19 London attractions that locals love

Trust the locals when it comes to sightseeing with these big-name spots that Londoners love
Tower Bridge from the air at night.
©Vincent Laforet - AIR
Attractions, Sightseeing

Tower Bridge

icon-location-pin Bermondsey

‘It's a thing of architectural beauty especially all lit up at night. I love running over Tower Bridge and my fondest memory is standing on it, cheering during the London Marathon. It was London at its finest. I hope one day to experience the thrill of running the marathon myself.’ 

Fleur Hallett, www.fleurruns.com

Follow Fleur on Instagram: @fleur_runs
Kew Gardens
© Andrea Heribanova
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Kew Gardens

icon-location-pin Kew

‘While central London has some amazing parks, I'll never forget my first adventure out to Kew Gardens. It's well worth it. The beautiful, tropical greenhouse is a perfect oasis on a breezy, rainy day. I could walk around the manicured grounds all day munching on their Bergamot chocolate from the gift shop!’

Eileen Cotter Wright, www.crookedflight.com

Follow Eileen on Twitter: @Crooked_Flight

Whispering Gallery, St Paul's Cathedral
© Matt Biddulph
Attractions, Religious buildings and sites

St Paul's Cathedral

icon-location-pin St Pauls

‘It's impossible not to be in awe when you stand in front of it. It's a true London icon and the views from the top are incredible - if you don't mind terrifyingly claustrophobic steps! There's also loads of sneaky hidden features like the self-supporting staircase.’

Katie Wignall, www.lookup.london

Follow Katie on Twitter: @look_uplondon
Museums, History

Museum of London

icon-location-pin Smithfield

‘The Museum of London is a little treasure tucked away just west of Moorgate. For me, it's one of the best museums to visit for all the great city's history, from *that* fire right up to the spectacular 2012 Olympics. And there's a particular treat for lovers of the Victorian era.’

Jess Lawrence

Follow Jess on Twitter: @JessLaw247
Trafalgar Square in the sun
© Garry Knight
Attractions, Event spaces

Trafalgar Square

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square

‘It always feels like such an exciting place; people falling off the lions, trying to fit the whole of Nelson's Column in a photo and getting sprayed if you stand too close to the fountain during a strong breeze. I also filmed one of my scenes in the film ‘A Royal Night Out’ there at the dead of night and it felt very special (and cold).’ 

Samantha Baines

Follow Sam on Twitter: @samanthabaines
© The National Gallery, London
Art, Galleries

National Gallery

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square

‘A free gallery means no pressure to do the whole thing in one go, so you can really focus on the art. I'm doing the National Gallery bit by bit. I like to paint, and when I'm despondent, only the Canaletto room can save me.’ 

James Fitzgerald, www.jfitzgerald.co.uk

Follow James on Twitter: @jamesfitz789

Things to do, Event spaces

The London Eye

icon-location-pin South Bank

‘The first ever time I was in London, I only had 12 hours before flying back to America, so I needed to go up the London Eye. It was a taster of seeing everything in one place that I'd explored that day. For the most incredible views of Big Ben and Parliament across the Thames and the rest of London for that matter, I can't recommend this enough to anyone new visiting London.’

Kelly Prince-Wright, www.kellyprincewrites.com

Follow Kelly on Twitter: @kellyprincew
Museums, Natural history

Natural History Museum

icon-location-pin Brompton

‘It's one of those places that transcends every generation of your life. You visited as a child, then at school, then as a teenager with little-to-no money (because it's free!) and I still visit now and will for many years to come. It's an icon that changes with the seasons - butterfly house, ice rink - but that blue whale will always be hanging down from the ceiling. The museum wouldn't be the same without it!’

Alice Westoby, www.thelondonloveletter.com

Follow Alice on Twitter: @alicemayw
London Zoo
© Jordi Corbilla
Attractions, Zoos and aquariums

London Zoo

icon-location-pin Regent's Park

‘One of my earliest childhood memories involved being mesmerised by the penguins. Name me a five-year-old that wouldn't be captivated by England's biggest penguin pool. Spheniscidae aside, not too many other places offer a stay in a sleeping hut near a lion enclosure, the opportunity to socialise with sloths in a rainforest setting and embark on a sunset safari, all within a scenic boat trip of Camden Market.’ 

Alex Foch

Follow Alex on Twitter: @whatsford0ner
Lido Cafe, Hyde Park
Garry Knight
Attractions, Sightseeing

Hyde Park

icon-location-pin Kensington
‘With over 4,000 trees, its own meadow, the Serpentine lake and plenty of horses and squirrels, Hyde Park is one of my favourite London parks. Plus, it's one of the only places I really feel comfortable riding a Santander bike (until the ducks laugh when I fall off...)’

Kayleigh Rattle, www.kayleighrattle.com

Follow Kayleigh on Twitter: @kayleighrattle
Science Museum
© Jonathan Perugia
Museums, Science and technology

Science Museum

icon-location-pin Brompton

‘It doesn't matter how old you are or what your interests are, you will definitely find something to amaze you here. I love the fact that most of the exhibits have audiovisual or tactile parts and you feel like you are a part of something. It's an interesting and interactive environment where you will learn about things you never imagined.’

Ellen Sinopoulos, www.taleoftworuns.com

Follow Ellen on Twitter: @taleoftworuns
© The View from the Shard
Things to do

The Shard

icon-location-pin London Bridge

‘I knew about the Shard over five years before it was built (yes it took that long!), and it sparked my interest in both architecture and London. I was one of the first to visit the top of The Shard and I'll never forget watching the orange glow of the evening sun bathe over the London skyline. One of the best views in the world if you ask me!’

Daniel Pharaoh, www.dayoutinlondon.com

Follow Daniel on Twitter: @danpharaoh
© Leon Chew/ Time Out
Things to do

Hoover Building

icon-location-pin Perivale

‘As soon as you get off the M40, the Emerald City, the Art Deco-inspired building suddenly appears. If you're not careful you miss its illuminated Wizard of Oz green magic. It's the best "Welcome back to London baby" you can get. I've loved it since I was a kid.’

Sanchia Legister, www.sanchiaLegister.com

Follow Sanchia on Twitter: @MissSanchiaLege

Art, Galleries

Tate Modern

icon-location-pin South Bank

‘Tate Modern is so special. I visited every year when at school and then countless times when going on to study art at university. Since moving to London it's the place I go back to time and time again, never failing to see something new. My favourite time to visit is a rainy Sunday afternoon. Best of all, it's free and open to everyone.’ 

Claire Holden

Follow Claire on Instagram: @ladies_leisure
Things to do

Borough Market

icon-location-pin South Bank

‘It’s the epitome of London for me, especially in the winter months. People in woolly hats wander round sipping mulled wine, while the nearby pubs are filled to the rafters with friends catching up after not seeing each other all year 'because it's Christmas'. I always get the best fuzzy feeling when walking through the market and the area.’

Jo Irwin, www.theladylondon.com

Follow Jo on Twitter: @_LadyLondon
British Library Architecture
Eloise Bergman / Time Out
Attractions, Libraries, archives and foundations

British Library

icon-location-pin Euston

‘Perhaps it's the awe-inducing layout that really presents, front and centre, the toil of thousands upon thousands of authors. Whatever it is, hunkering down in the British Library for a day inspires me like no other. To be surrounded by all that knowledge just feels so impressive, like I might actually be soaking up all that history and wisdom by some form of magical osmosis... Oh, and their coffee is pretty stellar too!’

Hayley Jane, www.breaktheloop.net

Follow Hayley on Twitter: @breaktheloop
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Regent's Park

icon-location-pin Regent's Park
‘A walk through Regent's Park takes you through peaceful pathways and past the London Zoo and Regent's Canal. I love taking a picnic and having a moment of quiet in the middle of a busy city. The view from the top of Primrose Hill always makes me fall in love with London all over again.’ 

Kalyn Franke, www.girlgonelondon.com

Follow Kalyn on Twitter: @girlsgonelondon

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