London is one of the world’s most visited cities with a whirlwind of activities and experiences to enjoy at its every corner.
From classic and historical to the most stylish and contemporary, this ever evolving city won’t disappoint you, regardless of what you’re into the city.
Now, if you don’t have an idea about London attractions and experiences, this list carries some of the absolute top things to do in London.
Best Things To Do in London
1# Catch The View from The Shard
This is one attraction which proudly represents London’s modern skyline.At a height of over 1000 feet (300 meters), this 95-level structure is not only the tallest in the city but also in the whole of the Western Europe.
Besides an extensive line-up of dine and wine options, Shard is especially famed for itsviewing deck, The View;it lives up to its name as it treats you with the most awe-inspiring views over the striking city skyline.
2# Visit the iconic neighborhood of Westminster
The Central London’s most popular borough is also the financial and political hub of the city. Westminster has to its credit some of the region’s top historical landmarks and essential attractions. And this extensive list goes on with such celebrated sights as:
- The clock tower of Big Ben
- The imposing Palace of Westminster
- The royal history-steeped Westminster Abbey
- The elegant Parliament Square
- The ever vibrant Trafalgar Square
- And of course, the Buckingham Palace
More experiences await you here as you stroll down Westminster Bridge (built over the Thames) and further make a trip to attractions like St James Park, Tate Britain and The Mall.
3# Find more history & culture at London’s Legendary Museums & Art Galleries
London boasts of some of the world’s finest museums and galleries which collectively display a vast assortment of art and antiquities.
You can begin your museum hopping with a visit to the Natural History Museum, National Gallery and continue to the Science Museum and then to the British Museum as well as the Victoria &Albert Museum.
The best thing is that most of them offer free entry. If you’re looking for more exciting or quirkier experience, you can step into Ripley’s Believe It or Not or head to the Sherlock Museum.
4# Enjoy a spin in London Eye
With 32 capsules that indicate 32 boroughs of London, it takes full 30 minutes to complete a revolution while aboard London Eye.
This extraordinary ride not only gives you the chance to experience one of the world’s biggest cantilevered observation wheels, but also allows you to take in the most exquisite views of Westminster sights and beyond from a height of about 450 meters.
And this unique way of sky high sightseeing is a must-experience, especially if you’re traveling to London for the first time.
5# See the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace
Visiting Buckingham Palace and seeing the changing of the guardsclad in red tunics and black bearskin hats is of top priority on any London bucketlist.
Placed adjacent to St James Park, it has been the residence of the British Ruling Family since 1830s. Sign up for a palace tour that offers access to some of its sections, thus giving you a glimpse of the royal lifestyle.
And for the Changing of the Guard ceremony, it allows you to witness the timeless handover ceremony wherein the queen’s guards (currently on duty) are replaced by new guards. This lively ceremony marked by parade and marching band is free to watch.
6# Hang out at Hyde Park
Hyde Park is a piece of Eden right in the center of the London city. With hundreds of trees, stunning floral gardens, meadows and an expansive lake, it’s the biggest of four Royal Parks in the city.
Tracing its origin back to the 16th century, this historic park continues to be one of London’s favorite hangout places with something ideal for every preference.
Apart from facilities for boating, swimming, and skating, there are tennis courts, horse riding trails, cycling tracks, and kids’ playgrounds.
7# Take a Harry Potter Tour
This is unmissable for the hardcore fans of Harry Potter and the wizarding world. You can pre-book the Warner Bros Studio Tour which gives you a comprehensive overview of everything you should know about the making of this all-time favorite movie series.
Visit the Harry Potter movie locations, gain insider knowledge of the special effects, and further enjoy a look at the real costumes and props that were used in the movie.
What’s more; you’ll get to discover the Forbidden Forest, ride a broom (with the Green Screen experience), sample a mug of Butterbeer, and even board the real Hogwarts Express at the Platform 9 ¾.
8# Get out for a quintessential British Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea in London is a centuries-old national tradition which over the time has become one of the most adored pastime activities of anyone visiting the city.
With classic tea selections, sumptuous pastries, appealing cakes, plain scones and traditional sandwiches complemented by jams, tarts and creams, it’s one of the best ways to enjoy the authentic British treats and flavors.
There are certain etiquettes which you should follow during your British afternoon tea experience. However, this depends on the venue you’ve chosen which ranges from the high-end ambience to the laid-back and cozy tea rooms.
9# Stand in the eastern and western hemispheres at the same time
Yes, thisplace is where the east meets west. And we didn’t say this just like that. Just visit Royal Observatory to experience this for real. Located in England’s Greenwich Park that is close to London, its Prime Meridian Courtyard is where the 0° longitude is marked.
With a set of brass lines in the middle, this gives you the once in the lifetime chance to place your one foot in the eastern hemisphere and other foot in the western hemisphere.
But the Royal Observatory is not all about this; admire the world’s largest telescope (Great Equatorial Telescope), catch a high quality show at Peter Harrison Planetarium, and see attractions such as Flamsteed House and Time Ball.
10# Have a face to face meeting with the world famous personalities
For this, all you’ve to do is to head down to the legendary Madame Tussauds Museum. But if you’ve already been to a Madame Tussauds Museum and don’t want to include it in your to-do London list, then know that this historic venue is the museum’s first location before it became immensely popular and traveled to other places across the world.
And obviously, come prepared to see close to 500 life-like wax replicas of some of the renowned figures from almost all spheres, from British Royal Family to movies, sports, music, politics and history. So what better way to get up close and click some pictures with the queen and other royal members?
11# Add some splash to your holidays
Built to conduct the canoe slalom events at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Lee Valley White Water Centre is now a sought after attraction for those who wish to indulge in some extreme or frantic water sport activities.
This lets you be part of white water experiences like go canoeing, hydrospeeding, rowing, and hot dog sessions. Now don’t worry if you’re a novice or an absolute beginner, the centre also offers expert guidance to get you out on water with exclusive tuitions available for canoeing, kayaking etc.
12# Go on a shopping spree
If you didn’t imagine London as a shopping destination, the reality is that it has room for every preference and budget. And the most visited among them is probably Oxford Street which is also the busiest with over 300 shops featuring both quintessential local and international brands.
Another retail destination that you shouldn’t miss in the city is Knightsbridge which is famous for its local and designer stores including Harrods, Armani, and Christian Dior. Then there are shopping streets such as Carnby Street, Bond Street, King’s Road and Covent Garden.
13# Explore the region’s highest public garden at Sky Garden
This is one free attraction which you check out in London. Centrally located along Fenchurch Street, it’s unbeatable for the views that it commands over the city.
Walk through its lush gardens and take to its viewing deck on the Walkie Talkie’s 43rd level where its floor to ceiling glass windows and open-air terrace promise you a standpoint like no other in London. You’ll also find here several dining options including City Garden Bar, Darwin Brasserie and Sky Pod Bar.
14# Experience the iconic Thames River Cruise
The Thames River runs through Southern England and has been integral to London’s history and culture. In fact, no visit to the city is complete without taking a cruise across this legendary river.
Take a super exciting Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) ride or go on a relaxed sightseeing cruise with dinner and entertainment onboard.
15# Take a Paranormal Activity Tour
This is only for those who are looking to do something unusual or want to discover the mysterious or supernatural side of the city. This not only enables you to hunt or communicate with ghosts and spirits but also goes back to the city’s gruesome past.
It’s evident from above list that London has something for everyone. And we hope that we’ve covered almost everything that would help to plan your dream London trip!
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Author bio: Sony was born and raised in Mumbai. She was a journalist before shifting to writing about her journeys and sharing her experiences. Currently, she lives in Pune and works for imonholidays talking about her adventure tours, day activities, tours and travels, visas and packages.