Top 10 Things to Do in London
London is one of the most exciting cities in the world. It doesn’t take long after arrival to figure out what to do or where to go; despite being absolutely massive, the tourist attractions tend to congregate in a few select zones.
I could easily make a list of the top 100 things to do in London, but for simplicity sake let’s start with just ten. Welcome to the United Kingdom!
1. Ride a Double Decker Bus in London
Nothing says “I’ve arrived” like climbing aboard one of London’s big red busses that troll through the city streets.
They are tour busses and one can catch one quite easily from anywhere in the city center, like in Piccadilly Circus.
You can climb aboard simply using your Oyster card as payment. Or you can tap your contactless debit or credit card to pay as well. Alternatively tickets can be bought online in advance.
2. Take a Photograph in a Red Phone Booth in London
Like riding the big red bus, snapping oneself in one of London’s iconic red phone booths is another must for first time visitors to the city.
The make great souvenirs, and are free to enjoy. You’ll find them scattered across the streets of the city center, and little effort needs to be put into accomplishing this activity. Even on a guided walking tour of London you’ll pass a handful of phone booths along the way for your photo opportunity.
3. Visit Hyde Park in London
Hyde Park is one of the most famous parks in the world, and is held near and dearly by the locals of the United Kingdom. It serves as a historic piece of land that lived through much political turmoil throughout the years gone by.
Within the park there are lush grass fields, ample plant life and two great bodies of water, one of which offers boats for rowing. If you’re looking to picnic in London, or simply need a break with nature, then Hyde Park is always right around the corner.
Opening Hours: 5am to 12am
Subway STATION: Hyde Park Corner
4. Watch the Guards Change at Buckingham Palace in London
I remember being six years old, learning of the ceremony of the changing of the guards at the royal palace in London and being absolutely fascinated with the whole thing.
Seeing the guards change is something that travelers from around the world gather to do every day in London. The ceremony is much longer than most people realize, taking 45 minutes in total.
The change ceremony begins promptly at 10.45am daily. Anyone wanting to witness it should be outside the palace at this time.
Opening Hours: Daily
Address: Westminster, London SW1A 1AA, UK
Subway STATION: St. James’s Park Station
5. Ride the London Eye in London
The London Eye is the most popular paid tourist attraction in London, it is also the tallest ferris wheel on the European continent.
The wheel sits on the southern bank of the River Thames in London’s city center. It attracts millions of visitors annually, and is thus responsible for millions of euros of tourism profits.
This experience in London will cost you. Tickets to ride the eye are £37 per person; children pay £32. Discounted tickets are available to anyone who books tickets online instead of buying at the wheel itself.
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10am to 9:30pm
Address: Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK
Subway STATION: Waterloo
6. Stroll Over Abbey Road in London
The iconic image of The Beatles strutting across this zebra crossing will live on through history. Since the street is public, this image has been recreated by millions of visitors from around the world.
Abbey Road runs through Camden. The nearest underground station to the exact spot where The Beatles were photographed is the St. John’s Wood stop. The crossing is outside of the Abbey Road Studios, you can’s miss it once you exit the station.
7. Take a Guided Walking Tour in London
London is huge, and while you can attempt to walk it in its entirety on your own, a guided walking tour is fast becoming the most efficient way to connect to the city.
At present London offers tours centered around street art, food and beers, royal zones, markets and family oriented tours through the center. Book your spot for any London walking tour well in advance to avoid disappointment.
8. Go Drinking in Soho in London
Soho is London’s nightlife hotspot, as well as the LGBTQ+ hub of the city. The streets in Soho are lined with bars, clubs and live music venues to carry you through the cold UK nights.
There are also theaters and jazz bars for those who prefer calmer cultural environments.
9. Visit the Tate Modern Museum in London
The Tate Modern is one of the most prestigious and renowned art houses in the world. They showcase grand exhibits of both local and international works, and it’s incomprehensible size makes it a spot you’ll need most of a day to explore properly.
The museum sits on the edge of the River Thames, close to the city center.
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10am to 6pm
Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG, UK
Subway STATION: London Bridge
10. Shop on Oxford Street in London
London is one of the fashion capitals of the world. Oxford Street is the most famous shopping strip in the city, and is officially the most visited shopping street in all of Europe, beating other fashion capitals like Milan and Paris.
There are over 300 stores in which you can shop ’til you drop. At Christmas time this street is a wonderland. Oxford Street has featured in a number of Hollywood blockbusters as an iconic scene-setter for London films.