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101 things to do in London

Find the best things to do in London with the ultimate guide to attractions and events.
A panoramic view of Tower Bridge and the Thames at sunset, with City Hall and The Shard in the background.
Tower Bridge and the Thames © Buchet.

Visit London, enjoy the city’s fantastic sights and events, and make the most of the fabulous host of things to do in London. Whether you are a first-time visitor to the capital or a Londoner born and bred, you’ll discover plenty of things to see in London, from iconic London tourist attractions to unusual ideas for your days out in London.

You can also get lost in the wonders of London museums, savour some delicious traditional dishes and see London sights from a new perspective on one of the best London tours. Use the London attractions map to help pinpoint all the places you want to go.

London attractions

An aerial view taken from one of the London Eye's pods, across to another, with the river Thames, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in the background.
The London Eye. Image courtesy of The London Eye.
  1. Ready, steady… go! Tick all of London’s top 10 attractions off your list.
  2. See 55 of London’s greatest landmarks on a 30-minute ride on the London Eye.
  3. Soar above London on the Emirates Air Line cable car.
  4. Discover the magnificent Hampton Court Palace, Henry VIII’s former residence.
  5. Be dazzled by the largest diamond in the world, on display at the Tower of London’s Crown Jewels exhibition.
  6. Take a tour of Buckingham Palace during its summer opening, or find some wonderful royal alternatives throughout the year.
  7. Climb the dome of St Paul's Cathedral and enjoy spectacular views across London.
  8. See Egyptian mummies and the world-famous Rosetta Stone at the British Museum.

London sightseeing

  1. Sit back and get an overview of London sights on a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
  2. Explore historic Greenwich and jump on the Prime Meridian Line
  3. Take a boat trip on the Thames and see London in style.
  4. Get closer to the most interesting tourist attractions in London with a walking tour.
  5. Catch the iconic Changing the Guard ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace.
  6. Meet the Beefeaters at the Tower of London and let them share the tower’s oldest secrets with you.
  7. Snap a photo at Piccadilly Circus in front of its iconic, electronic advertising hoarding.
  8. See the bronze lions and Nelson’s Column at Trafalgar Square.

Free things to do in London

Two people relax on green and white striped deckchairs, facing away from the camera, on the grass at St James's Park.
St James's Park © Shutterstock.
  1. Explore the eight Royal Parks in London, from pretty St James’s Park to the peaceful Bushy Park.
  2. Walk the Thames Path on the South Bank and see some of the major London landmarks: from the Houses of Parliament to Tower Bridge. You can also go beyond the city centre, up to Kew or Hampton Court Palace in West London.
  3. See some world-class art for free at the National Gallery, at Tate Modern and other major galleries.
  4. Be next to Big Ben when the bell strikes on the hour.
  5. Take in some free entertainment at the annual More London Festival at the The Scoop, or watch street performers in Covent Garden.
  6. Admire the 12,000 roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens in Regent’s Park. Come on the first two weeks of June to see it in full bloom.
  7. Discover the beautiful works of one of Britain's most famous designers at the William Morris Gallery
  8. Be in the right place at the right time to see Tower Bridge lift up, or watch it from home with our live webcam.

Fun things to do in London

  1. Ride a Santander Cycle in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and relive the spirit of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
  2. Ride a rollercoaster at one of London’s theme parks.
  3. Complete fun-fuelled challenges with friends to beat The Crystal Maze.
  4. Ice skate next to a major attraction and enjoy the magical view of iconic landmarks such as Hampton Court Palace and Somerset House lit up with festive lights.
  5. Hire a pedalo or rowing boat on Hyde Park’s famous Serpentine Lake (from April to October).
  6. Have a fun night out with friends at one of London’s best bowling alleys.
  7. See a game (and do the tour) at the legendary Wembley Stadium or get a taste of London’s club football scene at Chelsea or Arsenal.
  8. Take an exhilarating 007-like ride on the Thames with a speedboat tour.

Things to do in London with kids

The Dumbledore office set, including stairs, pictures on the wall and Dumbledore costume, at Warner Bros. Studio Tour - London
Dumbledore's office set. Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
  1. Push a trolley through Harry Potter’s magical world at Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross.
  2. See full-size dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park and explore the maze and children’s farm.
  3. See the penguins at the ZSL London Zoo.
  4. Step inside Gryffindor common room and see hundreds of costumes and props from the Harry Potter films at the Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter.
  5. Rub shoulders with the world’s most iconic figures at Madame Tussauds London.
  6. Say hello to our underwater friends at the SEA LIFE London aquarium.
  7. Take the kids to the theatre for spectacular family-friendly shows, like The Lion King.
  8. Fly a kite on Hampstead Heath, splash around at one of its swimming ponds and enjoy the view from Parliament Hill.
  9. Explore the collection of toys at the V&A Museum of Childhood.
  10. See the Apollo 10 command capsule at the Science Museum.

Unusual things to do in London

  1. Wander around the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and see the Amorphophallus titanium, a giant (and smelly) plant whose flowering is incredibly rare.
  2. Go Up at The O2: climb this world-famous entertainment venue and get a 360-degree view of the London’s skyline.
  3. Get off the beaten track and discover a London hidden gem, from Eltham Palace and Epping Forest to Apsley House.
  4. Search for cool locations and legendary music landmarks dotted across London.  
  5. Discover the weird and the wonderful world of humans at the Wellcome Collection.
  6. Step into the ruins of London's Roman Amphitheatre at the Guildhall Art Gallery & Roman Amphitheatre.

Romantic things to do in London

An aerial view of central London at sunset, taken from the helicopter, showing the Thames, Tower Bridge and The Shard.
The London Helicopter © Chris Johnson Photography. Image courtesy of The London Helicopter.
  1. Soak up spectacular views of London’s skyline at sunset at The View from The Shard.
  2. Have a romantic stroll around Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park.
  3. Sip a classy cocktail and enjoy the view of London at night at a seductive rooftop bar.
  4. Take a London Helicopter flight over the sights of London: impressive date guaranteed!
  5. Take in the view from Primrose Hill and have a walk around its colourful neighbourhoods.
  6. Soak up London’s magical atmosphere with your loved one, as Christmas lights are turned on in London’s famous shopping streets.
  7. Treat the love of your life to a special dinner at one of London’s top romantic restaurants.
  8. Propose in style in one of the most romantic places in London like the London Eye, a river cruise boat, or Little Venice’s beautiful canals.

Cheap things to do in London

  1. Take a tour and see a play in the fascinating setting of the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Standing tickets can be bought for just £5.
  2. Go sightseeing on an iconic London red bus and enjoy the views from the upper deck. A single bus fare costs only £1.55.
  3. Grab some tasty street food at the coolest London food trucks, or try a beigel or a pie from these popular cheap lunch spots.
  4. Catch some opera at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and look out for standing tickets from just £5.
  5. Take a tour of the fascinating Highgate Cemetery for just £4, and see Karl Marx’s colossal burial.

Things to do in London at night

Four dancers leap across the stage in lion costumes in The Lion King.
See spectacular sets and costumes. Photo: Johan Persson. Image courtesy of Disney The Lion King.
  1. See a smashing West End musical in London.
  2. Go to a late museum or gallery opening and enjoy special talks, DJs, food and drinks.
  3. Treat yourself to a glass of fizz at a London champagne bar.
  4. Dance the night away at one of the top clubs in London.
  5. Go up to London’s Sky Garden in Fenchurch Street for free, and enjoy spectacular views of the skyline at night. Entry to the Sky Garden is limited, so make sure you reserve online in advance.
  6. Indulge in an expertly-made cocktail at one of London’s luxury cocktail bars.
  7. Take a candlelit tour of Sir John Soane’s Museum (every first Tuesday of the month) and admire the eclectic residence of the 19-century eminent architect.
  8. Head to one of London’s quirkiest bars and expect nothing but the unexpected.

Things to do in London on a Sunday

  1. Tuck in to a traditional Sunday roast in a traditional London venue.
  2. Browse for flowers at Columbia Road Flower Market.
  3. Enjoy some mouthwatering street food at Brick Lane Market or Greenwich Market.
  4. Discover lesser-known London Sunday markets.
  5. Pack a blanket and some good food, and have a picnic in Hyde Park.
  6. Cheer on your favourite team at a sports bar or pub.
  7. Take part in a debate at Speaker’s Corner.
  8. Use the capital as a hub to explore other exciting locations in the UK on a day trip from London.

Best events in London

A lady, dressed in a carnival headdress and clothing, dances as red ticker tape fills the air.
Notting Hill Carnival © iStock/Natasha108.
  1. Take part in the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia throughout Chinatown, Trafalgar Square and the West End.
  2. Celebrate all things Irish with St Patrick’s Day special events in London in March.
  3. Remember, remember the fifth of November... Celebrate Bonfire Night in London and watch one of the spectacular fireworks displays in the city.
  4. Watch Trooping the Colour military parade in honour of the Queen’s birthday in June.
  5. Enjoy the colours and sounds of the Caribbean at Notting Hill Carnival in August.
  6. Cheer on tennis greats as Wimbledon Lawn Tennis tournament comes to south-west London.
  7. Enjoy the best of what’s on in London at Christmas: enjoy the magical atmosphere, admire the stunning decorations and visit Santa’s grotto.
  8. Find the perfect spot from where to enjoy the spectacular New Year’s Eve Fireworks in London.
  9. Catch one of London’s legendary music festivals, dance to your favourite band’s tunes and make new friends.
  10. Embrace London's diversity at Pride in London festival.

Food and drink in London

  1. A trip to London is not complete without an afternoon tea, the British experience par excellence. Whether you go for the classic or the unusual, you won’t be disappointed.
  2. Treat yourself to an unforgettable meal at a London Michelin-starred restaurant from some of the world’s top chefs.
  3. Eat at one of London's quirkiest restaurants – have you ever tried to eat in the dark?
  4. Try an authentic curry from one of the many restaurants and food stalls in Brick Lane.
  5. Have a crispy battered fish and chips – a London classic.
  6. Enjoy some comfort food and a pint of beer at a traditional London pub.
  7. Savour dim sum and regional Chinese cuisine in London’s Chinatown restaurants.
  8. Tuck in to a pie, mash and liquor at one of these London pie shops.

Shopping in London

Harrods department store lit up at night in its trails of yellow lights and illuminated "Harrods" sign, against a dark blue sky and illuminated street lights.
Harrods at night © Reid.
  1. Find everything from antiques to designer clothes at London’s top 12 markets, or just enjoy wandering around and taking pictures.
  2. Do some upscale shopping in a luxurious London department store, from Harrods, Liberty and Selfridges to John Lewis.
  3. Find all the things you need in one place at Westfield Stratford City, Europe's largest urban shopping centre.
  4. Browse festive gifts while sipping a hot chocolate at London’s fascinating Christmas markets.
  5. Buy gourmet ingredients, quality groceries and sweet treats at one of the best food markets in London.
  6. Make the most of the city’s vibrant retro clothing scene and look out for the best vintage shops in London.

Find even more things to do in London, from top London attractions and sightseeing tours, to more shopping inspiration and family fun.