10 things to do in London

10 things to do in London

Many people visit London from all over the world every year, and it is the perfect place to go for the day, if you live close enough, or even a long weekend. It is right on our doorsteps and yet, many people often bypass this beautiful city in favour for somewhere abroad and hot. There are so many wonderful things to do in London that it really is worth a visit. Here are our top 10 things to do when you are in the capital city of England…

1) Get an Oyster card

Oyster card

If you know that you are going to be using public transport during your stay in London, it is really worth getting yourself an Oyster card, even if you are only there for a day. It is essentially a pay as you go smart card, which you can use on buses, the tube, trams, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, and most National Rail services in London. This saves you queuing up to get a paper ticket, and if you are planning on visiting again, you can simply top it up. It also saves you money in the long run, as it allows you to pay only for the journeys you make, unlike a travelcard. 

2) Take a bus tour

bus tour

London is full of people trying to sell you tickets for a bus tour. They operate all around the city, and you can simply hop and hop off where you want. Although these can be quite pricey, if you have never visited London before, they are a really good way of getting to see the city. The tour guide will point out any landmarks, and give you history on the area. The majority of these buses are open topped buses, so, depending on what time of year you visit, prepare to get wet and cold!

3) Visit the London Eye

london eye

If you are not keen on heights, this one might not be for you. However, if you can brave the dizzy heights of the London Eye, it really is an excellent way of seeing the city in all its glory. Although there are numerous tickets that offer different additions, all tickets include the 30 minute ride on the Eye, and entry to the 4D cinema experience. The cheapest entry for one adult is around £20, but it is well worth doing if you get the chance. The views are simply magnificent, particularly if it is a nice, clear day.

4)  Have dinner at the Shard

the shard

This is another one that is perhaps not ideal for those with a fear of heights, but having dinner in the tallest building in Western Europe really is a once in a lifetime experience and simply exquisite. There are a number of different restaurants to choose from, and you can take in the sights on London’s highest viewing platform. If you go for your evening meal, it is truly breath-taking to see London lit up from high up in the sky. 

5) Visit the National Gallery

national gallery

The National Gallery is the most famous art gallery in London. It is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, and best of all its free. There is quite often something going on at the gallery, such as concerts, and it is an excellent chance for you to relax and learn about art. There are eve cafes and dining bars, should you get hungry during your visits. Whether you opt for a tour, or take yourself around the impressive building, you will not be disappointed. 

6) Experience the Tower of London

tower of london

A trip to London would not be complete without a visit to the Tower of London. You will be able to see the Ravens, which are famous for only flying around the Tower of London, as well as the Crown Jewels. The best way to experience this is with a tour guide, who can tell you the history of the Tower, and ensure that you do not miss anything. It is a brilliant, family friendly activity that is both fun and educational. 

7) Watch the Changing of the Guard

changing of the guard

Depending on when you visit London, make time to head up to Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony. It is a truly spectacular ceremony that takes place at 11:30am each day from May to July, and alternative days the rest of the time. If the weather is bad, it may be cancelled. To see the mounted guards change, head down to the Horse Guards Arch for 11am or 10am if it’s a Sunday. It does get quite busy, and it is best to arrive about fifteen minutes before the ceremony is due to take place. 

8) Have your picture taken outside Buckingham Palace or Big Ben

big ben

Buckingham Palace and Big Ben are two of the most well-known landmarks in London, and therefore you cannot leave without the obligatory selfie outside these two buildings. Not only is it a brilliant way of documenting your trip, but it creates an excellent momentum that you can take home. If you are visiting London with other people, you can have a large group photo to remember your trip by. 

9) Go to a West End Show

west end show

If you are overnight in London, try and book a West End Show to get the full experience. This does not have to cost a fortune, and can fit in to those itineraries that have slightly smaller budgets, depending on what show you see, and the seats you choose. Why not make an afternoon of it, and have some dinner beforehand and drinks afterwards. It is the perfect way to end a trip to this beautiful city. 

10) Experience a London Market

camden market

London is full of different markets that offer customer one off items that you cannot get anywhere else. Borough and Camden Markets are both excellent places to get different items that you would be hard pushed to find anywhere else, and Covent Garden offers little trinkets and jewellery that really are one offs. The markets also have some brilliant food stalls, and are an excellent way to spend a day, particularly in the summer months when the weather is nice. 

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