With its fantastic food scene, myriad of bustling markets, world-class museums, high-end shopping streets beautiful parks, and fabulous luxury apartments, there’s no denying that there are hundreds of fun things to do in London. However, with so much to do in the English capital, choosing how to spend a week, or even a few days in the Big Smoke can get overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of fun things to do in London. Covering some classics including the delicious Borough Market, as well as some more unusual offerings like a silent disco on a boat, here are our top picks.
1. Explore London by Treasure Hunt
Experience London like you never have before with an immersive treasure hunt experience. Run by HiddenCity, you can choose between three different themes; Moriarty’s Game, The Hunt for the Cheshire Cat, and The Enchanted Mirror. Once you’ve chosen your favorite theme, you’ll get clues and riddles sent to your phone that you’ll need to solve to progress to the next stage. Solve the mystery as you discover hidden streets, famous pubs, and historical landmarks.
2. Snack on Street Food at Borough Market
There are some amazing markets in London. One of the top foodie spots in the capital, Borough Market offers up hundreds of street food stalls, fresh fruit stalls and artisanal bakery treats to try. As well as satisfying your cravings for fantastic food, it’s worth taking time to soak in the history of the area, as the market dates back to at least the 12th century.
3. Jump on a Street Art Tour
Head over to East London and join a street art tour through Shoreditch’s colorful streets. Led by experts, you’ll discover thought-provoking murals by the elusive artist, Banksy, as well as many other local artists. Leave the tour with an understanding of where street art comes from, what it means, and what the artists’ motives are.
4. Dine in the Dark with Strangers
Ranked amongst the ten most original restaurants in the world, Dans le Noir is a dining experience like no other. Here, you eat in complete darkness, allowing you to fully embrace and appreciate the taste, smell, and texture of the food in front of you. Simply choose between meat, fish, and vegetarian and wait for your mystery plates to arrive.
5. Wander Around Columbia Flower Market
One of London’s oldest flower markets, the Columbia Flower Market comes alive every Sunday morning, packed full of vibrant flowers. Stocking everything from local tulips to exotic Birds of Paradise, it’s the perfect place to find a beautiful bouquet for your dining room, or grab a coffee, sit in a local cafe and watch the world go by.
6. Join a Silent Disco on a Boat
Experience the city from a different perspective, and take to the waters on a silent disco-themed boat. As well as watching the city lights flash across the cityscape, grab your headset, choose your music channels and start dancing and singing to your favorite songs. If a silent disco on a boat doesn’t take your fancy, why not try a party at the National History Museum instead?
7. Go Wild Swimming in Hampstead Heath
Finding a little peace and tranquility in the Big Smoke isn’t always easy, but the Hampstead Pools could be exactly what you’re looking for. A wild swimming spot nestled away in North London, these pools are only open outside of the winter months and make for a refreshing spot to cool down in the summer months.
8. Crack the Code in a London Escape Room
There are hundreds of escape rooms peppered around the capital, all boasting their own whimsical themes. Spend your evening stopping an evil genius from taking over the city, finding out who stole the museum’s Rembrandt, or step into the world of Alice in Wonderland for a comedic twist to the traditional escape room.
9. Spot Your Favorite Celebrity at Madame Tussauds
One of London’s must-visit attractions is Madame Tussauds, famous for its real wax statues of celebrities and historical figures. Make your way along the red carpet to brush shoulders with A-list celebrities, get up close and personal with royalty, and don’t forget to join the after-party where you’ll find the likes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, David Beckham, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
10. Grab a Cocktail at a London Speak Easy
Tucked away in underground rooms, behind secret bookshelf walls, and even through washing machines are a myriad of hidden cocktail bars waiting to be discovered. Harking back to the prohibition days, don’t be surprised to see your waitress dressed to the nines in 1920’s costumes, delivering bespoke and carefully curated cocktails.
11. Watch Tennis at Wimbledon
If you happen to be in London in July, watching a tennis match at Wimbledon is one of those quintessentially British activities that you can’t miss out on. Watch as the world’s best tennis players go up against each other on center court, and don’t forget to grab some strawberries and cream, plus a glass of Pimms to go alongside it.
12. Book onto a Harry Potter Walking Tour
Get a glimpse into the world of Harry Potter with a walking tour of the movie’s top filming locations. As well as a visit to the well-known 9 ¾ platform in Kings Cross, discover the real Diagon Alley, see the Muggle entrance to the Ministry of Magic, and stand on the spot where the Flying Car was filmed.
13. Catch a Show in the West End
London’s West End is packed full of world-renowned musicals, from the family-favorite The Lion King to the tear-inducing Les Miserables, the city has it all. Purchasing tickets in advance is the easiest way to get the best seats in the house, but there are always some available at the door too.
14. Admire the View from the Top of The Shard
Firmly marking its place on London’s iconic skyline, The Shard has become the go-to place to enjoy panoramic views across the city. You can head straight to the public viewing platform on the 72nd floor, or stop off at one of the many bars and restaurants along the way.
15. Watch a Movie from a London Rooftop
Make your Friday film night that little bit more special and take it to the heady heights of an East London Rooftop. The Rooftop Film Club shoes everything from new blockbuster hits to old classics. Grab a deckchair, some tasty street food, or a bag of popcorn and settle in for the evening.
16. Spy Deer at Richmond Park
For those days when you need to escape the hustle and bustle of London, there is Richmond Park. Covering ancient woodland, this former royal hunting ground is home to more than 630 Red and Fallow deer that you can see roaming around on a daily basis.
17. Set Sail on a Kayak Tour Along the Canals
Put your paddling skills to the test, don a life jacket and explore London’s historic canals from the water. From the top beer rooms to fascinating history hot spots, discover more about the city you know and love with a Kayak tour.
18. Experience Fine Dining on a Double Decker Bus
Combine your love of food with your fascination with sightseeing on one of London’s top foodie experiences, the Bustronome. Step on to one of the city’s most luxurious double-decker buses, enjoy a four-course menu of fine dining dishes and finish it all off with a tour of London’s most iconic sights.
19. Wander through Kew Gardens
Spanning 500 beautiful acres, Kew Gardens is considered to be one of the world’s largest conservation projects. The grounds are home to hundreds of rare plants, a treetop walkway, and a stunning Victorian glasshouse, all of which can be explored by foot.
20. Stay the Night at London Zoo
First opened in 1847, London Zoo has welcomed millions of visitors who want to get up close and personal with the hundreds of species who live there. Now, with the Twilight Tickets, you can enjoy the zoo all to yourself, with two sunset tours, exclusive onsite accommodation, and up-close animal encounters.
21. Listen to Smooth Jazz at Ronnie Scotts
Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club is somewhat of an institution in London’s bustling Soho neighborhood. Every night you’ll find different musicians taking the stage with a selection of saxophones, pianos, trombones, clarinets, and more. Just remember to book ahead as tickets aren’t sold at the door.
22. Watch the Sunset at Sky Garden
Perched on top of one of London’s iconic skyscrapers, the Sky Garden boasts 360-degree views of the London skyline. As well as the stunning vistas, this rooftop garden offers lush greeny, landscaped gardens and an open-air terrace where you can enjoy a tipple or two.
23. Walk the Bermondsey Beer Mile
A hidden gem in south London, the Bermondsey Beer Mile is a short stretch of local breweries, tap rooms, and bottleshops hidden under the archway. If you’ve got a spare afternoon, why not while it away with a gentle stroll between bars, sampling the local crafts beers and adding it to your list of fun things to do in London.
24. Enjoy Street Performers on South Bank
London’s South Bank is the place to be if you want to catch the newest street performers showcasing their talent. From mime artists and ventriloquists to acrobats and magicians, the South Bank is riddled with entertainers to keep you busy for a few hours. All you need to do is follow the crowds.
25. Catch the Views From the London Eye
While you’re on South Bank, why not head a little further down the river to the world-famous London Eye. While this may be one of the more touristy attractions on this list, there’s no taking away from the stunning views you can enjoy from the top. We’d advise booking in advance to avoid the long queues.
26. Rent an Overnight Barge in Little Venice
An oasis of peace and calm in the otherwise busy London streets, Little Venice is the perfect spot for a little staycation in the city. Found at the spot where the Grand Union Canal meets Regents Canal, its myriad of waterways offers up a great excuse to rent a barge and spend the night on the water.
27. Belly Laugh at a Comedy Show
Home to thousands of wannabe comedians, London’s comedy clubs house some of the best upcoming artists in the world. You’ll find intimate shows taking place across the city, but Covent Garden and Camden are home to some of the most well know. Usually just £5 for a ticket, you can book in advance or pay at the door.
28. Get Spooked at the Tower of London
Once a fortress, palace, and prison, the Tower of London is a fascinating place to learn about a part of London’s history. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, many come to catch sight of the one and only Crown Jewelz, learn about the prison’s treacherous past, and meet a Beefeater.
29. Indulge in a Bottomless Brunch
Take a seat at one of the capital’s many bottomless brunch cafes on a Sunday morning and get your money’s worth of breakfast plates and unlimited mimosas. From Beyonce-themed brekky to a lunch paired with a few games of boozy Bingo, booking you and your mates in for bottomless brunch is one of the fun things to do in London.
30. Meet the Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum
Housing more than 80 million plants, fossils, and rock specimens, the Natural History Museum is one of a kind. It’s most well known for its huge dinosaur and blue whale skeleton that hangs in the entrance hall, but there’s plenty more to see whether you’re interested in learning about age-old volcanoes, the earth’s greatest mineral, or hidden treasures from the middle ages.
31. Search for Antiques at Portobello Road Market
Found in the famous neighborhood of Notting Hill, Portobello Road Market has become a haven for bargain hunters, antique lovers, and shopaholics alike. As well as antique treasures, amongst its 1,500 stalls that line the streets every Saturday, you’ll find food stalls, record collectors, florists, and plenty more to explore.
32. Explore London’s Top Sights on a River cruise
One of the easiest ways to beat the traffic and get around London even quicker is via a hop-on hop-off river cruise. Cruises leave from Westminster Pier, London Eye, and Tower Pier, giving you easy access to top hotspots including the Royal Observatory, Tate Modern, and St Paul’s Cathedral.
33. Take a Break for Afternoon Tea
Sitting down for afternoon tea is one of the most quintessentially English things you can do in London, so why not do it in style at the best place in the city, Claridges. Oozing class and elegance, expect perfectly cut cucumber sandwiches, the most delicate of patisseries, and the perfect cup of tea to go alongside.
36. Meet the Animals at Spitalfields City Farm
Hidden in the urban streets of East London is something you wouldn’t quite expect: a fully-fledged farm. Home to friendly donkeys, greedy pigs, noisy chickens, curious goats, and plenty more farm yard animals, Spitalfields City Farm offers a glimpse into the British countryside. Plus, a wildly popular schedule of events, perfect for the family.
37. Admire Free Exhibitions at Tate Modern
A powerhouse of contemporary art, the Tate Modern is most well known for its Turbine Hall which hosts a rotating schedule of huge interactive installations. As well as these ever-changing exhibitions, head over to the gallery’s permanent collection to admire art from internationally renowned artists including Picasso and Matisse.
38. Find Quirky Brands on Carnaby Street
Everyone’s heard of Oxford Street and Regent Street, but have you ever tried shopping on Carnaby Street? Hidden just behind these two major shopping hubs, Carnaby Street is where you’ll find London’s best independent fashion houses and local eateries. Plus, don’t miss the stunning Christmas lights along the street that appear from November to January.
39. Get Festive With London’s Seasonal Events
You don’t need to travel far from London to find some of the country’s most vibrant festivals. From Notting Hill Carnival and Field Day Music Festival in August to Oktoberfest and Christmas Markets during the winter, there’s something going on every month. What’s more, plenty of events and festivals are free to enter, so you can enjoy your evenings without breaking the bank.
40. Take a Whirlwind Ride Along the Thames
Get your heart racing with an exhilarating trip along the Thames in a speedboat. Meet your guide at Tower Bridge and jump aboard to enjoy a 10-mile ride past some of London’s most iconic hotspots. Be prepared to get a little wet, and see how fast you can go as you whizz past Big Ben.
41. Go Ghost Hunting in the Capital
Taking place just after sunset, see how many of London’s ghosts you can find on a ghost hunting tour. Jump aboard a 1960s Routemaster bus while your hosts tell you all of the ghoulish stories that have taken place in London. Incorporating both comedy and a little fright the Ghost Bus Tour is certainly one of the best fun things to do in London.
42- Buy books at a secondhand book shop
If you’re looking for a good book to read, there’s no better place to start than a secondhand bookshop. And if you’re looking for a secondhand bookshop, there’s no better place to start than London. The city is home to hundreds of these excellent establishments, each with its own unique character.
Many of London’s secondhand bookshops are clustered around Charing Cross Road, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon browsing through shelves packed with everything from classics to crime fiction. But whether you’re looking for rare books or simply a good read, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in one of London’s many secondhand bookshops.
43- Go on a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
Looking for a fun way to explore London’s dark side? Then a Jack the Ripper walking tour might be just what you’re looking for. Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours take you through the London neighborhood where the infamous serial killer once roamed. You’ll hear stories about the grisly murders and see some of the places where they took place. It’s a great way to learn about London’s history while getting a bit of a thrill. Just be sure to keep your wits about you – you never know who might be lurking in the shadows…
44- Visit the Harry Potter Studios
All Harry Potter filming locations are located in the UK. For any fan of the Harry Potter series, a visit to the Harry Potter Studios London is a must. Located just outside of the city, the studio is where all eight of the Harry Potter films were shot. Visitors can explore the sets, props and costumes used in the films, and learn about the filmmaking process from start to finish. There’s also plenty of opportunity to take photos and buy souvenirs. Even if you’re not a die-hard fan of the series, the Harry Potter Studios London is still a great place to visit. It’s a fascinating insight into film production, and it’s also just a lot of fun. So whether you’re a muggle or a wizard, make sure to stop by the Harry Potter Studios London on your next trip to England.
So there you have it – our top picks for things to do in London. We hope you enjoy your time here and make the most of all this amazing city has to offer. If we missed anything, be sure to let us know in the comments below! If you’re looking for things to do in London at night, check out our article on the best things to do in London at night. Budget travellers can check out our detailed guide on cheap things to do and see in London. As for those who love luxury experiences, we have a great guide on planning a luxury trip to London.
Secrets to finding accommodation in London
London can be a crowded city especially during peak tourist season (and with good reason). There is so much to see and do in the city. Impossible to be bored.
We usually try to spend at least a few weeks in London whenever we go. Why, you ask? Because we can see as many places and try as many restaurants as we want. At our own pace without rushing from one activity to the next.
Wondering how to find a place to stay? We use Airbnb for short day and weekend trips. We prefer staying in a home when we travel. Much more comfortable than a hotel room.
For travel deals, check out sites like Kayak.com.