This list of the best places to visit in London will help you prepare a trip to one of the most essential cities for any traveler.
With an endless cultural and leisure offer, museums with incalculable collections, street markets to get lost in, impeccable green spaces and charming neighborhoods, this city is perfect for a weekend getaway or more days, without the possibility of getting bored at any time. moment.
In addition to visiting all the tourist attractions and shopping in some of its most commercial streets, in London you will be able to enjoy the best gastronomy from every corner of the world.
Based on the three times we have visited the city, the last one we spent more than a month living in an apartment in Notting Hill, during which we wrote this guide to tips for traveling to London, we have made this list of places to see in London essential. Let’s start!
1. Camden Town
Spending a morning in the surprising and entertaining Camden neighborhood is one of the best things to do in London.
This neighborhood, famous for having the largest market in the city with more than 1000 stalls and alternative stores, is perfect for finding a unique gift, eating at one of its street stalls or simply listening to live music.
Although it is open every day and many people recommend going on a Sunday, we recommend visiting Camden Town during the week so as not to get overwhelmed by the large number of people that accumulate during the weekend.
One of our favorite areas to shop, in addition to the stalls of the Camden Stables Market, is Camden High St, where the stores with the most picturesque themed facades are concentrated and where you can find everything from Gothic clothing to shops to make a tattoo.
To get to Camden you will have to take the tube, the Northern line and get off at the Camden Town stop. Another option that we love is taking a boat in Little Venice, which will drop you off in less than an hour.
If you want to know the history of the neighborhood better and not miss a thing, you can book this visit with a guide in English.
2. Big Ben
In the Palace of Westminster you will find the British Parliament and Big Ben, its famous Clock Tower, which has become one of the icons to visit in London over time.
This tower, over 100 meters high, was built in 1858 in the Gothic style and stands out for the four clocks on each side.
Although generally when we talk about Big Ben we refer to the Clock Tower, this name is not entirely accurate, since Big Ben really is a huge 14-ton bell that is located inside the tower, which next to the Palace Westminster in Victorian Gothic style, are a World Heritage Site and are located on the banks of the Thames.
The two buildings can only be visited by residents of the United Kingdom, although in summer the palace is allowed by booking in advance on this page.
Visiting hours: Saturdays between 9:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. with guided tour. August and September is open from Tuesday to Friday.
A good way to get to know London’s history and places of interest better is to book this complete tour with tickets or this essential London free tour for free, both with a guide in English.
3. Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge or Tower Bridge, built in 1894 over the River Thames, is the most famous bridge to see in London and its name is due to its proximity to the Tower of London, which is right next door.
You can enter this stone drawbridge to see the operation of the steam engine that lifts it and climb to the top to walk on a transparent glass walkway while enjoying excellent views of the city.
We recommend approaching this photogenic bridge day and night and seeing it from both banks.
Admission is included if you have the London Pass or the London Explorer Pass.
These two cards allow you to save time by skipping the queues and a lot of pounds if you plan to visit the most tourist spots in London. The difference between the two cards is that the London Pass goes for days, while the Explorer has the flexibility of being able to choose up to the last minute the entrance to the 3, 5 or 7 of the main attractions, saving up to 40%.
If you do not have a card you can book the entrance to the tower without queues here.
Visiting hours: April to September from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the rest of the months from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
4. London parks
One of the best things to do in London for free is to walk or play sports in its many well-kept parks.
Among the most famous parks to visit in London are:
Hyde Park: It is the largest and most famous park in the city where you will find from a huge lake, several monuments, a rose garden, the gardens and Kensington Palace, to endless trails for walking or running. You can book the entrance to the palace in advance here.
St James’s Park: Located near Buckingham Palace it is one of the Royal Parks of London and the most beautiful in the city.
Regent’s Park: another one of the perfect parks for a walk where its lakes stand out and in spring, its beautiful rose garden.
Kew Gardens: this Royal Botanical Garden located in a neighborhood away from the center impresses with its greenhouses full of exotic flowers and plants. You can book the ticket here.
Primrose Hill: Located on a hill near Camden, it is perfect for a picnic with beautiful views of the city skyline.
5. Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey, a World Heritage Site, is the oldest and most famous religious temple to visit in London. Almost all the coronation ceremonies of kings, English monarchs, weddings like that of the current princes and funerals like that of Princess Diana of Wales have been held since 1066.
In the beautiful interior of the Gothic style (no photos can be taken), you will find the tombs of kings and famous figures such as David Livingstone, Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, Laurence Olivier or Charles Darwin, as well as some of its most outstanding corners such as the Lady Chapel , the cloisters, the poets’ corner, the Chapter House, the High Altar and the Throne of San Eduardo.
You can find more information in this guide to visit Westminster Abbey.
Visiting hours: Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays open only for mass.
6. Piccadilly Circus
Picadilly Circus is a small square that makes the intersection of several streets and the most famous meeting point for locals and tourists visiting the city. This square stands out for its large video screens, neon advertising signs and for the famous fountain with the sculpture of Eros.
One of the best things to do in London is to sit on the steps of the fountain and enjoy the great atmosphere or a live performance by a street musician.
In addition, in this area next to the charming Leicester Square and Shaftesbury Avenue, several of the most famous London theaters are concentrated.
One of the tours with a guide in English that is most valued by travelers who visit the city and who pass through this square is this night walk through modern London.
7. British Museum, one of the best places to visit in London
The British Museum, opened in 1759, is one of the most important museums in the world and another of the essential places to see in London.
With an extensive collection of key works in the history of humanity, in the museum you will see the Rosetta Stone in the Egyptian Room, the Parthenon marbles from Athens or a Moai from Easter Island.
A good way not to miss any important pieces is to follow this list of essential works to see in the British Museum.
Although the visit to the museum is free, we recommend you book this guided tour in English with an art and history expert or book this free tour for free!
Another option is to rent a English audio guide for £ 7, buy a small book with the best 10 works for £ 2 or another more complete book for £ 6.
Visiting hours: every day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Fridays until 8:30 p.m.).
8. Notting Hill
Notting Hill, famous for Portobello Market and its beautiful colorful houses, is our favorite neighborhood to visit in London.
Incredibly popular after the movie Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, is currently one of the busiest places in the city, both for its colorful houses and the locations of the film, such as the house of the protagonist or the bookstore, which have become true tourist attractions in the neighborhood.
The best day to visit Notting Hill is Saturday morning, when all the stalls are set up on Portabello Street and the market reaches its peak.
The days of every day are also perfect to visit the neighborhood with less people, enter some antique shops and bookstores, have a coffee in some original place or try traditional food at the Duke of Wellington, one of the best restaurants where to eat in London.
Remember that in the streets adjacent to Portabello Road such as Lancaster Road or St Luke´s Mews, there are the most photogenic colored houses in the neighborhood and it is very important to show respect to the neighbors and never go up the stairs to take your photos. Another less touristy area, but also with story houses, is Hillgate Place.
A good option to learn more about the history and not miss a thing in the neighborhood is to book this free tour for free! with guide in English.
9. Tower of London
The Tower of London, surrounded by a moat and located on the banks of the Thames, is another of the most beautiful places to see in London.
This castle built by Guillermo in 1078 to defend the city from enemy incursions, in addition to controlling river traffic, has had different uses depending on the stage of its history.
Once you cross the walls that surround the castle you can visit important places such as the White Tower, the Medieval Palace, the Royal Chapel of San Pedro adlink and the site that houses the Crown Jewels, one of the most valuable treasures in the world.
The ticket is included in the London Pass or you can book this ticket in advance.
You can find more information in this guide to visit the Tower of London.
Visiting hours: from March to October from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the other months they close at 4:30 p.m. On Sundays and Mondays they open at 10am.
10. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the place that has hosted many of the historical moments of London and the United Kingdom, as well as another of the places to visit in London.
One of the best things to do in London is to watch the Changing of the Guard taking place in front of the palace, although so many tourists congregate that most days it is difficult to see it with comfort and clarity. The Changing of the Guard takes place every day at 11:30 am from May to July and the rest of the months every other day.
To visit the beautiful halls of the Palace you have to book well in advance as entry is only allowed from July 23 to October 2 from 9:15 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.
If you don’t have much time in the city, it can be very practical to book the London tourist bus that stops at the main attractions and has recorded comments in English about each one.