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Things to do in

London

From double-decker buses to pubs and musicals, the British capital has something special for all.

Our most recommended things to do in London

Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour

1. Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour

Walk in the footsteps of your favorite wizards (and witches) around Muggle London. Your Harry Potter enthusiast guide will be armed with weird and wonderful trivia all along the way.  Meet your guide and start your adventure by finding out which Hogwarts House you belong in. Compete against other Houses in an interactive quiz as you see the sites that inspired J.K. Rowling, from Shakespeare's Globe to the London alleys that inspired Knockturn Alley. Highlights include passing The Leaky Cauldron, the secret wizarding inn. Explore the real Diagon Alley, where Harry buys his first wand. Even see the bridge destroyed by the Death Eaters in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince".  For part of your guided tour, choose to either take the London Underground or a short boat trip down the Thames. Both options follow this itinerary:  1. Southwark Cathedral 2. Borough Market 3. The Golden Hinde 4. Winchester Palace 5. The Clink Prison Museum 6. Shakespeare's Globe 7. Millennium Bridge 8. Daniel Radcliffe's School 9. The London Eye 10. River Thames 11. Sherlock Holmes' Pub 12. Great Scotland Yard 13. Gringotts Wizarding Bank 14. The world's smallest police station 15. Trafalgar Square 16. Knockturn Alley 17. Diagon Alley 18. Palace Theatre

LHR London Heathrow Airport: Plaza Premium Lounge

2. LHR London Heathrow Airport: Plaza Premium Lounge

Avoid the crowds and chaos of the public departure lounge and relax in style before your flight from London Heathrow Airport. Choose between a 3-hour or 6-hour stay, then make yourself comfortable in one of the premium lounges located in Terminal 2 (departure and arrival), Terminal 3 (arrival), Terminal 4 (departure and arrival), and Terminal 5 (departure). In the lounge, enjoy the opportunity to unwind before your flight and relax on the comfortable seating as you watch the TV, equipped with Sky Sports, or read one of the many international newspapers and magazines. You can also make use of the lounges' unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi, and dine on an array of freshly prepared seasonal food as well as drinks from a fully serviced bar.

London: Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket

3. London: Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket

Take a tour of the timeless Tower of London – part of British history since the 11th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built in 1086 by William the Conqueror.  Discover London’s castle – a secure fortress, royal palace, and infamous prison. Spot the ravens that live on the premises and find out why they are known as the guardians of the Tower. Stroll across Tower Green to see where many executions took place, including those of 2 of Henry VIII's wives. You will also have access to the inside of the tower. Prepare to be dazzled by the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. These priceless symbols of the British Monarchy compose the greatest working collection of crown jewels in the world. Pore over the 23,578 gems, including the glistening Imperial State Crown - this piece alone has 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies. Gain valuable insights into the Towers History from some of its most famous residents, The Yeoman Body. Whilst Tours may be currently unavailable, the Yeoman Warders will be on hand to provide fascinating stories of the Tower through the ages.

The London Eye: Standard or Fast-Track Entry Ticket

4. The London Eye: Standard or Fast-Track Entry Ticket

Step into your capsule and feel the exhilaration as you rise up over the water and come face to face with the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Soar above them, up to 135 meters on the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel.  There are mesmerizing 360-degree views of the whole city laid out before you. See the most famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London and up to 40km out of the city to Windsor Castle on a clear day. Enjoy the gradual rotation and just stand and stare at the hustle and bustle of London life unfolding beneath you, the beautiful sunset over the city, or the thousands of twinkling lights after dark. 

London: Climb The Roof of The O2 Arena

5. London: Climb The Roof of The O2 Arena

Discover stunning views of London and experience the thrill of climbing the O2 Arena with this attraction ticket. Leave your fear behind with high-quality climbing equipment that is regularly maintained to high standards and the help of your climbing guide that is with you every step of the way. Put on your climb suit, boots, and harness. Become a true urban mountaineer. Ascend the O2 Arena, a London landmark, and cross the walkway suspended 52 meters in the air. At the top, take in panoramic views over Greenwich, the Olympic Park, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Canary Wharf, and The Shard.  Climb during the day and enjoy the clearest views for miles, at sunset for a romantic experience, or opt for the twilight climb and marvel at the twinkling city light. 

London: Kew Gardens Admission Ticket

6. London: Kew Gardens Admission Ticket

Enjoy a full day out at Kew Gardens, London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site, located just 30 minutes from central London by Underground and Overground trains. Your ticket includes entry to 326 acres of gardens, 3 art galleries, a treetop walkway, and Kew Palace.  Step inside Kew Palace and explore a beautiful royal retreat comprising the bedrooms of princesses, an intimate dining room, and the newly restored Georgian Royal Kitchens. The site includes extensive gardens under glass that support a variety of plant life year-round. See the giant lily pads in the Waterlily House, then experience an exotic rainforest in the Palm House. Travel through 10 climate zones in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.  Other highlights include the Arboretum. Standing at 17 meters tall and constructed from 170,000 aluminum parts and 1,000 LED lights, the Hive structure mimics the visual and sound effects of an actual beehive in Kew Gardens. Learn all about the extraordinary life of bees, and the vital role they play in the health of the planet. Round off your visit at one of the site’s cafes and restaurants that serve hot meals and classic afternoon teas (not included). 

London: Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise

7. London: Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise

Admire the views of London's most iconic sights with a cruise on the River Thames. Cruise to Greenwich to see London's historical sights from the River Thames. Journey past iconic sights such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, and the Tate Modern. Choose between either a one-way or round-trip journey, with skip-the-line entry, and avoid the queues at the ticket office as you go straight to board the boat. Listen to the live audio commentary as you enjoy the comfort of a modern but traditional vessel. Admire the pyramid structure of The Shard and see other monuments from London's historic waterway. Head to the open deck for panoramic views of London's landmarks. Stop at Embankment Pier, Festival Pier, and Tower Bridge Quay before arriving at Greenwich Pier. Feel free to explore the charms of Greenwich on your own terms, and see sights such as Greenwich Market, the Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Park, and the Royal Observatory which are all within easy walking distance from the pier.

Little Venice: Regent’s Canal Waterbus Boat Trip to Camden

8. Little Venice: Regent’s Canal Waterbus Boat Trip to Camden

Travel from picturesque Little Venice to vibrant Camden Market along the Regent's Canal. This waterway is a leisurely corridor through London, navigated by leisure boats and lined with quirky houseboats. You'll pass by Regent’s Park, the grounds of London Zoo and through the echoey depths of the 248 meter Maida Hill tunnel. Each boat has slide opening windows throughout, so everyone gets a view. As you pass through London Zoo, keep an eye out for warthogs and African hunting dogs, which can often be seen as the boat passes their canal-side enclosure. Travel past the homes of well-known musicians, actors and celebrities. You will also be able to see the expansive and landscaped back gardens of grand houses used by ambassadors and visiting international diplomats. Arrive in the heart of Camden Market, home to a vast array of world class traders and international cuisines.

Madame Tussauds London

9. Madame Tussauds London

Millions of people have flocked through the doors of London’s Madame Tussauds since it first opened more than 200 years ago. Add your name to the list and make your way up the red carpet to see all your favorite stars. The museum-style ropes and poles have gone, so you can truly get up close and personal with A-list celebrities, sporting legends, political heavyweights, and historical icons. Relive the moments and events that made the world take notice. Join your favorite celebrities at the ultimate party including Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy. Strut your stuff on the catwalk with Cara, join the Royal Family on the iconic balcony, and take a selfie with royal couple Harry and Meghan. Explore the jungles of Kong: Skull Island with Tom Hiddleston as Captain James Conrad or hail a London cab for a journey through 400 years of the capital’s history. Then use the force to be transported to a galaxy far, far away and star in the action with the greats of the Star Wars universe.

Stansted Airport: Central London Bus Transfer

10. Stansted Airport: Central London Bus Transfer

Start or finish your holiday the easy way with a great value bus transfer between Stansted Airport and London Victoria coach station. This high-frequency service from Stansted Airport will take you all the way to the capital, calling at key central London destinations along the way including Golders Green, Baker Street, Liverpool Street, Stratford, and Marble Arch. Upon arrival at the airport exchange your GetYourGuide voucher at one of the many retail desks. You'll be booked on the next available transfer service, and with services running 24/7 and departing roughly every 15 minutes, you'll find yourself in the city center in no time at all. High specification coaches will take you directly from the airport door to central London. Sit back and relax in leather seats with headrests, seat-back tables, ample legroom, toilets, air conditioning, and power sockets; with selected services also having onboard Wi-Fi. Following an extensive amendment to the timetable from the 18th March, there is a reduction in the frequency of all Airport services and will no longer be serving the following stops. As such please ensure that you check the website before traveling for the latest service updates. Please be assured that your ticket will be valid from your nearest stop. • Kings Cross - nearest available stop is Liverpool Street • Farringdon - nearest available stop is Liverpool Street • South Hackney - nearest available stop is Stratford • Waterloo - nearest available stop in London Victoria • Southwark - nearest available stop is London Victoria • Portman Square - nearest available stop is Marble Arch

Insider tips: Planning a trip to London

Laurence is a full time travel blogger and photographer, who shares his tips on travel and improving your photography on his website Finding the Universe. He used to live in London, and you can see his tips for spending two days in London here.

What should I do on my first trip to London?

The best way to get acquainted with the city is to take a stroll from the Tower of London, across Tower Bridge, and along the south bank of the Thames before finishing at the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. This will take no more than 2 hours, but will acquaint you with many of London's most popular sights. You could easily visit two of London's most popular attractions at the start and end of your journey, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey as well.

What are some hidden gems to see in London?

London has some really interesting and quirky museums which are well worth visiting. The Museum of Brands is a great option, as is the Cartoon Museum. The Postal Museum is also worth a visit!

How much time should I spend in London?

The main highlights of central London can be experienced across two days. If you want to explore areas outside the central area, perhaps visiting attractions like Windsor Castle, an extra day would be advisable.

What food is London known for?

No trip to London would be complete without trying out some local pub food. Highlights of a pub menu would include fish and chips or a traditional steak and ale pie. Don't forget to leave room for dessert, with sticky toffee pudding being a popular option!

What are the best months to visit London?

Avoiding the summer crowds in London is advisable, so visiting between April and June or in September should give you the best combination of better weather and less people. December is also a good time to visit as the city is decorated with lights and Christmas decorations.

What is neighborhood The East End of London known for?

The East End of London, which stretches from around the Tower of London out towards the London City Airport, is famous for its markets, street food, and incredible curry houses.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

If you love curry, one of the most popular dishes in the UK, then you'll want to head out to East London where you'll find an incredible array of authentic Indian restaurants. Another good option is to dine around the West End theatres, there are many good restaurants in this area which often have pre-theatre dining deals.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The most well known shopping street is the mile long Oxford Street which runs from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road. This has all the major high street brands. For high end shopping, you'll want to head to the area of Mayfair, whilst those of you shopping for a suit will want to head to the world famous Savile Road.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit London?

Central London, and specifically the borough of Westminster, is probably the best place to base yourself in the city. Here you'll find everything from budget hostels through to world famous five star hotel brands. Basing yourself here might cost a bit more than being a bit further out, but it is definitely worth it for the proximity to sightseeing.

Other Sightseeing Options in London

Want to discover all there is to do in London? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about London

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 163,633 reviews

This was a well organized and lovely excursion. Logistically: instructions for meeting location spot on, departed and returned on schedule, stopped mid-way through bathe drive for a “bio break”, comfortable & clean coach, and very informative. Both the tour guide and driver were friendly and helpful people. The village tour was a lot of fun and we had plenty of time. Our guide, Emma, provided a lot of information about the locations used for filming and a bit of history. We also had plenty of time allotted to tour inside and wander the grounds (which I was expecting and they were spectacular). I would recommend this excursion and your company. I had a really nice day.

This was easily one of the most unique and fun tour experiences I’ve ever had. As a solo traveler I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the group was awesome, and our tour guide was a blast. The hot tub was clean and perfectly warm while we floated around the area learning the history. Highly recommend checking this tour out!

Loved every minute of it, I know there are people that do this often. We set it as a challenge, it was brilliant.

It was a wonderful, once in a lifetime experience! We loved it!

We had a lovely time our tour guides was amazing too