Looking for things to do in London? If you’re jetting off to a bustling city, it can be super daunting with SO many places to visit and all of the things you really want to do. It suddenly seems everyone you speak to about your vacay plans is an expert on that destination. You’ve got all the “unmissable” recommendations with no time to see it all – From an authentic gelato stall by the beach to “the museum to beat ALL museums” (bold statement…), it can be a real struggle to sift through the very ordinary to find the golden hotspots. Sure enough, you’ll feel exhausted with a list of places to visit longer than the queue for that Insta-worthy gelato stall!
Gathered right here, I’m revealing all of the tips and tricks.
You’ll have the extra time to explore those recommended places your pals have been raving about AND still have time to check in to the main attractions too. The last thing you want to think when you arrive back home is “I wish we had time for that” or “We really should have visited that place”. Time spent in a city can go so quickly. Let’s make sure your hours abroad are filled with only the best things! Make time to plan pre-holiday so when you touch down in the city, you can fully relax and start the adventure…
Sometimes it’s totally fine to be a complete tourist hitting all of the cliché places and don’t you forget that!
It’s all about getting the perfect balance of seeing the sights AND experiencing things which make you feel just like a local.
Grab a cup of tea, sit back and take a read through my guide for enjoying Europe’s best cities with ease. Starting with things to do in London…
The Tower of London
Boasting £20 billion worth of precious jewels and finery, the Tower of London is always a must-visit for tourists. It’s not often you get to gaze upon a glistening crown. BUT… You’ll have a strong crowd to battle through. Opting for early access for around £60 to the Tower of London allows you to see the crown jewels up close (with time to ponder over how you can marry Prince Harry!). For the full experience, time your visit with the Ceremony of the Keys to see the beefeaters and guards in action – Seeing this ceremony take place is up there on the list of traditional things to do in London.
A particular place I adore in London is Covent Garden. With a vast selection of shops, both independent and chain, it’s such a lovely place to browse and on my list of favourite things to do in London. Keep a few pennies spare in your pocket for the amazing street entertainers. Known for flash-mob performances and celebrity sightings, an innocent wander around Covent Garden can really develop into a fantastic day out.
THE LONDON Eye
No visit to London is complete without a trip on the London Eye – Don’t be put off by how gloomy the weather looks in this photo I took! The spinning wheel (it goes suuuuper slowly, don’t panic!) treats passengers with an incomparable viewpoint across the city. Take the weight off and set down for a leisurely peer out of the windows. I personally much prefer trying to spot certain landmarks from all vantage points in the carriage and taking a few snaps too! Add this one to your list of things to do in London for sure!
More than 50,000 people visit the royal family’s HQ each year. Whilst I can’t get you a private dinner party with the corgis, you can enjoy a guided tour of quite possibly the most iconic stately home. Buying your tickets directly from their website gives you readmission entry for a year. Oh and remember: If the union flag is flying above the Palace, Queenie isn’t at home… (Boooo 💔)
Walk in the path of the royals with a visit to Westminster Abbey. To fully appreciate the beautiful architecture and stained glass features, I recommend a wander round, taking it all in externally (it is HUGE!) then head in to explore the grand ceiling and furnishings. With more than a thousand years of history, many important monarchs were buried here – With such a history comes the tales of hauntings but perhaps you’ll discover that part yourself!
A british classic: Fish & Chips
To fully experience London as one of us, I suggest you grab some fish and chips and go for a wander. Immerse yourself in the experience with lashings of salt and vinegar – You’re aiming for eye-wateringly strong! It’s quite a favoured takeaway treat for many English people and, whilst it won’t take you long to find a chip shop, it’s truly an art to discover a great one! Top tip: Go full Londoner and order some scampi or cockles if you’re adventurous. That’s another one ticked off the list of things to do in London!
Platform 9 3/4
Be sure to head over to King’s Cross Station if you’re a Hazza P fan. You can pose with the luggage trolley at Platform 9¾, just don’t let the muggles see you disappear into the wall. It’s a perfect photo opportunity and the architecture of the station is breathtaking. It’s quite an unusual thing to do in London and your friends will love to see the quirky photos you take here!
Check out Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside. Designed to replicate the earliest known English playhouses, it’s a fully immersive setting. Take a tour – the theatre is absolutely bursting with atmosphere and there is so much to explore. I suggest you book tickets to watch a play; avoid the groundling tickets if you’ve got achey legs from all the sightseeing. Instead, live the high life in the seated upper galleries like the sophisticated Elizabethans of times gone by.
A short walk from Shakespeare’s Globe is the Tate Modern gallery. I’ll happily admit to this gallery being one of my all-time favourite art spaces. Boasting so many cool pieces and revolutionary installations and artworks, it’s a really great place to visit. Key pieces include art by Hockney, Duchamp sculptures and marvellous installations in The Turbine Hall.
Traditional afternoon tea
All the sight-seeing can certainly build up an appetite. If you’re used to the finer things in life or perhaps fish & chips isn’t exactly your thing, I’ve got the solution. There are so many lovely tea rooms and restaurants offering a traditional afternoon high tea. With a selection of hand-cut sandwiches, fanciful cakes and delicate tea, you’ll be instantly transported to 1800’s England and a finer way of life. Don’t forget to sample a scone with clotted cream and jam!
Being a London girl from my youngest years, it has always been a place I find captivating. There’s a real earthy atmosphere for me and I feel incredibly lucky to have such an awesome city on my doorstep.
Is there anything you recommend is MUST when in London? What have you been told simply cannot be missed? What is on your list of things to do in London? Let me know! Whilst I’m fairly savvy, there’s bound to be somewhere I haven’t explored yet. Leave a comment and tell me your plans!
Thanks to John Wildgoose and London Town for the great shots of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Thank you also to Visit London and Tate Modern for images of the gallery.