Top 25 UNIQUE Things to Do in London!
The many amazing things to do in London are a guarantee for an unforgettable trip to the city. The British capital is well worth a visit for its unique activities, spectacular buildings, cool lifestyle, vibrant markets and countless attractions. The mix of unique architecture, cultural diversity and rich history is particularly fascinating and is a draw for 22 million tourists each year. The city is also home to some of the world’s finest museums, many of which are free to visit. Highlights of London include landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and vibrant neighborhoods such as Soho and Camden Town. There are also many other extraordinary places to see, so sightseeing in London is always exciting.
In this comprehensive travel guide, you’ll find the best things to do in London, including insider tips. We show you beautiful pictures, give you exclusive London tips, reveal great places to stay, and tell you where to book cheap tickets.
A visit to Tower Bridge, named after the nearby Tower of London, is certainly one of the best things to do in London. Opened in 1894, it is one of the most impressive bascule bridges in the world, with a total length of approximately 244 meters. Particularly beautiful are the two neo-Gothic towers that rise 65 meters into the air and give Tower Bridge its iconic appearance. A real eye-catcher from the outside, countless tourists come here every year to take their best London photos. Not to be missed either, visit the Tower Bridge Museum. It is located in the upper part of the connecting passages of the bridge. From the glass floor at a height of 42 meters, you have a dizzying view of Tower Bridge and the River Thames.
Tip: The citizenM Tower of London is a 4-star hotel with great value for money. You will also be able to enjoy a great view of the Tower Bridge from the hotel!
The Buckingham Palace is not only the official residence of the British monarchs since 1837, but also one of the most important attractions in London. Situated in the center of London, this majestic building continues to serve as the center of royal ceremonies, official receptions, and state functions. Originally built in 1703 as a townhouse for the first Duke of Buckingham, the Palace became an official royal residence under Queen Victoria. The imposing building was expanded over the years, especially under George IV and Victoria. A real highlight and a must-see for every visitor to London is the public changing of the guard, which is held directly in front of the palace. It takes place daily at 11:00 am and is free of charge.
Tip: There are parts of Buckingham Palace that can only be visited from the inside during the summer months. Be sure to book your tickets online well in advance.
Big Ben & Houses of Parliament
A visit to the Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are among the top 10 best things to do in London. The term “Big Ben” actually refers to the 13.5 ton “Great Bell” that hangs in the 96.3 meter high clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. It is famous for its precision and unmistakable chime that has accompanied the lives of Londoners for more than a century. Next to the Clock Tower is the Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster. Rebuilt in the 19th century after a devastating fire, the complex is a magnificent example of Gothic Revival architecture. Its imposing facade, pointed towers and ornate details make it one of the most photographed landmarks in London.
Tip: It is not possible to visit Big Ben from the inside. However, the best views can be enjoyed directly from the River Thames or by riding the London Eye.
A ride on the London Eye is one of the best fun things to do in London. This attraction, also known as the Millennium Wheel, is the second-tallest wheel in Europe at 135 meters and one of the most famous landmarks in central London. Located on the south bank of the River Thames near Westminster Bridge, a ride on the wheel offers a fascinating 360-degree view of London, including many attractions like Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. On a clear day, you can see up to 40 km away and take some great photos. An insider tip is to take a ride at sunset or in the evening, when the city is bathed in a sea of lights.
Tip: It’s definitely worth booking a ticket online in advance. The London Eye is one of the most popular attractions in London and the crowds are always huge.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the most famous landmarks in the English capital, and visiting this historic landmark is a must when visiting London. Originally built by William the Conqueror in 1078, the fortress has undergone many transformations over the centuries, serving as both a royal residence and a royal prison. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During a visit, you can marvel at the iconic White Tower, which served as the royal treasury and still houses the impressive Crown Jewels. Especially exciting is the tour with the Beefeaters, the Tower Guardians, who entertain visitors with the history of the Tower of London.
Tip: As with most attractions in London, make sure to book tickets ahead of time. You can also buy your tickets at GetYourGuide.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
One of the most beautiful churches in London is St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was in this cathedral that Prince Charles and Princess Diana tied the knot in the year 1981. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the cathedral is one of the largest in the world with a length of 158 meters. Another special feature is the huge dome and the whopping 528 steps up to the 3 galleries from where you have a magnificent view of London. One of the main galleries is the Whispering Gallery, where you can hear whispers on the other side. The crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral is also interesting to see, as it contains numerous graves of famous personalities such as the Duke of Wellington or Admiral Lord Nelson.
Right across from Big Ben is Westminster Abbey, one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in London. This church was built in the 13th century in the Gothic style, although its origins are said to date back to the 7th century. It has also been the site of major royal weddings, including that of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, and has seen the coronation of numerous kings, including Queen Victoria and Elizabeth II. During a visit, you can also see the famous 800-year-old Coronation Chair. Another highlight is Poets’ Corner, where many famous writers such as William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Geoffrey Chaucer are laid to rest.
Natural History Museum London
The Natural History Museum is a truly famous museum in London and a must-visit for anyone interested in nature. A visit to this attraction is also one of the best things to do in London for families with children. It is one of the largest natural history museums in the world and is housed in an imposing Romanesque-Byzantine style building built in 1860. The collection is incredibly diverse and contains no less than 70 million objects displayed. The museum’s main attractions include numerous dinosaur skeletons, rare fossils, the world’s largest collection of meteorites, and the 25-meter-long blue whale skeleton in the large main hall.
Tip: The Natural History Museum is one of London’s best free to visit attractions. Visitors have free admission to most of the museum exhibitions.
Madame Tussauds London
The legendary wax museum of Madame Tussauds is definitely one of the most famous attractions in London. Whether young or old, couples or families with children, this museum is a fantastic London experience for everyone. Now a well-known chain, Madame Tussauds museum actually originated in London in 1835. Today, it features a wide range of lifelike wax figures of world-famous personalities. With more than 250 wax figures, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to take cool photos. These include the royal family, movie stars like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, music legends like the Beatles, political leaders like Winston Churchill, and even athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo.
Tip: If you book well in advance, you may be able to get your tickets for a cheaper price. Find tickets and prices online at GetYourGuide.
One of the most famous places in London is Trafalgar Square. It was designed by John Nash in 1820 and landscaped by Sir Charles Barry from 1840 to 1845. The square honors British Admiral Lord Nelson for his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar with the imposing 51-meter high Nelson’s Column, flanked by four bronze lions. Today, Trafalgar Square is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists, as well as a venue for large celebrations and political demonstrations. The two large fountains are beautiful and make Trafalgar Square a popular photo spot in London. The square is home to a number of interesting tourist attractions, such as the National Gallery, the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Canada House.
The Kensington Palace is one of the most beautiful landmarks in London. For more than 300 years, this palace has been home to various royal figures, including Queen Victoria, who was born here and spent much of her childhood here. Princess Diana also lived at Kensington Palace from 1981 until her death in 1997. Some areas are currently open to the public. The State Rooms provide an insight into the royal state rooms and the Sunken Garden, known as “Diana’s Garden”, can also be visited. Also worth seeing are the changing exhibitions on royal history and the surrounding Kensington Gardens, which together with Hyde Park form a green urban oasis.
Tip: There are some excellent boutique hotels just to the south of the Kensington Gardens, such as the charming and luxurious Milestone Hotel Kensington.
One of the most popular parks in London is undoubtedly Hyde Park. Once a royal hunting ground, the park was opened to the public in 1637. Today, the park covers an area of 1.4 km² and offers visitors a wide range of outdoor activities. One highlight is the enchanting Serpentine Lake, which divides Hyde Park and offers great opportunities for fun things to do in London, such as swimming and rowing. The Rose Garden, Artemis Fountain and the monumental Wellington Arch are also located in the southeast corner of the park. One of the most famous attractions, however, is the famous Speakers’ Corner in the northeast of Hyde Park.
Tip: If you are visiting London in the winter, be sure to check out the legendary Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. There are fun rides, Christmas markets and street food all waiting for you.
The Shard is an imposing skyscraper in the Southwark district and is one of the tallest buildings in Europe. With a height of 310 meters, this attraction offers a breathtaking view of central London. The skyscraper opened in 2013 and is now high on the list of London’s top attractions. Designed by Renzo Piano, “The Shard” impresses with its pyramid-shaped glass structure. The lower floors house offices, followed by luxury restaurants and a five-star hotel. However, the highlight for London tourists is “The View from The Shard,” an observation deck located on the top floors of the skyscraper that offers a 360-degree view of the city.
Tip: For a luxurious stay in London, check out the Shangri-La Hotel The Shard. It is located on floors 34 to 52 and offers an incredible view of London.
The Camden Market is a true shopping paradise in London. Located in Camden Town, it is one of the largest and most famous markets in the city. Each week, around 500,000 visitors come to shop, stroll, eat and go out. Originally founded in 1974 as an arts and crafts market with 16 stalls, Camden Market now boasts hundreds of unique and quirky shops, restaurants, pubs and stalls. The food market is particularly popular, where you can sample delicious street food from all over the world. Also worth seeing is the beautiful green Regent’s Canal, where you can even take a boat tour.
Tip: Camden Market is also known for its legendary London nightlife. There is a wide variety of pubs and live music venues as well as cocktail bars and clubs.
A visit to one of London’s traditional pubs is a must. Here you can experience a piece of London culture, as they have been an important social meeting place in the city for centuries. While sampling different beers, you will be amazed at the often impressive selection of traditional British ales, lagers and craft beers. With more than 3,500 pubs in London, there’s a variety of these legendary pubs to be found everywhere, whether in the city center or on the outskirts. From traditional establishments with a long history to more modern pubs, there is something for everyone. A good example is The Prospect of Whitby. It is one of the oldest pubs in the city, dating back to 1520.
The British Museum is one of the most famous places in London. Founded in 1753, it is one of the largest and most important cultural history museums in the world. During a tour of the museum, visitors will be amazed by a stunning collection of over eight million objects. The cultural history of mankind from its beginnings to the present day is beautifully documented. Highlights of the British Museum include Egyptian mummies, the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. Another must-see is the museum’s impressive Great Court, designed by Sir Norman Foster and considered the largest covered atrium in Europe.
Tip: Entry is free of charge! Many of London’s best museums, such as the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery and the British Museum, are free.
Harry Potter Studios London
The Harry Potter Studios in London, officially known as Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, is one of the most visited attractions for children and adults alike. It offers fans a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the famous movie series. The studios are located in Leavesden, about 1.5 hours from London, and since 2012, visitors have been able to immerse themselves in the magic of the Harry Potter world. A tour of the studios includes an extensive exhibition of authentic movie sets, including the Great Hall of Hogwarts, the Gryffindor common rooms and the impressive Hogwarts Express.
Tip: You can also book tickets online at GetYourGuide, including bus transfers from London to the Harry Potter Studios.
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall in London is one of the most famous event venues in the city. Located in the Kensington district, the neo-Gothic building is part of the national memorial to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the husband of Queen Victoria. It is designed to resemble a Roman amphitheater and can seat approximately 8,400 people. The Royal Albert Hall hosts events such as symphony concerts, pop concerts and boxing matches. It opened in 1871 and has been home to the famous Proms summer concert series since 1941. Not only are the acoustics first class, but the majestic atmosphere is phenomenal.
St. James’s Park
One of the most beautiful parks in London is undoubtedly the picturesque St. James’s Park. It is a 23-acre green oasis in the center of London and is officially one of the city’s royal parks. St. James’s Park boasts the picturesque St. James’s Park Lake, magnificent flower beds, lush greenery and majestic trees, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a colony of pelicans and plenty of cute squirrels. Another highlight is the breathtaking view of Buckingham Palace and the London Eye from the bridges, which gives the park a particularly romantic atmosphere.
The Piccadilly Circus is easily one of the best places to visit in London and a fantastic starting point for sightseeing tours of the city center. This iconic crossroads is where the city’s most famous streets meet, including Regent Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, Haymarket, Coventry Street and Lower Regent Street. There is always something going on here, day or night, as Piccadilly Circus is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike. A special feature is the illuminated billboards that have given this place its legendary look for over 100 years, making this attraction a popular photo spot in London.
The Harrods department store is a true shopping paradise, and definitely a visit is one of the most popular things to do in London. This famous luxury department store is one of the largest and most exclusive of its kind in the world. Founded in 1834, it now covers almost 100,000 square meters of retail space and offers an exquisite selection of luxury goods, from fashion to jewelry and food. The eclectic facade alone is an impressive thing to see. An insider’s tip is to visit in the evening, when the store is illuminated by over 11,500 lights.
Tip: Harrods Food Halls are definitely worth a visit. Located on the first floor, they offer an incredible selection of gourmet foods from around the world.
The spooky London Dungeon is a chamber of horrors of a very special kind and a popular activity in London. Opened in 1974, the Dungeon is dedicated to London’s dark past. A mixture of chamber of horrors, live entertainment and rides, it takes you on an interactive journey through medieval London to the Victorian era. Over 40 professional actors and impressive special effects create thrilling scenes. Famous crimes, trials and historical punishments are all brought to life. Rides such as the Drop Dead Lift and the Tyrant Boat Ride add to the excitement.
One of the coolest neighborhoods in London is definitely Soho. The area is known for its diversity and incredibly vibrant atmosphere. Historically, Soho has always been a center for culture, art and entertainment, and today the area is still very much in trend. It is home to colorful Chinatown, a vibrant LGBTQ scene, great nightlife and, of course, many traditional pubs, trendy bars, restaurants and several theaters. You should also visit Carnaby Street, an iconic shopping street in Soho with cool boutiques and designer stores. Furthermore, the luxurious Liberty department store is also located in the area.
One of the most popular things to do near London is a visit to Windsor Castle. It is the largest continuously inhabited castle in the world and is located in the town of Windsor, 35 kilometers south of London. It is one of the official main residences of the British Royal Family and is also known as the “English Versailles”. Approximately 1,500,000 visitors come to see this magnificent castle each year. The main attractions include the State Apartments, St. George’s Chapel, Queen Mary’s Doll’s House, the Changing of the Guard, and the picturesque gardens with the over 4 kilometers Long Walk.
Tip: Windsor Castle is very popular place for half-day trips. Be sure to book tickets online in advance. Guided tours are also available daily from London.
London: Tours, Tickets & Excursions
If you don’t feel like exploring London on your own, you can take a guided tour. On the online portal GetYourGuide, you will find recommended city tours, cheap admission tickets, cool activities such as boat trips or hop-on hop-off bus tours, and exciting excursions in the surrounding area.
They also have great reviews that you can compare before you book.
Where to Stay in London
There is a fantastic range of places to stay in London. From cheap backpacker hostels to cozy city hotels, chic boutique hotels and luxury hotels, there is something for everyone. If you are still looking for a good accommodation in London, then we can give you these tips on where to stay… It’s worth a look!
- Exceptional 5-Star Hotel: The Hotel 41 is an exceptionally beautiful 5-star hotel in London and a guarantee for a very special city break.
- Charming 4-Star Hotel: The Chesterfield Mayfair is a 4-star luxury hotel in London’s Mayfair district with a unique historic ambience and flair.
- Charming Guest House: The Hayden Pub & Rooms offers beautiful rooms in the romantic district of Notting Hill. Subway and bus connections are excellent.
- Beautiful Apartments: The Guilford Apartments Bloomsbury offers a variety of large, tasteful apartments in a great location for a city break!
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