If you’re looking for things to do in London and want to visit all of the iconic spots, then here is a London bucket list guide.
1. Tower Bridge
This is easily the most recognisable landmark in the city and top of most peoples London bucket list!
The world famous Tower Bridge has become a massively iconic symbol of London. As well as one of the most photographed landmarks around the globe.
Built between 1886 and 1894, it’s a combined bascule and suspension bridge, connecting Southwark to Tower Hamlets.
Crossing over the River Thames, close to the Tower of London, it is sometimes confused with London Bridge. This is actually just half a mile upstream and definitely not as grand!
If you want to get a close view of the bridge from the River Thames the Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise is a great option.
Tower Bridge is a great place to start if you only have one day in London.
2. Tower Of London
The Tower Of London is a historic castle located on the North side of Tower Bridge. For any history lovers, this is a natural stop off on your London bucket list.
Best accessible from Tower Hill Underground Station, the Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times, and controlling it has been important to controlling the country.
It’s possible to wander around the outside of this majestic building and get some great photos. However, if you are really interested in the history, and maybe want a peek at the Crown Jewels, you need to get inside.
Open daily from 10am – 5.30pm (with last admissions at 5pm) tickets are not cheap starting at £24.70 per adult.
I recommend booking a Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket in advance.
Alternatively the Tower of London and Tower Bridge Early-Access Tour is a good option.
3. The Shard
You can actually see the Shard whilst crossing over Tower Bridge and London’s highest and best viewpoint is situated at the top of The Shard.
Access to the 244m high observatories on floors 68, 69 and 72 will cost you around £32 per adult.
If visiting amazing viewpoints is your thing, then this is definitely one for the London bucket list!
We recommend booking your The Shard Entry Ticket in advance.
Although if you want to make an evening of it you can try one of their six restaurants and bars.
Make sure you book in advance though, because as you can imagine they’re rather popular spots.
Also, for all tourists visiting London, I recommend purchasing a Go City London Pass.
These are a great way of saving money when visiting multiple tourist attractions during your stay in London.
4. The London Eye
Standing at roughly 135 metres in height the London Eye receives more visitors per year than the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids of Giza combined.
The famous ferris wheel is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom. With over 3.75 million visitors annually.
With a variety of tickets and experiences available, the most simple being The London Eye: Standard or Fast-Track Entry Ticket it’s best to book in advance.
You can also find combo’s such as the London Eye and Madame Tussauds Combo Ticket or the Madame Tussauds, London Eye & SEA LIFE Combo Ticket.
Each one adding a big tick to their things to do in London bucket list.
5. Buckingham Palace
Home to the royals, Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom.
You can’t visit London and not have the world famous Buckingham Palace on your bucket list!
Tourists flock daily to take photos from the outside of the royal walls. Although, it is in fact possible to get inside Buckingham Palace for a couple of months each year.
Between July – September each year the State Rooms are opened to the public. You can book your Buckingham Palace: The State Rooms Entrance Tickets in advance.
Another great tour that includes Buckingham Palace is the Changing of the Guard Walking Tour.
You can take in the highlights of this world famous ceremony. As well as follow the guards journey to Buckingham Palace whilst getting all the info on the British Royal Family.
6. Changing Of The Guards
If you’re looking for some true British ‘pomp and ceremony’, then Changing of the Guards has to be on your London bucket list. This historical tradition takes place on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
Dating back to the reign of King Henry VII, Changing of the Guards is where the King’s Guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace to the New Guard.
This is also where you will see soldiers wearing the famous bearskin headdress. Introduced following the battle of Waterloo in 1815, the idea was to make the soldiers appear taller and more intimidating.
Musical support, provided by a Regimental Band, adds to the ceremonial atmosphere. This colourful ceremony, which is free to watch, takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 11am and last around 45 minutes.
Alternatively, you could book a Changing of the Guard Walking Tour. This takes you along on the guards journey to Buckingham Palace, whilst giving you all the info on the British Royal Family.
7. Trafalgar Square
Exploring spectacular Trafalgar Square, one of the most iconic sites in London, has to be on the bucket list of things to do in London.
Built to commemorate Lord Horatio Nelson’s victory against Napoleon’s navy at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Hence, at its centre, you’ll see the towering Nelson’s Column with four large bronze lions sitting at its base.
In addition, either side of this are the two large, world famous Trafalgar Square fountains. You may have seen them featured in New Year celebrations, when Trafalgar Square becomes packed with revellers.
The square is also surrounded by stunning architecture including the impressive National Gallery building. As well as St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Admiralty Arch and the Mall, Whitehall and the Canadian Embassy.
The majority of people use Trafalgar Square as a starting point for the Westminster City area of London.
However, if you fancy seeing Trafalgar Square in a different light, London by Night Sightseeing Open-Top Bus Tour will take you via this iconic spot when it’s beautifully lit up.
8. St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is a historical landmark that tops most people’s London bucket list and is one of the ‘stand-out’ sights in London.
Famous for its intricate dome, you really have to step inside and see the interior to fully appreciate this amazing building.
Apart from walking in the footsteps of royalty, you can also ascend the dome for spectacular views. As well as head down to the fascinating crypt and so much more.
Standing at 111 metres high, St Paul’s was once the tallest building in London. Interestingly, the dome remains among the highest in the world.
The second largest church in the UK it plays an important landmark in the city of London and has to be one of the best things to do in London.
We recommend booking your St Paul’s Cathedral Entry Ticket in advance to explore this beautiful cathedral.
9. Millennium Bridge
Opened in 2020, Millennium Footbridge, (officially known as the London Millennium Bridge) is a pedestrian, steel suspension bridge, stretching 325m over the River Thames.
It sits between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge and links Bankside with the city of London.
When first opened, it famously had a significant sway that saw it closed within 2 days. Happily, this was quite quickly remedied but ‘the wobbly bridge’ nickname remains!
The bridge offers awesome views of the River Thames and some of London’s most prominent landmarks. Therefore, the perfect place to get some iconic London photos.
There’s actually said to be a good ‘arty ‘shot you can get of St Paul’s Cathedral, framed by the supports of the bridge.
Alternatively, to see the bridge from a different perspective you could take a Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise.
10. Sky Garden
Sky Garden is, as the name suggests, pretty much a garden in the sky. It’s located at the top of one of Londons newest skyscrapers at 20 Fenchurch Street in the heart of the city.
Affectionately known as the Walkie-Talkie, due its shape, this impressive building sits on the north bank of the River Thames.
Occupying the top three floors of this 160 metre skyscraper, Sky Garden, with its floor to ceiling glass windows, offers fantastic 360° views across London.
From here can see many of London’s famous landmarks. Including, The Shard, The Gherkin, Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and more.
As well as the great views, there is a lush, foliage-filled garden area to enjoy. Plus two restaurants, three bars and an open-air terrace looking out across the River Thames.
Open 7 days a week, it’s free to visit. However, a limited number of tickets are available each day, so it’s best to book in advance.
Officially known as ‘The Monument to the Great Fire of London’, this imposing, 202 foot high column is more commonly known as just ‘Monument’.
Located at the junction of Monument street and Fish street, it’s hard to miss! Designed by the renowned Sir Christopher Wren and Dr Robert Hooke, it was built between 1671 and 1677.
It stands as a permanent reminder of one of the most significant events in the history of London. As such, it has to be on the London bucket list.
The Great Fire of London began in Pudding Lane on the 2nd September 1666. Just 202 feet from the site of Monument today.
You can actually enter Monument and climb a narrow staircase to reach the top of the column. From here you can enjoy some spectacular, panoramic views across the city.
For easy access, Monument is one of the attractions you can choose from with the Go City Explorer Pass with 75+ Tours and Attractions. Valid for 60 days you can choose from 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 top London attractions.
Alternatively, if you want to learn more about the famous fire, The Great Fire Historic Private Walking Tour will give you all the info.
12. Houses of Parliament
Also located in the borough of Westminster, close to Westminster Abbey, are the Houses of Parliament.
Officially named the Palace of Westminster, this building also tops the London bucket list for many visitors.
Stretching elegantly along the banks of the River Thames, the current Houses of Parliament were built in 1834. Significantly, it is where the two houses of the UK parliament (House of Commons and House of Lords) meet.
This is the perfect place to visit to immerse yourself in the living history of British democracy. Or you may just want to get inside and see the beautiful and historically important interior.
One of the most popular tours is the Guided Tour of Houses of Parliament & Westminster which also includes Westminster Abbey.
Another great way of seeing all the buildings in this area is on a Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise.
13. Big Ben
Big Ben is the iconic British clock tower that is recognised the world over. In fact, it’s often used in the opening shots of any films based in London.
Standing proudly at the north end of the Houses of Parliament, Elizabeth Tower is the official name of Big Ben.
Big Ben is actually the nick-name for the largest of the towers five bells. However, this name is now also used to refer to the clock and clock tower.
You can’t visit London and not have ‘seeing and hearing’ Big Ben on you bucket list. Listen out for the chimes at each quarter of the hour and then the big one on the hour!
To see the top tourist attractions including a stop at Big Ben, timed to hear the bells, the London’s Top Sights: Walking Tour with Local Guide is a good option.
In addition, with a long renovation project just coming to a close, access to Big Ben is possible once more. Opening in July 2023, tickets are £25 per adult.
14. Peek Inside A Red Phone Box
Despite a reduction in their numbers, the old red telephone boxes are still a familiar sight on the streets of London. (Nowadays, they are kept in service mainly for emergencies.)
Moreover, like the red post box and red London bus, they are recognised the world-over as iconic London symbols.
First seen on the streets of London in 1926, they were used solely in the capital initially. With only a few erected elsewhere under special circumstances.
So, as you’re passing, take a peek inside a red phone box. You will be transported back to the days pre mobile phones!
In addition, they offer some fun photo opportunities, with their bright red colour and glass panelled doors. A big tick for the London bucket list.
Located in the borough of Westminster, the world famous Westminster Abbey is a well recognised, historical landmark.
In fact, with over a thousand years of history, it is a designated World Heritage Site and is definitely on most peoples London bucket list.
Westminster Abbey is a stunning building, inside and out ,and if you’re interested in architecture and history, this is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in London.
The Abbey is open to visitors Monday to Saturday (outside of religious events) 9.30am – 3.30pm. Entry starts at £27 for adults at Westminster Abbey Entrance Ticket.
Alternatively, for a few pounds, more the Westminster Abbey Guided Tour (optional Parliament) will give you all the interesting facts!
16. Royal Observatory Greenwich
Greenwich is worthy of a day itself on the London bucket list, with so many unique things to do in Greenwich on offer.
The observatory itself is situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames to the north.
Pop inside to learn about Greenwich Mean Time. This is where the very concept of global time was established at the Royal Observatory.
There’s plenty to see in the Royal Observatory, with regular Planetarium shows and Observatory events taking place. As well as the historic buildings, exhibitions, intricate clocks and lots more to discover.
Open daily from 10am – 5pm, tickets start at £18 per adult. However, booking a Royal Observatory Greenwich Entrance Ticket in advance is recommended as it reduces the price.
In addition, at the right time of year, if you plan your visit to finish around sunset you can enjoy sweeping sunset views across the city, as far as St Paul’s Cathedral and beyond.
Located in Knightsbridge, Harrods is one of the largest and most famous department stores in the world. As such, it makes it to top of many visitors things to do in London bucket list.
Occupying a 5 acre site and stretching over 8 floors, it has over 300 departments and is home to over 5000 brands. Including designer fashion, luxury beauty, jewellery, watches, furniture, fine food and much more.
However, you could just pop in, have a browse and enjoy the lavish architecture whilst rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous.
Or, with 20 different cafes and restaurants, you could stop and enjoy some refined refreshments. They also have some great little souvenirs available throughout the store.
If you fancy a cream tea, the London Vintage Bus Tour and Cream Tea at Harrods is a good combination.
Two other famous London stores that are worth a visit are Selfridges in Oxford Street. This is another large, upmarket department store.
Also, the renowned Hamleys Toy Store in Regent street. Here you can expect a magical experience whatever your age!
Located on the edge of the West End, Covent Garden is London’s main theatre and entertainment area. Also one of our favourite spots!
This vibrant area attracts thousands of visitors daily and can’t be missed off the London bucket list.
Once home to a world-famous fruit and vegetable market, Covent Garden’s Apple Market still continues to support local market traders.
The Covent Garden area now consists of high-end fashion stores, local craft stalls, upmarket restaurants, cafes, theatres and of course the famous Royal Opera House.
Covent Garden is a great place to shop, especially if you are looking for that unique little gift. You are sure to find something special on one of the many independent market stalls.
It’s also the perfect spot to grab something to eat, see a show or just relax and enjoy the famous and talented street entertainers found in this area.
Fun Fact: Covent Garden is the only district in London to have a license for street performers and entertainers.
19. Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is most commonly known for its iconic Coca Cola sign that began advertising on their billboards in 1954.
However, high on the London bucket list for many visitors is a selfie with the famous Eros statue in the centre of Piccadilly Circus!
This road junction and public space, located in London’s West End, was built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with Piccadilly.
Although since the circus is close to major shopping and entertainment areas in the West End, its status as a major traffic junction has made Piccadilly Circus a busy meeting place and a tourist attraction in its own right.
For great views of all the best spots in London including Piccadilly, why not take a Tootbus London Discovery Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour with audio guide included.
20. Oxford & Regent Street
Oxford Street is Europe’s busiest shopping street, with around half a million daily visitors. Ramping up dramatically at certain times of the year like Christmas!
With the majority of tourists in the capital on the hunt for either high end London fashion, or typical UK souvenirs, Oxford Street is high on most peoples London bucket list.
Oxford Street is connected directly to Piccadilly Circus via Regent Street, another of the most popular shopping streets in the city.
Along the slightly more upmarket Regent Street, you’ll find plenty of international brands such as Apple, Calvin Klein and Burberry. As well as the beautiful upscale department store Liberty’s and of course the famous Hamleys toy store.
Don’t forget you can take the Tootbus London Discovery Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour to get to and around all these places.
21. Carnaby Street
One of the most popular shopping and dining streets in the West End, Carnaby Street is an iconic symbol of London.
This was THE place to be seen in the swinging sixties and remains high on the London bucket list for many visitors.
Located in the busy area of Soho, Carnaby Street is located just a stones throw from Oxford and Regent street.
Although Carnaby Street is more well known for its vast amount of independent fashion boutiques.
Another great way to see all the best spots like this in London is on a City Highlights Bike Tour.
All Chinatowns are good, however Chinatown in London is a foodies heaven!
The tourists come to eat in Chinatown from all over the world.
With so many restaurants to choose from, many offering different styles, stopping for a dim sum or traditional crispy duck is a must.
The best of Chinatown Food Tour is one of the top rated in the area.
One of my personal favourite spots is Bunsik for some Authentic Korean Street Food, including traditional Korean corn dogs.
Hanging lanterns, matched with tai chi on the streets, makes it really feel like China. Plus the hustle and bustle and food hanging in windows is certainly and Asian experience.
23. Leicester Square
Located in the heart of London’s West End, Leicester Square is the home of entertainment and film in the city of London. Making it top of the bucket list of things to do in London for many visitors.
Leicester Square is filled with street performers, shops, bars, clubs, casinos, restaurants. It also often holds different events throughout the year like its famous Christmas Market.
Moreover, it’s recognised around the world for its star-studded, red carpet film premieres that take place regularly during the year.
In fact, if you like your films, there are plenty of famous movie icons immortalised in bronze around the square to check out. Including Laurel & Hardy, Mary Poppins, Batman, Paddington Bear, Harry Potter and many more.
Not forgetting, Leicester Square Gardens in the centre of Leicester Square. Surrounded by trees, this lovely green oasis has seating, statues and a fountain. The perfect spot to stop and take a break.
Located to the north of the city, this is a popular tourist destination, easily reached by jumping on the tube.
Known for its hip markets, colourful shops, street art, diverse foods and lots of live music. Camden Town has a busy, friendly and bohemian vibe that draws people to it and is a must for the London bucket list.
Amongst all the hustle and bustle, don’t miss Camden Lock. Sitting on the Regents Canal, people gather here to relax and watch the brightly coloured narrow boats slowly passing through.
If you like the look of the narrow boats and fancy a cruise, you could even book a Canal Boat Ride on Camden Lock.
Another really interesting place is the old horse stables. A maze of tunnels and arches, it’s now part of Camden Market. In fact you can still see original mangers and hay racks if you look carefully.
Camden Town is the perfect place to take a wander through the eclectic mix of shops and markets. As well as eat, catch some live music or just people watch.
25. Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill is a charming, bohemian area in north west London. Full of colourful old houses, quirky shops and cosy coffee bars, it’s a favourite haunt of celebrities.
However, the name ‘Primrose Hill’ is not only the name of the residential district but also to the hill in the local park.
This pretty, grade II listed public park, was purchased from Eton College in 1841. Following which it became a park for Londoners, to give them access to fresh air and green space.
At the top of the grassy hill is one of six protected viewpoints in London. At almost 63 metres above sea level, it offers the most spectacular views across London.
If the weather is nice, this is the perfect place to take a picnic, sit back and enjoy the city views. You’ll be surprised at how many landmarks you can pick out.
From nearby London Zoo to Big Ben, the BT Tower, the London Eye, the Shard and as far as Crystal Palace on the horizon.
Notting Hill is one of the most photographed areas in London. And the Notting Hill colourful houses are a huge reason as to why.
However, you’ll also find it high on the London bucket list for fans of the 1999 hit film Notting Hill. An award winning romantic comedy with many scenes filmed in this area.
The most famous spot when it comes to pastel walls and ‘future home’ goals is Hillgate Place. As well as the side streets surrounding it, such as Farm Place and Callcott Street.
Hillgate Place is located just a short 5 minute walk from Notting Hill Gate Underground Station. So the colourful houses are super easy to find.
Other popular spots to find Notting Hill colourful houses are Lancaster Road, Clarendon Road and of course the famous Portobello Road.
To visit all the iconic spots and discover the real Notting Hill, you could book a Notting Hill Walking Tour with a local expert guide.
27. Portobello Road
Portobello Road, in West London’s Notting Hill area, is home to the world famous Portobello Road Market.
Dating back to the 19th century, Portobello is one of London’s oldest markets. As well as one of the world’s largest antique, bric-a-brac and vintage clothing markets.
Visitors flock here in their millions every year to wander through the shops and stalls searching for treasures or just soaking up the atmosphere.
You will find an eclectic range of wares on offer in Portobello Road. From antiques, furniture, stamps, jewellery, vintage clothing and fresh produce to street food and much more.
This colourful, vibrant and diverse area of the city makes the bucket list of most visitors to London and is undoubtedly worth seeing.
Fun fact – Portobello Road featured in the hit 1999 movie Notting Hill, starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.
28. Neal’s Yard
To see one of the coolest and prettiest little areas in London, don’t miss Neal’s Yard off your bucket list.
Tucked away between Shorts Gardens and Monmouth Street in Covent Garden is a small alley. Follow this and it opens into the colourful and picturesque Neal’s Yard.
This little hidden gem is home to a treasure trove of small independent bars, cafes, restaurants and shops. Including the well known Neal’s Yard Remedies and the delightful St John Bakery that have THE best doughnuts!
Apart from being an instagram hotspot (for those in the know), this is a great place to shop or find some top class food and drink.
With pretty seating areas provided, it’s the perfect little getaway where you can relax for a while, away from the hustle and bustle.
29. Little Venice
Located just north of Paddington in London, Little Venice is home to pretty, tree lined canals which are surrounded by lots of attractive, period buildings. Perfect for the London bucket list.
This picturesque and affluent neighbourhood spreads around the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal, the Regents Canal and Paddington Basin.
The area is home to some quirky waterside cafes, restaurants and pubs. As well as several floating businesses, including the London Waterbus, an art gallery and a charming hotel boat.
With canals lined with brightly coloured narrow boats and house boats, this is the ideal place for a relaxing stroll. You will probably forget you are in a busy city as you walk around the tranquil waterways.
If you’d rather be ON the water, the Canal Boat Ride on Camden Lock would be a good choice. It takes you along the canal, past London Zoo, Regents Park and Little Venice.
If you like street art, then Shoreditch in the East End of London, is definitely the place to head to. You will find amazing, ever-changing murals and art works on every surface available.
London’s street art originated in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was when street artists were influenced by the punk rock and skinhead movements. Continually evolving, street art has now become a recognised and respected art form.
Many pieces, like the original street art, relate to the culture and history of the area. With a number used to express beliefs or make statements meant to be thought provoking.
The Shoreditch neighbourhood attracts local and international talent who create some of the best street art in the world. They really are stunning and a few of them incredibly large!
You won’t have to walk far to see one after another awesome displays of street art in Shoreditch. Don’t forget to wander down the side alleys too, as the ones that are tucked away are just as amazing!
If you would prefer a guide to make sure you don’t miss anything, the Ultimate Shoreditch Street Art Tour is a good option.
31. Brick Lane
Diverse and vibrant Brick Lane, in the heart of London’s East End, is worthy of a place on your London bucket list.
Stretching over 3/4 of a mile, this historic neighbourhood is known for its food markets, curry houses, spectacular street art and vintage clothing.
As well as street performers, some great places to stop and have a coffee, craft-beer or a cocktail and some lively music venues.
However, if you are a lover of all things vintage, Brick Lane is a must!
In fact, it’s home to Atika London, one of the largest vintage stores in London. Spread over 2 storeys of an old Victorian warehouse, it stocks everything from homeware to fashion and much more.
For a real bargain, Vintage Basement, has some great vintage fashion pieces at really good prices.
For something a little pricier, with perhaps a brand name, Seratonin Vintage and Here After have some real gems.
Not forgetting, Brick Lane Vintage Market in the old Truman Brewery. Open every day, it attracts vintage specialists from across the Uk and Europe, selling a variety of wares.
Exploring Brick Lane and everything it has to offer is definitely one of the best things to do in London.
32. Kew Gardens
Beautiful Kew Gardens is London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site and scientific research centre. It’s also famous for being home to the world’s most diverse collection of living plants.
Less than 30 minutes from central London in the Borough of Richmond, it’s easily reached by Tube, train and London Overground. So, no excuse to not have it on your London bucket list.
There’s plenty to explore, including stunning themed gardens, enormous glasshouses, fascinating treetop walkways, the opulent Kew Palace and the Great Pagoda. As well as a botanical art gallery and library.
Covering an area of 326 acres, you’ll probably need 3-4 hours at least to make the most of the gardens, with lots of people choosing to stay all day.
If you are going to spend the day, why not take a picnic and enjoy it in the beautiful surroundings. Alternatively, there are on-site cafes and restaurants serving up some tasty cuisine.
Entry prices vary depending on the time of year. For more info see Kew Gardens Admission Ticket.
Film, Theatre & Music
33. Platform 9¾
A popular thing for any tourist to do in London, is to hunt out Harry Potter filming locations around the capital.
The most popular Harry Potter spot is of course Platform 9¾, which is located at King’s Cross Station.
Even those that aren’t huge fans of the movie franchise will recognise the brick wall that Harry Potter & his fellow wizards run through to depart for Hogwarts.
Another popular spot is Leadenhall Market, just a 10 minute walk from the Tower Of London.
Leadenhall Market, which first appears in the film Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, is where Diagon Alley was transformed. The place that gave Harry his first look into the world of wizardry.
The covered market in London, is home to high end fashion brands and cosy restaurants scattered among the cobblestones.
If you’re a true Harry Potter fan and want to make a day of it, it may be worth booking a Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour.
Otherwise Warner Bros. Studio London is one of the most popular Harry Potter attractions in the city. Where you get to see behind the scenes of these famous movies.
Just be sure to book your Ticket to Warner Bros. Studio Tour with transfer in advance.
34. West End Shows
West End Show is a common term for a mainstream professional show, staged in the large theatres in and around the West End of London.
Along with New York City’s Broadway theatre, West End theatres are usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
There are plenty of shows and theatres to choose from and you will see many of the shows advertised all over London’s underground.
A few of our favourites are the long running Lion King, Wicked and Disney’s Aladdin!
The best place for cheap tickets can be found at TodayTix here.
Whether you’re looking for a Fun Date Idea In London or somewhere to take the family, this will do the job!
35. The Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House in London is one of the most famous opera houses in the world. Located in Covent Garden, you can’t miss this majestic building, with its pillared frontage and beautiful glass atrium.
Built in 1858, this is the third theatre to be built on this site following devastating fires at the previous two. Although extensive reconstruction was carried out on the current ROH in 1990.
You may already be a fan of opera, ballet or both, and, if so, I would imagine that visiting the Royal Opera House is already on your London bucket list.
If not, I can highly recommend it as one of the best things to do in London. Just seeing inside this beautiful building, where so many famous performances have taken place, will take your breath away.
However, you can’t help but be even more impressed by the massive talent of the performers at an actual ballet or opera. They will captivate and draw you in with the stories they tell.
There is no formal dress code. The Royal Opera House says that they ‘want everyone to feel comfortable and able to engage with what is happening on stage’.
So, no excuses. If you’ve never been to a ballet or opera before, give it a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
36. Shakespeare’s Globe
Located on the south bank of the River Thames, Shakespeare’s Globe is a reconstruction of the original Elizabethan playhouse that Shakespeare wrote plays for.
Founded by American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is resource dedicated to exploration of Shakespeare’s work.
This is great place to visit and enjoy a theatrical performance, especially if you are a lover of Shakespeare’s work. Or just have a look around and soak up the history.
For an interesting and historical tour, the Booze, Brothels & the Bard: London’s Bawdy Borough is good value for money. A two hour tour, it takes you through a thousand years of English history, including a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe.
Bear in mind, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is an open-air playhouse, so most of the shows take place between the months of April and October.
37. Abbey Road
Abbey Road is a road in St Johns Wood, north west London that houses the world renowned Abbey Road Recording Studios.
It is also home to probably the most photographed zebra crossing in the world, famously used on the cover of a Beatles album.
Abbey Road Studios have been at the heart of the UK music industry since 1931. They are probably most well known though as being the creative base for the 1960s band the Beatles.
Therefore, if you are a Beatles fan, Abbey Road has to be on your London bucket list of things to do.
You may even want to re enact the iconic zebra crossing photo. However, watch out for traffic if trying this!
These studios have also been used, not only by the Beatles, but many of the world’s most celebrated artists. Including Pink Floyd, U2, Oasis, Radiohead, Yehudi Menuhin, Placido Domingo, Maria Callas and many, many more.
If you love the Beatles, The Beatles London Walking Tour is one of the most popular tours. It visits Abbey Road and other iconic Beatles spots.
38. Visit The Markets
Who doesn’t love a market?
With so many to choose from, these are a few of our favourites –
Quirky and bohemian Camden Market has a unique, creative and friendly vibe that makes it top of everyones bucket list.
Along with the interesting stalls and bars, Camden Market is famous for its enormous choice of foods, with cuisine from every corner of the world being served here.
Spitalfields Market is one of London’s oldest markets. Once home to a successful fruit and vegetable market, it’s now home to over 100 stalls showcasing local creatives, artisans and independent retailers.
Definitely the place to visit if you are looking for something a little quirky or different.
Sitting under beautiful old railway arches, Borough Market in Southwark is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London.
The smells and colours of this famous market will delight your senses before you even try any delicious food stuffs!
However, we’ll leave you to decide which market to add to your London bucket list.
If you’re looking for a detailed guide, Time Out has a great article on the best markets in London.
39. Visit The Museums
One of the most interesting things to do in London, if you have time, is to educate yourselves at the museums!
The city is full of great museums, these are a few of our favourites –
The British Museum documents the story of human culture, from its beginning to present day. Furthermore, its collection of over eight million works is the largest in the world.
The Natural History Museum is home to a vast range of natural history collections. Housing some 80 million items that include animals, plants, fungi, palaeontology, geology, ecosystems and much more.
The Science Museum has a fascinating and large collection of science, engineering and math exhibitions and offers a varied range of displays and activities. From the discovery of the light bulb to the exploration of space, it explains it all.
These are just a few of our favourite museums, we’ll leave you to decide which to add to your London bucket list.
If you’re looking for a detailed guide, Visit London has a great article on the top 23 free museums in London.
40. Visit The Parks
The city of London has lots of beautiful large, green spaces that are well worth adding to your bucket list.
These are are some of our favourites parks –
Hyde Park is the most famous park in London, if not one of the most famous parks in the world!
This large, Royal Park has a network of paths that link a variety of gardens, children’s playgrounds, fountains, sculptures and historic sites. Not forgetting the impressive Serpentine Lake that sits within its grounds.
Similar to Hyde Park, Regent’s Park is another one of London’s Royal Parks and is full of pretty gardens, majestic fountains, statues and memorials. As well as a large and popular boating lake and the famous London Zoo sitting at its northern edge.
Another great London Park, Finsbury Park has lots of spacious open areas and walkways as well as a small boating lake. Along with lots of community resources including tennis courts, a skatepark, an outdoor gym and more.
The oldest Royal Park in London is stunning St James’s Park. The main feature of this park is a large lake that is full of wildfowl, as well as having some amazing views of Buckingham Palace, Westminster etc.
These are perfect places to take a walk, have a picnic or just catch your breath amongst the city hustle and bustle.
Alternatively, if you’re short on time, The Royal Parks and Royal Palaces 3.5-Hour Morning Tour bike tour is a great option.
41. Visit The Art Galleries
There are absolutely loads of art galleries to choose from in London and lots of them are free. So, depending on your artistic taste, you’re sure to find one or more that appeal to you.
Located in Trafalgar Square, you have the impressive National Gallery which houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world. If you prefer a tour to get all the info, the Official National Gallery Highlights Guided Tour is popular.
Or, if you are more into contemporary art, the Tate Modern in the Bankside area of London will keep you occupied for hours. Again, if you prefer a tour, the Tate Modern Official Discovery Tour is recommended.
Alternatively, if you fancy something a little different, the relatively new immersive- art experiences are proving to be very popular.
A great example is Frameless Gallery, located in Marble Arch. They have created a magical, multi-sensory experience that makes you feel as if you are stepping inside the actual paintings!
For more information, Entry Ticket to Frameless Immersive Art Experience.
Whatever you choose, a visit to an art gallery has to be on your bucket list of things to do in London.
42. Visit The Palaces
London is home to quite a few magnificent palaces and visiting one of them is a great way of getting up close to the history of the monarchy.
Possibly one of the most famous palaces in London and the world is Buckingham Palace. Sitting within Westminster, this is the official residence of the monarch.
Somewhat smaller but still very impressive, Kensington Palace in Kensington was home for over three centuries to the kings and queens of England.
Then there is St James’s Palace, also in Westminster, which is the most senior royal palace in London. Built by Henry VIII in the early 1530s, this is one of London’s oldest palaces.
Just out of central London in Richmond, opulent Hampton Court Palace was built as an ostentatious display of Henry VIII’s wealth.
These are just some of the palaces in London that you can visit. So, even if you only visit one, make sure that you’ve got ‘visit a palace’ on your London bucket list.
See below for info re various tickets:
43. Visit An English Pub
Famous for its beer drinking and pub-grub, a visit to England wouldn’t be complete without having a pint at a local ‘boozer’.
English pubs are a place to relax and socialise and are definitely something you should experience if you want to get a taste of the local culture.
An integral part of British life, they usually offer a warm and welcoming environment. A great place to catch up with friends, sit at the bar or gather round a table with your drink of choice.
As a result there are old English pubs on nearly every corner in London. Making a visit hard not to tick off on your London bucket list.
In addition, most of the pubs offer a choice of really tasty ‘pub-grub’ with dishes varying from burgers to steaks. Along with, of course, the traditional pub snacks of crisps and peanuts.
If unsure where to start, there are some great pub tours including London: Historical Pub Walking Tour where you can explore some of the city’s most historic pubs and even follow in the footsteps of Dickens!
Be sure to grab a packet of pork scratchings while you’re there!
44. Visit A Roof Top Bar
For the perfect finish for day 3 of your 7 day London Itinerary treat yourself to a visit to one of the many roof top bars spread across the city.
From luxurious lounges to trendy rooftop gardens, you’re sure to find the perfect spot and what better way to view the spectacular London skyline. A couple of my favourites are:
Sushi Samba, located on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower in Bishopsgate, is presently one of the most popular and impressive rooftop bars.
Offering the highest outdoor dining terraces in Europe along with incredible 360° views of the city. Add to this a delicious selection of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine and what’s not to like!
With its floor to ceiling windows, an open bamboo ceiling, artistically placed lighting and lush greenery, Sushi Samba definitely has the ‘wow’ factor.
Alternatively, Sky Garden located at the top of one of Londons newest skyscrapers at 20 Fenchurch Street, is in the heart of the city.
The Fenchurch Restaurant here offers fine dining using British ingredients with Caribbean flavours. Or you also have the choice of three separate bars serving everything from cocktails to champagne.
Occupying the top three floors of this 160 metre skyscraper and with floor to ceiling glass windows,Sky Garden again offers fantastic 360° views across London. As well as an open-air terrace with spectacular views over the River Thames.
45. Visit A Comedy Club
If you like having a fun time that involves lots of laughter, then visiting one of the city’s comedy clubs is a must.
London has probably the largest and best comedy scene in the world. So you are really going to be spoilt for choice.
Venues hosting comedy clubs spread all across London and range from tiny rooms in pubs and clubs to theatres and stadiums. There is always a show going on somewhere!
Prices range from free (donations welcome) at comedy club try-out sessions. All the way up to the more costly shows featuring celebrity comedians that are seen regularly on TV.
There is nothing like having a good laugh to make you feel on top of the world. So make sure you put ‘visit a comedy club’ on your bucket list of things to do in London.
46. Ride A Double Decker Bus
Like New York has its famous yellow taxi cabs, London is famous for red, double decker buses.
Therefore, they undoubtedly have to be on the bucket list of things to do in London.
You will probably have seen one or more of these large red vehicles if you’ve ever watched any films based in London. They are definitely a stand-out symbol of the city.
To Londoners, these double-decker buses are a part of daily life. With over 7,500 London buses daily carrying 6 million passengers on more than 700 different routes!
London buses are all cashless, so you need contactless payment to ride. A single fare is £1.75 and a day of bus-only travel will cost a maximum of £5.25.
You can’t visit London and not jump on one of the many double decker buses you will see as you walk around the city.
If you really want to splash out and put 2 ticks on your London bucket list, you could book a Classic Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. Take afternoon tea on a unique double decker bus tour of London.
47. Ride The London Underground
Another travel experience you can’t miss whilst in the city, is a journey on the famous London Underground.
Also known affectionately by Londoners as ‘The Tube’, it provides one of the quickest and easiest way of getting around the capital.
The first line opened in 1863 and since then the Underground network has grown to 272 stations and 11 lines. Stretching deep into the city’s suburbs and beyond.
The underground is pretty simple to use with tap-in and tap-out card payment. There are also large underground maps in all the stations showing the different, colour coded lines and stops.
However, it can get very busy, especially during rush hour. You’ll also will have to travel up and down on some pretty steep escalators to get to different stations.
That said, you have to take at least one underground journey. Just for the experience and so that you can tick it off your London bucket list.
48. Ride The Cable Cars
For a unique perspective of the city, a ride on the London Cable Cars has to be on the bucket list of things to do in London. (Also called the Emirates Air Line due to being sponsored by them.)
Located in east London, the cable cars travel a 1km distance over the River Thames, taking about 10 minutes. They go between the Royal Docks near Canning Town and the Greenwich Peninsula in North Greenwich.
With the London cable cars being the highest observation point over the Thames (90 metres high), you can expect to experience stunning aerial views of the London skyline.
Riding the cable cars once the sun goes down is also a very popular experience. This is when you get to see the magical sight of the city of London and its famous landmarks lit up.
The cable cars run pretty much all day every day. With opening and closing times varying slightly over weekends and different seasons. An adult ticket starts at £4 one way.
49. Ride The Uber Boat
For an exhilarating way to get around London and see the sights, an Uber Boat ride has to be on your bucket list.
The Thames Uber Boats stop at 23 piers along the River Thames. Running between Woolwich Pier in the East and Putney Pier in the West.
All of the boats, apart from three, provide a fully licensed Café Bar that sells a range of snacks, sandwiches and cakes.
They start from early in the morning until late at night seven days a week. Ticket prices vary but they do offer a value for money River Thames: Uber Boat Hop-On Hop-Off Pass. This gives unlimited, all day travel.
Alternatively, you could combine a River Thames boat trip with a cable car ride at Uber Boat Single Trip and London Cable Car.
Food & Drink
50. Afternoon Tea
If you’re looking for a quintessentially British experience then Afternoon Tea has to be on your London bucket list. Especially when you’re in London as the capital city has hundreds of different venues to choose from.
From luxurious hotels to boats on the River Thames, Afternoon Teas are on offer everywhere. Therefore, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find surroundings that suit you and your pocket!
Afternoon tea traditionally consists of a selection of light sandwiches, cakes and scones served with a pot of tea. However, you usually have the option to add champagne as well.
One of the most popular choices is the Afternoon Tea Cruise on the River Thames .
Or, if you’re looking to really ‘push the boat out’ and enjoy Afternoon Tea in style, I can highly recommend The Savoy Hotel in central London.
51. English Breakfast
In the city of London you will find pretty much every type of cuisine on offer that you could possibly want.
However, if you are looking to try some quintessentially English grub, then this is one of the favourites!
A proper English Fry Up, usually eating at breakfast time, can be a pretty substantial meal.
Consisting of some or all of the following – eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, tomatoes, hash browns, mushrooms, black pudding and toast.
Traditionally washed down with a nice cup of tea, it will probably keep you going all day!
However, if you’re not ready to eat it first thing in the morning, many places serve it all day. Just look out for the signs saying ‘All Day Breakfast Served Here’.
You’ll find various forms of the English fry up served all across London. From back street cafes to swanky pubs and restaurants.
So, make sure trying an English fry up is on your London bucket list.
52. Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips is another firm favourite with Brits and is often referred to as our national dish. Therefore it has to on the London bucket list.
Dating back to the 1860s, both Lancashire and London stake a claim to being the first to invent this famous meal.
Fried fish was being sold in East London and chips were a staple in the north of England. Very quickly somebody decided that putting fried fish with chips was a great combination, hence this tasty dish was born.
Consisting of a fresh piece of fish, deep fried in batter until deliciously crispy and served with steaming hot chips, this is real comfort food. Don’t forget the mushy peas on the side!
It’s often bought as a take-away dish, with many saying it’s best eaten straight from the paper it’s served in. With the addition of plenty of salt and vinegar sprinkled all over.
Although, if you prefer to sit in, you will find it served in varying forms in cafes and restaurants all across London.
53. Pie & Mash
Originating in the dockland area of London during the Victorian era, Pie and Mash is a traditional working class meal.
It typically consists of a minced beef pie, mashed potato and a parsley sauce called liquor. You’ll often hear it called the ‘Cockney classic’.
Up until around the 1990s you would have found a pie and mash shop on most high street throughout London. However, with many more varied fast food outlets opening across the capital, there’s not so many about now.
So when you eat in one of these lovely old tiled shops, you are helping to keep alive an old London tradition.
Pie and mash is loved by many celebrities whose photos you’ll see proudly displayed behind the counters of these shops. David Beckham is said to make regular visits to his favourite pie shop!
If you fancy a tour that includes trying some pie and mash, The Authentic British Food Tour is perfect.
54. Sunday Roast
Not forgetting the very popular Sunday Roast.
This hearty meal, dating back hundreds of years, has traditionally been enjoyed in all English households on a Sunday.
It consists of some form of delicious roast meat accompanied by crispy roast potatoes and a variety of fresh vegetables. Not forgetting the Yorkshire pudding and lots of gravy.
This was the meal that everyone looked forward to and traditionally brought all the family together around the dinner table.
Although called a Sunday roast, lots of London restaurants offer a great roast on any day of the week.
If you want to get the ‘feel’ for a country then trying its favourite dishes is a great option. So, make sure you put some or all of the above on your London bucket list.
If you would prefer an organised tour to try out some traditional foods, the 3-Hour Secret British Food Tour is highly recommend.
The London EDITION is located in central London’s Fitzrovia district, with Oxford Street, Theatreland and Piccadilly Circus all within a 10-minute walk.
Inside, there is a Michelin star restaurant, 2 cocktail bars, a 24-hour front desk, free WiFi and free use of the on-site fitness centre for all guests.
With a view of the vibrant city, each en suite room come with a flat-screen TV and air-conditioning. An iPod docking station, bathrobes and a mini-bar are also provided.
Each evening, the restaurant offers a contemporary British menu using fresh, British produce.
Set within a 20-minute walk fromand boasting a stylish, lounge , Corus Hotel Hyde Park features modern rooms with free WiFi.
The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from Paddington Station, offering a direct train link to Heathrow Airport.
The cosy, air-conditioned bedrooms at Corus Hotel have private en-suite bathrooms and satellite TVs with on-demand movies. Rooms also feature work desks, tea/coffee facilities, iron and ironing boards.
The conservatory brasserie serves a modern European menu using seasonal produce.
Olio Bar offers light snacks and beverages, and overlooks Hyde Park.
Featuring free WiFi, The Queens Hostel offers accommodation in London, just a 2-minute walk to Queens Park Rangers football stadium.
Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Rooms come with a shared bathroom.
You can play tennis at this hostel, and the area is popular for golfing.
For more places to stay in London, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.