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Things to do in London today

The day’s best things to do all in one place

Written by
Time Out London editors

Got a few hours to kill today? You’re in luck. London is one of the very best places on the planet to be when you find yourself with a bit of spare time.

In this city, you’re never too far away from a picturesque park, a lovely pub or a cracking cinema where you could while away a few hours. And on any given day, you’ve got a wealth of world-class art shows, blockbuster theatre and top museum exhibitions to choose from if you’re twiddling your thumbs. 

And while London has a reputation for being pricy, it’s also one of the best places in the world to find fun things to do on a budget, whether that’s a slap-up meal that won’t break the bank or the wealth of free attractions across town. 

Whatever you feel like doing today, you can guarantee that London has the answer. Here are just a few suggestions of our favourite things on right now. Don’t forget that you can also check out our area guides and love local pages if you’re after something in your immediate vicinity. 

You have absolutely no excuse to be bored in London ever again!

RECOMMENDED: Find even more inspiration with our roundup of the best things to do in London this week.

  • Bars and pubs

The various lockdowns of the last year have shown us that without pubs, London could never be its chatty, chaotic and slightly tipsy self. There are thousands here and they come in many forms: your old-man boozers with crap carpets permanently sticky from decades of spilled beer, your craft-beer hipster hotspots, your questionably soundtracked 3am blurs and more. Our 100 best pubs list exists to celebrate London’s taprooms in their many guises. From the perfect pubs for drinking alone to the best boozers for giant yorkshire puddings – get stuck in, spot your local and maybe find a new favourite.

  • Bars and pubs

Beer gardens are one of the best things about London. There’s no finer way to spend a sunny (or not-so-sunny) afternoon in the capital, than supping on a couple of cold boys under the city’s famous sky. If you’re looking to sink some pints or sip on mulled wine while you embrace the breezy great outdoors, we’ve got you covered with the city’s best beer gardens.

  • Restaurants
  • price 1 of 4

London might well be the world’s greatest city for top nosh, but it’s also expensive enough that most of us cant eat out as much as we’d like to. But never fear! Everything in this list has been priced at £10 a head or less to eat in or takeaway, but many of them will have you well-fed for a fiver. And variety is the name of the game – so expect London staples like fish and chips or pie and mash, but also the best banh mi, patties, gozleme, shawarma, steamed buns, lahmacun and moreNot only will visiting these places give you the kind of buzz only a bargain bite can deliver, but you can also relish in the fact that you’re supporting small London businesses as they bounce back post-pandemic. Winner winner, chicken dinner!

  • Attractions

Whether you’re a visitor, a daytripper or a tourist in your own hometown, there are certain iconic London attractions that you simply have to visit. These museums, galleries, monuments and parks are part of the city’s fabric – to experience them is to uncover a patch of the capital's culture and history. But where to begin? We’ve pulled together a list of the 50 best attractions in London for you to start ticking off your bucket list.

  • Art

Looking at great art needn’t cost the same as buying great art. With a shed-load of free art exhibitions in London, wandering through sculptures, being blinded by neon or admiring some of the best photography in London doesn’t cost a penny. Here’s our pick of the best free art exhibitions this week and beyond.

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours

Londoners, real Londoners, genuinely love walking. The whole city, with its winding streets, historic buildings and verdant green spaces is made for strolling. There are loads of truly beautiful spots in London for walkers. Learn a little about the past with a historical trot around town, or feel calm and restored after bathing in the glory of nature. Comfortable shoes are recommended, as is an umbrella. Nothing spoils a walk like getting drenched in a downpour.

  • Restaurants

Want views with your food? Eat at altitude. London’s best rooftop restaurants offer the elevation you need to gaze upon our beautiful city, and top grub to enjoy while you do. Our list includes swish spots, gastropubs and even a thriving herb garden. Although dining in the clouds is best in the summer, most of these places have terraces that are open year-round, so you can catch a sunset whenever you like.

  • Things to do

Grab a bunch of thrill-seeking, puzzle-solving mates and sign up for one of the many live escape room experiences London has to offer. These range from the traditional locked-room escape mission to a ‘Sherlock’-themed mystery and an all-out recreation of the ’90s TV show ‘The Crystal Maze’. Whichever you choose, your group will have to help each other to solve puzzles within a strict time limit. Our advice? Pick your teammates wisely. 


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