UK Travel Planning

How to purchase London Attraction Tickets (Complete Guide)

By: Author Tracy Collins

Posted on Last updated: August 9, 2023

Planning to visit some of London’s top sights, landmarks and attractions? In this guide discover the best ways to purchase London attraction tickets to save you time and money.

Are you visiting London and planning to visit some of the sights for which it is famous? One of the most common questions I hear in my London and UK planning Facebook group is how to book tickets for popular London attractions such as the London Eye, Tower of London or Westminster Abbey.

In this post, we have listed the various ways you can purchase London attraction tickets plus the pros and cons of each method to save you both time and money when visiting.

This will enable you to consider which is the best option for you when booking tickets for top London attractions. You may actually discover that different methods will be more cost-effective depending on your interests, budget and itinerary.

Note – we are busy writing guides that detail the best ways to buy tickets for specific attraction s but this guide is a useful place to start.

  • Purchase the ticket through each attraction's website

Purchase tickets for the attraction from a ticket or tour aggregator

Book a tour of the attraction with a tour company, book a combination ticket or ticket bundle, book a tour which includes a number of london attractions, buy a london pass or city card, do i need to purchase tickets for all london attractions in advance, what if the attraction is sold out, which are the best tour companies to book for tickets and tours, are there any free london attractions, plan your visit to london, london travel guide & itinerary planner (+ 4 bonus ebooks), how to buy tickets for london attractions, purchase the ticket through each attraction’s website.

It is possible in most cases to search for an attraction online such as the Tower of London and book tickets directly through their website.

While this may seem to be the simplest method it can have a number of disadvantages

  • If you are visiting several attractions it can become complicated to keep track of each booking.
  • Many of the attractions do not have a free cancellations policy.
  • It can work out more expensive booking each London attraction ticket separately.

One advantage of booking online through the official website rather than simply turning up on the day (and hoping tickets are still available) is that many attractions offer a slight discount if you book in advance. For example, the London Eye offers a 20% discount if purchased online 7 days in advance.

London attraction tickets are needed for destinations such as The Tower of London as seen in the photo.

Tour and ticket aggregator sites such as Get Your Guide sell tickets to popular London attractions such as the Tower of London , the London Eye and the London Dungeon .

Although you may assume that tickets are more costly through a third party site such as Get Your Guide this is generally not the case. For example, let’s take a look at ticket prices for the Tower of London and the London Eye

Ticket prices at the Tower of London work out the same unless you are travelling as a family when the family saver option offered by the Tower of London website is the clear winner.

However, as you can see in the table above the prices from the London Eye and Get Your Guide are exactly the same (the discounts for booking 7 days in advance are also applied on Get Your Guide )

So you may be wondering if prices are the same what are the advantages of using a company such as Get Your Guide ?

Personally, we always book our tickets and tours through Get Your Guide because of their excellent cancellation policy which enables you to cancel bookings up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund. This ensures peace of mind if you have a change in plans. You can also store all your bookings on the Get Your Guide app (just one of 16 apps we recommend for UK and London travel )

London attraction tickets are needed for destinations such as The London Eye as seen in the photo.

Opting to book a guided tour of an attraction is another possible option. There are many excellent tour companies to choose from such as Take Walks which specialise in smaller groups.

Again tour aggregators such as Get Your Guide , Viator or Klook offer a wide variety of guided tours of popular London sights.

There are many advantages to purchasing a tour of a particular attraction. Listening to knowledgeable tour guides is a great way to learn more about a particular landmark, sight or attraction than you could by visiting on your own.

If your chosen attraction is outside central London such as the Harry Potter studios or Hampton Court Palace it is possible to choose a tour with transportation included and remove the stress of trying to get there via public transportation.

Many tours such as those for the Tower of London below also enable early access or the ability to skip the line which saves time when you have a full itinerary.

If you want to visit several attractions you may find that it may be cost-effective to buy a combination or bundle of tickets.

For example, if you are planning to visit the London Eye it is possible to purchase a combination ticket which includes the London Sealife centre or Madame Tussauds .

Other combination tickets include three attractions such as the London Eye, SeaLife London and Madame Tussaud.

If you like the idea of taking a guided tour of several of London’s attractions you will find that many of the main sights are incorporated together into tours.

Some companies also bundle a tour with entry tickets to other attractions. For example, this walking tour of the top 30 London includes entry tickets for The Shard.

Alternatively combining several London sights and attractions into one tour is a great way to explore London if you are short on time and negates having to purchase several different tickets. Again we recommend picking tours and tour companies that suit your travel style and budget.

Below you can find some of the tours available from Get Your Guide which incorporate popular London attractions.

Our final suggestion when purchasing tickets for London is to consider whether one of the London passes would save you money.

There are a few passes available so you will need to evaluate which incorporates the London attractions you wish to visit.

The London Pass

  • The View from The Shard
  • Tower of London
  • 1-Day Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Thames River Boat (Uber Boat by Thames Clippers – 1-day Hop-on Hop-off) 
  • Windsor Castle
  • Westminster Abbey
  • London Bridge Experience and London Tombs
  • Tower Bridge Exhibition
  • ZSL London Zoo
  • Kensington Palace
  • Royal Observatory Greenwich
  • It includes a digital guidebook with attraction information and hours of operation
  • 1-Day hop-on, hop-off bus tour is also included.

The London Pass is valid for 2 years from the purchase date.

It comes as a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6- or 10-day digital pass. The London Pass works on a consecutive day basis, not a 24-hour period so begin your day early to get the most of it!

The cost of the pass ranges from £59 ($82) for one day up to £144 ($200) for a 10-day pass.


London Explorer Pass

The London Explorer Pass enables you to create your own tour of London with a pass to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 top attractions including a selection of over 50 monuments, tours, cruises, dining experiences and more.

Save up to 39% on admission.

Once activated the pass is valid for 60 days.

Popular attractions to choose from include

  • 1-day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus tour
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition & Theatre Tour
  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Thames River Cruise (City Cruises Thames River Pass)
  • The London Bridge Experience

The cost of the pass ranges from £34 ($47) for 2 attractions to £94 ($130) for 7 attractions.

As with the London Pass simply calculate the costs of entry to your chosen attractions and compare to the price of the London Explorer Pass.


Good to know – Another card which is worth considering if you are planning some day trips from London (or plan to do some travels around England) is the English Heritage Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors .

The English Heritage Attractions Pass gives holders free entry to over 100 English Heritage sites including Stonehenge and can be purchased for 9 or 16 days. It is only available to non-UK residents.

London attraction tickets are needed for destinations such as Westminster Abbey as seen in the photo.

FAQs – London tickets

We highly recommend booking tickets for all the London attractions you wish to visit as early as possible. If you book through a company such as Get Your Guide you do have peace of mind of being able to cancel up to 24 hours in advance.

Once you know what you want to see and do in London and have your itinerary sorted we recommend booking all tickets and tours.

This not only helps with budgeting for your trip but also alleviates the risk of disappointment if you discover one of your London bucket list sights is fully booked.

These are 10 of the most popular attractions and sights in London we recommend booking tickets for

  • The London Eye
  • Kew Gardens
  • The view from The Shard
  • Madame Tussauds London
  • London Dungeon

If you discover that the attraction is sold out we recommend being flexible with dates and times (where possible) and trying a variety of third party ticket sellers such as Get Your Guide , Klook and Viator .

We personally use ticket and tour aggregator companies such as Get Your Guide and Viator due to their generous cancellation policy. We have found the flexibility this affords us to be invaluable at times.

Another company we recommend for tours is Take Walks which offers small group tours such as this Early Access Crown Jewels with Opening Ceremony and Complete Tower of London Guided Tour or this London In a Day Tour which includes the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey & Changing of the Guard

Yes! London has many wonderful places you can visit for free! This includes some of the best museums and art galleries in the world.

Read more in our guide to 32 free places to visit in London .

The atrium at the British Museum.

  • London Travel Guide
  • Essential tips for first-time visitors to London
  • 32 free things to do in London
  • Budget London travel guide
  • 11 virtual tours of London’s top museums & landmarks
  • Guide to the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
  • Guide to the best boat trips and cruises in London
  • Best hotels for families
  • Best mid-range London hotels
  • Best day trips from London
  • Best day trips from London by train
  • 7 magnificent castles to visit from London
  • Guide to getting around London on public transport
  • How to travel from Gatwick to London
  • How to travel from Heathrow to London
  • Guide to 9 mainline London train stations
  • Taking the Eurostar to mainland Europe

London Travel Guide and itinerary planner.

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9.00am-5.00pm on Saturday and Sunday

10.00am-4.00pm bank holidays

  • Always Cheaper than the Gate Save time and money by pre-purchasing your attraction tickets in advance and enjoy great savings versus the gate as well as guaranteeing admission on your chosen date. Our price promise ensures that you are getting the best value attraction tickets - will not be beaten on price!
  • Gate-Ready Theme Park Tickets Receive Gate-Ready Digital Tickets for the major theme parks and attractions - Enjoy speedy, hassle-free entry using your smartphone.
  • Change or Cancel for Free We don't charge amendment fees for changes, although new selling prices may apply. Most bookings can be cancelled for free or can be protected against cancellation fees with Flex Plus protection.
  • Bypass Ticket Lines Enjoy faster access to the attractions everyone wants to visit. Most tickets include skip-the-line privelleges so you can by-pass the long ticket and voucher lines.
  • Instant Ticket Delivery Receive gate-ready tickets instantly and enjoy direct fast-track entry to the parks as you bypass the ticket and voucher lines!


Great Reasons to London Attraction Tickets with

London attractions and combo ticket deals.

  • Sightseeing
  • Attractions
  • Experience Days


The London Pass

Madame Tussauds and London Eye Combo

Madame Tussauds London & London Eye Combo Ticket

Tower of London viewed from the Water

Tower of London Admission Ticket

London Eye

The London Eye Admission Ticket

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London with Return Transportation from Victoria

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Windsor Castle

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Madame Tussauds London, London Eye & SEA LIFE London Aquarium Combo Ticket

London Explorer Pass

London Explorer Pass

Big Bus London Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Big Bus London Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Merlin combi pic

Madame Tussauds, London Eye & London Dungeon Combo Ticket

Merlin's Magical London Pass

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Guests posing with Taylor Swift at Madame Tussauds London

Madame Tussauds London Admission Ticket

SEA LIFE London Aquarium

SEA LIFE London Aquarium Admission Ticket

St Pauls Cathedral Tickets

St Paul's Cathedral Tickets

CS London

City Sightseeing London 24hr Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour + Free River Cruise


Break the Barrier Speedboat Experience


The Ultimate London Speedboat Experience


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London, Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace from London


The River Cruise

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Thames Lunch Cruise


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Simply Windsor Castle Tour from London

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Thames Evening Cruise


Afternoon Tea Bus with Panoramic Tour of London


London Witches & History Walking Tour for Two Adults and Two Children


Paddington Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

London bus

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Disney 100: The Exhibition + Open Top Bus


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The London Dungeon

The London Dungeon Admission Ticket


Kensington Palace Ticket

Woman riding the London Eye London Eye with Fast Track Admission

London Eye River Cruise London Eye Admission plus River Thames Cruise

Kew Gardens and Kew Palace Ticket

Kew Gardens Ticket


Lift 109 at Battersea Power Station


Frameless - Immersive Art Experience

Cream Tea at Harrods for Two Experience Voucher

Cream Tea at Harrods for Two - Experience Voucher


Fortnum & Mason Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two in The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon - Experience Voucher


The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience for Two, London - Experience Voucher


Sunday Roast for Two at a Gordon Ramsay Restaurant - Experience Voucher


Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Theatre Tickets for Two - Experience Voucher

Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall Tour for Two - Experience Voucher

Chelsea Football Club Stadium Tour

Family Chelsea Football Club Stadium Tour - Experience Voucher

Faulty Towers

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience for Two

Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience for Two - Experience Voucher

Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience for Two

Theatre Tickets to The Lion King and Two Course Dining Experience with Cocktail at Marco Pierre White's London Steakhouse Co for Two

Theatre Tickets to The Lion King and Two Course Dining Experience with Cocktail at Marco Pierre White's London Steakhouse Co for Two – Experience Voucher


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Theatre Tickets to Frozen The Musical for Two - Experience Voucher


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Secret Garden Afternoon Tea for Two at DoubleTree by Hilton Kensington - Experience Voucher

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Wembley Stadium Tour for Two Adults Experience Voucher


Neverland Cheese and Charcuterie Board with Drinks for Two - Experience Voucher

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Thames View at Skylon

Thames View Weekend Brunch with Free-Flowing Prosecco for Two at Skylon - Experience Voucher

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Wizard's Afternoon Tea for Two at the Wizard Exploratorium®, London - Experience Voucher

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24 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in London

Written by Bryan Dearsley and Shandley McMurray Updated Mar 20, 2024 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Author Bryan Dearsley has visited London many times, most recently on an extensive tour of England in the spring of 2022. Author Shandley McMurray lived in London and always enjoys returning.

London is one of the world's most mesmerizing cities . Modern architectural marvels like the Shard line medieval laneways peppered with historic monuments, high-end shops, and award-winning theaters. Picturesque streets and avenues connect renowned attractions like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul's Cathedral, causing visitors to gape at their beauty and exhaust their phone's photo storage.

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in London, England

With so many impressive tourist attractions and captivating things to do, it's no wonder London is one of the most popular places to visit in the world , attracting over 20 million tourists each year. Britain's bustling capital offers something for everyone, including shopaholics, foodies, adventurists, historians, and kids, making it tough to choose what to do first.

Should you hit one of the top museums, many of which are free to enter, or enjoy a picnic in one of the city's expansive parks ? Maybe tour a royal palace, or wander around a breathtaking garden? Perhaps you'd prefer to take in a show; enjoy a horseback ride; see the city views from atop the London Eye; or enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in Harrods, the world's poshest department store?

Use our list of the best attractions and things to do in London to help decide what to see and do in this phenomenal city you'll want to visit again and again.

See also: Where to Stay in London

1. Visit Buckingham Palace and Watch the Changing of the Guard

2. see the crown jewels at the tower of london, 3. beat the crowds: take a morning stroll across tower bridge, 4. get cultured at the british museum, 5. big ben and the houses of parliament, 6. get creative at the national gallery, 7. tour the art displays at the victoria and albert museum, 8. wander around piccadilly circus and trafalgar square, 9. journey to the top of the shard, 10. get your art fix at tate britain and tate modern, 11. walk the hallowed halls of westminster abbey, 12. head underground to the churchill war rooms, 13. walk with dinosaurs at the natural history museum, 14. enjoy a picnic in hyde park, 15. climb the dome of st. paul's cathedral, 16. shop at london's best markets, 17. be entertained by buskers at covent garden, 18. take flight on the london eye, 19. meet henry viii at hampton court palace, 20. straddle the meridian line at greenwich, 21. the imperial war museum & hms belfast, 22. explore the london docklands & canary wharf, 23. visit picturesque richmond park, 24. ogle the flora and fauna at kew gardens, where to stay in london for sightseeing, tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to london, map of tourist attractions & things to do in london, best time to visit london, england.

Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard

One of Britain's most iconic buildings, Buckingham Palace is also the scene of London's most popular display of pomp and ceremony: the Changing of the Guard.

Drawing crowds at 11:30am most days regardless of the season, this colorful display of precision marching and music also takes place at St. James's Palace . One of the top free things to do in London , you can then follow the band along The Mall as they march between sites.

Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace was built in 1837 and has been the London residence of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria's accession. If you're wondering whether the King is in, look at the flagpole atop the building: if the royal standard is flying day and night, he's at home. On special state occasions, he and members of the Royal Family may even emerge on the central balcony.

When the King's away at the Royal Family's summer residence in Balmoral Castle, Scotland , visitors can purchase tickets for tours of the State Rooms, the Queen's Gallery, and the Royal Mews.

The Tower of London

From prison to palace, treasure vault to private zoo, the magnificent Tower of London has fulfilled many different roles over the centuries. One of Britain's most iconic structures, this spectacular World Heritage Site offers hours of fascination for visitors curious about the country's rich history, so much of which happened here.

Inside the massive White Tower, built in 1078 by William the Conqueror, is the 17th-century Line of Kings with its remarkable displays of royal armaments and armor. Other highlights include the famous Crown Jewels exhibition, the Beefeaters, the Royal Mint, and gruesome exhibits about the executions that took place on the grounds.

The Tower of London

The Bloody Tower is also worthy of a visit. Here you'll find stories of ancient torture, and you can learn about the mystery of two princes who disappeared many years ago.

For the best use of your time, especially during the busy summer season, purchase the Tower of London Entrance Ticket Including Crown Jewels and Beefeater Tour in advance, to bypass the ticket office lines. This pass guarantees the lowest price, helps avoid the crowds, and saves time and hassle.

Tower Bridge

Located adjacent the Tower of London, Tower Bridge features two huge towers rising 200 feet above the River Thames.

This is one of London's best-known and most photographed landmarks. While fascinating behind-the-scenes tours are available, you can easily walk across the bridge from the Tower of London.

For the best Tower views, as well as a glimpse of HMS Belfast and London Bridge (which many mistakenly believe Tower Bridge to be), find a spot mid-way across. While it can be crowded, especially around sunset, an early morning arrival before the throngs of tourists get there is well worth the effort.

Afterwards, head over to the renovated Butlers Wharf district on the bridge's south end for a unique twist on the classic "full English" breakfast at WatchHouse Tower Bridge. This now ritzy area is fun to wander and is home to a funky selection of restaurants, luxury housing, and shops.

Address: Tower Bridge Road, London

Official site:

The British Museum

Displaying one of the world's finest collections of antiquities, the British Museum contains more than 13 million artifacts from the ancient world. With priceless objects from Assyria, Babylonia, China, Europe, and elsewhere, it's hard to know where to begin in this expansive attraction.

Most tourists head first for the museum's most famous exhibits: the controversial Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, the Rosetta Stone , the colossal bust of Ramesses II, the Egyptian mummies, and the spectacular hoard of 4th-century Roman silver known as the Mildenhall Treasure .

In addition to a well-stocked, on-site bookshop boasting an exhaustive array of titles on ancient history, archaeology and art history, there's a shop selling kids' games and souvenirs, along with one that sells replica sculptures and jewelry.

For those able to linger longer, the museum offers a variety of lectures and workshops, plus a restaurant and café.

Address: Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London

Official site:

Houses of Parliament

Nothing screams "London" more emphatically than the 318-foot tower housing the giant clock and its resounding bell known as Big Ben. It's as iconic a landmark as Tower Bridge , and the tolling of Big Ben is known throughout the world as the time signal of the BBC.

Below it, stretching along the Thames, are the Houses of Parliament . The seat of Britain's government for many centuries, it was also once the site of the royal Westminster Palace occupied by William the Conqueror.

Big Ben and Parliament

The best view of the parliament buildings can be had by crossing Westminster Bridge and looking back. Or, turn left after crossing the bridge and walk along the path towards the SEA LIFE London Aquarium (a fun spot to take kids). Gather your crew along the wall for a perfect photo with Big Ben in the background.

Tours of the Houses of Parliament offer a unique chance to see real-time debates and lively political discussions. From Parliament Square, Whitehall is lined by so many government buildings that its name has become synonymous with the British government.

Official site:

National Gallery

It's almost impossible to visit London without catching a glimpse of the impressive National Gallery. This iconic, columned museum is set at the edge of Trafalgar Square , home to incredible masterpieces that make it one of the best attractions in London.

Ranking among the top art museums in the world, London's National Gallery represents an almost complete survey of European painting from 1260 until 1920. The museum's greatest strengths are in its collections of Dutch Masters and Italian Schools of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Among its highlights are a cartoon (preliminary sketch) of the Madonna and Child by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo's The Entombment , Botticelli's Venus and Mars , van Gogh's Sunflowers , and The Water-Lily Pond by Monet.

Address: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London

Official site:

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum (aka the V&A) is part of a South Kensington-based group of museums that includes the Natural History Museum and Science Museum . Founded in 1852, the V&A covers close to 13 acres and contains 145 galleries spanning some 5,000 years of art and related artifacts.

Exhibits include ceramics and glass, textiles and costumes, silver and jewelry, ironwork, sculpture, prints, and photos, and are conveniently arranged into four main categories: Asia; Furniture, Textiles, and Fashion; Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics, and Glass; and Word and Image.

It's impossible to get around this vast museum in a single visit, so the best plan to tackle it is to decide in advance which sections you most want to see. Taking a V&A tour is highly recommended, and often free, with options including everything from daily introductory tours to specific gallery or themed tours.

The Main and Garden Cafés are more impressive than any museum eatery you've seen. The intricate detailing on everything from the floor to the columns to the ceiling make them worthy pieces of art themselves. Plus, the food is quite tasty. Also, don't miss an opportunity to luxuriate in the John Madejski Garden , which is so beautiful and serene, you'll forget you're in the center of one of the world's largest cities.

If you're around, check into one of the fun "Friday Late" programs held on the last Friday of the month (except for March and December). These fun events are popular for their food and drink experiences, along with late-night exhibition openings.

Address: Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London

Official site:

Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square

Two of London's best-known tourist spots, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square lie not far apart and mark the gateway to Soho , London's lively theater and entertainment district. The walk from one to the other is truly enjoyable, lined with eclectic boutiques, tasty cafés, ice-cream shops, and winding laneways evoking a bygone era when only horses and buggies traipsed through these historic streets.

Trafalgar Square was built to commemorate Lord Horatio Nelson's victory over the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson's Column , a 183-foot granite monument, overlooks the square's fountains and bronze reliefs, which were cast from French cannons. Admiralty Arch, St. Martin-in-the-Fields , and the National Gallery surround the square.

Trafalgar Square

Piccadilly Circus marks the irregular intersection of several busy streets, including Piccadilly, Regent, Haymarket, and Shaftesbury Avenue. Overlooking this somewhat untidy snarl of traffic stands London's best-known sculpture, the winged Eros delicately balanced on one foot, bow poised.

"It's like Piccadilly Circus" is a common expression among Londoners to describe a busy and confusing scene.

The Shard and the London skyline

Since it opened in 2012, The Shard has taken its place as one of the most-recognizable and most-visited landmarks in London.

Standing 1,016 feet tall and encompassing some 95 stories, this remarkable structure is so-named for its resemblance to a shard of glass. Yet, while it dominates the skyline south of the River Thames, its pleasing design doesn't seem at all out of place when seen next to neighbors such as Tower Bridge.

The Shard

In addition to its office space on the lower levels, The Shard is home to a stunning Shangri-La Hotel and three superb restaurants, all boasting some of the most incredible views over London. For those not staying here, the upper-most levels consist of a choice of viewing platforms: indoor and outdoor.

Another London skyscraper that's worth a visit is the "Walkie Talkie" with its popular Sky Garden attraction. Located around the corner from the Tower of London and set on the building's 34th to 37th floors, the garden's terraces offer some of the best views over the city. If you've got the time, reserve a table at one of the restaurants here in order to enjoy the views while you dine.

Address: 32 London Bridge Street, London

Official site:

Tate Modern

Art lovers cannot visit London without touring its most impressive art museums: the two Tates. Located on opposite sides of the Thames, Tate Britain and Tate Modern together comprise one of the world's most important art collections .

The original gallery opened in 1897 as the basis of a national collection of significant British art, and continued to make acquisitions, needing more space to properly display its collections. The end result was the establishment of Tate Britain, in Millbank on the north side of the Thames, as home to its permanent collection of historic British paintings.

A superbly transformed power station across the Thames became home to the modern art collections. Art lovers can spend a whole day viewing both sites, conveniently connected by high-speed ferry. Better still, walk across the Millennium Bridge , a footbridge that connects the two banks of the river close to the Tate Modern. The views are spectacular.

Tate Britain

  • Address: Millbank, London

Tate Modern

  • Address: Bankside, London

Westminster Abbey

Another location with a long association with British royalty, Westminster Abbey stands on a site that's been associated with Christianity since the early 7th century. Officially known as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster, Westminster Abbey was founded by Edward the Confessor in 1065 as his place of interment.

From his burial in 1066 until that of George II almost 700 years later, most sovereigns were not only crowned here but were buried here, too. More recently, it's become famous as the preferred location for Royal Weddings.

This masterpiece of Gothic architecture not only has the highest Gothic nave in England (102 feet), it's also one of London's most popular tourist attractions, drawing well over a million visitors each year.

Westminster Abbey

Highlights of a visit include seeing the more than 600 memorials in the Nave, including the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior; Poet's Corner in the Transepts , with its memorials to the likes of Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Dickens; the Westminster Abbey Museum; and the attractive gardens.

Address: 20 Dean's Yard, Westminster, London

Official site:

Westminster Abbey - Floor plan map

Among the most fascinating and evocative of London's historic sites are the perfectly preserved Churchill War Rooms.

The nerve-center from which Prime Minister Winston Churchill directed British military campaigns and the defense of his homeland throughout World War II, their simplicity and cramped conditions underline the desperate position of England as the Nazi grip tightened across Europe.

You'll see the tiny cubicle where Churchill slept and the improvised radio studio where he broadcast his famous wartime speeches. Simple details, such as Clementine Churchill's knitting wool marking the front lines on a map of Europe, bring the era to life as no other museum could possibly do.

Audio guides are available (a thorough self-guided tour takes about 90 minutes), and a café and bookshop are located on the premises.

Address: Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London

Official site:

Natural History Museum in London

Established in 1754, London's spectacular Natural History Museum remains one of the most-visited such attractions on the planet. It's easy to spot for its huge Romanesque façade, and a visit is something you'll not want to rush. Arrive early as it can get quite crowded.

Many of the museum's original exhibits are still on display centuries later, and together comprise a massive collection of more than 80 million items showcasing everything from botany to zoology, plus pretty much everything in between. A highlight of a visit is seeing the preserved specimens that Charles Darwin collected on his epic journeys.

If you're not in a hurry, start your visit by joining one of the formal guided tours on offer, ranging from 30 to 50 minutes. You'll be introduced to highlights you may wish to return to at a later date to explore in greater detail.

A variety of fun events are held regularly, from workshops for kids to late night openings. Shopping opportunities are located on-site, along with a number of dining options.

Address: Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London

Official site:

Hyde Park

Covering 350 acres, Hyde Park is London's largest open space and has been a destination for sightseers since 1635. One of the park's highlights is the Serpentine, an 18th-century man-made lake popular for boating and swimming. Hyde Park is also where you'll find Speakers' Corner , a traditional forum for free speech—and heckling.

Another Hyde Park landmark is Apsley House , former home of the first Duke of Wellington and purchased after his famous victory at Waterloo. Now a museum, it houses Wellington's magnificent collections of paintings, including Velázquez's The Waterseller of Seville , along with gifts presented by grateful European kings and emperors. England's greatest hero is also commemorated at the Wellington Arch.

Another lovely London green space to explore is Regent's Park . Just a short walk away from Westminster, this 410-acre attraction is a delight to stroll around. If you're traveling with kids, be sure to visit London Zoo , located within the grounds of the park and one of the most popular things to do for families visiting the city.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions around Hyde Park

St. Paul's Cathedral

The largest and most famous of London's many churches, and undoubtedly one of the most spectacular cathedrals in the world, St. Paul's Cathedral sits atop the site of a Roman temple. The previous church structure was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, and Sir Christopher Wren designed the rebuild .

St. Paul's Cathedral

Today, the twin Baroque towers and magnificent 365-foot dome of St. Paul's are a masterpiece of English architecture. If you're up to it, be sure to walk the stairs with their spectacular views of the dome's interior, including the Whispering Gallery , undoubtedly one of the top things to do in London.

  • Read More: Exploring London's St. Paul's Cathedral: A Visitor's Guide

Camden Market

Whether you're a fan of food, flowers, art, or clothes, you'll find something to love in London's best markets . While most open only on weekends (Fridays included), some of the most eclectic venues, like the vibrant Camden Market in North London, welcome shoppers daily.

Camden Market is home to over 100 stalls, shops, and eateries offering everything from gluten-free goodies to hand-made jewels to bohemian clothing. If you're looking for a distinct urban feel, you'll find it here.

Borough Market is a must-visit for foodies in central London. This popular venue, which is situated near London Bridge, is so busy on weekends, you'll have to fight your way through crowds to nab the best produce or mouthwateringly good sample of giant paella.

Hats for sale at Camden Market

Arrive early (we'd suggest no later than 10am) to enjoy a little more elbow room. The line for coffee can extend for blocks, so head there first. While some stalls are open during the week, most don't unveil their goods until Friday morning.

Old Spitalfields Market is another beloved spot offering some of the city's most gorgeous flowers, interesting antiques, art, jewelry, and more. Built in 1876, this is one of the best examples of a Victorian Market Hall.

Other popular markets include, Maltby Street Market , Brick Lane Market , and Portobello Road.

Read More: Best Places to Shop in London

Covent Garden

The market halls of Covent Garden are only the beginning of the neighborhood, which encompasses the shops and restaurants of Long Acre and other adjacent streets, those of Neal's Yard and Seven Dials, as well as the Central Square with its incredibly talented, and unique, street performers.

The halls and arcades of Covent Garden Market are lined with specialty shops and kiosks selling everything from teas to fine handcrafts to tacky souvenirs. A few restaurants are sprinkled in as well, some offering patios for you to enjoy a tasty treat while people-watching.

Covent Garden

Housed in the former flower market, you'll find the London Transport Museum , a kid-centric haven for those who love all things vehicular. Filled with historic buses, trolleys, and trams, children and adults alike will love this interactive transportation hub. "Drive" a London bus, pilot a tube train, or sit on an ancient trolley.

This area is also where you'll find the Royal Opera House and a variety of other leading London theaters.

The London Eye

Built to mark London's millennium celebrations in 2000, the London Eye is one of the world's largest observation wheels. Its individual glass capsules offer the most spectacular views of the city as you embark on a circular tour rising 443 feet above the Thames. The journey lasts close to 30 minutes, often quicker than the time spent lining up for your turn.

If you can, reserve your time in advance. Better still, skip the line completely with a London Eye: Skip-the-Line Ticket . This advance ticket allows you to take a flight at any time on the day you plan to visit. If you can afford it, rent one of the private capsules and share the experience with friends and family.

The London Eye

Another fun way to view London for above is aboard the Emirates Air Line , a cable car system that crosses the Thames between Greenwich and the Royal Victoria Dock. The journey travels one kilometer and lasts 10 minutes, long enough to enjoy spectacular views and grab a few memorable selfies.

Official site:

Hampton Court Palace

Another great Thames-side attraction, Hampton Court is one of the world's most famous and grandest of royal palaces, and a truly remarkable place to visit in London. Its Great Hall dates from Henry VIII's time (two of his six wives supposedly haunt the palace), and it's where Elizabeth I learned of the defeat of the Spanish Armada .

Meet Henry VIII himself or have a chat with Anne Boleyn, both of whom wander the grounds and involve guests in their interesting antics at random points throughout the day. Depending on the time and date you visit, you may even be asked to participate in a session in court.

Grab an audio guide upon your arrival and choose a velvet cloak to wear as you tour the grounds, if you're hoping to feel a bit more authentic. Get lost in the palace's famous Maze , or grab a bite in the on-site café,

Other interesting features include the Clock Court with its fascinating astronomical clock dating from 1540, the State Apartments with their Haunted Gallery, the Chapel , the King's Apartments , and the Tudor tennis court. Don't miss the Tudor Kitchens and their massive fireplaces.

The gardens are also worth visiting, especially in mid-May when in full bloom. Highlights include the Privy Garden, the Pond Garden, the Elizabethan Knot Garden, the Broad Walk, and an area known as the Wilderness.

Although a little farther outside the city center, Hampton Court is a must-do sightseeing trip when visiting London. It's a bit of a haul on the tube, but taking a taxi, renting a car, or even grabbing a car service will make this trip more than worthwhile.

  • Read More: Visiting Hampton Court Palace: Top Attractions, Tips & Tours


For centuries the hub of Britain's naval power, Greenwich is best known to tourists as the home of the Cutty Sark , the last of the 19th-century tea clippers to sail between Britain and China. The ship is located adjacent to the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre with its exhibits showcasing more than 500 years of maritime history, and the Palladian mansion known as Queen's House .

The impressive collections of the National Maritime Museum , the largest of its kind in the world, illustrate the history of the Royal Navy. And one of the most unusual things to do in London is standing with one foot in each hemisphere, astride the Meridian Line in the Meridian Building in the Royal Observatory.

Read More: Top Attractions in Greenwich & Docklands Districts, London

Imperial War Museum

If you've time in your travel itinerary, two other military attractions related to the Churchill War rooms are also worth visiting: The Imperial War Museum and HMS Belfast .

Located a short distance from the popular Southbank cultural district, the Imperial War Museum London can easily occupy the best part of a day with its fascinating exhibits and collections of military vehicles, weapons, and aircraft.

Set in chronological order, displays portray the very real experiences of participants and victims in the world's major conflicts, with many hands-on exhibits allowing unique incites into their place in history. The Holocaust Galleries are particularly sobering.

A shop and café are located on-site, and before leaving, grab a selfie standing next to the huge shells and guns located out front.

The other must-see under the Imperial War Museum umbrella, HMS Belfast is a well-preserved WWII-era cruiser that served during D-Day. Located on the River Thames opposite the Tower of London, this historic vessel can be explored as part of a guided or self-guided tour.

For a truly memorable experience, consider booking a fun family tour. A gift shop is located on the premises.

St. Katherine Docks

The revitalized Docklands area of East London has been transformed into an international place of business and recreation, filled with some of London's smartest new restaurants and entertainment experiences.

The revitalized Docklands area also includes Canary Wharf. This important financial and business hub offers a variety of fun things to do, including shopping and dining.

The excellent Museum of London Docklands is the place to visit to learn more about the area. Located in a series of old Georgian warehouses on Canary Wharf, it brings to life the river, port, and its people from Roman times to the present through hands-on displays that are especially interesting for children.

A little closer to the Tower of London, St. Katherine Docks is fun to explore, too. Redeveloped as a mixed commercial and residential area, here you can spend time wandering the marina or enjoying a great meal or respite while watching the world go by.

Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park

It's hard to believe you're in London (well, technically just outside London) when on a visit to Richmond Park. One of the most captivating of the eight Royal Parks, this lavish natural wonderland has everything you'd look for in an English park: winding paths, verdant woodland, sparkling lakes, horse stables and trails, bike lanes, and multiple picnic spots.

Enjoy unparalleled views of St. Paul's Cathedral from King Henry's Mound , a picturesque hilltop surrounded by wild deer. Luxuriate in a warm tea and traditional scones at the Pembroke Lodge Tea Room , or rent a bike and cycle through this spectacular 2,500-acre nature reserve.

If visiting during spring, particularly late April or early May, make your way to the Isabella Plantation , a remarkable Victorian woodland garden set within the park. Its vibrant 40 acres are filled with colorful rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias so resplendent, you'll think you're walking through a fairy tale.

Official site:

Kew Gardens on a beautiful summer day

Spending at day at Kew Gardens is one of the best things to do in London. A UNESCO Heritage Site , this phenomenal spot is home to over 50,000 living plants and some of the most majestically manicured gardens in England.

Officially called the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is situated in southwest London on the south bank of the Thames and offers visitors a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of central London, and a welcome breath of fresh air. Located on a flight path, you'll spot multiple jumbo jets, but these add to the allure for little ones.

Also family-friendly is the expansive indoor and outdoor playground, which comes complete with a zipline. Visit on a sunny day, and you should prepare to jostle for a picnic spot on the lush lawns, as this is a popular spot for families to enjoy a lunch out. Didn't pack snacks? Visit one of the on-site restaurants for a tasty treat-they even offer dairy and gluten-free options.

Laid out in 1759, the gardens became government property in 1841. In 1897, Queen Victoria added Queen's Cottage and the adjoining woodland. A variety of tours are available free with admission, and many musical and cultural events are held here throughout the year.

Don't miss the towering Pagoda ; Japanese gardens ; Treetop Walkway ; and the remarkable Palm House , an indoor rainforest with an aquarium in the basement. The impressive Rhododendron Dell is a breathtaking treat popping with vibrant blooms during spring.

  • Read More: Exploring the Top Attractions of London's Kew Gardens

London's top tourist attractions are spread out over several different areas of the city. If you want to spend time sightseeing, it's a good idea to base yourself in a central location and use the city's excellent public transport system to travel between the sites. Here are some highly rated hotels in Central London:

Luxury Hotels:

  • When it comes to posh hotels, the grande dames still grace the list of London's best. Pampering guests for more than a century are The Goring , a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace.
  • The Langham , in the heart of the West End, has played host to royals and celebrities for more than 150 years.
  • A few steps from Trafalgar Square is the Corinthia London , with a rooftop terrace and luxurious afternoon teas.
  • The Ritz London , also known for teas, is handy to the posh shops of Mayfair.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • The Fielding Hotel , a popular boutique property, places you right near Covent Garden, one of the city's most touristy areas. Handy for those arriving by train from Heathrow or Gatwick airports,
  • The Clermont, Victoria is right over Victoria Station.
  • About a 15-minute stroll from Covent Garden, Bloomsbury was once London's literary hub and is now home to one of the city's top attractions, the British Museum, as well as highly rated mid-range hotels such as The Montague on the Gardens and The Bloomsbury . Both are also a short stroll from Oxford Street shopping.

Budget Hotels:

  • If you're watching your wallet, the Premier Inn London Kensington (Earl's Court) Hotel is an affordable option minutes from museums and Earls Court tube station.
  • You can also head north and try The Alhambra Hotel or Jesmond Dene Hotel , both near busy King's Cross tube station, a major transport hub.
  • In-depth tours. It's hard to choose the best sights to see in London; there are so many awesome spots on offer. This nine-hour, Best of London Sightseeing Tour makes sure you don't miss anything essential. In addition to taking you to some of the city's top spots like Westminster Cathedral and Buckingham Palace, guests receive pre-arranged tickets for a boat cruise, as well as comprehensive tours of the Tower of London and St. Paul's Cathedral, plus a stop to watch the Changing of the Guard. Upgrade to receive a cream tea at Harrods or a flight on the London Eye.
  • Seeing the Sights . One of the best ways to see the sights of London is on a traditional, double-decker Hop-On Hop-Off London Sightseeing Tour . This has been the classic sightseeing tour for years, and it's popular for good reason: it's easy, convenient, informative, and ensures you see the most important attractions. Tickets are flexible, with open dates, and are valid for a 24-hour period. Even if you are in London for several days, this is a great way to spend a day getting oriented, especially for first-time visitors to the city.
  • Day Trips . Beyond the city, there are some excellent sightseeing opportunities that can be easily undertaken on a day trip tour from London. The Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath Day Trip from London is an 11-hour guided trip that takes visitors to these must-see places to visit. It's a great way to see the surroundings without the hassle of driving, navigating, and parking.
  • Harry Potter Experience. Fans of Harry Potter will definitely want to take the Warner Brother's Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter for a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the movie and a walk through the incredible sets where the film was made. Visitors can explore the site on their own, see the costumes and props, wander through the Great Hall, and learn about the whole experience of filming. The tour includes transportation to and from the studios from central London and an entrance ticket.

Let's be honest: no one travels to London for its weather. Frequented by cloudy skies that release smatterings of mist and rain, the UK's epic capital city is best visited with an umbrella in hand.

That said, London receives less annual rainfall than its tarnished reputation would have us believe, and less than many European cities . And rather than heavy rainfalls, the norm is "little and often." Yes, you'll likely run into a sprinkle or two during your visit, but a little rain never ruined a vacation, especially when touring a historic metropolis with so much to offer.

When those beautiful, bright sunny days do appear, visitors receive front row seats to the city's remarkable transformation. Locals smile more easily, the city's best parks and gardens fill with sun worshippers and picnickers, and a sparkling hue adds another level of magic to the city's most magnificent buildings. There's nothing better!

London is a tourist hot spot throughout the year. In other words, there's never a bad time to visit. If you're looking for a better chance of glimpsing the sun and avoiding masses of tourists, however, the best time to visit London is from March through May . That said, if you don't mind rubbing elbows with a zillion other tourists, a good time of year to travel to London is during the summer months from June to September.

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Other English City Destinations : Given its relatively small size, it's easy to travel from London to other great English cities, including lovely Liverpool , famous as the birthplace of The Beatles. The industrial city of Manchester is also within easy reach and is popular for its historic canal network and fine museums. Birmingham is another northern city worth visiting and celebrates both its rich industrial past along with modern museums, art galleries, and other cultural attractions.


Easy Escapes : From London, you're only a short train ride away from the idyllic countryside of the Lake District , a popular walking destination and known for the stunning scenery around Lake Windermere. The historic city of Bath , named after its well-preserved Roman baths, is another great escape, whether for a weekend or a week. So, too, is the cathedral city of Durham , which is also home to one of the most-visited castles in England.


Top UK Vacation Ideas : Scotland makes for an excellent UK vacation, and is where you'll find the spectacularly beautiful city of Edinburgh , recognizable the world over for its lovely castle. The tiny nation of Wales , too, is worth exploring, especially its capital city of Cardiff and the stunning scenery of Snowdonia in North Wales .

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What to Do in London?

22 attractions you shouldn't miss.

Latest update: March 28, 2024

In a nutshell: 5 tips for staying in London

  • Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Shard are some of the absolute highlights of London .
  • While in London, you should visit at least one market. Our highlight: Borough Market !
  • Free admission to museums : not a problem at London’s Tate Modern or British Museum.
  • Walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter through real sets at Warner Bros. Studios.

These were our top highlights in London . But of course, that’s not all!

In our article we will show you 22 cool London sights sorted by category: You can just have a look at what is really interesting for you.

Map of our 22 London attractions

To start off and give you a better sense of all the London sights in this post, we made a map of our 22 highlights below.

Click here to download the map in PDF format

Map of London

London attractions for first-timers

You are visiting London for the first time and obviously want to check out the most popular London highlights . We put the must-sees for you in two lists. The London attractions with a camera icon are among the highlights, but a short photo stop is enough here. The other the attractions are also worth checking out from the inside. Therefore, we will describe them in more detail.

These London highlights will be described in more detail:

Tower Bridge

Tower of london, westminster abbey.

  • St. Paul’s Cathedral

Buckingham Palace

London attractions for a quick photo stop:

Big Ben Houses of Parliament Downing Street Windsor Castle

Tower Bridge

You should plan 1 hour

Tower Bridge is, without a doubt, one of the most famous bridges in the world . 40,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day and it is lifted several times daily to let ships pass through. Read more about the exact Bridge Lift times here .

Nine meters above the Thames is a free walkway. 42 meters up, there is another walkway with a glass floor – pretty cool, but only if you’re not afraid of heights.

You will need a ticket for the glass floor and the Bridge Museum.

Get tickets for Tower Bridge

Tower of London

You should plan 1.5 hours

The Tower of London is especially famous for the Royal Family’s Crown Jewels , estimated at over 20 billion pounds, which are kept there.

The Tower’s history is equally interesting though: it has served as an armory, prison, execution site and even a royal residence .

Pre-purchasing tickets online is recommended, as the lines at the door are always very long .

Get tickets for the Tower of London

To the website

Westminster Abbey in London

Only a short walk from the Palace of Westminster is the 700-year-old church Westminster Abbey. This is where the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the wedding of Kate and William took place.

As you stroll around the gravestones in the cemetery, you’ll find many famous names from British history, such as Charles Darwin.

If you pre-purchase your tickets online they are a little cheaper.

Get tickets for Westminster Abbey

closed on Sundays (open for church services)

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul’s is a defining feature of London’s skyline and is located in the heart of the City. The cathedral’s huge dome is even bigger than that of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome . The entire structure is absolutely beautiful, not just the architecture, but also the paintings and exhibitions .

If you can stomach climbing more than 500 steps up the spiral staircase to the top of the cathedral, a breathtaking view of London awaits you from a height of about 111 meters.

We recommend booking your tickets online in advance. The lines at the tickets booths can take forever, especially on weekends and during the peak season.

Tickets for St. Paul’s Cathedral Combined Ticket Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral (5% discount)

Photo of Buckingham Palace with the striking red tulip garden in the foreground cleverly obscuring the throngs of tourists.

You should plan 1 hour (for the Changing of the Guard)

Nothing represents British history better than the Royal Family. So of course a visit to Buckingham Palace is an absolute must when you’re in London. The Palace is the official residence of the British Royal Family .

You can watch the Changing of the Guard at the Palace all year round. The spectacle takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. It always starts at 11 am, but you should get there by 10:30 am to get a good view.

Note: You can only visit the royal chambers between July and October. Make sure to secure your tickets well in advance online.

Get tickets for the Buckingham Palace

Open between July and October

The Shard

The Shard really lives up to its name, jutting out of the ground like a piece of shattered glass. For a brief period, the 310-meter skyscraper even held the title of tallest building in Europe upon completion in 2012.

Its 72 floors include offices, apartments, restaurants, stores, and a 5-star hotel. The viewing platforms on the 69th and 72nd floors offer fantastic views over London.

It’s quite a bit cheaper to buy tickets online in advance than on site, but you’ll still have to wait in line to exchange your online ticket for a physical one. We recommend that you avoid visiting on weekends when the lines are particularly long.

Get tickets for The Shard

Several floors offer Michelin-star cuisine and great cocktails as well as an amazing view of London. You don’t have to pay admission here, but of course the food and drinks cost a pretty penny. You can also book a hotel room at the Shangri-La Hotel.  It offers luxury rooms with a spectacular view.

Current room rates at the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard

Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays in winter

London Eye

It’s the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe at 135 meters , and the view is fantastic. However, if you have to choose between the London Eye and The Shard, we would recommend The Shard.

It’s a good idea to book your tickets online in advance , as they’re 10 percent cheaper that way. You can choose between a standard ticket and a fast track ticket when you book your ride. The fast track ticket grants you preferred entry to the Ferris wheel through a special entrance so you don’t have to wait in line.

Get Fast Track Tickets for the London Eye

Big Ben & Houses of Parliament: More London highlights for first-timers

These attractions are in every travel guide and cannot missed on our list. You can visit these for the perfect London snapshot:

Big Ben

London attractions for culture lovers

You love museums, can really lose yourself in art or like to stroll through theater districts? Perfect! In this section you will find the most exciting museums in London and other attractions for real culture lovers.

Our culture highlights in London at a glance:

  • Tate Modern / Tate Britain

British Museum

National gallery, covent garden, notting hill, tate modern and tate britain.

Tate Modern

You should plan 3 hours

Two of our favorite museums in London are Tate Modern and Tate Britain. While Tate Britain primarily shows British artists from the Tudor period to British Modernism , Tate Modern features art and architecture by modern artists from around the world .

Tate Britain and Tate Modern are two of the most important art museums in London. In Tate Britain you can find art from the Tudor period to British Modernism , Tate Modern features art and architecture by modern artists from around the world . Tate Modern will appeal to you even if you’re not really into art in general.

The buildings’ architecture alone is stunning and can turn a rainy day in London into a unique experience. The 10th floor of Tate Modern also offers a great view of the city.

And here’s the best part: Both museums are completely free to visit !

Our tip: “Tate Lates”. Visit the Tates at night, accompanied by music and a bite to eat. Late at Tate is a regular event that takes place every first Friday of the month at Tate Britain and every last Friday of the month at Tate Modern.

British Museum

You should plan 2 hours

The British Museum is a world-renowned museum of cultural history and has accumulated some of the most important sculptures, antiquities, and architectural works in human history.

There’s so much to see at the British Museum that it’s impossible to take in everything at once, even if you spend the whole day.

Visiting the museum is free , but you’re encouraged to make a donation. Only special exhibits and events charge admission.

Guided tour of the British Museum

Photo of the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square in the evening, with a statue of a merman in the foreground, the brightly lit building reflected in the fountain.

The National Gallery is an art museum located directly on Trafalgar Square in the city center. It’s one of the most significant and largest portrait galleries in the world with a collection of more than 2,300 artworks from the 13th through the 19th century.

The collection includes portraits of Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Leonardo da Vinci, among many others. Admission to the National Gallery is free .

Our tip: Trafalgar Square is a wonderful spot to take a break from all the sightseeing. Its two fountains at the center are magnificent and the surrounding area is perfect for picnics, especially in the summer.

Guided tour of the National Gallery

Covent Garden Market

Covent Garden is a theatre and entertainment district in the West End. People often only associate the historic Apple Market on the car-free square with the name Covent Garden, but the area has so much more to offer.

The London Museum of Transport, the Royal Opera House, the London Film Museum, and Seven Dials are just a few worthwhile attractions in the neighborhood. And aside from all the museums and theaters, the Apple Market is one of the most beautiful photo spots in London.

Its elegant halls are the perfect place for a leisurely shopping stroll. The many singers and street performers are what make the market so special.

Notting Hill

You should plan 2 – 4 hours

Notting Hill is definitely one of the most photogenic parts of the city . Or instagrammable , as our younger readers might say. The neighborhood is known from numerous films such as the eponymous rom-com starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.

The streets of Notting Hill are characterized by colorful houses and flowers .

The market on Portobello Road is one of the most beautiful markets in London, replete with second-hand fashion, antiques, and wares of all shapes and sizes. The main market opens on Fridays and Saturdays.

The annual Notting Hill Carnival takes place in August. Europe’s largest street festival offers a spectacular parade with a wide variety of colorful characters.

Guided walking tour through Notting Hill

Attractions for London experts

Have you been to London before? These London attractions are great for a second or third visit .

London insider tips that are worth visiting:

Borough Market

Brick lane market.

Our tip for London connoisseurs who have plenty of time:

  • Street Art in London

Chinatown London

The first Chinese restaurants set up shop in London in the 1950s. Today, you’ll feel as if you’ve been swept away to the Far East. Chinese characters, dragons, lanterns and the smell of fried duck are everywhere. Even the street signs in Chinatown are bilingual.

Chinatown is a little culture shock. You can eat delicious Asian food here or stock up on typical Asian products in the stores.

Our tip: Chinatown is also the scene of many exciting events, such as the Chinese New Year celebrations. Check the Chinatown website for information on upcoming events.

Borough Market

Borough Market is a very impressive food market that’s frequently chosen as a picturesque setting for movies, such as Bridget Jones or Harry Potter.

There are more than 130 stalls selling fruit, vegetables, natural products, meat, and fish . In addition to regional products, you’ll also find delicacies from all over the world. For example, German expats in London can enjoy a taste of home in the form of German bratwurst sold here.

You can easily spend a couple of hours here, sampling from the stalls and shopping for souvenirs. The market is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Only on Sundays it closes one hour earlier.

Our tip: Around Borough Market you’ll also find some cool London restaurants.

Closed on Sundays (only open in the run-up to Christmas)

Brick Lane Market

At Brick Lane Market in Shoreditch you can find anything from antiques to vintage fashion, art, souvenirs and of course lots of delicious street food .

The market originated in the former Old Truman Brewery , which had to close in the 80s. Today it has developed into a market with over 300 stalls , some of them covered and others are simply on the street. We particularly like the fact that Brick Lane still retains the industrial charm of old London .

Our tip: It’s best to visit Brick Lane Market on a Sunday, which is the only time the street market takes place.

Streetart in London

The Fallen Shopper by Banksy

You should plan 4 hours (for a tour)

If you already know the classic museums in London, there is still more art than the mainstream.

Especially the neighborhoods of Shoreditch and East End are full of beautiful street art. Among them are works by internationally known artists like Banksy or Shepherd Fairey.

We recommend a guided tour , because your guide knows the coolest street art in London and you don’t have to search for a long time.

Street art tour and workshop in London

London highlights for families

If you’re traveling to London with children, you probably won’t be looking for dull museums. In our list you will find the London highlights that kids will also enjoy . We will describe the first three in more detail in a bit.

These sights in London were our highlights:

  • Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studios
  • Transport Museum London

More London attractions for families:

  • Science Museum
  • Holland Park
  • Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station

The Memorial Fountain for Princess Diana in Hyde Park

You should plan 1 – 3 hours

Hyde Park is one of the public royal parks in the heart of London. With an area of 1.4 square kilometers there’s plenty of space for your kids to run around and play.

The Serpentine, a snake-shaped lake running through the middle of the park, is the perfect place to cool off in the summer. From late November through January, Hyde Park hosts the Winter Wonderland with ice skating, a Ferris wheel, and a circus – perfect for families.

Our tip: On Sundays, pay a visit to Speakers’ Corner in the northeast end of Hyde Park (near Marble Arch). Since the 19th century, speakers have been coming here to stand on boxes and speak their minds about every topic under the sun. If you’re feeling brave, why not give it a go yourself?

Warner Bros. Studios

Warner Bros. Studios

Why not apparate to Diagon Alley and get a few souvenirs from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes ? You can – well, almost.

At Warner Bros. Studios in London, you can visit some of the original sets, such as Diagon Alley , the Great Hall at Hogwarts, and the wizarding bank Gringotts . You’ll see the actors’ costumes and some of the iconic props like Harry’s Nimbus 2000 or Hagrid’s flying motorbike .

A truly magical experience for all Harry Potter fans, both young and old.

Harry Potter Studios Tour

London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum

At the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden, your kids can explore the world of London’s transport.

There is, for example, a restored steam engine , electric trains or the typical r ed double-decker buses to discover. What kid wouldn’t want to play train conductor?

The museum also tells some really crazy stories . There is, for example, an exhibition about an underground aircraft factory in a subway tunnel.

Get tickets for the London Transport Museum

More tips for families in London

London has so many fun options to offer for families. Here are some more ideas:

Science Museum

London highlights for shopping fans

London and fashion – the two belong together. We will show you the best places to shop in London.

Our highlights for shopping in London:

Oxford Street

Camden market.

Photo of red busses on Oxford Street in London

Oxford Street is one of the most prestigious and famous shopping streets in all of Europe. It extends for 1.9 kilometers and offers everything from luxury brands to cheap knick-knacks.

Stores open daily. If you really want to do some serious shopping, try strolling down the street during the week ; it’s pretty much impossible to shop in peace on the weekends.

Our tip: The pre-Christmas season is a magical time in London, and starting in November, Oxford Street is beautifully decorated with Christmas lights. Be sure to stop by Carnaby Street, a side street off of Oxford Street, and marvel at the lights and romantic restaurants around Kingly Court.

Photo of the Historic Harrods department store in London

Harrods is the most famous department store in London. The rich and famous have been shopping at Harrods since 1834, and for a long time the department store was the official supplier to the Royal Family.

The charm of the old building will send you into a shopping frenzy. Many of the stores are luxury boutiques like Chanel, Gucci or Prada. But there are also several “normal” stores.

Our tip: If possible, don’t visit Harrods on a Saturday, as it’s particularly crowded then.

Camden Market

You should plan a whole day

Camden Market is not just any old market. There are around 1,000 stores offering anything from vintage fashion to art to street food . The atmosphere is like a trip back in time to the 70s and 80s. It is divided into three separate markets :

  • Buck Street Market , right next to the Tube station, is full of stalls selling cheap, mass-produced goods.
  • Stables Market , along Chalk Farm Road, offers alternative and vintage fashion, furniture, and second-hand items.
  • The oldest market is located directly on Regent’s Canal. Camden Lock Market offers high-quality hand-made jewelry and clothing, decorations, and the finest street food.

London for free: Our tips for those on a budget

Big Ben

Are you traveling on a budget? London is not exactly a cheap destination, but with some tricks at hand, you can visit many of London’s attractions for free.

Here are our tips for free sightseeing in London:

  • walk across Tower Bridge
  • visit a free museum like Tate Modern, Tate Britain, British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum or the National Gallery
  • enjoy the view in the Sky Garden
  • stroll through the markets of London
  • check out some street art in East London

General tips for your visit to London

Before you get started with your trip to the top highlights in London, here are a few quick tips to help you make the most of your visit.

Ideally, you should plan at least 3 to 5 days for your city trip to London. That’s still not much for such a big city, which is why it’s important to plan well.

#1 Choosing the right place to stay

When choosing your accommodation, you should make sure that it’s in a central location . Here are three great and centrally located hotels in London.

Wilde Aparthotels : cool apartments in the bustling Covent Garden district, very close to the theater district The Montague On The Garden: super stylish boutique hotel near the British Museum, especially suitable for families and first-time visitors Treehouse Hotel London : super green hotel with a treehouse theme, close to Oxford Street

#2 Get an Oyster Card

London is huge and its must-see attractions are scattered throughout the city, so doing everything on foot is only recommended for the most ambitious exercise fanatics. For everyone else, the public transport network is excellent  and is the perfect way to get around and see the sights.

You’ll need an Oyster Card to use the public transport in London. An Oyster Card is a pre-paid travel card that you simply hold against the reader before boarding a bus or entering a Tube station. It’s incredibly convenient and easy to use. Cards are available at local outlets, such as airports and all Tube stations.

Alternatively, you can also order the card before your trip and have it conveniently delivered to your home for a small fee. That way you can feel like a local and just get on the next bus or Tube when you arrive, without the hassle of looking for a vending machine.

Order the Oyster Card online

We recommend using the Citymapper app for public transport in London. It shows you how long it’ll take you to get from A to B, how much it’ll cost, and which lines to take.

Get the Android app from the Google Play Store Get the iOS app from the Apple Store

#3 Save time and money with city passes

It may be worth buying one of the London city passes if you plan on visiting a lot of attractions that charge admission.

These discount passes grant you free admission to numerous attractions in London and save you quite a bit of money.

Another advantage is that some sights offer preferred fast track admission for pass holders. In other words, not only will you be saving money, but also a lot of time.

The following passes are available:

London Pass (includes most of the attractions) Go City’s London Explorer Pass (the most flexible pass) Merlin Magical London 5-in-1-Pass (a good choice for families with children)

#4 Explore London with a guided tour

If you’re visiting London for the first time or want to explore a whole other side of the city, a guided tour is a great idea.

There’s a huge range of city tours in London to suit all tastes.

Here are three cool tours, that can be booked directly online:

Bike tour through London Boat cruise on the Thames including lunch Harry Potter-themed tour

What are your London highlights?

That wraps up our list of the 22 must-see sights and attractions in London. Have you ever been to London? Which attractions in London were your absolute favorites? Tell us all about them in the comments. We look forward to hearing from you!

Pocket Wanderings

20 top tourist attractions in London

Tourist attractions in London

London is a charismatic city that combines culture and heritage with a vibrant cosmopolitan energy. As one of the most visited cities in the world – and my personal favourite city – London offers an impressive collection of tourist attractions and landmarks. 

I’ve lived near London my whole life – so I may be biased, but I absolutely adore London. My guide to the top tourist attractions in London highlights the best destinations which I think are worth visiting.

From iconic landmarks and world-renowned museums to lesser known spots and hidden gems, I’ve tried to include something for everyone in this list.

This post was written in collaboration with Go City. I’d recommend choosing your own package of attractions with the Explorer Pass , as it’s a great way to benefit from amazing savings on London attractions, rather than booking individually. Plus, you get all tickets in one handy digital pass.

Author Bio: Jessie Moore

Jessie Moore is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

1. The View from The Shard

Opening times: Wed-Fri, Sun: 11:00-19:00, Sat: 10:00-22:00

Admission price: £32

Time needed: 1 hour

Nearest tube or station: London Bridge train & tube station

Tickets: Book here

View From The Shard

The Shard is one of the most iconic buildings in London , and a visit to the top is an unforgettable experience.

The View from The Shard is the highest observation deck in Western Europe and, on a clear day, you can see up to 40 miles away.

The 360-degree views take in some of London’s most famous landmarks, including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The journey to the top starts in The Shard’s lobby, where you’ll board a high-speed elevator that whisks you skyward at 22 miles per hour. I’m always surprised at how quickly you get to the top!

As you ascend, you’ll be treated to a fascinating audio guide that tells the story of The Shard’s construction.

Once you reach the observation deck, you’ll have ample opportunity to explore and take photos before descending back to ground level.

I’d suggest treating yourself to a glass of Champagne while watch you watch the world unfurl across the city.

A visit to The Shard is a must for any fan of architecture or anyone who simply wants to enjoy breathtaking views of one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

Insider travel tip: You must book a ticket in advance. I recommend booking your ticket for sunset for gorgeous golden views over the city.

2. Westminster Abbey

Opening times: Mon, Tues, Thu, Fri: 09:30-15:30, Wed: 09:30-18:00, Sat: 09:30-13:30

Admission price: £20

Time needed: 2.5 hours

Nearest tube or station: Westminster tube station

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous churches in the world, and it has been at the heart of British royal history for centuries. Trust me when I say that it is utterly breathtaking.

The building itself has an interesting history, having been constructed over a thousand years ago in the Romanesque style.

The Abbey has been the site of numerous important events in British history, including the coronation of kings and queens, and the burial of many notable figures.

Visitors can explore the beautiful Gothic architecture and learn about the Abbey’s long history.

The Abbey is also home to many famous artefacts, including the coronation chair and the Shrine of Edward the Confessor. 

Westminster Abbey is an important World Heritage site, and for that reason, I consider it to be one of the absolute must-see tourist attractions in London.

Insider travel tip: I’d advise planning to visit Westminster Abbey from 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon to avoid crowds and queues. No groups or tours are allowed in during these hours and not everyone knows about the extended opening times on a Wednesday.

3. St Paul’s Cathedral

Opening times: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat: 08:30-16:30, Wed: 10:00-16:30

Admission price: Adult: £18, Children: £7.70

Time needed: 2 hours

Nearest tube or station: St Paul’s tube station

St Pauls Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most iconic landmarks. The cathedral, which is the seat of the Anglican church in London, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1708.

I’m sure you’ll recognise St Paul’s from its impressive dome, which is the second largest in the world after St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The cathedral is also home to a number of works of art, including paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds and stained glass windows by Sir Christopher Wren.

Visitors to St Paul’s can explore the cathedral’s beautiful interior, climb to the top of the dome, or simply enjoy the views of London from the famous steps. I really think this is such a wonderful tourist attraction in London.

Insider travel tip: I’d suggest checking the calendar before you plan your visit, as opening hours can change depending on different events. 

4. Tower Bridge

Admission price: Adult: £11.40, Children: £5.70

Nearest tube or station: Tower Bridge tube station, London Bridge train & tube station

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is another of London’s most iconic landmarks. Situated in the heart of the city, it spans the River Thames and offers stunning views of both the river and the skyline.

Rather than simply seeing it from the outside, I’d recommend walking across the bridge’s high-level walkway, which opens up to reveal a glass floor above the river below.

It’s one of the few places in London where you can actually see the river flowing beneath your feet.

The bridge is also home to a number of historical exhibits, including a Victorian engine room that is open to the public. 

Insider travel tip: I’d advise arriving early if you can to avoid the crowds.

5. Royal Observatory Greenwich

Opening times: Daily: 10:00-17:00

Admission price: Adult: £16, Children: £8

Time needed: 1.5 hours

Nearest tube or station: Greenwich & Maze Hill stations

Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London and I can see why.

Home of Greenwich Meantime (GMT) and the Planetarium, the Observatory offers a unique opportunity to learn about time and space.

Established in 1675 by King Charles II, the Observatory has been used to set the standard for timekeeping ever since.

It’s also home to the Prime Meridian, which is the imaginary line that divides the Earth into East and West – so it’s a pretty important place!

The Observatory itself offers views of the cityscape and the opportunity to learn about the history of timekeeping.

While the Planetarium offers a chance to view the night sky and learn about the stars and planets – I’d really recommend doing this, as I found it to be a truly fascinating experience.

Insider travel tip: I’d advise combining your visit to the Royal Observatory with a visit to Cutty Sark, as you can get a Day Pass ticket for £25 that includes both.

6. Cutty Sark

Nearest tube or station: Cutty Sark DLR station & Greenwich station

Tickets: Book here 

Cutty Sark London tourist attraction

The Cutty Sark is a historic sailing ship and award-winning tourist attraction that is located in Greenwich. Built in 1869, it is one of the last surviving tea clippers. 

I’d recommend a visit to the Cutty Sark so you can explore the ship’s decks, view the historic rigging, and discover what life was like aboard the iconic ship.

The Cutty Sark was awarded the prestigious title of top tourist attraction in London a few years back – so you can trust me when I say that this attraction will deliver!

Note that you must have a timed entry ticket, so be sure to book in advance of your visit.

Insider travel tip: Rather than getting the DLR to the Cutty Sark, I’d recommend arriving via the Thames on an Uber Boat by Thames Clipper. You can pay with an Oyster card or contactless card, just like on the underground.

7. Kensington Palace

Opening times: Wed-Sun: 10:00-16:00

Nearest tube or station: High Street Kensington & Queensway tube stations

Tickets : Book here

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is the royal residence of TRH The Prince and Princess of Wales and their children.

It’s also a popular tourist attraction in London and I’d especially recommend it for those interested in British history and royal palaces.

You can explore the beautiful grounds, tour the state apartments, and see important historical artwork.

Kensington Palace is also known for its afternoon tea , which is served in the Orangery restaurant, and I definitely think it’s worth stopping by.

The restaurant has an outdoor terrace with views of the palace gardens, making it the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea on a sunny day. 

Insider travel tip: Although an appealing attraction to anyone with an interest in England’s royal history, there is not much to keep smaller children entertained at Kensington Palace.

Exploring London on your own? Check out my guide to the best London hotels for solo travellers .

8. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Opening times: Daily tours available

Admission price: Adult: £17, Under 16: £10

Time needed: 50 minutes

Nearest tube or station: Blackfriars train station

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London

In my opinion, a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a must-do for any fan of the Bard. Located on the banks of the River Thames, the iconic Globe is a replica of the open-air theatre where Shakespeare’s plays were first performed.

You can explore the theatre, learn about its history and see how it was used in Elizabethan times. The education centre features interactive exhibits on Shakespeare’s life and work.

The Globe is more than just a London tourist attraction – it’s a cultural landmark that offers a unique insight into the life and work of one of the world’s greatest writers.

Of course, if a tour isn’t enough, I’d suggest checking what’s on and booking to see a performance. 

Insider travel tip: If you’re watching a performance at the Globe, it’s worth renting a cushion for £1 if you’re sitting on the wooden benches. Trust me, your bottom will thank you!

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9. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Opening times: Daily 10:00-15:00/16:00/17:00 (depending on season)

Admission price: Adult: £11-£20.50, Child: £4-5 (depending on season)

Time needed: 3 hours

Nearest tube or station: Kew Gardens tube station

Kew Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous institute for the study of plant life and a major tourist attraction in southwest London. I love Kew, as I think it’s a real sanctuary of peace within the city.

This London landmark features 500 acres of woodland and contains more than 50,000 different types of plants. As well as several glasshouses, a herbarium, and a museum.

You can stroll through the beautiful grounds, which contain rare and exotic plants from all over the world, or take a guided tour of the glasshouses.

Don’t miss the lily pads behind the greenhouse and be sure to stroll along the Treetop Walkway – my personal favourite spot when the weather is good!

Kew Gardens is also home to the seed conservation project. Seeds are collected and stored from all over the world in an effort to conserve rare and endangered species.

The gardens offer a number of educational programs, for those interested in learning more.

Insider travel tip: I’d advise arriving shortly after opening (10am) to get the most out of your day at Kew Gardens. 

10. Hampton Court Palace

Admission price: Adult: £26.10, Child: £13

Time needed: 4 hours

Nearest tube or station: Hampton Court train station

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is a historic palace in London that was first built in 1514 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.

However, Wolsey fell out of favour with King Henry VIII, and the palace was taken over by the king.

It remained a royal residence for centuries, and today I’m pleased to say that it is open to the public. You can explore the palace grounds, which include a stunning maze, as well as the beautiful state apartments. 

I love that Hampton Court Palace is full of fascinating history and beautiful architecture. I think it’s a must-see London tourist attraction for anyone with an interest in British royal history.

Insider travel tip: The gardens and landscaped areas of the palace grounds cover an astonishing 750 acres.

So I’d advise wearing comfortable shoes, as you’ll need to do a fair bit of walking to thoroughly explore everything on offer.

11. London Stadium Tours

Times & prices: See individual stadiums

Tickets: Stamford Bridge , Emirates , Wembley , Tottenham Hotspur , Twickenham

Wembley Stadium

London is home to some of the most iconic stadiums in the world. Visitors can now get an up-close look at these architectural marvels through London stadium tours.

Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Wembley Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Twickenham are just a few of the incredible venues that are open to the public.

With London stadium tours, visitors can explore the facilities, learn about the history of each stadium and even stand on the pitch itself.

Whether you’re a diehard sports fan or simply an admirer of architecture, London stadium tours offer a unique opportunity to explore some of the world’s most famous sports venues.

Insider travel tip: For those looking for an even more thrilling experience, The Dare Skywalk at Tottenham Hotspur offers stunning views of London from high above the pitch. I’m not a big sports fan, but this does sound right up my street!

12. Royal Albert Hall

Opening times: Daily: 10:00-16:00 (varies according to what’s on)

Admission price: Adult: £16.25, Child: £8,25

Nearest tube or station: South Kensington tube station

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is one of the most iconic buildings in London. I’ve had some of my most memorable evenings watching various performances here.

The grandiose concert hall has been the site of some of the world’s most famous performances, from classical music concerts to rock shows.

Built in the late 19th century, the hall is named after Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.

The Royal Albert Hall is home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and plays host to many other musical events throughout the year.

Aside from seeing a performance, you can take a tour of the hall to learn about its history and see its beautiful architecture up close.

You’ll start in the grand foyer, where you will see the stunning marble staircases and get a sense of the scale of the building.

From there, you will head into the auditorium. Here you will see the famous circular seating arrangement and learn about the acoustics of the hall.

Insider travel tip: Around 20 times a year, the Royal Albert Hall runs a Behind-the-Scenes tour. It takes visitors to areas usually off limits to the public, such as under the stage and into the dressing rooms.

I think this a truly unmissable experience but there is limited availability so be sure to book in advance. 

13. Household Cavalry Museum

Opening times: Wed-Sun: 10:00-17:00 Nov-Mar & 10:00-18:00 Apr-Oct

Admission price: Adult: £10, Child: £8

Nearest tube or station: Westminster, Charing Cross & Embankment stations

House Cavalry Museum

The Household Cavalry Museum is located in the heart of London, next to Horse Guards Parade. The museum tells the story of the Household Cavalry, from their formation in 1660 to the present day.

You can discover what life was like for a soldier in the cavalry, learn about the role of horses in warfare, and see a range of artefacts, including armour, weapons, and uniforms.

There is also an interactive exhibit where visitors can try on an actual Queen’s Life Guard uniform. While I know that kids will love the arts and crafts area.

I think the Household Cavalry Museum is a must-see London tourist attraction for anyone interested in military history.

Insider travel tip: Be sure to catch the public inspection of the Household Cavalry – it takes place every day at 4pm.

14. ArcelorMittal Orbit

Opening times: Mon-Thurs: 12:00-17:00, Fri-Sun: 10:00-18:00 (varies throughout year)

Admission price: Adult: £11.50 (£16.50 with slide), Child: £5.50 (10.50 with slide)

Nearest tube or station: Stratford tube station

Arcelormittal Orbit tourist attraction in London

ArcelorMittal Orbit is a 115-metre-high sculpture and observation tower in the Olympic Park in Stratford. It was designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond for the 2012 Olympics.

The Orbit has a breathtaking viewing platform at 80 metres high. Don’t worry though, I’m pleased to say that there is a 34 second lift which whisks you to the top of the UK’s tallest structure.

When it comes to getting down, you can descend via the lift, the 455 steps or in the 45-metre slide. The latter is undoubtedly the highlight of a visit to ArcelorMittal Orbit and I know what I would do!

Insider travel tip: If you’re claustrophobic then this London tourist attraction may not be for you.

You’ll need to contend with the lift up, plus the slide is enclosed and therefore not suitable for anyone who is claustrophobic. 

Discover my guide to the best quirky things to do in London .

15. Museum of London

Admission price: Free

Nearest tube or station: Barbican & St Paul’s tube stations

The Museum of London is a must-see tourist attraction for anyone interested in the history of the city.

Spanning over two million years, the museum tells the story of London from its humble beginnings as a small Roman settlement to its current status as a global metropolis.

The exhibits are both informative and interactive, making it a great place to spend a few hours, whether you’re a history buff or not.

And if you get tired of walking around, I’d suggest pausing in the cafe where you can grab a bite to eat and relax.

Insider travel tip: Make sure that your phone is charged before visiting, as you can access online content via the QR codes as you explore the museum.

16. The Monument to the Great Fire of London

Opening times: Daily: 09:30-13:00 & 14:00-18:00

Admission price: Adult: £5.80, Child: £2.90

Time needed: 45 minutes

Nearest tube or station: Monument tube station

Monument to the Great Fire of London

The Monument to the Great Fire of London is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. The towering stone column stands over 202 feet tall.

It’s topped with a gilded urn that serves as a memorial to the devastating fire that consumed much of London in 1666. The Monument stands at the exact site where the fire started.

The Monument is open to the public, and I’d recommend ascending to the top for breathtaking views of the city.

The climb is not for the faint-hearted though, as there are more than three hundred steps to navigate. Quite the calorie burner if you ask me!

Those who make the journey are rewarded with a unique perspective on London’s history and architecture.

The Monument is a must-see for any visitor to the city, and provides a stirring reminder of the power of resilience in the face of adversity.

Insider travel tip: There is a mesh cage surrounding the viewing area at the top, so you may struggle to capture photos if you’re using a camera with a large lens. 

17. Old Royal Naval College

Admission price: Adult: £13.50, Child: Free

Nearest tube or station: Maze Hill train station

Old Royal Naval College

In my opinion, the Old Royal Naval College is a spectacular sight. Situated on the banks of the River Thames, the buildings were designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in the late seventeenth century.

Today, the college is home to a number of museums and art galleries, as well as an iconic Painted Hall (known as ‘Britain’s Sistine Chapel’) and a beautiful riverside garden.

Here you can explore the history of the site, marvel at the architecture, and enjoy views of London from across the river.

Whether you’re interested in maritime history or simply looking for a place to relax, I really think that the Old Royal Naval College is well worth a visit.

Insider travel tip: The Old Royal Naval College is one of the most popular filming locations in the world. From Thursday to Sunday, there are special film tours of the College – perfect for film buffs (like me!).

18. Tower of London

Opening times: Tues-Sat 09:00-16:30, Sun-Mon: 10:00-16:30 (varies throughout year)

Admission price: Adult: £29.90, Child: £14.90

Nearest tube or station: Tower Hill tube station

Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of the most historic sites in the world. For centuries, it has been a symbol of the British monarchy and a part of the country’s rich history.

Today, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, drawing visitors from all over the world – and I can see why.

The Tower of London was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1066 as a fortification against invasion.

It later served as a royal palace, a prison, and even an execution site. Its most famous prisoner was Anne Boleyn, who was infamously beheaded in 1536.

A visit to the Tower of London is a truly unforgettable experience. From the moment you step inside, you feel like you are stepping back in time.

The imposing stone walls and high towers loom overhead, creating an atmosphere of awe and mystery. As you explore the different rooms and exhibits, I know you won’t be able to help but marvel at the Tower’s rich history.

The Tower also houses the Crown Jewels, which are among the most valuable objects in the world.

Insider travel tip: Queues to see the Crown Jewels can get extremely long, especially at peak times. So when you visit the Tower of London, I’d advise aiming to see the Crown Jewels first, before anything else.

Note that photography isn’t allowed in this exhibit.

19. Apsley House

Opening times: Thurs-Sun: 11:00-17:00

Admission price: Adult: £11.60, Child: £6.90

Nearest tube or station: Hyde Park Corner tube station

Apsley House in London

Apsley House was built in 1771 for the Earl of Apsley, and it was designed by the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt.

It has been home to a number of notable residents over the years, including the Duke of Wellington.

This stately mansion is considered to be one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in England.

I think the interior of the house is just as impressive as the exterior, with a grand staircase, high ceilings, and several ornate fireplaces.

Visitors to Apsley House can tour the public rooms and learn about the history of the house and its owner, the Duke of Wellington.

A visit to Apsley House is a wonderful opportunity to step back in time and experience nineteenth-century luxury.

Insider travel tip: If you enjoy visiting this type of tourist attraction in London, I’d recommend visiting Sir John Soane’s Museum and the Wallace Collection too.

20. Eltham Palace

Opening times: Check online , dates and times vary

Admission price: Adult: £16.00, Child: £9.60

Nearest tube or station: Mottingham train station

Eltham Palace in London

Eltham Palace is a remarkable stately home in London. The building has a long and interesting history, dating back to the 12th century when it was first built as a royal palace.

Over the centuries, it has been remodelled and expanded several times, most notably during the reign of King Henry VIII.

Today, Eltham Palace is open to the public. I’d recommend exploring the beautiful gardens, state rooms and Great Hall. There is also a wide range of amenities, including a café, restaurant, and gift shop.

Whether you’re interested in architecture, art, or British royalty, Eltham Palace, I’m sure you’ll love this hidden gem.

Top tip: In late summer, Eltham Palace plays host to their annual Legendary Joust event. It’s a jousting tournament that transports visitors back to the 15th century, and I think it’s a fascinating event!

So if you’re visiting London in late summer time, I’d suggest checking when this unique event is on.

Planning a trip to England’s capital city? Discover my pick of the best luxury hotels in London , the best spa hotels in London and my guide to the top Michelin star restaurants in London .

If you’re struggling to decide which city to visit next, have a read of my guide to choosing between London or Paris .

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Jessie is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

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5-in-1 London Combination Ticket

5-in-1 London Combination Ticket

Our 5-in-1 London combination ticket gives you access to London’s five most popular attractions – The London Eye, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Aquarium, Shrek’s Adventure and The London Dungeon. Your ticket is valid for 90 days, so you can choose to visit these attractions on separate days. Save with this package deal offering excellent value for money.

5-in-1 Combination Ticket

  • Excellent package deal. Visit 5 popular London attractions at an affordable price!
  • Save money with this combo ticket, cheaper than purchasing each ticket individually
  • Snap selfie’s alongside your favourite stars at Madame Tussauds
  • Take a ride on the London Eye and enjoy soaring views across the capital
  • Explore breathtaking marine wildlife at SEA LIFE London aquarium
  • Discover Shrek’s Adventure, a wacky trip that brings fun for all the family
  • Visit the spine-tingling London Dungeon and relive the deadliest moments in London’s history!

Ticket Includes:

  • Entrance to Madame Tussauds (you must visit this first)
  • Entrance to The London Eye
  • Entrance to SEA LIFE London Aquarium
  • Entrance to DreamWorks Tours Shrek’s Adventure
  • Entrance to London Dungeon

Ticket Excludes:

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Transportation
  • Food or Beverages

Tickets are valid for 90 days. So, no need to visit all five in one day!

How to Book

On our booking page you will be asked to choose the date and time that you wish to visit Madame Tussauds.

After you have completed the booking, you’ll receive a confirmation email, where you can select the travel dates and entry times for the other 4 attractions. We recommend you do this as soon as you receive the email.

  • Cancellation policy. A full refund can only be given if tickets are cancelled at least 72 hours prior to your first entry time and date. Partial refunds are not possible.
  • You must visit Madame Tussauds first when booking the 5-in-1 package
  • We also offer 3-in-1 package combinations, which you can see on the booking form
  • Children up to 15 years of age will not be permitted to enter the attractions unless accompanied by an adult.
  • Madame Tussauds London will not admit guests with suitcase
  • DreamWorks Tours Shrek’s Adventure! London takes approximately 60 minutes
  • The London Dungeon is not permitted for children under 5, and is not recommended for children under 12, or recommended for those of nervous disposition


Terms and conditions, you might also be interested.

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3 or 5 London Attractions, Hop on Hop off Bus & River Cruise

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3-in-1 London Combination Ticket

Hop on Hop off 640

Hop on Hop off Bus, London Eye, Tower of London & River Cruise

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IFS Cable Car & River Cruise Ticket

girl gone london

9+ Attractions You MUST Book Ahead of Time in London (2024)

This post contains affiliate links for which I may make a small commission to help keep the site running. You will not be charged extra for these items had you not clicked the links. Thank you for your help to keep the site running!

Should you book your entire London trip complete with every attraction in advance, or are there some you can buy on the day?

In this post, I’ll take you through some of London’s most important attractions and talk about how early you should buy tickets and things to book in advance in London.

A room in the Harry Potter Studio Tour

⭐️ Top tip! ⭐️

The most important thing to book in advance in London is the Harry Potter Studio Tour – it books up like crazy.

Seriously, book it now here like right now. (4.7 out of 5 ⭐️, 10,000+ reviews)

>>Click here to book in advance

Kensington Palace in London

The Absolute Must-Knows (from a Londoner)

  • 😍 Cheapest Way to See it All: Get the London Pass here (yes, it’s worth it)
  • 🎭 Cheapest site for West End theatre tickets: London Theatre Direct
  • 🚕 Cheapest and most reliable airport transfer service: Welcome Pickups
  • 🚉 Cheapest Way to Book Train and Bus Tickets: Omio
  • 🔌 Most Reliable Adapter for UK Plugs: This one

Hey! Want more honest UK tips and planning advice? Click here to join my London and UK Travel Tips Facebook group , where I can answer more of your questions!

Check out the YouTube channel for more London tips

Things to Book in Advance in London: 3+ Months Ahead

There are two attractions that I feel are must book 3 plus months in advance.

tourist attractions in london tickets

🛎 Still looking for somewhere to stay in London?

My favorite hotel in London for all visitors is the Strand Palace ( click here to check prices ). ⭐⭐⭐⭐

IMPORTANT: are you coming to the UK from abroad?

In case you’re reading this from outside the UK and will be a foreign visitor here, you need to know these 2 things to stay safe and save money.

  • Travel insurance – you need it when going overseas! I use this site to get the best quotes and purchase my packages from. Do not skip this – having medical coverage abroad as well as other coverage in case of missed flights, lost luggage, etc is essential. As I said, I have never gone wrong using this site .
  • International debit cards without fees – do not get stuck paying extortionate foreign fees when using your card abroad (and the UK is almost all card these days). I use the Wise debit and travel card which you can apply and learn more about here .

1. Buckingham Palace State Rooms

In the summer months, Buckingham Palace opens to visitors and everyone wants a piece.

They do timed entrances and you get to explore the state rooms and then end up on the Buckingham Palace back lawn, which is worth the cost of the ticket alone to think of how many dignitaries, celebrities and heads of state have graced those same spaces.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to get tickets closer to the date, but if you know you want to go and they’re open while you’re there, you should try and book your tickets as far in advance as possible.

Click here to see if Buckingham Palace tickets are available for the summer.

Buckingham Palace London


Start your planning with this “Intro to London” guide and access to my London planning Facebook group!

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2. Harry Potter Studio Tour

Even years after it first opened, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is still attracting visitors like it opened yesterday.

This is a must book in advance, at least 3 to 4 months if not right when tickets are released for your dates.

These do book up and sell out all the time, and once they do, your options are very limited.

tourist attractions in london tickets

What Should You Book in Advance in London? 1+ Month Ahead of Time

3. westminster abbey.

Westminster Abbey is done on a timed entrance, which puts it on my “should book in advance” if you’re picky about the time and date you go.

Click here to book tickets to Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey in London

4. Churchill War Rooms

Another attraction that works on timed entrances and is very popular are the Churchill War Rooms .

Particularly in the summer months, these are popular with groups and you’ll want to book your ticket in advance to make sure you get the day and time you want if you would prefer to know exactly when you’re going.

Click here to book tickets to the Churchill War Rooms.

Churchill War Rooms in London

5. SkyGarden

SkyGarden in London

The SkyGarden books up very quickly, but they only release tickets about 3 weeks ahead of time.

This is a fantastic, free view of London, so make sure you keep an eye on the available dates and book it up in advance of your trip here .

6. In-Person Guide on the Houses of Parliament Tour

Houses of Parliament

Want to head to the Houses of Parliament for a tour?

You’ll have good luck doing it any time if you’re happy with just an audio guide, but if you want a real, in-person English speaking guide to take you around (which I highly recommend), you’ll want to keep checking back here for available dates about a month ahead of your trip.

These are in-demand, and if you show up last minute and expect there to be space, you’ll definitely be out of luck.

7. Anything Christmas Themed

Fortnum and Mason Christmas

From Christmas afternoon teas to Christmas bus tours, make sure to book your Christmas activities in advance of your trip to London.

Because they’re only available for a limited time of the year, these book out quickly and people are already thinking about the holidays by the time August and September roll around.

The earlier, the better, but at the least, check for times and tickets for Christmas themed London activities one month in advance to make sure that you still have a chance at getting booked in.

Some options, like Christmas at Kew, seriously sell out months in advance.

What to Consider Booking in Advance for London

There are various attractions that you usually have no problem getting tickets to on the day, but if you do it at least one day in advance you’ll get discounts.

8. Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye

These include the Tower of London , St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye .

Tower of London

The London Eye also operates on timed entrances, so unless you’re prepared to be flexible on the day, it really works out best for you to book this one as soon as you know when you want to ride the Eye.

River Thames with London Eye and Plane in sky and boats on the river

Click here to book tickets to the Tower of London , here to book tickets to St. Paul’s Cathedral , and here to book tickets to the London Eye .

9. West End

If there’s a particular play or musical that you know you just have to see in London, book as early as possible from somewhere like London Theatre Direct (my recommendation) to get full advantage of the most seating options and access to the cheap tickets.

I’ve got plenty more information about cheap theater tickets in my guide to saving money in London.

If you’re up for playing it by ear and don’t care what you see, then do the opposite and don’t buy until the day of, either from the box office directly that morning or from one of the TKTS booth in Leicester Square .

Colorful buildings in Neal's Yard London

Don’t Need to Book

Many of London’s museums are free and require no booking at all.

Just show up!

This includes the British Museum , Science Museum , Natural History Museum , Victoria and Albert , Tate Britain , Tate Modern , and others.

Roof of the British Museum

What else should I not miss in London?

If you’re visiting London soon, here’s a very brief rundown of a few of my other favorites to make sure you don’t miss anything!

  • Hidden London Walking Tour – this tour is the absolute best if you want to see London in a different light and uncover hidden nooks, crannies, and histories that you won’t get on your normal, run-of-the-mill London walking tour. Click here to check prices and book.
  • Historical Westminster Walking Tour with Churchill War Rooms – if you’re a history buff or even mildly interested in all of the insane things that have happened in London, particular during the wars, you have to book this tour which is an absolute bargain for the tour + entry to the Churchill War Rooms (basically two must-dos in one). Click here to check prices and book .
  • Cutest London Afternoon Tea on a Bus – want to see the sights and enjoy afternoon tea at the same time on the upper deck? Yes, absolutely you do. This afternoon tea is a real delight and helps you get out and about while also putting your pinkies up. Click here to check prices and book.

Want more London travel guides? Check these out!

  • The Definitive London Packing List for Visitors
  • A Full Guide to Oyster Cards in London for Dummies
  • Getting around London: Everything a Visitor Needs to Know
  • Weather in London: a Visitor’s Guide
  • The Best Time to Visit London: a Local’s Guide
  • London on a Budget: How to Save Money in London
  • Money in the UK: How to Pay for Things in London
  • Exactly How Many Days to Spend in London: an Expert Guide
  • How to Use the Tube in London: a Guide for Newbies
  • What to Wear in London (How to Dress Like a Londoner)
  • British Pub Etiquette: the must-read guide
  • 49+ Expert London Travel Tips
  • Visiting London with Anxiety: the ultimate guide

UK Travel Planning Guide: the FAQs

🏥 Should I buy UK travel insurance?

Absolutely yes. Basic coverage is not expensive, and as a visitor you are NOT covered under the NHS. Compare policies and prices with Travel Insurance Master here , a big name in the travel insurance business, and cross that off your list.

🔌 Do I need travel adapters for the UK?

Yes, you do, otherwise you won’t be able to plug in your electronics/phone/lifelines. I recommend this one , which is all-in-one so you can use it in other countries.

🚗 What do I need to drive in the UK?

The first thing you need to check out if you’re planning on renting a car in the UK is this guide to driving in the UK for visitors – the roads, signs, and driving experience will likely not be what you’re used to and it’s essential to prepare yourself to stay safe and aware.

🛌 What’s the best way to book hotels in the UK?

For UK hotels, Booking is the best site as it offers free cancellation on many properties. If you want an apartment, I always recommend VRBO over AirBnb.

📳 Will my phone work in the UK?

Yes – if you set it up right. Check out my guide on making your foreign phone work in the UK to ensure that you get the type of service you need.

🚿 Can I drink the water in the UK?

Yes, UK water is great and perfectly safe. But drink out of taps in any kitchen or use water fountains. Double check before drinking out of the taps in hotel bathrooms, though, as they may be on a different system. London water is safe to drink .

Heading to London? Want the best tips?

Check out my Ultimate Guide to London for Visitors. Using text, images and video, this guide is packed full of tips, tricks, safety advice, knowledge on how to get around and what to do, and more!

tourist attractions in london tickets

Moving to the UK or already an Expat?

Grab my book which covers moving to the UK, struggles I faced and that you might face too, and uplifting advice to help you along the way! Available in hard copy and on Kindle.

tourist attractions in london tickets

1 thought on “9+ Attractions You MUST Book Ahead of Time in London (2024)”

Great article! I love booking my attractions ahead to time. It helps me organise my trip better and get the most out of my time there 🙂

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PlanTripLondon – Things to do in London

Combination tickets for London Attractions

Combination Tickets London Attractions

With so many different and famous attractions to see, buying combination tickets for London Attractions when planning a trip to London is the best way to save money.

When planning your trip to London, you may feel overwhelmed when choosing what attractions to see. But don’t worry, I can assure you it’s a normal feeling! Once you have planned your London Itinerary , decide what attractions you want to visit. Buying tickets for each attraction individually will be more expensive than buying combination tickets.

That’s why we’re going to make your job easier, and we’ll tell you which are the best London attractions combination tickets you can find at the moment.

The first thing you must remember is that buying tickets online will be cheaper than buying them at the ticket office on the same day . Also, one of the advantages when buying tickets online is that you can usually enter the attraction through the “pre-paid tickets” queues which will always be much faster.

Combination Tickets for London Attractions

London’s most visited tourist attractions are the London Eye , the Tower of London , the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum , but as you already know, there are many others. London Attractions to visit with kids also include Shrek’s Adventure and the London Aquarium as popular attractions.

Bearing these important London Attractions in mind, we have selected the best combination tickets for London Attractions that we have found online, giving you the chance to choose your favourite selection.

Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour + Attraction of your choice

The hop-on hop-off  bus tour is one of the best ways to explore such a big city as London, and that is probably why it’s one of London’s most popular attractions, especially for first-timers! One of my favourite things is that you can also get a free river cruise with your ticket (depending on the tickets you choose) and taking a Thames river cruise when visiting London, in my opinion, is a fantastic experience and worth it.

When you buy tickets for the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour in London, it´s good to know that you can buy combination tickets for the bus tour plus another attraction, including the free river cruise, so you´re getting 3 London Attractions in this bundle.

Big Bus Tours allows you to buy combination tickets for their hop-on hop-off bus tour and entry to the London Eye or Madame Tussauds Wax Museum , plus the free river cruise. When you figure out how much it would cost to buy the HO-HO bus tour plus one of those attractions, you’ll find that you are saving some money!

Discount London Combination tickets for London Attractions

Discount London offers some great deals when it comes to buying combined tickets for London Attractions. One of the best things about buying combined tickets this way is that you can choose a date for each attraction, so you don´t need to visit them all on the same day or in a couple of days rushing around, which is what tends to happen with tourism passes. This allows you to spread the number of London attractions you would like to visit on different days at your own pace.

I have chosen a selection of combo tickets that include famous London attractions, considering which are the most important attractions, but there are many possible combinations. So if you can´t find tickets to the attractions you would like to visit, you can always look at the official website that offers these ticket bundles HERE .

» Combination Tickets for 2 London Attractions:

  • Tower Bridge Exhibition + London Eye → Find out more
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral + London Eye → Find out more
  • Tower of London + London Eye → Find out more
  • Madame Tussauds Wax Museum + Tower Bridge → Find out more

» Combination Tickets for 3 London Attractions:

  • London Eye + Madame Tussauds Wax Museum + London Aquarium → Find out more
  • London Eye + Madame Tussauds Wax Museum + Tower Bridge → Find out more

» Combination Tickets for 4 London Attractions:

  • Madame Tussauds Wax Museum + Thames River Cruise + Tower Bridge Exhibition + Sightseeing Bus Tour → Find out more
  • Madame Tussauds Wax Museum + London Eye + London Aquarium + Tower Bridge Exhibition → Find out more

» Combination Tickets for 5 London Attractions:

  • London Eye + Sightseeing Bus Tour + Thames River Cruise + Tower Bridge Exhibition + Madame Tussauds Wax Museum → Find out more

» Combination Tickets for 6 London Attractions:

  • London Eye + Sightseeing Bus Tour + Thames River Cruise + Tower Bridge Exhibition + Tower of London + Madame Tussauds Wax Museum → Find out more

Keetoo Days Out App Ticket Bundles

Keetoo Days Out App is now offering new ticket bundles as a new service, and the savings when buying one of these bundles is pretty significant.

They have created Attraction Bundles, including entry to several of London´s most important attractions, becoming one of the best ways of saving you some money when visiting London.

You can review the different attraction bundles on their website. Once you’ve decided which one is best for you, simply purchase the required number for your party from their website. Download the free App and log in, and all the attractions you’ve chosen are ready to book in your own time through the app; you have total flexibility; it’s that simple.

London Combination tickets offers

Keetoo also sells tickets for attractions all over the UK, but we have listed a selection of their best London attractions packs where you can save up to £38 per person! When buying one of their packs. We use Keetoo ourselves; once you have used the app, you´ll realise how easy it is.

More London For Less Sightseeing Pass

More London For Less (previously known as Merlin’s Magical London) sightseeing pass is a family´s favourite, as it includes admission to the following attractions:

  • Shrek’s Adventure
  • Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
  • London Aquarium
  • London Dungeon

When you buy the “More London For Less Sightseeing Pass”, you will normally have to redeem your ticket at the box office of one of the attractions. Buying the pass online will let you know which attraction you should visit first, as they will then give you entry tickets to all the other attractions included in the pass here. These tickets are then valid for 90 days. Shrek’s Adventure, the London Aquarium and the London Eye are located right next to each other, so you can visit all the attractions on the same day or go on different days.

Not having to visit all of the attractions on a particular day will probably make your trip to London slightly easier. Being able to enjoy London at your own pace is sometimes very important when travelling with kids!

London Go City Explorer Pass

The London Go City Explorer Pass is probably one of the sightseeing passes I like the most. With this sightseeing pass, you can choose if you want to visit 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 top London attractions  London and you have up to 30 days from the first day you use it to visit the rest of the attractions.

Some of the attractions included in the London Go City Explorer Pass are the London Eye , the Sightseeing Bus Tour , a Thames River Cruise , Madame Tussauds Wax Museum , St. Paul’s Cathedral and Shrek’s Adventure, as well as different Walking Tours around London and a Day Trip to Windsor .

Unfortunately, the Tower of London is one of the attractions that is not included in this London sightseeing pass.

London Pass

London Pass

Some attractions included in The London Pass are the Tower of London , the Tower Bridge Exhibition , St. Paul’s Cathedral , Westminster Abbey , Kensington Palace , the HO-HO Bus Tour , the Sightseeing Thames River Cruise , the London Transport Museum … The difficult thing is choosing which attractions you want to visit when you buy a London Pass! To make your life easier, we have put together some London Pass Itineraries to make the most of your sightseeing pass.

You can also use our promo code which will give you a 10% discount when buying the London Pass online.

We hope you liked our guide with the best London attractions combination tickets. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or if you would like to share your experience.

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16 replies to this topic

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What is included in "etc". There's a few attractions that need to be booked months in advance, others you can turn up on the day and get in without undue delay.

You don't need to book ahead for anything you have listed

tourist attractions in london tickets

You absolutely must book at the earliest opportunity for the Harry Potter Studios tour, if that is of interest. It sells out many weeks in advance.

The other regular “buy in advance“ would be the Churchill war rooms simply because capacity is very limited and therefore walkups would Be able to take only gaps that are left?

I'm going to give a different POV here.

If you are visiting after the kids are back in school in September and HRP are not selling timed tickets, just rock up on the day.

Unless Westminster Abbey have changed their queuing rules, there is little advantage to prebooking as they don't care if you've got a ticket or not - you'll be in the queue that stretches out to the street with everyone who doesn't yet have a ticket, HOWEVER, they are very transparent about how many tickets are left for each 30-min entry time block - so if you've got a tight schedule you'd like to keep, I still suggest prebooking during the busy summer months as well.

Only book one "big" attraction per day, IMHO, or in the case of Westminster Abbey and Churchill War Rooms, you could see them both in the same day, but it would be tiring.

tourist attractions in london tickets

OP when are you visiting?

The reason I ask because the summer months will be busier than October for example.

As other people have said you don't need to and while they are correct it makes life easier. I felt more comfortable knowing I had a guaranteed time to enter these places.

You can buy tickets on the spot but they are timed tickets. If the time you are there is booked, they may ask you to book for another timeslot later in the day.

In all honesty, if you are interested in seeing these sites book one of the first time slots. This way you know you have tickets and that there are no issues.

Being on vacation, I did not want to risk being unable to see things because majority of the timeslots are booked on the day of.

Ceremony of the Keys tickets are very difficult to get hold of - they only allow small groups in, and they only sell 1 month at a time, so they sell out as soon as they are released. You could become a member for £55 which gives members only access.

There's very little that MUST be booked in advance, the above ones mentioned are the main ones. However on occasion it's a good idea to book ahead if you have limited time. Also if I find a long queue outside an attraction I check online to see if I can book for the near future. If so, then I book and do something else for a while until my entry time.

There's also the converse - attractions you should never book well in advance.

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Top 20 Tourist Attractions in London

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London tourist attractions

Home of royalty and fantasy!

“London is a roost for every bird,” says Benjamin Disraeli. The city is home to a variety of tourist attractions, and over 4.3 million people visit the city every year. Ever wondered why? It’s because London tourist attractions are one of the most spectacular places you will ever visit, leaving you in awe of the city as well as the people living there. We have a list of London tourist attractions so that you can start exploring the city as soon as you get there. You will find everything starting from the renowned London Eye to the not-so-niche yet extremely instagrammable places! So, let’s dive in and explore London in-depth!

London is known for many things, from the dazzling tapestry of history to the chic modernity that the city boasts, The ordinary intertwines with the extraordinary, making it an exceptional journey for tourists and locals alike. Here is a list of the top tourist attractions in London.

1. The London Eye

The London Eye was created as a London tourist spot to help bring in the new millennium and originally opened its doors in 2000. The famous Ferris wheel was built to commemorate the new year and to lend a touch of modernity to the historic regions of London where it is located. “This engineering marvel is spectacular. This is our first visit to London, and we’re shocked at how big and beautiful it is. I had to coax my wife to get on the Eye, but once aboard, she realised it is secure and brilliant. Don’t be shy. Try the Eye!”‍ Says one of the visitors! Which talks for itself. It is one of the top tourist attractions in London.

Closest Tube : Waterloo

Cost : From £32.50

Timings : 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

2. A View From The Shard  

The Shard was intended to be a multifunctional structure, a renowned London tourist place that served as a vertical city for people to live, work, and unwind. It includes top-notch offices, accolade-winning restaurants, the 5-star Shangri-La Hotel, opulent homes, and The View from The Shard, the UK's highest viewing gallery with 360-degree vistas. You can see farther since you are higher than the Eye, yet despite this, everything below you appears far distant and exceedingly little. Unlike the Eye, which has a set ride time, you can stay as long as you like, and it is a place where it is encouraged to go on a clear day. At one of the Shard's restaurants, you may also get food and beverages. What else would you want from a Top tourist attractions in London? 

Closest Tube : London Bridge

Cost : From £28.00

Timings : Available on the website

3. Sky Garden 

London's highest public garden, Sky Garden, is a bustling gathering place and an iconic London tourist spot with 360-degree views of the iconic skyline of the city. From this amazing vantage point, you can see London. Admire the luxuriant foliage, beautifully planted gardens, observation decks, and outdoor terraces. For sweeping views of London, head to the Sky Garden gallery on the Walkie-Talkie’s 43rd floor. This lush indoor garden has floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offer stunning views of the famous London skyline. Before heading to the observation decks and outdoor terrace of this London tourist attraction, take a stroll through the well-maintained planted gardens.

Closest Tube: Monument

Cost : Free

Timings : Weekdays - 10 AM to 6 PM; Weekends - 11 AM to 9 PM

tourist attractions in london tickets

4. The Monument 

One of the City's most popular London tourist places, The Monument, provides sweeping city vistas. The 202-foot column, created by Sir Christopher Wren and Dr. Robert Hooke, stands on the piazza between Fish Street Hill and Monument Street as a memorial to the Great Fire of 1666. Since it is just 200 feet tall, it is considerably lower than the skyscrapers above and requires 311 steps of leg effort to ascend. But compared to the above premium viewing alternatives or a gourmet meal, it’s considerably less expensive and makes for a great London tourist attraction. 

Closest Tube : Monument

Cost : £5.40 for adults

Timings : Monday to Sunday - 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM

5. Emirates Airline

Continually mocked as a proper component of public transportation infrastructure, the cable car makes for an excellent London tourist attraction. It provides views of Canary Wharf and the other side of the River Thames. You’ll probably get a fine view even on a gloomy day, but bright, dry days are preferable. Besides getting a coffee and visiting The Crystal, “the world’s largest exhibition on the future of cities,” there isn’t much to do at the Royal Victoria Dock end. 

Closest Tube : North Greenwich

Cost : £5 for adults

Timings : Monday to Thursday: 7 AM to 9 PM; Friday: 7 AM to 11 PM; Saturday/Bank holidays: 8 AM to 11 PM; Sunday: 9 AM to 9 PM

The Royal Experience 

6. buckingham palace.

Since 1837, the UK's monarchs have maintained Buckingham Palace as their official residence in London. Today, this London tourist place serves as the Monarch's administrative centre. The State Rooms of Buckingham Palace are available to guests every summer, despite being used for The King's numerous official functions and celebrations. Home to legends like Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II and other monarchs, Buckingham Palace is undoubtedly one of the most significant London tourist attractions.

Closest Tube : Green Park

Cost : £30.00 for adults; £19.50 for students

Timings : 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM (Stays open for longer in the summers)

7. Hampton Court palace 

In the 1530s, Hampton Court, the estate of Henry VIII, included a palace, a hotel, a theatre, and a sizable recreation area. The King used it to exhibit his majesty and power in every way possible, including through opulent dinners, an elaborate court lifestyle, and extravagantly expensive art. A few costumed performers are also present, waiting to engross you in historical intrigue and drama. Although it is situated right on the edge of London, Waterloo is the closest train station. Alternatively, you can depart from Richmond or Kingston and take a leisurely river cruise.

Closest Tube : Hampton Court

Cost : From £25.30 for adults

Timings : Wednesday to Sunday - 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

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8. Windsor Castle

During the reign of Queen Victoria, Windsor Castle held the position of the British monarchy's main residence and the centre of the British Empire, as well as practically all of royal Europe, many of whose families were linked to the Queen.

Windsor Castle has existed for almost a thousand years and is the oldest occupied castle globally. Its other London tourist attractions are the stately Queen Mary’s dollhouse and the luxurious State Apartments.

Closest Tube : London Victoria station

Cost : £26.50 to £28.50 for adults

Timings : Monday, Thursday to Sunday - 10:00 AM to 4:15 PM (Open for longer in summers)

9. The Houses of Parliament 

With millennia of history under its belt, Westminster Palace is one of the best London tourist attractions. Home to the famous Elizabeth Tower, better known by its famous bell, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament lets visitors watch debates and committee hearings. Audio or guided tours of the premises are available on most Saturdays and weekdays throughout the year. You’re welcome to admire the tower in all its beauty. However, entry is prohibited for overseas visitors. 

Closest Tube : Westminster 

Cost : Adult - £22.50 per ticket

Timings : 9 AM to 5 PM on weekdays

tourist attractions in london tickets

For the movie maniacs 

10. warner bros studios tour “the making of harry potter”.

The best of London tourist attractions, explore the Harry Potter film series’ backstage secrets, step onto real sets, and learn the mysteries of the stunning visual effects. Before boarding the original Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 3/4 and exploring Diagon Alley, see the famous Hogwarts Great Hall and the Forbidden Forest. The Studio Tour, located at the studios where all eight movies were made, highlights the British creativity, artistry, and ability that turned the impossibly impossible into a reality on screen. Visitors can relive the magic through the eyes of the filmmakers who created the Harry Potter film series.

Closest Tube : Watford Junction 

Cost : £49.95

Timings : 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM

11. Sherlock Holmes Museum (221B Baker St.)

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales, Sherlock Holmes and his devoted companion Dr Watson resided at this address from 1881 to 1904. To provide a window into the private life of the investigator, Holmes’ flat has been repurposed into a museum. Discover Holmes’ personal artefacts in this London tourist attraction. As you make your way around the Victorian homes lighted by gas lamps, you may even come across some of Watson’s items. Additionally, the museum includes a display of life-size wax figures from Sherlock Holmes’ most well-known adventures. The museum’s gift shop is stocked with unusual trinkets and souvenirs, like deerstalker hats.

Closest Tube : Baker Street

Cost : £16.00 for adults

Timings : Daily - 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM

12. The Blue Door

The Blue Door is among the best London tourist attractions, as any fan of rom-coms is aware. This is due to the door’s appearance in the classic Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant movie Notting Hill. The blue door in the movie serves as the entryway of William Thacker’s apartment, played by Hugh Grant. You should take a picture in front of this door if you’re a fan of the movie! You can find this renowned blue door at 280 Westbourne Park Road.

Closest Tube : Westbourne Park

Timings : Open 24/7

tourist attractions in london tickets

13. Abbey Road

“It maybe just a street crossing for some people, but it is a must if you are a Beatle fan! This is Abbey Road, so you must take a picture crossing the street. It was super cool and you have to visit here and take some pictures as you walk through.”‍ says a Beatle fan! North West London’s Abbey Road is home to one of the most well-known recording studios in the world, as well as the iconic Beatles zebra crossing. Because other tourists and Beatles enthusiasts frequently populate the area, it is also reasonably simple to spot. You’ll also discover that Abbey Road is still worthwhile to visit and is a top London tourist attraction. Even if you’re not a major Beatles fan. After all, it’s situated in a lovely part of London and provides a beautiful opportunity to spice your gram!

Closest Tube : St. John’s Wood

14. King's Cross station 

Kings Cross Station, most frequently linked to the Harry Potter books, is next on our list of top London tourist attractions. Young wizards and witches take the Hogwarts Express to Kings Cross to travel to school. In the movies, you’ll see a particular platform (9 ¾) that only magical people can use. Despite being a functioning train station, King’s Cross has a spot where you may capture pictures of a trolley moving through the platform, just like in the movies. The station also hosts a Back to Hogwarts event every September 1st. Additionally, there is a Harry Potter store nearby where you can buy various magical stuff. Just be aware that the station can get very congested, especially during rush hour. 

Closest Tube : King’s Cross

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15. david bowie's house.

The Brixton residence of David Bowie serves as a tribute to the late musician. The house is decorated with murals and graffiti that fans worldwide have painted. Any Bowie lover will want to visit this top tourist attraction in London because it is so rich in history. You might even see a painting or piece of recent graffiti if you’re lucky!

Closest Tube : Loughborough

Cost : Free 

16. Westminter Abbey

Westminster Abbey, a place where the history is crowned. Being a celebrated place over decades in London, this masterpiece of art and architecture has hosted the most watched royal weddings of the royal family in the UK. The place has also witnessed coronations over the years. It is straight out of a disney movies and sure has numerous stories to tell. It can be said that this is one of the top tourist attractions in London. 

Closest Tube: Westminster

Cost: £23-£26 (varying based on age and whether you gift aid)

Timings: 9:30AM - 3:30PM

17. Hampton Court Palace

Another top tourist attractions in London is the Hampton Court Palace. This place is truly built in a way that every nook and corner within it speaks a different story. The moment you step through the gates of the enormous Hampton Court Palace, you will just feel the time travel around you to a completely different era. From Henry VIII’s sprawling kitchens the palace also contains the world famous maze which is a meticulously crafted puzzle. 

Closest Tube: Hampton Court

Cost: £24.50 for adults

Timings: 10AM - 6PM

18. ArcelorMittal Orbit

If you are a person who loves thrills that you get by being on a twisty turny ride, then Arcelor Mittal orbit is a top place to visit in London for you. This place can give you the exact adrenaline rush that you need. The place boasts of modern art along with very exciting rides including roller coasters. You will be left amazed by how twisty these rides are. If you need to have fun and feel the thrills, this is the best London tourist spot for you.

Closest Tube: Stratford

Cost: £12-£16

Timings: 11 AM - 5 PM

19. Up at The O2

This London tourist attraction is known to be the conqueror of heights as it is the iconic O2 arena that you can scale. This London tourist spot can give you a view that can make your heart skip a beat. With a harness over you, you can talk to the London wind. Are you an adventurous person but don’t wish to leave the city? Then this is the place where you can feel like a true urban mountaineer. 

Closest Tube: North Greenwich

Cost: £30-£40

Timings: They usually have slots from morning to evening; booking in advance is wise.

20. Shrek’s Adventure London

Are you a Shrek fan? Then this London tourist attraction is for you. This is the exact place where a fairy tale aficionados would want to be once they are in London. Dive right into the adventures Shrek has to offer with the help of a very interactive style of storytelling. Experience 4D or a real-life experience with all the fun characters and vibe with your favourite of all!

Closest Tube: Waterloo

Cost: £27-£30 for online bookings

Timings: 10 AM - 3 PM

To make your tour planning more accessible and save on entry costs, you can obtain a sightseeing pass for visitors visiting London tourist attractions, the capital of the United Kingdom, called London Pass. It comprises a smart card that allows its owner to pay a predetermined sum in advance and gain entry to several tourist destinations in and around the London area. The rate for a London pass ranges from €71 to €162, depending on the validity duration you opt for. Maybe you’ll find yourself enticed by London’s charm and plan to shift to England’s buzzing capital. In that case, we have the ultimate student life guide in London to help you get a glimpse of what you can expect as a student living in the big city!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the most famous tourist attraction in london, which tourist attractions can be found in london, which are the best museums to visit in london, what are the top three free attractions that tourists can visit in london, what should you not miss when visiting london.

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29 of the best cheap (or absolutely free) things to do in London

London montage against plain blue sky with River Thames in foreground

Editor's Note

London is regularly cited as one of the most dreamed-of destinations to visit in the world, and for a good reason. Weather aside, it's a place crammed with rich heritage, culture, charm and some incredible hotels and restaurants. But popularity like this comes at a cost — literally.

If you're visiting London, you won't be the first person in the world to realize the city isn't always cheap and cheerful. That being said, there are still plenty of inexpensive ways to experience the U.K. capital if you know where to look.

From enjoying green spaces and natural wonders to exploring the city's many free museums and art galleries, you can easily create a jam-packed London itinerary without shelling out hard cash. This will help keep your travel costs low or allow you to save money for a specific paid excursion.

Let's take a look at some of London's best freebies, or at least super-cheap activities to enjoy while you're taking in the sights.

Related: The complete guide to flying to London on points and miles

Watch the iconic 'changing of the guard'

changing of the guard.

Peeking at Buckingham Palace through its gates is completely free (alas, touring inside is not), but if you really want to make the most of a trip to see the home of the royal family, you should time your visit so you can watch the changing of the guard, a ceremony which takes place on the palace forecourt outside.

Weather permitting, you'll get to witness a bit of the pomp and circumstance the British royal family is known for. There's a musical accompaniment to the King's Guard coming off duty as the new soldiers take their place. Obviously, it's a popular activity for London visitors, so arrive early to secure a good viewing spot.

Opening times: Usually Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 11 a.m.; schedule here Nearest Tube station: St. James's Park, Green Park or Knightsbridge Learn more: The Household Division website

Reach new heights at the Sky Garden 

The Sky Garden

It's totally free to take in the 360-degree views of the capital from its highest public garden. It sits inside the "Walkie-Talkie" building on 20 Fenchurch St.

To enjoy the viewing terrace and the gardens themselves (which feature an array of Mediterranean and South African plants), book tickets in advance. If you want to keep the activity completely free, you'll have to avoid Sky Garden's restaurant and bar offerings.

There are a few more free attractions within walking distance: Monument to the Great Fire of London, St. Dunstan-in-the-East Church Garden designed by Christopher Wren, Leadenhall Market and the iconic "Gherkin" building.

Opening times: Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekends from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nearest Tube station : Monument Learn more: Sky Garden's official website

Walk along the Tower Bridge

A walk along the bridge is free

Tower Bridge has been a solid icon of the London skyline since it was first built in the late 1800s. If you want to go inside its towers or stroll along its glass walkways, you'll have to pay to enter. However, it's free to marvel at the bridge's height and beauty just by walking across it.

You'll see plenty of landmarks en route, including the Tower of London and the (slightly murky) River Thames that the bridge crosses. The Tower Bridge also makes an excellent backdrop for any wish-you-were-here photos you might post on Instagram.

Opening times: Always open Nearest Tube station: Tower Hill or London Bridge Learn more: Tower Bridge's official website

Find a gem at Portobello Road market

The market is known for its antiques

There's almost always something exciting happening at Portobello Road market, but busy Saturdays are easily the best time to visit. The stalls specialize in antiques, vintage and secondhand finds, and a few edible treats. To keep things free of charge, you'll have to stick to browsing, not buying.

If you can't make it on a Saturday but want to shop for clothes, there are plenty of stores dotting Notting Hill's standout street. They include antique treasure troves, retro clothing spots and gems like The Portobello Print and Map Shop. Since the 1940s, this area has been known as a hub for antiquing.

Opening times: Monday to Saturday. Times vary from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Thursday) and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Friday and Saturday). Nearest Tube station: Ladbroke Grove Learn more: Portobello Road's official website

Admire art in The National Gallery

tourist attractions in london tickets

Want to see masterpieces from the likes of Vermeer, Cezanne, da Vinci, Monet and van Gogh for free? Head to London's iconic Trafalgar Square and step inside The National Gallery to admire a sensational collection of European art spanning multiple centuries.

Expand your knowledge by perusing a range of free temporary exhibitions, too. Examples of past exhibitions include "Turner on Tour," "Discover Manet & Eva Gonzalès," and "Gainsborough's Blue Boy." Note a select few temporary exhibitions do charge.

Opening times: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Fridays Nearest Tube station: Charing Cross or Leicester Square Learn more: The National Gallery's official website

See street art in Shoreditch 

There's plenty of street art in Shoreditch

Shoreditch, a hip neighborhood in East London, offers a different kind of art: street art. Look around, and you'll find colorful murals on the sides of buildings, collages on billboards and unexpected designs along the walls. It's completely free to admire this art, though some companies also offer walking tours around the area.

Once in Shoreditch, you won't be far from Brick Lane — a narrow street stretching through Bethnal Green and Spitalfields, famous for its curry houses and vintage shops. Brick Lane offers plenty of things to do, such as sampling food truck offerings, playing junkyard golf and visiting the record shop Rough Trade East. Of course, those activities will cost you, but it's still worth looking around.

Opening times: Always open Nearest Tube station: Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Street Overground

Related: The best hotels in London

Visit the Natural History Museum

Inside the Natural History Museum.

Admission to the Natural History Museum, one of London's most fascinating museums, is free. Booking a time slot in advance is essential during busy periods. Once inside, you can explore its vast collection of skeletons and rare artifacts that chart the course of the Earth's history, from prehistoric dinosaurs and giant sloths to modern mammals and marine life.

The building in South Kensington is also a point of interest. If you've never been before, expect to spend up to several hours here poring over the different displays.

Opening times: Daily from 10 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. Nearest Tube station: South Kensington Learn more: Natural History Museum's official website

Get out in nature at Walthamstow Wetlands

Walthamstow Wetlands

If you think it's impossible to visit a nature reserve in the middle of London, think again. OK, it's not quite in the middle of London, but it's on the edge of Walthamstow in East London, not far from Tottenham.

Free to walk through, the wetlands offer several walking (or running) trails overlooking the water. The reserve provides a gorgeously green escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy city, especially during the warmer months. It's a year-round haven for birds, with species including grey herons, kingfishers, peregrine falcons and tufted ducks. The on-site Victorian Engine House is now a visitor center and cafe.

Opening times: Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nearest Tube station: Blackhorse Road or Tottenham Hale Learn more: London Wildlife Trust's official website

Go landmark- and statue-spotting

Wellington Arch

Jaunt around central London long enough and you'll see many statues and landmarks. If you're looking for ways to keep yourself entertained without pulling out the credit card, challenge yourself to a scavenger hunt of the city's most iconic landmarks as well as its more unusual or whimsical figures.

Just a few examples you could go looking for include:

  • Marble Arch
  • Wellington Arch
  • Boadicea and Her Daughters statue on Victoria Embankment
  • Queen Alexandra Memorial on Marlborough Road
  • Sherlock Holmes statue on Marylebone (near the supposed site of Baker Street)
  • Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens
  • Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens
  • Amy Winehouse statue on Chalk Farm Road

Opening times: Varies (some always open) Nearest Tube station: Varies, depending on which you'd like to see

Feel stylish at the V&A Museum

Inside the silver gallery at the V&A

Expect to find exhibitions and displays devoted to art, design, fashion, textiles and all things creative at the beloved Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington (commonly known as the V&A).

Its offerings vary from the Raphael Cartoons tapestry designs to a photography exhibit of Julia Margaret Cameron's work. An ongoing metalwork exhibition also contains gold, silver and Bronze Age items. To see what's on display during your visit, take a look at the official website. Or, poke your head in and check it out — it's free.

Opening times: Daily from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., with a late close at 10 p.m. on Fridays Nearest Tube station: South Kensington Learn more: V&A Museum's official website

Try the Tate Modern or Tate Britain

The Tate Modern

The two Tate galleries offer two very different types of art. Luckily, admission is free for both. As its name suggests, Tate Modern focuses on modern art and unusual materials as well as film, video and performance.

Tate Britain has several collections, including a walkthrough of British works by artist J.M.W. Turner and others ordered by date and an exhibition.

Opening times: Daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nearest Tube station: Southwark (Tate Modern) and Pimlico or Vauxhall (Tate Britain) Learn more: Websites for Tate Modern and Tate Britain

Check out the Barbican

The Barbican Estate is an example of Brutalist architecture.

The Barbican complex is a must-visit if you're interested in the residential Barbican Estate's world-famous Brutalist architecture. Luckily, you can admire it for free. Or, you can enjoy the Barbican Centre, which houses a library, cinema, cafe, restaurant, shop, and various art and design exhibitions or installations — some of which are free.

Opening times: Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., though the estate is always open Nearest Tube station: Barbican Learn more: Barbican's official website

Mosey along the Parkland Walk

The Spriggan along Parkland Walk

You can find the Parkland Walk, one of London's longest nature reserves, along what was once a railway track. As you stroll the 4 1/2-mile trail (which is broken into sections), you'll pass Muswell Hill and Crouch End and through to Stroud Green and Finsbury Park — areas you may not usually get to visit.

There are plenty of trees and wildflowers on this stroll, as well as local art; you'll see the Spriggan sculpture peering down at you from an archway and picturesque views over North London neighborhoods. It is especially lovely in the sunshine.

Opening times: Always open Nearest Tube station: Highgate or Finsbury Park Learn more: Friends of the Parkland Walk's website (for useful maps and directions)

Climb to the top of Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill.

Once you climb the short (but steep) grassy route up to the top of Primrose Hill in Regent's Park, you can enjoy great views over the city. Again, you'll likely get the best views on a clear or sunny day, but it's even worth the tiny trek when the skies are gray.

The neighboring residential area of Primrose Hill is very pleasant and peaceful — think candy-colored townhouses, with a street of on-trend cafes, boutiques and upscale grocery shops. Over the decades, Primrose Hill has been home to plenty of British stars and A-list actors, so it's no surprise that it's a pretty nice place.

Opening times: Daily from 5 a.m. until dusk Nearest Tube station: Chalk Farm

Learn at the Science Museum

Interested in space? The history of aviation? Medicine? Math? Mechanics? Look no further than the Science Museum. Spending a day here will entertain and, hopefully, teach you a thing or two about how all of that works.

Near the Natural History Museum and V&A, the Science Museum is also free to explore. Check out numerous galleries (such as "Exploring Space," about humanity's journeys beyond Earth), some temporary galleries (such as a COVID-19 vaccine exhibition, a tour related to clockmaking and an area devoted to science fiction) and some interactive galleries.

Opening times: Daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nearest Tube station: South Kensington Learn more: Science Museum's official website

Chill out in Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of London's many green spaces

Parks are plentiful in the city, so you won't struggle to find green space. However, some parks are a little more special than others. Hyde Park sits ideally between Buckingham Palace and Kensington Gardens. It's a convenient place to stop, sit and enjoy some people-watching before ticking more attractions off your London bucket list.

There are some points of interest in the park, too, including several statues. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is a trickling, meandering tribute to the late princess, and it was first unveiled in 2004. Meanwhile, the Rose Garden is best seen blooming in early summer. There's also an adventure playground if you're traveling with children.

Opening times: Daily from 5 a.m. until midnight Nearest Tube station: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch and Lancaster Gate all surround the park Learn more: Hyde Park's official website

Step back in time at the British Museum

Inside the British Museum

The British Museum takes visitors on a journey through 2 million years of human history, art and culture — not just in Britain but all around the globe. Galleries showcase histories and artifacts from Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, South Asia, Africa and Europe across the centuries.

The museum is free, though you must book a ticket to secure a slot. As with the Natural History Museum, you'll want to set aside a good chunk of time to fully take in the exhibits on display.

Opening times: Daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours until 8:30 p.m. on Fridays Nearest Tube station: Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street or Russell Square Learn more: British Museum's official website

Follow the footpaths along Regent's Canal 

Regent's Canal, seen by Victoria Park

Step aside, Amsterdam — London has a canal, too. The nearly 9-mile Regent's Canal stretches through a huge swath of the city. It's ideal for travelers who want to save money by exploring the city on foot.

A stroll along the canal will take you from Paddington's "Little Venice" area past Regent's Park, Camden Market, Islington and the King's Cross area. There's even a London Canal Museum in the King's Cross area. Admission is 6 British pounds (about $7.50). The path will take you all the way to Hackney and Victoria Park, then finally down to the Limehouse Basin and River Thames.

Opening times: Always open Nearest Tube station: Paddington is a possible starting point for the route, as is Camden Town, King's Cross St. Pancras, or Limehouse DLR stop Learn more: Canal & River Trust's website

Wander around Hampstead Heath 

Parliament Hill viewpoint at Hampstead Heath

Head to North London to visit one of the city's most idyllic green spaces and one of its highest points. Check out the cityscape from Parliament Hill viewpoint, or enjoy a leisurely walk past nature ponds and through woods. There are also dedicated walking trails here.

Visit the free Golders Hill Park Zoo or enjoy playgrounds and sports facilities. There are also natural swimming pools for both men and women (though they charge a fee for entry and have specific opening times).

Opening times: Always open Nearest Tube station: Hampstead, Golders Green, Hampstead Heath Overground or Gospel Oak Overground Learn more: Hampstead Heath's website

Browse Covent Garden

Inside the market at Covent Garden

If you can resist the urge to splurge on clothes, jewelry, technology, books and other treats, then roaming around the famous Covent Garden is free of charge.

Expect Covent Garden to be buzzing with both locals and visitors, as it's one of London's best-known shopping destinations. Keep an eye out for the beautiful Royal Opera House and the colorful alleyway Neal's Yard. If you do want to spend on something to eat, stop at the street food hot spot Seven Dials Market.

Opening times: Always open (but shop/market opening times will vary) Nearest Tube station: Covent Garden Learn more: Covent Garden's website

Smell the flowers at Columbia Road Market

Columbia Road is famous for its flower market each Sunday.

Market fans will find plenty of stalls to peruse in all corners of London, but for one of the city's prettiest and most fragrant markets, head to Columbia Road in East London.

Within walking distance of Hackney and Shoreditch, Columbia Road is a narrow street lined with independent shops (selling records, quirky gifts and even outfits for dogs), cafes and pubs. The area blossoms on Sundays as florists gather to sell bouquets, unusual succulents, houseplants and herbs. Arrive early, though, as it is pretty much guaranteed to be packed.

Opening times: Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nearest Tube station: Hoxton Overground or Bethnal Green Learn more: Columbia Road's website

Explore the Horniman Museum and Gardens

South London's Horniman Museum and Gardens is an excellent free activity if you've already hit up London's major free museums. You'll need to take a train to reach it, but it's a nice escape from the well-trodden tourist areas.

Known for its anthropological and natural history exhibits and a vast collection of musical instruments, the museum is certainly eclectic. The gardens are gorgeous, spanning 16 acres; they include a picturesque Victorian conservatory and a dedicated nature trail. The Horniman is also home to the Butterfly House and an aquarium, though both require a small entry fee.

Opening times: Daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (museum) and 7:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (gardens) Nearest Tube station: Forest Hill Overground Learn more: Horniman Museum's official website

Go neon in God's Own Junkyard

neon lights

In Walthamstow, East London, there is an art gallery and shop called God's Own Junkyard. Practically every inch of it is completely covered by huge, glowing neon signs emanating a vibrant pink hue throughout the room. A museum of sorts for all things neon, it's an Instagrammer's dream, and it's just as eye-catching as it looks on social media. Signs are for sale, too, and there's a cafe/bar.

If you fancy more art, take a short bus trip or a 20-minute walk down the road to the free-to-browse William Morris Gallery. It's devoted to 1800s textile designer William Morris and his dainty floral designs. Also, look out for the lengthy outdoor market along Walthamstow High Street.

Opening times: Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., though opening times may vary Nearest Tube station: Walthamstow Central Learn more: God's Own Junkyard official website

Admire the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park

waterfall in park

Holland Park in West London is full of serene areas, and the Kyoto Garden is one of the best. It's a perfect spot for when you want a moment away from London's hustle and bustle.

Expect green spaces, colorful Japanese maple trees, a tranquil waterfall and a koi pond in this peaceful part of the park, which the Japanese city gifted to London in the early 1990s. Visit during springtime, ideally April, to see cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Opening times: Daily from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nearest Tube station: Holland Park

See the Crystal Palace dinosaurs

Two of the Crystal Palace dinosaurs

South London's Crystal Palace Park is a must for dinosaur-mad youngsters or anyone with a penchant for historic curiosities. It's home to some very special sculptures of dinosaurs and extinct animals, which are on display on mini islands around the park.

According to the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs , these statues date back to the mid-1800s and were the first attempt at creating full-scale models of the prehistoric creatures. Naturally, they were seen as pioneering at the time. They don't look like dinosaurs as we know them now, but that is ultimately part of their charm.

Opening times: Open daily from 7:30 a.m. (9 a.m. on weekends) to 8:30 p.m. Nearest Tube station: Penge West Overground or Crystal Palace Overground Learn more: Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs

Ascend to Alexandra Palace

building exterior

For an excellent panoramic view over London — with the Shard and Gherkin jutting into the distant skyline — walk up to the stunning Alexandra Palace in North London. "Ally Pally" itself is an entertainment venue, with a newly renovated East Court installation space free to enjoy. It also boasts a surrounding park, a garden center and an ice rink (which is sadly not free). There are plenty of places to eat or drink as well.

Although it was named for Queen Alexandra (then Princess of Wales) when it was first built in the 1870s, Alexandra Palace was originally intended to be an entertainment space rather than a royal residence. It has served other uses over the years, including in 1936, when BBC broadcast the world's first regular high-definition TV service from the site.

Opening times: Park is always open; East Court daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nearest Tube station: Wood Green Learn more: Alexandra Palace's official website

Spot London's best blue plaques

The blue plaque at the former flat of Diana before she became Princess of Wales

If you plan to keep costs low by exploring on foot, look out for blue plaques as you walk. You'll spot them on buildings and houses all over Greater London. They highlight the birthplaces and former residences of historically significant people.

There are almost 1,000 plaques across the entire city. Search for any figures that might interest you on English Heritage's website. A handful of notable plaques include:

  • Charlie Chaplin at 15 Glenshaw Mansions, Brixton Road
  • Jimi Hendrix at 23 Brook St., Mayfair
  • Diana, Princess of Wales, at Flat 60, Coleherne Court, Old Brompton Road
  • Mary Seacole at 14 Soho Square, Soho
  • Agatha Christie at 58 Sheffield Terrace, Holland Park
  • Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst at 50 Clarendon Road, Notting Hill
  • Oscar Wilde at 34 Tite St., Chelsea
  • Bob Marley at 42 Oakley St., Chelsea

Opening times: Always open Nearest Tube station: Varies Learn more: English Heritage's website

Try street food at Borough Market, Camden Market or Broadway Market

borough market

London's many glorious street food markets sometimes pop up on lists of "free things" to do. As long as you don't make purchases, it's free to browse the stalls at Borough Market, take in the aromas at tourist hot spot Camden Market or enjoy the Saturday bustle at Broadway Market in London Fields.

You can take in the atmosphere and see what's on offer. You may even find a free sample or two. However, if you're a foodie (or it's just lunchtime and you're hungry), opening your wallet may be hard to resist. Expect an array of cuisines, junk food creations and even homemade sweet treats.

Opening times: Varies; market opening times Nearest Tube stations: London Bridge (Borough Market), Camden Town (Camden Market), Bethnal Green or London Fields Overground (Broadway Market) Learn more: Websites for Borough Market , Camden Market and Broadway Market

Play games at Novelty Automation

Novelty Automation is known for its unusual arcade games

This hidden gem in Holborn is technically free. However, it might be difficult to walk inside the arcade, take a mere look at its undeniably unique and satirical gaming machines — all designed by engineer Tim Hunkin — and leave without buying a single token. After all, a token only costs 1 pound (about $1.25).

Opening times: Varies from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday), 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Thursday), 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Sunday) Nearest Tube station: Holborn or Chancery Lane Learn more: Novelty Automation's official website

A Complete Guide On Traveling To London Zoo

  • Last updated May 10, 2024
  • Difficulty Intemediate

Michaela Krajanova

  • Category Travel

how to travel to london zoo

Welcome to the complete guide on traveling to London Zoo! Are you a wildlife enthusiast, a family looking for a fun day out, or a solo traveler seeking a unique experience? Look no further, as London Zoo offers an adventure that combines education, animal welfare, and captivating encounters with over 20,000 creatures. Whether you're interested in lions, penguins, or reptiles, this guide will provide you with all the essential information to make the most out of your visit to one of the world's most renowned zoological parks. So grab your camera, prepare your sense of wonder, and let's dive into the exciting world of London Zoo!

What You'll Learn

Planning your visit to london zoo, getting to london zoo, exploring the exhibits at london zoo, tips for a memorable visit to london zoo.


London Zoo is one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. With an incredible collection of animals from all over the world, it offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages. If you're thinking of visiting London Zoo, here's a guide to help you plan your trip.

London Zoo is located in the heart of Regent's Park, making it easily accessible from anywhere in the city. There are several ways to get to the zoo, depending on your preference and budget.

By Public Transport

Taking public transport is a convenient and environmentally-friendly way to reach London Zoo. The nearest underground station is Camden Town, which is served by the Northern line. From the station, it's a short walk to the zoo's main entrance. Alternatively, you can take the bus to Regent's Park or Camden Town station, both of which are within walking distance of the zoo.

If you prefer to drive, there is limited parking available near the zoo. However, parking can be expensive and often fills up quickly, especially during peak times. It's advisable to check the zoo's website for up-to-date information on parking availability and charges before your visit.

Planning Your Day

London Zoo is a large and diverse attraction, so it's a good idea to plan your day in advance to make the most of your visit. Start by checking the zoo's website for the latest opening hours and any special events or exhibits. Some exhibits may have limited access or specific feeding times, so it's worth planning your visit around these activities if they interest you.

Once you've decided on your visit date and time, it's a good idea to arrive early to avoid crowds and give yourself plenty of time to explore. The zoo opens at 10:00 am, but it's worth checking the website for any changes to opening hours.

Zoo Highlights

London Zoo is home to a wide range of animals, from big cats to insects. Here are some of the highlights you shouldn't miss:

  • Land of the Lions: This award-winning exhibit offers a glimpse into the vibrant culture and wildlife of India.
  • Penguin Beach: Watch as penguins swim, dive, and play in their outdoor pool.
  • Gorilla Kingdom: Get up close and personal with Western lowland gorillas in their natural habitat.
  • Rainforest Life: Explore the sights, sounds, and smells of the world's rainforests.
  • Butterfly Paradise: Walk among hundreds of free-flying butterflies in this tropical habitat.

Tickets and Pricing

Tickets for London Zoo can be purchased online in advance or at the gate on the day of your visit. Prices vary depending on the time of year and whether you choose to include any additional experiences such as animal encounters or guided tours. It's advisable to check the zoo's website for the most up-to-date pricing information before your visit.

Food and Facilities

London Zoo has several restaurants and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat during your visit. From casual snacks to full meals, there's something to suit every taste. Additionally, the zoo has baby changing facilities, wheelchair access, and stroller rental services to ensure a comfortable and convenient experience for all visitors.

With this guide, planning your visit to London Zoo should be a breeze. Remember to check the zoo's website for any updates or changes before your visit, and make sure to arrive early to make the most of your day. Have a fantastic time exploring the incredible world of wildlife at London Zoo!

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London Zoo is one of the most iconic and popular attractions in the city. With its impressive range of animals and beautiful grounds, it's no wonder that people from all over the world flock to visit. If you're planning a trip to London Zoo, you might be wondering how to get there. Luckily, there are several convenient options available.

The easiest way to reach London Zoo is by using the London Underground. The zoo is located in Regent's Park, and there are two nearby tube stations: Camden Town and Regent's Park. Camden Town station is served by the Northern Line, while Regent's Park station is served by the Bakerloo Line. From either station, it's just a short walk to the main entrance of the zoo.

If you prefer to travel by bus, there are several routes that stop near London Zoo. The 274, 27, and C2 buses all have stops within walking distance of the zoo. Check the Transport for London website or app for the most up-to-date information on bus schedules and routes.

While it's possible to drive to London Zoo, it's not recommended, as parking is limited and can be expensive. If you do decide to drive, there is a car park available, but spaces are subject to availability. It's worth checking the zoo's website in advance for any parking restrictions or alternative options.

By Bicycle:

For the eco-conscious traveler, cycling to London Zoo is a great option. There are bike racks available near the main entrance, so you can safely lock up your bike while you explore the zoo. Just don't forget your helmet!

If you're feeling energetic and want to make the most of the beautiful surroundings, you can walk to London Zoo. The zoo is located in Regent's Park, which is a lovely green space in the heart of the city. There are many entrances to the park, so you can choose the one that’s most convenient for you. Once you're in the park, simply follow the signs to the zoo.

No matter how you choose to travel to London Zoo, it's sure to be a memorable experience. Just remember to check the zoo's website for any updates or changes to their opening hours or admission policies. With its wide range of transportation options, getting to London Zoo is a breeze. So grab your camera and get ready to meet some amazing animals!

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London Zoo is a fantastic place to explore and witness a wide variety of animals from all around the world. With over 17,000 animals and 750 species, this iconic zoo offers an incredible wildlife experience for both children and adults alike. Here is a guide on how to make the most of your visit to London Zoo and explore its fascinating exhibits.

Getting to London Zoo is quite easy. Located in the heart of Regent's Park in London, the zoo is well-connected to the city's transportation network. The closest underground station to the zoo is Camden Town, which is on the Northern Line. From Camden Town station, it is just a short walk to the zoo's main entrance. Alternatively, you can also reach the zoo by taking a bus to the Gloucester Gate stop, which is located right outside the zoo. Buses such as the 274, C2, and 27 all stop there.

Once you are inside the zoo, you will find yourself in a beautifully designed park-like environment that offers plenty of opportunities to explore and interact with the animals. There are numerous exhibits to visit, each showcasing different species and habitats.

One of the highlights of London Zoo is the Land of the Lions exhibit. This immersive exhibit gives you the chance to explore the Indian city of Sasan Gir, home to the Asiatic lions. You can observe these majestic creatures up close and learn about their conservation efforts in the wild. Make sure to catch the daily talks and feeding sessions to enhance your understanding of these incredible animals.

Another must-visit exhibit is the Gorilla Kingdom. Here, you can see the Western lowland gorillas in a naturalistic environment that mimics their native African rainforest habitats. Watch as the gorillas play, interact, and showcase their impressive strength alongside the expert commentary from zookeepers, who can provide you with fascinating insights into their behavior and conservation status.

If you are interested in reptiles, be sure to check out the Reptile House. This iconic building was made famous by the Harry Potter movies and is home to a wide variety of reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. From snakes and lizards to frogs and spiders, this exhibit offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these often misunderstood creatures.

For an unforgettable underwater experience, head over to the Penguin Beach exhibit. Watch as these adorable birds swim, dive, and play in a specially designed pool that mimics their natural Antarctic habitat. Don't miss the daily feeding sessions, where you can learn more about their diet, behavior, and the conservation efforts to protect them in the wild.

London Zoo also offers a range of interactive experiences and activities for visitors of all ages. From behind-the-scenes tours and animal encounters to keeper talks and feeding experiences, there are plenty of opportunities to get closer to the animals and learn more about their conservation.

To make the most of your visit to London Zoo, it is advisable to plan your day in advance. The zoo is a large and busy attraction, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Take a look at the zoo's website to see the daily schedule of talks, feeding sessions, and interactive experiences. This way, you can plan your visit around these activities and make sure you don't miss out on anything.

Lastly, don't forget to bring comfortable walking shoes, as there is a lot to explore within the zoo. It is also a good idea to bring a water bottle and some snacks, as there are plenty of picnic areas where you can take a break and refuel.

So, whether you are a wildlife enthusiast, a family with children, or just looking for a unique day out in London, London Zoo is the perfect place to explore and learn about the incredible diversity of the animal kingdom. Plan your visit, immerse yourself in the exhibits, and prepare to be amazed by the beauty and wonder of the natural world.

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London Zoo is a popular attraction in the heart of the city, offering visitors the chance to see a wide variety of animals up close and personal. If you're planning a visit to London Zoo, here are some tips to ensure you have a memorable experience.

  • Plan your visit in advance: Before heading to London Zoo, it's a good idea to plan your visit in advance. Check the zoo's website for opening hours, special events, and any temporary closures. Buy your tickets online to skip the queues and save time on the day of your visit.
  • Getting to the zoo: London Zoo is located in Regent's Park, which is easily accessible by public transport. The nearest underground station is Camden Town (Northern Line), which is a short walk away. You can also use bus routes 274 or C2, which stop right outside the zoo. If you prefer to drive, there is limited parking available nearby.
  • Arrive early: London Zoo can get crowded, especially during weekends and school holidays. To maximize your time and avoid long queues, try to arrive early in the morning, shortly after the zoo opens. This way, you'll have more time to explore and enjoy the exhibits without feeling rushed.
  • Grab a map: Upon entering the zoo, be sure to pick up a map at the information desk. The map will help you navigate your way around the zoo and ensure you don't miss any of the exhibits or attractions. It's also a good idea to check the schedule of daily talks and feeding times, so you can plan your visit accordingly.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: London Zoo is quite large, so be prepared to do a fair amount of walking. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as you'll be on your feet for most of the day. Also, dress appropriately for the weather, as some areas of the zoo are outdoors.
  • Bring snacks and water: While there are plenty of cafes and food stalls within the zoo, it's a good idea to bring some snacks and water with you. This will not only save you money but also ensure you stay hydrated and have some energy-boosting treats throughout the day.
  • Take your time: London Zoo is home to over 750 species of animals, so there's a lot to see. Take your time to explore each exhibit, read the informative signs, and observe the animals. This way, you'll have a more enriching experience and learn more about the incredible diversity of the animal kingdom.
  • Participate in interactive experiences: London Zoo offers various interactive experiences, such as animal encounters and feeding sessions. Check the zoo's website for any special events or experiences that might be available during your visit. These experiences allow you to get even closer to the animals and create unforgettable memories.
  • Take advantage of photography opportunities: London Zoo provides many great photo opportunities, so don't forget to bring your camera or smartphone. Capture the beauty of the animals and the joy on your family's faces as you explore the zoo. Just remember to be respectful of the animals and follow any photography guidelines set by the zoo.
  • Support conservation efforts: London Zoo plays a vital role in conservation and research efforts to protect endangered species. Consider making a donation or becoming a member of the zoo to support these important initiatives. It's a great way to give back and help ensure the survival of these incredible animals for future generations to enjoy.

By following these tips, you can have a memorable visit to London Zoo and make the most of your time exploring the fascinating world of animals. Enjoy your trip!

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Frequently asked questions.

London Zoo is easily accessible by public transportation. You can take the Tube and get off at Camden Town station, which is a short walk away from the zoo. Alternatively, you can take a bus to Regent's Park and walk to the zoo from there.

No, there is no parking available at London Zoo. It is recommended to use public transportation or a taxi to get to the zoo. If you choose to drive, there are paid parking spaces available in the surrounding areas, but availability can be limited.

Yes, there are often discounts and special offers available for visiting London Zoo. It is recommended to check the official website or other ticket providers for any current promotions or discounts. Additionally, discounted admission may be available for students, seniors, and families.

Michaela Krajanova

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  • Arjun Yadav Author Editor Reviewer

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Money blog: 'Loud budgeting' - The money-saving trend that has nothing to do with giving up your daily coffee

Created accidentally by a comedian, "loud budgeting" is breaking down the taboo of speaking about money. Read this and the rest of our Weekend Money features, and leave a comment, and we'll be back with rolling personal finance and consumer news on Monday.

Saturday 11 May 2024 08:46, UK

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Ask a question or make a comment

By Jess Sharp , Money team 

Money saving trends are constantly popping up on social media - but one in particular has been gaining huge amounts of attention.

Created accidentally by a comedian, loud budgeting is breaking down the taboo of speaking about money.

The idea is based on being firmer/more vocal about your financial boundaries in social situations and setting out what you are happy to spend your money on, instead of "Keeping up with the Joneses". 

On TikTok alone, videos published under the hashtag #loudbudgeting have garnered more than 30 million views - and that figure is continuing to climb. 

We spoke to Lukas Battle - the 26-year-old who unintentionally created the trend as part of a comedy sketch. 

Based in New York, he came up with the term in a skit about the "quiet luxury" hype, which had spread online in 2023 inspired by shows like Succession. 

The term was used for humble bragging about your wealth with expensive items that were subtle in their design - for example, Gwyneth Paltrow's  £3,900 moss green wool coat from The Row, which she wore during her ski resort trial...

"I was never a big fan of the quiet luxury trend, so I just kind of switched the words and wrote 'loud budgeting is in'. I'm tired of spending money and I don't want to pretend to be rich," Lukas said. 

"That's how it started and then the TikTok comments were just obsessed with that original idea." 

This was the first time he mentioned it...

Lukas explained that it wasn't about "being poor" but about not being afraid of sharing your financial limits and "what's profitable for you personally". 

"It's not 'skip a coffee a day and you'll become a millionaire'."

While talking money has been seen as rude or taboo, he said it's something his generation is more comfortable doing. 

"I've seen more debate around the topic and I think people are really intrigued and attracted by the idea," he said. 

"It's just focusing your spending and time on things you enjoy and cutting out the things you might feel pressured to spend your money on."  

He has incorporated loud budgeting into his own life, telling his friends "it's free to go outside" and opting for cheaper dinner alternatives.

"Having the terminology and knowing it's a trend helps people understand it and there's no awkward conversation around it," he said. 

The trend has been a big hit with so-called American "finfluencers", or "financial influencers", but people in the UK have started practising it as well. 

Mia Westrap has taken up loud budgeting by embarking on a no-buy year and sharing her finances with her 11.3k TikTok followers. 

Earning roughly £2,100 a month, she spends around £1,200 on essentials, like rent, petrol and car insurance, but limits what else she can purchase. 

Clothes, fizzy drinks, beauty treatments, makeup, dinners out and train tickets are just some things on her "red list". 

The 26-year-old PHD student first came across the idea back in 2017, but decided to take up the challenge this year after realising she was living "pay check to pay check". 

She said her "biggest fear" in the beginning was that her friends wouldn't understand what she was doing, but she found loud budgeting helped. 

"I'm still trying my best to just go along with what everyone wants to do but I just won't spend money while we do it and my friends don't mind that, we don't make a big deal out of it," she said. 

So far, she has been able to save £1,700, and she said talking openly about her money has been "really helpful". 

"There's no way I could have got this far if I wasn't baring my soul to the internet about the money I have spent. It has been a really motivating factor."

Financial expert John Webb said loud budgeting has the ability to help many "feel empowered" and create a "more realistic" relationship with money.

"This is helping to normalise having open and honest conversations about finances," the consumer affair manager at Experien said. 

"It can also reduce the anxiety some might have by keeping their financial worries to themselves." 

However, he warned it's important to be cautious and to take the reality of life into consideration. 

"It could cause troubles within friendship groups if they're not on the same page as you or have different financial goals," he said.

"This challenge isn't meant to stop you from having fun, but it is designed to help people become more conscious and intentional when it comes to money, and reduce the stigma around talking about it." 

Rightmove's keyword tool shows Victorian-era houses are the most commonly searched period properties, with people drawn to their ornate designs and features.

Georgian and Edwardian-style are second and third respectively, followed by Tudor properties. Regency ranked in fifth place.

Rightmove property expert Tim Bannister said: "Home hunters continue to be captivated by the character and charm of properties that we see in period dramas.

"Victorian homes remain particularly popular, characterised by their historic charm, solid construction, and spacious interiors. You'll often find Victorian houses in some of the most desirable locations which include convenient access to schools and transport links."

Throughout the week Money blog readers have shared their thoughts on the stories we've been covering, with the most correspondence coming in on...

  • A hotly contested debate on the best brand of tea
  • Downsizing homes
  • The cost of Michelin-starred food

Job interview mistakes

On Wednesday we reported on a new £12m ad from PG Tips in response to it falling behind rivals such as Twinings, Yorkshire Tea and Tetley....

We had lots of comments like this...

How on earth was the PG Tips advert so expensive? I prefer Tetley tea, PG Tips is never strong enough flavour for me. Shellyleppard
The reason for the sales drop with PG Tips could be because they increased the price and reduced the quantity of bags from 240 to 180 - it's obvious. Royston

And then this question which we've tried to answer below...

Why have PG Tips changed from Pyramid shape tea bags, to a square? Sam

Last year PG Tips said it was changing to a square bag that left more room for leaves to infuse, as the bags wouldn't fold over themselves.

We reported on data showing how downsizing could save you money for retirement - more than £400,000, in some regions, by swapping four beds for two.

Some of our readers shared their experiences...

We are downsizing and moving South so it's costing us £100k extra for a smaller place, all money from retirement fund. AlanNorth
Interesting read about downsizing for retirement. We recently did this to have the means to retire early at 52. However, we bought a house in the south of France for the price of a flat in our town in West Sussex. Now living the dream! OliSarah

How much should we pay for food?

Executive chef at London's two-Michelin-starred Ikoyi, Jeremy Chan, raised eyebrows when he suggested to the Money blog that Britons don't pay enough for restaurant food.

Ikoyi, the 35th best restaurant in the world, charges £320 for its tasting menu. 

"I don't think people pay enough money for food, I think we charge too little, [but] we want to always be accessible to as many people as possible, we're always trying our best to do that," he said, in a piece about his restaurant's tie up with Uber Eats... 

We had this in... 

Are they serious? That is two weeks' worth of food shopping for me, if the rich can afford this "tasting menu" then they need to be taxed even more by the government, it's just crazy! Steve T
If the rate of pay is proportionate to the vastly overpriced costs of the double Michelin star menu, I would gladly peel quail eggs for four-hour stints over continuing to be abused as a UK supply teacher. AndrewWard
Does this two-star Michelin star chef live in the real world? Who gives a toss if he stands and peels his quails eggs for four hours, and he can get the best turbot from the fishmonger fresh on a daily basis? It doesn't justify the outrageous price he is charging for his tasting menu. Topaztraveller
Chefs do make me laugh, a steak is just a steak, they don't make the meat! They just cook it like the rest of us, but we eat out because we can't be bothered cooking! StevieGrah

Finally, many of you reacted to this feature on common mistakes in job interviews...

Those 10 biggest mistakes people make in interviews is the dumbest thing I've ever read. They expect all that and they'll be offering a £25k a year job. Why wouldn't I want to know about benefits and basic sick pay? And also a limp handshake? How's that relevant to how you work? Jre90

Others brought their own tips...

Whenever I go for an interview I stick to three points: 1. Be yourself 2. Own the interview 3. Wear the clothes that match the job you are applying Kevin James Blakey

From Sunday, eligible working parents of children from nine-months-old in England will be able to register for access to up to 15 free hours of government-funded childcare per week.

This will then be granted from September. 

Check if you're eligible  here  - or read on for our explainer on free childcare across the UK.

Three and four year olds

In England, all parents of children aged three and four in England can claim 15 hours of free childcare per week, for 1,140 hours (38 weeks) a year, at an approved provider.

This is a universal offer open to all.

It can be extended to 30 hours where both parents (or the sole parent) are in work, earn the weekly minimum equivalent of 16 hours at the national minimum or living wage, and have an income of less than £100,000 per year.

Two year olds

Previously, only parents in receipt of certain benefits were eligible for 15 hours of free childcare.

But, as of last month, this was extended to working parents.

This is not a universal offer, however.

A working parent must earn more than £8,670 but less than £100,000 per year. For couples, the rule applies to both parents.

Nine months old

In September, this same 15-hour offer will be extended to working parents of children aged from nine months. From 12 May, those whose children will be at least nine months old on 31 August can apply to received the 15 hours of care from September.

From September 2025

The final change to the childcare offer in England will be rolled out in September 2025, when eligible working parents of all children under the age of five will be able to claim 30 hours of free childcare a week.

In some areas of Wales, the Flying Start early years programme offers 12.5 hours of free childcare for 39 weeks, for eligible children aged two to three. The scheme is based on your postcode area, though it is currently being expanded.

All three and four-year-olds are entitled to free early education of 10 hours per week in approved settings during term time under the Welsh government's childcare offer.

Some children of this age are entitled to up to 30 hours per week of free early education and childcare over 48 weeks of the year. The hours can be split - but at least 10 need to be used on early education.

To qualify for this, each parent must earn less than £100,000 per year, be employed and earn at least the equivalent of working 16 hours a week at the national minimum wage, or be enrolled on an undergraduate, postgraduate or further education course that is at least 10 weeks in length.

All three and four-year-olds living in Scotland are entitled to at least 1,140 hours per year of free childcare, with no work or earnings requirements for parents. 

This is usually taken as 30 hours per week over term time (38 weeks), though each provider will have their own approach.

Some households can claim free childcare for two-year-olds. To be eligible you have to be claiming certain benefits such as Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit, or have a child that is in the care of their local council or living with you under a guardianship order or kinship care order.

Northern Ireland

There is no scheme for free childcare in Northern Ireland. Some other limited support is available.

Working parents can access support from UK-wide schemes such as tax credits, Universal Credit, childcare vouchers and tax-free childcare.

Aside from this, all parents of children aged three or four can apply for at least 12.5 hours a week of funded pre-school education during term time. But over 90% of three-year-olds have a funded pre-school place - and of course this is different to childcare.

What other help could I be eligible for?

Tax-free childcare  - Working parents in the UK can claim up to £500 every three months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of their children to help with childcare costs. 

If the child is disabled, the amount goes up to £1,000 every three months (up to £4,000 a year).

To claim the benefit, parents will need to open a tax-free childcare account online. For every 80p paid into the account, the government will top it up by 20p.

The scheme is available until the September after the child turns 11.

Universal credit  - Working families on universal credit can claim back up to 85% of their monthly childcare costs, as long as the care is paid for upfront. The most you can claim per month is £951 for one child or £1,630 for two or more children.

Tax credits -  People claiming working tax credit can get up to 70% of what they pay for childcare if their costs are no more than £175 per week for one child or £300 per work for multiple children.

Two big economic moments dominated the news agenda in Money this week - interest rates and GDP.

As expected, the Bank of England held the base rate at 5.25% on Wednesday - but a shift in language was instructive about what may happen next.

Bank governor Andrew Bailey opened the door to a summer cut to 5%, telling reporters that an easing of rates at the next Monetary Policy Committee meeting on 20 June was neither ruled out nor a fait accompli.

More surprisingly, he suggested that rate cuts, when they start, could go deeper "than currently priced into market rates".

He refused to be drawn on what that path might look like - but markets had thought rates could bottom out at 4.5% or 4.75% this year, and potentially 3.5% or 4% next.

"To make sure that inflation stays around the 2% target - that inflation will neither be too high nor too low - it's likely that we will need to cut Bank rate over the coming quarters and make monetary policy somewhat less restrictive over the forecast period," Mr Bailey said.

You can read economics editor Ed Conway's analysis of the Bank's decision here ...

On Friday we discovered the UK is no longer in recession.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.6% between January and March, the Office for National Statistics said.

This followed two consecutive quarters of the economy shrinking.

The data was more positive than anticipated.

"Britain is not just out of recession," wrote Conway. "It is out of recession with a bang."

The UK has seen its fastest growth since the tailend of the pandemic - and Conway picked out three other reasons for optimism.

1/ An economic growth rate of 0.6% is near enough to what economists used to call "trend growth". It's the kind of number that signifies the economy growing at more or less "normal" rates.

2/ 0.6% means the UK is, alongside Canada, the fastest-growing economy in the G7 (we've yet to hear from Japan, but economists expect its economy to contract in the first quarter).

3/ Third, it's not just gross domestic product that's up. So too is gross domestic product per head - the number you get when you divide our national income by every person in the country. After seven years without any growth, GDP per head rose by 0.4% in the first quarter.

GDP per head is a more accurate yardstick for the "feelgood factor", said Conway - perhaps meaning people will finally start to feel better off.

For more on where Friday's figures leaves us, listen to an Ian King Business Podcast special...

The Money blog is your place for consumer news, economic analysis and everything you need to know about the cost of living - bookmark .

It runs with live updates every weekday - while on Saturdays we scale back and offer you a selection of weekend reads.

Check them out this morning and we'll be back on Monday with rolling news and features.

The Money team is Emily Mee, Bhvishya Patel, Jess Sharp, Katie Williams, Brad Young and Ollie Cooper, with sub-editing by Isobel Souster. The blog is edited by Jimmy Rice.

If you've missed any of the features we've been running in Money this year, or want to check back on something you've previously seen in the blog, this archive of our most popular articles may help...

Loaves of bread have been recalled from shelves in Japan after they were found to contain the remains of a rat.

Production of the bread in Tokyo has been halted after parts of a "small animal" were found by at least two people.

Pasco Shikishima Corp, which produces the bread, said 104,000 packages have been recalled as it apologised and promised compensation.

A company representative told Sky News's US partner network, NBC News, that a "small black rat" was found in the bread. No customers were reported to have fallen ill as a result of ingesting the contaminated bread.

"We deeply apologise for the serious inconvenience and trouble this has caused to our customers, suppliers, and other concerned parties," the spokesman said.

Pasco added in a separate statement that "we will do our utmost to strengthen our quality controls so that this will never happen again. We ask for your understanding and your co-operation."

Japanese media reports said at least two people who bought the bread in the Gunma prefecture, north-west of Tokyo, complained to the company about finding a rodent in the bread.

Record levels of shoplifting appear to be declining as fewer shopkeepers reported thefts last year, new figures show. 

A survey by the Office for National Statistics shows 26% of retailers experienced customer theft in 2023, down from a record high of 28% in 2022.

This comes despite a number of reports suggesting shoplifting is becoming more frequent. 

A  separate ONS finding , which used police crime data, showed reports of shoplifting were at their highest level in 20 years in 2023, with law enforcements logging 430,000 instances of the crime.

Let's get you up to speed on the biggest business news of the past 24 hours. 

A privately owned used-car platform is circling Cazoo Group, its stricken US-listed rival, which is on the brink of administration.

Sky News has learnt that is a leading contender to acquire Cazoo's marketplace operation, which would include its brand and intellectual property assets.

The process to auction the used-car platform's constituent parts comes after it spent tens of millions of pounds on sponsorship deals in football, snooker and darts in a rapid attempt to gain market share.

The owner of British Airways has reported a sharp rise in profits amid soaring demand for trips and a fall in the cost of fuel.

International Airlines Group said its operating profit for the first three months of the year was €68m (£58.5m) - above expectations and up from €9m (£7.7m) during the same period in 2023.

The company, which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, said earnings had soared thanks to strong demand, particularly over the Easter holidays.

The prospect of a strike across Tata Steel's UK operations has gained further traction after a key union secured support for industrial action.

Community, which has more than 3,000 members, said 85% voted in favour of fighting the India-owned company's plans for up to 2,800 job losses, the majority of them at the country's biggest steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales.

Tata confirmed last month it was to press ahead with the closure of the blast furnaces at the plant, replacing them with electric arc furnaces to reduce emissions and costs.

In doing so, the company rejected an alternative plan put forward by the Community, GMB and Unite unions that, they said, would raise productivity and protect jobs across the supply chain.

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    Special offers on London attraction tickets and London theatre shows. Spring Theatre Sale. Oyster cards and travelcards: Save on travel in London. London Transport Museum: Kids go free. Off-peak Fridays in London. Book exclusive offers on top attractions and tours until 31 May.

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  14. London Attraction Combo Tickets

    Multi-attraction Ticket Terms & Conditions. Tickets are valid for one use only. For the London Dungeon, guests 15 years or younger must be accompanied by a guardian 18 years or older, and children under 5 are not permitted to enter the London Dungeon. All tickets are subject to availability, non-chargeable, non-refundable, and not for re-sale.

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    The View from The Shard. Opening times: Wed-Fri, Sun: 11:00-19:00, Sat: 10:00-22:00. Admission price: £32. Time needed: 1 hour. Nearest tube or station: London Bridge train & tube station. Tickets: Book here. The Shard is one of the most iconic buildings in London, and a visit to the top is an unforgettable experience.

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    Enjoy entry to 90+ top London attractions. Save big on gate prices with The London Pass® ... Save more with our credits packages than buying individual tickets - we guarantee it! Bucket-list experiences Enjoy world-famous sights and hidden hotspots, all handpicked by our local experts. ...

  18. London Attractions Combination Tickets & Prices

    London Attraction Combo Offers. Save with our wide range of London attraction deal packages. With so many fantastic things to see and do in London, visiting multiple city sights has never been easier! Take a look at the variety of London Eye combo tickets, London Dungeon packages, Madame Tussaud offers, Open Top Bus packages and much more we ...

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    Visiting Tower Bridge is one of the best things to do in London. As one of the city's defining landmarks, it's a must-see! While you can cross the bridge for free, you'll need a Tower Bridge ticket if you want to access the 43-metre tall glass walkways, where you can take in panoramic views of the city. You'll also see the original Victorian steam engines used to raise the bridge along with ...

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    There are various attractions that you usually have no problem getting tickets to on the day, but if you do it at least one day in advance you'll get discounts. 8. Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral and the London Eye. These include the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral and the London Eye.

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