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
Easily the most recognisable landmark in the city and top of most peoples things to do in London bucket list!
Built between 1886 and 1894, Tower Bridge is a suspension bridge connecting Southwark bank to Tower Hamlets.
The bridge crosses the River Thames, close to the Tower of London, and has become an iconic symbol of London.
Because of this, Tower Bridge is sometimes confused with London Bridge, which is just half a mile upstream.
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. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 only a couple of months per year.
Between July – September each year the State Rooms are opened to the public and 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.
Take in the highlights of this world famous ceremony and follow the guards journey to Buckingham Palace whilst also learning about the British royal family.
5. Tower Of London
The Tower Of London is a historic castle situated on the North side of Tower Bridge.
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.
For any history lovers, this is a natural stop off on your London bucket list.
Open daily from 10am – 5.30pm (with last admissions at 5pm) tickets are not cheap starting at £24.70 per adult.
Tickets are best booked in advance via the Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket.
Alternatively the Tower of London and Tower Bridge Early-Access Tour is highly recommended.
6. St Paul’s Cathedral
One of the most famous and recognisable sights of London, St Paul’s Cathedral is most commonly known for its intricate dome.
Standing at 111 metres high, it was once the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1967, and the dome is still among the highest in the world.
St Paul’s is the second-largest church building in the United Kingdom, after Liverpool Cathedral, and again a hugely monumental building in the city.
Again, we recommend booking your St Paul’s Cathedral Entry Ticket in advance.
7. 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.
8. Oxford & Regent Street
Oxford Street is Europe’s busiest shopping street, with around half a million daily visitors.
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.
Don’t forget you can take the Tootbus London Discovery Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour to get to all these places.
9. 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.
10. Trafalgar Square
Most recognisable for its famous bronze lions, Trafalgar Square is on the things to do in London bucket list for variety of reasons.
Some visit for the architecture of The National Gallery (art museum) and the surrounding turquoise fountains. Others pay their respects to Nelson’s Column which stands tall as it commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar.
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 is all lit up.
It’s the bustling government area near Buckingham Palace and where to start?
Westminster Abbey, The Houses Of Parliament and Parliament Square are all popular destinations on peoples London bucket list!
The best option is to jump off St. James’s Park underground station and explore. Of course don’t forget to hang around for the chime of Big Ben as it rings from the iconic clock tower every hour, on the hour!
Another great way of seeing this area, especially the Houses of Parliament, is on a Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise.
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, and many offering different styles, trying a dim sum or stopping for 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.
Greenwich Town is worthy of a day itself on the London bucket list, with so many unique things to do in Greenwich on offer.
From the popular Greenwich Market, to the Royal Observatory Greenwich where time was created.
Full of traditional British buildings, as well as locals going about their daily lives, you’ll find a little less tourism and little more community on Greenwich high street.
There’s also the O2, a famous venue for music concerts and events. Although more recently it’s become more popular for the option to Climb The Roof of The O2 Arena.
Our favourite spot in town, is the top Greenwich Park. Situated on top of a hill, you can enjoy sweeping views across the River Thames to St Paul’s Cathedral and beyond.
14. Camden Town
Camden is best described as the ‘alternative’ area of London. Where everyone is accepted and nobody is stared at.
You’ll see all sorts of quirky characters walking around the streets of Camden, as it hosts street markets and music venues daily.
Camden Town is famed for its market, a warren of fashion and curiosities by the Regent’s Canal.
In fact, a popular way to travel to Camden is via Little Venice: Regent’s Canal Waterbus Boat Trip to Camden.
Enjoy a leisurely, one-way guided boat trip, passing by sights such as London Zoo.
15. Covent Garden
Covent Garden is London’s main theatre and entertainment area. Also one of our favourite spots!
This beautiful, bustling area can’t be missed off the London bucket list.
Home to fashion stores, crafts and the Royal Opera House, tourists flock to Covent Garden to watch street entertainers or West End shows.
Once home to the world-famous fruit and vegetable market, Covent Garden’s Apple Market continues to support local market traders.
Fun Fact: Covent Garden is the only district in London to have a license for street performers and entertainers.
16. Visit Harry Potter Film Locations
A popular thing for any tourist to do in London, is to hunt out Harry Potter filming locations around the capital.
Leadenhall Market is just a 10 minute walk from the Tower Of London. A Harry Potter fans must visit!
Leadenhall Market, which first appears in the film Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, is the most popular though and 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.
Another popular Harry Potter spot is of course Platform 9 3/4, which is located at King’s Cross Station.
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 tourist attractions on the city.
Just be sure to book your Ticket to Warner Bros. Studio Tour with Transfer in advance.
17. Check Out The London Markets
Who doesn’t love a market?
With so many to choose from, Camden Market, Borough Market and Brick Lane Market are a few of our favourites. However, we’ll leave you to decide which 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.
18. Visit An English Pub
Famous for its beer drinking and pub grub culture, a visit to England wouldn’t be complete without having a pint at a local boozer.
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.
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!
19. Catch A West End Show
West End show is a common term for 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.
With plenty of shows and theatres to choose from, as well as billboards plastered all over London’s underground, simply find a show that you fancy and pre-order some tickets!
The best place for cheap tickets can be found at TodayTix here.
A few of our favourite are the long running Lion King, Wicked and Disney’s Aladdin!
Whether you’re looking for a Fun Date Idea In London or somewhere to take the family, this will do the job!
20. Visit The Museums
One of the most interesting things to do in London, if you have time, is to educate yourselves at the museums!
With so many to choose from, British Museum, National History Museum and Science Museum are a few of our favourites. We’ll leave you to decide which to add to your London bucket list though.
If you’re looking for a detailed guide, Visit London has a great article on the top 23 free museums in London.
21. Stroll The Parks
Hyde Park is of course the most famous park in London, if not one of the most famous parks in the world. Although it’s not the only beautiful green spot in the capital!
Regent’s Park, Finsbury Park and St. James’s Park are just a few others if you have time to take a break while exploring London.
These are the ideal places to take a walk or a picnic and also catch your breath amongst the city bustle.
22. Notting Hill
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 which filmed many scenes 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 for its shopping and market.
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.
Where To Stay In London
Luxury – The London EDITION
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.
Mid-Budget – Corus Hotel Hyde Park
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.
Budget – The Queens Hostel
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.
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