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Top 21 things to do in London, United Kingdom

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Visiting London for the first time? Or heading back to London again? There's just so much to do in London that even three visits over several years, is still insufficient for us! We have specially curated the top 21 things that you absolutely need to do during your next visit to London, United Kingdom!

But first, search and book the cheapest tickets to London on Skyscanner and with London's crazy weather, you'll want to ensure that you have packed everything you'll ever need: The Perfect London Packing List. Prepare those brollies and raincoats!

1. Visit the iconic Big Ben

A must-visit when you are in London! The majestic Big Ben is a majestic architecture that is a delight to admire and marvel at. Head onto the Westminster Bridge to get the best view of Big Ben along River Thames!

To get to the Big Ben, the nearest metro station's the Westminster Station. For first time travellers, do be careful of the gypsies that may get you to purchase flowers or friendship bands at the entrance of the station. Just brisk walk away to avoid any form of confrontation or pleas.

2. Ride the London Eye

This is probably an extremely touristy thing to do but it is one landmark that you'll have to see and take a picture of! The London Eye used to be the largest ferris wheel in the world before it is overtaken by Star of Nanchang in 2006, the Singapore Flyer in 2008, and now the High Roller opened at the Las Vegas Strip in 2014. The London Eye is now ranked number four.

Don't want to queue for tickets, purchase the London Eye tickets online before you head there.

Nearest metro station: Waterloo Station

3. Marvel at the architecture of the Westminster Abbey

Just across the road from the Big Ben, you'll find the 700-year-old Westminster Abbey. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it welcomes visitors to enter the church or join their worship.

Nearest metro station: Westminster Station

4. Stroll along River Thames and head to the Tower Bridge

It is quite a far walk but given the cool weather, it is quite enjoyable to stroll along River Thames. Otherwise, head onto the MBNA Thames Clippers (RB1 from Westminister to Tower Bridge) or join a cruise along the Thames to the Tower Bridge.

Nearest metro station: Tower Hill Station

5. On your way, get onto the Millennium Bridge

Harry Potter fans, you will definitely need to head onto the Millennium Bridge. In the movie, you'll see the death eaters attacking the bridge!

Millennium Bridge, London, United Kingdom

While you're there, don't leave out the Shakespeare's Globe! During Christmas, you can also find a Christmas Market at the Tate Modern Community Garden.

Nearest metro station: Blackfriars Station

6. Feast to your heart's content at the Borough Market

Borough Market, London, United Kingdom

Borough Market's our favourite place to find delicious eats! It also has a nice bustling atmosphere where you can find all sorts of produce. Read also our guide to the 10 things you must eat in Borough Market.

While you're there, you can also marvel at the Southwark Cathedral right next to the market. If you're spending Christmas in London, you'll also see many decorations and a Christmas tree in the market.

Nearest metro station: London Bridge Station

7. Check out the view on top of The Shard

View of the Shard

Or just the view of The Shard if you do not wish to head up! The Shard is Western Europe's tallest building and it is certainly not cheap to head up. Tickets at the door cost a whooping 30.95 pounds! If you really would like to head up, book The Shard tickets online in advance to get a discount.

Nearest metro station: London Bridge Station

8. Get to the Medieval Times at the Tower of London

Tower of London, United Kingdom

The Tower of London is officially known as Her Majesty's Royal Palace and the Fortress of the Tower of London. Throughout history, the Tower of London has served several purposes and is a historical landmark that is worth visiting.

Nearest metro station: Tower Hill Station

9. Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market, London, United Kingdom

Although there is nothing much going on here, the architecture of this market is simply stunning! It also inspired one of the scene from Harry Potter. While you are there, why don't you also book a visit to Duck and Waffle?

Nearest metro station: Monument Station

10. Watch the Changing of Guards Ceremony at the Buckingham Palace

Changing of Guards Ceremony @ Buckingham Palace

The main draw of the Buckingham Palace is the Changing of Guards Ceremony. Time your visit with the ceremony! It is held every other day at 11am. It will be an extremely crowded affair so do prepare to stand around and perhaps squeeze with the public if you would like a glimpse of the ceremony!

Entry into the Buckingham Palace is also possible with tickets (you're welcome)

Nearest metro station: Victoria / St James' Park Station

11. Marvel at the red Westminster Cathedral

Been to the Westminster Abbey? Then you'll have to complete your trip with the Westminster Cathedral. Not just that, it is also really beautiful.

Nearest metro station: Victoria Station

12. Avoid London's gloomy weather and enjoy the British Museum!

British Museum, London, United Kingdom

There are tons of great museums in London but if you only have time for one, then we think you should head to The Britisth Museum. The British Museum is an astonishing museum where its interiors are simply #goals! The museum is massive and has so many rooms and exhibits that you'll take an entire day to tour through! It is also one of the 9 free museums in London.

Nearest metro station: Tottenham Court Road / Russell Square Station

13. The alternative? The National Gallery

The National Gallery is also another free museum in London and it houses the world's greatest paintings. The exterior of the National Gallery is also stunning! For some reason, you can never ever complete walking around in London's museums!

Nearest metro station: Charring Cross Station

14. Reminisce your monopoly playing days at Trafalgar and Leicester Square

At Trafalgar square, besides the stunning National Gallery, you can also admire the fountains and lion statues. Just a short walk down, you'll find Leicester Square where you'll find the TKTS store to get cheap(er) tickets for musicals and plays!

Nearest metro station: Charring Cross Station

15. Shop to your heart's content at Oxford Street

Oxford Street, London, United Kingdom

Oxford street is a 1.9km road that is filled with many luxury and mass market stores for all your shopping needs. You'll find Primark at both ends of the street, with a large Hamleys store, and Selfridges. Since Oxford Street opens till late, you can consider visiting after you have completed visiting the various landmarks in the day. Lots of delicious food (The Breakfast Club and Flat Iron) can also be found in the area!

Start: Marble Arch Station, End: Tottenham Court Road Station

16. Chill out at the cafes at Convent Garden

Convent Garden was a new find on our most recent trip to London. It is such a nice area to chill out with your friends. Here, you can find Shake Shack, tea houses, and cafes! There's also another Flat Iron restaurant here!

17. Catch a play or musical

You should definitely catch the broadway musicals when you are in London as they have them all year-round! From Phantom of the Opera to Lion King and Matilda. You have a wide selection of musicals and you'll always have a new one to catch when you are in London again!

Another popular musical is the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Play! Tickets for these are highly sought after and you should definitely book in advance if you wish to watch the play!

To get cheap(er) tickets, head to the TKTS at Leicester Square on the day that you wish to catch that musical. You should be able to get tickets around 40 pounds if you are not picky with your choice of musical or play!

18. Head to Knightsbridge to visit the huge Harrods Store!

Harrods' Food Hall

Harrods is a world-renowned departmental store. Our favourite section of Harrods has got to be its food hall! Otherwise, you can get all the luxury brands here! Don't forget to get to the section where they sell their Harrods products!

Nearest metro station: Knightsbridge Station

19. Find Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station

King's Cross Station

Harry Potter's Platform 9 3/4 is not between Platform 9 and 10! It used to be there but was relocated to the station concourse. There will be a queue to take photographs with the luggage embedded in the wall so do prepared to wait for your turn! To complete your look, consider purchasing a robe or scarf from the store next to the "platform".

Don't forget to head out of the station as its architecture is simply marvellous! If you are a book lover, you may also want to visit the British Library situated nearby!

Nearest metro station: Kings' Cross St Pancreas Underground Station

20. Take a walk in Hyde Park!

Hyde Park London, United Kingdom

Hyde Park during Christmas has got to be the best! Christmas Wonderland is a christmas market that is free for all. Here, you can purchase lots of food and take rides! In the day, the huge hyde park also offers peace and tranquility in the midst of bustling London!

Nearest metro station: Hyde Park Underground Station

21: Go for a food hunt!

London has an amazing variety of food and you should definitely try them all! Read our guide to the Top 10 Restaurants in London, United Kingdom!

Where to Stay in London, United Kingdom?

We've stayed at several hotels during the many times we've been to London and these are our favourite mid-tier hotels:

This hotel is located at a quiet area near Earl's Court metro station (5-minute walk). It is a humble guest-house like property that has spacious and clean rooms. We liked living in the Earl's Court region because you can find many hotels at affordable price points and still enjoy the station that is located within Zone 1. A 24-hour Sainsbury Local is also located just a 4-minute walk away from the property.

We love the AccorHotels chain and tried Ibis Styles London Kensington Hotel on another occasion. Again, it is located within a 2-minute walk from Earl's Court Station. Sainsbury's Local is also just a mere 4-minute walk away. This property is much closer than Paramount Hotel. However, the rooms are smaller, and doesn't feel as cosy or homely as the Paramount Hotel. But being an international chain, you can expect higher quality of service and modern-styled rooms!

There's still so much more to explore in London and we would love to hear from you if you have tried any of these or if there are some other places or restaurants that we should visit in future. We truly appreciate if you could leave a comment! :)



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