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Things to do in London

Things to do in  London

Welcome to London

Known for its rich history and architecture, London has bridged the gap to become a vibrant cultural hub with world-class museums, eateries, and performances.

When to visit

Weather is unpredictable in London, but summer can bring the odd heatwave. When the weather's nice, expect crowds to spill out onto the streets outside Soho's pubs (even more so than usual) and outdoor attractions like the South Bank, Trafalgar Square, and the city's parks to be even busier than usual. This is typically the high season for tourism, so airfare and hotels tend to be pricier.

Fall is the wettest season in London, with October seeing the most rain and mist. Plan for indoor activities like the Tate Modern, or if the sun is out, check out Shakespeare’s Globe open-air theatre.

Winter starts out bustling with a festive holiday season. However, once the New Year rolls around, London sees its slowest two months. Those who brave the colder temperatures can avoid the crowds and get the best rates for London’s most popular activities.

Spring weather is sunny and rainy in equal measure, but that doesn’t stop Londoners from making the most of the long "bank holiday" weekends for Easter and at the beginning and end of May. The London Marathon also takes place in April, so avoid the streets—it may be your best time to take a Thames River boat tour.

Getting Around

Walking: London’s streets are long and windy, often with pedestrian alleys and paths branching off. This makes for a fun way to explore the city, with lots of hidden gems tucked away on side streets. But if you’re used to cities with grid layouts, you may want to bring a map to navigate your way around.

London Underground: Colloquially called the Tube, London’s subterranean train system is color coordinated, affordable, timely, and far-reaching. Pick up an Oyster Card, which you can load with money, and use for contactless payments in all of London’s Tube stations.

Bus: You’ve seen them in photos. London’s iconic red double-decker buses are a practical choice for getting around if you’d like to see the streets of London on your commute. Similar to the Tube, the London bus system operates on a color-coded line system and accepts Oyster Cards for quick boarding and payment. Top tip: Buses are cashless, so be sure to top up your Oyster Card or buy a ticket from a Tube or train station in advance.

Taxi: London’s black cabs can be found throughout the city and at major Tube stations and airports. These spacious cabs can fit up to five passengers in the back, as the cabs have two fold-down seats that face backwards.

Traveler tips

London’s city limits are vast, and there is so much to see in each part. Staying in a hotel or accommodation close to central London is your best bet for easy access to all the city has to offer.

While far from India, London has a large Indian community, which means that Indian cuisine is among the best food you can get in the city. To sample the best of the best, head to Brick Lane, a street in the East End famed for its curry houses. But before you dine out, don’t forget that the United Kingdom has its own currency, the British Pound, so put away those Euros for another time.

Top 10 attractions in London

#1

London Eye

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Since it was officially opened on New Year's Eve 1999 (as part of the millennial celebrations), the London Eye has become one of London's most popular attractions. It has 32 sealed 'pod' capsules, fitting a total of 800 people, revolving on a huge Ferris wheel. One go-around takes half an hour with the wheel rotating at only twice the speed of a tortoise sprinting, so you can step on and off without the wheel needing to stop! The London Eye is the fourth-tallest structure in London, so the far-reaching views over London are spectacular. On a clear day you can see as far as Windsor Castle. And the slow speed of the rotation means there's plenty of time to see everything and take lots of photos.More
#2

Buckingham Palace

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Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837. Most impressive are the State Rooms, which form the heart of the working palace. They are lavishly furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection and adorned with paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer and Canaletto. Also see exquisite examples of S'vres porcelain and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. Outside, marvel at the ceremonious Changing of the Guard.More
#3

Stonehenge

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One of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries, people have speculated about Stonehenge for centuries, wondering who built it, why, and how. The circle of massive standing stones in the middle of a green field is about 3500 years old, and will perhaps forever remain enshrouded in mystery, making it an even more intriguing place to visit. Check out the impressive structure and hear the various theories that have evolved regarding Stonehenge.More
#4

Tower of London

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The Tower of London is old, very old. The central White Tower was built by William the Conqueror after his invasion of England in 1066. Since 1485, the iconic red and black-uniformed Beefeaters have been guarding the Tower. Also crucial to security are the ravens. Superstition has it that if the ravens leave, the Monarchy will fall. Consequently at least six pampered ravens are kept in residence at all times.More
#5

Houses of Parliament & Big Ben

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Westminster Palace, home to the British Houses of Parliament, is right on the river Thames. A magnificent Neo-Gothic building dating from 1840, it's most recognizable from the clock tower at one end known as Big Ben. (In fact, Big Ben is actually the bell inside the tower.) Parliament is made up of two houses: the House of Commons and the House of Lords and both have their meeting chambers inside here. It is possible to sit and watch from the Visitors' Gallery if you like seeing grown men taunting each other with bad jokes. Once a year, the Queen puts on her crown, sits on her Throne in the House of Lords and officially opens Parliament.More
#6

Thames River

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The Thames is the longest river in England, the second longest in the United Kingdom. It flows from the west in the Cotswolds, passing through Oxford and London, ending at the sea at Southend-on-Sea in Essex. As far up as Teddington on the western edge of London, the river is tidal. Once the lifeline of London trade and communication, it's still busy with boats: sightseeing boats and houseboats mainly. Once the only way across the river was to ford it, then London Bridge was built by the Romans. Nowadays many bridges criss-cross the river, the pedestrian Millennium Bridge, Tower Bridge and Albert Bridge are among the prettiest. The Thames is home to many species of fish and birds - particularly white swans which are to this day all still owned by the Queen. The river is also used by rowers and yachtsman but not swimmers - the water is not the cleanest.More
#7

Tower Bridge

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Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic sights in London. It was opened in 1894, designed to echo the nearby Tower of London although the two have no association except proximity. The bridge is a bascule bridge which means the span lifts to allow ships and yachts through headed for the Pool of London, the port area just upstream of Tower Bridge. River traffic takes priority over road traffic and cars have to wait when a boat wants to come through. The bridge has two high towers suspended by wires from the land and linked by a high-level walkway between. This was designed for pedestrians to be able to cross the river even when the bridge was open and you can still walk across it today. A common confusion is that Tower Bridge is actually called London Bridge but in fact that is the next one upstream, a much plainer bridge.More
#8

Westminster Abbey

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Westminster Abbey has long been the worshipping place for kings and queens and has a rich history. Since 1066 it's been the coronation church - 38 Kings and Queens of England have been crowned here. Queen Elizabeth II was married here, Princess Diana's funeral was held here. And seventeen monarchs are buried here. The abbey is full of art and monuments to soldiers, statesmen, artists and poets including Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.More
#9

Windsor Castle

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Windsor Castle is the largest working castle in the world, meaning it is still occupied by royalty. For over 900 years, since William the Conqueror built a wooden fortress here, this has been a royal home and fortress. Queen Elizabeth spends a month at Easter, a week in June and most weekends at Windsor. This is also where she often hosts State Dinners for international dignitaries and entertains those she has knighted into the Order of the Garter.More
#10

St. Paul's Cathedral

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St Paul's Cathedral was built around 1680 after the great fire of London, but a church to St Paul has stood here since 604AD. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the current St Paul's remains an iconic landmark in the London skyline. St Paul's is the heart of the Church of England and many royal weddings and funerals take place there, including the marriage of Charles and Diana. One of the highlights of a visit to St Paul's is the Whispering Gallery in the dome where, due to its multilayer construction, you can whisper to the wall and be heard on the opposite side of the gallery. The crypt is burial place for many important people including Sir Christopher Wren himself.More

Trip ideas

Fortnum & Mason Employee Ryan Almeida’s Guide to London

Fortnum & Mason Employee Ryan Almeida’s Guide to London

London Rock Music Tour: A Virtual Audio Experience

London Rock Music Tour: A Virtual Audio Experience

Top 5 Royal Palaces in London & How to Visit

Top 5 Royal Palaces in London & How to Visit

Recent reviews from experiences in London

star-5
Must visit for all Harry Potter Fans
Rachel_R, Dec 2020
Warner Bros. Studio: The Making of Harry Potter with Luxury Round-Trip Transport from London
The artistry blew us all away -- such a tangible way to see the brilliance up close and personal!
star-5
Great afternoon spent on the canal
Nick_S, Sep 2020
Regents Canal Waterbus boat tour Little Venice to Camden Town
Lots to see on the canal and the information given whilst floating down the canal was very informative.
star-4
Seal giving us a wave and view of city.
Rachel_B, Aug 2020
Westminster to Greenwich Sightseeing Thames Cruise
Great way to see London and to get a sense of how how the landmarks relate.
star-5
A must for all Jack the Ripper enthusiasts!
Alison_D, Sep 2020
Private Tour: Jack the Ripper Day Time Walking Tour in London
our tour guide was Stephen who was so knowledgeable my husband and i were hanging on to every word he was saying and to visit the sites that Jack the Ripper had actually been to was mind blowing!.
star-5
Excellent audio tour of the city of London
Bablo, Sep 2020
London Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket Options
My lady friend and I got to see Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, and crossed the River Thames multiple times to take lovely pictures.
star-5
London bike ride
Natalie_M, Aug 2020
London's Best Kept Secret Bike Tour
Very friendly host, very knowledgable, great to see parts of London that we wouldn’t normally see.
star-5
London Bus Tour
Autumn_Z, Mar 2020
Vintage London Bus Tour Including Thames Cruise with Optional London Eye
We were only in London for two days so I wanted to see as much as I could.
star-5
Beautiful England
Katie_T, Mar 2020
Stonehenge and Bath Day Trip from London
He was so passionate about sharing little pieces of English life and history.
star-4
Nice tour
Tanita_D, Mar 2020
London by Night Sightseeing Tour - Open top bus
The tour also allowed you to see the city in lights!
star-5
Greenwich here we come
Wendy_T, Mar 2020
Thames 24 Hour Hop-On Hop-Off River Cruise
good time to visit London.
star-5
Small group tour
Randy, Mar 2020
Changing of the Guard Small-Group Walking Tour
We git to see the Changing of the guard from multiple locations and learned a lot that we would have missed in our own!!
star-5
Fast and amazing way to see London
Matthew_K, Feb 2020
Layover Tour of London from LHR Executive Luxurious Vehicle Private Tour
We got to see London, even if the stay was very short.
star-5
The stones!
Christine, Feb 2020
London to Stonehenge Shuttle Bus and Independent Day Trip
We took a longer way out of London to see the sights.
star-5
Wonderful Westminster Tour with Chris!
Cynthia_M, Feb 2020
Westminster Walking Tour & Westminster Abbey Entry
This was a great way to see all of the highlights of Westminster in a few hours and spend as much time as we wanted at Westminster Abbey.
star-5
London Day Trip
Robert_G, Feb 2020
Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath from London
Great way to see other sights within the United Kingdom.
star-5
Would do it again!
Kathryn_A, Feb 2020
Thames 24 Hour Hop-On Hop-Off River Cruise
We stayed on board the whole time and got a great view of the city from the Thames and were able to see landmarks we otherwise wouldn't have.
star-5
London Heathrow layover
ohlsen0770, Feb 2020
London Layover Tour with a Local: 100% Personalized & Private
Becky was great and had a plan for us to see everything.
star-4
Comedy Tour
daniellecarter445, Feb 2020
Ghost Bus Tour of London
Although it was good to see some of the sights these weren't always visible due to lighting, traffic and lack of direction from the tour guide.
star-4
Cathedral abd Leeds castle tour to Dover and Canterbury
gsdaniell, Feb 2020
Must See London: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour and River Cruise
Our day was full of visits to Cathedrals and Castles between London and Dover We saw the Wnite Cliffs, English Channel and entrance to the Chunnell over to France.
star-5
What a great tour
sidanaojin, Jan 2020
Tour for Muggles
Got to see a lot of of hidden gems in London, and the filming locations.

Frequently Asked Questions