Big Ben, Picadilly Circus, Parliament, fish and chips, pubs, the Tate Museum…there are so many things to do in London! How can you possibly choose? We put together a list of the top things to do in London so that you can plan ahead!
Transportation in London
The tube and the bus are the easiest way to get around the city. Just keep in mind that there will be a lot of people during rush hour.
If you plan to spend a few days sightseeing and exploring London, we recommend buying a Visitor Oyster Card. You can load it with credit before you even arrive in the UK, and the card also gives you discounts to select attractions and restaurants! But be sure to order it at least one week before your trip so that it can be delivered to your home in time.
Walking isn’t too bad either – just remember to look both ways when you cross the street!
Top Things to Do in London
Now that you know how to get around, here are a few suggestions for where to go!
King’s Cross Station: Platform 9 3/4
A definite must for Harry Potter fans! You can stop by the shop to pick up some Hogwart’s memorabilia to wear in your photo shoot. The staff will also take a photo of you with your chosen house scarf and a wand – for a price.
But if you pay for your photos, you can take your time staging the perfect shot. You can also take a picture yourself, but you won’t be able to use the props.
And keep in mind that there’s often a long line. We recommend showing up before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m. to beat the crowds. Alternatively, you can purchase a fast pass from the shop to skip the line.
Don’t expect any elephants or lion tamers at Piccadilly Circus, although the crowds can get a bit wild! This famous traffic junction is full of bright digital displays, stores, street performers, and sights such as the Criterion Theatre and Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain.
If you like to people watch, just take a seat around the fountain and enjoy!
London Theatre attracts some of the most talented professionals in the industry. As soon as you book tickets to London, check out what shows will be touring! Definitely one of the top things to do in London.
Another popular site for people-watching, Trafalgar Square is named after a British naval victory over Napoleon in 1805. Nowadays, the public space hosts a Christmas tree during the holiday season, as well as political demonstrations.
Tower Bridge and Tower of London
No, this is not the bridge from the famous nursery rhyme! But it still offers a beautiful view of the city. Constructed in the late 1800s, you may recognize Tower Bridge from the 2012 London Olympics: the Olympic rings hung between the towers.
Opened in 2000, the London Eye offers one of the best views of the city. It was supposed to be a temporary exhibition, but because it was so popular, it now remains one of the most popular paid attractions in London.
You do have to purchase tickets, but if you book your tickets ahead of time, you can receive a discount.
The clock tower on the Palace of Westminster may be the most well-known landmark in London. When construction finished in 1859, Big Ben was the largest, “most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world.”
As of 2019, the clock tower is still under renovation until 2021.
Like many things in London, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre has quite a history. The original burnt down in 1613, and although it was rebuilt, the Puritans closed it and tore it down in 1644.
But after years of research and dedication, Shakespeare’s Globe opened in 1997 as a replica of the original. Today, visitors can tour the building, dine at the restaurant, and enjoy a show.
Where to Eat and Drink in London
The incredibly diverse city has so much to offer, but we have a couple suggestions for you.
If you have an eye for oddities, we highly recommend The Alchemist! They have multiple locations throughout the UK, each with its own history. The spot on Bevis Marks used to be a curiosities shop, with cocktails fit for a…well, an alchemist. Plus, they have snacks to satiate your hunger at any hour of the day.
High Tea at Kensington’s Palace
High tea on the grounds of a royal palace is absolutely one of the top things to do in London! Whether you prefer sweet or savory, the menu has something for everyone. After your meal, take a leisurely stroll through the garden.
To guarantee a table for this incredible experience, we highly recommend making a reservation.
Ready to Visit London?
It’s nearly impossible to experience everything that London has to offer in just one trip. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!