London Bucket list: 69 Unique London Experiences
Looking for the best things to do in London? We got you covered with 69 London bucket list ideas with popular attractions and unique London experiences that you must do once in your lifetime!
London city is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and the world. With so much history and many landmarks to check off, you will easily need a few visits to explore London intimately. And when you do, refer to this post to curate your London bucketlist!
London Bucket list experiences: 69 Things to do in London
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This post is created with the help of many seasoned travel bloggers and photographers who have explored London and are eager to share their picks. We have included our bucket list spots as well.
Iconic London Bucket List Items
1. Walk across the London Tower Bridge
Walking across the iconic Tower Bridge is an absolute must-add to your London bucket list.
Drawing in tourists from all over, this bridge has been standing since 1894 and provides stunning views of both the City of London and the River Thames below.
Visiting the bridge during sunset will give you an unforgettable view with a backdrop of pink and orange skies.
When walking across the bridge, take your time and be prepared for some wonderful photo opportunities. Take in the sights of the modern glass buildings that make up the City of London’s skyline and spot all the boats sailing down the river below.
The bridge itself is a sight to behold with its two beautiful towers standing proudly on either side. This is one of London’s best tourist attractions and a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
So grab your camera and be prepared to make some amazing memories when crossing this iconic bridge.
Read: 4 days in London itinerary
2. Tower of London
The historic castle located on the historic River Thames, the Tower of London is undeniably the most visited landmark in the city and a must-add to your London bucket list.
At the tower, you can take the iconic Yeoman Warder tour, admire the priceless Crown jewels on display, and enjoy live historical enactments.
If you are a history fan like me, you will get to absorb 1000 years of heritage at the Tower of London. You can also take virtual tours of the London Tower.
During the summer months, which is the peak tourist season in the city, expect long queues, so ensure you book tickets to the tower ahead of time and online to save time and money.
3. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the royal residence and the administrative seat of the monarchy of the United Kingdom. With so many historical nuances and architectural remnants, visiting the Palace is a must. For centuries it has been a site of joyous moments and trysts.
You can visit the state rooms (during summer) or book a royal day out.
Ensure you have enough time on your hand as you can spend an entire day exploring the staterooms including the Throne room and ballroom, gardens, Crown jewel displays, and the changing of Guards ceremony (which is also our next suggestion on the London bucket list!
Buckingham Palace is the royal residence and the administrative seat of the monarchy of the United Kingdom. With so many historical nuances and architectural remnants, visiting the Palace is a must. For centuries it has been a site of joyous moments and trysts.
4. Changing of Guards ceremony
One of the most famous (rituals or) spectacular procedures is to watch the changing of Guards ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Now this ceremony doesn’t take place every day and hence it’s important to plan ahead.
The ceremony takes place (weather permitting) at 11.00 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays and daily in the summer.
Set aside some time to witness this ceremony and live a page of history in London.
Click to view Changing of Guards Ceremony Tour
5. Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace is a royal residence in the UK. It is a living/working palace and has served as a residence for young British royals for over 300 years.
As a visitor to the palace, you can experience the stunning state rooms where monarchs worked and received ministers and foreign ambassadors.
The palace is set in Kensington Gardens and contains many exhibits from beloved Queen Victoria and Princess Diana.
The palace grounds make for amazing photo opportunities for couples, and families with kids can enjoy a day out in the sun.
Book: Get attractions pass for Kensington Palace and 3 other palaces
6. Ride the London Eye at night
The London Eye is yet another iconic symbol of the capital city of England. Located on the south bank of the River Thames, the Millennium Wheel is an observation wheel standing at 443 feet high, in the London skyline.
It is the fourth largest wheel in the world, and a ride on the London Eye takes about 30 minutes, and it travels at a speed of about 0.6 miles per hour.
It is best to experience the London Eye at night when the entire city is glittering with lights and sparkling stars!
7. Go on a sightseeing cruise on the river Thames
London and the River Thames have an inseparable relationship as if they are just made for each other. The river brings in all the iconic landmarks like the Tower Bridge, the London Eye, and Shakespeare’s Globe in one place.
When in London opt for a river cruise all the way to the Thames Barrier or drift back from Hampton Court Palace. There are sightseeing river cruises of an hour’s duration to dinner cruises to make your stay absolutely memorable in London.
8. Take a photo of the iconic red phone booth
An iconic British cultural symbol, you cannot miss the Red Telephone Booth, and not take a picture!
Although very few of them are left in London, you can find them in many places throughout the UK, and when you do, don’t forget to snap a photo.
9. Admire the Big Ben
By Lara from Both Feet On The Road
Big Ben is probably the most iconic landmark in London, so a visit to London cannot be complete without also visiting this beautiful clock tower.
Big Ben is part of the Palace of Westminster, which is also known as the Houses of Parliament. This is where the Houses of Commons and The House of Lords meet.
The palace was built back in 1016 to be used as the royal palace and residence of Henry VII. Its current function came into place in 1547 when the Palace was given to the British Parliament.
The Houses of Parliament is an impressive architectural building from both the inside and outside. The iconic Big Ben, which is actually called the Elizabeth Tower houses the largest four-faced striking clock in the world, which apparently is also the most accurate.
During a visit to Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster make sure to take a guided tour to learn more about the current practices of the building and its history of it. If you are lucky, you may even be able to be a witness of a House of Commons meeting.
A ticket to the Palace of Westminster costs 15 pounds. The building is open for visitors from 9:30 AM to 05:30 PM Mondays to Thursdays, and from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM Fridays to Sundays.
10. Visit Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is one of the oldest religious buildings in the world and is an important British cultural and social icon for centuries. A large Gothic-styled abbey, it is also a World Heritage Site.
Only a few people can get married at Westminster Abbey – like the members of England’s royal family, members of the Order of the Bath (and their children), or anyone who actually lives in the Abbey’s precincts. However, you can visit the church for free for prayers.
Get entrance tickets to Westminster Abbey here
11. Visit St Paul Cathedral
Don’t miss them while visiting London! One of the most recognizable symbols of London is St Paul Cathedral. It is an Anglican cathedral and serves as the mother church of the Diocese of London.
The cathedral’s location at the highest point of the city, Ludgate Hill, makes it a must-visit. The dome is also the tallest in the world.
Being a touristy place, ensure you book tickets in advance. Visitors can attend a service for free, but to explore the galleries, tombs, crypts, and domes an entry ticket is essential.
You can also book a guided tour of the cathedral and learn about its history.
12. Watch a show at Royal Opera House
Royal Opera House located in Covent Garden is a major performing arts center in London. The first-ever opera house was constructed in 1732. It is a must-visit for opera, ballet, and music recitals. You can also watch recitals online here.
Although it’s called the Royal Opera House, there are no dress codes – feel free to dress up or down, just be ready to enjoy the show!
13. Take a ride on the London Underground
Taking a ride on the London Underground is a must-do experience for anyone visiting the city. The oldest underground system in the world, it serves as a great way to get around London quickly and easily, with stations located throughout the city.
From St Paul’s Cathedral and Big Ben to quirky street art and hidden gems, there are plenty of experiences to be had while taking a ride on the London Underground.
Even if you’re not in London for long, taking a ride on the Tube is an experience that should not be missed.
14. Ride the red double-decker sightseeing bus!
Riding the iconic red double-decker sightseeing bus in London is an experience that cannot be missed! It is one of the most popular tourist attractions and a great way to explore the city.
With its open-top roof, you will get amazing views of all the landmarks while traveling around London. You can hop on and off at any designated stop, allowing you to explore the city at your own pace.
The buses come with audio guides in multiple languages that narrate information about each sightseeing spot. The London hop-on hop-off bus tour is a great way to get around the city and visit its major attractions in comfort and style!
Whether it be Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, the London Eye, or any other famous attraction, you are sure to have an amazing experience riding the red double-decker sightseeing bus in London!
15. Walk along the Thames River
London is an amazing city with many attractions, but one of its most beautiful features is its River Thames. The river has been a major part of London life since Roman times and today it’s possible to explore the river in all its glory by taking a walk along it.
A walk along the Thames provides breathtaking views of landmarks like the London Eye, and the Houses of Parliament. It is also a great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, as you walk along the peaceful banks of this historic river.
The best place to start your Thames River walk is Tower Bridge. Here you can get an up-close view of this iconic bridge before walking toward Westminster Bridge. This part of the walk will take you through some of London’s oldest neighborhoods, and you can even stop by Borough Market to sample some delicious treats!
From there you can continue your walk towards Westminster Bridge, which offers a spectacular view of Parliament Hill and the Houses of Parliament.
When your walk is complete, you will have experienced a real taste of London’s rich history and culture, while also enjoying breathtaking views of its most iconic sights.
Museums & Landmarks London Bucket list
16. Natural History Museum
By Pam & Kathrine from Everywhere Forward
If you love visiting museums, London is the place for you! London is full of amazing, world-class museums, including the Natural History Museum.
The Natural History Museum in London features over 80 million botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology, and zoology specimens. They even have specimens that were collected by Charles Darwin!
The museum is often dubbed the “cathedral of nature” for its grand churchlike architecture. The museum’s focal point is if the vaulted central hall featuring a full skeleton of a blue whale and a massive cross-section of a giant sequoia tree!
During a visit to the Natural History Museum in London, make sure to stop by the central hall and explore the museum’s renowned collection of dinosaur skeletons, large mammals, and the Darwin Center where you can see Archie, an 8.62-meter giant squid!
Visiting the Natural History Museum in London is free. The museum is located in South Kensington and is accessible via the Tube at South Kensington on the District, Piccadilly, and Circle lines. The Natural History Museum is a great place to visit in London for everyone!
17. Learn at the Churchill War Rooms
The Churchill War Rooms are one of the branches of the Imperial War Museum in London. The war rooms consist of the underground complex which was home to the British Government during the second world war.
The underground ‘offices’ were used for the entire duration of the war, and you can see beds/rooms, desks, and notes used during the time.
After the end of the war, in 1945, the complex was abandoned and later reorganized into a museum. The complex has a biographical museum dedicated to British statesman Winston Churchill.
Grab tickets for the Churchill War Rooms + Walking Tour here
18. Learn & see British Museum Exhibits
Another museum worth visiting is the British Museum, located in the Bloomsbury neighborhood. This museum is dedicated to history, art, and culture, and boasts over eight million archival materials, collected since the British Colonial era.
Some of the noteworthy exhibits include the Rosetta Stone tablet, Samurai Armour, Mummy of Katebet, etc. Their extensive collections from Egypt are unique to the British Museum, and can also be viewed online.
If you are really keen on learning about human history and art, opt for a 90-minute illuminating tour at the museum. There are also many free guided tours available on-site.
19. Visit the Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum in London is a popular destination for history enthusiasts of all ages. There are 3 branches in London, where you can see a wide range of artifacts and exhibits related to military history during World War I, World War II, and other major conflicts.
You can explore displays about iconic battles such as D-Day and the Battle of Britain, re-enactments of key moments in history as well as interactive displays that allow you to truly experience the world events that made these wars so defining.
The Imperial War Museum also features permanent and temporary exhibitions which focus on different aspects of military history. It is home to a collection of artifacts from various nations around the world, as well as displays from more recent conflicts such as the Vietnam War and the Iraq War.
20. Visit Trafalgar Square and the Nelson Column
Trafalgar Square is a huge public square in Central London, that commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar (British naval win over France and Spain). The site has been of significance before the Napoleonic Wars in the 19th century.
Today it is home to the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, along with the iconic Nelson’s Column. The iconic Nelson Column is dedicated to Admiral Horatio Nelson who died in the battle.
21. See paintings at the National Gallery
The National Gallery of London is an art museum, located in Trafalgar Square. It is a must visit for art lovers – get ready to drool at the 2300 paintings from the mid-13th century!
22. Visit the Tate Modern Art Gallery
One of the amazing London bucket list ideas is to visit Britain’s National Gallery of International Modern Art – Tate Modern. Entry to the gallery is completely free, and you can visit it in the Bankside area of the London Borough of Southwark.
Tate Modern showcases the quirkier side of London museums and galleries. If you prefer somewhat traditional art, you can visit Tate Britain. Tate Modern has more of a global vibe, and it displays various collectibles that are thought-provoking.
23. Sherlock Holmes Museum
Calling all Sherlock Holmes fans! There is a privately run Sherlock Holmes museum in London. The museum can be explored in 30-45 minutes, and is small, but they have a cool souvenir store where you can buy Sherlock Holmes memorabilia and take it back home.
Book Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour here
24. Wander the 221b Baker Street | Sherlock Holmes
221B Baker Street in London, United Kingdom is one of the most iconic and popular addresses in literature. It’s best known as the home of one of the world’s most beloved fictional characters—Sherlock Holmes.
The address was created by author Arthur Conan Doyle to be the residence of Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson. In the stories, 221B Baker Street is a Victorian-era apartment located in the heart of London.
The building has become so popular that a Sherlock Holmes Museum can be found at this address today. It is filled with artifacts from Conan Doyle’s works and offers visitors a chance to walk around and explore what 221B Baker Street may have been like back in the day.
There is also a Sherlock Holmes pub located nearby, as well as many other attractions dedicated to the famous detective. For fans of Sherlock Holmes, 221B Baker Street is a must-visit destination in London and the perfect place to experience the world of this beloved detective.
25. #10 Downing Street
#10 Downing Street is home to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the administrative headquarters of the government.
Although access to the street is not open to the public (it is also hard to walk by), the moment you see a large number of police officers on duty understand that is the most important address in town!
26. Madame Tussauds London
London has its own Madame Tussauds Museum. Pay a visit to see life-size wax replicas of the members of Royalty and other celebrities.
View Tickets for Madame Tussauds Museum London
27. See the collections at Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London houses one of the largest collections of art and design objects in the world. The museum showcases over 2.27 million items from many different cultures around the globe.
It is the perfect place to explore a wide range of global artworks, from ancient sculptures to modern-day installations. The V&A is particularly renowned for its in-depth collection of decorative arts and design, featuring works from different time periods and parts of the world.
Gardens and Parks in London
28. Hang out at St. James Park
One of the things we love about London is its parks. St. James Park is a gorgeous place to spend some time and hang out.
It is one of the most popular parks in London, located right in the heart of the city — just steps away from Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and The Houses of Parliament.
This historic park dates back to the 17th century and features lush greenery, tranquil waterways, and serene ponds. Visitors can enjoy walking along its scenic pathways, having a picnic on the grassy lawns, or just relaxing at one of the benches and taking in the beautiful views.
Located in St.James’s Park is the ceremonial parade ground – the Horse Guards Parade. And although less ceremonial than the Changing of Guards in front of Buckingham Palace, you can witness this daily, from Monday to Saturday at 11:00 am and on Sundays at 10:00 am.
Open all year round, the park is free to enter and a great place for adults and children alike.
29. Relax at Kew Gardens
By Jiayi from The Diary of a Nomad
Kew Gardens is a beautiful botanic garden in southwest London that houses some of the largest and most diverse botanical collections in the world. This magnificent place should definitely be on your list of things to do in London not only because it’s a peaceful off-the-tourist-trail attraction, but also because it’s one of the coolest London photo spots out there!
There are plenty of things to do inside Kew Gardens; from exploring the Arboretum (which has an impressive collection of 14,000 trees) to discovering a bamboo garden with 1,200 different bamboo species; from climbing up an 18th-century pagoda to relaxing in a tranquil Japanese garden; from touring art galleries and museums to strolling on an 18m high treetop walkway; from watching geese swimming in lakes to hearing bees in a mesmerizing beehive installation.
One of the highlights of Kew Gardens, though, is Palm House. This serene indoor rainforest is a great place to discover some fascinating tropical plants, many of which are endangered in the wild (and some even extinct)!
There’s also a beautiful white staircase amidst the plants here, and you can climb it for a nice view of the rainforest and a cool photo op.
Enjoy a relaxing picnic in the outdoor gardens, or visit one of the many café and restaurant options available within the grounds. Learn more about plants and nature at Kew Gardens with interactive exhibits and educational activities such as botanical art classes and garden walks.
Kew Gardens is an ideal destination for a day out, with plenty of activities and attractions to explore. If you’re looking for both an educational and relaxing experience in London, then definitely don’t miss out on Kew Gardens!
Click to view tickets for the Kew Gardens here
30. Picnic at Hyde Park
By Sophie from TripTripNow
Hyde Park is the biggest and oldest park in London. It’s a kind of “big lung” in the city center, close to the most-visited buildings, like Buckingham Palace or Victoria and Albert Museum.
But Hyde Park itself is a must-visit in London. Whether you have a botanical interest, would like to do some sports, or simply because you’d like to take a rest, Hyde Park is for you.
We entered the park through Queen Elizabeth Gate (the Buckingham Palace side) and immediately found fountains and The Rose Garden. Roses were not in their most splendorous days (winter had just finished) but it already enlightened our eyes. We sat for a while and just enjoyed the moment. Then we chose the way to the left of Serpentine lake.
Our goal was to get to the Lido, a charming café where you can observe the varied fauna around the lake while sipping some coffee or tea and giving a bite. It was far from crowded and it gave us one of those calm moments you crave when visiting busy cities.
Markets and Shopping Bucket list in London
31. Covent Garden Market London
By Stephanie from ThompsonThrotters
Covent Garden is a large shopping and dining destination in London’s West End. Included in Covent Garden is a cobble-stoned Piazza and Market building, filled with alleys of vendors, restaurants, shops, craft stalls, and the Royal Opera House!
If it’s your first time in London, it’s a must to walk through the Apple Market and Neil’s Yard. The best part is that Covent Garden is completely free to walk through and extremely easy to get to as it’s right on the Piccadilly line of the Tube.
There is so much to do and see in the market! Watch street performers in the piazza, or check out the London Transport Museum, while eating at some of the best restaurant options in London, such as Frenchie, The Oysterman, or The Ivy. There are also some of the best cocktails to grab at Mr. Foggs and Mabel’s.
End off your visit by buying some tea from Whittard’s to take home with you as the perfect souvenir! Covent Garden has something for everyone!
32. Hangout at the Old Spitalfields Market
By Caroline from CKTravels
Old Spitalfields Market is one of London’s oldest markets originally founded over 350 years ago. Located in the heart of Shoreditch near Liverpool Street station, this covered market has hundreds of stalls and shops run by local creatives, original independent retailers, plus a few well-known boutique brands under its historic roof.
Shoppers can browse an array of wonderful retro and vintage clothing, second-hand books and records, unique art prints and paintings, colorful homewares, and handmade accessories.
Plus there are several street food stalls and restaurants located around the edge of the market with almost every world cuisine catered for. One of our favorite snack stalls is the Dumpling Shack – a Taiwanese noodle and dumpling vendor that is always very popular with both locals and tourists.
The market is open seven days a week with ‘specialist’ markets on different days including an antique market on selected Thursdays, an urban makers market on Wednesdays (crafts), and a vinyl record market on Fridays – check their website for the most up-to-date details.
This market is perfect for a fun lazy afternoon of shopping and eating and is also a great place to head to on a rainy day.
33. Explore London Borough Market
By Michelle from ThatTexasCouple
When creating your list of things to do in London, you have to include the London Borough Market. Located in Southward, London, this sprawling outdoor food market is London’s oldest food market.
You see, the market has been located on this property for over 1,000 years. You may be wondering how that is even possible. Well, you see, in 1754, Parliament enacted a rule that stated this area would be used for the benefit of the local community “forever.”
Today, Borough Market is bustling with life and filled with incredible vendors that directly source all of the food they sell. Borough Market is the perfect place for any food lover. Whether you are looking to grab a glass of homemade mead, taste delicious decadent desserts, or eat complete lunch, Borough Market has you covered.
Inside you will find a vast array of food stalls containing some of London’s most amazing and affordable eats. Of course, you can browse the market on your own, or you can go on a guided food tour.
A food tour allows you to have a guided tour of the market while making stops along the way to sample the wonderful goods that the vendors are highlighting. No matter what, be sure and add Borough Market to your London Itinerary.
34. Columbia Road Flower Market
One of the memorable things to do in London on a Sunday is to head to the Columbia Road Flower Market. This is a street market located in the Bethnal Green neighborhood. The Road is filled with pretty Victorian shops, and of course tons of flowers to photograph and smell!
The Columbia Road Flower Market dates back to 1869 when it was first opened, in an area known as Nova Scotia Gardens.
This market is only open on Sundays, between 8 am to 2 pm. Other than flowers, the market also sells baked items like bread, cheeses, antiques, garden accessories, and other edibles.
35. Shop or window shop at Harrods
By Sarah from DukesAvenue
Located in the upscale Knightsbridge area of London, Harrods has transcended being simply an upscale department store and is now the stuff of legend. From the magical shop fronts of the grand red-brick building to the doormen in their crispy green uniforms and top hats, the shop is entirely about the luxury of getting whatever your heart desires.
Staff is trained to give their discerning clientele whatever they want – anecdotally, when Ronald Reagan once phoned Harrods and asked for a baby elephant, the reply was simply “African or Indian, Sir?”.
There is more to Harrods than just expensive clothes boutiques – take a stroll through the grand salons and sample food from the food hall, or browse their vast selection of wines and spirits in their ‘cave’.
There are restaurants and cafes aplenty, both surrounding Harrods (including the enigmatic Harry’s Dolce Vita) as well as inside. Now owned by a Qatari real estate fund, Harrods was owned for many years by the Egyptian Al-Fayed family – evidence of this, and their links to the British royal family can still be seen in the shrine to the late Dodi Al-Fayed and Diana, Princess of Wales.
In short, this place is part of London’s history as is Hyde Park. You can get to Harrods by taking the Piccadilly line and stopping at Knightsbridge (use the Harrods exit!).
Food and Drinks London Bucket list
36. Step into an Instagrammable Cafe
Visiting an instagrammable cafe in London is a great way to experience the city in style. One of the most popular spots for Instagrammers is Peggy Porschen Cakes in Belgravia – known for its delicious stack of pancakes and lattes.
And don’t miss the decorations! This cafe and bakery is an Instagrammer’s dream come true – with its bright pink exterior, rose cupcakes, and chocolate truffles.
Another Instagrammable cafe is EL&N Cafe. Whatever type of cafe you’re looking for, London has something to offer – so grab your camera and get ready to explore!
37. Experience afternoon tea in London
By Katie from Creative travel guide
A quintessentially British experience has to be afternoon tea in London.
There are many options to choose from, whether you want to opt for a luxurious tea set at The Ritz or try an afternoon tea at The Fan Museum in Greenwich or The Orangery at Kensington palace; perfect for those visiting England on a budget.
Some of the best afternoon teas are fully themed to a movie or book. We enjoyed our Alice in Wonderland afternoon tea at the St James Court Hotel, which also offers Nutcracker Christmas sets during the festive season.
For more unusual options, head to The Ampersand Hotel for a Science afternoon tea or be immersed in Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard.
Short on time in London? Don’t worry, you can jump on the B Afternoon Bus Tour to enjoy scones, jams, cream, and tea whilst seeing the sites of London. A few things to remember when you book one of these British experiences; most restaurants will ask for smart casual attire so avoid scruffy shoes or torn jeans.
Use websites such as Groupon afternoontea.co.uk to get great deals and reserve your session, places can fill up, especially on the weekends. Plus, it is worth noting that afternoon tea can be expensive, so take advantage of the deals you find and browse for the perfect choice for you.
38. Enjoy the Thames River cruise and an afternoon tea
An afternoon spent taking in the beautiful sights while cruising along on a luxurious boat is one of the best ways to explore the historic river, Thames.
And adding an afternoon tea to a Thames River Cruise is a must! The cruises typically last 2.50 to 3 hours and allow you to enjoy a unique view of London from the comfort of your seat.
While onboard, you can relax with a complimentary glass of bubbly and afternoon tea.
39. Hang out at an English Pub
Hanging out at an English Pub is a must-add activity for your London bucket list. The atmosphere of these pubs brings together locals and tourists alike, creating a lively environment to have a drink with friends or loved ones.
Whether you’re looking for traditional ales, classic pub grub, or just a place to relax and unwind after a long day of sightseeing, an English Pub in London is definitely the place to be.
English Pubs have been a staple of British culture for hundreds of years and are still hugely popular today. You can find them situated all around London and each pub has its own distinct character and atmosphere that make it unique in its own way.
40. Try fish and chips
Fish and chips is a quintessentially British dish that has been enjoyed in London for centuries. Many local pubs, restaurants, and cafes offer this classic dish, making it one of the most popular meals to eat out in the city.
Fish and chips in London are typically served with boiled or fried potatoes, battered cod fillets, or haddock, accompanied by malt vinegar and tartar sauce.
41. Enjoy a full English breakfast
Enjoying a Full English Breakfast in London can be an experience that will leave you wanting more.
A traditional English breakfast usually consists of bacon, eggs, sausage, grilled tomato, baked beans, and mushrooms, served with either toast or fried bread. This full breakfast is usually accompanied by a pot of tea and the addition of black pudding can make it even more hearty and satisfying.
A proper English Breakfast is also served with HP Sauce, which gives it a unique flavor that can be found nowhere else.
Enjoying a Full English Breakfast in London allows you to sample some of the traditional flavors of England and can be a great way to start your day. There are many places in London where you can get a full English Breakfast, from small cafes and pubs to larger restaurants.
42. Enjoy cocktails and nightlife in Soho
Visiting London? Make sure to leave some space in your schedule for a night out in Soho – it’s an experience you won’t forget!
Soho is one of the liveliest nightlife spots in London, with a variety of bars and clubs to choose from. It is well known for its vibrant atmosphere and delicious cocktails – try one of the many bars with its own signature drinks.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take a trip to one of the renowned nightclubs, where you can dance until the early hours of the morning and make some new friends along the way.
Best views in London: Bucket list ideas
43. Soak in city views from the Shard of London
The Shard London is a 95 storey skyscraper. The observation deck at the Shard offers amazing city views, particularly on floors 68-69 and 72. The glass-clad tower also has 72 habitable floors.
Grab an entry ticket to the Shard
44. Soak in London views from Sky Gardens
By Elina from Empnefsys & Travel
Sky Garden is the observatory of the “Walkie Talkie” building at 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London (aka the financial district). The observatory is most known for two things: its indoor garden and its free entry.
The garden spans the top three floors of the skyscraper (36th-38th floors) and includes a range of plants and herbs.
From there, you can enjoy magnificent views of London, including excellent views of Tower Bridge, the Shard, and the River Thames. There is also an outdoor observation platform, as well as bars and restaurants (separate booking is required).
To get a free ticket you need to purchase it in advance, but it can be challenging to get one during peak seasons as they sell out very quickly. Tickets are released on their website every Monday morning for the following three weeks and are sold on a first-come-first-served basis.
There is a 1-hour long time slot every 15 minutes. A very limited number of walk-in tickets are available daily. The easiest way to reach Sky Garden from anywhere in London is to use the underground. The closest underground station is Monument which is served by the Circle and District lines.
45. Stay in a London hotel with river views
Staying in a London hotel with river views is a great way to experience the beauty of the city.
From your window, you can see some of the most iconic sights and landmarks, such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge, and the London Eye. You’ll be able to take in stunning sunsets across the Thames River while relaxing in your luxurious room.
Depending on where you stay, you can explore different areas of the city with ease. Hotels located close to the river often have easy access to attractions like Westminster Abbey and The Houses of Parliament.
Here are our top picks for London hotels with river views
Other Cool London Experiences
46. Enjoy a guided walking tour
Europe has many walkable cities, and London is no different. GetYourGuide has a fantastic guided walking tour that includes sightseeing and exploring 30 London attractions, including a ticket to the Tower of London.
Another bonus is that on selected days you can also watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard ceremony!
47. Secrets of London: Walking Tour
Discover the offbeat side of London by embarking on this tour – Secrets of London!
This 1.5-hour takes you through the back streets and alleyways of London city, in an endeavor to show you hidden gems and offbeat spots.
The walking tour passes by a historically significant but tiny old police station, then makes its way to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter streets and nuances from the days of Charles Dickens and old pubs hidden off the main thoroughfares.
This tour is perfect for those to wish to explore London beyond the iconic bucket list attractions and UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Click to check availability and book this Harry Potter walking tour
48. Hang out at the Piccadilly Circus
Not a circus-circus, but the Piccadilly Circus is a road juncture. The word circle refers to the roundabout (or circle) at this junction. Being an important public space (west end of Westminster), there are quite a few things you can do and explore here.
First of all, admire and see the glittering Piccadilly Lights. Immortalized in movies and songs, the lights are an iconic landmark of the city. Many ads (ad light) here are over 100 years old. These lights were laid back in 1819 with the building of Piccadilly Circus to connect with Regent Street.
At this juncture, you can access many of the Harry Potter locations/studios and also pop by Trafalgar Square. With so many things to see here, don’t forget to take a tour of the Piccadilly Circus itself.
49. Take a Shoreditch Street Art Tour
By Rose from WhereGoesRose
The incredibly colorful Shoreditch street art is another reason to visit this vibrant and multicultural part of London (other reasons to visit include curry houses on Brick Lane and bustling Brick Lane weekend markets).
Aside from Camden, it’s widely known that Shoreditch has the best street art anywhere in the capital.
Start your Shoreditch street art tour on Wentworth Street where you can see this like-like fox street art, as well as a load of bread with feet, the trademark of ARTiSTA.
From here you can make your way to Fashion Street where you’ll see plenty of urban murals showing people and animals.
Heneage Street is also packed with street art. From here, you can turn onto Brick Lane to find more murals. Don’t miss the secret unnamed alley beside Saffron Restaurant. Fournier and Hanbury Streets are also top spots when exploring the Shoreditch street art scene.
Through the Shoreditch street art, you’ll explore themes such as overseas communities living in London, for example, the thriving Jamaican culture in the capital. While the pieces are often changing, the locations mentioned are always full of vibrant pieces of art telling stories.
50. Walk the Meridian Line at Greenwich Observatory
By Cassie from Cassie The Hag
Greenwich is our favorite part of London. Early morning strolls in Greenwich Park are one of the most peaceful ways to enjoy the city, with the sun peeking through the treetops as one looks across a hazy London skyline.
In fact, it is within this park, at Greenwich Observatory, where you can see one of the finest views over London. Not to mention that just outside the observatory is Time itself. Well, sort of.
Tourists enjoy walking along the marked ‘Meridian Line’. This separates the Eastern and Western sides of the Globe and has a Longitude of 0 percent. In 1884, this line was chosen to be the center of world time.
There is a lot to do in Greenwich besides the park too. In our opinion, some of London’s best historical architecture is in Greenwich. Attractions such as the Old Royal Naval College are often used as the scenic backdrop in movies.
Both here and at the famous Cutty Sark Ship which you can go inside, you can learn about explorers in times gone by. The Maritime Museum also covers 500 years of naval history with interactive exhibits.
The Greenwich Market and various traditional English pubs around the suburb nicely, make it one of the best days out in London.
51. Hang out at O2 Area
Imagine an entertainment district, with a cinema, an exhibition space, piazzas, bars, and restaurants! That’s O2 Arena, which is located on the Greenwich peninsula in South East London.
Structurally, O2 is a large dome-shaped canopy, which was originally built to house exhibitions, and now is an entertainment district.
Tickets Here: Climb the roof of the O2 Area
52. Watch a cricket match at Lord’s
Watching a cricket match at Lord’s in London is a truly remarkable experience. This historic venue has been the home of English cricket since 1814, making it one of the oldest stadiums in the world.
From the stands, you’ll be able to witness some of the best cricketing action in the world, with England’s finest players battling it out for international glory. You will also get to see some of the most iconic moments in cricket history as well.
Lord’s is widely referred to as the Home of Cricket, and it is a must-add if you are a cricket fan!
53. Watch a game of tennis at Wimbledon
When in London, catch a game of tennis at Wimbledon court. Typically ground tickets cost about 25 to 75 pounds, depending on the day and the match/game played.
As you take your seat, you can feel the energy in the air – you know that something special is about to happen! The first thing that you’ll notice is the impressive size of Centre Court. The atmosphere inside the venue is electric and filled with excitement as two great players battle it out on the court.
54. Catch a West End show
The West End is the theatre district of London and home to some of the best theatrical productions from around the world.
When visiting London’s West End you can expect to find a wide variety of shows running throughout the year. Popular productions include classics like ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Les Miserables’, and ‘Mamma Mia!’ as well as modern hits such as ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’.
Depending on the show you choose, ticket prices can range from budget-friendly options to expensive splurges. To make sure you are getting the best deal, it is always a good idea to check out discount websites such as Lastminute.com or TodayTix.
55. London Zoo
London Zoo was opened in 1828, making it the world’s oldest scientific zoo. In those days, animals of the Tower of London were transferred to the zoo’s collection and opened to the public in 1847.
It has been welcoming guests since then. London Zoo is considered to be one of the most ethical zoos in the UK. It offers the best conservation experiences and keeps animals close to their natural habitat.
Bigger animals are kept at the Whipsnade, from where you have amazing views of the Chiltern Hills. Zoo entry is free for children under the age of 3 years, and discounted tickets are available for students and seniors.
Harry Potter London Bucket list
56. Harry Potter Studios
By Pauline from Beeloved City
Calling all Potterheads for this one! If you want to discover the world of Harry Potter in London, there are many things you can do including visiting the Warner Bros Studios. Located in Watford, in North London, the WB studios are one of the most amazing experiences in London.
From the city centre, you can jump on a train to Watford Junction where a Harry Potter shuttle will be waiting to take you to the studios. Harry Potter Studio tickets have to be booked in advance and you will choose a time of visit. It’s recommended to take it as early as possible.
You are allowed to stay in the studios as long as you want, meaning that if you go early you will get more time on-site.
Once you enter this magical place you will be struck by its beauty of it! You will discover some amazing movie sets such as the Hogwarts dining room, the Gryffindor common room, Diagon Alley, Harry, and Ron’s room, the Gringotts bank and so much more!
But that’s not all! You will also discover how the movies were made! Everything from the costumes to special effects, you’ll discover all the movie-making magic!
If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will love the experience! It’s fantastic and we can’t recommend it enough! Restaurants are available on-site and they also serve butter-beer!
57. Platform 9 3/4
If you love everything Harry Potter, Platform 9 3/4 is one of the top things to do In London. Located at Kings Cross Station on this platform and it has an amazing Harry Potter store.
There most likely will be a line to enter the store, so plan ahead. The store has a very unique Harry Potter souvenirs. One of the workers had a real flying stitch. We loved looking at all the different items and bought some of our favorites.
We highly recommend booking the – Skip the Line tickets to visit this site. It allows you to skip the queue and have a professional photograph of the famous trolley entering platform 9 3/4. It is only 15 pounds. This could save you a lot of time and may be worth it to you.
If only we knew about this VIP Lanyard. We loved checking out Kings Cross Station and enjoyed platform 9 3/4. It is a Harry Potter fan must see!
London Neighbourhoods for your bucket list
58. Wander Notting Hill
If you watched or loved the movie, Notting Hill, ensure you pay a visit to this West London neighborhood. Houses and cafes in Notting Hill make for lovely Instagrammable photos. There are busy markets and luxury dining areas to hang out and eat.
In August every year, crowds gather to celebrate the Notting Hill Carnival with parades and calypso music.
59. Explore London’s South Bank
London’s South Bank area is a vibrant and diverse district that offers something to suit all tastes. Located just south of the River Thames, it is home to some of the city’s most iconic attractions, including the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, and Tate Modern.
There are plenty of things to do in this culturally rich area, from browsing the markets and galleries to visiting museums and theatres.
There is no better way to explore London’s South Bank than by foot, so why not take a leisurely stroll along the riverside?
60. Explore Chinatown
Situated between Leicester Square and Soho, London’s Chinatown is home to a rich mix of cultures that make it a great destination for food, shopping, entertainment, and sightseeing.
When visiting Chinatown, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the vibrant street life. The narrow alleyways are lined with shops, restaurants, and markets selling a variety of goods and produce from all over Asia.
From traditional Chinese medicine to delicious dim sum, there really is something for everyone. Chinatown is also a great place to experience some of the city’s more unusual customs and celebrations.
Every year, during Chinese New Year, there are colorful street parades featuring dragon dances, firecrackers, and a variety of other traditional activities. International Dragon and Lion Dance Festival is another event in Chinatown London that shouldn’t be missed!
Seasonal London Bucket list Experiences
61. Visit London in the springtime
London in the springtime is definitely worth considering. In April, the city comes alive with colorful displays of blooming flowers, blossoms, and trees.
As temperatures start to rise, outdoor activities become more popular as locals and visitors alike enjoy picnics in the park, lovely walks around the city’s many rivers and canals, or Sunday strolls in one of London’s beautiful gardens.
This season is perfect for exploring the city’s cultural offerings as well. Visit London’s world-renowned museums and galleries for a spot of art appreciation, or catch a show at one of the city’s many theatres. London also has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of live music, nightclubs, and bars to explore.
62. See Christmas lights in London in winter
The holiday season in London is a magical time, and one of the best ways to experience it is to see the city’s sparkling Christmas lights.
From twinkling tree decorations to grand illuminations, London’s districts are transformed into a festive winter wonderland each December.
Some of the best places to enjoy some of its best Christmas lights are at the Covent Garden. Known for its mix of luxury stores and traditional shops, The Covent Garden is transformed into a breathtaking winter wonderland. Every year there’s a giant festive tree, surrounded by thousands of twinkling fairy lights.
If you want to experience the full force of London’s winter lights, then head to Oxford Street. It has been one of the city’s main shopping hotspots – and every year it’s lit up in all its glory.
There are over half a million twinkling bulbs, plus festive decorations and snow-dusted trees that line the street. It’s the perfect place to take an evening stroll and admire the grand displays.
Hyde Park is also known for its winter wonderland event every year, replete with funfair rides, open-air ice rinks, and festive markets.
63. Chase fall foliage in London
London is a vibrant city filled with spectacular fall colors. Autumn brings out some of the most stunning red, copper, and yellow tones to London’s landscape.
There are many spots in the city where people can experience the beautiful fall foliage. One great spot to take in the autumnal hues is Hyde Park, which is one of the largest parks located in the heart of London. Here, visitors can experience a variety of trees displaying beautiful foliage that ranges from deep reds and oranges to gentle yellows.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a boat ride along the River Thames? This is a great way to experience all the different colors that London has to offer during the fall season. Hop on a boat and make your way through the beautiful canals to take in all the vibrant colors of autumn.
Finally, don’t forget to take a stroll around St James’s Park. This area is home to some of the oldest trees in London and it’s an ideal spot for seeing the amazing fall colors that have been painted onto London’s landscape.
64. Explore Mayfield Lavender Farms
By Alysa from VoyagingHerbivore
Mayfield Lavender Farm, located a train ride outside of London on the Surrey Downs, is a stunning spot for a day away from hectic city life.
Getting around London by public transport is easy and at about an hour and a half outside central London, a trip to the lavender farm is easily one of the best ways to see a less touristy side of London.
As soon as you step off at the bus stop next to Mayfield Lavender Farm you’re hit with the incredible smell of lavender. Walk to the entrance and immediately forget that you’re just a hop, skip, and jump away from the mad hustle and bustle of London.
You’ll want to arrive right when they open so that you have at least a few minutes to yourself. The entrance is 4 pounds per person and professional photographers (basically you are not allowed to shoot clients or use a tripod) need to pay a separate fee. Additionally, no drones are allowed.
Opening hours are 9 am to 6 pm and they are only open during the summer as this is when the lavender is in full bloom. If you want to spend sunset and golden hour on the farm you’ll need to pay a lofty 100 pounds, but surely outside the countryside of France and Italy, this is one of the best lavender farms around.
Mayfield Lavender Farms is well worth the trip and is easily one of the best Instagram spots in London!
Day Trips from London United Kingdom
65. Day trip to Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is one of the most iconic and well-known sites in England. Located just outside London, Windsor Castle is a royal residence that has been around since 1070 and is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world.
Visiting this historical site makes for a great day trip from London and offers plenty to explore. First and foremost is the State Apartments. This massive complex hosts a variety of art, furniture, and historical items that are centuries old. You’ll be able to go through several rooms each with its own unique history.
The changing of the guard is also a popular attraction and can be seen outside at 11:00 am on select days throughout the year.
The castle’s grounds are also worth exploring and include a variety of gardens, courtyards, and parks. St. George’s Chapel is one of the highlights, with its gothic architecture and amazing stained glass windows.
There’s also a shopping area within the castle walls with several souvenir shops and cafes. Here, you can find plenty of memorabilia to remember your visit or grab something to eat before heading out.
Windsor Castle is open to the public five days a week and is easily accessible by train from London.
66. Day trip to Stonehenge
London is super close to the iconic Stonehenge heritage site. This ancient prehistoric monument is located just under two hours from London and has been standing for thousands of years.
This is a must-add to your London bucket list, as it can be visited on a half-day tour too.
As you travel towards Stonehenge, you will pass through the picturesque rolling hills of Salisbury Plain and be amazed by the sheer scale of the stones.
The entrance to Stonehenge is located near Salisbury, where you can purchase tickets before entering. Once inside, you can explore the site at your leisure, admiring its mysterious beauty as you go.
The visitor centre is well worth a visit and contains many interesting facts about Stonehenge. Here, you can learn about the monument’s construction and its history, as well as view ancient artifacts from the site.
Stonehenge is open all year round and can be enjoyed by all ages.
67. Day trip to Bath England
Visiting Bath from London is easy and convenient. By train, the journey takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. It’s a scenic ride through the English countryside with some stunning views of rural villages and rolling hills.
The frequent trains make it possible to take day trips or weekend getaways to this beautiful city.
Once in Bath, you can take in the city’s historic sites and attractions. The Roman Baths are a must-see and are one of the best-preserved ancient spas in Europe. If you’re looking for some relaxation, take a river cruise along the River Avon or enjoy a leisurely walk around the parks and gardens that line the city streets.
The city is also known for its cultural offerings. From concerts and theatre performances to art galleries and museums there’s something for everyone in Bath. Shopping is also a great way to spend your time here with plenty of independent stores selling unique souvenirs, gifts, and crafts.
Bath is also home to some fantastic restaurants, pubs, and cafés so be sure to sample some of the local cuisines during your visit.
68. Day trip to Bicester Village for shopping
Head to Bicester Village for luxury shopping and beyond! We recommend booking round-trip transportation on a comfortable coach such as this one, with hotel pick-up and drop-off!
Bicester Village is a shopper’s paradise. Here you will find lots of restaurants, cafes, and of course high-end boutiques and designer stores, all offering incredible discounts.
Click to reserve a spot on the bus from London to Bicester Village
69. Take a day trip to Hampton Court Palace
By Ella from ManyMoreMaps
Taking a day trip to Hampton Court Palace from London is a must for any visitor to the city!
The palace has stood for over 500 years and has been the home of countless members of the British Royal Family for over 250 years. This even includes England’s most notorious King, Henry VIII, who is famous for introducing divorce to England, having six wives, and beheading two of them! These scandalous stories make the palace simply overflow with history.
Audio guides, which are free to hire, bring each room to life as you tour the numerous royal apartments. If you’re looking for something a little different, join one of the Palace’s frequent ghost tours.
Once you’ve checked out the interior of the palace, it’s time to discover a true highlight – the Royal Gardens.
Kept pristine and lush year-round, the gardens are an attraction in their own right. Always tranquil and gorgeously landscaped, the gardens offer some amazing viewpoints to marvel at the palace’s exterior. In summer, there is even a maze, which is huge and lots of fun!
If you’re visiting London at Christmas, a beautiful outdoor ice rink opens on the grounds, which is hugely popular.
And that’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed our list of things to do in London, which should be a part of your bucket list for this historic city.