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Summer in London: 62 top things to do in London

Pack your shades and get ready to rock your summer wardrobe. Sunny days are coming and it's time to get planning!

Say hello to summer vibes in London. From rooftop bars and outdoor cinemas to music festivals and picnics in the park, discover 60 ways to make the most of the summer with this ultimate guide.

Summer school holidays 2022

An aerial view of The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit, with a customer on the slide. Image courtesy of ArcelorMittal Orbit
The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit © ArcelorMittal Orbit. Image courtesy of ArcelorMittal Orbit.
  1. Take your pick of cool museums for kids, iconic buildings and action-packed adventures with the best family attractions in the capital.
  2. Tick off the capital's top 10 attractions, including family favourites Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium and the London Eye.
  3. Feel the wind in your hair as you glide down The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit, the world's longest and tallest tunnel slide.
  4. Inspire the little ones with a trip to KidZania, where they can take part in immersive play and try out different careers as journalists, doctors, firefighters and more.
  5. Plan a London break with a stay in London's best hotels for families, and find plenty of ideas to do each day with these family activities.
  6. Or keep coming back to make memories that last forever by working your way through these 101 things to do with the little and not-so-little ones.

Find more family experiences in London.

The great outdoors

The Palm House of Kew Gardens can be seen in the background and beautifully bloomed flowers in the foreground, on a very sunny day.
Ready for the great outdoors? © Kew Gardens. Image courtesy of Kew Gardens.
  1. Wander the Great Broad Walk Borders, seek out colourful flower gardens and spot roses in bloom at Kew Gardens
  2. Marvel at pretty city views from an iconic double-decker bus on one of London’s best bus tours.
  3. Get some of the best uninterrupted views in London and scale The O2 with the Up at The O2 climb.
  4. Grab a blanket and a bottle of fizz, and head to the city’s leafy parks when the sun shines. Enjoy a picnic and have a go on a pedalo in Hyde Park, or spot the resident deer in Richmond Park.
  5. See the variety of exotic animals and hang out with penguins at the famous ZSL London Zoo by Regent's Park.
  6. When the mercury rises, take a dip in one of the city’s azure-blue lidos or venture north for a swim with leafy views in Hampstead Heath.
  7. Snuggle up during a summer film at one of London’s great outdoor cinemas, including Rooftop Film Club’s iconic venues, or hop in the car for a drive-in cinema experience. 
  8. Hop on your bike and ride some of London's best cycle paths
  9. Enjoy comedy and theatre under the stars at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
  10. Spot your favourite stars of the screen on the Scenes in the Square statue trail in Leicester Square.

Discover more things to do outdoors in London.

London festivals

Exterior view of the Royal Albert Hall's North Entrance lit up at dusk
Royal Albert Hall at dusk © Royal Albert Hall. Image courtesy of Royal Albert Hall and David Iliff.
  1. Soak up the atmosphere at the iconic Royal Albert Hall, as you enjoy stunning performances and music concerts.
  2. See one of the prettiest parts of town transform into Europe's biggest street party during the world-famous Notting Hill Carnival
  3. Bag yourself tickets to some of London's hottest music festivals to see your favourite bands perform as the sun sets over incredible venues, such as Hampton Court Palace Festival.
  4. Celebrate Black culture at YAM Carnival in Clapham Common, a new festival featuring some of the biggest names of afro beats, hip-hop and R&B across the globe and London's best African-influenced street food vendors. 
  5. Celebrate London's LGBT+ community at the colourful Pride in London parade. Sing and dance along, as more than 300 floats wind their way through central London. 

London's theatres

  1. Book ahead for London's top musicals this summer.
  2. See more theatre in London, including plays and comedy shows.

For the 'gram

One of the cabins on the Emirates Air Line cable car moves in the air, with The O2 and river Thames in the background, on a slightly cloudy day.
Emirates Air Line cable car © John Sturrock/Transport for London. Image courtesy of Transport for London.
  1. Hop on the Emirates Air Line cable car for a selfie with a backdrop. Top tip: travel through the London sky at sunset for perfect snaps.
  2. Snap colourful floral displays and see impressive garden designs at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.
  3. Watch the Trooping the Colour at the Queen's annual birthday parade. 
  4. Get the perfect shot of the city, more than 500ft (152m) above the streets, in Sky Garden. Enjoy the show-stopping views alongside summer dishes at its restaurant Darwin Brasserie.
  5. Soak up knockout views of the capital from high up at the classy Sushisamba City, located on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower.
  6. Walk up Primrose Hill for sweeping views of Regent’s Park and the London skyline. For the perfect shot, don’t miss the William Blake quote etched into the stone at the top: “I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill.”

Summer food and drink in London

People shopping below orange umbrellas and bright lights in Borough Market, London
Shopping in London's Borough Market © Max Van Den Oetelaar via Unsplash
  1. Love a good food market? Sink your teeth into heavenly treats in the surrounds of a former church at Mercato Mayfair, enjoy street food bites from KERB traders at Seven Dials Market, or hang out near the Thames at the Southbank Centre Food Market.
  2. Discover some of the city’s best rooftop bars for sunset drinks with killer views, including The Nest at Treehouse London Hotel, catch a sunset at Bar Elba with views of the London Eye and The Shard.
  3. Head to Lost in Brixton and satisfy all your cravings with food from downstairs Brixton Village. Chill with a local beer or a colourful spritzer, while waiting for your food to be brought straight to your table. Who said you couldn't have it all? 
  4. Enjoy browsing Borough Market on Sundays with We Love Sundays, between 10am and 2pm. 
  5. Experience high-dining in a literal sense! Have a meal 100ft (30m) above ground at The O2, with London in the Sky
  6. Sit outside and enjoy a meal in the summer sunshine at some of London's best alfresco restaurants.
  7. Work your way around as many of the food and drink stalls and cooking demonstrations as you can at Taste of London in Regent's Park, the capital’s ultimate alfresco feast.
  8. Feast on all things Italian at food hall Eataly in Broadgate – featuring a huge market area, three restaurants, a winery and a cooking school.
  9. Visit the BattersEats outdoor food hall at Battersea Power Station, which mixes riverside views with alfresco eating from the area’s top restaurants, cafes and bars.
  10. Or, try locals’ favourite food markets, including Mercato Metropolitano, lively Pop Brixton and foodie haven Maltby Street Market.

Discover more food and drink ideas.

Life by the water

Houses by the Regent's Canal.
Spend time relaxing at by the river this weekend. Credits: Cup Of Spring. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
  1. Fill your Instagram feed with snaps of Little Venice’s charming canals. Stroll along the Regent’s Canal towards Camden and Regent’s Park, or float down the waterways on a canal boat.
  2. Chill out in the sunshine at one of the hip drinking spots close to Camden Market. If you’re feeling peckish, browse the tasty bites on offer at the market's food stalls.
  3. Soak up the sun and wave at passers-by while cruising down some of London’s canals in a hot tub with Skuna Boats, from West India Quay. That’s right, a floating hot tub!
  4. Unleash your adventurous side and explore Hammersmith or Richmond during a stand-up paddle boarding session with Active 360 on the river Thames.
  5. Sip on a craft beer from Hackney’s trendy canal-side microbrewery Crate, or head to one of the riverside pubs and bars lining South Bank for a socially distanced drink, including the BFI Riverfront.
  6. Hop aboard a riverboat for a relaxing ride along the Thames to one of London’s most charming neighbourhoods: Greenwich.

Enjoy a summer of sport

A tennis match being played on grass in front of an audience
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships © Shep McAllister / Unsplash. Image courtesy of Shep McAllister / Unsplash.
  1. Buy tickets in advance for the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships and enjoy world-class tennis courtside. 

London shopping

People sitting in the square at Covent Garden with women strolling past in the sun
Visit Covent Garden © Brendan Bell / Photos.London. Image courtesy of Brendan Bell / Photos.London.
  1. Head to elegant Regent Street for world-class dining, lifestyle and shopping, with high-street fashion brands like Burberry, Kate Spade and Mango, plus there are plenty of independent shops to discover on the side streets.
  2. Browse Oxford Street, the world’s biggest high street, for fashion, beauty and tech items at iconic brands and department stores, including John Lewis, Lush and Microsoft.
  3. And don't miss world-famous Bond Street in Mayfair, home to ultra luxury fashion just around the corner from Oxford Street.
  4. Hop around artisan shops and boutiques in St James's, known for high-end fashion and numerous stores with the Royal Warrant.
  5. Shop for high-street fashion at One New Change's collection of more than 60 stores.
  6. Carnaby Street is ideal for fashion lovers looking for concept stores, designer clothes, trendy footwear and colourful shop fronts. And if you’re not in a retail-therapy mood, there is also plenty of food to enjoy from Carnaby’s restaurants.
  7. Not only is Covent Garden a foodie paradise, it is also one of the best shopping destinations in London's West End. Look for classy items in the market while soothed by the sound of opera singers performing or find the latest in beauty and fashion.
  8. Take a wander around Seven Dials, where independent boutiques, classy cafes and picturesque courtyards collide. 
  9. Stop by Coal Drops Yard in King's Cross to shop for niche brands and enjoy a latte and cakes at its many cafes. 
  10. Peruse London’s top markets for food, flowers, modern art and clothes.
  11. London is a temple for second-hand fashion, so make sure you rummage through charity shops and the city’s best vintage fashion shops for one-of-a-kind items. 
  12. Looking for something slightly different? Once you’ve hit the big shopping destinations, take a look at the many art and antique shops and hidden shopping gems in London.

Find more inspiration for London shopping.

For art and culture buffs

The facade of Tate Modern, including it's striking brick tower, taken from Millennium Bridge on a bright day.
Tate Modern, taken from the Millennium Bridge © visitlondon.com/Jon Reid. Image courtesy of visitlondon.com/Jon Reid.
  1. Step into acclaimed Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern, two immersive installations that will transport you into a world of endless reflections. Until 12 Jun 2022
  2. Don’t miss the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition, an annual celebration of art and creativity showcasing works from up-and-coming artists and academicians.

Find more of the latest art exhibitions and museum exhibitions in London.

Make your summer quirky

Circus tent

  1. Be entertained by circus, comedy and family performances at Underbelly’s spiegeltent.
  2. Grab your mates and enjoy immersive experiences or head to fun-filled activity bars.

Find out what's open and when across the city, or check out Visit London app for London inspiration on the go.