Immerse yourself in the authentic culture, contemporary art, and jaw-dropping aesthetics from times old and new in the glorious city of London. Whether you stay for a day or stay for a week, London activities are available to everyone and provide a cultural backdrop for the city. It's no wonder why London is Europe's most-visited metropolis. Read through this guide of London attractions to see why London is a favorite of many travelers, and why London activities are fun for everyone.
Known as the first national public museum in the world, the British Museum has over 71,000 books, antiquities, and natural specimens. Located in the Bloomsbury area, it is hailed as one of the great London activities for tourists. Nearly 6 million people visit the museum for free and walk away in awe of the relics of human culture, past and present. While you're in the museum, make sure to visit the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (room 21), the world's first charter of human rights (room 52), and the Reading Room in the Great Court.
Home to the reigning monarchy of the United Kingdom, Buckingham Palace features 775 rooms and the Queen Victoria Memorial. It is the focal point of many celebrations for the Royal family. Top things to see include the state rooms, the grand staircase, and the private garden. You can also take an audio tour with Prince Charles that highlights 19 staterooms and special exhibitions. In the summer, the Palace opens their doors to showcase their greatest treasures of fine art, paintings, and exquisite furniture.
Westminster Abbey is hailed as the burial site for British monarchies and boasts London activities for the cultural enthusiasts. The building dates to 1245 when King Henry III reigned and built a site for his burial. At least 16 royal weddings have taken place at Westminster Abbey, including that of Prince William and Princess Kate. Once in the Abbey, tour the Shrine, containing the tomb of Saint Edward, the Cloisters, Poets' Corner, and the Nave. This will for surely be a London activity you don't want to miss!
A mix of new and old treasures, Kensington Gardens covers 265 acres of lush land. It is one of London's eight royal parks and is one of the coolest London activities for visitors. The gardens boast many attractions, including contemporary architecture, the Peter Pan statue, the Serpentine Art Gallery, and the Allotment, which features tips for growing organic vegetables. These London activities are particularly great for the gardening enthusiasts.
No two days are the same at Camden Market, London's premier market that brings more than 1,000 shops and stalls that sell everything from fashion to art, food, and music. It is a local staple for London activities. Since 1974, Camden Market has featured independent creators, street food traders, and a diverse community to complement the historic backdrop of Central London. Take a yoga class, watch a comedy show, or even dance the night away in the DM Boot Room. Shopping at Camden Market is full of fun London activities for the entire family to enjoy!
Perfect for anyone who wants an exhilarating thrill, Thames Rockets offers a unique sightseeing adventure to the public 7 days a week. Departing from the London Eye, comedic tour guides bring speed and fun when passing through the House of Parliament, Canary Wharf, and back to the London Eye. Zoom by famous bridges and stare in awe at London's landmarks at 30 knots and 630hp of engine power.
Whether you're visiting London or have lived there for years, touring the city via bike is a great avenue to take. Learn some amazing facts, see cool new areas, and take photographs alongside monuments. Explore sights such as the Tower Bridge, Harry Potter's Diagon Alley, or even the Bank of England. On the tour, there will be many stops for you to make memories. Simply rent some bikes from any of the many vendors in the city and hit the road! By burning calories without burning a hole in your wallet, biking and exploring the city are awesome London activities to engage in.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre explores the work and playhouse of Shakespeare. The Globe company seeks to educate guests on Shakespeare and his role in shaping the literary era in Elizabethan London. Founded by American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, tourists can visit the theater and enjoy live commentary about performance and staging. Once inside, listen to the audio guide of recordings and learn about the impact of drama from interactive displays.
Upgrade your experience to make it more memorable with an afternoon tea session themed by A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Globe's restaurant. Dine on smoked salmon, wild mushrooms, and lemon cake all while reminiscing about the processes that went into putting together a play in the 1600's. Then, top off the day with tickets to one of the Globe's phenomenal productions. These memorable and historic London activities will be exciting for the whole family.
Explore the dimly lit streets and listen to the conspiracy theories of Jack the Ripper. RIPPER-VISION technology recreates the atmosphere of historic London using moving images, spooky tunes, and film clips. This is a crime-filled staple when it comes to the most chilling London activities around. Go back in time to an era of disease, poverty, and the silent yet deadly footsteps of Jack the Ripper as he quietly hunts his victims. Travel down streets and pubs to the murder scenes of Martha Tabram, Mary Ann Nichols, and Annie Chapman. Get a glimpse of the "ripper letters" that Jack sent to local news stations during the "Autumn of Terror" written in red ink. If you love a good mystery, then this tour will excite and shock you.
Big Ben, the largest chiming clock in the world is located on the north end of the Palace of Westminster. Named as the United Kingdom's best landmark, Big Ben stands at the front of the House of Parliament. Take photos from across the Westminster Bridge or view the iconic riverscapes from the high tower.
With over 650 unique species of animals, ZSL London Zoo is packed full of amazement and wonder for guests to enjoy. Get face-to-face with lions, tigers, penguins, and friendly giraffes. Travel down through the Madagascan shrub forest and spot ring-tailed lemurs and walk through the wildlife center to view the importance of wildlife and our effects on their ecosystem. If you're feeling brave, take a Spider Selfie in the walk-through spider experience. These London activities are fan favorites and include the Penguin Beach, Gorilla Kingdom, and Tiger Territory.
Get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience at Warner Bros. Studio and enjoy a 3-hour tour of the making of Harry Potter. Explore the extravagant film sets and snap iconic photos of the Diagon Alley, Ministry of Magic Gothic grandeur, and the Hogwarts Express. See what sets these films apart with intricate props and costumes used in the movies. On the set, you may see the Olivanders Wand Shop or even Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Gain insight into the visual spectacles that were created with special effects. Embark on an unforgettable adventure as you see the world through Harry's eyes.
See countless bands, live events, comedians, and award ceremonies at the O2 Arena. Once inside the 2,800-capacity arena, you'll be able to grab drinks, go shopping at their gift stores, or eat at their one-of-a-kind restaurant. Hailed as one of the best London activities around, there's always a great atmosphere at the O2 Arena.
A must for art lovers and those wanting to explore new London activities, the National Gallery houses an exquisite collection of paintings from Western Europe. Open 361 days a year, visitors can view the special exhibitions of artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, or even the Dutch masters. Featuring stunning works from the 13th to the 19th centuries, the National Gallery has something for everyone to enjoy. Marvel at over 100 rooms full of spectacular art to feast your eyes upon.
Revel in the London night with live music and dancing from cabaret singers on this 3-hour showboat dinner cruise. Meet the captain and crew and soak up your views of London from the waters. Admire the Millennium Bridge as you sail right under it, and in the summer months, enjoy beautiful sunsets perfect for a romantic getaway with these London activities.
Stamford Bridge Stadium, home to Chelsea Football Club, is the premier club for English football enthusiasts. Explore the stadium with a tour guide that shares your passion and excitement for the team that has played in the same stadium for the past century. Step into the shoes of famed players such as David Beckham, Eden Hazard, and John Terry. Soak up the atmosphere of being surrounded by 40,000 cheering fans by getting tickets for a match. Interact with the club more by visiting the Chelsea Museum and learn how the team has evolved to become one of the most prestigious football clubs in the world.
Home to 6 bars, a cabaret theater, a cash poker deck, smoking terraces, and an award-winning steak house, Hippodrome Casino has it all. This is a great London activity to do with family and friends at one of the most recognized entertainment landmarks. Winning the Best Casino Operator award in Europe, Hippodrome is a unique venue that features four floors of casino gaming and a live theater. Walk in freely to this 24/7 venue and get state-of-the-art cocktails. Since opening in 2012, the Hippodrome Casino has attracted over 5 million visitors and is known as one of the most spectacular gambling venues in Europe.
Pose for photos with wax figures at Madame Tussauds, one of the greatest London activities, and be immersed in glamour and spectacle. Spend some quality time with Kim Kardashian, David Beckham, and Prince William. Madame Tussauds has over 300 wax figures throughout 14 themed zones such as film, culture, and even Bollywood. Take delight in the Star Wars exhibit featuring Yoda and Princess Leia and the Marvel Super Heroes 4D exhibition.
Enjoy a food tour of London's East End and discover where the locals eat. Head to top-rated restaurants endorsed by Time Out London and other award-winning publications. Dine on London delicacies, such as fish and chips at Poppies, or visit St. John Bread and Wine for a bacon and cheese sandwich. Learn about the history of London's East End and the different cultures that bring together the unique cuisines. Explore the neighborhoods of Spitalfields and Shoreditch and appease your appetite with delectable dishes. During the tour you will sample 10 local specialties, including drinks. These London activities will help diversify your palate and leave you more than satisfied.
Visit traditional pubs on the historical pub walking tour of London. Enjoy a personalized experience and learn about the local drinking culture throughout the ages. Admire the authenticity of each brewery and gain insider information only known to the locals. While on the tour, stop at 17th-century pubs where Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan frequented often. It's these kinds of London activities that make the city one of a kind.
London is known for its legendary rock music history. Of the many great London activities in store for you, there are also great rock n' roll tours for the music lovers. On these tours you will discover the famous gig venues, studios, hotels, and clubs of the rock 'n' roll elite. Walk across the famous Abbey Road crossing outside of the Beatles' former studio and see where today's rock 'n' roll stars record their music. See where Jimi Hendrix and Amy Winehouse lived and embrace the headquarters of Led Zeppelin. The tours cap off at 16 people, so you can enjoy an intimate experience. These musical London activities are great, particularly for rock 'n' roll lovers.
The award-winning musical about Jean Valjean is a beloved staged sensation. Les Misérables tells the tale of Jean, a fugitive in 19th century France and his story of courage, passion, and redemption. Showing at Queen's Theatre, you can choose from multiple seat options that fit your budget. The show will lift your spirits with songs and dances about overcoming battles both political and personal. Before the theater, opt for a 3-course dinner at L'Escargot, a restaurant that serves classic French cuisine in a beautiful surrounding. There are other musicals Queen's Theatre to fit anyone's fancy, all of which are stellar London activities to partake in.
As part of London's Imperial War Museum, Churchill War Rooms showcases the life and times of Winston Churchill who led Britain through World War II. Discover where wartime strategies were discussed and former secrets were spilled. Multimedia exhibits bring the War Rooms to life with audio and visual effects. Known for his inspirational oratory, Winston Churchill delivered powerful speeches and is a battle icon in the history of Europe. The story of the famous British leader dates to 1940, when Churchill became the prime minister. Learn about the conditions that he and others faced when going to war. The War Rooms are a fascinating London activity for the whole family.
London is known for its eclectic culture and world-class experiences. The London activities listed here are great for tourists. Whether if you're looking for a daytime adventure or a weekend excursion, London has you covered, with fun experiences for both the young and old, single and married, and even those with kids. Visit London and you'll find out why it's known as a jewel of Europe, and why millions of people go there year after year.
Want to know more?