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10 Best Things to Do in London, UK

10 Best Things to Do in London, UK

Searching for the best and most fun things to do in London, UK?

I visited London for the first time a few months ago, and I absolutely fell in love with the city.

It kind of felt like a larger Toronto or NYC, but a lot cleaner and less hectic, which is wild because the population is higher than either of those cities!

We’re already so excited to go back to London, and I’ve got plenty of spots I can’t wait to try next time we visit.

Here are some of the best things to do in London, UK!

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Best things to do in London, UK

Buckingham Palace in London, UK

See the Changing of The King’s Guard at Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is a royal residence in London, as well as the administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom.

We happened to arrive just before the Changing of The King’s Guard, which was really lucky!

It takes place in front of Buckingham Palace three times a week at 11 AM, and lasts for about 45 minutes.

Definitely arrive early for the best views – it gets super packed super quickly.

Changing of The King's Guard at Buckingham Palace in London, UK

If you’re not a fan of crowds, it gets extremely packed, so you might just want to visit when the changing of the guard isn’t happening.

LOCATION: London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom

Tower Bridge in London, UK

Walk across the Tower Bridge

Visiting Tower Bridge may seem super touristy, but it’s actually a sight worth seeing in person.

You can grab tickets to go up the towers and walk along the glass floors, but we had fun just walking across the bridge and seeing it from different angles on either side.

If you’re looking, you’ll even get to see the bridge going up for boats to pass (which we did get to see!)

The bridge was built in the late 19th century, and it’s definitely the most impressive bridge in London.

LOCATION: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP, United Kingdom

London Eye in London, UK

See panoramic views on the London Eye

The London Eye is another super touristy activity in London, but it’s actually a fun experience!

You get to see panoramic views of London at different heights, and the ride actually lasts quite awhile.

The London Eye is actually Europe’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, as well as the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK!

London Eye in London, UK

The only con is that you will have to share your pod with others groups, but it’s big enough that everyone can enjoy the views.

Just don’t hog the best photo spots so everyone can have their turn getting all their shots!

LOCATION: Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom

Wander around The National Gallery

Situated in bustling Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery, a stunning art museum in London.

The museum was established in the early 1800s, but Trafalgar Square wasn’t the original location – it was moved here about a decade after!

You’ll find a collection of more than 2,300 paintings spanning from the mid-13th century to to the 20th century.

It was so lovely strolling around the gallery, especially because it was free!

Other amazing museums we loved in London were the The Wallace Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Natural History Museum – all of which were also free to visit!

LOCATION: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, United Kingdom

Leadenhall Market in London, UK

Explore Leadenhall Market

This gorgeous Victorian-era covered market is one of the oldest markets in London, dating back to the 14th century.

Once a market for meat and fish, you’ll now find more modern boutiques, shops, and restaurants.

The Victorian details, cobblestone walkways, and glass roof make for stunning photos!

Leadenhall Market in London, UK

A fun fact for Harry Potter fans: Leadenhall Market was featured in the very first movie!

You’ll find Leadenhall Market in the historic centre of London’s financial district.

While you’re in the area, you’ve also gotta check out The Royal Exchange, St Dunstan in the East Church Garden, and St. Helen’s Place.

The Royal Exchange was founded in the 16th century as a centre of commerce for the City of London, and you’ll now find the historic building filled with restaurants and boutiques.

St Dunstan in the East Church Garden is a green urban oasis is located in the ruins of a Wren church.

It’s the perfect serene escape from the hustle and bustle of London’s busy streets!

St. Helen’s Place is simply an aesthetically-pleasing apartment building that makes for the perfect photo backdrop!

LOCATION: Gracechurch St, London EC3V 1LT, United Kingdom

Sky Garden in London, UK

Enjoy rooftop views from Sky Garden

Sky Garden is the highest public garden in London, and it’s definitely the best out of all the free rooftop views in the city.

It’s completely free to visit, but you do need to book tickets ahead of time, and they book up very quickly.

Sky Garden in London, UK

You’ll still have to line up in a queue when you arrive, but the line goes by fairly quickly!

The gardens are gorgeous, and you can budget about an hour to spend here for walking around and taking photos.

You can enjoy stunning views from inside the building, or walk out onto the terrace to see gorgeous views of London’s skyline.

Since we visited in October, it was super windy out on the terrace!

You can also dine at their rooftop restaurant or enjoy a cocktail at the bar – perfect for a romantic date night.

If you’re looking for other free rooftop viewpoints in London, you can check out The Garden at 120 or The Post Building.

LOCATION: 1, Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF, United Kingdom

Queen Mary's Rose Gardens at The Regent's Park in London, UK

Stroll through The Regent’s Park

Regent’s Park is one of the Royal Parks of London, and it’s a gorgeous park to take a stroll through.

One of my favourite parts was Queen Mary’s Rose Gardens, which had all kinds of different coloured roses!

The Regent's Park in London, UK

This stunning garden was created in the 1930s, and you’ll find 12,000 rose bushes on landscaped grounds.

Since we visited in October, most of the blooms had already faded away, but there were still plenty to see.

And if you’re a bird lover, over 120 species of birds can be seen at The Regent’s Park each year!

It’s also home to London’s only breeding population of hedgehogs.

I’d highly recommend also walking over to the Primrose Hill viewpoint, where you can see picturesque views of London.

We sadly didn’t have time to make the stop, but it’s on my list for our next visit!

Pastel houses in Notting Hill in London, UK

Portobello Road Market

We visited a bunch of London’s most popular markets, and I have to say that Portobello Road Market was my favourite.

Located on Portobello Road, this bustling market is one of the most famous street markets in the world.

It’s also located in one of the UK’s most diverse communities, and you’ll find vendors offering everything from vintage goods, to street eats, to souvenirs.

The market is open from Monday through Saturday, but Saturday is the main day, so it’s the best time to visit!

I had one of the best iced lattes I’ve ever had at Hermanos Colombian Coffee Roasters, which has a location along Portobello Road.

Hermanos Colombian Coffee Roasters in London, UK
Iced latte from Hermanos Colombian Coffee Roasters.

We only had about an hour to spend at Portobello Road Market, and we were so sad that we didn’t allot more time for it.

The market dates back to the 19th century, so it’s been going on for a long time!

Pastel houses in Notting Hill in London, UK
Snap a photo with the colourful houses around Notting Hill.

While you’re here, you’ve also gotta explore the Notting Hill area and check out all the stunning, pastel-coloured houses.

LOCATION: London W11 1LJ, United Kingdom

Shopping on Carnaby Street, London, UK

Shop in Soho

Soho is situated in the centre of London, and it’s where you’ll find some of the best shopping.

Carnaby, Oxford, and Regent streets are the specific streets you’ll want to stroll along, and you can pop into anywhere that catches your eye!

We were most interested in checking out European brands that we don’t have here in Canada.

You can check out stores like Onitsuka Tiger (a Japanese shoe brand) or Gymshark (a British fitness apparel brand).

Explore everything Harry Potter

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll definitely want to check out all the filming sites and shops around London.

We actually binge-watched all the Harry Potter movies right before our trip, which really got us excited!

Goodwin’s Court is rumoured to be the inspiration behind Diagon Alley, and it’s a picturesque little alleyway.

Harry Potter shops

There are a bunch of Harry Potter-themed souvenir shops, but the official one is located at King’s Cross Station.

You can also snap a photo with the iconic cart at Platform 9¾, though the line is about an hour wait.

A pro-tip we heard from the security guard was to come right for opening at 8 AM if you want to avoid waiting in line!

You’ve also gotta check out House of MinaLima, a gallery and shop run by the graphic design studio who worked on the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films.

Wizards and Wonders is another cool Harry Potter-themed shop, and I especially loved seeing the Weasleys’ flying car!

Best things to do in London, UK:

  1. Buckingham Palace
  2. Tower Bridge
  3. London Eye
  4. The National Gallery
  5. Leadenhall Market
  6. Sky Garden
  7. The Regent’s Park
  8. Portobello Road Market
  9. Shopping in Soho
  10. Harry Potter sites and shops

These were some of the best things to do in London, UK!

Have you been to London before? What are your favourite things to do in London? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

More things to do in London

If you’re looking for more things to do in London, you might enjoy these posts:

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Jessica Lam | Toronto lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and travel blogger | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog

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