London, one of the world’s most visited cities, truly has something for everyone. Steeped in fascinating history, it is a capital city rich in culture, art, diversity and knowledge. Dock at Tower Bridge and you’ll experience one of the most exclusive cruise ports in the world. You’ll find yourself berthed right alongside HMS Belfast, the most significant surviving Second World War Royal Navy warship that now permanently lives on the River Thames.
There are so many fantastic things to do in this capital city that whittling it down to just five was hard but here are a few things to get you started:
Spend the afternoon at a museum
What better way to immerse yourself in the culture and history of London than spending the afternoon at one of its many diverse museums? One of the UK’s most famous institutions, the British Museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture. Home to the world-famous Rosetta Stone, admission to the British Museum is free and well worth a visit if you’re a history buff.
With more than 70 million different species and exhibits (from dinosaur bones to a simulated earthquake as well as plant, animal, fossil and mineral specimens), the Natural History Museum is a popular choice for all. We recommend downloading the app to help you navigate your way around the museum, it has interactive maps, useful audio guides and interesting behind the scenes information. If you get the chance, book tickets to Night at the Museum. This popular event takes place after hours and gives you the chance to solve crimes, conduct experiments, listen to talks or watch movies.
We love the Science Museum! As one of London’s largest tourist attractions and one of the world’s major museums, the Science Museum welcomes millions every year. A scientific discovery for all ages, here you’ll find incredible exhibitions, interactive galleries, a plethora of events and a fantastic way to pass the time.
The Museum of London is a must when visiting the capital. Dedicated specifically to documenting the capital’s history, the museum will help you to see London in a whole new light. Travel back in time and see how the city has transformed over the years.
Visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace
Queen Elizabeth II London home, Buckingham Palace is home to 774 rooms and the largest private garden in the capital. Stroll through Green Park to catch a glimpse of Buckingham Palace and watch the world famous Changing of the Guard. The tradition of Changing of the Guard takes place daily in the summer and 4 days a week the rest of the year (weather permitting) and provides a great opportunity to witness a historic tradition.
The palace is also open for tours, providing you access to the 19 State Rooms where the Queen and members of the Royal Family host guests for state, ceremonial and official affairs.
Wander round a market
London is filled to the brim with markets. Columbia Road Flower Market is one of London’s oldest and best-loved flower markets, taking place every Sunday. It is the best place in the capital to buy flowers, bedding plants, cacti and even banana trees (if you have the energy to carry it around with you!)
If you’re looking for a souvenir that’s a little different to the usual magnets, keyrings and badges, head to Portobello Road Market. The pastel-painted, picturesque shopping street of Notting Hill is home to the world’s largest antiques market. Wander to Chepstow Villas at the end of the road and you’ll find bric-a-brac stalls.
See the capital from above on the London Eye
A trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to the iconic London Eye. A giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank, the London Eye offers incredible views of the city including many of London’s landmarks. Look out for Big Ben, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace from a private or shared pod.
The 13-metre-high wheel was constructed to celebrate the millennium. It turns at 0.6 miles per hour in order to provide astounding views of the skyline and cityscape. The experience is phenomenal at any time of day and at any time of the year but hiring a pod on New Year’s Eve is a spectacle not to be missed. Witness the celebratory fireworks just metres away.
Have a picnic in the park
Once the recreational stomping ground for King Henry VIII, Hyde Park is one of the largest and possibly one of the most famous parks in London. The park holds historical significance as several demonstrations and protests have taken place here over time. Most famously, a Suffragettes protest. Speaker’s Corner is still occupied by debates, protests and performance artists. Serpentine Lake is a lovely spot to lay your picnic blanket and watch the world go by.
Regent’s Park is a Grade I-listed Royal Park which is home to London Zoo, a boating lake and lush rose gardens. Queen Mary’s Garden features the largest collection of roses with over 85 different varieties. Not to be missed is the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, a magical way to enjoy excellent outdoor theatre from April to September.
Ancient woodland, open space and enchanting rural wilds make Richmond Park. The former Royal-hunting ground is London’s biggest, grandest royal park. Look out for wild red and fallow deer but make sure to keep your distance – especially during autumn’s rutting season!