In London

An Insider’s Guide to the 75+ Best Things to do in London

London Bucket List: 50 must see London attractions in the Big Smoke, London, England
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London is a vibrant city that’s a must-see on any European adventure. Filled with museums, it’s perfect for any history buff, while the city’s restaurant scene means that it’s a must-visit for the foodies out there. Basically, there’s something for anyone (and everyone) to enjoy and there’s certainly no shortage of things to do in London! Here’s your ultimate London Bucket List: everything you must do, see visit, and eat on a visit to the city.

Now, I may well be biased because I lived on-and-off in the city for five years! But then again, where else can follow in the footsteps of great writers like Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare? And in which other cities can you enjoy breakfast with cityscape views, followed by a morning of street art, an afternoon of British tea time to rival that of royalty, Harry Potter sightseeing, and an evening of incredible cocktails?

London collage; mews streets, view of St Paul's Wisteria, and text overlay

#1 See The Elizabeth Tower (where Big Ben is Housed)

No trip to London would be complete without at least a quick glimpse of the world-famous Elizabeth Tower! Many mistakenly believe that the tower is called ‘Big Ben,’ but it’s actually the bell housed within that has that nickname… If you’re a UK resident then you can actually go up the clock tower! More details about how to can be found here.

#2 Admire Buckingham Palace

Best visited on a sunny day when the sky is blue and the birds are out, Buckingham Palace is the official inner London Royal Residence of the British Monarchy. And if you don’t mind paying the rather pricey entry fee, then you can even have a snoop inside of Buckingham Palace for yourself! Purchase your tickets here.

#3 Visit Westminster Abbey

Of all the must do in London attractions, the most famous ecclesiastical building in the UK is probably the impressive structure of Westminster Abbey. First founded in the 11th-century, it’s seen plenty of historical events over the years, including the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011. Though the historical façade can be admired for free, tourists will have to pay a fee to enter. Purchase your Westminster Abbey tickets here.

#4 Wander around the British Museum

Free to visit and best-known for its Egyptian Mummies, the British Museum holds treasures from all over the world and is the perfect rainy day activity. Highlights of the British Museum include the Rosetta stone and the Sutton Hoo Mask. Other must-sees of the British Museum include plenty of Roman artefacts (including from the city when the settlement was known as ‘Londinium’), as well as many Renaissance and Medieval objects.

#5 Go on the London Eye (or at least see it)

The Grand wheel of the London Eye is as iconic to the London Skyline as the houses of parliament. One spin of the wheel will set you back a pretty penny, but the half-hour-long long ride and fantastic views over the city may well be worth the money! After all, offering one of the most unique views of London, there’s no better way to see the River Thames than from above! Purchase your London Eye tickets here.

top 10 free things to do in london

#6 Enjoy a pint at the Sherlock Holmes Pub

The UK is known for its quaint little pubs, and London is no exception! Follow in the footsteps of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes all the way to a pub of the same name to find a traditional pub and roof garden. Other Holmes locations across the city include a museum at 221B Baker Street and Madame Tussauds. For more details on following Sherlock Holmes across London, check here.

#7 Go up the Monument to the Great Fire of London

If you want to see one of the best views the city has to offer, then head to the Monument to the Great Fire of London. Built in the 17th-century to commemorate the sweeping fire that destroyed most of the Medieval City, climb the 300+ spiralling steps to be rewarded with 360-degree views over the City of London.

#8 Enjoy a performance at the Globe Theatre

Sadly, the original Globe Theatre burned down during the great Fire of London. Luckily for us, there’s a near-perfect reconstruction by the Thames, and once there, there’s always a Shakespeare performance to be enjoyed! Open throughout the year, a semi-outdoor performance at The Globe is easily one of the best things to do in London. Check here for current performances and opening times.

#9 Follow Harry Potter to Platform 9 & 3/4

Throughout the UK capital, you’ll find that there’s oodles of Harry Potter inspiration, just waiting to be uncovered. And in King’s Cross Station, there’s a stage set 9 & 3/4 platform, as well as a gift-store nearby selling all manner of wizarding memorabilia.

#10 Enjoy a Coffee at Peggy Porschen

In the past couple of years, coffee culture has well and truly arrived in London. Now, you’ll find dozens, if not hundreds of artisanal cafés, including that of Peggy Porschen Parlour. Pretty in pastel pink, it’s well worth a venture into Belgravia for the quaint cupcakes and speciality coffees (though bear in mind that due to its incredible popularity, cakes and coffee here are certainly on the pricier side of things)!

Peggy Porschen Parlour: Belgravia London England: Is this the cutest café and cake shop in London?

#11 Relax at St Dunstan’s in the East

The green oasis which can be found at St-Dunstan’s-in-the-East is the result of the Blitz destroying most of the Sir Christopher Wren church during WWII. Following the war, the decision was taken to transform the shell of the ecclesiastical building into a public space, thus creating the garden you’ll find today. Now, the park is a hidden oasis in the City of London, perfect to relax with a good book or enjoy a picnic during the summer months.

#12 Drink a James Bond Cocktail

Yes, it’s really possible to sip on the ‘shaken not stirred’ real-life cocktails that inspired James Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, to make the Martini 007’s drink of choice! Head to Dukes Bar (address: 35 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NY) for the chance to sip on the original beverage itself…

#13 Visit the Sky Garden

The highest green space in the Big Smoke doubles up as a bar, meeting point with friends, restaurant, and great place to spend a rainy day. Located in the Walkie Talkie building, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a coffee while admiring breathtaking views over the city skyline. Just bear in mind that you’ll have to book your free ticketed entrance passes in advance! More details on visiting the Sky Garden can be found here.

#14 Eat at Camden Market

Hip, trendy, and cool, Camden is the go-to place for students and artists alike. When I lived in London, I used to reside in Camden, and so I’ll always have a soft spot for the vibrant London district! And every weekend, Camden Market is home to some of the best street food in London. From super sweet desserts to takeaway savoury dishes, whatever you enjoy eating, you’ll likely find it next to the Lock!

#15 Shop at Portobello Road Market

Alleged to be the largest antique market of its kind in the world, the weekend-ly open-air stalls of Portobello Market are well worth a peruse around. After all, from sporting goods to vintage cameras, you never know what you might find next. Plus, it’s located in the ever colourful Notting Hill area of the city, so bring your camera along!

portobello road market finding vintage london england, uk

#16 See a show on the West End

Not far from Covent Garden, London’s theatre district is full of world-class plays, performances, ballets, and musicals year ’round. From firm favourites like Les Miserables to more recent additions such as ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,’ if you love watching live performances, then a visit to the theatre is a must-see London Bucket List attractions!

#17 Visit a Mews Street 

Dotted all around London, Mews Streets were once where the horses were housed back when the city ran on horsepower. Today, almost all Mews Houses (typically two storeys high) have been converted into some of the most exclusive real estate in the city. Meander along the prettiest mews streets of London for an escape from city life!

#18 Have a picnic in Hyde Park

London is well known for its expansive green spaces and Hyde Park is one of the best the city has to offer. The Grade I listed park is the largest of the four royal parks. Best seen during the summer months when it’s possible to hire a boat on Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park is also a wonderful space to wander around when fall arrives and the leaves transform into beautiful shades of copper.

#19 Walk across Tower Bridge

The feat of engineering that is Tower Bridge makes it one of the most beautiful landmarks in London. Spanning the River Thames, it’s also possible to enter Tower Bridge for a small fee, and enjoy learning about the city’s history, as well as spotting some iconic landmark from the bridge’s summit.

#20 Visit Leadenhall Market

Featured in many films, including those of the Harry Potter franchise, Leadenhall Market is a beautiful Victorian covered alleyway dating back over a hundred years. If you want to visit the shops, then go during the week, while if you want to capture the place empty, your best bet is to head to Leadenhall during the weekend!

secret spots in London you'll love: Leadenhall Market

#21 Discover London’s Roman roots

During Roman times, London was based around what is now the city of London and was known as ‘Londinium’. As a result, it’s possible to see traces of the ancient civilization dotted throughout the city, and not just in museums like the British Museum! Instead, you can retrace the city’s Roman Roots in its Billingsgate Bathhouses, or marvel at the ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre in London’s Guildhall.

#22 Make biscuits at Biscuiteers

Just a short walk away from the iconic Portobello Road, Biscuiteers is a coffee shop, gift store, and bakery school dedicated to all things biscuit related. If you’re a sweet tooth or know someone who is, then you simply must go!

#23 Check out the smallest Police Station in Britain in Trafalgar Square

The smallest police station in Britain can be found on Trafalgar Square, which in turn is best-known for its centrepiece known as ‘Nelson’s Column’ and which is guarded by four lions. The public space is also home to the National Gallery, which is free to visit and contains some of the country’s greatest masterpieces within its collections.

#24 Indulge in a fancy afternoon tea

You can’t visit London as a tourist and not check out one of the many afternoon teas on offer. Whether you want to head to a fancy hotel for your sandwiches, or you prefer to sip on your tea from the comfort of a converted doubled red decker bus, London has you covered in the sumptuous afternoon tea department! Some of the quirkier London cream teas to enjoy include this Afternoon Tea Cruise on the River Thames and this Royal Walking Tour and Afternoon Tea.

#25 Shop in Covent Garden

Covent Garden is an area of the city filled with quaint eateries and independent boutiques selling all manner of wares. For some extra pretty views, head to the covered Apple Market of Covent Garden to find an Instagram friendly photo spot, and some forty or so stores. Elsewhere in Covent Garden, you’ll soon discover delights such as independent shops and covered eateries that are the perfect base for enjoying lunch on a rainy day in London.

Iconic Photo Locations in London England: Covent Garden

#26 Hop on a double-decker bus

The iconic red London buses are not only a tourist attraction but how you actually get around the capital! Cheaper than the tube, and often quicker if you want to hop between two out-of-the-way attractions, no visit to London would be complete without a bus journey or two. If you fancy doing a spot of sightseeing on the side, consider purchasing a Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour.

#27 Visit Abbey Road

If only to snap that iconic photo! Just like the Beatles. Enough said.

#28 Wander across Millenium Bridge

The iconic Millennium Bridge was opened to celebrate the year 2000 and connects the likes of the Tate Modern to the older parts of the city encompassing must-see attractions such as St Paul’s Cathedral. If you want to also visit the Cathedral, then I highly recommend purchasing your ticket in advance and buying a fast-track entrance ticket. Featured in the Harry Potter films, this pedestrianised footbridge offers a unique look at the Thames.

#29 Take a trip to the Harry Potter studios

Just a little way out of London, the Harry Potter studios is where much of the magic to make the films happened (literally!) Enjoy a butterbeer (though I’m told they’re not to everyone’s taste!), see some of your favourite character’s wands, or simply marvel at the Great Hall. Mischief managed! In order to make the most of your time in London, be sure to purchase your Harry Potter studio tickets with transport from London in advance here.

#30 Go on a self-guided walking tour

London is a city best seen on foot, especially so if you want to discover the city at a more local level and see many of the sights often obscured from view when taking public transport. Fancy doing a self-guided tour for yourself? Check out my walking tour of London, as told by a local!

City of London Neighbourhood Guide: Things to do near St Paul's in London, England

#31 Search for treasure along London’s Foreshore

Over three millennia worth of human habitation means that much of London’s waste has ended up straight in the River Thames. But then again, you know what they say: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Apart from, in this case, it’s actually true!

Go ‘mudlarking’ along the Thames Foreshore and you’ll likely find old coins, vintage buckles, and all sorts of other things. Just bear in mind that you’ll need to purchase a permit if you want to peruse the shores! For some more mudlarking inspiration, be sure to check out Jason Sandy on Instagram!

#32 Take a day trip to the countryside

Oxford, the Cotswolds, and the White Cliffs of Dover are all easy to reach from London via public transport. So, if you want to leave the hustle and bustle of the city for a day, then you can explore the countryside, see the sea (the UK is a set of islands, after all!), or explore a famous university city all rather easily.

Some of the best day trips from London include a visit to the Neolithic site of Stonehenge, the beautiful Cathedral city of Salisbury, or the equally medieval city of Winchester. Although you can make use of public transport to take yourself on a self-guided excursion of the city, here are some of the best guided day trips from London!

#33 Shop at Oxford Street

The UK’s most famous shopping street can be found in the form of Oxford Street. Filled with all of the High Street shops and big name shops you’d expect to see, together with Regent’s Street, the two iconic roads comprise of the best shopping to be found anywhere in the UK!

#34 Admire art at the V&A

Located in South Kensington, the Victoria and Albert Museum is dedicated to all things design, art, and fashion related. Free to visit (with the exception of special exhibitions), it’s best visited earlier in the day when tourist numbers are at their fewest and you’ll really get a chance to get up close and personal with the artworks on display.

#35 Stop by Neal’s Yard

The colourful and once secret courtyard of Neal’s Yard has since become an Instagrammer’s paradise. Situated in the very heart of the Seven-dials, this vibrant and a little-cramped space is home to world-famous Neal’s Yard Remedies, as well as several bars and cafés. For a little more history on this picture-perfect courtyard, check out this quick guide to Neal’s Yard.

Neal's Yard , Covent Garden, London: Secret London Locations

#36 Snap photos of Little Venice

The prettiest waterways to be found anywhere in the UK capital are those of Little Venice, a neighbourhood characterised by its mirror-like canals and picturesque houseboats. Warwick Avenue’s Tube station is just a five-minute walk away and you certainly won’t regret a small stroll along the water’s edge.

#37 Go ice skating at Somerset House

One of the very best Christmas activities in London is to go ice skating at Somerset House. The activity even featured in the film ‘Love Actually’ and is an incredibly romantic date idea if you’re visiting London with your beau during the festive season…

#38 Shop at Liberty London

Set up in a mock Tudor building (which was actually built during the 1920s!), Liberty London is best-known for its arts and crafts stock, as well as its fabulous interiors. Well decked in boughs and holly come the festive season, it’s a great place to (window) shop.

#39 Learn about dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum

Best seen earlier in the day and midweek (if possible) you can’t tick off London bucket list locations and not see the Natural History Museum. Included in the collections, you’ll find iconic dinosaurs (as well as rare species), and all kinds of crystals, rocks, as well as plenty of exhibitions on earth science.

#40 Enjoy the cocktails at the One Aldwych

Said (by yours truly) to have some of the very best cocktails in London, if you’re a lover of artisanal drinks, then you simply must enjoy a beverage at the One Aldwych, a luxury hotel in central London. While at this top bar, make sure to check out the quirky and fun show-inspired cocktails!

#41 Run in Regent’s Park

One of London’s largest green spaces, Regent’s Park is Grade I listed and was founded in 1835, initially for just two days a week. Today, it’s open to locals and visitors alike, seven days a week. In the springtime, it’s a great place to spot cherry blossoms, while in the summer Regent’s Park makes for the perfect picnic spot. When I was a student in London, we used to revise in the park during exam season…

#42 Spot deer in Richmond Park

The iconic deer park in Richmond is located on the fringes of central London and has been a deer park since the 17th-century. Today, it’s open to the public and houses well over 600 Red and Fallow deer, who are free to graze and roam around the green landscape.

#43 Drink champagne at the top of the Shard

The tallest building in London is located just south of the Thames. Pay the pricey entry fee, and you’ll be whisked all the way to the top via two elevators. The two viewing platforms at the top of the Shard offer stunning views over the city, and while there you can even sip on some champagne! Check prices to visit The Shard Here.

#44 Visit the Sir John Soane Museum

Located at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, one of the quirkiest London museums is that of Sir John Soane, an architect who lived in the UK capital during the 19th-century. Absolutely bursting with priceless artefacts and located in the chic district of Holborn, the museum really is a sight to see and I don’t want to spoil the surprise by telling you too much more. Of all the London Bucket List attractions in this article, the museum may well be my favourite. Then again, I used to volunteer there…

#45 Visit Piccadilly Circus at night

Best seen after the sun has set and the lights of Piccadilly Circus illuminate the night’s sky, this area of the city makes for the perfect introduction to tourist hotspots like Leicester Square. Though you may not know this, the name Piccadilly Circus actually derives from the Roman word ‘Circus’ meaning ‘circle’ and ‘Piccadil,’ a type of collar worn by men in the 17th-century.

piccadilly circus

#46 Hunt for street art in Shoreditch

The trendy and hip neighbourhood of Shoreditch is the perfect place to head to if you love street art. The walls in this district are covered in cool murals including works by STIK and even some Banksy. While there, don’t miss the vibrant nightlife or great coffee culture. For a self-guided tour of the best of Shoreditch street art, check out my friend Julianna’s self-guided tour.

#47 Learn some history in the Tower of London

Home to the Crown Jewels and the scene of some pretty major historical events over the years, one of the very best things to do in London is to tour the Tower of London, which was once a former prison. Constructed as early as the 11th-century, it’s since played an important role in British history.my friend Julianna’s self-guided tour

#48 Hike up Primrose Hill

One of the very best (and incredibly free) views of London can be found at the top of Primrose Hill in Regent’s Park. At 213 feet high, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a picnic on a warm summer’s day and admire the cityscape of London stretching out into the distance.

#49 Shop for flowers at Columbia Road Flower Market

Every Sunday, the Columbia Road Flower Market is held in North London. It’s the perfect place to go if you love all things flower-related and it’s easy to pick up a bouquet or two of flowers (or even an orchid) for a very reasonable price. Tip: head earlier on the day to capture the best photos without the crowds and hang around until the late afternoon to profit from the best prices!

#50 Relax in Temple

To the North of the Thames, Temple is a quiet complex formed of secluded gardens and ancient buildings. There, it’s possible to get away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life in the shade of a centuries-old tree, or wander around Temple Church, an ecclesiastical building constructed by the Knights Templar and founded as early as the 12th-century.

Secret spots in London you'll love: Temple

#51 (Window) Shop at Harrods

The luxurious department store Harrods is located along Brompton Road and sells all sorts of luxurious goods. From accessories to clothing, to homeware: Harrods has it all. While there, make sure to check out the delectable food emporiums- you won’t regret it!

#52 Visit Benjamin Franklin’s House

The only surviving residence of famous American Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States can be found on Craven Street. The terraced Georgian house can be visited for a small fee and is open from Wednesday through to Monday.

#53 Smell the roses at Kew Gardens 

For horticultural lovers, Kew Gardens is an absolute must-see on any trip to London. Located in South London, the botanical space is home to some 8.5 million items and is self-proclaimed to be the “largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world.” Purchase your Kew Gardens admission tickets here.

#54 Learn about WWII in the Churchill War Rooms

For those interested in WWII history, the Churchill War Rooms probably need no introduction. For everyone else, the maze of bunkers was where British and other Allied leaders mapped out their route to victory in World War Two. Today, it’s possible to visit the bunkers and maze of tunnels that surround them for a small fee. Find more information for visiting the War Rooms here.

#55 Hail a London Cab

… If only to say you’ve finally made it as a Londoner! What is perhaps most fascinating about the black cabs of London is that, in order to pass the test and qualify as a London taxi driver, one has to pass a test called ‘the Knowledge’. This involves learning 25,000 streets, including many of London’s attractions, sites, and monuments!

the knowledge taxi exam in london

#56 Snap a photo of a red phone box

While most red telephone boxes have now been transformed into ATM machines and deliberators, there’s no mistaking their iconic look. Make sure to snap a photo of a telephone box. After all, if you don’t, then can you say you’ve been to London? (ha!)

#57 Tour the Tate Modern

Free to enter (with the exception of special exhibitions), the Tate Modern offers the chance to see many of the great modern artworks of our time in person. Highlights of the Tate Modern include the Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol, and several works by Pablo Picasso.

#58 Learn about Science in the Science Museum

Located along Exhibition Row, the Science Museum is free to visit (like all the major museums in the area, and indeed across London) and was founded in 1857. Today, its interactive displays and informative exhibitions make learning fun for all ages, and easily making the science museum one of the best free things to do in London!

#59 Shop in Fortnum and Mason

Adorably quaint with its self-titled ‘Eau de Nil’ coloured façade (a shade which is similar to duck egg blue), Fortnum and Mason is a must visit for any sweet tooth. Filled with all things tea and homeware related, what really draws in the crowds are the delectable sweets on offer in the Department Store’s ground floor emporium.

#60 Visit Old Barnes Cemetery

The largely abandoned cemetery of Old Barnes is one of the few urbex sites left in central London. The disused graveyard is slowly being reclaimed by nature and is an eerily haunting place to stroll through. Nearby Barnes is a pretty district of London which feels like a town in its own right.

old barnes cemetery urbex london uk

#61 Shop at Spitalfields Market

In prime position, pretty close to Liverpool Street, Old Spitalfields Market is in the East End of the city and comprises of over forty places to eat and drink, as well as twenty-five shops selling all kinds of artisanal products. Open on a daily basis, most stalls are open from 10 AM to 7 PM.

#62 Master using the tube

No, it’s not called the ‘subway.’ Nor is it called the ‘metro.’ If you want to get anywhere quickly (and avoid all the traffic), then the London Underground is your best bet! If you’re spending at least three days in London or more, chances are, you’ll be taking the tube.

#63 Chase time in Greenwich

Greenwich Mean Time is recognised throughout the world and is the solar time of the Greenwich Observatory in London. But did you know that it’s possible to visit the London Meridien timeline? While in Greenwich, make sure to check out the many museums, the Cutty Sark, and the Queen’s House, which is home to the prettiest staircase in London.

#64 Eat fish and chips!

If you’re a fish eater, then you can’t visit London and not try a traditional British speciality: that of fish and chips. To get the most authentic experience, make sure to coat your meal in plenty of salt and vinegar. Head to any supermarket, and you’ll discover that the most popular British flavour for crisps (as known as ‘chips’ to the Americans) is also salt and vinegar!

#65 Shop for books at Daunt Books

Lovers of travel and reading simply must check out the Edwardian interior of Daunt Books, a bookstore specialising specifically in travel tomes. Housed in a beautiful bookshop with stained glass windows and stunning oak shelving, this store is a must see when in the area. Need I say more?!

Daunt Books- Is this the prettiest set of bookshops in London, England- A quick guide to perusing the shelves of this travel focused bookshop in Marylebone, central London!

#66 Delve deeper into the city’s past at the Museum of London

In the very heart of the City of London, the Museum of London looks at the city’s beginnings from when it was inhabited during the Neolithic period, and right up until the present day. Explore thousands of years worth of history through fun and interactive exhibitions which are great for all ages.

#67 Take a day trip to Paris!

If you’re short on time during your European adventure, then why not hop on the Eurostar and head to Paris? At two hours each way on the train, Paris may not be the quickest of day trips, but it’s always worth a visit if you’re short on time.

#70 Scout out filming locations!

Love Actually, Notting Hill, and Harry Potter, among oodles of others were filmed in London and its surrounds. So, if you’re a movie buff like me, then chances are you’ll want to discover some of these filming locations for yourself. To get you started, I’ve done filming location guides for Love Actually and Notting Hill!

Meandering the mews streets of London: St Lukes Mews, London, England

St Luke’s Mews

#71 Visit the ‘fake’ Roman bathhouse of the Strand

In the heart of where you’d least expect, you’ll find an unusual attraction down an often closed-to-the-public side street. But, if you do make it to 5 Strand Lane, then you can expect to find a fake Roman bath house, believed during the Victorian era to date back well over two thousand years.

#72 Sip on a beer in the Churchill Arms

Often decorated for the season in oodles of things (including floral pieces during the summer months), the Churchill Arms is one of those iconic London pubs you’ll want to stop and each lunch at, or simply sip an ice cold drink in. I won’t ruin the surprise of how pretty this tavern is, you’ll have to head there for yourself!

#73 Learn about animals in the Grant Museum of Zoology

Part of UCL’s collection of museums, the Grant Museum of Zoology is one of those London Bucket List attractions that’s perfect for any animal lover. The collections date back to the 19th-century and comprise of all kinds of weird and wonderful animals from all over the world.

#74 Go searching for wisteria

At the beginning of May, each and every year, the trailing purple flowers of stunning wisteria can be found throughout the city. Predominantly located along the Mews Streets and small side roads which crisscross their way through South Kensington and Chelsea, if you love photography, then you must go searching for wisteria in London!

#75 Drink cocktails at bar 55!

Just by Camden Lock, where eateries and quirky restaurants are abundant, Bar Fifty Five make what may well be the best (and reasonably priced) sweet cocktails in the city. Personal favourites include the fruit flavoured mojitos, and the deliciously naughty oreo and ice cream concoction.

bar 55 review

#76 Enjoy the view from the Garden at 120

One of the newest offerings in terms of free things to do in London is the ever so modern Garden at 120. Close to the Sky Garden and offering excellent panoramic views across the whole city (from the top you can see the likes of St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridges), this is a must-see London viewpoint on your next trip to the Big Smoke!

Where to stay in London

In order to truly make the most of the UK capital, I highly recommend dedicating at least a long weekend in order to really get a feel for the city and start to uncover some of the many hidden gems London has on offer. Although London can be a pricey place to stay, there are a range of options on offer:

Budget accommodation in London

Generator Hostel London: While I’ve never stayed at any of the Generator Hostels myself, my best friend has told me he stays in their dorms frequently and really enjoys the experience! Located in the very heart of the city, the hostel location at Tavistock Place is within easy walking distance of many of the main attractions you’ll likely want to visit (Oxford Street, the British Museum etc). Check prices and availability here.

Astor Hyde Park Hostel: I have stayed in the Astor Hyde Park Hostel on many occasions while visiting the city (so much so that one time when I visited, one of the people on the reception desk actually recognised me from my last stay!) There are a range of different dorms on offer here, including female-only options. The basement is home to a huge kitchen and dining area while the WiFi is pretty speedy! Check prices and availability here.

Mid-range accommodation in London

Point A Hotels: Once known as Tune Hotels, there are now six Point A Hotel locations spread across London (Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Westminster, Kings Cross, and Shoreditch). Located close to tube stations, the hotels have double or twin options on offer and are a great place to base yourself if you’re in for a weekend of exploring the city. Check prices and availability here.

The Nadler: This four-star hotel is more budget than some of the other options out there thanks to the fact that the Nadler has done away with many of the extras which you probably wouldn’t use anyway. There’s no bar, restaurant, or gym. Instead, there’s great attention to detail and the rooms are clean, comfortable, and friendly. Check prices and availability here.

Luxury accommodation in London

Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard: If you’re truly looking for a luxurious experience, then the Shangri-La in London really has it all. Located within the Shard (which is currently the tallest building in London), this 5-star hotel offers magnificent bird’s eye views onto the River Thames and beyond. Check prices and availability here.

St Pancras Renaissance: This luxury hotel is located minutes away from King’s Cross and St Pancras International, making it a great base from which to explore the rest of the city. Within this luxurious accommodation, you’ll find a pool, fast Wi-Fi and a whole host of other amenities you would expect from a 5-star hotel. Check prices and availability here.

veuve cliquot pop up event saint pancras renaissance hotel london

Best Guides and Tours of London

If you’re wanting to delve a little deeper into the history of the city which was once known as Londinium, then I highly recommend taking some tours of the city (even a few self-guided ones) and getting to know the city on a more local level. Here are the best guides and tours of London!

Self-guided tour of the Thames: This free and completely self-guided walking tour of the city was written by yours truly and takes a look at a quirkier side of the city you may not have ever heard of before. From a plank of wood known as the ferryman’s seat to the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Secrets of London Walking Tour: If you prefer your history to be more hands-on and to have a guide with you, then this walking tour explores plenty of aspects of the city. From streets which inspired Harry Potter to a glimpse of what is often said to be the smallest police station in the world, this tour has all that and more.

Harry Potter Walking Tour: For those looking for a fully guided Harry Potter tour of London, this walk covers plenty of wizarding inspiration from the films and books. Between the inspiration for Hogwarts and the street which was used to film the Leakey Cauldron, there will surely be an attraction you enjoy seeing!

Enjoyed reading about the best things to do in London Bucket List? Pin it now, read it again later:

Girl in front of Mews House, view from garden at 120, text overlay

Images: mews street, wisteria, Daunt Books, coffee, text overlayGirl in a mews street, wisteria, text overlayBig ben at sunset, text overlay

Here's your ultimate guide to the best of London. 75 things to do in London, the capital of England, UK (this travel advice includes where to stay, where to eat and best British activities!)

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    L
    19th April 2019 at 8:21 pm

    This post is absolutely brilliant! Everything a gal thinking about a trip in London needs!

    Xoxo,
    Laura // afinnontheloose.com

  • Reply
    Laura Broers
    18th March 2019 at 11:15 am

    it is so funny, cause I opened this trough Pinterest and started scrolling, and realized then that I have already done half of all these things!

  • Reply
    Tee RH
    26th September 2018 at 3:53 pm

    This list is brilliant! So inspiring!

  • Reply
    Vicki McCullough
    27th July 2018 at 4:41 pm

    The only suggestion I would make it that this list be available in a “print” form. I was going to print your post and take it with me but it’s 43 pages!

  • Reply
    Vicki McCullough
    27th July 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks for taking your time to make this incredible list. This is, by far, the best I’ve found! I leave for London today and now I feel like I’m ready!

  • Reply
    Wanderlust Wednesday: London - Green Acres Meets Paris
    23rd May 2018 at 4:02 pm

    […] Places you must visit in London […]

  • Reply
    Haylee
    23rd March 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I’m going to London in May for the first time and this is one of THE BEST lists that I’ve come across! Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Anna
    17th March 2018 at 11:41 am

    What a fantastic list! I love going to London for the day and I haven’t done half of these things yet.

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