Famous for history, culture, architecture, shopping, and nightlife, the UK’s energetic capital of London is sure to leave you breathless. World-class museums, splendid art galleries, the River Thames, and a smorgasbord of global cuisines further add to the city’s appeal.
With so much to see and do, knowing where to start in London can be tricky. Plus, the city is known for being fairly expensive.
Don’t fret—we’ve compiled this list of the best places to visit in London to help you hit the highlights and balance the cost of your city break. We’ve also included a great mix of popular sites and hidden gems for a well-rounded experience.
Add these epic places to visit in London to your bucket list and have an amazing time in the UK’s vibrant capital city.
Need a place quick? Here’s the best neighborhood in London:
BEST AREA IN LONDON
Thanks to its incredible location, Covent Garden is also one of the best places in London to stay for sightseeing. In Covent Garden, you’re in close proximity to popular tourist attractions and landmarks, including Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, as well as the National Gallery, the London Eye and Westminster Abbey.
Places to visit:
- Stand at the centre of bustling Trafalgar Square.
- Take a short walk to St. James Palace and Buckingham Palace.
- Marvel at St Paul’s Church.
These are the Best Places to Visit in London
London is an incredible city with so many things to do and explore. However, it’s also not the smallest city, so having the right place to stay is essential. Check out the epic hostels in London – they’re ideally located, super affordable and have the most helpful staff!
#1 – The Shard – Great place to visit in London for couples!
Why it’s awesome: The Shard is almost 310 metres (1,016 feet) tall and is made from gleaming metal and lots of angled glass. Seemingly rising up from the River Thames, the iconic landmark was inspired by sleek spires. Completed in 2012, it’s not only the tallest building in the UK but is also one of the top five tallest buildings in Europe. It’s pretty impressive to see, even from afar, and we’d consider it a must-visit in London.
Featured in movies and TV shows, the building is also celebrated for its environmentally-friendly features like its onsite combined heat and power plant that creates electricity and hot water for the building. The Shard truly is among the best places to visit in London.
What to do there: Admire the striking building from afar and take plenty of pictures before going to London’s highest viewing platform to soak up the spectacular panoramic views. On a clear day, you can see for as far as 65 kilometres (40 miles). Enjoy a meal in one of the Shard’s exclusive restaurants and bars, such as Gong, Hutong, and Ting, all of which offer superb views of London and beyond.
Give your credit cards a workout in the high-class retail arcade before leaving one of London’s most emblematic buildings. It’s one of the best spots in London, even at nighttime when the magnificent structure is brightly illuminated.
#2 – Buckingham Palace – Possibly one of the most important places to visit in London
Why it’s awesome: Buckingham Palace is one of London’s most iconic attractions. The official home of Queen Elizabeth II, the splendid palace is used for many royal functions. Guarded by a smartly dressed royal soldier, clad in black and red with unmistakable bear-skin hats, the original parts of the palace were built in the early 1700s.
An impressive building from the outside, the lavish interiors are equally as awe-inspiring. Of the palaces 770-plus rooms, the stunning staterooms are open to visitors in the summer months. The grand gardens are a riot of colour in the warmer months when the numerous flowers are in full bloom. We don’t really have to say that Buckingham Palace is one of the most famous places in London – it’s quite a no-brainer and definitely worth the visit! Just keep in mind to purchase your entrance ticket beforehand so you don’t have to wait in line!
What to do there: Walk along the wide and stretching Mall, the ceremonial route that leads to Buckingham Palace from Trafalgar Square through Admiralty Arch. Snap pictures of the grand building from the outside and see the Queen’s Guard standing to attention. Try and time your visit for the Changing of the Guard ceremony (held each Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday) and witness a fine British tradition as the soldiers switch places with much pomp.
If you visit Buckingham Palace in the summer you can take a tour of the staterooms to experience the inner regal splendour and feel like royalty for a fleeting moment.
#3 – St. Paul’s Cathedral – One of the most religious places to see in London
Why it’s awesome: St. Paul’s Cathedral is located at the highest point of the City of London and is considered to be another famous place to visit in London. A listed building, it has a beautiful dome flanked by spires. Sitting on the site of an earlier church, the present church dates back to the 17th century. It has hosted the funerals of several famous people and also been used to celebrate a number of special occasions, including the Queen’s landmark birthdays and Silver, Gold, and Diamond Jubilees.
An active place of worship, the interiors of St. Paul’s Cathedral are opulent with lots of detailed religious art, a huge organ, memorials, and tombs.
What to do there: Gaze up at the mighty cross-topped dome and admire the stunning St. Paul’s Cathedral from the outside, taking time to admire the Roman-like decorative features, grand columns, clock, towers, and overall splendour. If you get an entry ticket, you can step inside to admire the inner beauty too. A sweeping nave leads to an ornate altar, the walls and ceiling embellished with splendid mosaics and carved wood panelling.
Don’t miss the mighty statue of the Duke of Wellington sitting on the back of his trusty steed, Copenhagen. Descend into the crypt and you can pay your respects at the tombs and memorials. It’s not just one of the most famous monuments, St. Paul’s Cathedral also one of the most interesting places to visit in London.
#4 – Westminster Abbey – A great place to see in London if you love architecture
Why it’s awesome: Westminster Abbey is a marvellous architectural gem. Once a Benedictine monastery church, the building dates back to 1200s and sits on the site of an earlier place of worship. The coronations of British kings and queens take place here, and it’s the setting for most royal weddings and funerals. A number of history’s influential people, including past prime ministers, scientists, and actors, are buried there, along with many late monarchs.
The Gothic masterpiece has many glorious details inside and out. It’s one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations and definitely a must-visit in London. Since it is that popular, it’s smart to get your entry tickets beforehand if you want to explore the insides as well.
What to do there: Photograph the impressive Gothic building from the outside, taking note of the stained glass windows, arches, carvings, clock, towers, and all the finer details that help to make the building so attractive. Look above the main door and you’ll see statues dedicated to modern-day martyrs, including Martin Luther King, Janani Luwum, Esther John, and Wang Zhiming.
Pass through the main entrance to admire the beautiful interiors, complete with grand pillars, religious art and sculptures, tombs, memorials, and various antiquities, such as the Chair of King Edward and the Coronation Chair. See the striking murals in the Chapter House, be wowed by the colour and details of the Lady Chapel, visit Poet’s Corner, and walk through the Cloisters. Take a moment for some serene reflection in the pretty gardens and pick up souvenirs in the gift shop.
#5 – The London Eye – One of the most romantic places to visit in London!
Why it’s awesome: Sitting on the South Bank of the Thames River, the soaring London Eye stands 135 metres (443 feet) high. It might actually be THE most famous place to visit in London – if you’re travelling to London, there might not be a way around exploring this site. At the time of its opening in the year 2000, it was the biggest Ferris wheel in the world. Today, it is still one of the tallest observation wheels on the planet. A full revolution takes half an hour, during which time you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of many of London’s most famous attractions in central London.
Rides are available during the day and when it’s dark, letting you enjoy different views of the city. Illuminated at nighttime, the London Eye is usually used for spectacular firework displays on New Year’s Eve.
What to do there: Board one of the 32 capsules and take a ride high over London’s streets with your beloved. Admire the panoramic views through the glass walls, spotting places like Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the Shard, the Tower of London, and the River Thames. Although a basic ride (book the tickets here) is romantic in the right company, you can really ramp up the loving vibes and impress your significant other with the Champagne Experience, which gives you fast-track admission and a chilled glass of bubbly.
If you really want to splash the cash and be fancy, it’s also possible to book a private capsule for just you and your sweetheart. It’s definitely a cool way to experience one of the best places in London.
#6 – The Tower of London – One of London’s coolest historical sites!
Why it’s awesome: Sitting on the banks of the River Thames, the mighty Tower of London was established in the 1000s as part of the Norman Conquest. The White Tower was built on the orders of William the Conqueror. Over the years, it has been used as a fortress, royal home, prison, royal mint, treasury, and even a zoo! There are many sections of the tower to explore, with interesting nooks and crannies to poke about in. Rumoured to be haunted, there are plenty of intriguing tales to be heard about the Tower of London.
It is said that the ghost of the ill-fated Anne Boleyn roams the grounds. The Tower of London is home to the Crown Jewels, which are guarded by the ceremonial Yeomen Warders, often referred to as Beefeaters. Local lore says that the tower will collapse if the resident ravens ever leave.
What to do there: Take a self-guided audio tour of the Tower of London to uncover its history and darkest secrets or get a special ticket that allows you to see the Crown Jewels Exhibition. Hear gruesome tales of imprisonment and execution and feel a shudder down your spine as you look up at the Traitors’ Gate. See where Anne Boleyn was imprisoned and peek inside other cells.
Dare to visit in the dark for an even bigger thrill. Snap pictures of the Beefeaters and meet the ravens—the other guardians of the Tower of London. Admire the views from the high vantage points and be dazzled by the gleaming Crown Jewels. You can refresh and refuel in one of the onsite eateries and purchase souvenirs in the gift shop.
#7 – Hyde Park – A beautiful outdoor place to visit in London
Why it’s awesome: Hyde Park is the biggest Royal Park in the city and another very famous place to visit in London. A pleasant place for a stroll, it’s a fantastic place to escape the busy streets and enjoy being outdoors. It’s also a top place for families, with lots of open space for kids to run and play. Old and young alike can cool down with a paddle in the Serpentine, a large recreational lake. There are diverse recreational facilities too, and there are several places where you can buy refreshments. The park sometimes hosts concerts at the bandstand and it has long associations with freedom of speech and debates.
What to do there: Relax in the green surroundings, admire the fragrant flowers, and see diverse monuments and statues, including the snaking Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial, the Cavalry Memorial, the Holocaust Memorial, and the unusual Jelly Baby Family. See the large Standing Stone, a gigantic monolith that some people say was once part of Stonehenge. If you’re more of an active traveller, join a 3.5 hour bike ride tour around the park and other attractions with a local guide.
Stroll through the peaceful Italian Gardens, visit the Bandstand, and listen to diverse opinions and debates at Speakers; Corner, a place where anyone can voice what’s on their mind. In the summer, plunge into the Serpentine for a swim, feed the ducks, and go boating on the shimmering lake. You can also enjoy tennis, jogging, and horse riding in the park, or simply sit and watch the world go by from a charming waterside café – visiting this park is one of the best things to do in London!
#8 – Stonehenge – A must-visit place to visit not far from London on the weekend!
Why it’s awesome: 88 miles away from London is Stonehenge, one of the most famous places near London (and in the whole of the UK) and a fabulous place to go for a trip from the capital. Located in Wiltshire, the iconic monument is thought to date back to around 2,400 BC. Gigantic monoliths stand in a circular formation and, while nobody quite knows for sure why the site was created, how it was made, and who made it, there are many fascinating theories and stories.
Some people believe that the site was used for religious worship, while others believe that it had an astronomical function. There are also some people who think the site is connected with extraterrestrial beings or supernatural bodies. Whatever you believe yourself, it truly is one of the UK’s most astonishing places.
What to do there: Take a break from exploring London, hop on a train or car instead, and make your way towards Stonehenge. Marvel at the sheer size of the individual standing stones, letting your imagination run wild as you think about what would have been needed to transport the stones to the site and then stand them up and arrange them information. Walk in the footsteps of ancient peoples and wander across Neolithic landscapes.
Learn more about modern human’s distant ancestors in the Neolithic Houses as you see a variety of tools and other items from the Neolithic age. You can also see the skeletal remains of a man who lived some 5,500 years ago. To make sure you learn everything there is to know about the mysterious monument, you can book a tour right here. Transportation and an excellent audio guide are included.
#9 – British Museum – A fascinating educational place to visit in London
Why it’s awesome: The British Museum was established in the 1750s and it has grown to become one of the biggest museums in the world. It’s considered to be one of the most interesting places to visit in London. There are several million exhibits related to history, culture, anthropology, and other themes. The museum covers all time ages from pre-history up to the current day. It houses items from all around the world as well as from within the UK. There’s something to appeal to varied tastes, and there are displays and activities specifically aimed at younger visitors.
What to do there: Plan to spend at least a couple of hours discovering the British Museum’s diverse collections. Because the museum is so large and the collections are so broad, you might be wise to decide which areas interest you the most and focus your attention accordingly. Another option is to explore the Museum with a guide – they’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Museum.
The different departments to visit include the Departments of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, Middle East, Greece and Rome, Asia, Britain, Europe, and Pre-History, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, Coins and Medals, and Prints and Drawings. Join a tour to make the most of your visit and let kids have fun at diverse workshops and demonstrations. If you want to take a break and think about what you’ve already seen, visit the café or restaurant or stay somewhere nearby.
#10 – London Zoo – Awesome place to visit in London with kids!
Why it’s awesome: London Zoo (also known as Regent’s Zoo) first opened in the late 1820s as a place for scientific research. It housed animals from the Tower of London, eventually becoming a place for the public to go to see a range of creatures from around the world. Today, the large zoo is split into several fascinating zones, which are home to nearly 700 different species of animals from all corners of the globe. Often a huge hit with younger visitors, you can observe a range of animals and learn more about different habitats, breeding, food, and the animal kingdom in general.
What to do there: Visit the zoo’s different zones and watch animals from around the planet. The Land of the Lions was designed to replicate Gir National Park in India and you can see animals from Sumatra in Tiger Territory. Explore the rainforest, African landscapes, and the outback, be awed by unusual creatures like the enormous komodo dragons, discover curious species in the reptile house, and get up close and personal with monkeys.
Children are often particularly happy in the Butterfly House, B.U.G.S., and the specially created area of Animal Adventure, designed with younger visitors in mind. When it’s time to take a break you’ll find plenty of places to eat and drink around the large zoo and you can buy a range of animal-themed merchandise to remind your kids of their fun day out.
#11 – Lincoln’s Inn – One of the most underrated places to visit in London
Why it’s awesome: Lincoln’s Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London. It is the biggest of the four traditional Inns and is known for being one of the most esteemed law organisations across the world. Every barrister must be a member of an Inn and attend regular events aimed at continuous professional development, socialising, and networking. The striking Old Hall was constructed in the 1400s, complete with ornate and elaborate wood panelling, high ceiling, and opulent chandeliers.
The 19th-century Great Hall has an air of authority. The chapel has beautiful stained glass windows and other buildings of the complex include a library and imposing gatehouse. The buildings are spread through green grounds with well-manicured lawns.
What to do there: Stroll through the leafy grounds and watch barristers and judges as they sweep along the pathways, sometimes clad in full court attire including flowing robes and traditional wigs. Enjoy the serene ambience of the chapel and admire the stunning stained glass and religious statues.
Take photos of the impressive buildings from the outside and visit the interiors as part of an organised tour. (Note, while the grounds are open to everyone you are not allowed to just wander inside unless on a tour.) Inside, you’ll discover fine works of art, including those by Hogarth and Watts, along with many grand details.
#12 – Museum of Brands – An unknown (but awesome!) place to see in London!
Why it’s awesome: The Museum of Brands, located in Notting Hill, offers a fascinating journey back in time through its large collection of diverse items. Covering the present day back to Victorian Times, the museum contains more than 12,000 exhibits related to everyday life. Visitors walk through time, seeing how items, logos, and slogans have evolved over time, changing from being fairly simple to today’s sleek sophistication to target consumers.
You’ll realise that sometimes, the most interesting aspects are the most mundane! There are packages from numerous well-known and smaller brands, as well as posters, games, toys, and more.
What to do there: Walk through time with the time tunnel experience, seeing how brands have changed over the years to appeal to an ever evolving society and remain competitive in a world full of multiple options. Notice how shopping habits have changed over the years and see the effects of major wars, the growth in women’s rights, and transportation on people’s shopping options and preferences. Some items are sure to inspire a twinge of nostalgia.
Something of a hidden gem, the quirky museum offers an alternative view of history, focusing on the day-to-day life of people of the past. You’ll find an onsite café to beat any pangs of hunger or thirst.
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#13 – Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter – Easily one of the most fun places to check out in London
Why it’s awesome: Housed within an old aircraft factory, Warner Bros. Studio is one of just a couple of places in the UK where large-scale productions can be made. Many movies have used the studios, including The Invisible Woman, GoldenEye, The Mummy, Tomb Raider, and Inception. Located in Hereford, just outside of London, the studios have a popular attraction: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
Each Harry Potter film was made at the studios, and several other productions (including Sweeney Todd and Sherlock Holmes) made use of the olde-worlde Harry Potter sets. Visitors can see incredible sets, learn more about how the movie was made, and have lots of fun and unusual (some may say magical!) experiences.
What to do there: Leave the real world behind for a few hours and suspend reality as you enter the magical world of Harry Potter. You’ll see an array of fabulous sets, including Hagrid’s hut, Gryffindor common room, Potion’s classroom, and the male dormitory, and you’re sure to be impressed as you stand inside Dumbledore’s office and the expansive Great Hall.
Walk along Diagon Alley, passing the shop fronts of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, Ollivanders Wand Shop, and Eeylops Owl Emporium, and see various props and costumes used in the making of the hugely popular film series. You can also get technical as you learn more about how the movies were made, including the use of special effects, makeup, models, and animatronics.
Insider Tip: Warner Bros. Studio is roughly two hours from the city centre. If you’re not keen on driving yourself, book a transfer that’ll pick you up, drop you off and take you back home as well. It also includes the entry ticket.
#14 – Houses of Parliament – One of the most incredible free places to go to in London
Why it’s awesome: The Houses of Parliament, officially called the Palace of Westminster, is a stunning Gothic Revival building that was built in the mid-1800s. Sitting on the banks of the River Thames, the large building has more than 1,000 rooms. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Houses of Parliament is a glorious sight to behold, with its three main towers, many windows, spires, and turrets. There’s plenty of splendour inside too, with frescoes, carvings, fine architectural details, and lavish furnishings. It’s free to walk through the grounds and admire the building from the outside, and there are also several ways that you can enter the building for free too.
What to do there: Take plenty of pictures of the iconic building from the outside and walk through the pleasant grounds. Stop by Cromwell Green to see a bronze statue of Oliver Cromwell, a rather unusual sight given that Cromwell is a controversial figure in British history. Check the schedules and visit parliamentary debates for free, or book free tickets to attend question time with the prime minister (only available for UK residents).
There are various free talks and events in the Houses of Parliament that are free for members of the public, though you should arrange your spot in advance to avoid disappointment. If you want to see more of the interiors and get an even greater in-depth understanding of parliament there are several paid tours that you can join too, including self-guided audio tours and guide-led tours.
#16 – London Dungeon – One of the more unique places to visit in London!
Why it’s awesome: The original London Dungeon opened its doors in the 1970s. It has been through several changes and expansions over subsequent years and is today one of London’s most exciting attractions. There are 19 shows and two rides, with gruesome past events, brought to life by convincing actors and actresses. Awesome sets, dramatic costumes, and special effects add to the chilling and scary ambience. It’s definitely a place that will send a shiver down your spine and get the blood pumping through your veins!
What to do there: Follow the jester to descend underground into the cavernous depths below London’s busy streets. Ride on the Tyrant Boat and feel the fury of King Henry XIII, pass through the City Gates, and find yourself in a rat-infested tunnel right in the middle of the Gunpowder Plot with Guy Fawkes. Next, shudder in the Torture of Chambers before experiencing London in the times of the plague, or Black Death. All of this and more! One of the more interesting places to visit in London if you want history bringing graphically to life.
Insider Tip: The Dungeons can be seriously scary so we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for kids or families. There are different shows and attractions on offer as well, which are all very popular, so make sure you book your tickets well in advance.
#17 – Richmond Park – One of the nicer places in London to sightsee!
Why it’s awesome: Richmond Park was established as a royal reserve and hunting park in the 17th century. Now open to the public, the large 3.69-square-mile (9.6-square-kilometre) park is home to many friendly deer along with other interesting fauna and flora. A major place for wildlife conservation, there are woods, gardens, lawns, flowerbeds, ponds, trees, and other features. Visitors can enjoy various leisure activities and there are several historic structures dotted throughout the park. Peaceful and pretty, the park is an ideal place for families and couples to spend a couple of hours.
What to do there: One of the good places to visit in London for some exercise and air. Stroll through the pretty gardens and wider park area, come face to face with the deer, spot an array of wildlife, and soak up stunning views. The 7.2-mile-long (11.6-kilometre-long) looped Tamsin Trail is popular with walkers, runners, and cyclists, and bikes are available to rent within the park.
#18 – Davenport’s Magic – Quite the quirky place in London!
Why it’s awesome: Long before Harry Potter took the world by storm, Davenport’s Magic was meeting London’s magical needs. Established in the late 1890s, the shop still remains in the same family. Currently located underneath Charing Cross Station, the whimsical store is the best place for any budding magicians to learn more and be inspired. One of the great places in London to taste arcane.
Spellbooks line the shelves and there are also instructional DVDs, cards, potions, and a wide range of other items that any self-respecting magician, sorcerer, sorceress, witch, or wizard may need. It’s like entering a completely different world! More than just a shop, the establishment also runs various workshops, demonstrations, and events, and is a place where magicians go to network and practice.
What to do there: Browse the fascinating collection of magical items and books and perhaps pick up a few unusual items as gifts or unique souvenirs. Learn more about the art (some might say science) of magic and soak up the sense of history. Take part in a magic class to keep some tricks up your sleeve to impress your friends with. There are workshops for both children and adults and you can learn things like card magic, coin magic, close-up magic, and mental magic.
#19 – Knightsbridge – A great place in London if you love to shop!
Why it’s awesome: Knightsbridge is one of London’s premium retail areas and it’s a must-visit for serious shopaholics, fashionistas, people who want to splash the cash, and also if you simply want to daydream and indulge in a little window shopping. There are many luxury stores in Knightsbridge, including the world-famous Harrods, Harvey Nichols, and flagship stores such as those of Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo. The area also boasts a number of esteemed restaurants, high-class hotels, and top-quality beauty salons. It’s definitely a place to feel fancy!
What to do there: Admire the stylish shop fronts and displays before entering chic stores to browse and buy a huge selection of designer and luxury goods. Whether you’re looking for apparel, footwear, jewellery, perfumes, cosmetics, gadgets, artisan chocolates, or something else, you’ll find the best of the best in Knightsbridge. This is the best place to visit in London to max out your credit cards.
#20 – Shoreditch – A perfect place to visit in London if you are on a budget!
Why it’s awesome: Shoreditch is a cool neighbourhood in London’s East End. An entertainment area since the 17th century, it has seen much gentrification over the years, though it still has a somewhat edgy vibe. It’s one of the best places around London to see interesting public art, and walking around seeing the art and sights and soaking up the atmosphere won’t cost you a single penny. There are tons of eateries with affordable prices and you can browse in quirky stores, vintage shops, thrift stores, and other unusual retail outlets. If you are visiting London on a budget stay in one of Londons best cheap hostels
Why it’s awesome: Shoreditch is a cool neighbourhood in London’s East End. An entertainment area since the 17th century, it has seen much gentrification over the years, though it still has a somewhat edgy vibe. It’s one of the best places around London to see interesting public art, and walking around seeing the art and sights and soaking up the atmosphere won’t cost you a single penny. There are tons of eateries with affordable prices and you can browse in quirky stores, vintage shops, thrift stores, and other unusual retail outlets. If you are visiting London on a budget stay in one of Londons best cheap hostels and definitely check this place out!
What to do there: One of the best things to do in Shoreditch is to simply wander the streets (ideally with a guide for even more insights) and find the abundance of cool street art. The art is constantly changing and evolving, so you’ll always find something new to admire. Start at Redchurch Street and Brick Street before moving into other parts of the neighbourhood. Take time to look in vintage shops and markets and sample some of the area’s delicious food. Brick Lane Market is a top place for foodies to satisfy their hunger.
The Old Spitalfields Market is another top market to check out in Shoreditch. Pay a visit to the hipster favourite of Boxpark, where all stores are within shipping containers, pause to smell the roses (literally!) at Columbia Road Flower Market, and enjoy cheap drinks of an evening in a cool bar. This is THE London place to visit for you hipsters.
#21 – Chislehurst Caves – An awesome place to visit in London for half a day!
Why it’s awesome: Located in nearby Kent, Chislehurst Caves stretch for 22 miles (35 kilometres) underground. The tunnels and caverns are manmade, created between the 13th and 19th centuries by mining activities. The subterranean chambers were used to store ammunition during World War One and were also used as an air-raid shelter. At their peak, the caves housed some 15,000 people fleeing bombing and had toilets, bathing facilities, lighting, a hospital, and a chapel. The caves have also been used as a cool music venue, with artists and bands like Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and the Rolling Stones having performed there.
What to do there: Access to the cave system is by guided tour only. Grab your lamp and descend underground as part of a group tour to explore the huge network of tunnels and underground rooms. Hear tales about the caves’ past and imagine what it would have been like to spend substantial periods of time in the gloomy underground. Feel a chill as you hear about the ghosts who are said to haunt the caves. You can enjoy a pleasant stroll in nature in the woodlands above when you exit the caves and re-enter the sunshine.
#22 – Highgate Cemetery – One of THE places in London to visit for tombstones
Why it’s awesome: Highgate Cemetery is known for its splendid graves, monuments, tombs, and memorials. Indeed, it has some of the most attractive architecture and details of any cemetery in the UK. An aura of peace prevails and, despite being a place of rest for the dead, the grounds are very much alive with nature and wildlife. The cemetery also functions as a nature reserve. The cemetery contains the remains of some 170,000 people, including well-known figures from throughout British history.
In use since the late 1830s, the cemetery has some strange tales associated with it, in particular stories about the so-called Highgate Vampire.
What to do there: Walk through the beautiful burial ground and admire the striking architecture and funerary details. Carvings, inscriptions, statues, busts, crosses, and archways are just a few elements you’ll find throughout the cemetery. Walk along the Egyptian Avenue, pay your respects at the War Graves and Fireman’s Corner, and see the graves of Karl Marx, George Michael and many more besides!
#23 – Soho – A good place to visit in London at night
Why it’s awesome: If you are wondering where to stay in London, I would say Soho takes the cake! London’s Soho has been a major entertainment area since the 19th century. Once a royal park, landmarks throughout the area today include St. Anne’s Church and St. Patrick’s Church. London’s thriving gay community can be found in Soho around Old Compton Street. There are many top-class restaurants as well as diverse bars and clubs. It’s definitely one of the best places in London for a top night out.
What to do there: By day, discover the quirky, hip, and trendy independent stores around Soho, including record shops, art, musical instruments, confectioners, clothes, and retro kitsch. Look out for the Seven Noses of Soho—random noses on walls and buildings that were originally placed in protest against CCTV surveillance. Get dressed up in the evening and have a fun night out in Soho.
#24 – Brick Lane Market – Delicious place in London to visit for foodies!
Why it’s awesome: Brick Lane Market opens on Sundays when many other markets around the capital are firmly shuttered up and empty. A market has operated in the same spot since at least the 17th century, and it developed a reputation for vintage goods, delicious food, and bargain curiosities. It’s also a great place for photography and for watching the hustle and bustle of everyday market life.
What to do there: Stroll around the atmospheric market and browse the wide assortment of goods on offer. You’ll find plenty of whimsies and unusual souvenirs if you wish to buy anything, but the market is also well worth visiting simply to look around and soak up the ambience. Foodies are sure to be delighted with the tempting food options and you can sample delicious fare from various parts of the globe. The market is especially known for its Asian goodies.
Insider tips: There are loads of other amazing markets around the city and trying to see all of them can get overwhelming. If you join a walking tour with a guide, you’ll get a scoop of everything without having to miss out on all of the hidden gems.
Make sure you bring a good rain jacket when wandering around London’s markets. A rain jacket or an umbrella should definitely be on your London packing list!
#25 – The Tate – A great place to visit in London if you are alone/travelling solo
Why it’s awesome: Two of the four Tate institutions are located in London: the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern. The Tate Britain dates back to 1897 and is one of the biggest museums in England. Housed within a beautiful Grade II listed building, the gallery has a large collection of British art spanning from the Tudor era to the present day. It is the home of the Turner Prize. The Tate Modern is housed in a former power station. It opened in 2000 and is the UK’s national gallery of international modern art. It features temporary exhibitions as well as the permanent collections.
What to do there: A top pick of the best places to see in London for art fans. See pieces by famous national artists in the Tate Britain. Works include those by J.M.W. Turner, Constable, William Blake, and Hogarth. Some rooms are dedicated to one particular artist, such as rooms for Tacita Dean, Tracey Emin, and Douglas Gordan. Take a free tour of the museum for greater insights (available on the hour each day). Visit the Tate Modern to admire diverse contemporary pieces by artists like Robert Delaunay, Paul Klee, and Picasso..
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Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Visit in London
From popular tourist attractions to hidden gems, London has so much to see and do for people of all ages and with diverse interests. Visiting London needn’t break the bank when you include some of our recommended budget places to visit, and you’ll also find plenty of ways to splash the cash and treat yourself if that’s what you want. There’s something for romance seekers, friends, and families travelling with young children.
Covering history, culture, shopping, entertainment, art, nightlife, and more, add these best places to visit in London to your bucket list for a memorable time in the exciting British capital.
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