With more than 20 million international tourists and 27 million domestic visitors each year, London is undoubtedly the most visited city in Europe. It’s a city with a rich history, architecture, and culture, and home to the British Royal Family. It’s not surprising why London is among the top travel destinations in the world. Here, we will list the 10 best things to do in London, England.
Best Things to Do in London
A trip to London is incomplete without visiting the Buckingham Palace. The palace is home to the British Royal Family since the year 1837. It has 775 rooms and the biggest private garden in London.
The State Rooms at the Buckingham Palace are open to the public only for two months a year, usually between the end of July and late September (when the Queen is not in residence).
But from the outside, you can still watch the Changing the Guard ceremony. It takes place at 10:45 am and lasts about 45 minutes. The actual handover takes place at 11 am. The ceremony is an excellent opportunity to witness a historic tradition, as well as the discipline of the Royal Guard, who are wearing traditional red tunics and bearskin hats.
2. Platform 9 ¾
King’s Cross is the railway station where you can find the famous Platform 9 ¾. If you’re a big fan of Harry Potter, chances are, you already know what the Platform 9 ¾ is. For those who are not familiar with it, it is the station that Harry Potter uses to journey to Hogwarts. Pose beside a luggage trolley and have your photo taken to commemorate your wizarding journey!
The King’s Cross is one of the busiest locations in London – a train station that has been open since 1852. Recent renovations have given it a sleek, modern look.
Westminster is the political hub of London and is also home to the Houses of Parliament and the world famous Big Ben (the name of the bell housed within the iconic clock tower).
You can also find the Westminster Abbey, a royal church in the center of London that offers daily services. It is a World Heritage Site with a thousand years of history. While in the area, you can also visit the Parliament Square which features statues of important political figures including Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela.
4. London Eye
Located on the South Bank of the River Thames, the London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel offering gorgeous views of the city. It’s the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK, with more than 3.75 million visitors annually. At night, the wheel is lit up, making it a focal point of attention.
Each of the 32 capsules can carry up to 25 people. The ovoidal passenger capsules are air-conditioned. You can share the pods with other visitors, or splurge on a private pod for you and your loved one.
London is one of the best cities for museums. On Exhibition Road in South Kensington, visitors can find museums close together. The Natural History Museum houses a Diplodocus skeleton, ancient fossils and stuffed animals (including a dodo bird replica).
Then, go to the Science Museum to investigate scientific progress throughout the ages, as well as to experience various hands-on activities. A short stroll to the Victoria and Albert Museum will shift focus to cultural history. This museum has various artwork on show alongside fashion and tools from around the world.
There’s also the British Museum where you can see the Rosetta Stone, mummified remains, and centuries of archaeological discoveries. Lastly, the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre is ideal for children, with various activities to explore history and culture with the help of modern technology.
6. Thames Cruise
The Thames is England’s longest river. It was of strategic importance to English Kings and Romans, as well as during World War I and World War II. There are a number of companies offering cruises across the River Thames. The cruises pass several sightseeing locations, including the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, and the London Eye.
Some cruises sail at night so visitors can see the sights all lit up, and others serve a meal or afternoon tea. A cruise along the River Thames is a lovely and unique way to view London.
Shoreditch is one of the trendiest areas in London. It is also one of the best nightlife spots in the city. Packed full of bars and restaurants, it is the perfect place to spend an evening. You can check out Trapeze, a circus-themed bar that serves inventive drinks out of popcorn tub style cups.
For pop culture lovers, Far Rockaway is a good option. It’s a bar and restaurant that features comic books, band posters and a 90s night. Another one to visit is the Blues Kitchen for a night of blues accompanied by sticky ribs and American staples.
Hampstead Heath is one of the biggest parks in London, covering 790 acres. It sits atop a high point, offering magnificent views of the city from Parliament Hill. The Hampstead Heath features grassy fields, wooded areas, and ponds. It is the best place in London to experience nature, with plenty of wildlife and woods.
There are also swimming lidos for those who want to swim outdoors. If you’re a history buff, you can visit Kenwood House, a historical stately home known for its curated art collection.
9. Baker Street
One of the cultural spots in London is Baker Street, best known as the street that Sherlock Holmes lived on. Today, you can find the Sherlock Holmes museum near the Underground station. Another place to visit is Madame Tussauds, an internationally-famous wax museum where you can pose with famous celebrities.
Harrods is London’s most exclusive department store, known for serving the elite and the super rich. The luxury is spread across all the floors, laid out in style through the department store’s themed halls. In particular, the Egyptian hall sells fashion in lavish style to make shoppers feel like a pharaoh as they pass through.
Explore Harrods and get lost while shopping for jewelry, clothing, perfumes, health and beauty items, home appliances, electronics, children’s toys, and so much more. For food and drink, go to the food hall for some indulgent delicacies, from meat and cheese to marmalades and pates.
The best things to do in London include sightseeing, shopping, dining, entertainment, and visiting some of the world’s most famous tourist spots. With so many things to see and do, you’ll surely enjoy your trip to London. To hear about our trip to London, Paris, and Scotland check out our show notes page.
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