1. Step back in time at the Tower of London, 2. Explore London’s Black history, 3. Stroll the sights of the South Bank, 4. Make the most of Muslim London, 5. Be wowed by world class art at Tate Modern, 6. Imagine the royal weddings of yesteryear at Westminster Abbey, 7. See the world’s treasures at the British Museum, 8. Learn about nature’s history at South Kensington’s museums, 9. Watch the guards change at Buckingham Palace, 10. Relax in the gloriously green Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, 11. Down a pint at an historic English pub, 12. See a world-class show at a West End theater, 13. Take traditional English afternoon tea. Visit London, take in the amazing sights and activities, and take advantage of the incredible variety of things to do in London. You'll find plenty of things to see in London, from well-known tourist attractions to unique suggestions for your days out, whether you're a first-time visitor to the city or a native Londoner. On one of the top London excursions, you may also lose yourself in the delights of the city's museums, savor some mouthwatering local cuisine, and take in the sights from a fresh angle. To find all the locations you want to see, use the map of London's attractions, which is complied by Toplist.
- Step back in time at the Tower of London
- Explore London’s Black history
- Stroll the sights of the South Bank
- Make the most of Muslim London
- Be wowed by world class art at Tate Modern
- Imagine the royal weddings of yesteryear at Westminster Abbey
- See the world’s treasures at the British Museum
- Learn about nature’s history at South Kensington’s museums
- Watch the guards change at Buckingham Palace
- Relax in the gloriously green Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
- Down a pint at an historic English pub
- See a world-class show at a West End theater
- Take traditional English afternoon tea
Step back in time at the Tower of London
The Tower has a horrible past. In decades past, the enemies of the monarch and political prisoners in the UK were detained and tortured here. Guy Fawkes, a fervent Catholic who came dangerously close to blowing up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, was its most well-known prisoner. Every November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night (also known as Bonfire Night) is held in his honor.
The monarch’s most priceless state jewels, the Crown Jewels, are also stored here. The Yeoman Guards, its designated guardians, are also referred to as Beefeaters. They continue to wear the distinctive red uniform of the 16th century. Keep an eye out for the kept ravens on the property. Their attention and presence are intended to allay a Tudor-era prophecy that the monarchy would perish if the ravens ever departed the Tower.
The Tower of London is an excellent site to start a trip to London since it is a strikingly contained world of English eccentricity from the eleventh century. The tower is not just an architectural marvel, but it also houses the largest diamond in the world, a glittering collection of armor, and a strong sense of old history everywhere you look.
You will need at least half a day for exploration because there is simply so much to see. It is well worth arriving early. To avoid waiting in line, arrive as soon as the doors are unlocked and proceed directly to the Crown Jewels. After that, take a Yeoman Warder’s tour to get a fascinating and up-close look at the grim history of this fortress-palace.
Explore London’s Black history
As one of the Best Things to Do in London, exploring London’s Black history is a must when you have chance to set your foot on this monarchy land. Black history in London is extensive, fascinating, and dates back many centuries. There is an increasing desire to recognize, take ownership of, and celebrate it throughout the community. Join one of Black History Walks’ 12 walking excursions in downtown London to start your journey.
Then on to the Docklands to see the Museum of London Docklands to discover more about the city’s role in the transatlantic slave trade before making your way south to Brixton’s Black Cultural Archives to take in the sizeable Black archives. Then, visit 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning to see several of the city’s best Black artists while indulging in some of the delectable native Caribbean cuisine.
Stroll the sights of the South Bank
A walk along the south side of the Thames from west to east is a fantastic opportunity to acquire your bearings and take in a variety of views at the same time. If you exit the tube at Westminster, Big Ben will be right there for you (officially Elizabeth Tower). Cross Westminster Bridge from there for breathtaking views of the magnificent Houses of Parliament.
If you’re traveling with children, the South Bank is a terrific destination because it has a long list of top-notch entertainment and icons. Any first-time visitor to the city must ride the London Eye, despite the fact that it is unavoidably touristic. The enormous wheel’s whole round takes 30 minutes, and its 135-meter highest height offers breathtaking views of famous locations from its glass capsules. To skip the lineups, purchase your tickets in advance.
Some of London’s most popular attractions may be found further down the South Bank, including the Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, which offers views of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, and the skyscrapers of The City across the river. Take a break in Borough Market, which is home to pubs, restaurants, bakeries, and gourmet food booths, close to London Bridge.
Make the most of Muslim London
It should come as no surprise that London is home to a large variety of Muslim cultures and is rich in Islamic legacy given that it was once the capital of an empire that controlled more than half of the world’s Muslims. Before learning where Arabic was taught in 17th-century London on an eye-opening Muslim History Tour, start with the amazing Islamic collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Jameel Gallery or the British Museum’s Albukhary Gallery — together, these former imperial institutions hold over 115,000 Islamic items.
Finally, treat yourself to one of the most delectable Muslim cuisines the capital has to offer. Try a hot curry along Brick Lane in East London, drive north for some of London’s most authentic Anatolian delicacies, or walk west along Edgware Road if Middle Eastern food is more your style.
Be wowed by world class art at Tate Modern
The beloved Tate Modern, a sizable temple to modern and contemporary art, is positioned triumphantly right on the River Thames. The gallery, which is located in the former Bankside Power Station, is a forceful declaration of modernism, architectural renovation, and accessibility. Enter the Turbine Hall through Holland Street to explore its amazing size, which once housed the power plant’s energy generators but is now the location of a sizable installation of art.
The permanent collection is free, and the Blavatnik Building, the gallery’s ziggurat addition that opened in 2016, offers 60% more exhibition space and a fresh, cost-free vantage point of London. With installation and performance art, exhibition spaces are also pushing the conceptual frontier.
Imagine the royal weddings of yesteryear at Westminster Abbey
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, if not the entire world, is this 750-year-old gothic hall of worship. The Abbey and its surrounding grounds are home to the graves of many of the country’s finest monarchs, prime ministers, and notable scientists, playwrights, poets, and authors. There are plaques and statues inside recognizing historical persons who are buried elsewhere. Charles Dickens, Stephen Hawking, and Winston Churchill are on the esteemed list.
The remarkable Westminster Abbey has long served as the center of the nation’s royal and religious life. With the majority of its current building originating from the 13th century, it was founded more than a thousand years ago and today exhibits a variety of architectural styles. As a result, there are tales to be found in practically every crevice. It has served as a location for weddings and burials. It is home to 17 monarchs’ graves and has held 16 royal weddings, the most recent of which being that of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011.
The oldest entryway in the UK, Poets’ Corner, the Coronation Chair, 14th-century cloisters, a 900-year-old garden, royal sarcophagi, and much more are just a few of the highlights. Aim to enter the line early in the morning because the throng are practically as solid as the abbey’s unbreakable stonework.
See the world’s treasures at the British Museum
Over the years, British Museum and the Tate Modern have competed to draw tourists to the UK. Even in and of itself, the expansive neoclassical edifice draws tourists. But once inside, you should check out the Enlightenment Room’s exhibits, which are packed with charming English oddities and Victorian innovations from the era when England was at the forefront of the scientific Enlightenment.
Britain’s most popular destination is the British Museum in Bloomsbury, which welcomes about six million people each year. You could probably spend your whole vacation exploring the enormous and revered collection of relics, antiquities, and art that it is jam-packed with (many of which, controversially, were taken from other nations), and yet not be done.
You can concentrate on particular facets of the enormous collection during the free eye-opening excursions. Alternately, take in the highlights by meandering around the Great Court, which is home to the Rosetta Stone, a key to understanding hieroglyphics, and the otherworldly mummies. The Great Court has a spectacular glass-and-steel dome that was created by Norman Foster.
Learn about nature’s history at South Kensington’s museums
In this affluent neighborhood, three top-notch museums are located next to one another, their imposing structures serving as equal draws for the treasures inside. The Science Museum’s captivating collection enthralls both adults and kids with its seven floors of engaging, instructive, and eye-opening displays. The vast Victoria & Albert Museum, home to the largest collection of decorative arts in the world, may keep you enthralled for days despite its size.
The Natural History Museum is an astounding feat of curatorial ingenuity with its thunderous, animatronic Tyrannosaurus dinosaur, enthralling exhibitions about planet Earth, superb Darwin Centre, and architecture right out of a Gothic fairy tale. Start in Hintze Hall, where the ceiling is decorated with the bones of a diving blue whale.
When the museums extend their doors into the evening and offer music and cuisine with the exhibitions, “Lates” are a great way to experience a more unique aspect of the city and meet some Londoners. The Natural History Museum occasionally hosts sleepover activities dubbed Dino Snores.
Watch the guards change at Buckingham Palace
Without catching a sight of what the Royals are doing, a visit to the city’s capital would be incomplete. Watching the Changing of the Guard, an ancient custom that involves famous regiments changing shifts outside Buckingham Palace, is the simplest way to experience a little bit of royal ceremonial. Of course, it is one of the Best Things to Do in London. If you want a good view, get there early (it starts at 11am, but unless you’re particularly tall, you should be there by 10:15). If you still have a hankering, you can see the palace while the Queen is on vacation in Scotland in the months of August and September.
Buckingham Palace, which was originally constructed in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham before being bought by King George III, has served as the Royal Family’s London residence since Queen Victoria moved there in 1837. A tour allows guests to see the magnificent gardens and see the State Rooms, which make up just 19 of the palace’s 775 rooms.
Relax in the gloriously green Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
The best urban parkland in the world is in London, where you can observe Londoners at peace and enjoying themselves. A central London location, a royal palace, deck chairs, boating opportunities, open-air concerts, art galleries, magnificent trees, a tasteful granite memorial to Princess Diana, as well as a magnificently overblown memorial to Prince Albert facing the grand form of the Albert Hall, give you even more space to roam and everything you could want. Add in Kensington Gardens, and you have even more space to explore.
Down a pint at an historic English pub
Without its historic, character-filled pubs like the Lamb & Flag and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, London would be like Paris without its cafés. London’s DNA includes pub culture, and the pub is the greatest spot to observe locals in their hop-scented element. Pubs have become the central hub of a fun night out around the capital thanks to longer opening hours. They’re also a popular for extended weekend lunches with the family. There are several gastropubs in London that are on par with the top dining establishments.
If you have to pick just one location in London for a night out, pick Soho, a maze of after-dark delights. As the city’s red-light district and a bohemian neighborhood for centuries, Soho has been a center for London’s LGBT+ population since the 1980s. Pick the French House, Bar Termini, Yard, or the White Horse for a few traditional pints
See a world-class show at a West End theater
Watching a world-class show at a West End theater is one of the Best Things to Do in London. You should use the chance to see a play while in London because it’s one of the top cities in the world to do so. Go to the West End for the most well-known performers and glitziest productions. Look for Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables, or The Phantom of the Opera if you’re in this neighborhood, which is synonymous with musicals. Matilda, The Lion King, and The Book of Mormon (certainly not suitable for family viewing!) are a few other notable films. Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre has been the most sought-after ticket in town since 2017. All shows should have tickets reserved well in advance.
The quintessentially English indulgence of whiling away an afternoon eating dainty sandwiches and drinking tea will leave you feeling really rather upper class. For the classic experience, head to Claridge’s or the Ritz, or in the summer try the terrace at The Goring or the stately Orangery. Pre-booking is highly recommended as slots can book out on weekends and in the peak season.
Take traditional English afternoon tea
Feeling incredibly affluent after spending a day eating delicate sandwiches and drinking tea is a traditional English luxury. Visit Claridge’s or the Ritz for a more traditional experience, or in the summer, check out the terrace at The Goring or the grand Orangery. Since seats might fill up quickly on weekends and during the busy season, pre-registration is strongly advised.
A cafe with a very discreet, understated vibe but is located in a highly public area (the West End) is recommended for a “cuppa,” as it is often known in the UK. Since it doesn’t appear anything like a cafe from the outside, you could almost walk right by Cafe In The Crypt! The glass cylinder front resembles the entrance to a posh public restroom more than anything. But once inside, you’ll see that this is a specially constructed cafe unlike most others in the city. The cafe contains real tombstones, but hopefully they won’t make you turn away from the food and beverages.