Are you looking for the ultimate London bucket list? Whether you’re a London native or a visitor to the area, this London bucket list has all of the best things to do in the United Kingdom’s capital city.
London is filled with an astounding array of things to do. You can dive into history at the British Museum, dine on foods from various cultures, pretend to be a wizard from Harry Potter, and catch a live showing of The Lion King on West End. Regardless of where your interests lie, this London bucket list has something that you’ll enjoy.
London Bucket List: 50 Things to Do in London, England
Take a Bunch of Pictures with the Iconic Big Ben
This shining bell tower was built in 1859 and is the most well-known landmark in the United Kingdom. Be sure to add listening to Big Ben chime to your London Bucket List!
Stare at the Houses of Parliament
Attached to Big Ben, this golden building is where the members of the United Kingdom’s governing body make decisions. If you would like, you can take a tour of the interior of the Houses of Parliament as well.
Pay a Visit to Westminster Abbey
While everyone wants to get a glimpse of Big Ben, very few people venture into Westminster Abbey, which is tucked away right behind the famous bell tower. This Gothic church has hosted dozens of royal weddings and coronations.
Pretend to be Rich and Famous while Shopping at Harrod’s
Situated in Chelsea, Harrod’s is the world’s largest department store. With 90,000 square feet, you can find just about anything your heart desires at Harrod’s.
Learn About the History Behind the Tower of London
Built in 1078, the Tower of London has had quite the varied past. This historic building has served as everything from a royal residence to a prison.
Book Here: Tower of London Ticket
Explore Everything that the Tower Bridge Has to Offer
The Tower Bridge is one of the most recognizable sights in the entire city, which means it’s particularly worthy of being on this London bucket list. While most visitors simply drive across the bridge or admire it from afar, you can actually go inside the iconic towers of this aptly named bridge.
Transport Yourself to Italy with a Visit to London’s Little Venice District
You don’t have to cross the content of Europe to feel like you’ve visited the one-of-a-kind city of Venice. Filled with small boats and winding canals, this hidden gem of London will mentally transport you to Italy.
Check Going for a Ride on a Red Double Decker Bus off your London Bucket List
They’re everywhere, so they shouldn’t be too hard to find. If in doubt, you can take the red double decker hop-on hop off bus instead. While not traditional, you’ll still get a similar experience while being taken around all of London’s best sites.
Book Here: London Hop-On Hop-Off Sight Seeing Tour
Spend a Day at Hyde Park
One of the best things to do in London is spend a day at Hyde Park. While there, you can go for a boat ride, watch the many swans and ducks, walk along the Serpentine River, or even catch a concert at this natural oasis in the city.
Then, Pop on Over to Kensington Gardens
As the counterpart to Hyde Park, these two London bucket list items are often done in tandem. At Kensington Gardens, visit the palace where Princess Diana lived and pay your respects to this beloved member of the royal family.
Take in the Best View of the City from the London Eye
If you’re afraid of heights, considering leaving the London Eye off of your list of things to do in London. This famed Ferris Wheel sits on the shores of the Thames River and rises up to 443 feet (135 meters) high!
Book Here: London Eye Ticket
Take a Boat Tour Along the Thames River
The Thames River winds its way all throughout the city of London. While taking a boat ride, you’ll catch glimpses of some of London’s most recognizable sites.
Book Here: Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise
Try Some Fish and Chips
Fish and chips is arguably the most famous British food. This fried, golden brown fish paired with a side of salty fries is definitely delicious. Some of the best places to get fish and chips in London include The Golden Chippy, Fish House, and The Fryer’s Delight.
Take a Peek at the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum
This singular archeological find helped linguists and historians translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Besides the Rosetta Stone, there are tons of amazing historical artifacts to see in the British Museum. You could easily spend hours roaming its halls! If you like, you can even take a guided tour.
Book Here: British Museum Tour
Watch the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace
In this elaborate 45-minute ceremony, you’ll be able to observe traditionally dressed guards either begin their shifts or end their shifts. To make sure you understand all of the significance and catch the best view of the ceremony, consider taking a guided tour.
Book Here: Changing of the Guard Walking Tour
Peruse the Artwork at Tate Modern
As one of the largest and most famous contemporary art museums in the world, the Tate Modern welcomes nearly six million visitors every year.
Shop at Borough Market
Arguably the best farmer’s market in London, this expansive market has foods from dozens of cultures, both fresh and prepared. In other words, you can find just about any tasty treat you would like.
Trek to the Top of the Dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral
Built in 1697, this Anglican church is one of the largest church buildings in the entire world. In the 300 years since, a lot of significance and history have been etched into the walls. Consider taking a guided tour to learn more!
Book Here: St. Paul’s Cathedral Entry Ticket
Take a Tour of the Royal Residence Known as Kensington Palace
Originally built in 1605, Kensington Palace has housed several members of England’s royal family. It is most well-known as the home of Princess Diana until she passed away in 1997.
Cross the London Bridge
And recite the popular children’s song in your head while you do so.
Bring Your Kids to the SEALIFE London Aquarium
With dozens of aquarium zones and hundreds of sea creatures, the SEALIFE London Aquarium is one of the most kid-friendly things to add to your London bucket list.
Book Here: SEALIFE London Entrance Ticket
Watch a Shakespeare Play at the Globe
Once upon a time, the original building known as the Globe was built by William Shakespeare’s theater company. While the original Globe burned to the ground, you can visit a reconstruction of the building and see some of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, including Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, come to life on stage.
Book Here: Shakespeare’s Globe Theater Guided Tour
Peruse All the Trinkets and Treats Camden Market
Actually a series of different markets all in the Camden area, the Camden Market has everything you could every wish for – from international cuisines to handmade furniture to souvenirs to commemorate your London bucket list trip.
Watch a Live Show in West End
Similar to Broadway in New York City, London’s West end has tons of live theater shows. Spend your nights watching talented actors put on incredible performances, including Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Misérables.
For more affordable tickets, head to TKTS in Leicester Square. While there, you can get discounted tickets for shows performing later that day.
Embrace Your Inner Artist at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Founded in 1852, the Victoria and Albert Museum is home to over two million pieces! This completely free museum has exhibits about sculpture, glass, fashion, print, and even theater.
Become a Mad Scientist at the Science Museum
While there, you can learn about driverless cars, the magic of medicine, and the exploration of space.
Finish Up Your Exploration of Exhibition Road at the Natural History Museum
Exhibition Road is a stretch of street in South Kensington lined with free museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, and the Natural History Museum. Finish up your day at the museums at the Natural History Museum. There, you can stare into the eyes of dinosaur skeletons and learn about some of the amazing creatures of today’s world.
Pop by a Christmas Market
If you’re in town for the holidays, be sure to stop by one of the many magical Christmas markets in town. The Leicester Square Christmas Market, Southbank Centre Winter Market, and Greenwich Christmas market are all worthy of being on everyone’s London bucket list.
Visit Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is pretty much the London equivalent of Times Square. Filled with bright lights and flashing billboards, Piccadilly Circus may be one of the liveliest spots in the entire city.
Pose with the Lion Statues at Trafalgar Square
Established in the early 1800s, this square was established to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar, one of the most decisive battles of the Napoleonic Wars.
Wander through Thousands of Breathtaking Art Pieces at the National Gallery
Along with Tate Modern, the National Gallery is one of the largest art collections in the city. Founded in 1824, the National Gallery hosts the works of many artistic greats, including Paul Cezanne, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, and Johannes Vermeer.
Find Platform Nine and Three Quarters
And pretend to be a wizard from Harry Potter when you get there.
*Hint: It’s at King’s Cross Station.
Dine on Delicious Chinese Food in Chinatown
Café TPT, Joy Luck Restaurant, and Jen Café are a few of the most noteworthy eateries in the area.
Or Devour Some Indian Food Instead
London is known for having the best Indian food outside of India. As a matter of fact, there are so many Indian eateries in London, that it can get a bit overwhelming. Luckily for you, Kutir, Trishna, and the Cinnamon Club are commonly accepted as some of the best.
Head to Wembley Stadium
While there, catch a football game (or soccer game, for the Americans) at Wembley Stadium. Or, if there aren’t any games while you’re in town, you can always take a guided tour of the esteemed stadium.
Book Here: Wembley Stadium Guided Tour
Go Behind the Scenes of Harry Potter
Learn about the magic of creating Harry Potter during a Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Go behind the scenes of the set, walk through Hogwarts’s Great Hall, ride on a broomstick, and try some non-alcoholic butterbeer.
Book Here: Harry Potter Tour at Warner Bros. Studio
Catch a Stunning Sunset from The Shard
This sharp glass building stands out amongst the rest of the London skyscrapers. You can head all the way to the top and admire stunning views of the entire bustling city.
Book Here: The Shard Entrance Ticket
Take Some Photos at Primrose Hill
The pastel homes are definitely Insta-worthy.
Stop and Smell the Flowers at the Columbia Road Flower Market
The Columbia Road Flower Market is packed with dozens of vendors selling the brightest of flowers. Maybe even purchase a bouquet for someone special.
Celebrate Carnival at Notting Hill
Embrace the fun, festive atmosphere definitely isn’t something that you want to miss out on.
Don a Pair of Proper Gloves for Traditional Afternoon Tea
After all, any trip to London wouldn’t be complete without this traditional event. The Athenaeum, Fortnum & Mason, Claridge’s, and The Landmark London are all perfect for this London bucket list activity.
Pay a Visit to London’s Highest Garden
There are hundreds of plants found at Sky Garden, London’s highest garden. With floor-to-ceiling glass windows, not only will the plants get plenty of sunlight, but you’ll also be able to admire an amazing view of the city.
Find Antique Treasures at the Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market is one of the oldest markets in London, and it also happens to sell some of the oldest items. If you’re into antiquing, this is the place for you! If you’re not into antiquing, this market was also the setting of the movie Notting Hill, which stars Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
Learn to Use the Tube as Your Main Form of Transportation
The Tube is an underground transportation system that connects all of London. While it might be a little overwhelming at first, grab an Oyster card (the card you need to use the tube) and download the app with the map. Then, you’ll be all set!
Shop Until You Drop at Carnaby Street
Carnaby Street is one of the most well-known shopping districts in the city. As a matter of fact, it has grown from one street to fourteen! Find all of your favorite shops and tons of adorable little boutiques on Carnaby Street.
Start Your Day with a Full English Breakfast
A full English breakfast consists of toast, beans, mushrooms, potatoes, bacon, over-easy eggs, and of course black pudding. Caravan, The Breakfast Club, and E Pellicci all serve up some of the best English breakfast in the city.
Observe a Game of Professional Tennis at Wimbledon
Tennis stars like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Serena Williams have all played and won at this renowned competition.
Admire the Animals at the London Zoo
There are hundreds of animals at the London Zoo, including llamas, otters, camels, and lemurs. And if you’re really an animal lover, take part in the London Zoo’s special programs, such as meeting the penguins, taking care of the giraffes, and even sleeping with the lions.
Take a Day Trip Out of London
There are many wonderful spots to visit just outside of the side, including Stonehenge, Bath, The Cotswolds, and Windsor Castle. My personal favorite is the adorable bucket-list worthy town of Brighton.
Book Here: London to the Cotswolds Day Trip
Book Here: London to Stonehenge Half-Day Tour
Pretend to be an Olympian at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Built for the London 2012 Olympics, this elaborate building holds the pool where greats like Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin won many of their hard-earned medals.
What else do you think should be on this London bucket list? Let me know in the comments!
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