the best things to do when in London

The best things to do when in London

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(Last updated on: 05/11/2022)

Do you want to know what are the best things to do when in London? Then you have come to the right place! London is a vibrant capital city in England, with plenty to do for everyone! It’s full of rich history, entertaining West End shows, fun attractions, and so much more. Read on to find out all about the best things to do when in London.

Tourism in London- overview

the best things to do when in London

Tourism in London is a booming industry! London is actually one of the leading tourist destinations in the world and was the most visited city in 2015 – with over 65 million visits! In 2019, London had 19 million day-trip visitors and 1.3 million overnight stays. The most visited attraction in London in 2019 was Tate Modern, which is a famous art gallery.

There are lots of different transport options in London, which also makes tourism in London really popular. For instance, the London Underground is one of the world’s first underground railways and runs all around London. There is also plenty of taxis, buses and even boats that tourists can take to get around London. London is also a relatively walkable city, and many of the major attractions are quite close to each other.

Each year, tourism in London contributes around £36 billion to the UK’s economy, and it accounts for 54% of inbound visitor spending in the UK. In 2016, it was reported that tourism in London helps support 700,000 jobs, and in 2015, the number of hotel rooms in London was around 139,000 – so, as you can see, tourism in London is very popular!

Why visit London?

the best things to do when in London

Why visit London? London is a fantastic place for all types of tourists to visit for a huge plethora of reasons. First of all, London is full of rich history – it’s famous for the Great Fire of London, the world-known monarchy throughout time, such as Henry VII and Queen Victoria, World War 2, and so much more! Additionally, London has some of the most iconic landmarks in the world, like the London Eye, Tower Bridge and Big Ben.

London is also bustling with so many things to do – you’ll never run out of something new to discover in this city! What’s more, is that is also very easy to access as London has six major international airports, served by budget airlines as well as higher-end airlines such as British Airways. It is also very well connected by the Underground, making transport around London easy and seamless!

The best places to stay in London

There are plenty of great choices for accommodation in London, here are my top picks-

Booking.com

Budget

  • Clink261 Hostel – A stay at this hostel is a great choice if you want to visit London on a budget and meet some great people at the same time! There are free tours and activities organised by the hostel daily, and there is also a bar and a well-equipped kitchen for guests to use. There’s also a wide range of different rooms to choose from, including females only and the choice of private rooms.
  • Parkwood Hotel – This budget hotel is great value for money in the centre of London! Every morning, a full English breakfast is served, and there is also free WiFi. In each room, there is a satellite TV, tea and coffee-making facilities and wardrobes to store your clothes.

Mid-range

  • La Suite West – Each room at La Suite West comes with an en-suite marble bathroom, black-out curtains, a 32-inch flat-screen TV and free WiFi. It is close to Bayswater and Queensway tube stations and is perfectly situated on the edge of Hyde Park. It’s the ideal place to stay when visiting London.
  • YOTEL London City – This hotel offers a fitness centre, a bar serving a wide range of drinks, free WiFi and a shared lounge. In every room, there is an en-suite with luxury amenities, a flat-screen TV with entertaining channels, and there is a buffet, or continental breakfast served every morning.

High end

  • The Guardsman – Perfectly situated just down the road from Buckingham Palace, this hotel has everything you need when visiting London. There is room service, an on-site restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi. In every room, there is air-conditioning, a desk, a flat-screen TV and a comfortable seating area.
  • Nobu Hotel London – A stay here is guaranteed to enhance your visit to London. This hotel has plenty to offer to guests, such as an onsite restaurant, fitness centre, terrace and free WiFi. Each room comes with 24-hour room service, a mini bar, and flat-screen TVs and is stylishly decorated.

Things you must pack when visiting London

What should you pack when visiting London? When visiting London, don’t forget to pack these essential items:

  • Repel Windproof Umbrella – This high-quality umbrella is essential for keeping you dry on rainy days in London. It’s designed to withstand strong winds and is also small enough to carry with you in a bag. Additionally, it also comes in a wide range of colours for you to choose from.
  • Unusual London Book – Discover London’s best-kept secrets with this Unusual London Book. You’ll get to find out all about the places you never knew existed, as well as learn about their history at the same time. It’s the perfect book to take with you to London if you want to go off the beaten path.
  • Genuine Leather Card Holder – When visiting London, you’ll probably take the Underground at some point on your trip – that’s where this super handy card holder comes in! It makes it so much easier to keep your tickets or Oyster card organised and easier to find whilst also being very sturdy and looking stylish at the same time.
  • 2-Pack Black Portable Raincoat – Don’t get caught out in the rain unexpectedly; take this portable raincoat with you! It’s suitable for all genders and will definitely keep you dry even in the worst weather.
  • Handheld Rechargeable Fan – Although London has a reputation for being rainy, what some people don’t know is that when it’s hot in London – it’s extremely hot. As most of the buildings in the UK were built to keep in the warmth, this often makes the heat more unbearable. Luckily, this rechargeable handheld fan will keep you cool! It’s easy to carry and comes in a range of colours to suit everyone.

The best things to do when in London

London is one of the best cities in the world to visit and there are so many fantastic things to do. Here are my top picks for the best things to do when in London-

The best things to do when in London for free

the best things to do when in London

What are the best things to do when in London for free? Here are some of the must-do things when in London for free if you want to save your money:

  • National History Museum – This museum has so much to learn about for all ages! There are plenty of different exhibitions, such as dinosaurs, space, insects and plenty more. Entry is free, and there is a cafe and a shop if you wish to buy anything to help support the museum.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum – Learn all about the interesting world of art and design at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. There are over 1.25 million objects in their collection, from ancient Chinese ceramics to Alexander McQueen evening dresses! It’s not to be missed, especially if you’re an art lover.
  • Hyde Park – Hyde Park is one of the most famous parks in the whole of London. There are over 350 acres of land to explore, there are plenty of places to simply just sit and have a picnic whilst you observe the world around you, and you can even go boating. You will also come across a few cafes serving tasty food and drink dotted around the park.

For more of the best things to do when in London for free, check out my previous post – 10 Top Things to do in London for FREE.

The best things to do when in London with kids

the best things to do when in London

What are the best things to do when in London with kids? If you have kids, they’ll definitely love these things to do in London:

  • London: KidZania Tickets Plus Audio Tours – KidZania is one of the best things in London for kids to do. Here kids can roleplay in many different jobs, such as pilots, journalists, firefighters, DJs and many more. They are sure to have hours of fun here – it’ll be hard getting them to leave.
  • London Shrek’s Adventure! – Shrek’s Adventure will be sure to entertain everyone, not just the kids! There are lots of interactive shows, a chance to meet the characters, and you can also take a 4D bus ride around London. It’s a great way to spend a rainy day with kids.
  • London Harry Potter Film Locations Walking Tour with Guide – Potterheads will love this walking tour around London, which offers lots of chances to take photos of famous locations, such as Platform 9 3/4. This is a day out to remember for all ages, and children will definitely enjoy seeing these places in real life.
  • London Tootbus Kids’ Tour – If you want to sightsee around London, but your children don’t want to go on another ‘boring tour’, then they will be sure to enjoy this London Tootbus Kids’ Tour. It provides a fun and entertaining commentary that will definitely keep your kids entertained.
  • Matilda The Musical – If you want to do something the whole family will enjoy, then an evening out at the West End, watching Matilda The Musical is a great choice! Kids will love the catchy songs, and the chance to see other kids on stage might even inspire them for the future.

The best things to do when in London for couples

the best things to do when in London

What are the best things to do when in London for couples? Check out these top recommended things to do for couples in London:

  • Up The O2 – This is a perfect date idea, especially if you want to do something different! You can choose to climb at various points of the day, but the sunset climb is one of the most romantic climbs if you want to make the experience extra special. Once at the top, you can even celebrate with some champagne!
  • London Thames River Dinner Cruise with Cabaret Singer – Have an evening unlike any other by enjoying this dinner cruise along the Thames with a very talented cabaret singer to add to the atmosphere. There is a 4-course meal that is served that features gourmet British produce, and there is also a dance floor if you’re feeling up to it!
  • London Eye – The London Eye offers some of the best views of the whole of London! It’s one of the best things to do when in London for couples, especially if they want to relax and get to know London from above. It’s a great place to take some iconic photos of the two of you to remember.
  • The Kensington Palace Gardens Royal High Tea – If you want to have a really British experience, then this Royal High Tea experience with your partner will be sure to make you feel very indulged in British culture. You’ll get the royal treatment as you taste delicious cakes and scones whilst sipping some of the best quality British tea. Afterwards, you’ll even get a guided tour around the gardens to help make the day extra special.
  • Secret Food Tours: London Bridge – If you and your partner are foodies, then this secret food tour is the perfect thing to do in London as a couple. On this tour, you’ll discover some of the best food London has to offer, and perhaps you’ll even discover some things you’ve never heard of before.

The best things to do when in London for teenagers

the best things to do when in London

What are the best things to do when in London for teenagers to take part in? Teenagers will love these top things to do in London:

  • The London Dungeons – The London Dungeons are some of the best attractions for teenagers in London. Here, they will be able to learn all about London’s gruesome and dark history in a way unlike any other. Teenagers will have a day out to remember here for sure.
  • Madame Tussauds London – If you’re looking for something a bit different, then Madame Tussauds London is a great idea. Teens will love seeing all the different wax figures and getting selfies with their favourite celebrities. It’s the perfect attraction for a rainy day in London – which we all know London is infamous for!
  • Thorpe Park – Thorpe Park is located just 20 miles from central London, so it’s very accessible! It’s a guaranteed fun day out for teenagers and thrill seekers of all ages. There are over 30 rides to experience to have an enjoyable day out.
  • Thames High-Speed Zone RIB Cruise in London – This high-speed boat ride along the Thames will definitely be something teenagers remember for the rest of their lives. It’s a fun but also different way to see London, and they’ll want to tell their friends all about this experience of a lifetime.

The best things to do when in London at night

the best things to do when in London

What is there to do at night in London? These are the best things to do when in London at night:

  • Jack the Ripper Tour with ‘Ripper-Vision’ in London – Learn all about the notorious legend of Jack the Ripper on this tour like no other. This walking tour stands out from the rest as there is a special device to help provide insight into what life was like in Victorian times and what the sights looked like back then. It’s not to be missed if you want something spooky to do in London.
  • London Ghost Tour with Thames River Cruise – This London Ghost Tour is one f the best things to do when in London at night if you want to do something different. You’ll get to learn all about the spooky ghost stories London has to offer from its dark past.
  • London’s Soho Evening Food Tasting Walking Tour – Soho has so much to offer, especially when it comes to food at night! On this tour, you will discover lots of fantastic establishments serving a wide range of dishes and drinks. This is a perfect way to get a real taste of London’s fabulous food scene.
  • West End Pub Crawl: Free Shots, Free Entry, and Photographer – London is famous for its amazing pubs, but it can sometimes be hard to navigate your way around them all – luckily, this pub crawl will do all the work for you, you just need to focus on having fun! You’ll be able to discover all the best pubs in London and meet new people at the same time.
  • London by Night Sightseeing Tour – Open top bus – If you want to see the London landmarks without all the tourists, then this night sightseeing tour is the tour for you! Your guide will tell you everything you need to know about the iconic attractions, as they are lit up at night by the lights. It offers something truly different to experience in London at night.

The best things to do when in London at Christmas

the best things to do when in London

Is there anything good to do in London at Christmas time? London is one of the best cities to visit during Christmas time! Check out the best things to do when in London at Christmas:

  • A Christmas Carol and Charles Dickens Old London Walking Tour – This unique tour will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit! You’ll get to learn all about the locations featured in one of the most well-known books in history – A Christmas Carol. It’s perfect for lovers of literature and those who want to get to know London more deeply.
  • Winter Wonderland – Winter Wonderland is a must-do for anyone coming to London for the festive season. There are lots of great rides to enjoy, as well as tasty snacks and warm drinks to heat you up from the chilly air. It’s not to be missed and is suitable for all ages to enjoy!
  • London Christmas Lights Private Black Cab Tour – Feel festive with this private black cab tour to see some of the best Christmas lights in London. You’ll get beautiful photographs and have your breath taken away at the beauty of the wonderful Christmas lights London has to offer.

The best things to do when in London in winter

the best things to do when in London

What are some of the best things to do when in London in winter? Here are the best things to do in London in the winter if you want to keep warm:

  • Ice Skating at Alexandra Palace – Ice skating is always a great idea, and there’s no better place to do it than at Alexandra Palace! It’s perfect for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or a pro, and there are also lessons on offer if you need some extra confidence. You can even watch Ice Hockey matches take place if you prefer not to get on the ice!
  • The West End – Enjoy a West End show whilst you keep warm from the cold weather outside! There are plenty to choose from, and there are also a lot of affordable tickets, too – it all depends on where you want to sit. Some of the top West End shows are: The Lion King, Wicked and Mama Mia.
  • Chinese New Year at Chinatown – Chinese New Year falls between January and February each year, and it’s a celebration not to be missed! In Chinatown, you’ll get to experience lots of celebrations whilst also eating some of the mouthwatering food available too!

The best things to do when in London in summer

the best things to do when in London

Is there anything to do in London in summer? London is a great place to visit in summer! Check out some of the best things to do when in London in summer:

  • Rooftop Film Club – Watching an outdoor movie is a perfect way to spend the summer evenings in London! Rooftop Film Club have lots of great movies playing, so there will definitely be something for everyone’s tastes to enjoy.
  • London Landmarks, Historic Ale Pub Bike Tour with Local Guide – When it’s sunny in London, the best way to make the most of it is by taking a bike ride around the landmarks! You’ll be guided by a friendly and knowledgeable guide, and you will even stop off at a few pubs to help ‘hydrate’ yourself from all the bike riding!
  • The Dare Skywalk – If you’re feeling adventurous, then The Dare Skywalk will be the perfect activity for you! You’ll get to push yourself to your limits whilst also experiencing breathtaking views of London at the same time. It’s one of the best things to do when in London, especially if you’re a thrill seeker!

The best things to do when in London – conclusion

After reading this post, you’ve now hopefully been inspired to do some great things in London when you visit. What were your favourite things to do in London? Have I missed anything off the list that you think others should know about? Let me know! If you’d like some further reading, this is what I’d recommend:

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