United Kingdom

The 18 essential things to do in London

Last update : 26/05/2024 15:42

London is the capital of the United Kingdom and one of the most important and influential cities in the world. Located in the southeast of England, along the River Thames, London is renowned for its rich history, cultural diversity, economic dynamism, and tourist attractions.

The city offers a variety of iconic landmarks, such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, the British Parliament with the famous clock tower Big Ben, St. Paul's Cathedral, the London Eye, and of course, the bustling West End district known for its theaters and shows.

London is also a major cultural center, home to numerous world-renowned museums and art galleries such as the British Museum, the National Gallery, and the Tate Modern.

The city is also famous for its cultural diversity, with communities from around the world, reflected in its cuisine, music, festivals, and cultural events.

In summary, London is a dynamic and cosmopolitan city where history meets modernity, offering a rich and diverse experience to its residents and visitors.

1 - Big Ben and Parliament (Palace of Westminster)

Big Ben and Parliament (Palace of Westminster), London, United Kingdom

Big Ben and the Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, are two of the most iconic symbols of London and the United Kingdom as a whole.

The Parliament of the United Kingdom sits within the Palace of Westminster, located on the banks of the River Thames. The building houses the two chambers of the British Parliament: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It is at the heart of British political life and plays a central role in the legislative process of the country.

Big Ben, although often used to refer to the clock tower, actually refers to the large bell inside the tower. The clock tower also houses an iconic clock, one of the most famous in the world. Big Ben is one of the most recognizable landmarks in London and is often associated with the clock of the Palace of Westminster.

The combination of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster is a powerful symbol of British democracy and the country's rich history. These two structures attract millions of visitors from around the world each year and continue to capture the collective imagination.

2 - London Tower Bridge

London Tower Bridge, London, United Kingdom

The London Tower Bridge, often simply referred to as Tower Bridge, is one of the most iconic landmarks in London, England. Located over the River Thames, it is a combined bascule and suspension bridge, meaning it can be raised to allow large ships to pass underneath.

Construction of the bridge began in 1886 and was completed in 1894. It was designed by Sir Horace Jones and engineered by Sir John Wolfe Barry, with significant contributions from architect George D. Stevenson. Tower Bridge is characterized by its distinctive twin towers, which are connected by two walkways that offer stunning views of the city.

The bridge's color scheme of blue and white was chosen to complement the nearby Tower of London. Over the years, Tower Bridge has become an iconic symbol of London and is one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. It is also an important transportation link, connecting the Tower Hamlets borough on the north side of the river with Southwark on the south side.

Aside from its practical function, Tower Bridge is also famous for its mechanical operation, with its bascules capable of being raised to an angle of 86 degrees to allow ships to pass through. Although it was originally powered by steam, it is now electrically operated.

Overall, Tower Bridge stands as a testament to Victorian engineering prowess and remains a beloved symbol of London's rich history and architectural heritage.

3 - The tower of London

The tower of London, London, United Kingdom

The Tower of London is a historic fortress located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It was founded in the 11th century by William the Conqueror and has served various roles over the centuries: royal residence, prison, palace, arsenal, treasury, and even a zoo.

The Tower of London is famous for its imposing white stone walls and towers, with the most iconic being the White Tower, which gave the entire fortress its name. Built in the early 11th century, the White Tower is one of the most remarkable examples of Norman architecture in England.

Over the years, the Tower of London gained a sinister reputation as a famous prison, where many historical figures were imprisoned, executed, or mysteriously disappeared. Among the most famous prisoners were Anne Boleyn, the wife of Henry VIII, and Queen Elizabeth I before her ascension to the throne.

Today, the Tower of London is a major tourist attraction, welcoming millions of visitors each year. Visitors can explore various parts of the fortress, discover its fascinating stories, admire the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, and even witness historical reenactments. The Tower of London has also been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.

4 - Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard, London, United Kingdom

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in London. It serves as both the administrative headquarters and one of the principal royal residences. Located in the City of Westminster, Buckingham Palace is often at the center of state occasions and royal hospitality.

One of the most famous ceremonies associated with Buckingham Palace is the Changing of the Guard. This ceremonial event takes place outside the palace and involves a formal exchange of duties between the old and new guard. The guards are usually dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats, creating a striking spectacle for visitors and tourists.

The Changing of the Guard typically occurs daily during the warmer months and on alternate days during the winter. However, the schedule can vary, so it's advisable to check the official website or inquire locally for the most up-to-date information if you plan to witness this iconic ceremony. It's a popular attraction for tourists visiting London, offering a glimpse into the pomp and pageantry of British royal traditions.

5 - The London Eye for panoramic views of the city

The London Eye for panoramic views of the city, London, United Kingdom

The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, is a giant observation wheel located on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, England. It stands at a height of 135 meters (443 feet) and has a diameter of 120 meters (394 feet), making it one of the tallest observation wheels in the world.

The London Eye was originally built to celebrate the new millennium and was officially opened to the public on March 9, 2000. Since then, it has become one of the most iconic landmarks and tourist attractions in London, offering stunning panoramic views of the city's skyline.

Each enclosed passenger capsule on the London Eye can accommodate up to 25 people, and a full rotation takes approximately 30 minutes. During the ride, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of famous London landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, and the Shard.

The London Eye is open year-round, but it's advisable to check the opening hours and book tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to avoid long queues. Additionally, the London Eye often hosts special events, such as New Year's Eve fireworks celebrations and private events.

Overall, a ride on the London Eye offers an unforgettable experience and a unique perspective of London's bustling metropolis, making it a must-visit attraction for tourists and locals alike.

6 - Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom

Westminster Abbey, officially known as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster, is a historic church located in the City of Westminster, London, England. Renowned for its spectacular Gothic architecture and historical significance as a venue for coronations and the burial place of British monarchs.

The abbey's history dates back to the medieval era, with the founding of a Benedictine monastery in 960 AD. However, the present abbey was mainly constructed between the 11th and 16th centuries. Its impressive architecture includes the famous 13th-century fan vaulting.

Westminster Abbey has been the site of numerous royal coronations since the time of William the Conqueror in 1066. It has also hosted many royal weddings, including that of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011.

In addition to its ceremonial role, the abbey houses numerous commemorative monuments, royal tombs, and memorials, including the famous Poets' Corner, where many eminent British writers and poets are interred.

The abbey is open to visitors, who can explore its remarkable architecture, discover its fascinating history, and admire its artistic treasures. Guided tours are available for those wishing to learn more about the historical and architectural details of this iconic London landmark.

7 - The British Museum

The British Museum, London, United Kingdom

The British Museum is one of the largest and most prestigious museums in the world, located in London, England. Founded in 1753, it houses a vast collection of artifacts and artworks from various parts of the world and different periods of human history.

Here are some key points to know about the British Museum:

  1. Collections: The British Museum boasts over eight million objects, covering a diverse range of disciplines including archaeology, anthropology, art, history, and culture. Collections include treasures from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and more.

  2. Building: The main building of the British Museum is a prime example of neoclassical architecture, designed by architect Sir Robert Smirke. It is located in the Bloomsbury district of London and features a large central courtyard surrounded by galleries.

  3. Free Admission: Entry to the British Museum is free for all visitors, though charges may apply for some temporary exhibitions. This makes it a highly popular attraction among tourists and London residents alike.

  4. Highlights: Among the museum's most famous pieces are the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, Egyptian mummies, the Ra-Horakhty statue, the Sutton Hoo burial mask, and many others.

  5. Activities and Tours: The British Museum offers free guided tours, family activities, lectures, and workshops throughout the year. It's worth checking the events program to enhance your visit.

  6. Practical Tips: Given the size and richness of the collections, it's advisable to plan your visit in advance and select a few specific points of interest to explore. Also, aim to arrive early to avoid crowds, especially on busy days.

In summary, the British Museum is a must-visit destination for history, art, and culture enthusiasts, offering an immersive and educational experience for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

8 - The National Gallery

The National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

The National Gallery is an art museum located in Trafalgar Square in central London, England. It was founded in 1824 and houses a vast collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to the 1900s. The museum's focus is primarily on European paintings, with works representing various artistic movements and styles.

Here are some key points about the National Gallery:

  1. Collections: The National Gallery's collection includes masterpieces by renowned artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, and many others. The paintings cover a wide range of genres, including religious scenes, portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and historical subjects.

  2. Building: The main building of the National Gallery is an iconic neoclassical structure designed by architect William Wilkins. It features grand halls and galleries adorned with ornate decorations, providing a fitting backdrop for the artwork on display.

  3. Free Admission: Like many museums in London, entry to the National Gallery is free for all visitors. This accessibility makes it a popular destination for art enthusiasts, students, and tourists alike.

  4. Guided Tours and Events: The National Gallery offers guided tours, talks, workshops, and special exhibitions throughout the year. These events provide opportunities for visitors to deepen their understanding of the artworks and their historical context.

  5. Practical Tips: Given the size of the collection, it's a good idea to plan your visit in advance and prioritize the paintings or artists you most want to see. The museum's website provides information on current exhibitions, opening hours, and visitor guidelines.

  6. Cafes and Shops: The National Gallery has several cafes and a gift shop where visitors can relax, enjoy refreshments, and purchase souvenirs related to the museum's collection.

Overall, the National Gallery is a cultural landmark in London, offering a rich and diverse array of artistic treasures that appeal to visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you're a seasoned art aficionado or a casual admirer, a visit to the National Gallery is sure to be a rewarding experience.

9 - Tate Modern

Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom

The Tate Modern is a modern and contemporary art museum located in London, England. It is one of the four Tate galleries, alongside Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives. Housed in a former power station on the banks of the River Thames in the Bankside area, the Tate Modern is renowned for its impressive collection and iconic architecture.

Here are some key points to know about the Tate Modern:

  1. Collections: The Tate Modern boasts an extensive collection of modern and contemporary artworks, spanning various artistic mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, video, installation, and more. The collection features works by artists from around the world, with a focus on influential British and international artists.

  2. Building: The museum is situated in the former Bankside Power Station, designed by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and completed in 1963. The industrial structure was converted into an art gallery by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and has become a symbol of contemporary architecture in London.

  3. Exhibitions and Installations: Tate Modern regularly hosts temporary exhibitions showcasing the work of emerging and established artists, as well as specially commissioned contemporary art installations for its gallery spaces. These exhibitions provide visitors with a stimulating perspective on current trends and developments in contemporary art.

  4. Events and Programs: In addition to exhibitions, Tate Modern offers a range of events, talks, lectures, film screenings, and workshops aimed at expanding and enriching visitors' experiences. These programs provide unique opportunities for engagement with contemporary art and culture.

  5. Shops and Restaurants: The museum features gift shops offering a range of artistic and cultural products, as well as restaurants and cafes serving delicious cuisine and offering stunning views of the River Thames and London's skyline.

In summary, the Tate Modern is a must-visit destination for modern and contemporary art enthusiasts, offering an immersive and enriching experience at the heart of the British capital. Whether you're a seasoned art connoisseur or simply curious to explore new artistic perspectives, a visit to the Tate Modern promises to be a memorable experience.

10 - Soho district

Soho district, London, United Kingdom

Soho is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood located in the West End of London, England. Known for its lively atmosphere, cultural diversity, and rich history, Soho has long been a center for entertainment, nightlife, and creative industries.

Here are some key features and attractions of Soho:

  1. Entertainment: Soho is renowned for its entertainment options, including theaters, music venues, comedy clubs, and cinemas. The area has a rich theatrical heritage, with famous venues such as the London Palladium, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, and the Soho Theatre.

  2. Nightlife: Soho is synonymous with nightlife, boasting a wide array of bars, pubs, clubs, and late-night venues. From traditional English pubs to trendy cocktail bars and underground clubs, there's something for everyone in Soho after dark.

  3. Dining: Soho is a culinary hotspot, with an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, street food stalls, and eateries representing cuisines from around the world. Whether you're craving Italian, Chinese, Indian, or traditional British fare, you'll find plenty of options in Soho to satisfy your taste buds.

  4. Shopping: Soho offers a diverse shopping experience, with a mix of independent boutiques, vintage stores, high-end fashion retailers, and quirky shops. From designer fashion to unique souvenirs and artisanal goods, Soho is a shopper's paradise.

  5. Cultural Diversity: Soho has a long history of cultural diversity and tolerance, with communities from various backgrounds coexisting harmoniously. This diversity is reflected in the area's vibrant street life, multicultural cuisine, and artistic expression.

  6. Landmarks: Soho is home to several notable landmarks and attractions, including the iconic Carnaby Street, Chinatown, Leicester Square, and the bustling streets of Shaftesbury Avenue and Dean Street.

Overall, Soho is a dynamic and exciting neighborhood that offers something for everyone, whether you're interested in entertainment, dining, shopping, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of one of London's most iconic districts.

11 - Camden Town

Camden Town, London, United Kingdom

Camden Town is an eclectic and vibrant neighborhood located in North London, England. Known for its alternative atmosphere, vibrant art scene, bustling markets, and bohemian vibe, Camden Town attracts visitors from around the world in search of culture and originality.

Here are some key features and attractions of Camden Town:

  1. Markets: Camden Market is one of the area's main attractions, offering a variety of stalls and shops selling everything from vintage clothing and music to crafts and alternative design. Camden's markets are the perfect place to find unique finds and discover new artistic talents.

  2. Nightlife: Camden Town is renowned for its lively nightlife, with a plethora of pubs, bars, clubs, and concert venues offering a diverse range of live music, from indie rock to reggae to electronic. The famous Roundhouse, a former locomotive shed turned performance venue, is a must-visit for music lovers.

  3. Street Art: Camden Town's streets are dotted with colorful and expressive street art, created by local and international artists. From graffiti to art installations, street art is an integral part of Camden's artistic and cultural identity.

  4. International Cuisine: Camden Town offers a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and street food stalls serving cuisine from around the world. Whether you're craving exotic dishes, international specialties, or authentic street food, you'll find it all in Camden, often at affordable prices.

  5. Regent's Canal: The Camden neighborhood is bordered by the picturesque Regent's Canal, offering visitors the opportunity to stroll along its banks, cycle, or even take a boat cruise. The canal provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city while offering scenic views and a relaxed atmosphere.

In summary, Camden Town is an eclectic and dynamic neighborhood where originality and diversity reign supreme. Whether you're a fan of shopping, music, art, or just leisurely wandering, Camden Town offers a unique and memorable experience to all who visit.

12 - Notting Hill district

Notting Hill district, London, United Kingdom

Notting Hill is a vibrant and picturesque neighborhood located in West London, England. Famous for its colorful houses, lively markets, and eclectic atmosphere, Notting Hill has become an iconic destination for visitors from around the world.

Here are some key features and attractions of Notting Hill:

  1. Portobello Road Market: Portobello Road Market is one of London's most famous street markets, known for its antiques, vintage clothing, street food, and eclectic wares. The market comes alive every Saturday, attracting locals and tourists alike to browse its stalls and soak up the lively atmosphere.

  2. Notting Hill Carnival: Notting Hill is home to Europe's largest street festival, the Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place annually on the August bank holiday weekend. The carnival celebrates Caribbean culture with colorful costumes, music, dance, and delicious Caribbean cuisine, attracting millions of visitors each year.

  3. Colorful Houses: Notting Hill is renowned for its picturesque streets lined with rows of colorful houses, painted in pastel hues and adorned with charming facades. The vibrant architecture adds to the neighborhood's charm and has made it a popular spot for photography enthusiasts.

  4. Notting Hill Film Locations: The neighborhood gained international fame as the setting for the romantic comedy film "Notting Hill" starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. Fans of the movie can visit iconic locations such as the famous blue door on Portobello Road and other filming sites scattered throughout the area.

  5. Charming Cafes and Restaurants: Notting Hill boasts an array of cozy cafes, trendy restaurants, and quaint eateries serving cuisine from around the world. Whether you're craving artisanal coffee, traditional British fare, or international delicacies, you'll find plenty of dining options to suit every taste.

  6. Green Spaces: Notting Hill is surrounded by beautiful green spaces, including Holland Park and Kensington Gardens, providing residents and visitors with tranquil retreats amidst the hustle and bustle of city life.

In summary, Notting Hill is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood that offers a unique blend of culture, history, and charm. Whether you're exploring its bustling markets, admiring its colorful houses, or enjoying its culinary delights, Notting Hill is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.

13 - Hyde Park

Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom

Hyde Park is one of London's most iconic Royal Parks and one of the largest in the city. Situated in the heart of London, Hyde Park provides a green and tranquil space where visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of urban life and enjoy nature.

Here are some key points about Hyde Park:

  1. Size and Facilities: Covering approximately 142 hectares (350 acres), Hyde Park offers a variety of facilities and activities for visitors. Attractions include walking trails, open lawns for picnicking and relaxing, sports fields, children's playgrounds, fountains, landscaped gardens, and even a lake called the Serpentine.

  2. Monuments and Points of Interest: Hyde Park is home to several monuments and points of interest, including the famous Speakers' Corner, where speakers can freely express their views on a variety of topics, and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, a memorial dedicated to Princess Diana.

  3. Activities: Visitors to Hyde Park can enjoy a range of activities, including walking, jogging, cycling, rollerblading, boating on the Serpentine Lake, tennis, football, and even horse riding. The park also offers birdwatching opportunities and relaxation in the heart of nature.

  4. Events: Hyde Park regularly hosts outdoor events and concerts, including music festivals, theatrical performances, circus shows, craft fairs, and community events. These events add to the park's lively atmosphere and attract a wide audience.

  5. Biodiversity: Hyde Park is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including bird species, fish, insects, and plants. The park serves as a biodiversity sanctuary in the heart of London, providing vital habitat for many urban species.

In summary, Hyde Park is a green jewel in the heart of London, offering visitors a space for relaxation, recreation, and exploration amidst the city's hustle and bustle. Whether it's for a peaceful stroll, a sporting activity, or a cultural event, Hyde Park offers something for everyone while preserving its natural character and timeless beauty.

14 - Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park, London, United Kingdom

Greenwich Park is a beautiful and historic park located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, in southeast London, England. It is one of the city's largest and oldest green spaces, offering stunning views, historical landmarks, and recreational opportunities for visitors.

Here are some key points about Greenwich Park:

  1. Size and Location: Greenwich Park covers an area of approximately 183 acres (74 hectares) and is situated on a hill overlooking the River Thames. Its central location in Greenwich makes it easily accessible by public transportation, including trains, buses, and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

  2. Historical Significance: Greenwich Park has a rich history dating back to the Roman times and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to several historical landmarks, including the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum, and the Old Royal Naval College.

  3. Royal Observatory Greenwich: Located within Greenwich Park, the Royal Observatory Greenwich is famous for being the location of the Prime Meridian Line, where the world's time is set. Visitors can stand on the Prime Meridian Line, explore exhibits on astronomy and navigation, and enjoy panoramic views of London from the hilltop.

  4. Landscaped Gardens: Greenwich Park features beautifully landscaped gardens, including flower beds, lawns, and tree-lined avenues. The park is a popular spot for picnics, leisurely walks, and outdoor activities, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

  5. Wildlife: Greenwich Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including squirrels, birds, and insects. The park's diverse habitats, including grasslands, woodlands, and meadows, support a rich array of flora and fauna.

  6. Recreational Facilities: The park offers recreational facilities such as tennis courts, a boating lake, and a children's playground. Visitors can also enjoy sports such as jogging, cycling, and horse riding on designated paths and trails.

  7. Events and Festivals: Greenwich Park hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including outdoor concerts, open-air theater performances, and seasonal celebrations. The park's expansive grounds provide an ideal venue for large-scale events and community gatherings.

Overall, Greenwich Park is a picturesque and historically significant green space that offers visitors a blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and recreational opportunities. Whether you're interested in history, astronomy, or simply enjoying nature, Greenwich Park has something to offer for everyone.

15 - British gastronomy

British gastronomy, London, United Kingdom

British cuisine is diverse and rich in flavors, reflecting the history and varied culture of the United Kingdom. Here's an overview of some iconic dishes and specialties of British cuisine:

  1. Fish and Chips: This classic dish is a staple of British cuisine. It consists of pieces of fish, traditionally cod, coated in batter and deep-fried, served with thick-cut fries (chips) and often accompanied by mushy peas or tartar sauce.

  2. Sunday Roast: The Sunday Roast is a meal traditionally served on Sunday lunchtime. It typically includes a roasted meat, such as beef, lamb, or chicken, accompanied by roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables, Yorkshire pudding, and gravy.

  3. Cottage Pie and Shepherd's Pie: These hearty dishes are British classics. Cottage Pie is made with minced beef and vegetables, topped with a layer of mashed potatoes, while Shepherd's Pie uses minced lamb instead of beef.

  4. Full English Breakfast: This hearty breakfast typically includes eggs (fried, scrambled, or poached), sausages, bacon, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, black pudding, and toast.

  5. Afternoon Tea: Afternoon Tea is a British tradition consisting of a light snack served in the afternoon, usually between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm. It includes a selection of teas, cucumber or smoked salmon sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, as well as small cakes and pastries.

  6. Regional Dishes: Each region of the UK has its own culinary specialties. For example, in Scotland, Haggis is a traditional dish made from sheep offal, while in Wales, Welsh Rarebit is a delicious dish of melted cheese on toast.

In summary, British cuisine offers a variety of delicious and comforting dishes, from classics like Fish and Chips and Sunday Roast to unique regional specialties. Whether it's for a hearty meal or an elegant snack, British cuisine has something to offer for every palate.

16 - Take a cruise on the Thames

Take a cruise on the Thames, London, United Kingdom

Taking a cruise on the River Thames is a wonderful way to experience London from a different perspective and see many of its iconic landmarks. Here's what you can expect from a Thames River cruise:

  1. Sightseeing: During the cruise, you'll have the opportunity to see famous London landmarks such as the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the Shard, the Globe Theatre, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower), the London Eye, and more. The commentary provided on most cruises offers interesting insights into the history and significance of these landmarks.

  2. Relaxation: Cruising on the River Thames provides a relaxing experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. You can sit back, enjoy the gentle sway of the boat, and take in the views of London's skyline and riverside attractions.

  3. Different Perspectives: A Thames River cruise allows you to see London's landmarks from unique angles and perspectives that you wouldn't get from land. It's a great opportunity for photography enthusiasts to capture stunning shots of the cityscape and its famous monuments.

  4. Options: There are various types of Thames River cruises available to suit different preferences and budgets. You can choose from sightseeing cruises, lunch or dinner cruises, afternoon tea cruises, hop-on-hop-off cruises, speedboat experiences, and even themed cruises.

  5. Convenience: Many Thames River cruises depart from central locations such as Westminster Pier, Tower Pier, or Greenwich Pier, making them easily accessible to visitors. You can typically purchase tickets in advance online or directly at the pier before boarding.

  6. Historical Commentary: Most Thames River cruises provide informative commentary in multiple languages, offering insights into London's history, architecture, and landmarks as you cruise along the river.

Overall, a Thames River cruise is a memorable and enjoyable way to explore London's iconic landmarks, soak up its rich history, and admire its stunning riverside scenery. Whether you're a tourist or a local, it's an experience not to be missed.

17 - Harry Potter Studios

Harry Potter Studios, London, United Kingdom

This iconic destination is located at the Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, England. It offers visitors an immersive experience into the magical world of the Harry Potter film series.

The studios provide guided tours where visitors can explore authentic sets, costumes, props, and special effects used in the films. Highlights include the Great Hall of Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Dumbledore's office, Hagrid's hut, and many other iconic locations from the movies.

In addition to regular guided tours, the studios also host special events throughout the year, such as Christmas, Halloween celebrations, and other special occasions.

The Warner Bros. Studios Tour London is a must-visit for Harry Potter fans looking to delve into the behind-the-scenes creation of these iconic films.

18 - Take a trip to Windsor Castle

Take a trip to Windsor Castle, London, United Kingdom

Here's how you can organize a trip to Windsor Castle from London:

  1. Transportation: The most common way to reach Windsor from London is by train. You can take a train from Paddington Station or Waterloo Station to Windsor & Eton Central Station. The journey takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a bus or book a bus tour from London.

  2. Entrance Tickets: You can purchase tickets to visit Windsor Castle online in advance or at the castle entrance. It's recommended to buy in advance to avoid queues, especially during peak tourist times.

  3. Castle Tour: Once there, you can explore the castle at your own pace. Don't miss highlights such as the State Apartments, St. George's Chapel, the Semi-State Rooms, and the beautiful gardens.

  4. Free Time: After visiting the castle, you can enjoy some free time to explore the town of Windsor. You might wander through the historic streets, do some shopping, or have lunch at one of the many local restaurants.

  5. Return to London: Make sure to check the return train or bus schedules to ensure you return to London on time. It's generally advisable to leave early enough to avoid the evening rush hours.

By following these steps, you should be able to enjoy a pleasant and memorable day trip to Windsor Castle from London.

London - Where to Stay?

To choose a place to stay in London for visiting, it's important to consider several factors such as your budget, transportation preferences, the attractions you want to visit, and the type of experience you're seeking. Here are some popular neighborhoods to stay in London, each offering its own advantages:

  1. West End: This area is ideal if you want to be in the heart of the action, close to West End theaters, Covent Garden shops, and tourist sites like Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square. Accommodations might be a bit pricier here due to its popularity.

  2. South Bank: Located along the south bank of the Thames, South Bank offers beautiful views of London's iconic landmarks like the London Eye, Tate Modern, and the Shard. It's a great choice for those who enjoy a vibrant atmosphere and want to be close to most major attractions.

  3. Kensington and Chelsea: These neighborhoods are known for their elegance and refinement. You'll find attractions such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Natural History Museum, and Kensington Palace here. Accommodations might be a bit pricier, but you'll have easy access to public transportation.

  4. Camden: If you're looking for a more alternative and bohemian atmosphere, Camden might be the perfect spot. It's known for its eclectic market, live music venues, and youthful, dynamic vibe.

  5. Shoreditch: This East London neighborhood is renowned for its art scene, vintage shops, trendy bars, and hip restaurants. It's a great choice for travelers looking for a more alternative and creative atmosphere.

  6. Paddington and Bayswater: These neighborhoods are well-located and often offer more affordable accommodation options. They're well-connected by public transportation and provide easy access to attractions like Hyde Park and Portobello Road Market.

  7. Greenwich: If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, Greenwich could be a good option. You'll find attractions like the Royal Observatory, the Cutty Sark, and Greenwich Market here. Though slightly outside the city center, Greenwich is well-served by public transportation.

Whichever neighborhood you choose, make sure to check the proximity to tube or bus stations for easy access to the attractions you want to visit. Additionally, it's always helpful to read reviews and compare accommodation prices to find the option that best suits your needs and budget.

London - How to get around?

To get around and explore London, you have several efficient and convenient transportation options:

  1. Tube (Subway): London's subway system, known as the Tube, is one of the most extensive metro systems in the world. It serves most areas of the city and is particularly useful for quickly traveling between different attractions. Make sure to purchase an Oyster card or use a contactless travel card to benefit from reduced fares.

  2. Bus: London has an extensive bus network that covers the entire city. Buses provide a convenient transportation option for reaching places not accessible by the Tube. You can also use the Oyster card or a contactless travel card to pay for your bus journey.

  3. Train: In addition to the Tube, London has a network of suburban trains that serve the outskirts of the city as well as neighboring towns. These trains can be useful if you plan to visit attractions outside central London.

  4. Docklands Light Railway (DLR): The DLR is an automated light metro system that serves the Canary Wharf, Greenwich, and Stratford areas. It offers a convenient way to travel within these zones.

  5. Bicycle: London's bike rental system, known as Santander Cycles, allows visitors to rent bikes to explore the city. There are many cycling lanes in London, making it a pleasant option for those who enjoy exploring the city at their own pace.

  6. Walking: London is a relatively compact city, and many attractions are within walking distance of each other, especially in the city center. Walking is often the best way to discover the city's picturesque neighborhoods and quaint streets.

  7. Taxi and Ride-Hailing Services: London's iconic black taxis are readily available throughout the city, as are ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. They can be useful for shorter trips or when you need direct transport to a specific destination.

In summary, London offers a variety of transportation options that make the city easy to explore for visitors. By using a combination of the Tube, buses, trains, bikes, and walking, you can easily discover the many sights and attractions it has to offer.

London - Best period

London can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences for weather, crowds, and events. Here's a breakdown of the seasons:

  1. Spring (March to May): Spring in London brings mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and longer daylight hours. It's a lovely time to explore parks, gardens, and outdoor attractions without the peak summer crowds. Keep in mind that April tends to be a bit showery, so pack an umbrella.

  2. Summer (June to August): Summer is peak tourist season in London, with long days, warmer temperatures, and a lively atmosphere. This is the time for outdoor festivals, events, and al fresco dining. However, be prepared for larger crowds and higher prices for accommodations and attractions.

  3. Autumn (September to November): Autumn is a beautiful time to visit London as the city's parks and streets are painted with vibrant fall colors. The weather remains mild in September and early October, making it ideal for sightseeing. Additionally, this season sees fewer tourists compared to the summer months.

  4. Winter (December to February): Winter in London is chilly and can be damp, but the city takes on a festive atmosphere with Christmas markets, decorations, and ice skating rinks. January and February are typically the coldest months, but you'll find fewer crowds and better deals on accommodations. Plus, attractions like museums and theaters are still open year-round.

Ultimately, the best time to visit London depends on your interests and what you want to experience during your trip. If you prefer mild weather and fewer crowds, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn. However, if you want to experience the excitement of summer festivals or the festive charm of winter in London, plan your trip accordingly.

Last update : 26/05/2024 15:42

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