Things to do in Greenwich: two-day guide

Find out what to do in Greenwich with our two-day guide to the historic London area, including Greenwich attractions and places to eat and drink.

It takes a matter of minutes to travel to Greenwich, whether by Tube, train, DLR or riverboat, so you’ll be able to jump straight into your adventure.

Day one

Today you’ll take in some of Greenwich’s most famous sites, including the observatory, park and a cruise along the river.

Tuck into a hearty breakfast

Kick off your day with some of Heaps sausage cafe and shop’s prized sausages. Served either as part of a full English breakfast or simply in a bap, these bangers come in various flavours, from the traditional to the spicy. Alternatively, fill up on egg dishes and breakfast cocktails during a weekend brunch at Rivington Greenwich.

Explore time and space

After you’ve had your fill, venture through nearby Greenwich Park to the “home of time”, where you can straddle the Prime Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Then, journey from the Earth to the stars at London’s only planetarium, during one of the Peter Harrison Planetarium’s thrilling shows (times vary depending on the day).

Take time to explore Greenwich Park from here, including The Wilderness deer park, bandstand and General Wolfe Statue.

Savour lunch with a view

You’ll have now worked up an appetite, so refuel with a stone-baked pizza or other tempting hot and cold dishes on the terrace at the quaint Pavilion Cafe. From here, catch a glimpse of London’s skyline – you can get an even better view just footsteps away in the park, taking in the river Thames and city skyscrapers from one of London’s best viewpoints and Instagram hotspots.

Indulge in an arty afternoon

Walk off lunch with a leisurely stroll downhill, as you wander through Greenwich Park towards the river, where you’re well placed to take advantage of Greenwich’s artistic treasures. Start by delving into 400 years of artworks within the Inigo Jones-designed Queen’s House – don’t forget to look up at Turner Prize-winning artist Richard Wright's beautiful ceiling.

Stop off at Greenwich Market to browse the stalls for arts and crafts (or an afternoon snack from the many vendors), before visiting the Old Royal Naval College. Sir Christopher Wren’s imposing building includes a baroque chapel with a neo-classical ceiling, as well as the Painted Hall, a spectacular celebration of England's naval power, sometimes known as the "Sistine Chapel of the UK". Afterwards, explore the grounds, which have been used in a number of films, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Les Misérables.

See the Thames at twilight

Put your feet up on one of MBNA Thames Clippers’ boats as it heads upstream. Enjoy a drink or snack from the onboard cafe and spot the sights as the sun goes down, including Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, before returning to Greenwich for dinner.

Go out on the town

There are plenty of Greenwich restaurants and bars close to the pier: enjoy a few beers at The Old Brewery or spread out on the riverside terrace at gastropub The Sail Loft. Alternatively, head into the town centre, where Japanese-Danish fusion food at Sticks'n'Sushi or French fare at Champagne + Fromage await.

Day two

Your second day in Greenwich includes a beautiful palace, delicious pub lunch, and a chance to see Greenwich from up high.

Have an early breakfast

 

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Rise early for a buffet breakfast in Greenwich at Elements Restaurant, which is handily located next to Greenwich railway station. Take your pick from all the usual breakfast classics, including bacon and eggs, pastries, fruit and more.

Visit a hidden gem

 
 
 
 
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Eltham Palace.

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Catch one of Southeastern rail’s trains to Mottingham from Greenwich station (via a connection at Lewisham). You’ll arrive just 10 minutes’ walk away from Eltham Palace (open on Sundays only during winter). Wander around the magnificent building, which fuses stunning 1930s art deco design with medieval fortifications; and make sure to explore the mature gardens featuring a picture-pretty herbaceous border.

Order a pub lunch

 

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Take the bus to Greenwich Peninsula for a pub lunch at The Pilot. Soak up the atmosphere of the refurbished venue which dates back to the early 1800s, and more recently featured in Britpop group Blur’s music video Parklife. When it comes to food, choose British pub classics such as fish and chips, a steak or burger, or opt for one of the more experimental dishes, from venison bolognese to pumpkin gnocci.

Spend an afternoon in the air

Hop aboard the Emirates Air Line cable car, for a trip high up over the Thames from Greenwich to the Royal Docks. You’ll spot London landmarks such as Cutty Sark, Canary Wharf and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park en route during the 10-minute journey each way.

After you return to Greenwich, head to NOW Gallery to discover the latest in contemporary art and design. This gallery hosts regular exhibitions from artists, designers and other creative minds in the form of solo shows and live works, as well as outdoor works throughout the Greenwich Peninsula.

Enjoy dinner and cocktails

Dine on worldwide treats during dinner at one of The O2’s eclectic restaurants. From Brazilian street food at Cabana and top notch steaks at Gaucho, to Thai dishes at Busaba Eathai, there’s a host of cuisines to enjoy. Other Greenwich Peninsula restaurants include all-day dining eatery and wine bar Greenwich Kitchen, and Basque-inspired Vinothec Compass.

End your night on a high

Arrive at The O2 in time for the Up at The O2 Sunset Climb at 8.30pm. As well as being able to walk on top of one of London’s most iconic buildings, you’ll also be treated to sunset views across London on the 90-minute adventure. With the adrenaline still pumping, reward your bravery with a cocktail at Eighteen Sky Bar on the 18th floor of Intercontinental London – The O2, or sample cocktails made from seasonal ingredients, homemade syrups and intriguing infusions at Craft London.

Find more things to do in Greenwich, from must-see sights to hidden gems. Or experience the area’s foodie delights with the best places to eat in this pretty south-east London neighbourhood.