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Welcome to London, capital of the United Kingdom and one of the most popular destinations for city breaks! Whether you’re into history, art, music, shows, or shopping, you’ll find plenty of things to do in London.
Anneliese O'MalleyBy Anneliese O'Malley

The 10 Best Things to Do in London

There are hundreds of fun and interesting things to do in London, we’ve gathered 10 ideas which we think will give you a great overview of the city, whether you’re staying for one day or a whole week.
The View from The Shard | Unsplash
1

Get an Awesome View

Get a bird’s-eye view of the city by visiting one of it’s taller attractions. Try the viewing platform of The Shard, the UK’s tallest building, the stylish capsules of the London Eye, or see East London from the cable cars of the Emirates Air Line.
Tower of London
2

See the Crown Jewels

For a combination of history, glamour, and glittering jewels, the best place to visit is the Tower of London! Formerly home to British royalty, then an impenetrable prison, today it houses the Crown Jewels which are guarded by the distinctively-dressed Beefeaters.
Photo Walk through London
3

Take a Walking Tour

The best way to get to know London is by getting out on the streets! Expert guides offer tours with a massive range of themes, from street art in the East End or The Beatles at Abbey Road, to tours based on films like Harry Potter, James Bond, and more.
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British Museum
4

Visit the British Museum

The British Museum is the most-visited tourist site in the UK - for good reason! It’s huge, free to enter, and full of artifacts from around the world. You can also enhance your visit with a guided tour, or check out one of the temporary exhibitions.
Stonehenge during sunset
5

Take a Day Trip

London is awesome, and you can have a great vacation here without ever leaving the city limits. However, the rest of England is pretty cool too, and several tour providers offer day trips to unique destinations like Stonehenge, Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey), Bath, or the Cotswolds. If you have time, we’d definitely recommend exploring more of the UK!
Show in London
6

See a Show

The West End is the home of amazing musical theater and plays. From The Mousetrap (which is the longest-running play in the world) to Hamilton, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. You can also consider a trip to Shakespeare’s Globe to see how the bard’s plays would have been staged.
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St Paul's Cathedral
7

Admire St Paul’s Cathedral

Visit Sir Christopher Wren’s crowning glory, the beautiful cathedral that has survived centuries. Tickets include the famous whispering gallery and the spooky crypt.
British Royalty | Flickr: Martin Pettitt CC BY 2.0
8

Enjoy the Original Madame Tussauds and London Dungeon

You can find Madame Tussauds waxwork museums around the world, but the first and the biggest is here in London. Meet all your favorite stars and snap a selfie with the queen. The same company also owns the iconic London Dungeon and several other attractions, and combo tickets are available.
Dumbledore’s Costume in the Great Hall | Flickr: Martin Pettitt CC BY 2.0
9

Experience the Magic of Harry Potter

The UK is the birthplace of Harry Potter and there are several ways to bring the magic of the books and movies to life! Visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Leavesden to see the original movie sets, or take a walking tour to see where some of the London scenes were filmed.
Platform Nine and Three Quarters
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Buckingham Palace
10

Visit a Royal Palace

If you want to get a glimpse of how the Royal Family live, then there’s no better way to find out than to visit a palace or castle. You can tour different parts of Buckingham Palace throughout the year, or you can go on an adventure outside the city center and discover either Windsor Castle or Hampton Court Palace, a favorite home of Henry VIII.
London with Kids | Unsplash

Things to Do in London with Kids

Not all attractions are designed with children in mind and, while most museums offer special children’s audio guides or a special trail for kids to follow, you might want to include a couple of sights that put children front and center.London Zoo is in Regent’s Park and is a definite favorite of local children and tourists while you can find SEA LIFE London Aquarium on the South Bank of the Thames, next to the London Eye. The Transport Museum is in Covent Garden and is jam packed with interactive exhibits that will get children excited about trains, buses, trams, and the London Underground.

Visit the Homes of Football, Cricket, Rugby, or Tennis

England might not have invented all of the world’s most famous games, but they did write down the modern rules! London is the home of several major stadiums, most of which offer guided tours or include a museum that will thrill dedicated sports fans.
The Emirates Stadium
1

Soccer (aka Football)

The English Premier League contains arguably the highest quality soccer in the world, with some of the best teams based in London. Visit Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, or West Ham at London Stadium (the former 2012 Olympic Stadium). If you’re willing to travel a little further out of the center, you can also visit the iconic Wembley Stadium, which has hosted major national and international competitions.
2

Rugby

Rugby was invented at Rugby School in the English county of Warwickshire, but it’s growing in popularity around the world. If you want to see the home of the England rugby team, you’ll have to head to the southwest of the city to Twickenham Stadium. It’s the largest dedicated rugby stadium in the world with a capacity of 82,000 spectators. In addition to a stadium tour, visitors can enjoy a visit to the World Rugby Museum.
Twickenham Stadium
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Wimbledon
3

Tennis

Wimbledon is legendary in the tennis world, and you can pay a visit to the famous grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. If you time your visit right, you could even be one of the lucky visitors who gets entry to the grounds during the Grand Slam, where you can join other spectators on Murray Mount.
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View from the Oval
4

Cricket

Soccer might be the most popular game in England, but apparently cricket is considered England’s national sport. Exported throughout the Empire during the colonial era, today England competes with Commonwealth countries at the game, which has several versions that take anywhere between an afternoon and five days to play. Visitors to London can pay a trip to the Kia Oval to learn more about the sport.
Tate Modern

Find Inspiration at These Art Galleries

London has been a center for art and artists for centuries, and the capital city is bursting at the seams with galleries and art museums. The best part is, most of them are free to visit!The nation’s artistic treasures can be found at the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, which houses over 2,000 paintings from the 13th century to the year 1900. Its sister museum, the National Portrait Gallery, is just around the corner and lets you see the faces of important Brits from history. Tate Britain houses British art from the Tudor times to the contemporary period and includes a large collection of works from J.M.W. Turner. Finally, if you’re looking for something a little more modern and less British-focused, then you’ll enjoy a trip to the Tate Modern on the South Bank. In addition to modern and contemporary art exhibitions, you can also visit the top of the tower for an amazing view of the city.
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Shop Till You Drop

Cool Brittania might have been a label used in the 1960s and 90s, but London has always been on the global fashion scene. It’s the city place to go shopping and develop your own unique look.For those who don’t want to leave the city center, Covent Garden is an ideal destination, combining boutique shops with big-name retailers and a long history that dates back to the 7th century. Visitors who want a more indie or hipster experience might want to head to Camden Market where they can find stalls catering to all kinds of alternative subcultures, from punks to cybergoths, along with excellent street food and exciting art. Meanwhile, those who prefer high-class labels and brands should look no further than Harrods, the world-famous luxury department store in Knightsbridge that promises to sell ‘all things to all people, everywhere’.
Covent Garden
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Harrods
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See London from a boat

Take a Tour on Land, Water, or in the Air

There’s so much of London that you just can’t see by walking, so consider taking a tour by bus or boat, or (if you’re feeling flush) by helicopter.London is one of the best cities in the world to see by hop-on hop-off bus as most of their routes stop at a huge number of popular attractions. If you’re intimidated by the busy public transport system then a hop-on hop-off bus will get you to where you need to go in comfort and style. Visitors can also take advantage of the River Thames, which runs through the heart of the city. River cruises or speedboat tours can show you the sights from a very different perspective. Meanwhile, those with a taste for luxury or who want a once-in-a-lifetime experience can unleash their inner James Bond on a helicopter ride over the city.
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Anneliese O'Malley
Written byAnneliese O'MalleyAnneliese is a former Londoner, keen traveler, and total word nerd. As a Content Management Specialist she knows the TicketLens inventory inside out and curates, matches, and writes about the most interesting attractions worldwide.
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