Things to do in London - The London Pass

Things to do in London

London boasts world-famous landmarks such as Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London, as well as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and more. Find out our top picks for Things to do in London.

Our local travel experts have picked the best things to do in London during your stay. Make the most of this fascinating city by scanning your London Pass® to access over 80 popular attractions from the Tower of London to Westminster Abbey. Whatever your budget and your interests, here's our pick of the English capital's best.

Cheap things to do in London

National Gallery
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.

Big Ben
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.

Hyde Park
Explore London's peaceful oasis, where you'll find locals sprawled out on picnic blankets with a cider in hand the second the weather gets warm. Filled with landmarks like the Princess of Wales Memorial fountain, a gigantic swimmable lake and winding paths bordered by lush greenery, it's a welcome escape from the honking of buses and stale air of the underground. It's also one of the best things to do in central London, making it the ideal pitstop between other neighbouring landmarks.

Things to do alone in London

Westminster Abbey
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.

Tower Bridge
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.

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.

Cool things to do in London

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.

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.

View from the Shard
Ascend to London's highest and best viewpoint at View from The Shard - 800ft high, enjoy unparalleled views over London for up to 40 miles. From day to night, the breath-taking views from the UK's tallest building are unmissable.

Kensington Palace
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.

God's Own Junkyard
This hidden warehouse out in Walthomstow is one of the most unique things to do in London and well worth the trek. Open only on the weekends, it's packed to the ceiling with gigantic humming neon signs crafted by the Neon Man himself - the late Chris Bracey. From signs commissioned for Marvel movies to Soho's retired sex club signs, you don't even have to pay to get in (though it's worth stopping for a cream tea in the cafe).

Fun things to do in London with friends

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. Keep an eye out and pay a little extra for its touring exhibitions featuring the likes of Modigliani and Georgia O'Keefe, which make for one of the cool things to do in London.

Kew Gardens
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.

Buckingham Palace
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.

Brick Lane
Renowned for being one of London's most colourful neighbourhoods, this melting pot of culture and styles is one of the city's most Instagrammable locations. Covered in street art by internationally renowned artists, it's worth coming here on a weekend when all the vintage, food and handicraft markets come alive. If you're feeling a little thirsty, there's no end of cool bars to haunt: try the nearby Book Club or Blue's Kitchen for a fun night out.

Different things to do in London

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. 

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.

Family things to do in London

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.

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.

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.

ZSL London Zoo
Since opening to the public in 1847, ZSL London Zoo has been a favourite London attraction for locals and visitors alike. Set in leafy Regent's Park amid heritage-listed buildings and gardens, the zoo is an oasis in the heart of the capital. With over 750 amazing animal species to discover, as well as live shows and fantastic, immersive exhibits, this is an unmissable attraction.

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.

There’s no doubt that London is one of the most popular destinations in the world, whether you're in London with the kids, or friends and family - and this list just proves why. With over 80 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 London Pass App will also arm you with local information when you’re on-the-go, too. Don't forget the places to visit near London, too, of which there are many!

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