London, England is a wonderful city visit at any time of the year. There are several unique things to do in London and if it is your first trip, you should read about Traveling To The UK For The First Time here.
You can read more about my trips to London here. I am going to be going back to London soon, so I asked some fellow blogger what their favorite places to visit in London are.
Here are eleven (in no specific order) of the best things to do in London, England.
The London Eye
The views of London from the London Eye are awesome. The whole city is laid out before you, with the Thames winding through it. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are right across the river, with Westminster Abbey just behind.
You can have fun identifying Buckingham Palace, St James’ Park, and the Mall. Tower Bridge is up the river and St. Paul’s Cathedral pokes its dome above the rooftops. All of thee places you need to see when you visit London.
On the London Eye, the pods are roomy and have glass all around for good viewing. I love a good aerial view and London lacks many skyscrapers, so this, especially with its location right on the Thames, is a great experience.
The London Eye is on the South Bank of the Thames, right across the river from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
You can buy tickets online here (which are a little cheaper; consider buying the Fast Track tickets, especially in summer when lines can be long) or at the ticket office in County Hall next to the London Eye. To get there, take the tube (Underground) to Waterloo, the closest station.
It is about a 5-minute walk away. Embankment or Charing Cross are alternatives with a 10-minute walk across Hungerford Bridge. Alternately, Westminster is another option. Stop off and take photos of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament then cross Westminster Bridge.
Recommended by James from Travel Collecting.
The British Museum
To go to London and not step inside the British Museum is a travesty. After all, this is a museum that has some of the biggest attractions from all over the world secure within its walls. Rest assured, there’s something for travelers of all ages to marvel at over here. It is a must on your London trip.
There are over eight million objects that span the length and breadth of the world when the British Empire was at its peak.
If you’re really curious, you could spend an entire weekend here and still not see everything. For most people though, a half-day tour should suffice to see the blockbusters and some hidden gems at the museum. Last but not the least, the museum is completely free to visit!
Start off with the Rosetta Stone at the Egyptian Gallery where you will fully comprehend the achievements of ancient Egyptians after looking at over 3000 objects from their era.
Next door is the Assyrian Lion Hunt reliefs that capture life in the Middle East from a long time ago.
Move further to the Parthenon sculptures and Elgin marbles to get a sense of Greek sophistication and then move to the upper floor to see the Lewis Chessmen, the most famous chess pieces in the world.
Find more offbeat discoveries such as the first Chinese porcelains, headgear from native American countries, the Oxus Treasure, Easter Island heads, and many more fascinating objects from around the world. Don’t miss the bookshop because it is seriously wonderful.
Remember to eat a good breakfast and be among the first people to enter when the museum opens at 10 AM. Another tip: use the back entrance from Montague Street if you arrive during rush hours.
Recommended by Priyanko Sarkar from Constant Traveller.
Get your British Museum Ticket Here.
Planning a family trip to London? Check out 17 of the Best Places to See With Kids.
Kew Gardens in London
London is an incredibly green city, with nearly half of it consisting of green space. So, if you are wondering where to go in London, it’s no surprise one of the top London attractions is Kew Gardens. Set on 300 acres, Kew Gardens is home to the world’s largest collection of living plants and has something for everyone. And be sure to plan to stay all day!
Some of the must-visit gardens include; the Water Lily House, Princess of Wales Conservatory, and both of the great Victorian glasshouses – the Temperate and Palm House.
Both are home to plants from around the world, but the Temperate House (which is newly reopened) is known as the world’s greatest glasshouse. Home to over 10,000 plants, Kew’s Temperate House is the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse. Beyond the over 14,000 trees and over 30,000 different kinds of plants, Kew Gardens is not just for nature addicts.
Kew Gardens is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Established in the mid-1840s, Kew Gardens has a rich history. It’s home to a towering Chinese pagoda that was built in 1761 and also the country’s smallest royal palace. Kew Palace was built in 1631 and is open to the public. Decorated with period pieces, you can learn about the royals and their time spent here. When visiting Kew Gardens, it’s best to use public transport. There is a Kew Gardens Tube station and buses Route 65 and 391 stops in front of the gates. Get your Kew Gardens tickets here.
Recommended by Stephanie from The World As I See It.
Tower of London
There is definitely no shortage of fun and interesting attractions in London, and one of them is the Tower of London. It is located right next to the Tower Bridge at the shores of the River Thames.
Tower London has become one of the main attractions in London and with a ticket, you get access to all public areas. Here you can find out about the history of London and the United Kingdom in general. It is a great location for London sightseeing.
In the beginning, the 1070s, the building was used as a fortress for William the Conqueror. It was also a prison for a long time and executions took place there. Its brutal and bloody history might make a shiver run down your spine, but it is a unique way to learn about it.
The fortress was so well secured that it also became home of the Crown Jewels which still can be seen there. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take any pictures of the Crown Jewels and it can be very crowded at times.
However, it is a unique way to learn more about the city and its development. Get your Tower of London tickets here.
Recommended by Arzo from Arzo Travels.
Read about 4 history facts on the Tower of London. Its brutal & bloody history might make a shiver run down your spine.
Southbank, located not far from Waterloo Station and on the banks of the River Thames, is a great place to visit in London, especially when the sun is shining.
Home to the London Eye, it is at the heart of London’s cultural scene and one of the top London attractions. That cultural scene includes the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre, which hosts events such as festivals, exhibitions, pop-up bars, and much more.
In Southbank, you’ll find many bars and restaurants if food is your thing. You might even find a popup food festival behind the Southbank Centre, with foods from around the world being cooked fresh, right there and then. The cosmic collision of smells will be one you cannot pass. And all of it reasonably priced too.
If central London attractions are more up your street, you can take a ride on the London Eye, viewing London from high above. You’ll spot things like Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, and if it’s a clear day, even Wembley Stadium. The London Aquarium and London Dungeon are also located in Southbank, as is the Jubilee Gardens Park. And other attractions such as Big Ben, Covent Garden, and Trafalgar Square are all within walking distance.
There are always street performers and music to be enjoyed in Southbank along the river bank and with so much to see and do, it’s an area of London one should not miss.
Recommended by Cath from Passports and Adventures.
The Phoenix Artist Club
You can find a lot of places in London you won’t find anywhere else, perhaps none of them speak of London, the way we love and think of the city, quite like the Phoenix Artist Club. Started in 1988 in London’s popular Soho district, the Phoenix Artist Club is a place specifically built to “entertain entertainers”.
It acts as a haven and meeting spot for those in the London theater community, with hours open late and exclusivity a priority. In fact, non-industry folks who just want to see what this hideaway is all about are turned away at the door! You do have one saving grace if you want to mix with the London theater and cinema crowd, however – your own theater ticket from that day!
Uniquely, the Phoenix Artist Club welcomes a limited number of art community supporters nightly, who show their evidence by the ticket of whatever event they attended earlier that evening. Given Soho’s reputation as a theater and arts hot-spot in London, the opportunities are many.
However, make sure that you abide by the club’s rules to respect any celebrities you might see on-site – no cameras, no flash, and nothing that damages the serenity of the artists’ place of respite.
Recommended by Justin and Tracy from A Couple For The Road.
One place I always recommend to people visiting London is Windsor Castle. It’s where Queen Elizabeth II likes to spend her weekends and where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had their wedding.
The Castle is over 900 years old! Windsor Castle is easy to get to from London. It’s located in the town of Windsor, just an hour train ride from Waterloo station. As you can imagine, Windsor Castle is popular so get tickets in advance (or use your London Pass) to avoid the long lines.
Arrive early to see the changing of the guard at 11 am. Then the audio tour (included in your admission price) will guide you through the Castle including Queen Mary’s Dollhouse, the State Apartments, and St. George’s Chapel.
The highlight for me was St. George’s Hall, where state dinners are held. You would never know that it was seriously damaged during a fire in 1992. The ceiling is so grand, and the
table can seat up to 160 guests. Room after room is filled with priceless art and elaborate details! Windsor Castle is a real working palace, where so much history has taken place. It is such an amazing experience to be able to explore the grounds.
Get your Windsor Castle tickets here.
Recommended by Anisa Alhilali of Two Traveling Txns.
Hamley’s Toy Store
Even if you don’t have kids, you should visit Hamley’s when in London. Why would an adult visit a toy store? Well, it’s the oldest and largest toy store in the world. It was previously called Noah Ark, but owned by Hamley himself, and it even has a Royal Warrant.
It’s a monstrous store, with seven large floors filled with the most incredible things. From exclusive items and collectibles to the ordinary, there is a bit of every toy in existence.
There are many branches in London and throughout the UK. However, you will want to visit the one on Regent Street. That’s where the magic happens. You can play with many toys with the staff. Trust me, some toys are amazing even for grown-ups. Here you can watch their show, use the many props for a cool photo, or just wander around. You can do it all!
You can find it at 188-196 Regent Street, open every day from 10 am to 9 pm or until 6 pm on Sundays.
Recommended by Thais Saito of World Trip Diaries.
Watch a Play in The West End
Any culture lover visiting London simply has to make a visit to the West End and catch a performance in Theatreland. The West End has traditionally been the entertainment center of London and is brimming with theaters as well as greats restaurants and bars.
Technically, the West End comprises several of London’s neighborhoods, including Covent Garden, Soho, and Chinatown. It is the home of some of London’s best-known corners, such as Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.
One of its main draws, however, is the West End’s iconic theater scene. With more than 35 theaters in the area, there are plenty of plays to choose from. When in doubt, go for a classic and watch a performance of The Mousetrap at St. Martin’s Theater.
Premiered in 1952, it’s the longest-running play in history and has even been attended by Queen Elizabeth II. Afterward, you can discuss the play’s twist ending over dinner at one of the many great restaurants in the area.
Address: St. Martin’s Theatre; West St, London WC2H 9NZ, UK
Recommended by Jacky from Nomad Epicureans.
Go Up Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is one of London’s most iconic sites, and almost every visitor to London will go to see the bridge at some point during their stay.
However, I only realized on my last trip to London that you can go inside Tower Bridge, and up the tower to the walk across the bridge above the cars. In fact, the Tower Bridge museum is packed with fascinating facts about the bridge.
Learn how and when it was built. Read stories about the people who have been involved with the construction and maintenance of the bridge.
My favorite story was about a London bus which jumped across the bridge as it was opening. The driver having to act quickly saved the lives of the passengers on board!
The views from the top of London Bridge are fabulous, as you look up or down the river to see the rest of London in front of you.
If you’re lucky, you may even get to see the bridge opening below you, as there are two sections of glass panels where you can look down at the bridge and see the cars and boats passing through.
Get your Tower Bridge Tickets here.
Recommended by Claire Sturzaker of Tales of a Backpacker.
11 Must See Tourist Attractions In London, England – Conclusion
I hope you have enjoyed reading about these great places to visit in London, England. They are all recommended by other bloggers who have been there and are some of their favorite tourist attractions.
Get a customized activity plan for your trip: