Exploring London: A Guide to The 10 Best Things To Do and See In The City

A Guide to the 10 Best Things To See and Do In London

London is one of the world’s most iconic cities, boasting an impressive array of historical monuments and modern attractions. From the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey to the world-famous London Eye and vibrant nightlife, there is something for everyone when exploring London. Whether you are a first-time visitor or an experienced traveller, this guide will give you the lowdown on the best things to do and see in the city. From iconic monuments to arts and culture, there is something for everyone in the British capital. So get ready to explore the 10 best things to see in London.

Guard at the tower of london

A typical English guard

The Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of the city’s most famous attractions. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this iconic monument has been the center of English history for over a thousand years. Home to the crown jewels, the famous Ceremony of the Keys, and the execution site of many famous figures, the Tower of London is an essential part of any visit to London.

There are a number of ticket options available, letting you explore the Tower of London at your own pace. While you can see the crown jewels as part of a normal ticket, the Ceremony of the Keys is reserved for a select few. Although it is a steep climb to the top of the White Tower, the views are well worth it.

In the spring or summer the gardens surrounding the tower are awash with flowers. Take a walk through and around the gardens to immerse yourself in the texture and smell of these blooms. As you drive over the Tower Bridge, you can see hundreds of people milling around literally smelling the roses. 

You will need to allocate a good few hours to get a complete look at the Tower of London site. There is a lot to see and its a big site so be prepared to spend a good few hours on your feet. It is one of London's busiest tourist locations so queues are inevitable. 

Whether you visit the Tower of London as a first-time visitor or as an experienced traveller, this iconic monument is not to be missed.

Spring flowers in the gardens surrounding the Tower Of London

Visitors enjoying the spring flowers in the gardens surrounding the Tower of London

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is one of London’s most famous religious monuments. Dating back to 1065, the abbey is home to the tombs of many famous figures, including the remains of kings and queens. Whether you want to explore the abbey’s beautiful architecture or you want to see the monument’s many famous graves, Westminster Abbey is an essential visit when exploring London.

Tickets to Westminster Abbey are priced according to the time of year and the type of visit you want to have. If you only want to see the architecture, this can be done for free by simply walking around the area, but if you want to go inside, you must purchase a ticket. 

Lines are horribly long here over the summer months however a local bus driver suggested that we line up at around 12:30 as everyone wants to be out before lunch or doesn't line up until after lunch and that got me inside in about 35 mins. It is a snaking line and it doesn't move quickly so be warned. 

Buckingham Palace

The official residence of the British Royal Family, Buckingham Palace is one of London’s most famous tourist attractions. Home to the British monarchy since 1837, Buckingham Palace is open to the public for part of the year, allowing you to explore this famous building in person.

Tickets to this popular attraction sell fast and are priced according to the time of year and your age.  With a wide range of ticket options available, everyone can explore the world-famous Buckingham Palace.

Outside of the opening times, you can walk the long walk, wander outside the palace and of course watch the changing of the guard daily.

It does get busy of course but it is a large area so you can usually find somewhere to watch unimpeded.

Whether you are traveling with family or friends or are a solo traveller, Buckingham Palace is an essential part of any visit to London. Sadly the queen didn't come down to get me for tea but I'm just assuming one of those naughty Corgis ran off with her good slippers!

Buckingham Palace forecourt.

Buckingham Palace

London Eye

One of London’s most popular landmarks, the London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel overlooking the River Thames. Standing over 135 meters high, the London Eye is one of the city’s most recognizable attractions. Whether you want to experience the city from above or you want to visit at night, the London Eye is a must-do when exploring London. The London Eye is open for both daytime and nighttime visits and has a variety of ticket types available. There are also seasonal ticket options, letting you visit when the weather is at its best.

This is an easy location to visit and when we were there we were fortunate to encounter no lines to speak of. It was walk up and walk on. 

With a range of ticket types available, the London Eye is an attraction suitable for all ages and groups.

Tours and Tickets for the London Eye

Natural History Museum

One of the world’s most famous natural history museums, the Natural History Museum in London is a must-see attraction for visitors of all ages. Exploring the many exhibitions and galleries on offer, you can see dinosaur fossils and rare artifacts.

The museum also hosts regular temporary exhibitions, letting you explore new and exciting topics.

With a wide range of ticket types available, the Natural History Museum is suitable for both families and solo travelers. Whether you want to explore the museums galleries or you want to experience one of the special exhibitions on offer, this is a must-see attraction when visiting London. There are some tours that take in the Natural History Museum below.

Tours for the Natural History Museum London

British Museum

Another one of London’s most famous museums, the British Museum is home to one of the world’s largest and most impressive collections. Whether you want to explore the museums famous Egyptian exhibitions or you want to see its huge collection of artifacts, the British Museum is a must-see attraction when visiting London. There are a number of ticket types available, letting you explore this world-famous museum at your own pace. With a wide range of exhibitions and artifacts on offer, the British Museum is an essential visit when exploring London.

NB: The British Museum can be a little controversial to some visitors. I do beleive that Egyptian antiquities (just one example) should be handed back to Egypt or at the very least returned to Egyptian ownership with maybe a fee to be displayed at certain times of the year in the London museums. That is of course my personal opion, but regardless of yours, there is a high chance you will encounter some protestors at or around the British Musem.  

Covent Garden

London’s famous Covent Garden is a must-see when exploring the city’s culture and history. One of the city’s most vibrant areas, Covent Garden is home to many shops, cafes, and theaters. Whether you want to explore the many museums or you want to enjoy the area’s vibrant atmosphere, Covent Garden is a visit worth planning into your trip. The area changes with the seasons, so you can explore it at its best throughout the year. There are many antique stores and markets in the area with a variety of cafes and restaurants nearby, making Covent Garden an attraction suitable for all ages and interests.

Christmas lights are a great thing to see in Covent Garden in the winter. 

Apple Market Covent Garden

Apple Market Covent Garden

The Tower Bridge London

With over 40,000 people walking across the bridge every day, this bridge that was originally built to enable ships up and down the Thames river is one of London's top tourist sites.

Have a rest in the parkland on the south bank and watch the world go by. Cruises head up and down the river constantly and the view over to the Tower of London on the north bank is great too.

The bridge still opens over 800 times per year, which is on average twice per day. Any boat that is taller than 9m (30ft) tall, can request a bridge lift and it is completely free!

London Bridge

The Tower Bridge London

Get On A Big Bus Tour

One way to drive over the London Bridge stress free (it is very busy) is to jump on a Big Bus Tour and get up the top to have the best view out either side while the driver takes you over the bridge. These tours are also a great way to make your way around London, hopping on and off as you wish. I'm hopelessly addicted to Big Bus Tours. I use them as my personal transport whenever they are available. I make sure I'm on the first bus from my starting point in the morning and usually get the last bus back from my last stop. In London if you use the link via the image below you can get one for £49.50 (10% discount off the usual £55.00) and they are valid for 48 hours. That's 2 days of galivanting around the best sights in London!

Piccadilly Circus

The famous Piccadilly Circus is a must-see for visitors exploring London’s History and Culture. Located in the heart of London, this iconic area is home to many shops, cafes, and landmarks. Whether you want to explore the many attractions in the area or you want to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, Piccadilly Circus is a visit worth planning into your trip. The area changes with the seasons, so you can explore it at its best throughout the year.

Is piccadilly circus worth visiting?

Personally I think it's proximity to Chinatown, Soho, Oxford Street and Big Ben means that yes if you are looking to visit any of these attractions it is worth heading to Piccadilly Circus and just checking it out.

There are many attractions in the area, including the famous Shaftesbury Memorial and the London Troxy. There are also a variety of cafes and restaurants nearby, making Piccadilly Circus an attraction suitable for all ages and interests. 

Camden Market

The Camden Market is a must-see for visitors exploring London’s shopping and culture. One of the city’s most vibrant markets, Camden Market is home to a wide variety of shops, cafes, and attractions. Whether you want to explore the many markets stalls or you want to enjoy the nearby museums, Camden Market is a visit worth planning into your trip. The market changes with the seasons, so you can explore it at its best throughout the year. There are many attractions in the area, including the famous Discovering London exhibition. There are also a variety of cafes and restaurants nearby, making Camden Market an attraction suitable for all ages and interests.

A great idea is to get a canal boat trip from Little Venice to Camden. They are a great way to see how people live up and down the canals and also offer a great insight into the area.

We did the waterbus one below and both loved it. You can then walk back along the canal or grab a bus, taxi or uber of course.

Boat Tours Along Regent's Canal London

Conclusion On What To See In London

London is one of the world’s most iconic cities, boasting an impressive array of historical monuments and modern attractions. From the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey to the world-famous London Eye and vibrant nightlife, there is something for everyone when exploring London. Whether you are a first-time visitor or an experienced traveler, this guide will give you the lowdown on the best things to do and see in the city. From iconic monuments to arts and culture, there is something for everyone in the British capital. So get ready to explore the best that London has to offer.

Don't forget to use the Big Bus tour to get everywhere you need to go to experience the 10 best things to do in London

Of course you could see a show on the West End, or even do a day trip out from London to see Stonehenge. The list is endless in this great city.

Jenny Marsden - Charge The Globe
About the author

Meet Jenny, a passionate Australian travel blogger who has explored 101 countries to date. With over 30 years of travel experience, Jenny has a wealth of knowledge to share with her readers about the cultures, landscapes, and people she has encountered on her journeys. She's always battling unfashionably frizzy hair and you will never catch Jenny in anything but comfortable shoes.

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