From (arguably) the world’s best fish and chips to the sometimes very odd fashion statements of its residents, London’s got something for just about every crowd.
Here’s a list of 16 of the best things to do in London.
The Churchill War Rooms is one of five (museum) branches of the Imperial War Museum. The Churchill War Museum includes the Cabinet War Rooms which is the bunker that housed some of the British government’s greatest leaders during World Ward 2 such as Winston Churchill and his staff.
Places such as these War Rooms should be visited by everyone at least once in their life. If not for monumental places like these, our world may be vastly different from the way it is now.
Monday-Sunday: 10a.m. to 5p.m.
Up at the O2 is a guided trip over the roof of The O2 Arena. The walkway sits at a cool 52meters above ground level with an incline of 30° at the steepest part of the trip.
There is an observation platform at the top of The O2 which boasts a spectacular view of London. When you’re up there, you’ll be exposed to the elements so it’s really an experience unlike many others in London.
Obviously, you’ll be strapped up and wearing the right gear to match so you don’t get tossed around like dandelion seeds. If safety is one of your main concerns, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
The hours of operation change very frequently. To learn more, click here.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a replica of the original Globe Theatre in London which was associated with William Shakespeare that was sadly destroyed by a fire in 1613. To honor Shakespeare’s impact on the world and to continue sharing his legacy with others, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was later built near the original Globe Theatre’s location.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre regularly hosts performances which mimic the original conditions during Shakespeare’s time. Things such as microphones, P.A. systems for music, and even spotlights are not a part of the theatre. All music is performed live and the actors in the plays must speak loud enough so as to be heard by all members of the audience.
The theatre centres itself around education and the arts as it seeks to promote and pass on the legacy of one of the greatest influencers to have ever lived.
Globe Theatre Tours Standard hours are from 9a.m. to 5p.m.
Box Office hours are from 9:30a.m. to 5p.m. (More information)
To see full hours of operation including the bar and restaurant, click here.
Sky Garden is a scenic public area which offers a 360° view of London from up above.
Sky garden has 2 bars and 2 restaurants so that you can have a nice and relaxing outing while enjoying a beautiful view of London.
Visiting Sky Garden is free and walk-ins are welcome. However, because of how busy it can become, access may be limited if too many people are inside. It’s recommended that you book a free visit in advance.
Monday – Friday 10a.m. to 6p.m.
Saturday and Sunday – 11a.m. to 9.pm.
While visiting a market may not be on most of our to do lists while visiting a new destination, visiting Borough Market should be.
Borough Market is one of London’s oldest and most renowned food markets. It had its early starts way back to the 12th century according to some reports.
The market was once (basically) a one-stop shop when it came to food in the past. Now, though, it more commonly sells specialty foods. Additionally, as one could expect from a market, there are many stalls available if you’re looking for something delicious that’s ready to eat.
If you love food and history, Borough Market is a place that you’ve got to go.
Sunday – Closed
Monday to Thursday – 10a.m. to 5p.m.
Friday – 10a.m. to 6p.m.
Saturday – 8a.m. to 5p.m.
Kensington Palace has been a residence of the British Royal Family for centuries and, to this day, it is still used as a London residence for many British Royal Family members.
The State Rooms, gardens, and other areas are open for public excursions. As well, an exhibit is set up of Princess Diana’s more notable fashion memorabilia.
It’s recommended to purchase your tickets online as it will be cheaper than buying them on site.
Monday to Sunday – 10a.m. to 6p.m.
Last admissions are at 5p.m.
Lee Valley White Water Centre was built to host the canoe slalom event in the London 2012 Olympic Games. Now, it’s used for adventure trips for those that would like to experience the thrill and enjoyment that white water rafting brings.
They’ve also got a terrace bar and cafe so you don’t really even have to go rafting to be there. You could just sit down with a cup of coffee in hand as you watch people getting soaked by the rapids if you’d like.
Gates are open from:
Monday to Thursday – 8a.m. to 9p.m.
Friday – 8a.m. to 11p.m.
Saturday and Sunday – 8a.m. to 11:30p.m.
(Hours are subject to booking times. For more info on hours, click here)
8. Go museum hopping
London has a bunch of free museums and that’s good. After all, who doesn’t love free stuff? I sure damn well do.
With that being said, here’s a few examples of free museums you can visit when you’re in London:
British Library – I know what you’re thinking, it’s a library and technically not a museum. But, as one the world’s largest library; it may as well be. Additionally, it’s got a lot of stuff on display much like any other museum would.
Natural History Museum – This museum has a large collection of, as you can guess, natural history. From dinosaurs to insects to plants and much more, there’s a lot of stuff to see here.
Science Musem – An aptly named place to visit for people who love to learn about the ins and outs of things like electricity, gas, nature, and SCIENCE!
They’re all freeeeeeeeeeeee~~
9. Visit Big Ben
When many people think of Big Ben, they think of the clock tower that you’ve probably seen at least once. However, did you know that Big Ben is actually the name of the bell inside the clock tower that you’re probably thinking of right now?
The tower itself is actually named the Elizabeth Tower while the clock is named the Great Westminster Clock.
Due to delays, Elizabeth Tower took some 16 years to finish. Elizabeth Tower was completed in 1856 but Big Ben didn’t actually come around until some years later in 1859.
Big Ben and Elizabeth Tower tours are currently suspended until 2021 as both are being refurbished. However, just being outside to take pictures is still a common activity as the world’s most famous clock tower still remains every bit as magnificent as ever.
The Shard is London’s tallest building and is gorgeous to look at. The Shard is also the tallest building in all of Western Europe and boasts phenomenal views of London.
If you’re not a fan of heights, I’d still recommend going up there because how great the view is. Besides, in all honesty, it’s probably at least 3 times as sturdy as your house is so you have no reason to be afraid.
The hours tend to fluctuate since it is technically also a venue space just as much as it is an attraction for people to visit. Click here for full hours of operation.
While a speakers’ corner isn’t technically something you can only find in London, it is something you don’t see quite often. Besides, the modern form of a speakers’ corner is said to have originated from the one in Hyde Park during protests held in the park.
A speakers’ corner is any space that’s used for discussions, debates, conversations, and pretty much any other form of speech. More notably, the Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park used to promote peaceful discussion regarding a topic.
The Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park is one of those places where the people who are there literally make or break the experience. But, even if the discussions bore you; Hyde Park is still a great place to be regardless.
If you’re into the “Harry Potter” series, you’ll probably love this tour.
It’s basically a tour themed entirely around “Harry Potter”. The tour will show you some of the places that inspired the making of the book and some tidbits about the story like behind the scenes information.
While the tour may not be as magical as the actual series, it’s still a great experience nonetheless.
Hours vary based on tour times. Click here for more information.
The London Dungeon is a thrilling experience that will take you back into the past to one of history’s most violent eras. Filled with tons of sights, sounds, and smells that’ll definitely spook you, the London Dungeon is the place to be if you’re looking for a thrill.
You will encounter torture displays and live actors as you’re flown back into the past where human lives were as cheaply regarded as blades of grass.
Be aware that this attraction is meant to scare you. I do not recommend this trip for anyone who is faint of heart.
Their hours vary. Click here if you’d like to know more about their hours.
God’s Own Junkyard started out because of one man’s passion for neon lights and artistic flare. Christopher Bracey (the man that started it all) was a neon artist who collected, restored, and sold neon signs. At some point, Christopher just collected so many neon signs that his collection basically became an attraction all their own.
Today, God’s Own Junkyard rents out and sells many neon signs that have either been restored or were created by Chris himself.
Christopher Bracey died in 2014 but his legacy remains.
Friday and Saturday – 11a.m. to 9p.m.
Sunday – 11a.m. to 6p.m.
The Royal Opera House is home to one of the world’s leading opera companies, The Royal Opera (as well as The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House).
As you may have guessed, the Royal Opera House’s main focus is in opera and the arts (like ballet and music). They aim to show audiences more about what it means to be human through artistic expression.
While you may not think of it as something interesting at first (I certainly didn’t), ballet and opera are actually fantastic when you’re experiencing them in person. Since looking into ballet and opera, I’ve actually become quite fascinated.
Hours vary due to performance hours. Click here for more information.
While the Trooping the Colour ceremony is an annual event to mark the Queen’s official birthday, it should be something you try to attend at least once in your life if you’re nearby during the time.
From the military precision to the massive parades, the Trooping the Colour is a great ceremony to watch that’s full of action, music, and fluffy black soldier hats.
The Queen herself also attends the ceremony and is always part of the action.
If you think I’ve missed anything else that should be added onto the list, let me know in the comments below. Also, what’s your favourite thing to do in London?