With countless unique experiences and unforgettable activities, there is truly no better place to celebrate the summer than in London. From rooftop bars and outdoor cinemas to music festivals and picnics in the park, discover 101 ways to make the most of the summer with this ultimate guide.
Get ready for days filled with sunshine and all things alfresco. Find the best outdoor activities and things to do from open-air tours and attractions to iconic summer events throughout June, July and August.
Sponsored by Big City Saver
Celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee
- Explore the Queen's magnificent royal residence at the Buckingham Palace tour: summer opening: See the beautifully decorated State Rooms and a special Platinum Jubilee: The Queen's Accession exhibition.
- Find royal things to do in London: Discover the best royal attractions from historic royal palaces to famous royal wedding venues.
- Celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee at Superbloom at the Tower of London: See a spectacular sea of flowers in Tower's famous moat. Until 18 Sep
- Visit Windsor Castle: Enjoy a day trip from London or combine it with a tour to historic locations such as Stonehenge, Oxford or Bath. Check out Platinum Jubilee: The Queen's Coronation exhibition while you're there. 7 Jul-26 Sep
- Get a glimpse of Life Through a Royal Lens, included with entry to Kensington Palace: View iconic images taken of the Royal family from Queen Victoria's reign until the present day.
- Marvel at Westminster Abbey: Discover the fascinating history and incredible architecture of Britain's coronation church.
- Explore the Royal Mews: Wonder at the royal family's grand collection of state vehicles including horse-drawn carriages and motor cars.
- See the Crown an Conflict: portraits of a Queen in Wartime at the Imperial War Museum: This special exhibition showcases more than fifty photographs of The Queen's role during the Second World War.
Summer school holidays 2022
- School's out! Discover plenty of fun things to do in London for families: Top Tip: Sightsee and save at top attractions with Big City Saver attractions passes, The London Pass or the Go City London Explorer Pass.
- Find the the best family attractions in the capital: Take your pick of cool museums for kids and action-packed adventures.
- Tick off the capital's top 10 attractions: Enjoy family favourites Shrek's Adventure! London, SEA LIFE London Aquarium and the London Eye.
- Or see top sights on The Total London Experience: The popular day-long tour takes in key sights and includes a river trip to Greenwich.
- Experience Harry Potter's London: Relive the magic at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter, sip on at Butterbeer at the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition or be spellbound by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre.
- Hop on the Emirates Air Line cable car for a selfie with a backdrop: Travel through the London sky at sunset for perfect snaps.
- Inspire the little ones at KidZania: Keep the kids entertained as they take part in immersive play and try out different careers.
- Whizz down The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit: Feel the wind in your hair as you experience the world's longest and tallest tunnel slide.
- Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers: See iconic landmarks such as the Tower of London as you hop on and off London's river bus. Make sure to snap a selfie in front of Tower Bridge.
- Take on the terrifying London Dungeons: Discover London's scary history and meet some of the city's most gruesome character's, from Jack the Ripper to Sweeney Todd.
- Stand with a foot in each hemisphere at the Royal Observatory Greenwich: Visit the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the world-famous Meridian Line.
- Climb the rigging on the Cutty Sark in Greenwich: Bring out your inner adventurer as you plot your way to the top of the tea clipper.
- Test your Tube driving skills at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden: Explore real life buses and trains as you discover the history of London's public transport network.
- Play Monopoly Lifesized: Get on your feet and roll the giant dice as you travel around the high tech, interactive game board.
- Try something new in London: Grab your mates and enjoy these thrilling immersive experiences.
- Plan a London break: Stay in London's best hotels for families.
- Make London memories that last forever: Work your way through these 101 things to do with the little and not-so-little ones.
What's on in London's theatre during summer 2022?
- Book ahead for London's top musicals this summer: Enjoy must-see shows such as The Lion King, Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera.
- Discover the best shows for kids: Take your seat for family favourites Mary Poppins and Matilda.
- Laugh out loud at the best comedy shows: Be amused by chucklesome antics in The Book of Mormon and The Play That Goes Wrong.
- Feel summer vibes at Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre: Get into holiday mode with this summertastic musical featuring all of your favourite ABBA songs.
- Fall in love with My Fair Lady at the London Coliseum: Be charmed by the colourful costumes and catchy songs at this delightful musical. Until 27 Aug
- Sing along to Sister Act at the Eventim Apollo: Follow disco diva Deloris as she becomes a nun on the run 19 Jul-28 Aug
- Celebrate summer nights at Grease The Musical at the Dominion Theatre: Revel in romance and rock 'n' roll at this much-loved musical.
- Tap your toes to Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre: Set sail for some feel-good fun as you join the crew onboard the S.S. American. 25 Jun-3 Sep
- Go Back to the Future at the Adelphi Theatre: Take a thrilling journey back in time with Marty and Doc Brown in this cool sci-fi classic.
- Be intrigued by Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap at St Martin's Theatre: Expect twists and turns in this suspense-packed murder mystery play.
- Be charmed by The Tiger Who Came to Tea: Delight in the heart-warming tale of a tea-guzzling tiger, based on the much-loved picture book by Judith Kerr. 11 Jul-4 Sep
- Watch 101 Dalmatians at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre: Enjoy comedy and theatre under the stars. 12 Jul-28 Aug
- Be spellbound by Beauty and the Beast the Musical at the London Palladium: See the beloved Disney story come to life on stage. 24 Jun-17 Sep
What are the best exhibitions in London this summer?
- Be mesmerised by acclaimed Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern: Step into two immersive installations that transport you into a world of endless reflections. Until 30 Sep
- Don’t miss the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition: Experience an annual celebration of art and creativity, with works on show from up-and-coming artists. 21 Jun-21 Aug
- Be dazzled by the display, including the legendary Tiffany Diamond. 11 Jun-19 Aug
- See the Summer Lights exhibition at Canary Wharf: Observe vibrant artworks and installations that shine and shimmer in the long summer days. 21 Jun-20 Aug
- Journey through time at Space Popular: The Portal Galleries at Sir John Soane's Museum: Experience the magic of virtual travel in this extraordinary exhibition. 29 Jun-25 Sep
- Encounter Picasso Ingres: Face to Face at the National Gallery: See Picasso's "Woman with a Book" (1932) artwork alongside the painting that inspired it, "Madame Moitessier" (1921) by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. 3 Jun-9 Oct
- Immerse yourself in the Milton Avery exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts: Admire dream-like paintings from the celebrated 20th-century colourist. 15 Jul-16 Oct
- Explore Africa Fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Discover an iconic collection of items, from textiles and photographs to music and visual arts. From 2 Jul
- Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Shakespeare's Globe with an immersive art trail along London's Bankside: Discover 25 artworks inspired by famous quotes from the writer's most beloved plays, many of which located where they were first written. (20 Jun-30 Sep)
Summer days out in London
- Spot roses in bloom at Kew Gardens: Wander the Great Broad Walk Borders and seek out colourful flower gardens.
- Marvel at pretty city views on one of London’s best bus tours: Climb aboard an iconic double-decker bus and take in the sights.
- Explore the city on foot with a guide on a walking tour of London: Uncover the filming locations of Downtown Abbey or retrace the footsteps of Jack the Ripper.
- See the variety of exotic animals at ZSL London Zoo by Regent's Park: Hang out with meerkats, penguins, lions and more. This summer, adults can enjoy a kid-free evening at the zoo with pop-up bars, laid-back live music, animal tours and talks and an all-new botanical secret garden to sip on a refreshing cocktail. 30 Jun-22 Jul
- Get some of the best uninterrupted views in London: Get your adrenalin fix as you scale new heights with the Up at The O2 climb.
- Explore the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park: Relax in the picturesque Japanese garden with its vibrant plants and soothing water features.
- 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.
- Make a splash 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.
- Snuggle up during a summer film at one of London’s great outdoor cinemas: Check out Rooftop Film Club’s iconic venues, or hop in the car for a drive-in cinema experience.
- Hop on your bike and ride some of London's best cycle paths: Discover the hidden corners of London as you explore on two wheels.
- 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
- Make the most of the long summer evenings at The View from The Shard: Sip on champagne cocktails and late-night drinks at London's tallest attraction.
- Discover some of the city’s best rooftop bars for sunset drinks: Experience killer views from The Nest at Treehouse London Hotel, or catch a sunset at Bar Elba with views of the London Eye.
- Or head to the Sky Garden, more than 500ft (152m) above the streets: Experience show-stopping views alongside summer dishes at its restaurant Darwin Brasserie.
- Sit outside and enjoy a meal in the summer sunshine: Experience some of London's best alfresco restaurants.
- Try delicious food from around the world on a Borough Market Food Tour: Feast on foodie treats from the many stalls.
- Hop aboard a boat and indulge in a London Dinner Cruise: Savour a four course meal as you take in the sights from the Thames.
- Experience high-dining in a literal sense: Have a meal 100ft (30m) above ground at The O2, with London in the Sky. 18 May-29 Aug
- Soak up knockout views of the capital from high up at the classy Sushisamba City: Enjoy colourful Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian-fusion fare from the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower.
- Feast on all things Italian at Eataly in Broadgate: Find authentic foodie treats, a huge market area, three restaurants, a winery and a cooking school.
- Get your summer foodie fix: Devour 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.
- 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?
- Or, try locals’ favourite food markets: Tempt your taste buds at Mercato Metropolitano, lively Pop Brixton and foodie haven Maltby Street Market.
London summer festivals
- Soak up the atmosphere at the iconic Royal Albert Hall: Enjoy stunning summer performances from musical concerts to the world-famous proms.
- Bag yourself tickets to some of London's hottest music festivals: See your favourite bands perform as the sun sets over incredible venues, such as Hampton Court Palace Festival (9 Jun-25 Jun) or show-stopping performances from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Elton John, and the Eagles at 24 Jun-10 Jul).
- See one of the prettiest parts of town at the Notting Hill Carnival: Dance to the sounds of steel bands, tuck into Caribbean jerk chicken and watch the colourful parade make its way through the streets of west London. 24-26 Aug
- Celebrate London's LGBTQ+ community at the colourful Pride in London parade: Sing and dance along, as more than 300 floats wind their way through central London. 4 Jun-2 Jul
- Snap colourful floral displays at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival: See impressive garden designs in the prestigious grounds of the palace. 4-10 Jul
- Head to Somerset House for the This Bright Land Festival: Attend day and night performances, from open-air Vogue Balls to Sunday street parties. 1 Aug-29 Aug
- Enjoy a summer spectacular at the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival 2022: From street art and circus acts to light installations and dance performances, immerse yourself in London's diverse culture at this free family-friendly festival. 26 Aug-11 Sep
- Make your way to Trafalgar Square to enjoy the National Gallery's Summer on the Square: Take part in fun, family friendly art activities. 11-29 Aug
London life by the water
- Hop aboard a riverboat for a relaxing ride along the Thames: Sail to one of London’s most charming neighbourhoods: Greenwich.
- Fill your Instagram feed with snaps of Little Venice’s charming canal: Stroll along the Regent’s Canal towards Camden and Regent’s Park, or float down the waterways on a canal boat.
- 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.
- Soak up the sun in a floating hot tub with Skuna Boats: Wave at passers-by while cruising down some of London’s canals from West India Quay.
- Unleash your adventurous side: Explore Hammersmith or Richmond during a stand-up paddle boarding session with Active 360 on the river Thames.
- Enjoy drinks by the river: 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.
- Explore the famous Swedish Ship Götheborg in Canary Wharf: Climb aboard the spectacular 18th-century wooden ship before it sails to China. 8-12 Aug
Summer shopping in London
- Spend a day perusing the 160 luxury-brand boutique outlets of Bicester Village: Enjoy some retail therapy just a short train ride away from London.
- Head to elegant Regent Street for world-class dining, lifestyle and shopping: Discover high-street fashion brands like Burberry, Kate Spade and Mango, plus there are plenty of independent shops to discover on the side streets.
- Browse Oxford Street, the world’s biggest high street: Find fashion, beauty and tech items at iconic brands and department stores, including John Lewis and Microsoft.
- And don't miss Bond Street in Mayfair: Head to the home to ultra luxury fashion just around the corner from Oxford Street.
- Hop around artisan shops and boutiques in St James's: Explore the historic area known for high-end fashion and numerous stores with the Royal Warrant.
- Explore vibrant Carnaby Street: Ideal for fashion lovers looking for concept stores, designer clothes, trendy footwear and colourful shop fronts. If you’re not in a retail-therapy mood, there is also plenty of food to enjoy from Carnaby’s restaurants.
- Take a wander the Piazza at Covent Garden: A foodie paradise and 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.
- Stroll around Seven Dials: Where independent boutiques, classy cafes and picturesque courtyards collide.
- Stop by Coal Drops Yard in King's Cross: Shop for niche brands and enjoy a latte and cakes at its many cafes.
- Peruse London’s top markets: Find food, flowers, modern art, clothes and more.
- Rummage through charity shops and the city’s best vintage fashion shops: London is a temple for second-hand fashion and one-of-a-kind items.
- Find something different at hidden shopping gems in London: Once you’ve hit the big shopping destinations, take a look at the many art and antique shops.
Enjoy a summer of sport in London
- Head to The Hundred at Kia Oval and Lord's Cricket Ground: Experience sporting action and entertainment at this action-packed event. 3 Aug-3 Sep
- Watch UEFA Women's EURO 2022 at Wembley Stadium: Cheer on your favourite team as 16 nations compete to be crowned the champions of European football. 6 Jul-31 Jul
- Celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympics: Enjoy festivities throughout the summer, from fitness workshops to mass karaoke. Kicking things off with the Great Get Together on 23 Jul.
- Be thrilled by the 2022 London E-Prix: See teams go wheel-to-wheel when the ABB FIA Formula E Championship comes and the this summer. 30-31 Jul