Things to do in London

From double-decker buses to pubs and musicals, the British capital has something special for all.

Our most recommended things to do in London

Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour

1. Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour

Walk in the footsteps of your favorite wizards (and witches) around Muggle London. Your Harry Potter enthusiast guide will be armed with weird and wonderful trivia all along the way.  Meet your guide and start your adventure by finding out which Hogwarts House you belong in. Compete against other Houses in an interactive quiz as you see the sites that inspired J.K. Rowling, from Shakespeare's Globe to the London alleys that inspired Knockturn Alley. Highlights include passing The Leaky Cauldron, the secret wizarding inn. Explore the real Diagon Alley, where Harry buys his first wand. Even see the bridge destroyed by the Death Eaters in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince".  For part of your guided tour, choose to either take the London Underground or a short boat trip down the Thames. Both options follow this itinerary:  1. Southwark Cathedral 2. Borough Market 3. The Golden Hinde 4. Winchester Palace 5. The Clink Prison Museum 6. Shakespeare's Globe 7. Millennium Bridge 8. Daniel Radcliffe's School 9. The London Eye 10. River Thames 11. Sherlock Holmes' Pub 12. Great Scotland Yard 13. Gringotts Wizarding Bank 14. The world's smallest police station 15. Trafalgar Square 16. Knockturn Alley 17. Diagon Alley 18. Palace Theatre

London: Jack the Ripper Guided Walking Tour

2. London: Jack the Ripper Guided Walking Tour

Hit the streets of East End London on a Jack the Ripper mystery walking tour. Head back to 1888 with your expert Ripperologist guide as you try to solve the still-unsolved murders on this immersive experience. Assess photographic evidence and hear true stories about the investigation to suss out the suspects. 'Investigate’ the alleged perpetrators and hear about the theories as to who committed some of the most shocking crimes in Britain's history. Learn more about the victims and everyday life in Whitechapel which was an impoverished neighborhood at the time. Your guide will even share gems about Victorian London, including the cultural context for enduring figures such as Sherlock Holmes.  Was Jack the Ripper ever close to being caught? Why did he choose Whitechapel? Where was any evidence discovered? Find all this out and more with your Ripperologist guide. Stops include:  • Brick Lane  • Christ Church  • Spitalfields Market • Mitre Square • Petticoat Lane • Ten Bells Pub

LHR London Heathrow Airport: Plaza Premium Lounge

3. LHR London Heathrow Airport: Plaza Premium Lounge

Avoid the crowds and chaos of the public departure lounge and relax in style before your flight from London Heathrow Airport. Choose between a 3-hour or 6-hour stay, then make yourself comfortable in one of the premium lounges located in Terminal 2 (departure and arrival), Terminal 3 (arrival), Terminal 4 (departure and arrival), and Terminal 5 (departure). In the lounge, enjoy the opportunity to unwind before your flight and relax on the comfortable seating as you watch the TV, equipped with Sky Sports, or read one of the available e-newspapers or e-magazines. You can also make use of the lounges' unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi, and dine on an array of freshly prepared seasonal food as well as drinks from a fully serviced bar.

From London: Ticket to Warner Bros. Studio Tour with Transfer

4. From London: Ticket to Warner Bros. Studio Tour with Transfer

Dive into the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter at the Warner Brothers Studio with return transfers included. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the most successful movie series of all time. Head to Platform 9 ¾ and ride the Hogwarts Express. Relive the magic of Harry’s trips to Hogwarts by posing with a luggage trolley right before it disappears through the wall, then walk through the train carriage. Step onto the famous cobblestones of Diagon Alley, featuring the shopfronts of Ollivander's Wand Shop, Flourish and Blotts, and Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. Venture behind the scenes to discover fantastic sets, costumes, and props. Learn some closely guarded secrets, including facts about the special effects and animatronics that made the Harry Potter films so popular around the world. See iconic props such as Harry’s Nimbus 2000 and Hagrid’s motorcycle. Rediscover other memorable sets, including the Gryffindor common room, the boys’ dormitory, Hagrid’s hut, and the Potions classroom.

The London Eye: Entry Ticket

5. The London Eye: Entry Ticket

Step into your capsule and feel the exhilaration as you rise up over the water and come face to face with the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Soar above them, up to 135 meters on the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel.  There are mesmerizing 360-degree views of the whole city laid out before you. See the most famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London and up to 40km out of the city to Windsor Castle on a clear day. Enjoy the gradual rotation and just stand and stare at the hustle and bustle of London life unfolding beneath you, the beautiful sunset over the city, or the thousands of twinkling lights after dark. 

From London: Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour

6. From London: Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour

Perfect for those with a penchant for Harry Potter, this Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London provides a unique opportunity to explore the magic of the Harry Potter films — the most successful movie series of all time. Venture behind the scenes to discover a huge array of fantastic sets, costumes, and props. Learn some closely guarded secrets, including facts about the special effects and animatronics that made the Harry Potter films so hugely popular around the world. Step onto the famous cobblestones of Diagon Alley, featuring the shopfronts of Ollivander's Wand Shop, Flourish and Blotts, and Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. See iconic props from the films, including Harry’s Nimbus 2000 and Hagrid’s motorcycle. Rediscover other memorable sets from the film series, including the Gryffindor common room, the boys’ dormitory, Hagrid’s hut, and the Potions classroom. Visit Platform 9 ¾ and ride the Hogwarts Express! Explore a perfect recreation of the platform and the train itself and relive the magic of Harry’s trips to Hogwarts by posing with a luggage trolley right before it disappears through the wall and walking through the train carriage. Learn how the iconic train scenes were filmed, and browse through your favorite character’s luggage! Top off your Hogwarts Express adventure in a train-themed souvenir shop and load up on goodies inspired by your favorite Potter films. For the first time ever, enter the set of Gringotts Wizarding Bank! Walk through the wizarding bank of Gringott's, the Lestrange vault, a gallery of goblins, and much more. Admire the imposing marble columns and discover the costumes and prosthetics belonging to Bogrod, Griphook, and many other Golbin bankers. Then enter the depths of the Lestrange vault used to store the treasures of Bellatrix Lestrange and surround yourselves with treasure. You'll have approximately 4 hours to enjoy the magic of the Harry Potter studio. Due to heavy traffic at busier times of the year, this may be shorter however the minimum time spent at the studio will be no less than 4 hours. With the bus journey included, the total duration of the tour is normally 7–7.5 hours, subject to traffic and entry times.

London: Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket

7. London: Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket

Take a tour of the timeless Tower of London – part of British history since the 11th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built in 1086 by William the Conqueror.  Discover London’s castle – a secure fortress, royal palace, and infamous prison. Spot the ravens that live on the premises and find out why they are known as the guardians of the Tower. Stroll across Tower Green to see where many executions took place, including those of 2 of Henry VIII's wives. You will also have access to the inside of the tower. Prepare to be dazzled by the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. These priceless symbols of the British Monarchy compose the greatest working collection of crown jewels in the world. Pore over the 23,578 gems, including the glistening Imperial State Crown - this piece alone has 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies. Gain valuable insights into the Towers History from some of its most famous residents, The Yeoman Body. Whilst Tours may be currently unavailable, the Yeoman Warders will be on hand to provide fascinating stories of the Tower through the ages.

Harry Potter: Warner Bros. Studio Tour from King's Cross

8. Harry Potter: Warner Bros. Studio Tour from King's Cross

Experience the pure magic of Warner Bros. Studio Tour London with this 7.5-hour package that includes round-trip transportation from London’s King’s Cross. After your departure from the station, arrive at the studios approximately 2 hours later and enjoy an extended 4-hour visit! Begin where Harry started, at the Cupboard under the Stairs, before watching an enchanting welcome video and heading into The Great Hall – one of the biggest sets on the site. As you travel through, you’ll see an amazing selection of actual costumes, props and special effects pieces, all maintained in pristine condition. See The Burrow, Hagrid’s Hut, the Gryffindor Common Room, Dumbledore’s office and much more. Marvel at small details like Dumbledore’s Pensieve and larger pieces like the fantastic animatronic door and the Chamber of Secrets. Have fun riding a broom through London at the Green Screen exhibit and board the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9-3/4. See Privet Drive and the Knight Bus, buy a Butterbeer™ on the backlot and get up close to the prosthetics and animatronics in the special effects department. There is so much to see you will be thankful to have extended time to take it all in!

Madame Tussauds London

9. Madame Tussauds London

Millions of people have flocked through the doors of London’s Madame Tussauds since it first opened more than 200 years ago. Add your name to the list and make your way up the red carpet to see all your favorite stars. The museum-style ropes and poles have gone, so you can truly get up close and personal with A-list celebrities, sporting legends, political heavyweights, and historical icons. Relive the moments and events that made the world take notice. Join your favorite celebrities at the ultimate party including Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy. Strut your stuff on the catwalk with Cara, join the Royal Family on the iconic balcony, and take a selfie with royal couple Harry and Meghan. Explore the jungles of Kong: Skull Island with Tom Hiddleston as Captain James Conrad or hail a London cab for a journey through 400 years of the capital’s history. Then use the force to be transported to a galaxy far, far away and star in the action with the greats of the Star Wars universe.

Warner Bros. Studio London: Tour with Bus Transfers

10. Warner Bros. Studio London: Tour with Bus Transfers

This 7-hour program (including 4 hours in the studios) provides the opportunity to explore the magic of the world-renowned Harry Potter film series at Warner Bros. Studio London, including the Forbidden Forest. Take a peek behind the scenes of a huge array of beautiful sets, costumes, and props. See some closely guarded secrets, including facts about the special effects and breathtaking animatronics that made these films so hugely popular around the world. Help yourself to refreshments in the Studio Café, including freshly prepared hot soups and snacks, salads, sandwiches, and afternoon treats. Other snacks can be purchased at 2 locations on the Studio Tour. Explore the Studio Shop stocked with a wide range of gifts and souvenirs to remind you of the day you spent immersed in The Making of Harry Potter. In 2022 the glass doors of Professor Sprout’s greenhouse opened for the very first time. Just like a Hogwarts student, step into the greenhouse, home to many exotic and magical plants, and stop to pull out a potted Mandrake as part of an interactive display. Based on the scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, recognize the Venomous Tentacula hanging from the ceiling as you walk through. Hogwarts in the Snow (November 12th, 2022 - January 15th, 2023) Experience a very ‘Harry Christmas’ at the Studio Tour during Hogwarts in the Snow. See iconic Harry Potter sets dressed for the festive season in a blanket of filmmaking snow. Walk in the footsteps of your favorite characters in the Great Hall, dressed for the famous Yule Ball scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Prepare to be stunned by the wintery orchestra arrangement, dripping icicles, and sparkling snow. Then, feel the warmth of the Gryffindor common room on Christmas Day, adorned with red and gold ornaments. See the first snowfall of the season cover the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley, and the magnificent Hogwarts castle model.

Frequently asked questions about London

What top attractions are a must-see in London?

What are the best day trips and excursions from London?

The best day trips and excursions from London are:

Stonehenge

Insider tips: Planning a trip to London

Laurence is a full time travel blogger and photographer, who shares his tips on travel and improving your photography on his website Finding the Universe. He used to live in London, and you can see his tips for spending two days in London here.

What should I do on my first trip to London?

The best way to get acquainted with the city is to take a stroll from the Tower of London, across Tower Bridge, and along the south bank of the Thames before finishing at the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. This will take no more than 2 hours, but will acquaint you with many of London's most popular sights. You could easily visit two of London's most popular attractions at the start and end of your journey, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey as well.

What are some hidden gems to see in London?

London has some really interesting and quirky museums which are well worth visiting. The Museum of Brands is a great option, as is the Cartoon Museum. The Postal Museum is also worth a visit!

How much time should I spend in London?

The main highlights of central London can be experienced across two days. If you want to explore areas outside the central area, perhaps visiting attractions like Windsor Castle, an extra day would be advisable.

What food is London known for?

No trip to London would be complete without trying out some local pub food. Highlights of a pub menu would include fish and chips or a traditional steak and ale pie. Don't forget to leave room for dessert, with sticky toffee pudding being a popular option!

What are the best months to visit London?

Avoiding the summer crowds in London is advisable, so visiting between April and June or in September should give you the best combination of better weather and less people. December is also a good time to visit as the city is decorated with lights and Christmas decorations.

What is neighborhood The East End of London known for?

The East End of London, which stretches from around the Tower of London out towards the London City Airport, is famous for its markets, street food, and incredible curry houses.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

If you love curry, one of the most popular dishes in the UK, then you'll want to head out to East London where you'll find an incredible array of authentic Indian restaurants. Another good option is to dine around the West End theatres, there are many good restaurants in this area which often have pre-theatre dining deals.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The most well known shopping street is the mile long Oxford Street which runs from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road. This has all the major high street brands. For high end shopping, you'll want to head to the area of Mayfair, whilst those of you shopping for a suit will want to head to the world famous Savile Road.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit London?

Central London, and specifically the borough of Westminster, is probably the best place to base yourself in the city. Here you'll find everything from budget hostels through to world famous five star hotel brands. Basing yourself here might cost a bit more than being a bit further out, but it is definitely worth it for the proximity to sightseeing.

Other Sightseeing Options in London

Want to discover all there is to do in London? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about London

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 166,680 reviews

Great trip. The guide Eileen was knowledgeable, friendly and very funny. You could not ask for a better guide. This trip was a great way to experience some new places and get a feel for something different.

Had a great day. Our guide Anna was wonderful and managed to rearrange the day so we didn't miss out on anything after the Eurostar was delayed

Great tour! Chrissy was a super guide, and we had a great time. Worth it any day!

Fun and full of information. Great to see london at night.

Great fun, lots to do and see. Great family day out