opened 1997) or another replica located just outside Liverpool Street Station called Globe Exhibition Centre (opened 2012).
7. Treat Yourself to High Tea
Treat yourself to high tea! If you want to enjoy this old-fashioned British tradition, we suggest taking the classic afternoon high tea at Claridges’ Bar & Restaurant in Mayfair.
Claridges’ Bar & Restaurant in Mayfair
Claridges’ Bar & Restaurant is a bar and restaurant in the heart of London’s Mayfair. Founded over 150 years ago, Claridges is famous for its traditional British food. It has been named as one of the world’s best bars by “The World’s 50 Best Bars” list compiled by Drinks International magazine. The menu offers classic dishes such as fish & chips, shepherd’s pie, or beef Wellington alongside more modern creations like grilled steak with béarnaise sauce or pan-fried sea bass with pink grapefruit butter sauce.
8. Have Dinner at a World-Class Restaurant
Have dinner at one of many world-class restaurants like Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant near Heathrow Airport or Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant inside Royal Hospital Chelsea – both perfect places to try authentic British cuisine served with French influences!
Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant near Heathrow Airport
Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant that combines modern European cuisine with scientific research. Blumenthal’s cooking is based on the idea of creating dishes that are sensually stimulating, intellectually challenging, and emotionally satisfying. He has won numerous awards for his work including 3 Michelin stars in 2005, Best Chef in Great Britain in 2010 and 2011 as well as being ranked 13th best chef by Restaurant magazine. The Fat Duck was voted “Best Restaurant In The World” by Conde Nast Traveler readers two years running (2005–2006) before it dropped to second place behind El Bulli.
Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant inside Royal Hospital Chelsea
Maze restaurant is a fine dining establishment by Gordon Ramsay, located in Royal Hospital Chelsea. The maze-shaped building was designed with the help of architects Foster + Partners and interior designers Buro Happold and opened in December 2009. It seats 12 diners at one time on its two floors: an upper level for six guests and a lower level for six more guests. Maze has been awarded three Michelin stars since 2010 – it is currently the only 3-star restaurant inside London’s M25 motorway ring road (as of March 2017).
9. Visit London Zoo
Get up close and personal with animals when you visit London Zoo. Visiting the London Zoo is a good way to get up close and personal with all sorts of animals. The zoo itself is located in Regent’s Park, right in the center of London. It houses over 1,000 different types of animals including lions, tigers, and polar bears among many others! There are also tons more activities for kids at this zoo such as feeding giraffes or getting a closer look at penguins!
10. River Cruising on The Thames
You can also go river cruising on the Thames. It is a great way to see London from the water and appreciate the city of London. River cruises along the Thames are very popular among tourists, as they are very relaxing and enjoyable at the same time. Many people like to take river cruises on the Thames during their visit to London, as they get an opportunity to relax while sightseeing in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
You can also go on a cruise down Regent’s Canal. This canal was constructed in the 1820s and runs through London’s suburbia area called Camden Town. It is now used mainly for leisure activities such as cycling, walking, and boating, but it was once used for transporting goods through London city by barge boats during its construction period in the 1820s.
Best Things to do in London 11-20
11. London Eye
Take a ride on the London Eye Ferris wheel to see all of London from above. The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel located on the South Bank of the Thames River in central London near Waterloo Bridge. Built for the Millennium celebrations in 2000, it was originally called the British Airways Eye until it was renamed as part of a sponsorship deal with Merlin Entertainment Group for £20 million over 10 years. The wheel has 32 passenger capsules, each of which can hold 25 people. These capsules are enclosed and air-conditioned and rotate at a rate of one revolution per 35 minutes (1.5 rpm). This means that a full rotation takes about 30 minutes.
The London Eye is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe at 135 meters high (443 feet). This makes it higher than the Eiffel Tower, which is only 324 meters (1,063 feet) tall. The London Eye can carry up to 2,800 passengers per hour.
12. London’s Famous Landmark – Buckingham Palace
London has many famous landmarks that you should visit. One of these is Buckingham Palace, the official residence and office of the British monarch in London. Buckingham Palace has been the home of every British monarch since 1837 when King George IV moved from Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace. Today, Buckingham Palace is used for official royal events and business by Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family who live there.
13. Afternoon Tea Tour in London
London is a busy city so if you’re looking for some free time to explore, it’s best to plan ahead. A good idea would be to book an afternoon tea tour with the Kensington Tea Company, they offer a personalized tour of their factory and tea garden, followed by tea served in their elegant tearoom.
The Kensington Tea Company offers a unique experience to tea lovers. The company’s afternoon tea tour is an interactive, historical walk through the streets of London with tastings at three different locations in the city. The first stop on this walking tour is St James’ Palace where you will learn about how Queen Victoria and Prince Albert enjoyed their daily cup of English Breakfast Tea before heading over to Harrods for more history lessons and samples from one of England’s most famous department stores. Finally, you’ll head out onto Piccadilly Circus for some light refreshments as well as your final tasting – Earl Grey!
14. St. Paul’s Cathedral
Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral where you can climb up the bell tower for one of the best views of the city. The St. Paul’s Cathedral is a church in London, England that was built during the 17th century and has become one of Britain’s most iconic landmarks. The cathedral sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London and serves as an Anglican place for worship including regular services, daily prayer, baptisms, weddings, and funerals among other things. It also contains some important chapels like those belonging to Westminster Abbey which are used by many people who want their marriage ceremony to be carried out there or even just wish for burial service with full military honors; it can accommodate up to 3200 people inside its walls making it quite popular among couples wishing for a more intimate setting than what they would find at Westminster Abbey where crowds gather often because this is such an impressive location.
15. Westminster Abbey
Walk through Westminster Abbey, the burial place of some of England’s most famous kings and queens. Westminster Abbey is a large, mainly Gothic church in the City of Westminster, London. It is one of the most famous and most recognizable sights in the British capital. Its dome dominates much of west London’s skyline. Its construction began during Edward III’s reign (1327–77) as part of a larger plan to rebuild central areas of his kingdom after their devastation by plague and fire. The Abbey was originally called “the Collegiate Church”, but because it served both an educational institution (Westminster School), and spiritual function for members from all walks of life – including aristocrats like Jane Austen who married into wealthy families – it became known more simply as “The Abbey”.
16. Visit London’s oldest markets like Portobello Road Market or Camden Market (great for souvenirs!).
Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market is a street market in London’s Notting Hill. It was founded by the Portobello Road Act of 1855, which authorized local authorities to create markets for “the sale of fruit and vegetables”. The act required that any such market should be within three miles (5 km) from central London; at the time this meant Hammersmith or Kensington could have been chosen as locations but both were rejected in favor of Notting Hill.
The first Portobello Market opened on Saturday 20 August 1862 when 86 Victorian-style stalls lined either side of what is now Golborne Road; it has operated every weekend since then except during wartime periods, notably during World War II between 1940 and 1944 when many traders closed due to food rationing.
Camden Market, London
Camden Market is a market in the Camden Town area of London, England. It opened on 24 March 1974 as one of the country’s first and largest outdoor markets with 150 stalls. The market originally sold new items from small business owners for resale at fixed prices; however, it later became more like an amusement park or shopping mall, with many stalls selling cheap goods such as T-shirts and souvenirs to tourists rather than local shoppers.
17. Visit Kew Gardens
Take some time out at Kew Gardens where you can enjoy stunning views and visit historic greenhouses filled with exotic flowers and plants. Kew Gardens is a botanical garden in southwest London that houses the largest and most diverse collection of plants in the world. The gardens cover 121 hectares, which include live trees, insect-filled rainforest plantings as well as more formal displays such as herbaceous borders and rose beds. Kew was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 3 July 2003 for its “outstanding universal value” to science—especially those fields related to agriculture and horticulture—the environment, sustainable development, conservation biology, and ecology. It also meets the criteria for being an outstanding example of human achievement because it has been continually maintained by people over many centuries.
18. Tour Tower Bridge
Tour Tower Bridge – one of the world’s most famous bridges – with your kids until they get bored 😉 The Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England over the River Thames. The structure was designed by Horace Jones (1826-1911) and John Wolfe Barry (1832-1905). It is one of five London bridges now owned and maintained by the Greater London Authority; the other four are Blackfriars Railway Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Millennium Footbridge, and Waterloo Bridge.
The Tower’s design incorporates two steel towers connected at each end to walkways running along either side of the river; these were originally used for moving construction materials but are now tourist attractions offering views down onto both sides.
19. Evening Light Tour on Millennium Bridge London
The evening light tour on the Millennium Bridge is a popular event for tourists and locals to enjoy London at night. The experience begins with an introduction about the history of this iconic bridge before guests are led onto it for some spectacular views of St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and more. Guests will then be treated to some delicious hot chocolate or mulled wine as they stand in awe at one of London’s most beautiful landmarks.
The tour finishes back down below ground where there is time to take photos on your own before heading off into central London again.
20. London’s Michelin-Starred Restaurants
Make it to some of London’s Michelin-starred restaurants
- Sketch (The Lecture Room & Library)
- Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
- Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
- Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Michelin-starred restaurants are some of the best in the world. The Michelin Guide is a series of guides to restaurants and hotels published by a French company, Michelin. It was first introduced as a way to encourage people with cars to invest their money in driving rather than public transportation or bicycles. In France it was also used as an incentive for restaurant owners not only because they would be awarded stars but also because these stars were very prestigious and could bring great fame by being able to display them at their establishments; this proved true since many celebrities frequented those restaurants that had been given one star or more, thus bringing even more prestige into what had already become a major award system for chefs all over Europe who wanted recognition outside of just France’s borders.
The guide started off awarding three-star ratings before expanding its rating system so now there are five different levels: no star (a basic eatery), one star (high-quality cooking worth trying), two stars (exceptional cuisine worthy of a special journey) three stars (exceptional cuisine worth making effort for ), four-stars “worth every culinary mile” )and finally five which is reserved exclusively for places offering exceptional dishes – either haute cuisine or regional classics – where diners eat extremely well.
Best Things to do in London 21 and beyond
21. Try Out Other Top Foodie Experiences
London is a hotspot for foodies. Whether you want traditional English fare or something more daring, there’s bound to be something for you. Add these 10 culinary experiences to your list, and make sure you don’t leave London without trying them out!
- Try the best fish and chips in London at The Golden Hind.
- Have a pint of ale at the oldest pub in London: Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.
- Sample some of the best Indian food in town at Benares.
- Enjoy a Sunday roast dinner at The Bishops Arms.
- Eat your way through Borough Market on Saturday morning for fresh produce and street food from across the world.
- Visit Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant and learn about the chef’s commitment to providing opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
- Experience afternoon tea like an English aristocrat by booking a table at The Ritz.
- Try out Tom Aikens’s new restaurant, Fifteen Cornwall.
Out of the list of the Best Things To Do in London, you can pick and choose which ones you want to cover depending on your preferences and how much time you have available on hand. We’d recommend doing all of them!
London is one of the most popular cities in the world. Visitors from all over come to visit this historic city with its many sights and sounds. It can be hard knowing where to start when you’re there, that’s why we put together this list of things that will make your time unforgettable! Make sure to include some or all of these top things that travelers like you mention they never want to forget about during their visits to London.
So, what are you waiting for? Get packing and get to London. It’s waiting for you!
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Note: The hours of operation, ticket prices, and admission criteria of museums, parks, etc. may change from time to time. For the most updated information, we recommend checking the official website of the attraction directly prior to your planned visit.
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