Things to do in London

Top Things to Do In London

First time visitor to London? Follow this guide to some of our favourite things to do in the vast city, from Egyptian mummies to world-class musicals.

London for Royalists

The city's royal history is a magnet for millions—here are some insider tips how to make the most of London's palaces, museums, restaurants and shop good enough for a Queen (or King)

Things to Do in London: Outdoor Adventures

Head outdoors for some of the best adventures London can offer, from mellow hikes to Tarzan-like experiences in a forest canopy.

Things to Do With Kids in London

An essential guide for family adventurers looking to explore London, whether they like dinosaur skeletons or magical musicals

About London

London is one of the world’s most alluring cities. It’s a major capital that blends continuity with tradition, centuries-old history with 21st-century know-how, British style with cosmopolitan pizzazz. Despite its huge size, London is actually a patchwork of “villages” of contrasting styles. It’s linked by the River Thames that snakes and meanders through the city, east to west—a waterway that was a trading route in Roman times. There’s a snapshot of history on its banks, with iconic landmarks like the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and futuristic silver skycrapers. London is a city with year-round appeal, with a constant stream of entertainment and festivals. Just bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes—and of course a waterproof jacket—to explore it.

The City’s Culture

With history at every turn, you can walk in the footsteps of Shakespeare, Dickens, Churchill and Dr. Samuel Johnson (who wrote the English dictionary). London has always been about its people and has always been a magnet for nationalities, styles and cultures from across the globe. Nowhere is that more obvious than its dining scene, where you can feast your way around the world—Ethiopian, Japanese fusion, Peruvian and French, for starters, with dozens more. To round off dinner, there are 18th-century snug pubs on cobbled strerets for a pint of English ale, or a designer cocktail at the top of The Shard. Essential Experiences For fans of the British royals, there’s regal history to delve into. Kensington Palace has long-term exhibitions, and Hampton Court Palace shows off Henry VIII’s treasured tapestries. Each summer, the Queen throws open the doors of Buckingham Palace for the public to explore its opulent State Rooms. History and art is on show at world-class museums and galleries, like the British Museum, V&A and Tate Modern. London has been a hotbed of fashion since the swinging 60s and you can get a taste of that in smart department store Selfridges, edgy markets in Camden Town and independent boutiques in Carnaby Street. The city’s breadth of theatres is a real draw, from sassy West End musicals to open-air Shakespeare plays at the Globe Theatre.

Where to Explore

The South Bank is home to the London Eye, giving you a fabulous overview of the city’s patchwork—it’s also near the Southbank Centre for a range of live music and drama. On the opposite side of the river is the Westminster and the Houses of Parliament, open for tours, and Westminster Abbey where monarchs are buried. Covent Garden, once centered on a 17th-century vegetable market, now hosts the more modern market, plus boutiques and the Royal Opera House. Nearby is Trafalgar Square, considered the centre of London, watched over by the immense Nelson’s Column and bordered by the National Gallery. Further east are the markets around Brick Lane and Spitalfields, and west is South Kensington—home to the Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall.

Latest London travel ideas & articles

Things to Do Right Now in London

These are some of London's top events, including festivals and shows.

10 Exhibitions to Enjoy This Summer in London

London sees plenty of art exhibitions, with a whole host of varied shows this summer.

London's New Pink Floyd Exhibit Takes You Beyond the Wall

Pink Floyd Celebrates 50 Years with this new London exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum—with a high demand for tickets

Enjoy Summer in London at These Outdoor Venues

London has summer covered, from alfresco entertainment and bars to our wonderful parks.

The Hottest New Rooftop Restaurants in London

Aviary is a new rooftop restaurant near London's Liverpool Street—one of many.

The Best Gin Bars in London

Gin is a huge craze in London—here are some of our favourite specialist venues.

Pride of London: Explore the City Through its Gay Culture

From exhibitions to clubbing, experience London's gay life and culture.

Stars Light Up London’s West End

Book ahead to see these famous faces star in new productions this spring

London Exhibits Mark the Russian Revolution's Centenary

Major venues in London show off propoganda art and architecture to mark 100 years since the Russian Revolution.

Gush Over Princess Di's Gowns at London's Kensington Palace

The glamorous gowns of the late Princess Diana are on show in this long-term exhibition at her former home.

Discover the Cultural Heritage of Liverpool

The sound of music is thriving in the northwestern city of Liverpool.