Things to do in London
London boasts world-famous landmarks, museums and monuments such as the Palace of Westminster and the British Museum, as well as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.
The travel experts at The London Pass have picked the best things to do during your stay. Make the most of this fascinating city with The London Pass which allows free entry to over 60 popular attractions from the Tower of London to Westminster Abbey.
Tower of London
Arguably the most popular attraction, especially since the Tower Poppies in 2014, the Tower of London dates back to William the Conqueror and has since been one of London’s most significant landmarks through the ages. As a zoo, fortress, notorious prison, royal residence and home to the Crown Jewels, the Tower of London has a fascinating history and one worth exploring.
You might remember Westminster Abbey as the wedding venue of Kate and Wills, but it’s a stand-alone UNESCO World Heritage site in its own right, too. As the coronation church of the British Royal Family, it’s also one of the most famous churches in terms of historic celebrity graves. You’ll see Chaucer to Newton, Darwin and Dickens are all buried in the grounds. Find out more about Westminster Abbey here.
Perhaps one of the most photographed landmarks in London, Big Ben – aka the Elizabeth Tower – is an iconic feature on London’s horizon. As the second largest clock tower of its kind in the world, it’s over 150 years old and has survived the bombings of WWII. Listen out for the famous Great Bell chiming the Westminster Quarters, every quarter hour.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Shakespeare’s works are some of the most treasured English legacies to have come from the 16th century. A tour of the talented playwright’s Globe Theatre is one of the many fun things to do in London along the Southbank. A reconstruction of the original playhouse, this Tudor style open-air theatre is a must in the summer. Click here to find out more about the famous Bard.
Tower Bridge – not to be confused with London Bridge – has linked one side of the River Thames to the other since 1894. Having undergone a major facelift over the years (it used to be brown!), the iconic bridge is famed for its fascinating Victorian bascules and its new Glass Walkway. If you time your visit right you can even see the bridge lifting to let river traffic pass through, too.
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Offering one of London’s best view points, the Royal Observatory Greenwich is a historic attraction worth visiting. Step over the two hemispheres at the Prime Meridian line and discover the world of astronomy with the Observatory’s huge refracting telescope. As one of the most important scientific buildings in London, the Royal Observatory is a great attraction for both young and old.
Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the Queen of England, is on everyone's to-do list. This stunning early 19th century building has 775 rooms and welcomes around 50,000 guests each year to private events and functions, not to mention the State Rooms which open to the public during the summer. Don't miss the priceless art of the Royal Collection hanging on the walls, as well.
Home to the late Princess Diana, childhood residence of the history-making Queen Victoria and now address of the loved modern Royal family Duke and Duchess of Cornwall; Kensington Palace is one of Central London's most prestigious postcodes. Step inside this picturesque estate to learn about the women of the monarchy in fascinating exhibitions, and top it off with afternoon tea at the stunning Orangery Café.
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall has hosted some of London’s most memorable performances and concerts since its opening in 1871. Go behind-the-scenes and take a tour of this historic landmark, learning about the architecture and royal patronage, as well as a sneak peek at the Queen’s private suites. If you’ve ever seen the BBC Proms, you’ll know it’s worth a visit.
Lose yourself in West London’s urban oasis of exotic plants and flowers. The Royal Botanic Kew Gardens is a quiet sanctuary and verdant retreat from the hustle and bustle of London and visitors can enjoy the stunning Dutch-style Kew Palace, as well as the historic Palm House and Treetop Walkway experience.
Churchill War Rooms
Our formidable former Prime Minster, Winston Churchill, was one of a kind – both as a person and politician. Explore his underground world and wartime bunker at the Churchill War Rooms Museum and step back in time to the 1940s to discover the espionage and camaraderie that went hand in hand with WWII.
London Transport Museum
Did you know the London transport network serves over 4 million journeys a day? Learn more weird and wonderful facts about the London Transport system and the growth of our great city at the fascinating London Transport Museum, in the hub of Covent Garden.
The Courtauld Gallery
Located in the iconic Somerset House, the Courtauld Gallery is one of the most prestigious art galleries in London showcasing classic Renaissance art to collections from the 20th Century. From the Old Masters, to Impressionism, this is a must for any art aficionado.
Tate Modern London
Sat on the southern bank of the River Thames, the Tate Modern was once an old power station, and its iconic architecture reminds each visitor of its past industrial role. As one of Europe’s most iconic contemporary art galleries its ground-breaking exhibitions are not to be missed, including works by Lichtenstein and Warhol among others.
Enjoy an audio tour at the National Gallery – one of the best free things to do in London, just off Trafalgar Square. With over two thousand paintings to admire, it’s one of the most popular attractions in London and it’s not surprising given the world-class collections on display. From Leonardo da Vinci to Rembrandt, the National Gallery has it all.
Museum of London
The Museum of London is one of the city’s most fascinating and candid museums to learn about life in the great capital and its history. Learn about the city’s roots in Roman London, to London in the present, through a number of exhibitions with subjects ranging from Sherlock Holmes to the new Royal Arrivals.
Museum of London Docklands
Situated in London Docklands, this quayside museum offers another insight into the city’s rich past. Discover London’s role as a busy port through its 19th century reconstruction and learn about the British Empire at the poignant Sugar & Slavery exhibition.
National Maritime Museum
Down in the picturesque borough of Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum will have any budding sailor excited. Boasting the title of the largest maritime museum in the world, it’s a great attractions to get everyone in the family involved in maritime history; and down the hill from the Royal Observatory, it makes for a great day out.
There’s no doubt that London is one of the most popular destinations in the world and this list just proves why. With over 60 top attractions to visit for free, including the above, the London Pass has been designed to unlock the city to any visitor coming to the capital, offering some great things to do in London while saving time and money.
To make it even easier, The London Pass also provides you with great resources including a downloadable tourist map to help you get around the city, a tube map and multi-lingual guidebook. Our free London Pass App will also arm you with local information when you’re on-the-go, too.
Our Top 10 Recommendations