Take your trip to the next level with our local’s guide to the best things to do in London.
1. Shopping at Harrods
That’s right. It may sound silly, but shopping is one of the best things to do on a visit to London. Be sure to set aside an hour to two to explore Harrods, the upscale department store established in 1834 by Charles Henry Harrod. Peruse the store’s selection of clothing, gifts, and fashion accessories, and pick up some of their famous teas, biscuits, and jams to take home.
2. Afternoon tea at The Orangery
One of the most elegant restaurants in London, The Orangery at Kensington Palace is set in a garden pavilion built for Queen Anne in 1704. Stop by for traditional high tea and enjoy the classical 18th-century architecture.
3. Ride the London Eye
For spectacular views of the city and an unbeatable perspective of the Houses of Parliament, take a ride on the London Eye. Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, the London Eye stands at over 440 feet tall and is lined with capsules holding up to 25 guests. If you love a good thrill, this might be the best thing you’ll do in London.
4. Victoria and Albert Museum
Founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the V&A Museum is the world’s largest collection of decorative arts and design. The massive space, which covers 12 acres in the Brompton district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, holds 145 galleries with art spanning across 5,000 years. Wherever your artistic interests lie, you be fascinated by the museum’s architecture, fashion, photography, theater and performance, sculpture, and much more.
5. National Gallery
A visit to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square is another must. Founded in 1824, the museum houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. Best of all, entry to the main collection is free of charge.
6. Get lost in Chinatown
There’s no better place to get lost in London than in bustling Chinatown. Sandwiched between Soho, Covent Gardens, Trafalgar Square, and Picadilly Circus, its central location makes it easy to pop by for a delicious, inexpensive meal of authentic Dim Sum or Chinese noodles.
7. Explore the antique markets in Covent Garden
Experience the hustle and bustle of one of London’s most exciting antique markets. The market at Covent Garden has a wide variety of eclectic arts and crafts stalls, from jewelry and clothing to housewares and general market items. And with a wide variety of food stalls to choose from, you can start your outing with a traditional English breakfast.
Considering a trip to London? Browse our collection of guided tours of Great Britain.