77 Things to Do in London (the ULTIMATE Bucket List)
For all the best things to do in London from hidden gems to iconic landmarks, here’s a bucket list to help you plan your trip!
London is a city that I cannot get enough of. I once lived there for seven months, and I think I have been there an additional 10 times.
I only fell in love with the city during my second visit when I deviated from the famous sights and went to the unknown places. That’s when I started to get to know different neighborhoods in London and find some of my favorite cafes and hotspots.
London is a fantastic city full of things to do and places to visit. It’s full of beautiful architecture, great restaurants, fun markets, trendy shops, free museums and super cool areas, all with different atmospheres.
In this article, I’ll share all my London tips, so that you have all the information you need for a fun city trip. These are all my favorite things to do in London, no matter what you’re looking to do or where you want to go.
Top 77 Things to Do in London
Classic Things to Do in London
1. Check out Buckingham Palace
Get off the tube at Green Park and enjoy the sun while taking a stroll through said park. Don’t forget to flash a smile to the hardworking businesspeople who are on a lunch break, and follow the masses of tourists to Buckingham Palace.
Do this in the morning around a quarter past 11 to see the changing of the guards. Buckingham Palace with the statue in front of it, always reminds me of Paris: big and dramatic. I think the white marble stones, and the adjacent road have something to do with that.
It’s just wonderful to sit there and people watch a bit. And who knows? Maybe you will spot Queen Elizabeth looking out of the window.
You can also visit the art treasures of the palace. Check ticket prices here.
2. See Big Ben & the Houses of Parliament
He is the king of London (as long as Charles isn’t yet): Big Ben. This mighty man towers over the city and peacefully keeps an eye on everything from its location in the Houses of Parliament. Strolling along to see the view of both landmarks is one of the best, free attractions London!
Impressive is the right word for the Houses of Parliament that houses 1,000 rooms, 100 staircases and 3 kilometers of hallways (can you imagine having to clean all of those…?).
Did you know that the tower is actually called the Elizabeth Tower? The clockwork itself is called Big Ben.
3. Cross the Tower Bridge
What can I say about one of the most recognized landmarks in the world? It is beautiful, it is iconic, it belongs to the London skyline. And that is why you should visit it.
Next to this, you’ll find the Tower of London. You’re still seeing a piece of the old London that is left behind.
You can also climb the bridge, for which you can buy tickets online. This way you will also get access to an exhibition about the history of this bridge.
4. Visit Westminster Abbey
The impressive Westminster Abbey is located next to the Houses of Parliament. The church was built in a Gothic style and is especially famous since it is the place where coronations and funerals of the English royal houses are being held.
When you visit the church you will get an audio guide to learn more about the history.
5. Walk around Trafalgar Square
I first went to Trafalgar Square by accident. I don’t even remember what I was looking for, but I decided to go down a road and suddenly thought: hey, I know this place!
That giant pillar and statue can’t be missed after all. The building of the National Gallery is nothing short of impressive, and even gave me flashbacks to the monument and pillar collection of Washington DC.
6. See a Musical at West End
I’m not the biggest musical fan, but I was lucky to see The Lion King! It was such a lovely experience. I remember that I didn’t fully understand the show (there were no subtitles after all), but it did make a deep impression on me sitting in such a beautiful theater with so much live entertainment.
The last time I was in London, I decided to treat myself and my friend to my favorite musical: Les Miserables. It was wonderful.
7. Enjoy Chinatown
In the middle of Soho, you will find Chinatown, which you certainly cannot miss. Suddenly it is as if you have arrived in China and everything is written in Chinese.
I don’t find it really authentic, with buffet restaurants everywhere, but they are always full of Chinese tourists. Still nice to walk through.
8. Shop along Oxford Street
If you want to shop at big chain stores, then Oxford Street is your place to be. But make sure to go on a weekday.
It was a nightmare to walk around the GI-NOR-MOUS Topshop store on a Saturday. The music was way too loud, it was extremely busy, and after a while I fled outside… Locals avoid this street like the plague.
9. Visit St. Pauls Cathedral
There is nothing more spectacular than an impressive church. I am not religious, but the magic of a cathedral is never lost on me. The giant space, the silence, the smell, the art on the walls… that was the plan when I wanted to visit St. Pauls Cathedral.
I was already swooning when I got a glimpse of the dramatic dome, and dreamed further as I walked through the surrounding garden. However, I came back to reality as soon as I saw that the entree ticket costs around 20 euros.
Perfect to admire from the outside. If you would like to visit the church, it is best to buy your tickets online. Not only does this save you money, you can also skip the queue.
10. Cross the Millennium Bridge
The Millennium Bridge is, next to the Tower Bridge, and crossing it is one of the most iconic things to do in London.
The modern bridge is located between Modern Tate and the St. Paul’s Cathedral. This way you get an amazing view of the cathedral. You can take some great pictures here when there aren’t a whole lot of people.
11. See Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is the Times Square of London. And yes, I realize that I keep comparing London to other cities. It is very special when new cities bring back old memories of other places you’ve visited.
Piccadilly Circus is what its name suggests: a circus. Figuratively, of course. A chaos of flickering lights, rushing cars, and an enormous mass of people.
Six years ago I remember eating a Haagen Däsz ice cream here. It’s the little things you remember right? However, I when I lived in London I went here there very little because of the many, many tourists.
12. Check out Covent Garden
This is an old fashioned indoor market with many beautiful (though expensive) shops and restaurants.
The atmosphere is very cozy. Street musicians often perform here for free, giving it a romantic vibe.
13. Visit Spitalfields Market
Its location nearby Liverpool Street makes it the perfect place to spend some time when waiting on a bus or train.
Not only can you find restaurants here (I ate at Leon’s once) but also market stalls where they sell clothing, bags and belts.
14. Walk the Banksy Tunnel
If you like street art, then you absolutely must go to the Banksy Tunnel. The tunnel is officially called Leake St Tunnel, and is under the track of Waterloo Station. =
Graffiti is allowed in the 300 meter long tunnel, despite the fact that it is actually illegal.
Why is it called Banksy Tunnel? Because the first graffiti was installed in the tunnel during the Cans Festival, which was organized by Banksy in 2008. It has since become a pedestrian tunnel, where you can also find some restaurants.
Best Parks to Visit in London
15. Hyde Park
Let me just say one important thing: Hyde Park is motherf*cking big. I got out at the wrong underground stop, and had to walk back the whole width of the park. Carrying a weekend bag and backpack.
But Hyde Park is a nice place if you just want to go for a walk or have a picnic. It’s a popular running spot, tourists feed the ducks in the pond, and it is the perfect way to get from the chic Kensington to the trendy Notting Hill.
16. St. James Park & Green Park
This truly is a lovely park, and almost impossible not to notice, since it is located near Buckingham Palace. The reason I added these two together is because the park is intersected by a road, and the park is called St. James Park on one side and Green Park on the other.
I especially love the pond in the middle of St. James Park. During summer you can sail here on a boat. The (protected) swans swim around in the pond, and in the background you can see Buckingham Palace and the London Eye. Super romantic. I once had a picnic in Green Park with a friend during summer.
17. Regents Park & Primrose Hill
This one of those lovely parks where I spent some time on a lazy Sunday. Great fun, because on Sundays there are amateur cricket competitions being held here. I spent some time watching, but I still don’t fully understand the rules.
Anyway. You can also find the London Zoo here. From the park you can peek inside. Primrose Hill has an amazing view of London. This park is located nearby Camden. Right next to it you can also find the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
18. Hampstead Heath & Parliament Hill
During weekends, locals in North London visit the Hampstead Heath for hiking and picnics, and it isn’t hard to understand why.
I also went there, and the area is nice and quiet. On top of that, you can even climb Parliament Hill. From here you will have an amazing view over London, which is very impressive. Nearby you can find the Highgate Cemetery.
19. Victoria Park
Another romantic park, but this time it is located in East London. During summer you can see swans swimming in the pond, boats cruising the waters and dogs running around. Have some brunch at the Pavilion and sit between the locals.
The surroundings of the park, Stratford, isn’t necessary really special, but the connection between Stratford and the center of London is really good (there are many locals living here), and that is why there are many hotels located.
20. Kew Gardens
I haven’t been here myself, but many people I know have. It is still on my wish list, by the way. My friend Kasha has been there and wrote about her visit.
Kew Gardens is a bit outside of London, but it is accessible by subway and is definitely worth the trip. This is one of the most important botanical gardens in the world, with over 30,000 plant species.
You can easily spend a few hours here. The entrance queues seem to be pretty long, but with these online tickets you can skip them (it also saves you money!).
Best Neighborhoods & Areas in London
21. Notting Hill & Portobello Road
Can you believe that the movie Notting Hill is almost 20 years old! How? I’ll just go cry in the corner thank you very much.
Anyway, the district still looks much like its cinematic image. A mix of chic and shabby artistic. There are so many things to do in Notting Hill, but I especially like Portobello Road, where you can find a clothing & fruits market and all sorts of cool stores.
My neighborhood! I lived here during the first half of 2016 in Bermondsey to be exact. I spent a lot of time here and couldn’t possibly be any happier with this neighborhood.
I lived just around the corner of Bermondsey Square (check my favorite coffee place: Hej) and Bermondsey Street (have dinner at Franco Manca). Maltby Street Market is nearby as well during the weekends.
After my shopping adventure on Oxford Street, I randomly wandered through some streets, through Soho Square Gardens, directly into Soho.
A district full of cute cafes, pubs, secondhand bookstores and Chinese restaurants, this is also where people go to party. My boyfriend lived and worked here for a few weeks and he really liked it.
If you avoid the touristic hot spots, Camden can be pretty fun. Camden High Street is for me personally too packed and touristic.
However, the Camden Canal Market is really fun. You can also take a walk along the gorgeous canal, which is pretty romantic.
25. East London: Shoreditch, Whitechapel, Hackney, Hoxton & Dalston
“You have to visit Shoreditch!”
Everyone practically screamed in my face. I had the feeling I would be tried for treason or something if I didn’t end up visiting the district.
Shoreditch is a trendy (and also hipster) district in London. But after living in London, and going there countless of times, I can tell you in one sentence: Shoreditch is fun.
It has a lot of authentic and original restaurants, clothing stores, and on the Sunday I was there I saw two separate public photo shoots. The best thing about Shoreditch is the colorful and stylish graffiti, which is seen as art instead of vandalism, and is being appreciated that way as well.
In the surrounding districts Hoxton and Dalston there are many nice restaurants as well.
You may know Greenwich from the Greenwich Mean Time. This is the time zone that England is located in, and that corresponds with the UTC (the coordinated world clock).
The district of Greenwich is one of the best districts in London. A lovely residential area, but also has the Royal Observatory (which has an amazing view) and the Cutty Sark ship there are many things to do. Great place for a date!
Although isn’t really a district, but more of a general area, South Bank is still one of my favorite parts of London. There’s often food markets going on, but there are also a few restaurants that are there full time.
During winter there is a Christmas Market as well. You can stroll along the river bank with a nice view of the Big Ben.
28. Carnaby Street
This street in Soho deserves it’s own place in this post, because this is where the most beautiful Christmas lights are displayed during winter. Also, don’t miss the Liberty, a shopping mall with a gorgeous exterior.
29. Neal’s Yard
This is a small alleyway near Covent Garden, which may be the most colorful street in all of London. It is a mix of different styles, colors and flags. A great place to get some coffee.
30. Seven Dials
This is the English equation to the nine streets in Amsterdam. All fashionistas in London go here to shop at the local boutiques. It’s the perfect place if you are done with the high street brands that all sell the same items. During winter there are beautiful Christmas lights here.
Nearby Bermondsey, so I came pretty here often as well. I really like Southwark, especially the part near London Bridge. From there you can walk to Southwark Cathedral, go down a stairway and you walk underneath the railway bridge.
You can find all sorts of delicious restaurants here, especially during weekends. A bit further you can find a replica of a big ship from 1577. Finally you end up at the Clink Street, where you can find the ruins of Winchester Palace.
The area is an old dockyard, which is pretty obvious by the design. It’s almost like you can touch history here. At the end of the street, you pass underneath a railway bridge and walk along the water, into the direction of Tate Modern. One of my favorite parts of London.
Fun Ways to See London
32. Bus 453
My favorite bus line is bus 453 to Marylebone. I usually hopped on around the area of Elephant and Castle and drove along the beautiful Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Regents Park.
An absolutely beautiful route, and it only costs you £1.50 using your Oyster Card.
33. City Cruises
If you want to see London from the water, I recommend going on a cruise by City Cruises. I did this at a private party, but was really impressed of how beautiful the boat is, with big windows to get a good view, comfortable chairs, and a big deck on which you can replay scenes from the Titanic with your loved one (I’m talking about the scene at the front of the boat, not the one fighting over the life rafts).
It was amazing to view the sunset over my favorite city, and to drink champagne while watching all of my favorite landmarks.
34. Thames Clipper
What a lot of people don’t know is that you can use your Oyster Card for a boat trip and it only costs a few pounds. The boat is called the Thames Clipper.
It is actually just a ferry that locals use to cross the river, a so called “river bus,” but there are many different routes that you can take to get a look at all the highlights from the water! Read more about that here.
35. Hop on Hop off Bus
Personally, I think taking the bus is best way of exploring London, especially when you sit on the top floor of the double-decker bus. It is best to take it when you aren’t in a hurry (heavy traffic is a real problem in the city), but you see a lot more than taking the Underground.
If you only have one day in London and still want to get a good view of highlights of the city, while listening to the history, I recommend taking a hop-on-hop-off bus. This way you get to see all the highlights you will want to see, without the hassle of public transport.
Big Bus is the one you see the most throughout the city, and they drive three different routes. Check ticket prices here.
36. Emirates Cable Cars
Would you rather see the city from the sky for the same price as a bus ride? That is possible too! You get on at the O2 Arena, check in with your card, and you fly over the river in a cable car with a gorgeous view over the financial district of London. You’ll end up at ExCel London, a huge conference center, where I have been for work multiple times.
You see the Santander Cycles at almost every corner in central London. The bicycle, also known as ‘Boris Bikes’ after former mayor Boris Johnson who installed the plan, can be used for a small fee. You can hire them and put them back at any station.
Pay a fee of £2 for 24 hours (using your debit card). The drives are free if you bring them back within thirty minutes, otherwise you pay £2 for every thirty minutes extra. Do mind that you have to drive at the left side of the road and please be careful, cycling here isn’t as safe as it is in the Netherlands (where I am from).
Museums in London
38. Sherlock Holmes Museum
I have a small crush on Benedict Cumberbatch, and also love the masterpiece show that is Sherlock. On one of my first trips I decided to go to the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London… where I ended up waiting in line for two hours. While in the museum I discovered I never really knew that much about Sherlock Holmes (other than the movies and series).
The museum is pretty cute: it is located in a 19th century old Victorian house, which is completely furnished according to the 19th century standards, and according to the Sherlock Holmes books. You have the bedroom of Sherlock and Watson, the living room, and rooms with dolls from specific cases of Sherlock Holmes (I only recognized a few).
It is very small, you only need about twenty minutes, but it would definitely a lot of fun for the real Sherlock fans. (I have to say that I was a little bit disappointed that Benni wasn’t there…)
If you want even more Sherlock Holmes, try this tour
39. Museum of London
I already said it once, but I am a real history nerd. Instead of art museums, you will always find me at a history museum. Quite literally: when I was in Museum of London, I suddenly heard my name – turns out it was someone I knew!
I especially like the free museums in London, like this one. And I couldn’t wait to find out more about the history a fascinating city like London. And boy… this museum is amazing.
From ancient times to modern times, all periods are included. With gorgeous rooms to walk through, videos to watch, and things to touch, the museum is highly interactive. You can easily spend hours walking through here, and definitely recommend it!
40. British Museum
Fans of architecture will love the British Museum. This world-class museum has a lot of old art, so if you want to see beautiful paintings then this is a tip for you. If you want, try booking a tour so you have someone to guide you through!
41. National History Museum
My second favorite museum. Since almost all museums in London are free to enter, I spent most of my weekends in the here. I think I visited the National History Museum about three times.
The dinosaur skeletons are especially cool, but the architecture of the building feels magical. If you are here during Christmas, or during a busy weekend, it is best to go as early as possible, because the queues can get extremely long.
42. Victoria Albert Museum
I loved this museum as well, and especially because of the old artifacts. It also has a really nice courtyard garden. Absolutely gorgeous.
43. Imperial War Museum
If you are interested in war history, then you will feel right at home at the Imperial War Museum. It is not as big as I had expected it to be, but it was most definitely impressive.
44. Tate Modern
If you like modern art, or -again- architecture, then the Tate Modern is great choice. It was all a bit too abstract for me, but you do have an amazing view over the St. Pauls Cathedral from the cafe.
If you like museums then read this post about ten fantastic London museums you can’t miss!
45. National Gallery
That one building at Trafalgar Square? Yes, that is this one. The National Gallery is a world famous art museum with paintings from Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and Vermeer.
Food Markets in London
46. Brick Lane
If there is one place you have to be on a Sunday, it is Brick Road: a street full of stalls selling vintage clothes, ethnic food, music… and a lot of people. There is such a buzzing festive atmosphere at the market stalls on the road that connects Shoreditch to Whitechapel.
I dove into a hall with upcoming designers, visited vintage clothing stores, almost bought some books at a small bookstore, and mentally ate all the food that I saw there.
The vibe was hip, trendy, young and festive, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. In every alley there were even more stalls, or more trendy stores. Highly recommended for a lazy Sunday.
47. Maltby Street Market
My favorite street food market! This is the place to be for all the hipsters, and I was in luck because my house was only ten minutes away. So I went here a couple of times.
On Saturdays and Sundays you can find the market in a alleyway and under a railway bridge. The food is more hipster (and pricey) It is still a bit unknown, so don’t tell too many people about it :).
48. Borough Market (or Southwark)
Borough Market is one of the most well-known food markets in London, if not the most famous one. I went here multiple times (this was not too far from my house either), but I have never bought something here.
It is really overpriced if you ask me. I’d rather go to Southwark, a few dozen meters further down the road, near the cathedral I mentioned earlier.
49. Camden Canal Market
Just like I mentioned before, Camden is not really my favorite district, but what it does make it very special is the Camden canal Market, where you can find all kinds of food stalls. This is especially great during summer, and I think it was open every day of the week, though I was there on a Saturday (very busy).
50. Leather Lane in Farringdon
The fun thing of being a local, is that you get to experience the normal life in the city. You could often find me in the Islington district for work (see down below), and sometimes I walked to Leather Lane, to go to the market there that is open from 10 am to 2 pm. They prepare food freshly so you can get a nice lunch here.
51. Exmouth Market in Islington
About two or three times a week I strolled to Exmouth Market for lunch (is it located at the corner of the Expedia office, a client of my business), and it is still one of my favorite streets.
Food is freshly prepared in stalls during lunchtime on weekdays, but there are also many great restaurants to get lunch. My favorites are the salmon bagels from Brill, the pizza from Pizza Pilgrims, or Italians cuisine from Sontorè.
52. Chapel Market in Islington
Another one that is located just around the corners is Chapel Market. Here it’s the same story, fresh food is cooked and sold during lunch. I love this tradition to sell food to hungry businesspeople in their lunch break. It’s a great way to support local businesses.
Original Things to Do in London
53. Look for all the street art and murals.
You either love it or hate it: East London. This traditionally used to be a poor area where factory worked lived. You can still see this very well. But the best part of these districts are that hipsters and students come flocking to the low rents and make the streets look pretty and colorful.
If you want to learn more about the art pieces that you come across, it is best to go on a street art tour. This tour takes you to all of the street art of East London, including artworks from Banksy.
54. Visit Highgate Cemetery
Maybe a bit of a dark tip, this one, but it’s a great attraction to visit when you’ve done all the standard highlights of London. In North London you will find Highgate Cemetery near Hampstead Heath which you can visit with a tour.
It is the best known cemetery in London. The cemetery dates from 1839, and is full of gorgeous family graves and tombs. During this tour you get a lot of background information about mourning in the Victorian era. You can also find Karl Marx’s tomb here.
55. Do a Jack the Ripper Tour
I start to see a little trend in my unusual activities… What can I say? I think the darkness of a city often tells a lot about the daily life during that time. Jack the Ripper is of course one of the world’s best-known serial killers, and remains an unsolved mystery to this day.
I loved doing a walking tour where got to know more about the locations, the murders and daily life during the end of the nineteenth century. Highly recommend it!
56. Get Spooked on a Ghost Tour
Recently I had the opportunity to do a Ghost walking tour. Creepy! The tours are organized by Strawberry Tours, and the fun things is: it’s free! Of course, you should give your guide a well-earned tip if you enjoyed the tour.
We walked through the center of London for about 2 hours and heard all about the ghosts and urban legends that happen in this part of London. Heads will roll! You will be sleeping with the lights on :-)
57. Do an Escape Room
I had high expectations for my first escape room. I LOVE riddles. In that aspect I am just like a laboratory monkey: let me solve a mystery and the amount of dopamine released in my brain is enough to produce an entire interesting scientific study.
Anyway: you can try and solve riddle after riddle at one of the six rooms at HintHunt near Euston. You can do this with groups of 3-5 people. We sadly didn’t make it out in time, but we did have lot of fun! I will definitely try this again :).
58. Have afternoon tea
Is there anything more English than afternoon tea? If you are in London, it is actually mandatory to do one.
Eat your belly around with finger sandwiches, scones and tarts, while sipping tea and campaign. Whether you want a chic, a casual or an original high tea, I have written about my favorite places for high tea in London.
59. Visit the mews
When I unsuspectingly went for a walk around my hotel in Bayswater, I walked past a side street and stopped at my place. It was such a cute street, I wanted to return and take photos.
It turned out to be Leinster Mews! Today, “Mews” is a British term that basically describes these lovely little alleyways. It used to refer to house for servants and horse-coachman. They’re a big contrast to the stately white mansions you’ll find on streets nearby.
You’d think they be affordable, but nope. They’re worth millions! Crazy, right?
For more mews around London, check out Queen’s Gate Mews, St. Luke’s Mews (where Love Actually was filmed), and Kynance Mews. Most are in West London in Notting Hill, Chelsea, Kensington, and Bayswater. You can find a lot on this Instagram account.
60. Search for the best hidden places
Of course I like to share all the famous sights in London. But since I have lived there and know the city through and through, I find it even more fun to talk about the “secret” places that most tourists don’t know, and where I like to come. These are the places that bring a smile to my face
Best Views of London
61. London Eye
A giant Ferris wheel from which you can see all of London: awesome. The entree fee is pretty pricey, so I have only seen the wheel from the outside.
But anyway, it is still an iconic picture, with it being 135 meter in height. From the cabins you will have a 360 degrees view of the city, it turns around slowly and lasts about thirty minutes.
Keep in mind that it is pretty much always busy, so buying your tickets online is a good idea if you don’t want to wait for too long. Buy the cheapest tickets online for fast track entrance. You can read more of my tips for skipping the crowds at famous London attractions here.
62. The Shard
Although I’ve walked past it several times (I lived about ten minutes away from here), I have never been all the way to the top. The Shard is the highest viewpoint of London, and also the highest building of West-Europe.
The name comes from the resemblance to a piece of glass, which gives it its iconic look in the London skyline. I think it is one of London’s most beautiful buildings. By buying your tickets save some money by buying your tickets here.
This is my secret tip. You can get a free view of the city at Skygarden. However, you will need to book tickets in advance, otherwise you might miss this chance. I loved the view, and there is also a cafe where you can get something to drink.
64. Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar & Café
To be honest, I have no idea if this is open in the winter, but in the summer this is one of my favorite places in London. I discovered it by accident when I saw people walking up the stairs and they just decided to follow (curiosity pays). Then I discovered a super cool rooftop where you can drink and have an amazing view of the Big Ben and London Eye.
Since then I have been giving this tip to all my friends. Not really a view like the above tips, but a very cool rooftop bar with a super view.
65. Have a drink at a height in the Shangri-La
The Shangri-La is one of the smartest hotels in London, situated in the Shard (above). But you don’t necessarily have to buy a ticket for the viewpoint, you can also just have a drink at TING, the hotel’s restaurant on the 52nd floor. Go inside at the entrance for “Shangri-La” and not that of “Restaurants”, otherwise you will end up in the wrong part of the tower, haha.
The Best Tours in London
66. Bicycle Tour
If you ever wanted to experience London from a different point of view, you can always go for a cycling tour (check ticket prices here). This way you get to all the highlights, but you are also being active.
It’s a fun and active way to learn all about the history of the monuments and about the history of London. And another great thing is: you don’t have to look up the route and just follow the guide!
67. Free Walking Tour
One of my favorite things to do in a city is a free walking tour. I always go with the SANDEMAN organization. There are several tours that you can follow, but you can of course always take the standard tour.
Gather at the mentioned place and don’t forget to tip the guide at least seven pounds per person, because they don’t get paid by the organization (they even have to pay the organization to be allowed to give the tour).
68. For Soccer Fans
Soccer fans couldn’t be any happier with top clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in London. The latter currently plays at the world-famous Wembley Stadium (online tickets), this is where the English soccer team usually plays.
69. For Tennis Fans
Wimbledon is world famous. During summer, the Wimbledon tournament is played every year, but if there are no matches, you can also visit the complex with a tour. Check prices and tours here.
70. Sherlock Holmes Tour
If you love Sherlock Holmes, and read the book, then a walking tour with this theme will be great. During this tour you’ll visit all the places that you find in the books ánd the BBC series Sherlock. You can buy tickets for the tour online. Check ticket prices here.
Harry Potter in London
71. Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station
This is obviously not to be missed for a true fan: the platform from where Harry starts his journey to Hogwarts in the books. And while that of course does not really exist, Kings Cross does have a tribute to the books, where you can take a photo of yourself pushing the trolley through the wall.
There is usually a queue so you can hardly miss it. It is in the back on the right side of the main hall.
72. Harry Potter Studio Tour
True fans don’t just want a photo, they also want to visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour for a look behind the scenes at the Harry Potter movies. You can board the Hogwarts Express, visit the Diagon Alley and the other sets, and learn more about the way the movies were shot.
On this tour you will depart with a luxury bus from Victoria coach Station to the studios, where you can take a look around for yourself. The return trip is also included. Very convenient as the site is located just outside of London! Check ticket prices here.
73. Harry Potter Walking tour
Want to see all the places in London where they shot scenes for the Harry Potter movies? Then a Harry Potter themed walking tour would be a great option. Immerse yourself in the world of your favorite movie series, and see a magical side of London. Tickets for the walking tour are available here.
74. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
As a true Harry Potter fan, you probably know that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play is being held at the Palace Theater. The two-part play gets great reviews and almost everyone that I know who saw it, is wildly enthusiastic. Unfortunately, tickets are very popular and you will have to book them more than a year (!) in advance.
Castles in London
75. Tower of London
This castle is not to be missed it is located next to the Tower Bridge. I lived close by, so I went past there often, and I was always happy to see a piece of the old London between all the new and shiny buildings.
The Tower dates back to 1078 and has served as a fort, palace, jail and more. So much history in between these walls. You can also visit the crown jewels here. It is literally álways busy (I have never seen short queues) so I suggest you buy tickets in advance.
76. Kensington Palace
Want to see where the royal family of England lives? Yes, Queen Elizabeth actually lives in Buckingham Palace, but the rest of the family (William, Kate and Harry) live in the chic Kensington Palace. Princess Diana lived here too. Next to the castle you can also visit the gardens.
77. Hampton Court Palace
This castle dates back to 1514. If you love the Tudors, and the history of the English royal house, then a visit to this palace is something you should do. It was the palace of King Henry VII, who is especially known for his collection of wives (most of which did not survive their marriage).
You can buy your online tickets here.
Tips for Visiting London
Get the London Pass
If you are planning a city trip to London, the London Pass is worth considering! This is a city pass that lets you access more than 60 attractions for free, get priority access, get access to the hop-on-hop-off bus, and discounts at selected stores, theater shows and restaurants.
Take a look at the list of attraction that are included in this pass, and if you are interested in visiting a few of these, the pass may work out to be cheaper for you!
London can be done on a budget
London is absolutely a bucket list destination, one you have to visit at least once in your life. But London is also one of the most expensive destinations in the world. Luckily there are a lot of fun free things to do in London. Just a hint: almost all museums are free. Check here to get an idea of how much to budget.
How to Fly into London
Did you know there are multiple airports you can use to fly into London? Check this guide to figure out which one you should use.
Do a Day Trip from London
Are you staying in London for a longer time? Or have you been there so often that you want to see something else?
There are many nice towns and sights in the area. When I lived in London I would go on day trips all the time, so these are all tried and tested! Check out this article.
Where to Eat in London
London truly is a culinary destination, with cuisines from every corner of the world at your disposal. I have already given you many tips for fun food markets in this article, but if you are looking for more, then check out my guide on the most delicious places to eat in London!
How to Get Around London
Public transportation can be complicated in a new city. Fortunately, I wrote a very extensive article about how public transportation in London works, since I lived there for seven months.
Best Hotels in London
I have stayed in London several times and collected some of my favorite tips and places for you on every budget!
€ Budget Hotels
My favorite hostels are the Wombats city hostel and the Dictionary Hostels in London. The first one is part of a chain of trendy and luxurious hostels, and I loved the great security, the nice bathrooms and having your own private sockets. It is located east of the Tower of London, a great location in central London. The Dictionary Hostel is trendy, and has more of a party vibe to it. Since it is located in Shoreditch, it is located near all the trendy cafes and restaurants.
People who love simple no-nonsense rooms, feel right at home at Tune Hotels. Here you get a simple room in central London for an affordable price (you can pay for the extra’s, such as internet and blow-dryers). Its location near Liverpool Street couldn’t possibly be better. My personal favorit is Qbic in Whitechapel, less than three minutes from the trendy Brick Lane. The rooms are perfect for design lovers and the location is perfect for a city trip.
If you have a love for high tech gadgets and four star comfort, then I really recommend CitizenM in Shoreditch. I spent a wonderful night while playing with the mood lights on the iPad and watched free movies (new) on the television. One step out of the door and you step straight into the super trendy Shoreditch. Big thumbs up!
What are your favorite things to do in London?
General Travel Tips
- For accommodation, I always check Airbnb or Booking.com for the best prices.
- If your insurance at home doesn’t cover travel, you may want to look into SafetyWing for an affordable option.
- I always recommend checking Get Your Guide for the best tours in Europe