Hopefully you understood my T.Swift reference in that title, if not, ignore me haha! London has quickly become one of my favorite cities to visit and I love it so much! There are so many fun things to do and so much good food and alcohol to consume! Since living in Copenhagen, I have made it to London 5 or 6 times already and every time I find something new and exciting to try. I don’t think I could ever get bored there, it’s such a wonderful multicultural city! Below are some of the things I don’t think you should miss! I’ve broken it up between more unique things to do and the more traditional touristy stuff!
Unique Things to do:
My dad and I did this when I met him there on one of his business trips and it was so interesting! The Tower Bridge is probably my favorite landmark so I may be biased, but I think this was such a cool and different way to experience one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world! One of the best parts if you get to walk along the glass bottomed walkaway at the top of the bridge. Ticket prices vary but you can save some money if you book in advanced online!
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, this is a must! The WB Studios are about 20 miles outside of London, but very easily accessible by public transport (about 20 minutes on the tube and then a 15 minute shuttle bus ride). You do have to buy tickets in advance and it does fill up quickly, so if you want to go start looking as soon as you book your trip! I spent probably 6 hours there and, while I was exhausted at the end of it, it was incredible! Adult tickets are £47.00 but there are family packages available.
The Midnight Apothecary has been one of my favorite nights in London! It’s basically an underground space where they host different events – it’s in the historic Thames Tunnel! When I went, they were doing a Cabaret night but they host different events throughout the year and they always have an open fire pit with marshmallows to toast!
Ok so this one probably isn’t actually all that unique as London is famous for its many markets. But I haven’t been able to visit them all because I am in a love affair with Borough Market and cannot recommend it enough. I could spend all day every day here, I just love it. It has delicious food, great people watching, amazing drinks and fantastic shops. Seriously, it has it all! If you’re staying at an airbnb or have access to a kitchen, it’s a great idea to pick up your groceries here and cook up a delicious meal! They often have demonstrations going on featuring all food from the market if you need some inspiration! Exploring the market is free, food prices are fair!
I haven’t had a chance to do this because they were sold out for the days I was going to be there, but this looks like so much fun! You can watch a movie on the roof! They have 3 different locations and play a variety of movies throughout the warmer months.
Another thing I haven’t had a chance to do because the time I went my reservation ended up being rained out which was a bummer. But it looks like a super fun and neat thing to do! At the ArcelorMittal Orbit you can experience a 40 second descent down the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide, as well as experience breathtaking views of London! Prices vary but start at £16.75 to go to the observation deck and ride the slide! *There is a student discount!
More Traditional Things to do:
You’ll see these on most “What to do in London” post so if this is your first time to London or you’ve never done some of these things, they are still worth checking out!
The London Eye is a huge ferris wheel along the Thames River. It’s a fun thing to do as you can get great views of the city on a sunny day! The pods are completely enclosed so you won’t get too hot or cold depending on the season. Tickets start at £27.50
Enjoy an Afternoon Tea!
I love a good afternoon tea and it feels like a must do while in London! I’ve done two recently and, while completely different, would highly recommend both of them! For a more traditional afternoon tea, we went to The Pavilion at Kensington Palace. This was great because it’s situated in Hyde Park so you can explore the park and Kensington Palace before or after your tea! Prices start at £34.00 but for an extra £2.50 you can add a glass of Pimm’s (£36.50 total)! For a different take on afternoon tea, we tried the Mediterranean-themed Momo. I loved Momo – especially because the tea and food were unlimited! Their menu does change seasonally but we loved everything we had and it was really nice being able to try multiple different teas!
Another typical London experience, but still worth checking out at least once. Plus you can check off “see Buckingham Palace” at the same time – two birds, one stone 😉 Everyday at about 10:45am the processional starts to change the guards in front of Buckingham Palace. You need to arrive early in order to get a front row view, otherwise it can be hard to see. I suggest grabbing some breakfast and tea/coffee on your way and enjoy it while you wait! The whole thing lasts about 45 minutes.
One of the best parts about London? Most (if not all) of the museums around town are free – they just recommend a donation in place of an entrance price! You can check out historical human artifacts at the British Museum, the history of London at the Museum of London, some of the best European art at the National Gallery or take a walk back in time at the Natural History Museum – all for free! If you’re a museum buff, London is the place for you and you’ll have plenty to see!
London is home to its own version of New York’s Broadway in the West End! They often have a lot of the same famous musicals/plays that are on Broadway so it’s a fun way to re-see your favorite in a new setting or catch a new one!
Made famous by Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, Notting Hill is a fun and colorful neighborhood in NW London. Notting Hill has a special unique charm and is an instagrammer’s dream with rows of pastel houses and cute store fronts. Keira Knightley’s famous pink-doored house from Love Actually is also in Notting Hill! Fun places to stop at on your day in Notting Hill…Biscuiteers for some adorable biscuits (what Americans would call a cookie), the infamous Churchill Arms for some Thai food, or Doughnut Time for some delicious donuts.
Neal’s Yard is another fun and colorful little corner of London. It’s not very big, but it has some great stores and photo ops. If you’re hungry, I highly recommend grabbing some pizza at Homeslice – it’s delicious. There’s also Neal’s Yard Dairy where you can get delicious local cheeses and the Neal’s Yard Remedies for elevated skincare!
Where to Eat:
Again, Borough Market is my favorite and I absolutely love eating at all of the different stalls there!
No. 11 Pimlico Road is a fun, modern bar, cafe and restaurant. I’ve been a few times and have loved everything I’ve eaten, from breakfast to dinner.
Hands down one of my favorite meals in London, The Good Egg is a modern take on Middle Eastern food. Whipped feta, fluffy pita, Shakshuka…the list of deliciousness never ceases. There are two locations – SoHo/Kingly Court and Stoke Newington, both open all day!
London is famous for their curry and Dishoom tops the list. Their modern Bombay fare is so flavorful and delicious! They have several locations around town and are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Santa Maria has the best pizza! They have several pizza options (including vegan!) so there’s something to please everyone. Well priced and have dinner menus that include a drink, starter or dessert and a pizza! There are three locations – Fitzrovia, Chelsea and Ealing.
Farm Girl is a bright and airy cafe-restaurant blend that specializes in fresh, healthy and very delicious food! They have unique and beautiful lattes and have a whole bunch of brunch favorites. There are five locations – Notting Hill, Fitzrovia, Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Soho.
Corazon is a restaurant and bar in Soho that has delicious Mexican food and margaritas! I especially love their weekend brunch!
For a quicker, more low-key Mexican experience, head to DF Tacos. DF Tacos is a fusion between an American diner and Mexican specialties with lots of delicious options. There are two locations – Old Truman Brewery and Tottenham Court.
As stated above, Homeslice serves delicious pizzas. You can get a few of them by the slice and all of them in a whole 20″ pie. There are six locations – Neal’s Yard, Fitzrovia, Shoreditch, City, White City and Marylebone.
You’ve probably seen Peggy Porschen all over instagram – it’s a flowery, pink heaven with delicious sweets and tea! There are two locations – Chelsea and Belgravia.
Dominique Ansel is a fun bakery with unique sweets and an afternoon tea service. They also opened a cafe in Covent Garden that looks amazing! The bakery is located in Victoria/Belgravia.
Where to Drink:
Gordon’s is a popular wine bar in a vaulted cellar in Charing Cross. They also have a great outdoor area for the warmer months and is usually packed with people! There’s a great selection of reds, whites and rosés along with cheese boards and small snacks.
You’ve probably heard of BrewDog before and they have a few UK breweries as well! They have a lot of options so all beer (and non-beer) drinkers can find something! There are a lot of BrewDog bars around London to fit your schedule.
Howling Hops is a brewery and tank bar in northeast London. They make delicious beer and have a nice outdoor patio and a restaurant with modern Colombian street food.
Across the parking lot from Howling Hops is CRATE Brewery. Situated along the canal, it’s a great place to grab a beer in the sun. If you’re making a trip to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, Howling Hops and CRATE Brewery are close by!