40 Top Things to Do in London: Must-See Attractions and Experiences

Home » 40 Top Things to Do in London: Must-See Attractions and Experiences

London, the vibrant capital of England, is a city steeped in history, culture, and modernity. From iconic landmarks to world-class museums, from charming neighborhoods to bustling markets, London offers a plethora of attractions and experiences to suit every traveler’s taste. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned explorer, this bustling metropolis has something new and exciting to offer. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the top things to do in London – a curated list of must-see attractions and experiences that will make your visit to the city truly unforgettable.

1. Buckingham Palace: Witness the Changing of the Guard

The Iconic Residence

No trip to London is complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British monarch. Marvel at the grandeur of this iconic palace, with its impressive facade and royal history.

Changing of the Guard

Don’t miss the Changing of the Guard ceremony, a spectacle of precision and pageantry that takes place daily during the summer months and every other day in the off-season. Watch as the Queen’s Guard, dressed in their iconic red uniforms and bearskin hats, change shifts with a ceremonious march.

2. The British Museum: Discover History’s Treasures

A Treasure Trove

Step into the British Museum and embark on a journey through time and cultures. This world-renowned museum houses an extensive collection of art and artifacts from around the globe, spanning centuries of human history.

Must-See Exhibits

Make sure to explore highlights like the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, and the Egyptian mummies, among countless other fascinating displays.

3. The Tower of London: Explore Royal History

A Fortress and Palace

Discover the Tower of London, a historic fortress that has played various roles throughout its existence, including a royal residence, a prison, and a treasury.

Crown Jewels

Visit the Jewel House to marvel at the Crown Jewels, including crowns, scepters, and orbs used in royal ceremonies.

Yeomen Warders (Beefeaters)

Be sure to join a guided tour led by the Yeomen Warders, often referred to as Beefeaters, who share captivating tales and history while guarding the Tower.

4. The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben: Iconic Landmarks

Palace of Westminster

Admire the majestic Gothic architecture of the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the UK Parliament.

Big Ben

While Big Ben (officially known as the Elizabeth Tower) is undergoing renovations at the time of writing, the iconic clock tower remains a symbol of London’s history and is worth a visit even from the outside.

Westminster Abbey

Nearby, visit Westminster Abbey, where coronations, royal weddings, and burials of historical figures have taken place.

5. The London Eye: Breathtaking Views

Panoramic Views

For a bird’s-eye view of London’s skyline, take a ride on the London Eye, a giant observation wheel on the South Bank of the Thames.

Book in Advance

To avoid long lines, it’s best to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Nighttime Splendor

Consider taking a ride during sunset or at night to witness London illuminated in all its splendor.

6. Covent Garden: Shopping and Entertainment

Lively Atmosphere

Covent Garden is a vibrant district known for its lively atmosphere, street performers, and boutique shops.

Street Entertainment

Enjoy the performances of talented street musicians, magicians, and other entertainers in the central piazza.

Market and Boutiques

Explore the bustling market and surrounding boutiques, offering a wide array of unique gifts, artisanal products, and trendy fashion.

7. The West End: Theater and Culture

The Theatrical Heart

Immerse yourself in London’s theater scene by catching a show in the West End, home to some of the world’s most renowned musicals and plays.

Diverse Performances

From classic Shakespearean plays to contemporary hits, there’s something for every theater enthusiast in the West End.

Matinee Shows

If you’re on a budget, consider booking matinee shows for discounted ticket prices.

8. Camden Market: Alternative and Eclectic

Alternative Vibes

Head to Camden Market, a haven for alternative fashion, vintage finds, and eclectic street food.

Foodie Delights

Indulge in a diverse range of global cuisines, from traditional British fare to exotic dishes from around the world.

Regent’s Canal

Take a leisurely stroll along Regent’s Canal, which runs through Camden, for a relaxing escape from the city bustle.

9. The Shard: Sky-High Views

London’s Tallest Building

For breathtaking views of London’s skyline, visit The Shard, the city’s tallest building.

The View from the Top

Enjoy panoramic vistas from the observation decks on levels 69 and 72, offering unparalleled views of the city below.

A Sky-High Experience

For a truly unforgettable experience, consider visiting The Shard at sunset or after dark to see the city lights come alive.

10. Explore the Serene Parks

Hyde Park

London is home to several beautiful parks, including Hyde Park, where you can take a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, or rent a rowboat on the Serpentine Lake.

Regent’s Park

Regent’s Park is another delightful green space, featuring stunning rose gardens and the London Zoo.

Hampstead Heath

For a taste of the countryside within the city, head to Hampstead Heath, offering vast open spaces and panoramic views of London.

11. Tate Modern: Modern Art Galore

Modern Art Extravaganza

Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss Tate Modern, a contemporary art gallery housed in a former power station on the South Bank.

Global Art

Explore an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art from around the world, including works by Picasso, Warhol, and Hockney.

Free Admission

Admission to the Tate Modern is free, with special exhibitions occasionally requiring a ticket.

12. The Victoria and Albert Museum: Art and Design

Vast Collections

Discover the Victoria and Albert Museum, one of the world’s leading museums of art and design.

Artistic Treasures

Explore a vast array of art and design treasures, including fashion, ceramics, sculptures, and historic artifacts.

Fashion Galleries

Fashion enthusiasts will appreciate the museum’s dedicated fashion galleries, showcasing iconic designs throughout history.

13. Borough Market: Food Lover’s Paradise

Gourmet Delights

Indulge in a culinary feast at Borough Market, one of London’s oldest and most renowned food markets.

Gourmet Food Stalls

Sample gourmet food from around the world, from artisanal cheeses to freshly baked pastries and exotic spices.

Food Tours

Consider joining a food tour to make the most of your culinary journey through the market.

14. Natural History Museum: Fascinating Exhibits

Natural World Wonders

For a family-friendly day out, visit the Natural History Museum, home to a vast collection of exhibits on the natural world.

Dinosaur Gallery

Don’t miss the iconic Dinosaur Gallery, where you can encounter life-size dinosaur replicas.

Butterfly House

Explore the Butterfly House, where you can observe beautiful butterflies in a tropical environment.

15. Little Venice: A Serene Oasis

Canal Life

Explore Little Venice, a tranquil neighborhood nestled along Regent’s Canal, offering a charming canal-side atmosphere.

Boat Rides

Take a boat trip along the canal to experience the idyllic scenery and the picturesque narrowboats.

Waterside Cafes

Enjoy the waterside cafes and pubs for a relaxing break away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

16. Science Museum: Interactive Learning

Interactive Exhibits

The Science Museum is a captivating destination for curious minds, with interactive exhibits on science, technology, and innovation.


Explore Wonderlab, an interactive gallery where visitors of all ages can engage with exciting scientific experiments.

Space Exploration

Don’t miss the museum’s space exploration exhibits, including actual spacecraft and satellites.

17. Sky Garden: Green Oasis in the Sky

A Garden in the Clouds

Visit the Sky Garden, a lush oasis located at the top of the Walkie Talkie building.

Panoramic Views

Enjoy stunning views of London’s skyline while surrounded by exotic plants and tropical foliage.

Advance Booking

Entry to the Sky Garden is free, but advance booking is recommended to secure your visit.

18. Kew Gardens: Botanical Wonder

Royal Botanic Gardens

Explore Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and marvel at a vast collection of plants from around the world.

The Palm House

Don’t miss the iconic Palm House, a magnificent Victorian glasshouse showcasing tropical plants.

Treetop Walkway

Walk along the treetop walkway for a unique perspective of the gardens and surrounding landscapes.

19. St. Paul’s Cathedral: Architectural Marvel

Architectural Splendor

Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

Climb to the Dome

Climb to the top of the dome for breathtaking views of the city below and a chance to whisper in the Whispering Gallery.

The Crypt

Explore the crypt below, where notable figures from British history are buried.

20. Tate Britain: British Art Showcase

British Art

Discover Tate Britain, focusing on British art from the 16th century to the present day.

J.M.W. Turner Collection

Admire the extensive collection of works by renowned artist J.M.W. Turner, a highlight of the museum.

Pre-Raphaelite Art

Explore the Pre-Raphaelite collection, featuring works by famous artists like Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais.

21. The National Gallery: Masterpieces on Display

World-Famous Art

Step into the National Gallery, home to an exceptional collection of Western European paintings from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.

Artistic Masterpieces

Marvel at masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, and other iconic artists.

Free Admission

Admission to the National Gallery is free, allowing you to explore its artistic treasures without charge.

22. The Globe Theatre: Shakespearean Legacy

Shakespeare’s Legacy

Visit the Globe Theatre, a faithful reconstruction of the original theater where William Shakespeare’s plays were performed.

Theater Performances

Catch a live performance of one of Shakespeare’s timeless plays, just as audiences did during the Elizabethan era.

Guided Tours

Guided tours offer insights into the history of the theater and the world of Elizabethan theatergoers.

23. The Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood: Fun for All Ages

Family-Friendly Museum

Families with children should head to the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, a museum dedicated to toys and childhood objects.

Interactive Displays

Children can engage with interactive displays and exhibits, making it a fun and educational experience for all ages.

Play Areas

The museum offers play areas and activities for younger visitors to enjoy.

24. The Courtauld Gallery: Art Lover’s Retreat

Intimate Collection

Explore the Courtauld Gallery, a hidden gem housing an intimate collection of art, including works by Van Gogh, Monet, and Gauguin.

Stunning Impressionist Paintings

Admire the stunning Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, which include iconic masterpieces from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Quiet Retreat

The Courtauld Gallery offers a serene and contemplative space for art enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the world of fine art.

25. The Horniman Museum and Gardens: Nature and Culture

A Delightful Museum

Visit the Horniman Museum and Gardens, a charming museum celebrating nature, anthropology, and musical instruments.

Collections and Exhibits

Explore diverse collections, including exhibits on natural history, cultural artifacts, and the world of music.

Gardens and Views

Enjoy the beautiful gardens and stunning views of London from the Horniman hill.

26. The Wallace Collection: Art and Elegance

A Private Collection

Discover the Wallace Collection, a splendid collection of fine and decorative arts amassed by the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace.

Elegant Setting

Admire the art and decor displayed in the elegant townhouse setting of Hertford House.

European Masterpieces

The collection includes European paintings, furniture, porcelain, and arms and armor from the 15th to the 19th centuries.

27. The Wellcome Collection: Science and Medicine

Science and Medicine

Explore the Wellcome Collection, a museum and library exploring the connections between science, medicine, and art.

Thought-Provoking Exhibitions

The museum hosts thought-provoking exhibitions on medical history, contemporary art, and human health.

Curiosity Cabinet

Don’t miss the Medicine Man, an intriguing display of medical artifacts and curiosities.

28. Design Museum: Creativity and Innovation

Celebrating Design

Visit the Design Museum, a space dedicated to showcasing design excellence and innovation.

Design Icons

Explore iconic designs from the fields of fashion, product design, architecture, and digital media.

Inspiring Exhibitions

The museum’s rotating exhibitions feature works by contemporary designers and design visionaries.

29. The Cartoon Museum: Humor and Satire

Comic Art

Comic art enthusiasts will enjoy the Cartoon Museum, dedicated to preserving and promoting British cartoon and comic art.

Humor and Satire

Explore exhibits that showcase the wit, humor, and satirical illustrations that have entertained and challenged audiences throughout history.

Comic Creators

Learn about the work of beloved comic creators and the role of cartoons in shaping public opinion.

30. Emirates Air Line: Aerial Adventure

Airborne Experience

Experience a unique perspective of London with a ride on the Emirates Air Line, a cable car crossing the Thames.

River Crossing

Enjoy panoramic views of the city and the river as you cross from Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks.

Frequent Service

The cable car operates frequently throughout the day, making it a convenient and memorable experience.

31. Southbank Centre: Arts and Culture

Cultural Hub

The Southbank Centre is a vibrant arts complex offering a diverse range of cultural events and performances.

Music, Theater, and Art

Experience live music, theater, dance, and art exhibitions at this lively cultural hub.

Riverfront Views

Enjoy the views of the Thames from the outdoor terraces and cafes along the Southbank.

32. Royal Albert Hall: Music and Performance

A Historic Venue

The Royal Albert Hall is an iconic venue that has hosted legendary performances from classical music to rock concerts.

Guided Tours

Take a guided tour of the hall to learn about its rich history and hear stories of famous performances.

Proms Concerts

If you visit during the summer, consider attending a BBC Proms concert, a beloved classical music festival held annually at the Royal Albert Hall.

33. The Monument to the Great Fire of London: Historic Landmark

Commemorating the Fire

Climb the Monument to the Great Fire of London, a Doric column built to commemorate the Great Fire of 1666.

Panoramic Views

Ascend the 311 steps to the top for panoramic views of the city, providing a unique perspective of modern London’s layout.

Historic Marker

The Monument stands as a reminder of the city’s resilience and the reconstruction following the devastating fire.

34. Greenwich Park: Maritime Heritage

Historic Setting

Visit Greenwich Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of London’s oldest royal parks.

Greenwich Meridian

Stand on the Prime Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory, where you can straddle the eastern and western hemispheres.

Maritime History

Explore Greenwich’s maritime history at the National Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark, a preserved 19th-century sailing ship.

35. St. James’s Park: Serenity in the Heart of London

Peaceful Retreat

St. James’s Park offers a serene oasis in the heart of London, ideal for relaxation and picnics.

Wildlife Spotting

Keep an eye out for the park’s resident pelicans and other wildlife while enjoying the stunning views of Buckingham Palace and the Horse Guards Parade.

The Mall

Stroll down The Mall, a tree-lined avenue leading from the park to Buckingham Palace.

36. The Tate Britain: British Art Showcase

British Art

Explore Tate Britain, focusing on British art from the 16th century to the present day.

J.M.W. Turner Collection

Admire the extensive collection of works by renowned artist J.M.W. Turner, a highlight of the museum.

Pre-Raphaelite Art

Explore the Pre-Raphaelite collection, featuring works by famous artists like Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais.

37. The Saatchi Gallery: Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art

Discover the Saatchi Gallery, a contemporary art space dedicated to emerging artists and innovative exhibitions.

Cutting-Edge Art

Explore thought-provoking and boundary-pushing works in a variety of artistic mediums.

Free Admission

Admission to the Saatchi Gallery is free, offering a great opportunity to engage with contemporary art without cost.

38. The O2: Entertainment and Events

Entertainment Hub

The O2 is a popular entertainment complex, hosting concerts, sporting events, and other live performances.

Upcoming Shows

Check the schedule for upcoming events and book tickets in advance for your preferred show.

Restaurants and Bars

Enjoy a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops at The O2 before or after the event.

39. The Horniman Museum and Gardens: Nature and Culture

A Delightful Museum

Visit the Horniman Museum and Gardens, a charming museum celebrating nature, anthropology, and musical instruments.

Collections and Exhibits

Explore diverse collections, including exhibits on natural history, cultural artifacts, and the world of music.

Gardens and Views

Enjoy the beautiful gardens and stunning views of London from the Horniman hill.

40. The Imperial War Museum: History and Reflection

History and Remembrance

Visit the Imperial War Museum for a profound and somber reflection on the impact of war on people’s lives.

World War Exhibits

Explore exhibits on World Wars I and II, as well as conflicts from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Holocaust Exhibition

The museum’s Holocaust Exhibition provides a poignant and powerful account of the Holocaust’s horrors and consequences.

London, with its rich history, cultural diversity, and vibrant energy, offers an abundance of attractions and experiences that cater to every traveler’s interests. From iconic landmarks to world-class museums, from serene parks to lively markets, the city’s charm and allure captivate visitors from around the world. As you plan your trip to London, consider this comprehensive guide of top things to do, ensuring you make the most of your time in this captivating city. So, pack your bags, embark on your London adventure, and immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of history, culture, and modernity that awaits you!