Things to Do in London: The 20 Best Places to Visit (All Highlights)
You’re planning to visit London during your next trip and you’re looking for the best places to visit?
You’re at the right place!
In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared this guide of the 20 best things to do in London, with all points of interest and must-see attractions.
Buckingham Palace, Soho, the Tower of London, Big Ben… there are so many iconic places and monuments in the capital of England!
In addition to my list of things to do and activities, I will also give you optimized itineraries to visit London in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 days (or even 1 week!) as well as my selection of the best accommodations depending on your budget.
So, what are the best things to do in London? Where to stay?
- Things to Do in London: The 20 Best Places to Visit (All Highlights)
- 1. Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
- 2. Big Ben/The Palace of Westminster/Westminster Abbey
- 3. Party in Soho
- 4. Tower Bridge
- 5. The Tower of London
- 6. The London Eye
- 7. Take a stroll in Hyde Park
- 8. Piccadilly Circus
- 9. Covent Garden
- 10. Shopping on Oxford Street
- 11. Visit the London National Gallery museum
- 12. Take a walk or a cruise on the Thames
- 13. Notting Hill
- 14. Visit Camden Town and its Market
- 15. Regent’s Park
- 16. The Tate Britain and Tate Modern museums
- 17. Chelsea district
- 18. The British Museum
- 19. See a musical in London
- 20. Madame Tussauds
- 21. Go on a pub crawl (Bonus, perfect if you’re travelling with friends!)
- Other places to visit in London
- Other activities to do in London
- The 6 Best things to do around London
- The London districts you should visit
- Best Things to do in London with kids
- How many days in London?
- Where to stay in London
- You’re traveling to England? These articles will help you !
1. Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
If I had to pick just one iconic tourist attraction in London, it would definitely be the Changing of the Guard, at Buckingham Palace!
Join the crowd and watch dozens of royal guards wearing red coats and bearskin hats march to the beat of the band in front of the Queen of England’s royal palace.
Some are on foot, others on horseback, and they are going from Wellington Barracks (around 500 meters from the Palace) to the Palace forecourt.
The Changing of the Guard takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 11.00am and lasts for around 40 minutes.
The best way to learn everything about the Changing of the Guard is for sure to take a guided tour.
The best one is the small group tour organized by Chris and Matt, they are amazing guides! You need to book it by clicking right here.
It’s the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of the British monarchy!
The Changing of the Guard is sometimes cancelled in case of bad weather (and the bad weather in London is no joke!).
Fortunately, a calendar is published on the internet, so you can check whether the Changing of the Guard is taking place by clicking there.
2. Big Ben/The Palace of Westminster/Westminster Abbey
During tour visit to London, you also probably want to see one of the city’s most iconic monument: Big Ben!
It’s for sure one of the most striking symbols of London and even of the whole of England: Big Ben* enjoys a long-held reputation.
* Big Ben isn’t actually the name of the clock tower: it’s in fact the name given to the huge bell – around 14 tonnes – located inside the tower, which chimes every hour.
Built in 1858, this enormous clock tower (known as the Elizabeth Tower) is part of the Palace of Westminster, perhaps better known as the Houses of Parliament.
At the top of the 106-metre high Elizabeth Tower, you will find 4 enormous clocks, each measuring 7 metres in diameter.
You of course have to see Big Ben and the magnificent Palace of Westminster when you’re in London!
Unfortunately, most of you will only be able to admire them from the outside, as only UK residents are permitted to visit the interior of the Elizabeth Tower.
And even if you are a UK resident, you will need to apply months in advance!
However, just a few steps away from Big Ben, you can visit Westminster Abbey.
It’s especially famous for being the place where the coronations of kings and queens of England take place, including that of Queen Elizabeth II.
Many of them are also buried here, along with famous writers, poets and politicians.
In order to avoid waiting in line to get in, you should really book your skip the line tickets for the Palace of Westminster in advance by clicking on the green button below:
3. Party in Soho
Let’s continue this tourist guide to London and talk a bit about Soho district.
Soho is one of the smallest districts of London, but it’s probably the liveliest!
As the hub of London’s night-life, Soho is packed with the trendiest pubs, theatres, restaurants, cinemas and clubs.
Soho is also a great place to visit in London, with several points of interest such as Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Chinatown and Oxford Street.
This district always attracts an evening crowd. So if you like to party and you’re wondering where to go out in London, you’ve probably guessed that Soho is your best bet!
4. Tower Bridge
You’ll for sure recognize the Tower Bridge from afar: it’s two Gothic towers and its sky blue ironwork are pretty unique!
This bridge, considered as another iconic London landmark, was built across the Thames in the 19th century and was the most sophisticated bascule bridge in the world at the time.
Today, it allows thousands of drivers and pedestrians to cross between the north and the south bank every day. If you’re there at the right time, you might even see it open up to allow tall boats to pass through!
The Tower Bridge is even more spectacular in the evening, when the bridge is fully lit.
To see it up close, you should really book a Thames cruise right here:
You can also cross the bridge on foot, and if you’re interested, you can visit the old engine rooms inside the towers.
The old hydraulic system that lifted the bridge until 1976 is especially interesting. At the highest level, you can also walk on a glass walkway, which feels like you’re floating above the Thames.
Entry to the Tower Bridge is included in the London Pass.
5. The Tower of London
Located close to the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London stands on the north bank of the River Thames.
The foundations of this fortress date back to 1066 and it has served as a royal residence, prison and place of execution.
Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a museum of medieval history, and most notably houses the famous Crown Jewels. The Tower’s aesthetically pleasing exterior is also worth a look.
It’s a great family activity to do in London and the kids are sure to love it. You’re not visiting a castle every day!
Remember to book your tickets in advance by clicking on the button below – It’s the best way to save time!
6. The London Eye
The London Eye is the biggest Ferris wheel in Europe, with each capsule capable of carrying up to 25 people.
It’s located on the banks of the Thames, close to Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.
To get on the London Eye, you have to book your seat in advance.
The wheel turns very slowly, and the full ride takes 30 minutes. You will for sure love the panoramic view over London!
You need to book your skip the line ticket to the London Eye by clicking on the button below:
To save money, you can also get this combined ticket: London Eye + Thames Cruise + Hop-on Hop-off Bus.
7. Take a stroll in Hyde Park
Hyde Park is the largest green space in the city.
Along with Central Park in New York and the Mont Royal Park in Montreal (Canada), it’s one of the most beautiful city parks in the world.
While you’re in London, you should definitely take some time for a stroll in Hyde Park. It’s also the perfect spot for a picnic in summer, or a lunch on a terrace by the water!
At the end of the year, you’ll also find a large Christmas market in the park. And if you’re visiting London as a family, your kids will love the Winter Wonderland fair and the biggest outdoor skating rink in the United Kingdom!
In summer, lots of concerts and festivals are held in the park.
You also shouldn’t miss a famous London oddity: The Speakers’ Corner. Every Sunday, in the north-east edge of the park, anonymous speakers give a speech to passers-by, often with a touch of humour.
8. Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is for sure the most famous road junction of the city, the icon of modern London.
This busy square with its huge billboards broadcasting advertisements 24 hours a day and 7 days a week can be described as the Times Square of London, on a smaller scale.
This square connects Soho to the shopping areas of Regent Street, Shaftesbury Avenue and Covent Street, among others.
In the center of Piccadilly Circus, the angel on top of the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain appears to be watching over the place.
During your trip to London, don’t miss going there after your walk in Soho, preferably at night as it’s even more impressive!
9. Covent Garden
Of all the things to do in London, you really have to see Covent Garden.
Covent Garden was once the site of London’s covered market, but it outgrew the location and was relocated in the 1970s.
Covent Garden fortunately retained the beautiful glass roof that makes the place so charming. Today, it’s home to several shops, artisan studios and restaurants.
There’s even a museum: the London Transport Museum. It’s a great place to learn about the history of transports in the capital and see some of the famous red double-deckers buses!
With its lively shopping streets, the area around Covent Garden is perfect to wander around. And if you’re there on a Saturday morning, you should go to the crafts market!
10. Shopping on Oxford Street
If you’re wondering where to go shopping at affordable prices in London, you should go to Oxford Street!
Hundreds of fashion, interior design and other stores line the 2.5 kilometre long street. You’ll find all the best known British chains stores here, such as Marks & Spencer, Primark, TopShop, River Island, Lush, The Body Shop and more.
It’s the perfect place for window-shopping or to indulge yourself during an enjoyable afternoon!
11. Visit the London National Gallery museum
This art museum has one of the largest collections of works in Western Europe.
The London National Gallery houses over 2,300 paintings dating from the 13th to the 20th century, including the famous Sunflowers by Van Gogh!
Founded in 1824, the National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square, the famous square guarded by 4 big black lions. As one of London’s most beautiful museums, it’s perfect for a cultural interlude in the middle of your stay.
Like all the national museums in London, entry to the National Gallery is free of charge all year round. Another good reason to go there!
The museum is open every day from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm, and as late as 9.00 pm on Fridays.
Find out more on the museum’s official website.
12. Take a walk or a cruise on the Thames
If the weather permits, it’s really lovely to take a stroll along the landscaped banks of the Thames.
You can choose several routes, but I would suggest you to start from Big Ben, cross Westminster bridge and walk up to Butler’s Wharf.
That’s about 1h walk (well, you can probably double the time if you add the photos breaks!) and on the way, you’ll pass by iconic landmarks such as the London Eye, the Tate Modern Museum, the Globe Theatre and the Millennium Bridge.
The walk will take you to the Tower Bridge. You can then cross it to reach the Tower of London.
It’s a great walk for seeing some of the most emblematic monuments of London in an afternoon whether you’re travelling as a couple or as a family.
And if you just want to enjoy a Thames cruise and see the majority of London’s tourist attractions by boat, that’s also possible!
In London, you can do a river Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise. It’s the same idea as the hop on/hop off bus: you can get on and off the boat as many times as you want during the cruise.
The great thing is that the tickets are valid for 24 hours!
You need to book your river Thames Hop on Hop Off Cruise by clicking here:
13. Notting Hill
You’re looking for the best places and districts to visit in London?
Then, you should go to Notting Hill, one of the most exclusive areas of London.
Take some time to stroll in the district, discover its elegant pastel-coloured homes and enjoy its more “village like” ambiance.
Made famous by the film of the same name, you’ll be able to follow in the footsteps of Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, the stars of “Notting Hill”. If you’re a fan, you will probably want to check out the film’s locations.
While you’re in Notting Hill, don’t miss the flea market on Portobello Road (open every morning). It’s a great opportunity to browse through the many antiques, second-hand clothes and other unusual items on offer at the stalls.
You can also try a few culinary specialities, as Notting Hill is considered one of the best foodie destinations of the city.
Notting Hill district is also famous for its annual carnival, held on the last weekend of August.
If you’re there at the right time, you shouldn’t miss this 5 kilometre long parade with Caribbean music! A great moment to enjoy with family or friends.
To learn everything about the neighbourhood and visit the must-see attractions, you should book a guided tour of Notting Hill.
The best guided visit is done by Jordan (an awesome guide!) and needs to be booked by clicking on the button below:
14. Visit Camden Town and its Market
Camden Town is another place to visit during your stay in London
Located at the far north of London, Camden Town is a trendy and atypical borough, home to punks, Goths and alter-globalists.
All along the main street, you will find eccentric clothing shops, piercing and tattoo parlours and second-hand shops. The mood is very unique there!
The shop fronts are all very originally decorated with giant shoes, frescoes and other figurines in psychedelic shapes and colours. This is the place to really see British eccentricity in all its splendour!
Camden town is a really vibrant area, especially around Camden Lock Market, which is open every day from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. This is another flea market you shouldn’t miss, especially if it’s your first trip to London.
Each stall is more crazy than the last, and it’s a great place to find some hidden treasures!
There, you can also take a stroll by Regent’s Canal, taste street food from all over the world, listen to live music and simply enjoy the atmosphere of the district.
And if you’re up for it, you can also opt for a short boat trip on the canal. Find out more by clicking here!
15. Regent’s Park
Situated in the north of London, Regent’s Park is one of the 8 “green lungs” of the city.
This 166-hectare park is the most flower-filled in London, and certainly one of the most beautiful.
Once known as Marylebone Park, it was a hunting estate belonging to the royal family. In 1811, George IV commissioned the architect Josh Nash to design the park and build magnificent properties, including a palace.
A lack of funds meant the project was never completed, and in 1930, the park became a public space. Nash nevertheless managed to construct the beautiful neo-classical mansions that you will see around the park.
Regent’s Park is the perfect place in London if you want to go running, enjoy a romantic picnic or take a stroll among greenery.
In the park, there is a lake where you can rent pedalos and rowing boats.
You can also find children playgrounds, sports fields, cafés and restaurants.
And in summer, don’t miss the magnificent collection of roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens!
16. The Tate Britain and Tate Modern museums
London is truly the city of museums. Here are 2 more you shouldn’t miss, and that are also free of charge.
The Tate Britain Museum is located on the banks of the Thames, south of Westminster.
It’s dedicated to 5 centuries of British art and celebrates several iconic artists including Turner, Hogarth, Francis Bacon, William Blake and many more.
There, you can also admire a very rich collection of paintings, photographs and sculptures dating from the 16th century to the present day.
Whereas the Tate Britain focuses on 100% British art, the Tate Modern gallery is more broadly dedicated to modern art in general.
It sits on the south bank of the Thames, opposite St Paul’s Paul’s Cathedral.
You can check the official website to plan your visit.
17. Chelsea district
Where should you go in London if you love luxury?
Central London’s upmarket borough of Chelsea is especially known for its luxury shops and designer boutiques lining the King’s Road (the district’s main street).
And if you want to have a drink or lunch, you should head to the bars and restaurant around Duke of York Square.
On the square, you can also find the Saatchi Gallery, a contemporary art museum.
But what visitors don’t always realize is that Chelsea also has a quite different face to offer to the discerning tourist: nice, quiet small streets punctuated by pretty and brightly coloured houses.
So don’t miss a look around Burnsall Street, Godfrey Street or Bywater Street, a cul-de-sac lined with attractive terraced houses with colourful façades.
Bywater Street is actually quite famous for fashion shoots and as a film set!
18. The British Museum
Let’s now talk about another must-see museum in London: the famous British Museum, one of the most visited attractions in the whole of Great Britain.
Opened to the public in 1759, it traces human history and culture.
The British Museum began by displaying the collections of Dr Hans Sloane, gradually expanding to include over 7 million objects from all over the world that you can see today.
If you’re interested in archaeology, you will for sure love the visit! The British Museum is known for its many relics, mummies and mythical objects such as the Rosetta Stone.
In addition to the collections on display, the museum building itself is a masterpiece of architecture: the entrance known as The Great Court, with its central rotunda and glass and steel roof is simply magnificent!
Entry to the museum is free of charge for everyone and it’s open every day from 10.00 am to 5.30 pm.
19. See a musical in London
You can’t leave London without seeing a musical at a West End theatre.
It’s for sure one of the best things to do when visiting the English capital for the first time. London is known for its outstanding musicals, and there’s loads to choose from all year-round.
From the legendary musicals to more intimate productions in smaller venues, you definitely should spend an evening at the theatre.
If you want to see the famous musical “Les Misérables” at the Sondheim Theatre in London, make sure you buy your tickets in advance here.
And if you prefer to see the no less famous “Phantom of the Opera”, you can book it by clicking there!
20. Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds is one of the most famous and most visited museums in London. It’s the British equivalent of Paris’ Grévin Museum, only bigger and better!
There, you will be able to get a photo of yourself on the arm of the latest singers or actors, the entire royal family, British sovereigns, or great artists such as Picasso, Oscar Wilde or the Beatles. The wax statues are amazingly realistic!
Since the museum is clearly one of the must-see attractions in London, you need to buy your tickets in advance by clicking here:
You’ll find Madame Tussauds museum on Baker Street, and it’s open every day from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. The visit takes about 3 hours.
21. Go on a pub crawl (Bonus, perfect if you’re travelling with friends!)
You want to have a good time in London with your friends?
You should thus definitely go on a pub crawl!
It’s a great way to discover some of the traditional pubs and the best clubs in town.
And if you don’t know where to go, you should opt for a tour.
The guide will take you and other tourists who want to have fun around the best pubs and clubs of the city!
Other places to visit in London
There are so many things to see and do in London that it wasn’t easy deciding what to include in this top 20.
So to give you a fuller picture, here are more ideas of places to visit in the English capital.
To save time and avoid queuing, simply click on the orange links to get tickets:
- St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London most visited religious sites, and the second biggest cathedral in the world, just after St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. To give you a bit of background, it’s where Prince Charles and Lady Di were married. Buy your fast track ticket with audio guide here! Entry is included in the London Pass.
- The Shard (get tickets here!), where you can enjoy a 360° view across the whole city from the panoramic platform 245 metres above the ground! Entry is also included in the London Pass.
- Kensington Palace, to see the State Rooms of the Stuart dynasty. Entry is also included in the London Pass.
- The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, or simply Kew Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 30 hectares of superbly maintained gardens. It’s included in the London Pass.
- The Royal Observatory Greenwich, home of the famous Greenwich Meridian, the centre of the entire world’s time zones
- Visit the Tottenham Hotspur football ground
- Visit the Emirates Stadium, where the legendary Arsenal football team trains
- Jack the Ripper Museum, to learn everything about the infamous serial killer who ran rampage in London in 1888
- Hampstead Village: an old-fashioned neighbourhood with beautiful Georgian houses
- National Maritime Museum: one of the most important maritime museums in the world, where you can also see items salvaged from the wreck of the Titanic. Free entry.
- The Natural History Museum of London: don’t miss the room with the dinosaurs and the other room with the whale skeleton on display. Free entry.
- Borough Market, London’s oldest food market
- Victoria and Albert Museum, the biggest museum of art and design in the world
- Shakespeare Globe’s Theatre, the reconstruction of the Globe Theatre where Shakespeare’s plays were performed
- The Millennium Bridge, which links St Paul’s Cathedral located in the City of London district with the Tate Modern museum on the opposite bank of the Thames
- Trafalgar Square, one of the most famous squares of London.
Other activities to do in London
If you want to try out more unusual activities during your trip to London, I’ve picked out a few for you. Simply click on the orange links for prices and information:
- Hop-on, hop-off double-decker bus or night-time double-decker bus ride to see all the most beautiful spots in London
- Guided tour in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper – This is a certified GetYourGuide Originals, that means you get a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied!
- Guided tour in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes
- James Bond-themed guided walking tour
- Guided tour about Doctor Who TV series
- Climb the roof of the O2 Arena and its walkway suspended 50 metres above ground – panoramic view guaranteed, plus a decent dose of adrenaline!
- Thames Cruise including lunch or dinner
- Luxury dinner cruise with live music
- The London Dungeon, where actors in period costume tell you the scariest stories about the city, with sound and light effects.
- ArcelorMittal Orbit: the world’s highest and longest tunnel slide!
- Ghost Bus Tour: A comedy horror show that will allow you to learn about the creepier side of London.
The 6 Best things to do around London
Harry Potter Studios
Located a few kilometres outside of the capital, Harry Potter Studios is the place were the 8 movies of the franchise were shot.
The Harry Potter Studios are now a real museum, displaying a collection of sets, costumes, objects and artefacts used in the films.
If you want to visit Harry Potter Studios, you really need to book your tour in advance.
The best tour to Harry Potter Studios includes transfers from London, which is a great bonus.
Book your ticket for the Harry Potter Studios, including transport from London, by clicking on the green button below:
Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, is just an hour’s drive from London.
This delightful country town with a mediaeval feel is home to beautiful English cottages, endless fields, and half-timbered houses.
There, you can discover the house where Shakespeare was born as well as the cottage where he lived before heading to London.
The tour to Stratford-upon-Avon also include a trip to the University of Oxford.
You need to book this day trip here:
Oxford is a famous university city located only an hour away by train from London.
You can easily visit the town on foot in a day.
You will love Oxford’s gorgeous architecture, its countless remarkable landmarks, including Christ Church Cathedral, and of course its internationally renowned university!
The trip I just mentioned above (click here) includes a visit to Oxford.
Windsor, located west of London, is another very pretty town just 45 minutes by train from the capital.
In the city, the main attractions is for sure Windsor Castle: you will really enjoy your visit to this residence of the royal family!
To go to Windsor, you have 2 options:
1) Opt for an organized excursion from London that will allow you to discover Windsor, Oxford and Stonehenge. It’s a brilliant trip if you’re short on time and want to see these 3 iconic places!
And because it’s a guided tour, you’ll learn lots of things along the way. You need to book your tour to Windsor by clicking right here.
2) Your other option to visit Windsor is to get there on your own, by train. In that case, you need to book your entrance tickets for Windsor Castle in advance by clicking on the button below:
From London’s King’s Cross station, you can also get to Cambridge with a 45 minute train ride.
Cambridge is simply one of the most beautiful cities outside of London!
With its Gothic architecture and world-renowned university, it’s reminiscent of Oxford.
To visit Cambridge, you have the choice between:
- A Guided walking tour of the city + river cruise
- A Guided tour of the university with entrance to King’s College
- The hop-on hop-off bus
This attractive coastal city is less than an hour by train from London Victoria or from Clapham Junction.
Brighton is famous for its very beautiful pebble beach, pretty cobbled streets and endless choice of seaside restaurants.
While in Brighton, you can also take the opportunity to visit the British Airways i360 viewing tower. A glass viewing pod will take you up to a height of 138 metres to enjoy the view over the whole coastline.
You need to purchase your tickets by clicking here.
The London districts you should visit
To help you find your way around London, here’s a recap of the different districts and what you shouldn’t miss in each of them.
The iconic district of London, the heart of the UK’s history and politics. Things to see in Westminster:
- The Palace of Westminster
- Big Ben
- Westminster Abbey
- The London Eye
- Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard
- Hyde Park
- St James Park
- Green Park
- The Tate Britain Museum
- Trafalgar Square
- The National Gallery
The City of London
The business district and the geographical centre of London. Must-see sites in The City:
- Tower Bridge
- The Tower of London
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- The skyscraper nicknamed “The Gherkin” (or “the suppository” depending on who you ask!)
London’s unmissable party and tourist district if you want a night out. What to do in Soho:
- Piccadilly Circus
- Oxford Street
- Covent Garden Market
- London Transport Museum
The trendy and very unique district of London, the kingdom of street art and alternative cultures.
You really need to go to Camden Lock Market!
This area of south London is home to Caribbean, African and Jamaican communities. Brixton points of interest:
- Brixton Academy, to see a jazz concert
- Brixton Village covered market
The exclusive boroughs of London, featuring magnificent pristine white Victorian houses, upmarket boutiques and beautiful green spaces.
Places to visit and things to do in Chelsea and Kensington:
- Holland Park
- The botanical garden at the Chelsea Physic Garden
- The Science Museum
- The Natural History Museum
- The Victoria and Albert Museum
- Kensington Palace
The fashionable and cosmopolitan district of London, with its pastel-coloured façades made famous by the film of the same name – “Notting Hill”.
There, you can also discover:
- The flea and antiques market at Portobello Road
- Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place every year in August
- The colourful streets of Hillgate Place, Callcott Street, Colville Terrace, Lancaster Road and Westbourne Grove
A small, out-of-the-way borough of London known for its remarkable architecture, Victorian and Georgian landmarks, large tree-lined parks and beautiful walks you can take along the Thames.
The best way to get there is by boat.
Here are the best places to visit in Greenwich:
- The Cutty Sark, a huge sailing ship built in 1869. One of the most robust and fastest vessels of the time, it has now been converted into a museum.
- The Greenwich Meridian, at the Royal Observatory
- The National Maritime Museum
- Greenwich Market
- The magnificent view over London from the observatory
A luxury residential and commercial area of London with grand residences, top hotels, exclusive boutiques and expensive fashion stores.
Best Things to do in London with kids
London is a great destination for a familly trip!
Here are a few ideas of things to do with your kids in London:
- Take them to Kidzania, where they can have a go at jobs they want to do when they grow up, whether that’s an airline pilot, doctor, chef or fireman – and that’s just for starters!
- The Sea Life aquarium, with its 500 different species
- Ticket for the Shrek’s Adventure Tour at Dreamworks: You’ll go in search for Shrek in an amazing highly interactive 4D world
- Speedboat trip on the Thames, specially designed for families
- Ticket for Legoland theme park, including transport from London
- Walks in Hyde Park, Regent’s Park or St Paul’s James Park. Your children are sure to enjoy a picnic on the lawn, and meeting the grey squirrels.
- Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, followed by Buckingham Palace are definitely must-see attractions during a family holiday in London. They are close to one an other and can easily be visited on foot.
- A stroll along the banks of the Thames is also a lovely thing to do with kids.
- Spend at least one evening in Soho, to see the gigantic screens at Piccadilly Circus, have dinner as a family in a restaurant, before going to see a family musical if your budget allows.
How many days in London?
London is a huge city and you can’t see everything in one trip, unless you spend several weeks there.
A few days will give you enough time to discover the most iconic attractions, but remember that even in a week, you’ll still be a long way off knowing London inside out.
In order for you to make the most of your stay, here are my suggested itineraries for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 days or even 1 week in London.
Of course you’ll need to adapt these itineraries to your own preferences and to the time of year. In winter, if it’s raining (which, I’ll be honest, happens quite a lot in London), you’ll be spending more time in museums than in the parks for example.
1 day in London
One day in London isn’t very long, but it’s enough to see some of the city’s main attractions. You’ll have to stick to the must-see sites and stay in the city centre where the most iconic landmarks are located.
For your day in London, you should:
- Walk to the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben
- Visit Westminster Abbey
- Watch the Changing of the Guard at 11.00 am on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace
- See Trafalgar Square
- Spend an hour or two at the National Gallery
- Take a trip on the London Eye and view the city from up high
- Visit the Tate Britain and/or the Tate Modern (connected by a shuttle boat)
2 days: A weekend in London
If you’ve decided to spend 2 days in London, you can follow the itinerary above for the first day and add for your 2nd day:
- A morning in Camden Town to explore the market
- A stroll in Regent’s Park
- If you love mummies and hieroglyphics, spend a few hours discovering the collections of the British Museum
- Visit the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels and more
- Walk across Tower Bridge
- Go to the top of “The Shard” panoramic tower.
You’ll find all the details you need to plan your 2-day trip to London in my article: 2 days in London.
3 days in London
You have the chance to spend 3 days in London?
You should do the 2-day programme mentioned above and add these activities for your 3rd day:
- Spend the morning in Notting Hill to discover Portobello Road Market, then take a stroll through the streets
- Visit the magnificent Natural History Museum
- A picnic in Hyde Park
- A bit of shopping on Oxford Street
- A stroll around Soho
- Take a look at Piccadilly Circus
- End the day at Covent Garden
Spending 3 days in London? You can find detailed information in my guide: 3 days in London.
4 days in London
If you have 4 days in London, you can start to take your time and really soak up the ambience and beauty of the city.
Take a look at the must-see attractions for 3 days and add these ideas for your 4th day.
- Take a walk in Hampstead Village
- Beatles fans should not miss a trip to Abbey Road and its legendary pedestrian crossing
- Go to Madame Tussauds museum and its ultra-realistic wax statues
- Visit St Paul’s Cathedral
- Walk around the City to discover London’s business district
You can find a detailed itinerary with all the best places to visit in London in 4 days in my article: 4 days in London.
5 days in London
What a great opportunity if you have 5 whole days to spend in London!
You can follow my suggestions for the 4-day itinerary and add the following for your 5th day:
- Explore the borough of Chelsea, the London of artists
- Take a cruise on the Thames, to discover London from another angle
- Head to Greenwich for a change of atmosphere and a stroll in the magnificent park
- Visit the Maritime Museum, then enjoy a photo opportunity with one foot on each side of the Greenwich Meridian
You’ll find all the details you need to organize your 5-day trip to London in my article: How to spend 5 days in London.
1 week in London
One week in London means you’ll be able to visit the 20 must-see attractions I talk about in this guide!
And you’ll even have time to go on a day trip around London.
If you like Harry Potter’s universe of magic, you should definitely visit the Harry Potter Studios! You need to book your day trip to the studios by clicking on the button below:
Another really nice excursion you can do from London takes you to the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, that you can easily visit in a day. You can book it right here.
And if you have one more day left, you can for example visit Windsor Castle or the cities of Oxford, Cambridge or Brighton. These 4 cities are very easy to visit from London, as you can get there in less than an hour by train.
As you can see, there’s plenty of things to do in and around London in a week!
You can find all the details you need for your 7 days in London in my dedicated article: 1 week in London.
Where to stay in London
As you’d expect in a major tourist city, the prices charged by hotels in central London are pretty high. You thus really need to book in advance to get the best rates.
If you already know your travel dates, you should book your accommodation now!
- The Chamberlain: Close to Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the banks of the Thames. This British-style hotel offers cosy, comfortable double rooms from 120€ per night, breakfast 12€. Strong points: a smartphone is made available, excellent locations, the welcoming staff and the comfortable bed linen. It’s my favourite for its excellent value for money!
- Hotel Indigo London – Kensington: This hotel is in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and very close to a tube station. Well-equipped, quiet and warm double room from 200€, breakfast from 19€. Strong points: the quiet area, cosy ambience cosy, the smiling and efficient staff.
- Haymarket Hotel, Firmdale Hotels: 5* hotel close to London’s “theatreland”, minutes on foot from St James Park and 15 minutes from Buckingham Palace. Really comfortable, spacious and quiet double room from 390€ per night, breakfast 20€. Strong points: perfect location, charming staff and excellent bed linen. The best choice for a romantic stay in London!
- The Soho Hotel, Firmdale Hotels: A luxury hotel right in the heart of London, 5 minutes from Oxford Street and Soho, and just 10 minutes from Piccadilly Circus. Really spacious designer and magnificently decorated double room from 500€ per night, breakfast 29€. Strong points: the perfect geographical location, magnificent bedrooms, the sumptuous breakfast. The best hotel in London for a luxury stay!
If you prefer a London hotel that isn’t too expensive, you should check out the “Z Hotel” chain. You can find them in lots of different areas of London, and prices start of 60€ per night. They’re the best bet for budget accommodation in London.
- The Z Hotel Shoreditch
- The Z Hotel Gloucester Place
- The Z Hotel City
- The Z Hotel Victoria
- The Z Hotel Piccadilly
- The Z Hotel Soho
And you, what do you plan to do in London?
🚗 Rent a car
🗽 Book entrance tickets and guided visits
🏄 Book your sports activities
🚤 Book your rental boat
🌍 Take a travel insurance
🙎 Book a tour
🚅 Book your train tickets
✈️ Book your flight
You’re traveling to England? These articles will help you !
Discover all my articles about London: All my articles to help you plan your trip to England are listed there.