Best Things to do in London
London is one of the world’s most iconic cities and a megacity leading the world in arts, entertainment, history, finance, culture, and diversity. Britain’s capital city — often nicknamed The Big Smoke by locals — is home to world-class shopping, the world’s most notorious theatre in the West End, and world-beating nightlife.
What’s more, London is almost like a toy shop for travelers looking for famous attractions, such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge, The Shard, Piccadilly Circus, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and so much more! As a result, wandering around London feels like exploring the center of the world, and experts regularly vote the cityLink opens in a new tab as the world’s most incredible capital!
Here are the best things to do in England’s ancient and highly influential capital city!
What Makes London So Special?
London isn’t a city that needs selling. It’s world-famous because of its iconic landmarks, global influence, and prominence in the world’s media. But, if you’ve never explored London before, you’re going to visit one of the world’s most fast-paced, vibrant, and energetic cities. Everyone is in a rush in London, and the city is a never-ending concoction of things to see and do.
Sure, London doesn’t have the best weather — it actually doesn’t rain much compared to most of the world — but the city makes up for its seemingly never-ending gloomy skies by being the center of the Western world.
10 Fun Facts About London
- London dates back to the 1st century AD, making it an ancient city
- London is home to Greenwich, the center of the world’s time
- London’s Underground (affectionately referred to as the tube) is the world’s oldest underground railway network
- London was the biggest city in the world from 1831 to 1925
- London is one of the world’s greenest cities
- Around 15 million people live in Greater London
- Every year, London’s red buses travel 12,128 times the circumference of London
- London is home to over 4,000 pubsLink opens in a new tab
- Over 30 million tourists visit London yearly, making it one of the world’s most visited cities
- London Zoo, which you can find next to Regents Park, is the world’s oldest zoo
9 Top Things To Do In London
1. Visit The Shard
Obtaining an excellent view of London hasn’t always been straightforward. The city’s leaders dislike building skyscrapers because of a desire to keep London’s character. However, London opened the 310-meter skyscraper in 2013, and it offers spectacular views of London. Visitors enjoy 360-degree views of London, and the views are truly unforgettable. The Shard was the tallest building in Europe when it opened in 2013.
2. Explore the Tower of London
London appeals to many world travelers because of its history, and rightly so. But London’s history doesn’t come any better than the Tower of London, a building built by William the Conqueror in 1078. The Tower of London signifies the last time an enemy successfully invaded the United Kingdom, and many have tried and failed since.
3. Walk around The British Museum
The British Museum, which attracts around 6 million visitors yearly, is home to two million years of culture and human history. Suppose you’re on a budget? London is definitely a budget breaker, however, the British Museum is completely free to enter. Visitors from every corner of the world adore the Egyptian artifacts, Greek sculptures, and collections of souvenirs.
4. Go Shopping on Regent Street/Oxford Street
Shopping and London go hand in hand, and only New York City, Paris, and Tokyo can claim to rival it in any way. Oxford Street is home to luxury stores, designer brands, and boutique stores for all ages. In contrast, Regent Street is home to Hamleys, the world’s greatest toy store. So if you have a family, visiting Hamley’s is a must-do because it’s literally heaven on earth for kids.
5. Marvel at the Camden Markets
London is home to one of the world’s most cosmopolitan populations. There are over 250 languages spoken in London, making it the world’s most linguistically diverse city. The Camden Markets are home to food from every world corner, and it’s a staple of London’s incredible diversity. It’s a must-visit for people of all ages, and you’ll probably pile on a few pounds after eating food from anywhere you can possibly imagine.
6. Walk-Up To Primrose Hill
If you’re looking for an excellent spot to relax during London’s summer months, the city spoils you for choice. However, Primrose Hill remains an incredible spot to observe London’s skyline, sit on the grass, and socialize with friends and family. You can walk to Primrose Hills within 10 minutes from the Camden Markets, and it’s a beautiful part of London with lots of quaint cafes and stunning houses.
7. Watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace
One of the most significant tourist attractions in the United Kingdom is the British monarchy, and Buckingham Palace is famously the London residence of the British monarch. You can watch the changing of the guard here every day at around 10.45 am. It feels like you’re stepping back in time as the palace has maintained its century-old traditions.
8. Explore St. Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s oldest landmarks, and the building serves as the mother church of the Diocese of London. Sir Cristopher Wren designed the cathedral in English Baroque style in 1675. You can walk to the top of the cathedral and enjoy one of London’s oldest views. You can see most of London’s landmarks from the top.
9. Relax in Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the world’s greatest parks. Henry VIII created the park in 1536 for hunting purposes, and it’s been one of London’s royal parks ever since. The park is home to iconic landmarks, including the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial, Speakers’ Corner, the Serpentine Lake, the Serpentine Bridge, and the Grand Entrance at Hyde Park corner.
London isn’t a city you can appreciate on a weekend break, although it’s possible to have a great time on a weekend. In contrast, London is a megacity requiring at least four days to truly enjoy, but you can cram many activities into a weekend if you don’t have time.
The best time to visit London is during the summer months when it’s warmer, and you can enjoy the parks, greenery, and outdoor bars and restaurants. Either way, London is one of the world’s greatest cities, and it rarely disappoints travelers.