15 Best Things To Do In London, England

15 Best Things To Do In London, England

By will

London is a vibrant city full of things to do, from historical sights and iconic landmarks to world-class restaurants and vibrant nightlife. With so much to explore, it can be hard to decide what to do first – but don’t worry, I’m here to help!

Here is my list of the 15 best things to do in London, England.

From visiting the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace to exploring the Tate Modern and the National Gallery, there’s something here for everyone.

So, let’s dive in and discover all the amazing things that this incredible city has to offer!

The Tower of London

The Tower of London: viewed from the west
Photo by N Chadwick

You can’t visit London without taking a tour of the Tower of London – it’s a must-see experience!

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Tower of London has been a part of London’s history for almost 1,000 years. It has served as a royal palace and fortress, a prison, an armoury and treasury, and a place of execution and torture.

The Tower of London is now a World Heritage Site and is a popular tourist attraction, with an average of 3 million visitors a year.

The Tower of London is home to the world-famous Crown Jewels, which were first moved to the Tower in the 17th century. Visitors can view the breathtaking collection of gems and gold regalia, including the Imperial State Crown, the Coronation Spoon, and St. Edward’s Crown.

The Tower also houses the Beefeaters, the traditional guardians of the Tower, and ravens, which are believed to protect the Crown.

Guided tours, led by a knowledgeable Beefeater, provide visitors with an engaging and informative tour of the Tower.

British Museum

The British Museum
Photo by Bill Nicholls

Experience the incredible collection of artifacts at the British Museum – it’s a must-see!

The British Museum is one of the most visited museums in the world, with an impressive assortment of over 8 million items from cultures around the world.

From Egyptian mummies to ancient sculptures, the British Museum is a must-see for anyone looking to explore the history of the world.

As you explore the museum, you’ll get to learn about various cultures and their unique customs, religions, and art.

There are also interactive activities and educational programs for visitors of all ages.

Whether you’re looking for a quick tour or a full day of exploration, the British Museum is the perfect place to learn about the history and culture of the world.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace
Photo by Philip Halling

Visit Buckingham Palace and marvel at the grandeur of one of the world’s most iconic royal residences. Home to the reigning British monarch since the 19th century, Buckingham Palace is the official London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarchy.

Standing at the end of the Mall in central London, the palace exterior is a sight to behold, with its grand facade, soaring towers, and ornate balcony.

The interior of the palace is equally impressive, with its breathtaking State Rooms, grand staircases, and artworks of the Royal Collection. For a unique experience, visitors can take a guided tour of the palace to hear stories of the royal family’s history and gain exclusive access to the 19 state rooms, picture galleries, and the Royal Chapel.

In addition, there’s a changing of the guard ceremony at 11:30 am daily, and visitors can also explore the beautiful gardens and the Queen’s Gallery. Buckingham Palace is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience British royal history firsthand.

Westminster Abbey

Take a stroll through Westminster Abbey, a magnificent Gothic church that stands as the traditional coronation site of the British monarchs.

Located in the heart of London, Westminster Abbey is a stunning piece of architecture that dates back to the 11th century. It has been the site of numerous royal weddings, funerals, and coronations for centuries.

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The Abbey’s interior is a breathtaking sight, with its intricate stained glass windows, ornate tombs, and soaring Gothic arches. Visitors can also explore the cloisters, chapels, and gardens within the Abbey. It is truly a sight to behold, and a must-see for any London visitor.

For those who wish to learn more, the Abbey offers a guided tour which covers its fascinating history and the stories of the many kings, queens, and other famous figures buried within its walls. The tour also takes visitors through the Abbey’s art and architecture, including its beautiful sculptures and stained glass windows.

Westminster Abbey is a remarkable example of Gothic architecture that serves as a reminder of the city’s long and rich history. It’s a must-see for any traveler looking to explore the best of London.

The London Eye

Soar above London in the iconic London Eye and see the city from a whole new perspective!

The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel that stands 135 meters tall and is an iconic symbol of the city. It offers incredible views of London, from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben to the London Shard and St. Paul’s Cathedral. On a clear day, visitors can take in the incredible skyline of the city and see all the way out to the English Channel.

The experience starts in the London Eye 4D Experience, a 360-degree cinema that gives visitors a thrilling introduction to the city. Afterward, visitors can climb into one of the 32 enclosed capsules, each of which can fit up to 25 people. As the wheel slowly turns, visitors can relax and take in the sights.

Once the ride is over, visitors can also explore the London Eye River Cruise, a 30-minute journey along the River Thames. With informative commentary, visitors can learn more about the city’s history and culture.

The London Eye is a must-see for any visitor to the city.

Hampton Court Palace

Explore the stunning Hampton Court Palace, a former royal residence of King Henry VIII, and get a glimpse of royal life in 16th-century England!

This stunning palace is located on the banks of the River Thames and it’s easy to see why it was a favorite of King Henry VIII.

It’s a beautiful example of Tudor architecture with Tudor-style gardens, courtyards, and the famous Great Hall.

One of the most popular parts of the palace is the Great Fountain in the gardens, which is the world’s oldest working fountain.

You can also take a tour of the palace’s many chambers and galleries, including the State Apartments and the Chapel Royal.

To get an even better feel for what life was like in the 16th century, you can take a guided tour of the palace’s kitchens and get a glimpse of how the King and his court were fed.

Hampton Court Palace is a must-see for anyone visiting London.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral is a stunning architectural masterpiece that has been standing proudly in London since the 17th century. Constructed in the Baroque style, the cathedral is a sight to behold, with its ornate dome that towers over the city and its impressive façade that greets visitors.

Inside, the sheer size of the cathedral’s interior is awe-inspiring, and its grandeur can be felt by all who enter its doors.

The history of St. Paul’s Cathedral is as fascinating as its architecture. It has been witness to some of the most significant events in English history, such as the funerals of Sir Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria, as well as to the coronation of King Charles II.

Today, the cathedral is open to the public and remains a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offering guided tours, services, and an interactive museum. Visitors can also climb up to the Whispering Gallery, where their voices can be heard echoing across the entire cathedral.

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Kew Gardens

Come and experience the beauty of Kew Gardens, located just outside of London.

Kew Gardens is a 300-acre botanical garden filled with vibrant colors, lush greenery, and majestic trees. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of London city life and take a stroll in nature.

Here, you’ll find a variety of gardens, from the beautiful Japanese Garden to the artfully designed Rose Garden.

For the adventurous type, Kew Gardens also offers a treetop walk, letting you explore the canopy of the gardens from a unique perspective.

There’s also the historic Kew Palace, a gorgeous building with an extensive history that dates back to the 1600s.

If you’re interested in learning more about the gardens, the Kew Explorer app offers guided tours and other fun activities.

With so much to explore and discover, Kew Gardens is a must-visit destination for any traveler to London.

The Shard

Take in the stunning views of London from the top of The Shard, the tallest building in the United Kingdom. The iconic building is a feat of modern architecture, standing at 1,016 feet tall.

The Shard is home to a variety of attractions, including the observation deck ‘The View from The Shard’. The observation deck is on the 72nd floor, offering 360 degree views of London. It’s the perfect spot to take a few stunning photos of the cityscape.

The Shard is also home to a number of restaurants, shops, and offices. Enjoy delicious cuisine from one of the restaurants, ranging from modern British dishes to traditional Italian. There’s also a variety of shops, including fashion stores, art galleries, and souvenir stores.

Take a few moments to explore all The Shard has to offer and make some amazing memories.

Hyde Park

Experience the beauty and serenity of Hyde Park, one of London’s oldest and largest parks. Located in the heart of London, Hyde Park spans over 350 acres of lush green grass. It is home to a variety of activities and attractions, such as the Serpentine lake and the Diana Memorial Fountain. It also hosts some of the city’s most popular events, such as the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and the London Marathon.

The park is also home to a range of wildlife, from ducks and swans to squirrels and birds. Take a stroll through the park and you’ll find a number of monuments and sculptures. There is also a boating lake, a children’s playground, and a picturesque rose garden. Hyde Park is also a great spot for relaxing and taking in the amazing views of the city skyline.

With its beautiful surroundings and range of activities, Hyde Park is a must-see destination for any visitor to London.

Camden Market

Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of Camden Market, a vibrant and eclectic market in the heart of London that offers something for everyone.

You can spend an entire day exploring the numerous stalls, unique shops, and eateries.

On weekends, the market is even more lively, with live music, street performers, and an array of colorful characters.

There is something for everyone at the market, whether it’s vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, unique art, or a variety of delicious foods.

Don’t forget to check out the local street vendors, who offer everything from traditional English food to international cuisine.

Camden Market is a great place for bargain hunters, as well as a great spot to find unique and one-of-a-kind items.

It’s the perfect place to spend the day with friends and family, and it’s a must-see during any trip to London.

Tower Bridge

Marvel at the iconic Tower Bridge, the suspension bridge that spans the River Thames. Completed in 1894 after eight years of construction, this bridge is a marvel of Victorian engineering and is one of the most recognizable symbols of London.

Located in the heart of the city, Tower Bridge features two beautiful towers connected by two walkways. As you walk across the bridge, take in the stunning views of the city skyline, the Tower of London, and the River Thames. Enjoy the experience of crossing the bridge as it raises and lowers to allow ships to pass underneath.

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For a unique experience, head up to the glass-floored walkways and see the city from an entirely new perspective. You can also explore the Victorian Engine Rooms, where the machinery that powered the bridge is still on display.

Climb the stairs to the top of the iconic towers and admire the views of the river, the city, and the Tower of London. Tower Bridge is a must-see destination for any visitor to London, so be sure to make time to experience it.

National Gallery

Step inside the National Gallery and explore one of the largest collections of Western European paintings in the world. Located on the north side of Trafalgar Square in central London, the National Gallery is one of the city’s most iconic and popular attractions.

With over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900, the museum offers an unparalleled insight into the evolution of Western art. From the Old Masters of the Renaissance to the Impressionists of the 19th century, visitors can wander through centuries of art, exploring the works of some of the world’s greatest painters.

The museum itself is a beautiful building, with grand marble staircases, ornate galleries, and a peaceful courtyard garden. For those who are short on time, the National Gallery offers free public tours, allowing visitors to get an overview of the collection in an hour or so.

Alternatively, visitors can take a more leisurely approach and spend a whole day exploring the many galleries and getting lost in the incredible works of art. Either way, a visit to the National Gallery is sure to be an inspiring and enjoyable experience.

Tate Modern

Situated on the south bank of the Thames, Tate Modern is one of London’s most renowned art galleries. Showcasing some of the best modern and contemporary art from around the world, Tate Modern is a must-see for anyone visiting London.

From its permanent collection of major works from the likes of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon, and Mark Rothko, to its vast array of temporary exhibitions, Tate Modern is sure to delight and inspire.

With a wide range of events and activities taking place throughout the year, there’s always something new to discover. The gallery is free to enter and offers a range of discounts and concessions for visitors, making it a great place to explore and admire art without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re a fan of modern art or just looking to explore London’s cultural attractions, Tate Modern is an essential visit.

Science Museum

Experience the wonders of science at the Science Museum in London!

From interactive exhibitions to hands-on activities, you’ll be sure to find something to captivate your curiosity.

The museum contains a vast collection of historical artifacts from the world of science, technology, and engineering. It has items that range from the steam locomotive to the Apollo 10 command module.

The Science Museum also offers a range of activities and workshops, such as coding and robotics. These are designed to give visitors a better understanding of how science works and how it has shaped the world.

The museum also has a planetarium, which features a range of different shows. It also has a 3D cinema, which is perfect for a family outing.

It’s the perfect place to explore and learn about science in a fun and interactive way.

Conclusion

Visiting London is an experience like no other. From the iconic Tower of London to the awe-inspiring Westminster Abbey, there’s something for everyone.

The British Museum, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye offer an unforgettable glimpse into the history of one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

Tower Bridge, the National Gallery, Tate Modern, and the Science Museum are just a few of the attractions that make London a must-see destination.

So, grab your camera and get ready to explore the best of London!

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.