The 50 best London attractions

Discover London’s best attractions, landmarks and spots that you’d be mad to miss, even if you’re a local
Buckingham Palace
Shutterstock
Advertising

Where to start when choosing the 50 best London attractions? There are so many great things to tick off that any good city sightseeing checklist could get very long indeed. So let us be your guide instead. Whether you live and work in the capital or you’re just visiting London for the day, our pick of the London attractions simply cannot be missed. 

The good news? Loads of these London attractions are free! But for those that aren't, you can buy tickets below. And if you can’t find exactly what you’re after, check out our list of 101 things to do in London, as well as what’s happening in London todaythis week and this weekend.

London’s 50 top attractions

1
Father's Day at The View from The Shard
Attractions, Towers and viewpoints

The View from the Shard

icon-location-pin London Bridge

What is it? In 2012, Italian architect Renzo Piano transformed London’s skyline with a strange but striking structure that’s now the capital’s tallest tower. Reaching 244 metres from the ground, The Shard was built with everything in mind: offices, homes, hotels, bars, restaurants and, of course, the alluring viewing platform. From the highest point the public are allowed access (floors 69-72) you get stunning 360° views of the city. There’s also a weekly silent disco up there on Saturday nights and other events, such as Sky-High Yoga or film screenings.

Why go? The floor-to-ceiling windows allow absolutely exceptional views out across the capital – especially on a clear day.

2
101 things to do in London with kids, Up at the O2
Attractions, Sightseeing

Up at The O2

icon-location-pin Greenwich Peninsula

What is it? Ever wondered what London looks like from 53 metres above North Greenwich? No? Bet you’re wondering now! Well, now you can find out with a ticket for Up at The O2, which is the ultimate AAA pass and gains you access to the roof. From there you’ll be able see across the capital, spotting famous sites like the Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, The Shard and Canary Wharf.

Why go? For an incredible 360-degree view that you truly earned a glimpse of.

Advertising
3
ArcelorMittal Orbit
Attractions

ArcelorMittal Orbit and slide

icon-location-pin Stratford

What is it? This network of curly-wurly red scaffolding lords it over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from its position right alongside the Olympic Stadium. Designed by the artist Anish Kapoor and structural engineer Cecil Balmond, it stands 114.5m (376ft) tall – with lifts (and a 455-step staircase) up to two platforms from which you take in the interesting, if not entirely spectacular, view. There are also two of Kapoor's entertaining distorting mirrors inside and the options to abseil or slide down to the ground.

Why go? Two things: the view and the slide. Hold onto your stomach and enjoy the very quick descent down the 12-loop slide.

4
London Eye Pod
Andrew Brackenbury
Things to do, Event spaces

London Eye

icon-location-pin South Bank

What is it? Much like the Millenium Dome – or, as its known to those who don’t remember the twentieth century, the O2 Arena – the London Eye was built to celebrate the year 2000. But unlike the ill-fated Dome, the Eye was a resounding success, and it’s hard to picture London’s skyline without it. Actually, this astonishingly popular attraction boasts a mouthful of a title: the highest cantilevered observation wheel in the world. It rarely ever comes to a stop, so you won’t be standing on ceremony when you get on, and before you know it, you’re halfway into the sky and taking in the sweeping vistas of the Thames and wider London.

Why go? The convenient location not only provides a great view of the capital, but easy access to other attractions.

Advertising
5
Westminster Abbey
Kate Scholefield
Attractions, Religious buildings and sites

Westminster Abbey

icon-location-pin Westminster

What is it? Like the Pantheon Crypt in Paris, where you can see the tombs and memorials to great figures from history, Westminster Abbey is a popular attraction to peruse the graves, tablets, busts and stone dedications. In fact, seventeen monarchs are buried here, along with dukes, countesses and history’s ‘celebs’ (Darwin, Dickens, Hardy, etc). Founded by Benedictine monks in 960 AD, there have also been 16 royal weddings here and every single British coronation has taken within the Abbey's walls since 1066.

Why go? To see Gothic grandeur at its most glorious.

6
Buckingham Palace
s4visuals/Shutterstock.com
Attractions, Sightseeing

Buckingham Palace

icon-location-pin St James's Park

What is it? A chance to see world famous art, glimpse regal opulence and get inside HRH’s headquarters. Many a tourist and local alike know the iconic façade of Buckingham Palace, standing grandly at the end of The Mall. But it was only in 1913 that this epic addition was made, by King George V and Queen Mary. Before that, in 1633, the palace wasn’t even royal – it belonged to Lord Goring, who was forced to hand over ownership to the Royal Family (under King George III) due to a flaw in his contract. Whoops!

Why go? To snoop around the most famous royal residence in the world.

Advertising
7
Dark clouds above flower beds at Hampton Court Palace
Leigh Cousins
Attractions, Historic buildings and sites

Hampton Court Palace

icon-location-pin London

What is it? A resplendent palace with plush grounds on the edge of south-west London. From the Tudor indoor tennis court to the Royal Maze, from the King’s private loo to the Magic Garden adventure playground, there’s something here for all ages. History buffs and art enthusiasts should purchase the ticket for the Palace and Gardens; those with little ones in tow will appreciate the Magic Garden and Maze ticket.
Why go? To get lost in the Royal Maze.

8
tocard_housesofparliament_sw1a0aa
Attractions, Historic buildings and sites

Houses of Parliament

icon-location-pin Westminster

What is it? The seat of British democracy. A highly recommended audio tour through the House of Lords and House of Commons brings the building to life and takes around 60 to 75 minutes, featuring leading parliamentary figures such as Mr Speaker and Black Rod. If you’re feeling fancy, choose the tour that comes with afternoon tea overlooking the Thames.
Why go? For a unique combination of one thousand years of history, modern day British politics and stunning art and architecture.

Advertising
9
madame tussauds, cumberbatch
Attractions

Madame Tussauds

icon-location-pin Regent's Park

What is it? In 1802 Marie Tussaud made her waxwork debut in the capital (32 years after she founded the show in Paris). By 1884 she decided to lay down permanent roots in Marylebone and she’s been there ever since (well, her legacy at least). Visitors to Madame Tussauds today will find some 300 lifelike models. Major actors such as Angelina Jolie and George Clooney come together with the likes of Einstein and Monroe. Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill lead the sports personalities, while Kanye and Madonna give off ultimate attitude in the music section. Elsewhere The Queen stands proudly and YouTube stars, like Zoella, are on hand for the youngsters.

Why go? To snap a selfie with all the famous faces. Instagram, incoming.

10
Christmas Carol concert at St Paul's Cathedral
Attractions, Religious buildings and sites

St Paul's Cathedral

icon-location-pin St Pauls

What is it? Iconic though St Paul’s may be, the Cathedral as we know and love it today is in fact version six, at least. Mark five was razed to the ground by the Great Fire of London in 1666 – in fact mark three was also destroyed by fire in 1087 – and mark four fell to ruins under Henry VIII’s leadership and parts of it were used to build Somerset House. Thankfully Sir Christopher Wren’s design, which was completed in 1708, survived 12 monarchs and two world wars, and remains popular with tourists and locals alike. If you’ve paid for main admission you’ll be treated to an introductory talk before being taken on a 90-minute tour.

Why go? To test your hearing in the Whispering Gallery and stay for evensong.

Advertising
11
Palm Court at The Ritz
Restaurants, British

Afternoon Tea at the Ritz

icon-location-pin St James'

What is it? An occasion to enjoy finely cut sandwiches, dainty cakes and the tinkling of dazzlingly shiny silver teapots in the gold and white splendour of the Ritz Hotel’s Palm Court. It’s so popular that you can book sittings from 11.30am-7.30pm – not strictly afternoon, but all accompanied by the delicate sounds of a pianist, harpist or string quartet.
Why go? To pretend you’re in a costume drama.

12
Tower bridge.jpg
Andrei Nekrassov
Attractions, Sightseeing

Tower Bridge

icon-location-pin Bermondsey

What is it? There’s more to this ornate Victorian bridge than something cool to look at. You can venture inside. Check out the engine rooms, with the old and new machinery, then head up to glass-floored viewing platform above the draw bridge, where you can learn more about the story behind the magnificent bridge. Dogs are allowed up there too, so bring Fido with you.
Why go? See if you can time it right to see the bridge rising up to let some large water traffic through.

Advertising
13
Kensington Palace
Attractions, Sightseeing

Kensington Palace

icon-location-pin Kensington

What is it? Where William, Kate, Harry and Meghan hang their hats. This elegant palace has a certain chic style: it played host to the most fashionable salons in Georgian times, was home to Queen Victoria in her youth, then to sassy Princess Margaret and then to classy Princess Diana. Now the main palace is a pretty visitor attraction with tranquil gardens to wander.
Why go? To be dazzled by the outfits in the ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ exhibition.

14
Big Ben, London
Norio Nakayama
Attractions

Big Ben

icon-location-pin Whitehall

What is it? Big Ben is the nickname of the Great Bell inside Westminster’s iconic clock tower, but even locals think ‘Big Ben’ when they see the Elizabeth Tower. You can’t get inside for a tour until 2020 due to maintenance work but you’re a minute away from the river, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey here, so it’s an easy visit.
Why go? To see the clock as you’ve never seen it before.

Advertising
15
101 Things to do in London: Wembley Stadium
Sport and fitness, Football

Wembley Stadium

icon-location-pin Wembley Park

What is it? The venue where England won the World Cup in 1966. Wembley still has a magic about it, even when you don’t have a ticket for a match or a rock concert. Take the tour and you’ll get to walk down the players’ tunnel and climb the 107 Trophy Winner’s steps, plus, with the use of 360-degree video, experience the electric atmosphere at some of the stadium’s biggest events.
Why go? To feel like a champion.

16
New_Underground London002.jpg
Leon Chew
Museums, History

Churchill War Rooms

icon-location-pin Whitehall

What is it? A secret, secure bunker, tucked behind Downing Street and Parliament Square, where Churchill and his cabinet could monitor how World War II was going, receive intelligence and give orders. It’s the little details that give the biggest impression, from a daily-updated weather noticeboard to the scratch marks on Churchill’s chair (caused by his ring on a stressed day).
Why go? For history lovers to see the rooms just as they were left after 1945.

Advertising
17
The National Gallery
The National Gallery Photographic Department.
Art, Galleries

National Gallery

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square

What is it? A huge art museum right on Trafalgar Square that’s free to enter. Perfect, whether you’ve got ten minutes in your lunch-break to check out Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ or time to wander the entire, glorious collection of Western European paintings from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Check out the Friday Lates for after-hours access to exhibitions, creative workshops and life drawing salons.
Why go? To stand before artistic greatness, for free.

18
National Portrait Galley_Front Entrance_MUST CAPTION_National Portrait Gallery, London Front Entrance_MUST CREDIT_© National Portrait Gallery, London.JPG
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Art, Galleries

National Portrait Gallery

icon-location-pin Leicester Square

What is it? Just around the corner from the National Gallery, this is the home of a stunning collection of portraits, from paintings to photography, capturing the essence of notable royalty, celebrities and our enduring fascination with the human face. The permanent collection is free to visit, with ticketed special exhibitions. The National Portrait Gallery also hosts Late Shifts every Thursday and Friday, with DJs, drop-in drawing sessions and more.  
Why go? To wander among the great and good.

Advertising
19
Thames Rib Experience
Attractions, Sightseeing

Thames RIB Experience

icon-location-pin Waterloo

What is it? A ‘rigid inflatable boat’ that will have you hurtling up and down the river. If you want to ramp up the excitement on the Thames – the kind that would make 007 proud – hop aboard the RIB to travel at speeds of up to 30 knots (roughly 35 mph).
Why go? Because it’s the most thrilling way for adrenaline junkies to see the sights.

20
National Theatre, The Shed
Theatre, Public and national theatres

National Theatre

icon-location-pin South Bank

What is it? Only the greatest theatre in the world (well, we would argue so, anyway). While it's been more than 50 years since the brilliant Laurence Olivier was its first director, and 40 years since it moved to the South Bank, any directing or performing continues to thrive and prove more popular than ever. Take your pick of entertainment from the three theatres, and if you've got time to kill pre or post-performance, take a seat at one of the various bars or restaurants. And since Travelex 15 ensures hundreds of tickets priced from just £15, you can enjoy London's theatre scene for less than you might expect. Winner.
Why go? For classics and new writing that champion rising talents alongside big-name stars.

Advertising
21
Manic Street Preachers. 16 May 2016
Music, Music venues

Royal Albert Hall

icon-location-pin Knightsbridge

What is it? Situated across the road from the ornate golden memorial statue of Prince Albert, is another dedication. The construction of Royal Albert Hall was ordered by Queen Victoria and named after her late husband. Since its completion the hall has hosted music and theatre and continues to do so to this day – most famously hosting the Proms.
Why go? To experience some Victorian opulence.

Venue says Join us for headline acts, classical coffee mornings, late-night jazz, and everything in between. Unforgettable experiences since 1871.

22
Attractions, Historic buildings and sites

Tower of London

icon-location-pin Tower Hill

What is it? A guaranteed fun outing for all the family. The Tower of London offers wonderful architecture, gruesome stories, glittering Crown Jewels, hands-on activities for younger visitors, costumed actors and guides, and worryingly confident ravens. In the winter months they also put up an ice rink here.
Why go? To feast your eyes on a thousand years of history.

Advertising
23
Royal Opera House
Music, Classical and opera

Royal Opera House

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

What is it? Covent Garden’s grand old opera house. You don’t have to be super-rich to get in on the action – there are reductions for students, senior citizens and those on credits, plus the weekly Friday Rush is a chance to get cheap tickets for the next day’s main performance. Alternatively, take a backstage tour, where you can sometimes spot the Royal Ballet practising their moves.
Why go? To see world-class opera and ballet.

24
Kew Gardens Temperate House
RBG Kew
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Kew Gardens

icon-location-pin Kew

What is it? Budding horticulturalists and anyone with slightly green fingers will have a field day here. There are over 300 acres to explore, right in Zones 1 and 2, filled with indigenous flora and fauna, as well as exotic greenhouses and nature trails. There’s also a treetop walkway and the Grade I-listed Temperate House recently reopened after a five-year refurb. It’s the largest Victorian glass house in the world and quite a sight to behold.
Why go? For a breath of fresh air in the busy city.

Advertising
25
101 Things To Do in London: The Globe
John Tramper
Theatre, Shakespeare

Shakespeare's Globe

icon-location-pin South Bank

What is it? A careful recreation of the kind of theatre Shakespeare would have written all his plays for, in what at the time was London’s home of dodgy ‘entertainment’, Bankside. If you’ve never been, book groundling tickets and stand in the open-air pit like you’re at a rock festival. It makes the Bard’s poetry seem a lot less like homework and a lot more like first-rate drama.
Why go? To see theatre like Londoners in Tudor times did.

26
Somerset House Fountains
Simon Leigh
Art, Galleries

Somerset House

icon-location-pin Temple

What is it? An elegant eighteenth-century landmark and cultural hub on the north side of Waterloo Bridge that hosts several art exhibitions and events at a time, incorporating the Courtauld Gallery and temporary exhibitions in the Embankment Galleries. Hell, even the courtyard (once an Inland Revenue car park) makes itself useful, with the ice rink in winter, fountains in summer and alfresco cinema and live music seasons too.
Why go? For music and movies under the stars.

Advertising
27
Art, Galleries

Tate Modern

icon-location-pin South Bank

What is it? A converted power station that, since it opened in 2000, has become one of the world’s most esteemed art galleries. It’s a cathedral to international modern and contemporary art, now with the added Switch House tower for rooftop views and extra gallery space. It’s still free to explore, with anticipation always mounting over what the Turbine Hall’s expansive space will host next. The ticketed exhibitions rarely disappoint.
Why go? To lose a day to the modern masters.

28
commercial - historic royal palaces - kew palace
Attractions, Historic buildings and sites

Kew Palace

icon-location-pin Kew

What is it? The favoured residence of George III that looks more like a massive, ornate biscuit tin than the glittering home of a royal. In the gardens there is a wonderful little cottage built for Queen Charlotte that most definitely trumps any normal garden shed. You can only visit the palace via Kew Gardens (it’s free with entry to Kew), from March to October.
Why go? To discover an often forgotten treasure.

Advertising
29
Cutty Sark
Attractions, Ships and boats

Cutty Sark

icon-location-pin Greenwich

What is it?  Experience life aboard the world's last surviving tea clipper right here in Greenwich. See the intricate craftsmanship used in its creation and find out how the crew lived. Thanks to a million-pound refurbishment after a fire in 2007, you can also now walk underneath the hull.
Why go?  For the history lesson, and the silent discos they occasionally host here.

30
New_HMS Belfast0001.jpg
Andrew Brackenbury
Attractions, Ships and boats

HMS Belfast

icon-location-pin Aldgate

What is it? A grey warship, with its guns tilted high, moored close to Tower Bridge, that is a museum nowadays. Open daily, with scenes set to show you what life was like on board a working WWII warship, HMS Belfast is a lively visitor space where you can scoot around the lower levels, exploring the engine room, the kitchens, the dentist’s office and the action stations up on deck.
Why go? To play life-sized battleships.

Advertising
31
London Transport Museum buses
Museums, Transport

London Transport Museum

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

What is it? A vast museum full of real relics of the bygone ages of London transport, where there’s always a bus or a train to hop on. Find out why tube stations were used as wartime shelters, see decades of beautiful poster artwork and discover how the latest technology will run our services in the future. The LTM always hosts a fabulous Friday Late themed around its newest exhibition.
Why go? To tap into Londoners’ obsession with travel.

32
Otter group at ZSL London Zoo
ZSL
Attractions, Zoos and aquariums

London Zoo

icon-location-pin Regent's Park

What is it? The Regent’s Park landmark that has come a long way since the days when zoos were full of homesick wildlife. London Zoo does a lot of world-class animal welfare work, creating carefully designed settings in which beautiful creatures from gorillas to lizards, penguins to tigers now reside. There’s a dedicated area for small kids and daily shows for the curious of all ages.
Why go? For a chance to experience animals up close.

Advertising
33
Visitors enjoy the Diagon Alley film set at the Making of Harry Potter tour at Warner Bros Studios
Dave Catchpole
Attractions

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter

icon-location-pin Abbots Langley

What is it? The Warner Bros Studio, a short trek north of London, where you can set foot inside the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest and Diagon Alley. See film sets, costumes, props and exhibits that take you behind the scenes of the Harry Potter films. Changing exhibitions are included in the ticket and you get the chance to discover the secrets of the movies’ special effects.
Why go? To finally get your invite into the wizarding world. 

34
National Maritime Museum_CREDIT_© National Maritime Museum, London.jpg
Attractions, Towers and viewpoints

Royal Observatory

icon-location-pin Greenwich

What is it? For centuries, the location for the scientific study of the stars and of timekeeping – originally for the benefit of sea navigation. This is where you’ll see the Greenwich Meridian Line marked out, from which point the world’s time zones are measured. You can also see the incredible instruments with which astronomers made discoveries about our universe, long before the digital age, or go stargazing at a planetarium show.
Why go? To straddle time.

Advertising
35
Shrek's Adventure! London
Attractions, Theme parks

Shrek's Adventure! London

icon-location-pin South Bank

What is it? An interactive tour that starts with a breathtaking 4D ride through the sky before you crash-land near a certain ogre’s swamp and find yourself having to flee from the wicked Rumpelstiltskin. You’ll encounter a few favourite ‘Shrek’ characters as you rush from place to place on your mission, including a baffling maze and some scary spills along the way.
Why go? To have a giggle on a whirlwind trip to Far, Far Away.

36
SEA LIFE London Aquarium
Attractions, Zoos and aquariums

SEA LIFE London Aquarium

icon-location-pin South Bank

What is it? Home to sea creatures from all over the world, from Pacific nurse sharks to Antarctic penguins (with a glimpse of what’s swimming past you in the Thames, too). It can get busy, but go off peak and meet the crocs or attend a Sea Life Late, where you can enjoy a glass of bubbly while you watch the behind-glass bubbles.
Why go? To immerse yourself in the life aquatic.

Advertising
37
Bike ride south bank
Attractions

The South Bank

icon-location-pin South Bank

What is it? A buzzing open space and cultural nucleus of the capital, lined with some of the city’s most exciting galleries, theatres and attractions. Start at the Southbank Centre, for free art and live shows, lunch at one of the many restaurants, watch the skateboarders and then wander east past the artists’ enclave at Gabriel’s Wharf, and on to Tate Modern and the Globe.
Why go? For riverside adventures and ace views. 

38
The London Dungeon
Attractions

The London Dungeon

icon-location-pin South Bank

What is it? A tour of London’s nastiest historical moments, with gory stories retold with humour, gooey props and gruesomely costumed actors. You can board a traitor’s boat to the Tower of London, dash through the streets of Whitechapel in pursuit of Jack the Ripper and glimpse stinking Plague London. Gore-seekers can ride a recreation of The Death Express, a line which carried the deceased to their final resting place in Surrey.
Why go? For a romp and a scream.

Advertising
39
British Library Architecture
Eloise Bergman
Attractions, Libraries, archives and foundations

British Library

icon-location-pin Euston

What is it? A working resource for printed and sound archives that’s open to all. If you nip into the free entrance hall exhibitions you might get to see a scribbled page of Beatles songwriting or a Leonardo da Vinci notebook. There are some stunning illuminated scripts and landmark-scientific items too, including very early photographs. Don’t expect silence to be enforced when a Late at the Library event kicks off.
Why go? For studious research or to see paper-based artefacts.

40
The British Museum
Marc Haegeman
Museums, History

British Museum

icon-location-pin Bloomsbury

What is it? London’s free-to-visit home for ancient finds and cultural gems. From the everyday to the ceremonial, priceless treasures fill the galleries and, thanks to the modern Great Court and its glass-domed ceiling, it’s a lively space, not a mausoleum. There are free daily tours and object-handling activities, and even the youngest visitors are fascinated by the Egyptian mummy.
Why go? To trace thousands of years of culture and history through objects gathered from all over the world.

Advertising
41
Hyde Park Princess Diana Memorial Fountain
Attractions, Sightseeing

Hyde Park

icon-location-pin Kensington

What is it? A massive central London park that’s easy to take for granted. Wander into Hyde Park’s vast greenery and eventually you get to the Serpentine lake, where you can take a dip, go boating, board a solar-powered ferry (in summer) or eat pizza by the water. You can also take guided tours of the gardens and little known pet cemetery.
Why go? Because life’s more fun if you stop for a stroll, a bike ride or a picnic.

42
101 Things To Do in London: Highgate Cemetery
Rob Greig
Attractions, Cemeteries

Highgate Cemetery

icon-location-pin Dartmouth Park

What is it? A beautiful, crumbling north London cemetery full of overgrown paths that will lead you to several Grade II-listed catacombs and a number of famous remains, including poet Christina Rossetti, architect Sir Lawrence Weaver and philosopher Karl Marx. On a sunny day, it even feels a little less morbid.
Why go? For a romantic day with the dead.

Advertising
43
'Votes For Women' exhibition at the Museum of London
Museum of London
Museums, History

Museum of London

icon-location-pin Smithfield

What is it? Museum that traces history from the capital’s beginnings to the present day – you can even see some of the original Roman Wall from its windows. Sense the drama of the Great Fire of London, walk through a Victorian shopping arcade, see the stunning London 2012 Olympic cauldron and get an eyeful of part of the fatberg found lurking in a Whitechapel sewer. Yuck!
Why go? To find out what life was like in Londinium.

44
New_Natural History Museum020.jpg
Museums, Natural history

Natural History Museum

icon-location-pin Brompton

What is it? Budding paleontologists step this way. Feel tiny next to the dinosaur skeletons, see incredible fossils, meet the experts who work behind the scenes at the Darwin Centre’s Cocoon, and find out about our planet’s evolution by understanding more about creepy crawlies. Although Dippy the dinosaur has taken a break from the spotlight, a diving blue whale skeleton has been put in his place.
Why go? To discover the weird and wonderful habits of exotic creatures great and small.

Advertising
45
The Avenue Garden, Regent's Park
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Regent's Park

icon-location-pin Regent's Park

What is it? A verdant 410 acres of lush, open space, that's only a five-minute walk north of Oxford Circus. Featuring a pretty rose garden, an elegant Open Air Theatre (open spring until September) and tree-lined avenues for jogging, it's a slice of horticultural heaven and a much-needed break spot from the rest of the whirring city. Grab a coffee and sit out with the dog walkers while sneaking a look at amateurs trying to rediscover their five-a-side football skills.
Why go? To escape the Oxford Street crowds.

46
Attractions, Sightseeing

St James's Park

icon-location-pin St James'

What is it? London’s oldest royal park and, essentially, Buckingham Palace’s front garden. St James’s Park runs alongside The Mall and offers an easy escape from the traffic noise of Trafalgar Square. The two islands in its lake are home to wildlife and there’s the Princess Diana Memorial Walk to follow if you fancy some gentle exercise.
Why go? To watch the pelicans (which were introduced to the park more than 400 years ago) being fed at 2.30pm daily.

Advertising
47
Museums, Science and technology

Science Museum

icon-location-pin Brompton

What is it?  Seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. It’s free to visit which makes it very busy, so go off peak. Try the hands-on experiments (there are specially dedicated zones to suit children of different age groups) or simply gaze on examples of incredible technology, from early computers to space hardware.
Why go? To understand more about the scientific world.

48
New_trafalgarsquare-hb009.jpg
Heloise Bergman
Attractions, Event spaces

Trafalgar Square

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square

What is it? When it comes to London's top attractions, Trafalgar Square can't be overlooked. Literally. The pedestrianised square is home to Nelson atop his enormous column. Naturally, bring your selfie stick because posing for pics is a must. Get the lions and fountains in shot (no paddling, please) and check out the latest modern art installation adorning the Fourth Plinth, as London’s red buses circle the busy roads around you. Don’t feed the pigeons (it’s illegal and you can be fined) and check the website before you go to make the most of your visit – there are often free live events happening in Trafalgar Square, including West End Live. 
Why go? To take the archetypal, cheesy, London tourist selfie.

Advertising
49
Museums, Art and design

V&A

icon-location-pin Brompton

What is it? Any self-respecting fashionista knows that what goes around comes around, so visiting the Victoria & Albert museum is an education in style that is still very relevant. After the landmark ‘David Bowie is...’ exhibition, a new crowd has appreciated the V&A’s collections of clothes, china, jewellery, glass, photography, architectural drawings and art. Its Friday Lates are always a hotbed of lively debate, cutting-edge performances and fun workshops.
Why go? To browse centuries of textiles and design.

50
Parkland's in bloom
Sport and fitness, Parks and gardens

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

icon-location-pin Stratford

What is it? The green space around the Olympic Stadium that’s now open to the public. You don’t need to be a sports fan to enjoy the Olympic Park. If you fancy a break from the Westfield shopping centre crowds, you can wander around the waterways and immaculate parklands or take a dip at the Zaha Hadid-designed Aquatics Centre – and be sure to give the VeloPark a spin.
Why go? To bask in Olympic legacy.

WithLocals Widget

Advertising