Are you looking for the Top Things To Do In London in 2020!
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London is an amazing city full of adventure and excitement! There are so many things that you need to put on your London bucket list. You will love every minute of your trip!
I have worked with 23 travel bloggers to make this post happen. They have given advice on what their favorite places in London are.
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Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour
Description of the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour by Planningaway
One of the best ways to see London is a Hop On Hop Of Bus Tour. You can see all the major attractions and get to the best London markets.
From the most famous sites such as: Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Tower of London, to the amazing free museums, West End, Picadilly Circus, and Platform 9 3/4th this tour gets you everywhere you would want to go in London.
Purchase your tickets ahead of time at Isango.com. This will help you save time and money. You will just show your phone to the bus driver and he will get you stared on your tour.
Bus tours hours are from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm. But don’t worry if you do not start until 1:00 pm you have until 1:00 pm the following day to use your ticket!
From my experience this is a great tour and a great way to avoid having to drive on the wrong side of the road (if you are from America.) It was truly one of the best decision’s we made in London.
Description of Portobello Market by Travel Hacking Mom
Portobello Market in London billed as the largest antique market in the world is a ton of fun even if you aren’t looking for antiques.
Located in the Notting Hill neighborhood (think that Julia Roberts movie), it is open every day to a certain extent but blows up on Saturdays to a huge event.
Love a good street performer? You’ll see some on Saturday! Love food from around the world? Grab some curry, fish and chips, crepes, or paella there. Love vintage clothing? Some of the best are found in Portobello Market!
Head to Westbourne Grove between Portobello Road and Kensington Park to find Portobello Market.
It is vibrant, fun and energizing! The neighborhood has great restaurants and you can even check out that bookstore (The Travel Book Store at 142 Portobello Road) from the movie Notting Hill.
My daughter lives in London near this market. Going to Portobello Market is one of my favorite things to do in London.
Be sure and head there on a Saturday for the full deal but arrive right when it opens at 9:00 am to avoid some of the crowds.
Plan on grabbing lunch, getting souvenirs, and mixing with the locals and tourists as you explore one of the greatest flea markets in the world.
Description of West End by Frequent Flyer Hacks
We planned a short 12 h stopover in London as part of our round world honeymoon as we really
wanted to see a West End show!
For those of you that don’t know, London’s West End is a famous entertainment precinct with many famous theatres situated in the heart of London. With over 35 theatres you are almost guaranteed to find a show that strikes your fancy.
West End Shows
One of the great things about West End is that lots of the theatres have a specialized production that
they keep producing for years and even decades allowing for some great production value!
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been running for an insane 67 years nonstop! We chose to see Wicked at the Apollo Theatre as a matinee session (we were only in London during the day).
We’d seen a few musicals back home, but this was on a whole different scale in term and was a fantastic experience!
Beyond seeing a play it is a great area to walk around. It is close to lots of other tourist attractions and we highly recommend it!
Description of the London Eye by The Eventful Traveler
Despite not being hundreds of years old and carrying any real historical significance, the 20 years old London Eye has become synonymous with London. And I’d say most long term Londoners have no idea how that happened, but it has.
London is my favorite city, so I’ve been on the London Eye twice, once mid day, and the second time at night. Next time will be early evening because the city has this lovely glow as the sun begins to set.
For those of you that don’t know exactly what it is, basically it’s a sophisticated Ferris wheel combined with glass gondola pods. Each pod represents one of the London Boroughs, and holds up to 25 people.
At 443 feet high you feel like you’re flying about the city. And even though I’m not a fan of heights, I found myself enthralled by the landscape and skyline forgetting about the height. Floating past Big Ben at eye level was a very cool experience.
They celebrate Christmas, Easter, Valentines, Mothers Day, Halloween and New Years Eve. And because it needs mentioning, you can even get married in your own private pod, or rent one for any special occasion.
London Eye Tickets
The London Eye is Britain’s most popular tourist site so book your tickets in advance. It’s cheaper to book online, and by doing so, you get a guaranteed time-slot. You can also combine your ticket with a 40 minute river cruise for an additional £6.50. It’s not to be missed!
If you’re planning on visiting London, or celebrating a major event, check out The Eventful Traveller.
Tower of London
Description of the Tower of London by Robe Trotting
If you’re traveling to London, don’t miss the chance to tour the fascinating Tower of London. When doing a Tower of London Tour, you’ll be guided around a structure that’s over a thousand years old. The grounds have been a prison, the Royal Mint, a palace, armament, and even house The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
The best way to see the Tower of London is to book tickets online and skip the line. This is especially important during the summer months in tourist season.
Free Tour of the Tower of London
Once you’ve entered the Tower of London, you can do the free tour led by Yeoman Warders or “beefeaters”. The beefeaters are the ceremonial bodyguards of the king or queen and have guarded the Tower of London for centuries. You’ll learn about their history and the background of The Tower of London itself.
Their tour is an hour in length, but you should budget your time to explore on your own afterward. There’s a lot to see at the Tower of London so factor in at least another hour to walk around on your own. You can purchase an audio guide to help you learn more.
You should also plan time to see the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom inside the tower’s grounds. Be prepared to wait in line to enter the storage facility, but it’s worth it. The line moves fast and the crowd inside is shuffled through quickly by design. If you purchase the audio guide, you’ll also be entertained with history, stories and helpful facts about what you’re about to see.
Do yourself a favor and book The Tower of London for your visit to London. You won’t be disappointed!
Old Operating Theatre In London
Description of The Old Operating Theatre by Cultura Obscura
The Old Operating Theatre in is one of the most interesting and unusual places to visit in London. Located just south of the river Thames, this former church turned hospital had its attic space converted into an operating theatre in 1822.
When the hospital moved premises forty years later, the theatre was boarded up and forgotten about for almost a hundred years. Having been rediscovered by chance in the 1950s by a curious historical researcher, this 19th century surgical theatre now serves as both a museum and a time capsule.
As the only surviving operating theatre of its kind in Europe, the space has been restored and preserved, and is now used for regular workshops, film screenings, concerts, and a weekly demonstration of how the hospital used to perform amputations (with audience participation! Though due to the subject matter, young or impressionable children are not recommended to attend).
If you are claustrophobic, it might not be advisable to visit. Unfortunately, the museum is also up a flight of stairs and disability access is also not available at this time.
Harry Potter Warner Brother's Studio Tour
Description of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studios by Via Travelers
There are so many Harry Potter things to do in London that it’s a bit overwhelming at times. One Harry Potter thing stands out amongst the crowd, however.
That is the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio. It’s the one experience that allows you to do and experience it all. At the studio, you can step into the exact film sets that many of your favorite characters set foot in, see original costumes and watch the amazing visual effects from your favorite movie moments.
You can, of course, create your own walking tour of Harry Potter. That will never do the full justice of the studio experience though!
If you go during the holidays, the exhibits feature amazing dinners like candlelight dinner packages and Halloween experiences. It’s a must see in London!
Author Bio: Kyle is the Co-Founder and Editor of Via Travelers. Via Travelers is a modern travel blog focused on helping you learn the best travel tips, travel hacks and itineraries to explore the world.
Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel
Description Of Leake Street Tunnel by Sticks and Spoons
Whether you’re into Street Art and Murals or not, Leake Street Tunnel will leave you breathless!
This ever-changing hot spot when it comes to Street Art is a must-go either way. Colorful, vibrant and beautiful Art of the Streets located at Lambeth, London SE1 7NN.
Be sure to also check out Banksy Tunnel nearby on the same street! If you enjoy Street Art feel free to check out our ”Artscape Saga Street Art Tour” on Sticks & Spoons Food & Travel! Happy Street Art Hunting!
Description of Camden Market by Up and Gone
There are few funkier places in London than Camden Market, which is actually comprised of not one, not two, but seven vibrant markets that sprawl through what used to be a stable.
It’s chock full of vintage clothes, quirky gifts, and amazing street food from top-notch Indian street food to Instagram foodie-fodder (hello, Cronuts).
My advice? Instead of grabbing a proper meal at one location, graze throughout your visit. It’ll give you a chance to try more.
And if you’re thinking you can squeeze in a quick visit between your other things to do in London, reconsider.
Camden Town has a ton of personality and is a truly unique cross-section of this sprawling city. You’ll be glad to spend a few hours people-watching, goodie-snacking, and treasure-hunting.
One last pro-tip? Most of the markets don’t take cards, so be sure to bring cash—but don’t flaunt it, as this area attracts a lot of pickpockets.
Brixton Market and Pop Brixton
Description of Brixton Market by Roaming with Chris
Brixton is known for being buzzing with life, especially in regards to food, music and drink.
The main highlights for me though are certainly the Brixton Market and the pop-up bars and restaurants in Pop Brixton – they’re only 30 seconds from each other so it is really easy to check them both out in the same visit.
Both the Market and ‘Pop’ are full of locally-owned and independent cafes, bars and restaurants.
The Market also features a number of vintage, craft and fresh produce stores that are run by people who live in the area.
Perusing the market is really easy and you can easily spend a good couple of hours checking out the stores and stopping for a bite to eat or a drink.
Round the corner from the market is Pop Brixton, a community-led pop-up space hosting dozens of small cafes, bars and restaurants – the businesses that feature in the Pop Brixton have a history of going on to opening full bars, restaurants and cafes after honing their skills in the pop-ups.
Being run with the community in mind, there are naturally a number of community initiatives that you can join in with when visiting.
One such initiative is run on Saturdays when the local nature trust runs a ‘grow your own’ workshop.
At the workshop, you get to learn all about the local projects and you learn how to grow your own plants and vegetables at home – even if you don’t have a garden or much room.
You can also enjoy hunting for old records and LPs at the regular record fair, in the main “event stage”, here you can browse old and new records to pick up a few bargains and find hidden treasures.
Description of the Horniman Museum by The FlashPacker
The Horniman Museum is one of London’s hidden gems, and a perfect day out for young and the young-at-heart alike.
A former residence of Frederick John Horniman, a Victorian tea trader and philanthropist, the Horniman Museum houses his considerable natural history collection, and the arts and handicrafts that he collected from across the globe.
The museum building itself one of the best examples in London of that built in the Arts & Crafts style. Intricate carvings embellish the building’s facade, which is made from soft Somerset Stone.
The museum’s natural history collection reflects the Victorians’ passion for taxidermy, from watchful owls to a giant over-stuffed stuffed walrus.
Bagged in Canada by the explorer James Henry Hubbard, this star of the show was first exhibited in London in 1886.
Don’t leave before stopping by the vibrant Dye Garden and the bandstand. From here, there is one of the best views over London, and on a clear day you can easily make out the City skyline.
Entrance to the Horniman Museum is free. The nearest train station is Forest Hill which is served by London Overground (orange line).
Chelsea Football Stamford Bridge Tour
Description of the Chelsea Football Club’s Stamford Bridge Stadium by Traveling Tayler
As a huge sports fan, I’ve toured many different stadiums all over the world. But one of my favorites has always been the Chelsea Football Club’s Stamford Bridge Stadium tour.
My first tour of it was while I was studying abroad in London as Sport Management major. Our program organized a private guided tour for our group and of all the stadiums I saw that summer, Chelsea’s was always the best.
From the moment you arrive at the entrance you can tell Chelsea loves their fans. It has always felt to me that every aspect of the tour from the museum, through the dressing and press rooms, and out of the tunnel to see the pitch is one big love letter to those that have supported them for over 100 years.
Self Guided Tour
This past summer I returned to Stamford Bridge with my two nephews, both soccer players, and they loved it as much as I did! This time we opted for the self-guided tour, which I found to be just as enjoyable as the guided one. The self-guided tour is a bit more leisurely and there are staff stationed around the stadium you can always stop to pose questions to if you want to know more.
Overall, if you’re visiting London and want to check out a Premier League Stadium I can’t recommend Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge enough. It’s easily accessible by tube from the London city centre and if you don’t have a favorite football team yet, you may just find one in Chelsea.
Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath
Description of Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath by Unapologetically Bossy
One of the best things about visiting a place like London is all of the history within the city and also in other parts of Europe surrounding London. Once you’ve spent a couple of days in the city, you may be ready to branch out to see something else and I have the perfect tour for you.
Block off the day and book yourself a day trip to see the Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath. I recommend booking through the Visit London Official Visitor Guide website. The tour is about 12 hours, so it is a bit of a long day with a lot of time spent in the bus, but it allows for time to rest and nap or read, and give your feet a break after all of the walking in London!
The tour kicks off in Windsor with a tour of the Windsor Castle, which is a working royal palace where you have the opportunity to see some well-known buildings to see both St. George’s Chapel and the State Apartments.
The next stop on the tour is Stonehenge, which includes an audio tour to learn more about the mystery of the unbelievable stone structure.
The last stop of the tour is Bath, where you have the opportunity to take a self-guided audio tour of the Roman Baths, which is an incredibly preserved bathing complex that still flows with water from Britain’s only hot spring. There is so much history to learn about at all three of these stops and you will be so glad that you ventured outside of London!
Description of St. Dunstan by The Great Wide Somewhere
When I visited London , my favorite spot wasn’t one of London’s many iconic sights. In planning for my trip to London, I stumbled across a photo of St. Dunstan in the East and knew I had to go.
I’m so glad that I did! St. Dunstan was originally built in 1100 and underwent major repairs just five years before it was seriously damaged in the Great Fire of London. The church was further damaged during the blitz of World War 2, but much of its beauty remains.
St Dunstan in the East has gorgeous architecture and a peaceful garden space. When I visited, there were around fifteen other guests. Some were sitting to read and others were photographing the many plants in the garden.
This stop was a place of peace in the middle of a busy city. I could feel the history in the space I was standing. St Dunstan was one of my favorite places because it was a place where I could breathe while still taking in the beauty that London has to offer.
A visit to St. Dunstan in the East will not be regretted! The charm of this old church showcases the best of what London has to offer.
Description of Borough Market by CK Travels
Borough market is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London dating back to at least the 12th century and is a great spot for food lovers.
Located near London Bridge station and close to the River Thames, there are over 100 stalls selling a huge range of gourmet food and drink, and the site is surrounded by some amazing pubs, coffee shops and restaurants.
The market is fully open Wednesdays – Saturdays but it is best to arrive early as Borough market is very popular and can get very crowded by lunchtime.
Hampton Court Palace
Description of Hampton Court by The Eventful Planner
Hampton Court is part of the Historic Royal Palaces Conservancy, and is a must experience. I went with friends while living in London, and it left a permanent impression.
We did a guided tour through this amazing historical site; and I remember thinking that it would be the most stunning event venue (I can’t help myself I’m also an event planner).
Set amid acres of beautiful gardens designed to rival Versailles (though they don’t!), this magnificent Tudor palace is an amazing way to spend your day.
Credited to Henry VIII it was considered the most modern, magnificent and sophisticated palace in all of England some 500 years ago. King William III expanded and altered much of the castle, leaving the palace in two contrasting architectural styles, domestic Tudor and Baroque, and yet it somehow works!
What you’ll get with the purchase of your ticket, you’ll learn all about Henry VIII and his legacy, there probably isn’t a more famous King, he was both mad and genius!
Some of the things you’ll experience are the Great Hall, the Haunted Gallery &; Processional Route, the Kitchens, William III’s apartments, The Maze (fun for everyone) and even the Royal Tennis Courts.
I strongly recommend the guided tour, but if the timing doesn’t work, make sure you utilize the free audio-guide included with every ticket. I also recommend purchasing your ticket well in advance; you’ll save both time and money.
Up at the O2
Description of Up at the O2 from The Globe Trotter
If you love adventures, then the O2 rooftop walk experience comes recommended. Called as ‘Up at The O2‘, the walk is a thrilling experience that will not only bring an adrenaline rush but also offers brilliant views of London.
The climb does not require any training. When you book in for a climb, a safety briefing is conducted before you go up, accompanied by a guide.
Don’t worry about climbing gear as you will be kitted out with a vest, harness and climbing shoes. The initial climb is a little steep but then it levels out and at the top, there is a viewing platform where you can wander, take in the 360-degree views of the London landmarks and take your photographs too. And then it’s time for the descent which tends to be at a slightly faster pace than the ascent and a little more steeper in one particular section. But it’s a great adventure overall.
The minimum age for the experience is 8 years old; so do keep this mind if you plan to do the climb.
The Grant Museum of Zoology
Description of Grant Museum of Zoology by Officer Travels
The Grant Museum of Zoology is an ideal free London attraction for those looking for something a little quirkier than the other museums in London.
It’s just a short 15-minute walk away from Russell Square Station, has free entry and is a hub of natural wonders. This museum looks tiny from the outside but inside are hundreds of science specimen, from animal skeletons to preserved remains of animals long since extinct.
If you’re guilty of harbouring a feeling of morbid curiosity, you’re going to love the Gran Museum of Zoology. To us, it’s one of the best hidden gems in London.
Description of the Mercato Metropolitano by Italian Trip Abroad
Mercato Metropolitano is one of the newest markets in London. It is located in the refurbished area of Elephant and Castle. It is a huge area of 45,000 square feet, with an external garden, internal warm areas and a cellar.
As you can clearly understand by the name, the idea behind it is to recreate an Italian typical market atmosphere as London meeting point for weekenders.
But, Mercato Metropolitano is even more than that. The stands of this huge market offer any kind of food coming from every part of the World. You can simply roam around the stands, mix-matching food.
You can vary from pizza and pasta, to meat, vegan option and a glass of wine from France, USA or South Africa. Sophisticated flavours and delicious smells are mixing in a friendly atmosphere in South London.
There is also a food market, with typical products from Italy fresh imported from a beautiful country. It is becoming a more interesting place to spend your Saturday night with friends, drinking a beer from the internal German Brewery.
After you have enjoyed all the wonderful food this area, be sure to take a walk on the most prettiest streets in London.
Description of Brick Lane by Arai of Light
Brick Lane market is one of the better street markets in the city found in the heart of the East End. Here you will find an array of independent vendors offering a great variety of items.
Everything from vintage clothes and antiques to organic handcrafted items and food. Speaking of which, the market is a real delight for food lovers featuring cuisines from around the world.
A big part of Brick Lane Market are the Sunday Upmarket and Backyard Market situated inside the the Old Truman Brewery.
A popular choice for art lovers and bargain hunters, the market runs on Sundays from 10am – 5pm. The area is an eclectic mix of people and walking around you will hear different languages and come across numerous street performers and musicians, adding to the already vibrant and busy atmosphere.
It is easy to get to from central London with Aldgate East being the nearest tube station. Shoreditch High Street overground station is also a short stroll away. If you’re looking for something interesting to do in London on a Sunday this is your place.
Emirates Cable Car
Description of the Emirates Cable Car by Verses By A Voyager
One of the highlights of visiting London is the Emirates Cable Car experience running over the River Thames and presenting spectacular views of the capital of the United Kingdom.
It is operated by Transport for London and sponsored by Emirates Airline and was mainly inaugurated to be used as mean of crossing the river.
However, today it attracts many visitors who want to view the city from a height. It is located in Greenwich, London and costs only 4.50 GBP for a trip. It connects Greenwich with the Victoria area in London.
Emirates Cable car is one of the most fascinating ways to explore the beauty of London city. The best time to experience this is during the sunset hours when the view of the River Thames is incredible.
With many busy activities to do in London, experiencing the Emirates Cable Car is a slow but interesting option. There are various kind of flight experiences to be chosen from including night flights and complete Emirates Discovery experience which gives you the access to 360 flight tour and in-flight experience films.
Description of the Globe Theatre by Freedom 56 Travel
One of the best places to visit in London is the Globe Theatre.
Shakespeares’s Globe is a faithful reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre, the theatre from Elizabethan times made famous because William Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed there.
Although the original theater on London’s south bank was destroyed in 1644, after a lot of academic research and study of available evidence, the new Globe Theatre was opened in 1997.
The original Globe had seating for 3000, whereas the new Globe seats 1500. The new Globe is otherwise quite a faithful modern replica of the original.
Seeing a play at the Globe is an experience like no other. The theater is round with three tiers of raked seating and a large, circular yard. The yard is open to the elements.
Tickets are available for the regular seating as well as in the yard. Those with tickets in the yard are referred to as “groundlings”. No seats are provided, so the audience in the yard stand to watch the performance and are subject to natural elements.
During the last performance I saw at the Globe, rain began to fall and the groundlings, being unable to deploy umbrellas, merely put up their hoods and carried on enjoying the performance. The actors moved the action slight back from the stage edge, so as not to expose themselves to the rain.
South Bank In London
Description of South Bank by 9 to 5 Voyager
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon with your family in London, look no further than the South Bank! The South Bank is an eclectic cultural center in the heart of London, lying along the shores of the River Thames between Blackfriars Bridge and Westminster Bridge.
South Bank as we know it today goes back to 1951, when the area was used for the Festival of Britain. There are a number of London Underground subway stops dotting the area, and it is easily navigated on foot.
Today, South Bank is a lively neighborhood known for its interesting mix of street performers, restaurants, and points of interest.
It is within South Bank’s borders that you can enjoy the views from the London Eye, as well as take your family to the Sea Life Centre London Aquarium. But the true magic of South Bank lies in walking along the shores of the River Thames and seeing the street performers. They range from the silly to the odd to the one-of-a-kind, and many of these performers will gladly incorporate you and your kids into their act. Some happily play music, blow massive bubbles, or pose as living statues for passersby. You can create awesome memories in South Bank just for the price of an afternoon stroll.
Sketch Afternoon Tea
Description of the Sketch Afternoon Tea by A City Girl Outside
Afternoon tea in London is a must, and with so many to choose from it’s hard to decide which to choose. One of the most popular afternoon tea experiences in London is the quirky Sketch. Set in the former building of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the whimsical pink velvet interior invites you in.
The menu is just as creative as the gallery itself. Starting with a soft boiled egg & caviar, and ending in the biggest piece of Victoria sponge cake. You can also ask for extra finger sandwiches at no extra cost, which is perfect if you have a favourite!
Sketch offers an array of teas on the menu, ranging from White Oolong to Green Teas. If you’d like to try multiple just let your server know. If you happen to fall in love with a particular tea as I did, you can purchase them at the East India Company store next door, and have your very own Sketch experience at home!
Prices for sketch London are £59 per person + service charge and reservations through their website are recommended.
Dress code is “Art Smart”
The nearest underground station is Oxford Circus.
Address: 9 Conduit St, Mayfair, W1S 2XG”
Afternoon tea at Sketch is a must while in London!
Are you Ready to Go to London?
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