Founded in 43 AD, London’s architectural history spans over two millennia. You can still find Roman, Victorian, and Tudor architectural wonders throughout the city. Furthermore, you’re never far from a castle, an essential political structure, or an architectural masterpiece.
London is an excellent option for a vacation. Many, many times over. Even if you spend your days and nights taking in world-class art exhibits, famous sites, hidden gems, and a world-class theatre, you’ll only be scratching the surface of everything the city has to offer. So whether you’re moving to London or just popping by for a visit, it’s a good idea to start with this list of things to do in London.
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Explore the Barbican Conservatory
Visit the art complex that is part of a large concrete estate for an afternoon. It’s a landmark of London’s brutalist architecture, and it also has 2,000 expensive apartments for rent or sale.
The city’s second-largest conservatory and a 2,000-plant indoor garden are located here. You’ll see world-class works of art in all genres at the festival. It’s one of London’s best activities.
You’ll never get weary of exploring London’s stunning indoor forest, which resembles a secret garden.
The glass-encased rainforest is London’s second-largest conservatory and features a lighting display that gives the plants and flowers an extra sparkle. A guided tour is an excellent way to learn more about the plants. Take plenty of time when visiting the conservatory because it contains everything you could ever want.
On Sundays, the Conservatory serves afternoon tea.
Visit Buckingham Palace and Watch the Changing of the Guard
The Changing of the Guard is one of London’s most popular events at Buckingham Palace, one of Britain’s most recognizable structures. From St. James’s Palace to The Mall at 11:30 am, you can accompany the band as they perform a spectacular parade that includes precision marching and music, regardless of the season.
It was erected in 1837 and has served as the London residence of the Royal Family since the accession of Queen Victoria.
What to look for when you’re wondering whether the Queen’s in? Lookup: if her flag is flying all day and night, she’s at home. Even members of the Royal Family may appear on the centre balcony at certain events.
Tickets for tours of the State Rooms and the Queen’s Gallery are available when the Queen is away at her summer residence in Scotland.
Try Some of London’s Best Cocktails
A Lush Life Cocktail Tour gives you the inside scoop on London’s top cocktails. As part of this three-and-a-half-hour trip, you’ll visit some of London’s most famous cocktail bars (some of which you wouldn’t be able to discover), drink some of London’s best-known cocktails, and learn about the history of each one as you explore Soho.
We’ve been on many cocktail tours, but this is by far the finest. On the Lush Life podcast, Susan Schwartz narrates stories and anecdotes about some of New York City’s most popular bars and restaurants, all while guests sample two mini versions of each bar’s trademark cocktail. Meet and chat with the bartenders behind these wonderful drinks is also available.
It’s not your typical cocktail you’ll be drinking on this tour. That they’re so good adds a lot to the overall value of the tour. Eight cocktails may seem like a lot, but they’re delivered in smaller portions and always accompanied by food to avoid self-indulging afterwards.
London Food Markets
Londoners take their food very seriously, and there is no better place to see this than at one of the city’s many food markets.
There’s a food market waiting for you to explore all over London. Eat to your heart’s delight, so dive in. It’s even possible to wander around and sample complimentary cuisine. However, by purchasing anything from a local vendor, you are showing your appreciation for their work.
Try Khanom Krok, a Thai street food dish, for a taste. Try the juicy duck confit sandwich with crispy salad at Padella Borough Market or the freshly-made spaghetti at the Padella Borough Market.
Tour the Sculptures in the Victoria and Albert Museum
More than a hundred galleries may be found in London, making it a key player worldwide. The Natural History Museum and the Science Museum are also located in South Kensington, home to the Victoria and Albert Museum (often known as the V&A). The V&A, established in 1852, is a 13-acre museum with 145 galleries devoted to art and artefacts from over 5,000 years of history.
You can never see everything at this massive museum in a single trip, so prepare what you want to see ahead of time. Excursions are highly recommended and generally free at the V&A, with options that range from daily introductions to more in-depth tours focused on certain galleries or specific themes.
You’ve never seen a museum cafeteria like the Main and Garden Cafés. From the floor to the columns to the ceiling, each piece is a work of art in and of itself. In addition, the food is quite good.
On the last Friday of every month (except for March and December), check out one of the popular “Friday Late” events, known for their food and drink experiences and late-night exhibition openings.
See London from a Bird’s Eye View
Nothing beats a romantic Helicopter flight over London’s magnificent skyline.
A helicopter tour offers a bird’s-eye view of the city. From the highest point in the world, you’ll have a unique perspective of some of the world’s most iconic sites.
You may join a tour from central London that covers the city’s west and east coasts, with stops at some of the city’s most popular attractions in between.
There is a lot of pleasure to be had on the 20-minute journey. The pilot will point out the most noteworthy sights as you soar through the air. In London, it’s a great way to spend a romantic evening with your significant other.
It’s possible to see a stunning sunset over London if you arrange your route well. The most unusual thing to do in London is to take a helicopter ride. Take a helicopter trip over the city if you’ve already seen the most famous sights and aren’t interested in repeating them.
New skyscrapers like The Shard (also known as Shard London Bridge and The Tower) have been added to the iconic London skyline, ensuring that there are still reasons to come and see how modern London is taking up the space. The Shard, along with the London Eye, provides stunning views of the city, but there are also numerous spots along the Thames where you can relax and take in the scenery.
Take a Ride on the London Eye
A rotating 360-degree view of central London is only available from the London Eye. See London. If you have 30 minutes to spare, this is the best way to see London’s landmarks, including Parliament and Big Ben. Most of London’s most well-known sites can be seen clearly on a sunny day. From the river, the tops of the buildings, and 404 feet above the ground – all in one trip!
Explore the Covent Garden
Located in the heart of Covent Garden lies the historic Covent Garden Market, with a large pedestrian-only Piazza in the middle. Nearby shopping and entertainment districts like The Yards, The Opera, and Seven Dials are all within walking distance of the Piazza Della Signoria. Historic Soho, the Thames, Leicester Square, and Trafalgar Square are all within a few blocks of this region.
Not only do you have the Covent Garden markets, but you also have Long Acre and other nearby streets like Neal’s Yard and Seven Dials and Central Square, which is home to some of the most skilled and distinctive street performers in London. In addition, speciality stores and kiosks surround the market’s halls and arcades, selling anything from tea to expensive handicrafts to cheap trinkets.
At the British Museum and several other top-rated mid-range hotels, Bloomsbury is a short walk from Covent Garden. Bloomsbury was formerly the centre of London’s literary scene and home to several top attractions.
Stroll Around East London
A weekend tradition in east London, the Sunday flower market lines the streets on Sundays. Columbia Road is a haven for hipsters and one of the greatest places in the city to buy flowers, bedding plants, cacti, and even a banana tree if you have the patio area and upper body power to transport it.
Since 1900, this workers’ café has fed the excellent people of east London with eggy, meaty, and pan-fried carbohydrates and proteins. A fascinating property on Folgate Street in east London has been decorated to mimic the home of Huguenot silk weavers from the eighteenth century.
Experience Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is the hub of London’s hustle and bustle, where five busy routes intersect. While Piccadilly is constantly bustling with people on their way to work in the morning, Oxford Street (a few blocks north) is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike to shop and dine.
Read More: Best Museums and Art Galleries to Visit in London