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How to Beat the Crowds in London


Friends walk along a bridge crossing the Thames River in London, England
Hi, I'm Anne!

Anne Lowrey is an award-winning travel writer and book editor based in San Francisco. She believes passionately in the balance of travel and home. Find her at parttimetraveler.com and @anne_elizabeth on Twitter and Instagram.

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Hi, I'm Anne!

Anne Lowrey is an award-winning travel writer and book editor based in San Francisco. She believes passionately in the balance of travel and home. Find her at parttimetraveler.com and @anne_elizabeth on Twitter and Instagram.

see more

London is one of Europe’s most visited cities, so it’s no surprise that it can get crowded. But there are ways to beat the crowds. From advance tickets to night tours to less tourist-packed neighborhoods, here’s how to make the most of your visit.

Plan ahead

Planning is key to escaping the crowds in London. Photo: Sven Hansche / Shutterstock

Save some time by skipping the line.

Take the time to examine opening times and pre-book entry when possible; it can save a lot of time and money during your visit. Advance tickets and skip-the-line access can help avoid long queues for popular spots such as the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, and the London Zoo. The London Pass also enables you to access many of these using one card.

Put your walking shoes on

Walking is a great way to skip the biggest crowds. Photo: encierro / Shutterstock

You don't always have to head to the Underground.

Many central London sights are within a short walking distance from one another. It can be surprisingly quick to arrive on foot to the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tate Modern.

Explore beyond the tourist center

A couple enjoys a stroll by the Thames. Photo: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Go a little further afield.

The allure of Big Ben and other classic London sights brings many tourists to the same parts of the city. Covent Garden, Oxford Street, and Mayfair are often crowded with shoppers. Heading out to locally loved locales like Hyde Park and Regent’s Park allows you to see more of the city and lose the crowds.

Choose transportation wisely

People waiting for the train in the London Underground. Photo: William Perugini / Shutterstock

When it's rush hour, consider a cab.

London’s Underground is one of the finest public transport systems in the world. You may face crowding, however, at popular stops and during rush hour. If you’re short on time, consider hiring a classic black cab that can whisk you around to the sights of your choice.

Embrace the weather

A young woman with umbrella checks for rain. Photo: Darren Baker / Shutterstock

Dress the part.

In rainy weather, most travelers avoid outdoor sights. If you’re willing to grab an umbrella, you can see London’s top spots without the crowds. If you’d prefer a day indoors, the British Museum, Tate, and National Gallery are great options.

Take a night tour

A man enjoying a nighttime walk around London. Photo: Halfpoint / Shutterstock

Stay up late.

When most visitors have called it a day, you can still see the nighttime side of London. With spooky ghost tours and late-night openings, you lose most of the crowds. Early morning is another optimal time to see sights before most people are up.

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See all London tours
2,825 tours & tickets
Things to do in London
See all things to do in London
Jack the Ripper Tours in London
Jack the Ripper Tours in London