Don\’t know what to do in London? Check out 30 must-see tourist attractions and get to know the English capital’s main tourist spots
Attracting more than 27 million people a year, London is Europe’s most visited city, thanks to its rich history and it being considered one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the planet.
The destination offers several tours and attractions such as museums, parks, iconic buildings and shopping spots, but we separated 30 things to do in London.
Enjoy the extraordinary free museums, watch a musical in the West End, check out the city\’s landscapes in the giant London Eye and take a boat ride along the River Thames.
30 Attractions in London
Big Ben is without a doubt London\’s most iconic attraction. Although the vast majority of tourists think Big Ben is the Clock Tower, this is not entirely accurate. The Big Ben is actually a huge 14-ton bell inside the tower.
The most famous and punctual clock in the world, it is in the Westminster Palace, in a 106 meter high Gothic-style building on River Thames bank. Big Ben is also surrounded by other of London’s tourist attractions, in a super charming and highly photogenic region.
The Palace has been the official residence of the British Royal Family in London since 1837 and is currently where Queen Elizabeth II lives.
Buckingham Palace is surrounded by St. James\’s Park, Green Park and Buckingham Palace Garden, in one of the city\’s most noble areas. The site also attracts several tourists thanks to the traditional changing of the guard in front of the palace gates.
The giant Ferris wheel was built in the year 2000 to celebrate the entrance of the new millennium and has become one of London\’s new icons. At 135 meters high, the London Eye was the largest Ferris wheel in the world until 2006, when it was surpassed by the Nachang Star in China.
The London Eye consists of 32 glass cabins that can fit up to 25 people. The ride offers impressive panoramic views of the city and is done in about 30 minutes.
Soho has London\’s most popular nightlife. The neighbourhood is considered the centre of the city\’s LGBTQ community, with many gay and lesbian bars to check out after sun down.
Besides bars and clubs, Soho has several theatres, jazz bars and restaurants to explore, making it a cultural interest point. The neighbourhood offers many great restaurants, nightclubs, markets, shops and interesting and indispensable attractions on a trip to London.
Another emblematic symbol of London, the Tower Bridge is a mobile bridge over the River Thames, located near the Tower of London. The Tower Bridge was used as settings for numerous films such as \’Bridget Jones\’, \’The Return of the Mummy\’ and \’Sherlock Holmes\’.
The bridge also has a permanent exhibition about the tower’s history, called Tower Bridge Experience.
The charming Chinese quarter is known for its numerous Asian shops and restaurants. This is considered one of the best spots in the city to shop and it is only a few meters from Piccadilly Circus, in Soho.
Gerrard Street and Shaftesbury Avenue are the main streets of Chinatown and the best places to buy souvenirs, electronics, Asian products and find restaurants. The neighborhood began in the 1950s with few shops managed by immigrants from Hong Kong and today it is a real piece of China in the middle of the English capital.
Hyde Park is probably the busiest green area in London. The park has been used in several protests, political debates and performances by famous artists in the English capital.
The park is also home to a number of interesting attractions, such as the memorial in honour of Princess Diana, the Holocaust Memorial, as well as statues and gardens.
Camden is a well-known cultural district in North London. Famous for its alternative culture, the neighbourhood has a vibrant community of body modifiers and you\’ll find several piercing and tattoo shops in this part of the city.
Be sure to visit Camden\’s market, an eclectic and diverse space with street food from international cuisine. The market has several stalls selling vintage clothing, used books, records, decorative objects, works of art and souvenirs.
Saint Paul’s Cathedral
With over 1400 years of history, St. Paul\’s Cathedral was the first Christian church in England, and gained attention for its architecture, rich library and priceless works of art.
Once considered the largest and tallest church in the world, it has 7 interior chapels, a crypt where important personalities of British history are buried and majestic halls, which can be visited in guided tours.
Tower of London
The Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror, starting at 1070. The site has World Heritage status and its fortresses were used to protect the city for years.
It has also been used as a royal palace, as well as a famous prison, where some famous historical figures were imprisoned.
The famous and traditional Oxford Street in London attracts tourists from all over the world. An important avenue in the Westminster area and the busiest shopping street in the city, Oxford Street is over 2km long and has over 500 shops to please anyone.
There are shops like Michael Kors, HMV, Topshop, Nike, GAP, Benetton, Hobbs, Reiss, Uniqlo, Calvin Klein, Guess, H&M and Zara.
London’s Natural History Museum
London\’s Natural History Museum houses the world\’s most important natural history collection. As well as being one of the most visited attractions in the UK, receiving almost 5 million visitors every year, it is also a renowned scientific research centre.
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall in London is a show house that hosts some of the city\’s major concerts and performances. The show house is close to Hyde Park and the Kensington Gardens, and can fit 6 thousand people.
Watch a Musical at West End
West End is a region of central London that can be compared to New York’s Broadway. The place gathers about 40 theatres and show houses where the best in world commercial theater shows are shown.
Piccadilly Circus is one of the busiest areas in town. The square is full of bright lights and large electronic screens and it has been a busy spot in London since the 17th century, when it was a commercial centre.
Today, the heart of West End is home to some of London\’s largest theatres and nightclubs, including the Criterion Theatre. The Statue of Eros, at the centre of the circus, is a popular meeting point and tourist destination.
Platform 9 ¾
King\’s Cross is one of the open train stations, since it covers most of the country. As well as travellers, the site also receives numerous tourists to take pictures at the famous station that Harry Potter uses to travel to Hogwarts, also known as Platform 9 ¾.
Westminster is considered the political centre of London and is home to the House of Parliament and the world-famous Big Ben.
You can also find Westminster Abbey, an attraction that is open to the public on most days.
When visiting these landmarks, rest in the Parliament Square, which features statues of important political individuals, including Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill.
One of London\’s cultural items is Baker Street, better known as the street in which Arthur Conan Doyle\’s infamous detective Sherlock Holmes lived. The street has a museum dedicated to the stories and a statue of the fictional character.
Thames River Cruise
There are several companies in London that offer boat trips along the River Thames. The cruises run regularly every 30 minutes, departing from several important places along the river.
During the tour, the boats pass by several important London sights, including Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.
Some cruises take place at night, so you can see all the illuminated sights, while others will serve you an afternoon meal or tea.
The largest pinacotheque in the United Kingdom, the National Gallery houses over 2300 works of art by European artists from the 13th to early 20th century.
Located in Trafalgar Square, London\’s main square, the National Gallery is one of the most visited attractions in the United Kingdom, losing in numbers of visitors per year only to the British Museum and Tate Modern.
Hampstead Heath is one of London\’s largest parks, covering almost 790 acres. The park is at the top of one of London\’s highest hills, offering excellent views of the city from Parliament Hill.
Abbey Road, the street on which the Beatles took their famous photo crossing the zebra tracks, is in the residential neighborhood of St John\’s Wood. The photo was taken on August 8, 1969, in front of the studio where the band was recording the album Abbey Road, the former EMI Studios.
To get to the subway location, take the Jubilee line (gray) and follow the station with the same name as the neighborhood, one stop after Baker Street.
A visit to Borough Market is a must-see program for food and gastronomy lovers. This is London\’s oldest horticultural market, operating since the 13th century.
Founded in 1753, the British Museum was the world\’s first national public museum. It receives an average of 6 million visitors every year and is the most visited attraction in the UK. The collection is distributed in different wings, separated according to geographical areas, such as Ancient Egypt, Greece and Ancient Rome, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
Madame Tussauds’ Wax Museum
With over 250 life-size waxed celebrity statues, the London Wax Museum is the oldest on the planet. The dolls are separated by interactive zones that allow visitors to take selfies with celebrities, athletes, famous artists and even members of the royal family!
In Fenchurch Street, Sky Garden is a winter garden on the top floor of a building in London, with a fantastic view of the city – and free entrance!
As it is a very popular attraction, those who wish to go there on a specific date should book 3 weeks in advance.
The Millennium Bridge is famous for its futuristic design and architecture. The bridge played a supporting role in the Harry Potter film franchise. On one side of the bridge is St Paul\’s Cathedral; on the other, Tate Modern.
Warner Bros Harry Potter Studios
After the success of the Harry Potter franchise, it\’s hard to talk about tourism in London without mentioning the famous wizard books. As well as the places that were movie sets, fans can also visit the Warner Bros. studios where the Harry Potter movies were recorded. This is an unforgettable visit for the wizard’s fans.
This is relatively new to London and is the largest building in Western Europe. You can visit it to get a 360 degree view of the British capital, dine in one of its restaurants or just admire it from a distance.
The modern art museum is part of the Tate group, a set of four art galleries. The Tate Modern has free entry and is on the banks of the River Thames, facing the Millennium Bridge.