Top 20 things to do in London

We have collected the top 20 things to do in London

Top 20 things to do in London

London is the capital of England and also its most populous city. It’s a frequently visited place throughout the year, especially since it reflects the two thousand years it has withstood. It’s architecture is varied, and consists of much older buildings as well as modern ones. It’s the heart of the British people in every aspect, and is the seat of power for the Queen of the United Kingdom, and the (British) Commonwealth in a broader sense. People who would like to visit London may do so in any time of the year, as there are lots of programs and events that one may want to visit. As there are many things to do in London which shouldn’t be missed, we have collected a list of the top 20 things to do while you are there.

  1. Big Ben
    There is no better attraction to start the list with then the Big Ben, one of the most recognizable symbols of London and the United Kingdom. Some people don’t know, but the Big Ben is actually the name of the bell inside the clock tower, and not the tower itself. The name of the tower is the Elizabeth Tower. The tower is frequently used in movies due to its beauty and because its well known.
2. Palace of Westminster

The Big Ben is part of a building known as the Palace of Westminster. This palace, found on the bank of the River Thames, houses the Parliament of the United Kingdom and two main bodies it consists of, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Visitors can see both the inside and outside of this beautiful building, which is often referred to as the heart of British politics, due to its function.

3. Westminster Abbey
The last part of the Westminster buildings is the Westminster Abbey, a gothic church and one of the most important places for the Church of England. This abbey has been the location for almost every royal coronation, and for at least a dozen royal weddings. Burials and memorials are also located here for the monarchs and the royal family.
4. British Museum
The British Museum contains around 8 million pieces and works of art, and it’s a prominent museum that focuses on human history, culture and art. The building itself deserves praise as well, especially the interior and main hall of the museum with its glass roof. It’s very popular among things to do in London.
5. Hyde Park
As one of the Royal Parks of London, Hyde Park is a breathtakingly beautiful place. It’s popular both among tourists and british citizens for recreational purposes. People can take a nap, play with their children or just take a walk around the park. A man-made lake, the Serpentine can be found here, and visitors can take a boat ride on it. The Speakers’ Corner is also located, a popular and traditional place for free speech.
6. Kensington Gardens
The Kensington Gardens and the Hyde Park actually make up one giant park, but are usually referred to seperately. The Serpentine serves almost as a border between the two. The Kensington Gardens was once the private garden of the Kensington Palace, but has been opened to the public. Its most visited part is the Albert Memorial, dedicated to the memory of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, who died 1861.
7. Churchill War Rooms
As a branch of the Imperial War Museum, the Churchill War Rooms serves as a biographical museum for Winston Churchill. The underground complex was used as the base for Churchill and it was from here that he usually directed the British military campaigns during World War II. This fascinating complex was preserved because of its historical value. The broadcasting room used for his famous speeches and even his bed is located here and is open for the public to see.
8. Trafalgar Square
Built to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar, this square is a frequently visited place due to its location and beauty. The central monument, called Nelson’s Column is dedicated to Admiral Nelson who died at the battle. Statues and fountains can also be found here. People from all kind gather here for regular social meetings and public demonstrations as well.
9. National Gallery
The Nation Gallery is located at Trafalgar Square, and is an art museum with a collection of over two thousand paintings. Many of these were donated by the public. The building was expanded many times in the past due to its lack of space. The main exhibition can be visited free of charge.
10. Oxford Street
One of the things to do in London, as with other big cities, is shopping and buying souvenirs. Oxford Street is one of the busiest shopping streets in Europe, and just like this fact suggests, the street is filled with both shops of all kind and tourists. At first it was a regular residential street, but during the 20th century more and more shops have opened up here, and the street slowly changed to what it is now today.
11. Covent Garden
Oxford Street isn’t the only popular shopping place in London. The Covent Garden is a district that a regular market for fruits and vegetables in the past, but now serves as a shopping and tourist site with lots of souvenir and other shops, but also restaurants and pubs.
12. Tower of London
Serving as a fortress for almost a thousand year, the Tower of London stands out among the surrounding buildings thanks to its old and historic beauty. The Tower was used as a seat of power which was besieged several times, than later it was mostly used as a residance, and even as a prison sometimes. It is located on the bank of the River Thames, and got its name from the White Tower, the central keep of the fortress.
13. Tower Bridge
Located next to the Tower of London, is the iconic Tower Bridge, which has become a symbol of London and England. This bascule bridge (sometimes referred to as a drawbridge) can be used by both pedestrians and vehicles. The twin towers and the high-level walkway that connects them can be visited by anyone, albeit for a fee. The bridge is opened around a thousand times a year, though the river traffic is smaller than it was in the past.
14. King’s Cross
King’s Cross is one of the major railway stations of London, providing fast inter-city railway services. The station has been operating for more than 150 years. The station is not only famous for its beautiful architecture, but because it also served as an important location in the Harry Potter book and movie series. In the story a secret passage exists between plaforms 9 and 10 on a brick wall, although the writer of the books, J. K. Rowling actually misremembered the location of these platforms as they are in a seperate building. Due to the astonishing success of the series, a brick wall was built in a hall of the station with a Platform 9¾ sing, and a luggage trolley seemingly half-inside of it, just like in the story. The place is popular among Harry Potter fans.
15. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
For fans of the Harry Potter series, another exciting place to visit while in London is the Making of Harry Potter tout at the Warner Bros. Studio. The three hour tour offers a behind-the-scenes exhibition for the movies, with many settings fully recreated, like the office of Dumbledore, the Great Hall and Diagon Alley. There is even a 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts displayed in the studio. Fans can also buy wands and other Harry Potter merchandise. Diagon Alley has also been recently added to Google Street View. If you want to see it for yourself, head to this link.
16. Greenwich
Greenwich is a district in London, and it’s most notably recognized for giving its name to the Greenwich Mean Time, the standard for mean solar time. The Royal Observatory can be found here which served as a central for navigation and astronomy in the maritime history of England. Greenwich now serves as the Prime Meridian, the 0° longitude, which is also marked by a visible green laser and a monument. It is popular among visitors to stand on the two sides of the line, symbolising the two sides of the Earth.

17. Gateshead Millennium Bridge
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a spectacular tilt bridge above the River Thames for pedestrians and cyclists which was opened in 2001. The bridge itself has a curved shape, and the whole structure tilts or rotates when a ship passes under it. It resembles the blinking of an eye when one sees it from along the river. It is popular among visitors due to its modern and distinct style. The motion of the bridge can be seen in this video.
18. Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds is a very popular wax museum, that is filled with wax sculptures of famous people, both currently living and those passed away. Actors, politicians, sportsman, celebrities and other well known people can all be found there. The museum is famous for its sculptures that almost perfectly resemble the original person. The museum is a must see for anyone visiting London.
19. Buckingham Palace
Without a doubt one the most well known buildings in London, the Buckingham Palace is the residence of the monarch of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II. The palace is located at the St. James’s Park, and is a popular site for tourists and citizens. State occasions and other important events are often held here, and visitors can also see the ceremony of the Changing of the Guards. The palace and the surrounding location is beloved by many thanks to its amazing beauty.
20. London Eye
Last, but not least on the list of things to do in London, is the London Eye, a giant ferris wheel on the bank of the River Thames. This 135 m tall ferrish wheel is very popular among visitors, as the beautiful scenery that the glass windows of the cabins can provide can hardly be called anything but wonderful. If one wants to see most of London then this is surely the way to do it.

If you want to see more breathtaking photos of London, check our collection of these amazing aerial photos. Or if you want to see other places that are frequently used in movies, you can check some of them here.