Things to do in

London

From double-decker buses to pubs and musicals, the British capital has something special for all.

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The best things to do in London

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life," said Samuel Johnson. He spoke the truth. Whether you're looking for West End musicals, double decker buses, Sherlock Holmes pubs, or Kate Middleton lunch spots, the British capital has something to offer you.

  • Warner Brothers Studio

    1. Warner Brothers Studio

    You can't go to London without visiting Harry Potter! Take a day trip from London to Warner Brothers Studio, where you'll be able to shop Diagon Alley, enjoy a Butterbeer, and talk Quidditch.

  • Stonehenge

    2. Stonehenge

    Reflect on the world's most famous prehistoric ruins. Getting to Stonehenge takes about 90 minutes. Tip: you can also visit Windsor Castle or Bath while out in the countryside.

  • The Shard

    3. The Shard

    If you can catch a sunny day, there's nothing more beautiful than 360-degree views of London at the Shard. Visit the viewing platform inside Western Europe's tallest building.

  • Madame Tussaud's

    4. Madame Tussaud's

    Trying to spot your favorite British celebrities? You'll at least be able to find their life-size wax counterparts here! Madame Tussaud's is a fun thing to do on a rainy day in London.

  • Tower of London

    5. Tower of London

    Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, AKA The Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the Thames River. The tour is plain fun, and you get to see the Crown Jewels!

  • London Eye

    6. London Eye

    Climb onto Europe's biggest ferris wheel, and float 443 feet above the Thames River. Inside a London Eye pod, you'll get great views of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and Hyde Park.

  • South Bank

    7. South Bank

    The walk between the Eye and Tower Bridge in South Bank is filled with largely state-funded arts venues. Head to the Tate Modern for modern masters, and then to Borough Market for lunch.

  • River Thames

    8. River Thames

    The River Thames weaves right through the heart of London. An afternoon boat tour is a fun introduction to the Tower of London, Parliament, and other riverside attractions.

  • Wembley Stadium

    9. Wembley Stadium

    Opened in 2007, Wembley is the 90,000 capacity home for the English national football team (and lots of other major sporting and concert events!).

  • London Zoo

    10. London Zoo

    A visit to the London Zoo is a great family outing. Watch the animal feedings, explore the butterfly enclosure, or learn more about conservation.

Frequently asked questions about London

What top attractions are a must-see in London?

Which tours in London are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days should you spend in London?

    If this is your first trip to London, stay for at least four full days in order to hit all the classic sights like Buckingham Palace. But whether it's your first trip or your tenth, the key to visiting London is planning. The more you dig around, the more you'll realize how many things you can do in the city -- and everybody will want to see different sights and attractions. Before you go, decide which which tours or sights are a "must" for your group.

  • How much do taxis and double decker buses cost?

    Transportation is notoriously expensive in London. Take the tube or a taxi at least once, for the experience and the picture. Locals travel by bus or by foot. The bus map can be a little confusing, but it is reliable and much cheaper. You'll be an expert by the end of your trip, which will give you a better excuse to come back again!

  • What's the best time of year to visit London?

    They aren't kidding when they say "foggy Londontown." There's always a threat of rain, which is something that bonds the English together in solidarity. Even in the summer, you should carry an umbrella or light jacket. One idea? Plan your visit around a classic London event (like the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race down the Thames, or seeing the Christmas lights at Harrod's).

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    British Pound (£)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+00:00)
  • Country Code
    +44
  • Best time to visit
    The weather is foggy with a chance of rain year-round. In the spring, the parks are green and in bloom. In the fall and winter, hotel prices tend to be lower.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to London

Laurence is a full time travel blogger and photographer, who shares his tips on travel and improving your photography on his website Finding the Universe. He used to live in London, and you can see his tips for spending two days in London here.

What should I do on my first trip to London?

The best way to get acquainted with the city is to take a stroll from the Tower of London, across Tower Bridge, and along the south bank of the Thames before finishing at the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. This will take no more than 2 hours, but will acquaint you with many of London's most popular sights. You could easily visit two of London's most popular attractions at the start and end of your journey, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey as well.

What are some hidden gems to see in London?

London has some really interesting and quirky museums which are well worth visiting. The Museum of Brands is a great option, as is the Cartoon Museum. The Postal Museum is also worth a visit!

How much time should I spend in London?

The main highlights of central London can be experienced across two days. If you want to explore areas outside the central area, perhaps visiting attractions like Windsor Castle, an extra day would be advisable.

What food is London known for?

No trip to London would be complete without trying out some local pub food. Highlights of a pub menu would include fish and chips or a traditional steak and ale pie. Don't forget to leave room for dessert, with sticky toffee pudding being a popular option!

What are the best months to visit London?

Avoiding the summer crowds in London is advisable, so visiting between April and June or in September should give you the best combination of better weather and less people. December is also a good time to visit as the city is decorated with lights and Christmas decorations.

What is neighborhood The East End of London known for?

The East End of London, which stretches from around the Tower of London out towards the London City Airport, is famous for its markets, street food, and incredible curry houses.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

If you love curry, one of the most popular dishes in the UK, then you'll want to head out to East London where you'll find an incredible array of authentic Indian restaurants. Another good option is to dine around the West End theatres, there are many good restaurants in this area which often have pre-theatre dining deals.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The most well known shopping street is the mile long Oxford Street which runs from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road. This has all the major high street brands. For high end shopping, you'll want to head to the area of Mayfair, whilst those of you shopping for a suit will want to head to the world famous Savile Road.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit London?

Central London, and specifically the borough of Westminster, is probably the best place to base yourself in the city. Here you'll find everything from budget hostels through to world famous five star hotel brands. Basing yourself here might cost a bit more than being a bit further out, but it is definitely worth it for the proximity to sightseeing.

Other Sightseeing Options in London

Want to discover all there is to do in London? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about London

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 110,763 reviews

Jack was an amazing, friendly and knowledgeable tour guide who let us see jack the ripper in a whole new way. 100% would recommend to anyone looking for a great spooky london tour.

Very entertaining evening with tales of ghastly ghosts and a lot of history thrown in! Nice couple of hours that flew by with our enthusiastic host George. Loved it

Wonderful The guide Bruce was so nice and explained very well Really knows how to manage a group , knowledgeable and funny I had a great experience Thank you

Brilliant! Jack was warm, friendly and very knowledgeable :) x

Jack the guide was very informative and entertaining!