London is one of the most beautiful, fastest-developing cities in Europe. When it comes to the best things to do in London England, the list is limitless, since there’s so much to explore! From north to south, from east to west there are plenty of beautiful things to see in London, and we are going to share 15 with you! You can also find some tips for things to do in London with kids and some unique things on side of the landmarks that can’t be missed. Beautiful parks, charming streets, old and new, culture and nightlife, all in one pulsing city.
As you may already know, the British weather is really sassy. Before knowing the London things to do, you better get ready for the continuously changing weather! First of all, there’s no perfect time to visit London. It really depends on what you’re expecting to do, but it’s right that between May-September is usually the best time as it’s less rainy, and sassy.
October and November tend to be the rainiest months of the year. It’s raining almost all the time. If you want to enjoy a bit warmer walks, definitely try to visit in the summer! The summers in England are chilly, but as long as the sun is out, it’s really enjoyable.
One more highlight before we’re getting into the best things to do in London England. The fastest and most popular choice, if you want to get around in London, is the underground. London traffic is a disaster, and if you’ve got things to see in London in 1 day or overall a short period of time, you’ll want to take the underground)! The other option, which allows you to see the city while getting around in London is the double-decker coach. The double-deckers are the icons of London, and overall in England, so at least one ride is a must!
If you’re looking for things to see in London, and specifically free things to do in London, you’ll have to do some routes, since not everything is in Central London. You can purchase tickets as soon as you enter the underground through the machines. Or, you can also pay with your credit/debit card both on the Underground and the double-deckers. Using your card to pay for rides is cheaper if you’re in London for just a few hours and you’re using the underground many times. Now, let’s dive into those 15 unique things to do in London!
Before we start talking about London things to do, or things to see in London, we should first highlight that beyond day trips from London, we also cover the best restaurants in London. Beyond that, we also cover the best pubs, rooftop bars, and even Italian restaurants in the city. Since evenings out in the city are one of the top things to do in London, you must check these articles to get some tips for things to do in London at night too!
When it comes to the best things to see in London, we should start with the (now) king’s residence. When you are looking for things to see in London in 1 day, Buckingham Palace should be on top of the list! This stunning neoclassical architecture is the home of British monarchs. Or well, one of the homes.
Buckingham palace is situated in the heart of London, in the City of Westminster. The palace was originally built for the Prince of Buckingham in 1703. As Buckingham Palace became the residence of the royal family in the 19th century, the building was enlarged for the court.
If you’re not planning to go inside Buckingham Palace here are the things you can do! First, on the square in front of Buckingham Palace, you’ll find the Victoria Memorial. which was made in honor of Queen Victoria.
Then, if you’re looking for interesting things to see in London, and things for kids to see in London, do not miss the Guard Mounting! This is a spectacular thing that you can see at the palace every day! If you want to see the Guard Mounting, make sure to arrive by 10:45 am! Around the palace, you’ll find 3 parks, that are great for a nice walk in the heart of the city. These are Buckingham gardens, Green Park, and St.James’s Park.
The ticket to enter the palace for adults will cost £24.00 and you can book it here. When you’re visiting Buckingham Palace, you’ll see the State Rooms that were used for receiving guests and official visitors. You’ll also see the throne room and the Grand staircase. There is also an exhibition of the Royal Collections of Fine Arts that includes pieces by Rembrandt and Canaletto.
The magnificent Westminster Abbey is a mainly Gothic church, located in the City of Westminster. If you’re in search of the best things to do in London England, you absolutely can’t miss it! Westminster Abbey is one of the United Kingdom’s most important religious buildings.
It’s the traditional place of coronation and burial site for British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Since 1560, the church has had the status of the Church of England, a Royal Peculiar—a church responsible directly to the sovereign.
Since the coronation of William, the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs, at least 16 royal weddings, and many more events were organized in Westminster Abbey. The tickets to visit inside will cost you £20.00. You can book your ticket online so you don’t have to worry about queues.
If you’re looking for London things to do, modern and fun things to do in London, the Shard is a must! The Shard is a 309.7 meter (95 stories) tall skyscraper designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. It’s the tallest building in the United Kingdom, and also the tallest building in the European Union. Moreover, the Shard is also the 5th tallest building in Europe!
On floors 31, 32, and 33 of the Shard, you can find restaurants and bars, which offer great drinks, and delicious dishes served near a breathtaking panorama of the city of London. If you’re looking for the best things to see in London in 2 days, well, a drink or a meal in the Shard is a must!
It’s definitely not a low-budget place though! You also can’t really enter in gym clothes or flip-flops. Smart casual, formal, business formal or cocktails are the accepted dress codes, ladies and gentlemen! In case you’d like to have a drink or eat here, to avoid the inconvenience, really pay attention to this!
In my philosophy, everyone deserves at least once in their lifetime to experience something elegant and beautiful like the Shard! So, if you’re planning to visit London, and you want to add a luxurious experience to your trip, definitely get yourself a table in the Shard. Of course, there are plenty of other great rooftop bars in London you can pick from!
If you’re looking for the best things to do in London England, here’s another gem of London, the iconic Tower Bridge! If you manage to get there when the road is lifted, that’s really spectacular, though it happens rarely. The Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge, built between 1886 and 1894.
This is the most outstanding bridge that crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and also the Shard. It consists of two bridge towers tied together at the upper level by two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal tension forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. One of the most spectacular architectural symbols of London that you simply can not miss!
If you’re looking for free things to do in London, you can walk over Tower Bridge to enjoy the view and the beauty of this stunning masterpiece. However, if you wish to see the Tower Bridge Exhibition you’ll need to buy a ticket for it. The prices are normally £9.80 but you can find discounts.
The most spacious and beautiful park right in the heart of London! Hyde Park is actually it is the largest Royal Park in the capital that’s also one of the unmissable things to see in London! Now, if you’re looking for things to do in London with kids, this is one of the highlights for you! Kids will love chasing ducks, and squirrels and finding Peter Pan’s statue!
There are many events are organized in the park, such as concerts, family events, and marathons. My personal highlight in Hyde Park, for all those who are visiting London in December, is Winter Wonderland! You can do sports and outdoor activities here too, such as boating, tennis, football, and horse riding and there is a senior playground too. Also, you can find monuments, fountains, and memorials around the park, as well as Kensington Palace.
Here’s another highlight of the top things to do in London! The Kensington Palace is located in Hyde Park, and it has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century. Queen Victoria also lived here. Each prince and process who’s about to be king/queen has lived here, Queen Elizabeth II as well.
Kensington Palace currently is the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William, and Kate. It has been the residence of prince Harry, and later on, he shared his cottage with Meghan. Just because the residence is Kensington Palace, it doesn’t mean that everyone lives inside the palace!
Today, the State Rooms are open to the public. The offices and private accommodation areas of the Palace remain the responsibility of the Royal Household. They are maintained by the Royal Household Property Section. The palace also displays many paintings and other objects from the Royal Collection. The ticket without donation is £15.50, and you can book them online right here.
The Piccadilly Circus is one of the main hotspots of London, therefore if you’re searching for the best things to do in London England, this iconic junction can’t be missed! It’s also one of the busiest places in the city. Imagine it as the British Times Square. Piccadilly Circus is a road junction, that’s connecting Regent Street with Piccadilly.
The name circus is originating from Latin, meaning circle, in the context of being a round, open space in a street junction. Now, around Piccadilly Circus is where you will find dozens of shops, restaurants, pubs, pubs, and even more pubs.
There are also plenty of theatres in the area, such as the Prince of Wales Theater, and Piccadilly Theatre. If you’re looking for cool things to see in London, do not miss Piccadilly Circus! While you’re strolling around downtown, you can also get your souvenirs in London. Nobody should leave London without taking home something British!
Well, when it comes to London things to do or some fun things to do in London, we say Notting Hill! Notting Hill is my favorite neighborhood in London. If you love colorful places, in London, there’s no better place to go than on the streets of Notting Hill, where you can explore all those colorful terraced houses!
There’s also the Portobello road market, with many beautiful hand-made pieces from all around the world. And the food, oh my, the street food in Portobello market is just amazing! You’ll find many different strands of cuisine from all around the world. To explore some beautiful cafes and shops, have a walk on Westbourne Grove, or enjoy some Latin music near the food market!
Camden Town is again a very different, very colorful neighborhood in London. So, if you’re looking for the best things to see in London, do not miss Camden Town! The main street is loaded with shops, one after the other, and they are also plenty of restaurants offering world cuisine. The Spanish restaurant is really great, we had some delicious tapas here!
There are also markets, near the road, but also the famous Camden Market, where you can find many crafted and vintage goodies! Vibes in Camden Town are unique, especially over the weekend! However, if you’re in this area, make sure you watch your belongings and do not stay out late in here!
The Tower of London is one of the top things to do in London! The place everyone should visit, whether you heard of Henry VIII or not! The historic castle is located on the northern bank of Thames, in central London. This is really a must-see, to learn a bit more about British history, and the famous kings of England. If you’re looking for things for kids to see in London, a castle visit can work great!
The Tower of London had many roles in history. It served as an armory, the home of the Crown Jewels of England, a treasury, a menagerie, and also served as a prison. During the 16th and 17th centuries, many important characters of the time were imprisoned here, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen. Also Sir Walter Raleigh, and Elizabeth Throckmorton. This use has led to the phrase “sent to the Tower”.
My favorite period of British history is the dynasty of the Tudors, especially Henry VIII. He was a very complex figure and he is one of the most famous kings of England. Henry VIII was the king who established his own church, the Anglican Church, so he can marry and divorce freely. Then he had 6 wives. Two of them, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were executed in Tower Green, in the Tower of London.
The tickets for the Tower of London can be purchased online!
If you’re looking for the best things to do in London England, the British Museum is definitely a must! The British Museum is located in Bloomsbury, in Central London. The museum owns more than 8 million items in its permanent collection. This makes it one of the largest exhibitions in existence!
The collection of the British museum is really important as it’s owning a wide collection from the beginning of humanity to nowadays. Not to forget, that it was established in 1753 as the first public national museum in the world. The British Museum is definitely one of the cool things to see in London!
The main entrance of the museum is on Great Russell Street. If you’ve been looking for the best free things to do in London, the British Museum is definitely a gem, although a small donation is suggested. There are some exhibitions and especially some temporary exhibitions that have separate fees, but it’s best to check out these on the museum’s website!
The British Museum is really large, and as I have mentioned earlier, it has quite an imposing number of items in its collections, so it’s best to plan for a long visit. To stay up to date with opening hours and exhibitions, I really recommend visiting the official website of the British Museum!
Now if you’re looking for things to do in London with kids, and especially fun things to do in London, the London Eye is a must! The London Eye is located on the South Bank of the Thames, very close to Westminster, Big Ben, and Westminster Bridge. Fun fact, it’s the most popular paid attraction in the UK! I wouldn’t guess that…
It’s Europe’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, that became quite famous around the world. Currently, the tickets for adults are £28.00, and it’s really recommended to book your tickets in advance, to avoid crowds. If you’re looking for things to see in London, from the London Eye you’d see literally everything!
When it comes to London things to do, Westminster and Big Ben are definitely the #1!!! After about 5 years, Big Ben is finally uncovered, as the restorations were completed. Big Ben is basically the nickname of the tower clock tower of the Palace of Westminster. Its official name now is the Elizabeth Tower, named after Elizabeth I. The magnificent tower was designed and built in a neo-gothic style, and it’s the most iconic building in London and the United Kingdom.
The Palace of Westminster is the House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It’s located on the North bank of the Thames in the heart of London. The palace served as the home of the English kings between the 12th and the 16th centuries when a fire destroyed most of it. The ticket price to visit the tower and the parliament will cost an adult £15, and you’ll need about 1,5 hours for the visit.
If you’re looking for the absolute best things to do in London with kids, there’s no way you can go wrong by sprinkling some magic on your trip! One of those cool fun things to do in London is definitely a Harry Potter studio tour! Before I moved to the city, on my first visit, this was one of the first things I’ve done, and I can confirm it’s definitely one of the best things to do in London England!
For those who are already looking for Harry Potter things to do in London, on side of the city tour and visiting the 9 and 3/4 platform at Kingscross, this tour at the WB Studios is an absolutely unmissable, and definitely an unforgettable experience to try!
Last, but not least of the London things to do we must highlight are the restaurants, bars, and pubs you shouldn’t miss. London is famous for places featuring fabulous decorations and interior design! Dining in rooms that look like Queen Victoria’s dining room, or breakfast places that remind you of Downton Abbey is a must!
There are endless bars, cafes, tea houses, and restaurants with the most incredible interiors, and the best food. You can explore the plenty of rooftop bars in the city and even more restaurants like Italian, Asian, Indian, Spanish, or South American that are beating every place you’ve ever tried before. And of course, let’s not forget those vibes in the traditional English pubs either!
Now that we’ve been through some of the best things to see in London, and discussed all the top things to do in London, make sure you check out our guides for other places around London, such as Cambridge, Oxford, Colchester, East Grinstead, or some cute villages. Don’t forget to check out our article for the best things to buy in London, and also the best brands in the city! Don’t miss out on that English breakfast, and other local British dishes. Beyond the best things to do in London England, there are plenty of topics we cover about the United Kingdom and beyond, such as castle hotels in England, Scotland, and Ireland too so stay tuned!
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