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Want to explore the most popular tourist attractions in London with your free time? The vibrant and bustling capital of the United Kingdom is bursting with history and yet remains one of the world’s most advanced and innovative cities. On top of historic and modern landmarks, the Great British Capital boasts countless attractions for every type of traveller, whether you’re an architecture enthusiast or die-hard Harry Potter fan.
So, what are the most popular things to do in London? Below, we introduce you to more than 75 of London’s top-rated attractions and activities for tourists and digital nomads.
Looking for a place to work near London’s top attractions? Read about the top-rated coworking spaces in London.
Take a ride on the iconic London Eye for panoramic views of the city’s skyline from a glass capsule that reaches a height of 135 metres.
Witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace, the official (and extremely opulent) residence of the British monarch.
Marvel at the iconic Tower Bridge, a historic feat of engineering, and walk along its elevated glass-floored walkway for unique views of the bridge and the Thames below.
Admire iconic Big Ben, a symbol of London, and the nearby Houses of Parliament along the River Thames.
Discover the near 1,000-year history of the UNESCO-listed Tower of London, which has served as a royal palace, prison and an execution site during its lifetime. Book a tour inside to view the Crown Jewels.
Take in panoramic views from the top of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, which was reconstructed in 1708 after its predecessor was destroyed by the Great Fire of London.
Visit the Gothic-style Westminster Abbey, which has been the site of numerous royal coronations, weddings and burials during its 1,000-year history.
Catch a world-class performance at the Royal Albert Hall, which has been one of London’s most prestigious venues for over 150 years. Keep your eyes peeled for events such as concerts, rock shows and classical musical performances.
Admire the neo-Gothic façade of the Palace of Westminster, home to the UK Parliament and the famous Big Ben.
Visit London icons like Nelson’s Column and the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square. You’ll also see rotating art installations and street performances backdropped by intricate fountains.
Visit the 18th-century Kew Palace, a charming royal residence set within the beautiful Kew Gardens.
Ascend to the summit of the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture and observation tower in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. You can soak up panoramic views of London of London from the top of this 114.5-metre-tall installation, which was constructed for the 2012 London Olympics.
Admire the unique architecture of 30 St Mary Axe, commonly known as The Gherkin.
Visit the cultural treasure that is the British Library to browse through an extensive collection of rare, ancient and contemporary books and manuscripts. Highlights include the Magna Carta and Shakespeare’s First Folio.
Explore the vast collections of art and artifacts from around the world at the British Museum, founded in 1753. You’ll see artefacts ranging from Greek sculptures to Egyptian mummies while strolling through this epic tribute to human history.
Discover contemporary and modern art at the Tate Modern, housed in a former power station along the Thames. You’ll see works by names including Picasso, Warhol and Hockney inside. Head to the viewing platform to take in the skyline of London.
Feed your curiosity at the Science Museum, where interactive exhibits make science and technology come alive. You can expect to see exhibits on the likes of medical advancements, robotics and space exploration – don’t miss the actual Apollo 10 Command Module that orbited the moon 31 times.
Browse the incredible variety of specimens from the natural world at the Natural History Museum. Highlights include dinosaur skeletons, fossils and interactive exhibits like the Darwin Centre and the Earth Hall.
Appreciate art, design and fashion at the V&A, home to a diverse range of historical and contemporary pieces. This world-class gallery explores art and design history from a range of cultures. Artefacts on display include fashion, textiles, ceramics, sculptures and more.
Marvel at world-renowned artworks at the National Gallery, including masterpieces by Van Gogh, Da Vinci and Turner.
Peruse cutting-edge works of contemporary art at the Saatchi Gallery, known for its thought-provoking exhibitions. Expect to see showcases of new talent and experimental art.
Explore the world of design and innovation at the Design Museum in Kensington. This is not one to miss for fans of fashion, graphic design, product design or architecture.
Uncover the history of London from prehistoric times to the present day at the Museum of London.
See portraits of historical and cultural figures at the National Portrait Gallery, located near Trafalgar Square. You’ll browse an array of photos, sculptures and paintings of influential individuals that include political leaders, royal family members, writers and artists.
Explore the galleries and stunning courtyard of the neoclassical Somerset House, an iconic cultural hub and venue for art, fashion, film, music and events.
Discover ever-changing exhibitions of contemporary art from around the world at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens.
Discover the history of London’s public transportation at the London Transport Museum, where you’ll see vast collections of vintage buses, trams, trains and London Underground artefacts.
Stand on the Prime Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, where you can learn about the history of astronomy and take in sprawling views of London.
Relax in the 350-acre Hyde Park, London’s largest Royal Park, and take a leisurely boat ride on the Serpentine Lake. You can also pay your respects to the late Diana, Princess of Wales at the Princess Diana Memorial Foundation.
Stroll through the Regent’s Park, home to the beautiful Queen Mary’s Gardens, a boating lake and the London Zoo.
Explore the UNESCO-listed Kew Gardens (officially the Royal Botanic Gardens), home to a vast collection of plants from around the world in manicured gardens and historic glasshouses spread across 500 acres. Highlights of Kew Gardens include the Palm House, the Treetop Walkway and the Japanese Garden.
Enjoy the serene Kensington Gardens, where you can visit Kensington Palace, the serene Italian Gardens and the iconic bronze statue of Peter Pan.
Relax alongside the resident pelicans in St James’s Park, a tranquil oasis full of vibrant flowerbeds and tree-lined paths near Buckingham Palace.
Explore the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. While you’re here, you can climb the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower and visit the Olympic Stadium. You’ll also see lots of landscaped gardens, waterways and art installations.
Discover the atmospheric Highgate Cemetery, famous for its Victorian Gothic architecture and being the final resting place of notable figures that include Karl Marx.
Savour gourmet food at Borough Market, where foodies can fill up on a variety of local and international cuisine, artisanal products and fresh ingredients from over 100 gourmet stalls. There’s been a market at this location since at least the 12th century.
Browse the eclectic mix of antiques, vintage clothing and street food at the Portobello Road Market, a renowned market that takes over the streets of Notting Hill. The market opens every day except for Sunday, but it’s best to visit on a Saturday when all the bric-a-brac and antiques stalls are open.
Step into the enchanting Leadenhall Market, a covered Victorian market known for its ornate architecture and boutique shops, charming pubs and fine diners that line its cobbled streets – ideal for those searching for a touch of old-world London charm.
Get your fill of boutique shopping, street performances and gourmet restaurants in Covent Garden, one of London’s best-known hubs of culture and entertainment. Highlights of this area include the historic Market Building and a handful of theatres such as the prestigious Royal Opera House.
Meet lifelike wax figures of celebrities and historical figures at Madame Tussauds London.
Embark on a thrilling immersive journey through London’s dark history at The London Dungeon, which features live actor-led performances and terrifying reenactments of historical events such as the Great Fire of London and Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror.
Visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street to immerse yourself in the world of the famous detective.
Attend a Shakespearean play at the reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe theatre on the South Bank. You can also gain insights into Shakespeare’s life and work at the theatre’s museum.
Dive into the wizarding world of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, where you can see real sets, costumes and props from the blockbuster films.
Snap a photo at the Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9¾ in King’s Cross Station, where you can get your own Hogwarts acceptance letter, stock up on merchandise and take a selfie with a trolley disappearing into the wall.
Embark on a thrilling climb over the roof of The O2 arena for spectacular views of London.
Ride the London Cable Car for aerial views over the Royal Docks.
Tour the historic Cutty Sark, a well-preserved 19th-century tea clipper ship.
Explore the historic HMS Belfast, a retired Royal Navy cruiser built in 1939 that’s now permanently moored on the River Thames.
Step back in time at the Churchill War Rooms, an underground bunker that served as a key WWII command centre. Here, you can browse various exhibitions that detail the bunker’s role during the war. You can also explore Churchill’s living quarters and office.
Learn about Britain’s maritime history at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
Dive into the underwater world at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium and walk through a glass tunnel surrounded by marine life.
Dine with a view at Sky Garden, the top-floor restaurant of the iconic ‘Walkie Talkie’ skyscraper.
Indulge in a traditional afternoon tea experience at one of the most iconic luxury hotels in London.
Treat yourself to a delicious curry in Brick Lane, which is also known for its eclectic street art and famous Sunday market.
Sample a variety of international street foods at the Southbank Centre Food Market.
Treat yourself to a gourmet meal at one of London’s Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Restaurant Gordon Ramsay or The Ledbury.
Catch a West End show in London’s renowned theatre district. Some of the most popular theatres here include the National Theatre, the London Palladium, the Old Vic and Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Attend a world-class opera or ballet performance at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
Watch a play or performance at the National Theatre on the South Bank, known for its diverse productions and striking architecture.
Explore London’s vibrant nightlife in areas like Shoreditch, Soho and Camden.
Enjoy live music at iconic venues like the O2 Arena, Royal Albert Hall and the Roundhouse.
Stroll along the picturesque canals in the affluent West End residential district of Little Venice. Boat rides along the Regent’s Canal offer an unfamiliar perspective on the bustling British Capital. You can order a hot drink at a waterside café if you want to simply soak up the atmosphere.
Visit Daunt Books, a travel-focused bookstore with a charming Edwardian interior.
Discover the vibrant neon wonderland of God’s Own Junkyard, filled with eclectic signs and artwork.
Spot wildlife in the lush greenspaces and ponds of the Camley Street Natural Park, where you can see London’s urban conservation efforts first-hand.
Step into the fascinating world of eccentric architect Sir John Soane at the museum that now occupies his former home.
Visit the Leighton House Museum, the former home of Victorian artist Frederic Leighton, known for its beautiful interiors and collection of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite paintings.
Learn about the history of surgery and medicine at the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, home to a unique collection of anatomical specimens.
Admire the broad range of culinary, medicinal and exotic plants at the historic Chelsea Physic Garden, London’s oldest botanic garden.
Get around using the London Underground, the world’s oldest underground railway.
Hop on an iconic red double-decker bus for a scenic tour of the city and a true local experience.
Take a ride in a traditional black cab and chat with the famously knowledgeable London cabbies.
Explore London on two wheels with the city’s extensive cycle lanes and bike-sharing schemes. There are over 12,000 bikes in circulation and 800 docking stations in London.
Enjoy a leisurely cruise along the River Thames for stunning views of London’s landmarks from the water.
As you can see, London is bursting at the seams with world-class museums, historic landmarks, hidden gems and immersive experiences. Whether you’re exploring the city’s rich history, savouring its culinary delights, or soaking up its artistic and cultural offerings, London’s dynamic and ever-evolving landscape promises an unforgettable journey for the modern wanderer.