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Top 14 Things to Do in London, England

One of the most famous cities in the world, London is known for its world-class attractions, cozy pubs, iconic museums and historic landmarks. A pleasant city to explore whether it’s your first time or 100th, London has buzzing multicultural neighborhoods filled with world-class art, entertainment, shopping, and dining hotspots just begging to be explored. A city where it’s nearly impossible to be bored, here is a snapshot of some of the top things to do in London.

Visit the Historical Tower of London Tower of London
Credit: Tower of London by bigstock.com

Visit the Historical Tower of London

What Is It? Founded in 1066, the Tower of London is a historic part of London that served as a prison from 1100 to 1952. 

Why Do It? Located on the north bank of the River Thames, here visitors can learn about legendary battles, hear bloody tales, and come face-to-face with real-life swords and armor used at this iconic fortress.

Good to Know: A perfect rainy day activity in London, you won’t want to miss the famous crown jewels exhibition in order to marvel at the Imperial State Crown.

Stroll Through Unique Neighborhoods Charlotte Street
Credit: Charlotte Street by © Chris Mouyiaris - Dreamstime.com

Stroll Through Unique Neighborhoods

What Is It? London has some of the most distinctive neighborhoods with their own colorful personalities, where visitors can explore a variety of interesting subcultures with their own restaurants, bars, and attractions. 

Why Do It? Stroll through the quaint architecture in Notting Hill, explore the alternative culture in Camden, or try the trendy eateries in Shoreditch, the nightlife scene in Soho, or high-end shopping in Chelsea.

Good to Know: Choose where to stay in London based on what neighborhood suits your travel style best.

Catch a Live Performance in the West End Lyceum Theatre
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Catch a Live Performance in the West End

What Is It? From heart-warming adaptations to belly-aching comedies, there is a range of musical theater options available in London’s iconic West End.

Why Do It? Entertaining for the entire family, here visitors will find award-winning performances set in iconic theaters.

Good to Know: London is one of the best places in the world for theater-lovers, from Six The Musical at the Lyric Theatre to Everbody’s Talking About Jamie, Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Go Shopping on Oxford Street Oxford Street
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Go Shopping on Oxford Street

What Is It? A shoppers paradise, Oxford Street is a premier spot for all your shopping needs.

Why Do It? There are over 300 shops for visitors to purchase a variety of items such as clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, and anything else that you desire. You’ll find anything from designer stores to budget-friendly boutiques.

Good to Know: Oxford Street is located in the center of London, near other shopping areas such as Bond Street and Piccadilly Circus. There are multiple buses that go to Oxford Street from around London.

Watch the Bright Lights of Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly Circus
Credit: Piccadilly Circus by bigstock.com

Watch the Bright Lights of Piccadilly Circus

What Is It? Illuminated with advertising and a famous statue of Eros, Piccadilly Circus is a mecca of bright lights and billboards. 

Why Do It? Sit back and enjoy the flashing lights of the massive advertisements from The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain at the center, or visit nearby Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum and notable London theatres.

Good to Know: A road junction for several of London’s major streets, it is now a popular meeting point and tourist destination busy with a bustling atmosphere.

Browse Through Vibrant Street Markets Borough Market
Credit: Borough Market by Borough Market

Browse Through Vibrant Street Markets

What Is It? Perfect for a day of shopping and soaking in the culture, London is famous for its diverse set of markets selling art, antiques, clothing, and a variety of local goods. 

Why Do It? Whether you want a full day of exploring the large markets of Spitalfields, Portobello Road, and Camden Market or you’re looking for a quick bite of fresh produce at Borough Market, you’re sure to find a range of gems and great bargains along the way.

Good to Know: Other popular markets include Alfies Antique Market in Marylebone, Brick Lane Market, and Brixton Village and Market Row.

Admire Big Ben at The Palace of Westminster London, England
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Admire Big Ben at The Palace of Westminster

What Is It? Arguably London’s most iconic and recognizable landmark, the Palace of Westminster is the political hub of the city, resting on the banks of the Thames. 

Why Do It? Visitors can admire Big Ben, the nickname for the “Great Bell” housed in the clock tower that chimes every hour and lights up London’s skyline at dusk. It was also featured in iconic British films, such as Bridget Jones’s Diary, Notting Hill and Love Actually.

Good to Know: For souvenir-worthy photos of Big Ben, admire it from across the River Thames, as it’s best viewed from the east bank. You can also stroll Westminster Bridge and see it en route to the Houses of Parliament.

Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace
Credit: Buckingham Palace by © I Wei Huang - Dreamstime.com

Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

What Is It? Home to the British Royal Family since 1837, the Buckingham Palace is quintessential London. 

Why Do It? Stroll through nearby Green Park for a glimpse of the Palace before exploring its grounds and catching the famous Changing of the Guard. 

Good to Know: A daily ceremony, witness the Royal Guard perform the historic and impressive tradition.

Soak in the City Skyline on the London Eye London Eye
Credit: London Eye by Bigstock.com

Soak in the City Skyline on the London Eye

What Is It? Open to the public in 2000, the London Eye is a giant Ferris Wheel that was originally created to celebrate the millennium.

Why Do It? The 2nd highest viewing point of the city after The Shard, visitors can buy tickets for a ride in one of the spacious pods for a slow-moving birds-eye view of the city. It stands 443 feet tall over the River Thames, offering 360-degree views over London.

Good to Know: Keep in mind that the lines are almost inevitable, but you can avoid a headache by buying tickets online, which will also save you money.

Examine History in World Renown Museums Natural History Museum
Credit: Natural History Museum by Franco Folini via Flickr

Examine History in World Renown Museums

What Is It? One of the best cities in the world for museums, London offers visitors the chance to explore its rich history at a number of free museums throughout the city. 

Why Do It? Visitors can see dinosaur skeletons at the Natural History Museum, probe scientific processes at the Science Museum, explore cultural history at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and pay a visit to the Rosetta Stone at the famous British Museum.

Good to Know: Want to see the world’s largest urban museum? Visit the Museum of London, which is packed with historic objects and exhibitions telling the story of London’s rich history. See how the modern city evolved into what it is in the present day.

Cross the Tower Bridge London, England
Credit: London, England by bigstock.com

Cross the Tower Bridge

What Is It? Standing proud as one of the most iconic landmarks of London, Tower Bridge is a must-see attraction on the Thames.

Why Do It? Dating back to the 19th century, the Tower Bridge is famous for its drawbridge effect and panoramic views. 

Good to Know: Visitors who want to see behind the scenes features, such as the engine room, can join one of the tours that further detail this iconic structure in depth.

Admire Classic and Contemporary Art The National Gallery
Credit: The National Gallery by Garry Knight via Flickr

Admire Classic and Contemporary Art

What Is It? London takes art seriously with a long list of galleries for visitors to admire both British and international artworks. 

Why Do It? With most galleries free to visitors, art lovers are spoiled for choice with the works of van Gogh at The National Gallery, Picasso at Tate Modern, the world’s largest collection of personalities and faces at The National Portrait Gallery, and award-winning photography at the Barbican Art Gallery.

Good to Know: Check official websites, as many art galleries in London offer free entry.

Soak in the Sunshine at Hyde Park Hyde Park, London.
Credit: Hyde Park, London. by © Irishka777 | Dreamstime.com

Soak in the Sunshine at Hyde Park

What Is It? When the sun is shining in London, locals love to soak in all the sunshine they can get at one of the many parks scattered around the city. 

Why Do It? While Hyde Park is one of the largest in the city and beloved for its expansive space, flower gardens, large lake. London also boasts plenty of other parks worthy of a day trip, as Regents Park, Victoria Park, St. James Park, and Hamstead Heath are all places to find a tranquil moment in the midst of the bustling city. 

Good to Know: Other notable nature spots include Primrose Hill and Greenwich Park, where visitors will find postcard-worthy views over London.

Taste Authentic Curry on Brick Lane Brick Lane in London at night.
Credit: Brick Lane in London at night. by © Madrabothair | Dreamstime.com

Taste Authentic Curry on Brick Lane

What Is It? Located in the heart of London’s Bangladeshi community in East London, this cobbled street is dotted with unique restaurants, coffee shops and even a retro bowling alley.

Why Do It? A great spot for foodies, Brick Lane is well known for having the tastiest curry houses in the city. 

Good to Know: Popular with the trendy and artistic crowds, visitors will also find lively markets set up on Brick Lane with a variety of shops selling everything from food to art and vintage clothing.

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