Summer in London: 26 top things to do in London

Pack your shades and get ready to rock your summer wardrobe. Sunny days are here!

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

Make sure to the latest lockdown rules as you explore the city. And remember to stay safe, be responsible and follow social distancing guidelines when out and about.

The great outdoors

  1. 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.
  2. See the variety of exotic animals and hang out with penguins at the famous ZSL London Zoo by Regent's Park.
  3. 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.
  4. Snuggle up during a summer film at one of London’s great outdoor cinemas, including The Luna Cinema’s iconic venues, or hop in the car for a drive-in cinema experience. 
  5. Hop on your bike and ride some of London's best cycle paths
  6. Sing along to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre this summer. Until 27 Sep
  7. Get some of the best uninterrupted views in London and scale The O2 with the Up at The O2 climb.

Summer food and drink in London

  1. 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? 
  2. Love a good food market? Sink your teeth into street grub and order a glass of Pimm’s at one of the city’s coolest outdoor markets – try locals’ favourites Mercato Metropolitano, Dinerama, Pop Brixton or Maltby Street Market.
  3. Discover some of the city’s best rooftop bars for sunset drinks with killer views, including laidback Frank’s Cafe atop a multistorey car park in Peckham, or catch a Waterloo sunset at Bar Elba with views of the London Eye and The Shard
  4. Sit outside and enjoy a meal in the summer sunshine at some of London's best alfresco restaurants.

The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme officially ended on 31 August. However, you can still eat out for less at selected restaurants across the city, which offer similar deals and special discounts.

For the 'gram

Summer in the city

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  1. Get the perfect shot of the city at Sky Pod, more than 500ft above the streets in Sky Garden atop The Walkie Talkie building. You can also enjoy the show-stopping views alongside summer dishes at Sky Garden’s beautiful restaurant Darwin Brasserie
  2. 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.
  3. 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 edged into the stone at the top: “I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill.”
  4. Get creative with your snaps for the 'gram at Somerset House, and make sure to check out the latest exhibitions on display. 

Life by the water

  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. That’s right, a floating hot tub!
  4. Unleash your adventurous side and explore Hammersmith or Richmond during a stand-up paddleboarding 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.

For art and culture buffs

  1. Get up close to famous creations from one of the world’s most iconic pop art legends Andy Warhol at Tate Modern. Until 15 Nov
  2. Explore stories of the incredible scientific and technological advances that have shaped the world at the Science Museum.
  3. Climb aboard the last-surviving tea clipper in the world, the fastest ship of its era, the famous Cutty Sark in Greenwich.
  4. Learn all about The Krios of Sierra Leone at the Museum of London Docklands this summer. Until 14 March
  5. Look out for outdoor exhibition Everyday Heroes across the Southbank Centre site, celebrating key workers through a series of art and poetry commissions. Until Nov
Find out what's open and when across the city, or check out Visit London app for more London inspiration.