Below we’ve listed our Top 12 things to do in London to make your trip an unforgettable experience! Given the huge number of monuments, attractions, parks and other places of interest, there’s no danger of getting bored here!
Best things to do in London
This article was initially intended to include a list of the Top 10 things to do in and around London but, as you can see, we’ve had to increase the number to 12. Enjoy the read!
1. A walk through London’s historic city center
We want to start by telling you about our favorite pastime in London! Be sure to wander around the historic sites in Central London. No trip to London would be complete without visiting these amazing places. If you take our advice, Day 1 of your trip will be dedicated to visiting Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.
Our tip: There are a number of ways of getting to see London’s most famous sights. The most obvious option is to explore the city on foot. For those of you unable or reluctant to walk, London offers a remarkable tourist bus network. These buses take you to all the major sights while also providing you with some fascinating facts about them.
2. A Thames river cruise
We strongly advise all tourists to take a cruise on London’s “blue lifeline”: the Thames! Since London was founded in 43 AD, the river has always been the mainstay of the city, making its own special contribution to the evolution of the British capital. A river cruise is therefore an absolute must. Click here to view a selection of enjoyable Thames river cruises.
Our tip: We can particularly recommend the Thames Dinner Cruise!
3. A ride on the London Eye
Since the turn of the millennium, the London Eye in the heart of the city has been providing visitors with a birds-eye view of the city. A ride on the London Eye is already one of the most popular tourist activities. The fact that this giant ferris wheel has been named the “Coca Cola London Eye” has not detracted from its popularity. A ride in one of the glass capsules lasts 30 minutes and offers an unobstructed view of London’s major landmarks. Thanks to the interactive displays that assist in identifying all the monuments and attractions, you’ll have no difficulty finding your bearings. A must-do on any trip to London!
Our tip: Be sure to buy tickets online in advance. This saves long waiting times. Important note! Admission to the London Eye is already included in the price of the London Explorer Pass.
4. Visit at least one traditional London market
Although Camden Market (pictured) is probably the most well-known market in London, the city also has numerous other great street markets to offer: Brick Lane, Portobello Road Market or Covent Garden, for example. You should definitely visit one of these markets during your stay in London.
Our tip: If you have enough time, allow yourselves a whole morning to explore one of the markets. Afterwards you can have lunch at one of the many cookshops. It’s also possible to book a personal tour of Camden Market with a German guide. Click here to find out everything you need to know about Camden Market and get a true taste of London’s markets.
5. Discover the magical world of Harry Potter
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the first book I couldn’t put down. If you too are a huge fan of the Harry Potter heptalogy (a seven-part series of books), a visit to Warner Bros. Studios is an absolute must! Countless Harry Potter fans travel to London every day for the sole purpose of experiencing this unique tour. It’s one of the most popular London attractions and tickets always sell out fast.
This tour whisks you off to the magical world of the apprentice wizards and offers an experience you won’t forget. An incredible array of original film sets, costumes and artifacts awaits you! Our article about the Harry Potter Studio Tour will give you an idea of what to expect.
6. Shopping in Central London
This item doesn’t really need any further explanation, as there’s no getting round a shopping spree when you’re in London. Even if you know you don’t actually need anything, your brain is sure to go haywire the moment you set foot in Piccadilly Circus. A trip to Regent Street and Oxford Street is one of the most popular ways of spending time in London! These streets are undoubtedly a paradise for serious shoppers. Levis, Zara, Burberry, Hollister, Uniqlo, COS, H & M, Apple, KIKO Milano, Nike, Topshop… all this and more can be found on just two streets – great!
7. Helicopter ride over London
What very few people realize is that there’s a great way of exploring London from the air. This is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular things to do on your trip to London, and we can certainly recommend it! The flight costs £150 and offers an aerial view of The Shard, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and much more.
Our tip: 10 minutes may not seem long, but this flight is truly unforgettable and definitely worth the money! We’ve been fortunate enough to go on a helicopter ride ourselves. See our video to find out what it was like! It was simply too wonderful for words!
8. Watch a West End musical
This probably isn’t to everybody’s taste, but we’re crazy about the West End musicals. London is world-famous for its fabulous theaters, which means the London musicals often receive the best international critiques. We consider the casts of Les Misérables and The Lion King to be simply outstanding. A visit to a West End musical is definitely one of the Top 12 things to do in London. For further information, read our article about the best London musicals.
9. A trip to the famous stone circle known as Stonehenge
Stonehenge is one of England’s mystical places and only about 80 miles west of London, so it’s well worth a visit. This world-famous arrangement of monolithic stones is thought to be 5,000 years old and has great spiritual significance. Every year, thousands of tourists are captivated by the sight of this magical place. A truly remarkable experience, especially on summer solstice!
Our tip: A great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of London is to take a day trip to Stonehenge, including a chance to explore Bath and Windsor Castle. This tour offers an opportunity to discover a different side of England.
10. Museums in London
It’s far from easy to decide which of the many museums is most worth seeing. This is very much a matter of personal taste. If you’re interested in classical art from the 13th to 19th centuries, the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square is an absolute must. A visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum will appeal to lovers of the decorative arts and sculpture. Archaeologists and fans of Ancient Egypt will love the British Museum. Situated opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral is the Tate Modern, where you’ll find the best collection of modern art by international artists.
As you can tell, there’s something to suit all tastes, and what makes the London museums even more attractive is the fact that they generally don’t charge for admission!
11. The View from The Shard
The building known as The Shard is one of the most recent additions to the London skyline. This skyscraper offers a panoramic view of London. On a clear day, you can see for about 40 miles from the spire. For further information about The Shard, see our article.
12. Order a beer in a London pub
Last but not least: order a beer in one of London’s genuine English pubs! It may sound odd, but there’s something very special about the London pubs that’s hard to put into words. If you like beer and you’ve ticked off the other 11 activities listed here, there’s no better way of rounding off a long day of sightseeing. If you don’t know which establishment to head for, take a look at our article about the best pubs in London. What better way to while away the evening than in one of London’s countless cozy pubs?