Top 10 Things to Do in London

As one of the most iconic cities in the world, it can be overwhelming trying to explore beyond the red telephone booths and Big Ben. Here’s a list of my top things to do in London to explore the city more in depth!

Top 10 must do's in London

Ever felt the temptation to hop on the tourist bus (both figuratively and literally) when visiting a new place? It is easy to become overwhelmed by a large cities, particularly when the list of places you apparently have to visit  is never-ending.

I’m the first to admit that when I arrived in London, the magnitude of the place got the better of me. I quickly succumbed to the cliche touristy itinerary. Yet in between the double decker buses and endless cues, I quickly learnt that the best experiences I had were the ones I discovered myself (and by discover I don’t mean read off a guide book).

I hope this list of my top 10 must dos in London will inspire you to explore the city a little deeper.  Just wait and see what exciting discoveries you might make along the way!

Top Things to Do in London Not to Miss

Top 10 must do's in London
Top 10 must do's in London

1.  Climb to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral for AMAZING views

If you are going to visit any church in the UK, make sure it is St Paul’s. I know once you’ve visited an endless list of churches and cathedrals all throughout Europe, it’s easy to find the the same high ceilings and stained glass with “boring” or “repetitive”.

St Paul’s Cathedral really does stand out above the rest (and that’s coming from someone who’s seen a lot of cathedrals)! The sheer feat of architecture of the domed roof of this place is something that could be marveled at for hours.

It is one of those places where you’re strictly not allowed to take photos… Just another reason why you MUST go here, so you can witness its grandeur with your own eyes. Plus, there is a REAL bonus to the place. The view up the top that most people don’t know about. You may have to brave endless sets of stairs that wind around the cathedral, but I promise, the panoramic photo opportunity is totally worth it. With sweeping views over London, it is the perfect place to sit and watch the hustle and bustle of this forever-buzzing city.

Fast-track your entrance to St. Paul’s by booking this ticket

Top 10 must do's in London
Top 10 must do's in London

2. Buy and devour a macaroon (or five) from Fortnum and Mason

Possibly one of the most magically wonderful sweet shops in the world, London’s Fortnum and Mason will blow your mind. As you walk through an entrance on hedges pruned into teapots, you enter a magical world of all things sweet. Dripping with elegance, chandeliers hang from the ceilings and long glass jars encapsulate every candy under the sun. But the real winners are those colorful array of perfectly-shaped macaroons… They are heavenly. Don’t leave London without sampling one of these delights!

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travelling london (24)

3. Take a trip back to 1969 and visit Abbey Road

Okay, I’m sure this is probably on every list of things to do in London but I couldn’t resist! Skipping along the famous Zebra crossing singing “Here Comes The Sun” is something every Beatles fan just must do in London. Make sure you snap a picture, and don’t get run over by a car in the process. The local drivers are clearly pretty tired of the Paul McCartney impersonators causing a road block. Whilst you are in the area, head down the road to check out one of the most famous recording studios in the world!

To learn more about London’s rock ‘n’ roll history, try this tour

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4. Kick back in Green Park

Slightly smaller and less populated than Hyde Park, Green Park is the ultimate place to sit and watch the world go by. If you are like me and find people-watching rather thrilling, find yourself a nice piece of grass, a park bench or even a deck chair (if you go at the right time of year) and kick back. If you are lucky, with Buckingham Palace located right opposite, you’ll see one of the off-duty guards strolling through the park. Hey, you might even get a glance of Queen Lizzy!

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 5. Visit and watch a show at Shakespeare’s Globe

It may not be the original structure, but Shakespeare’s Globe is a fabulous reconstruction of the original Elizabethan playhouse, which was burnt down in a fire not once, but twice. Opened in 1997, the authenticity of the space is commendable… It even still operates as a working theater! You can go and spectate the Shakespeare’s classics all year around… And if you are lucky, they could be played out by some rather famous actors!

Even the seating system hasn’t changed- all you poor uni students can stand on the grounds just like the peasants, whilst the slightly classier civilians can pay their way to luxurious tiered seating.

For a tour of the Globe, check here

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6. Discover your own little piece of London history

In this historically-rich hub of a city, it is a really rewarding experience to discover your own personal connection to somewhere or something. Whether this is the tombstone of a person in history you admired or simply a coffee shop featured in your favorite book.

Discovering a little significant nuance in this massive city makes the place feel, well, a little smaller. For me, this was going to Westminster Abbey and finding the plaque from my grandpa of many generations ago. He was the King’s musician, and he wrote the music to “Auld Lang Syne.” Getting to see this plaque in real life was a really special experience. It may pay to do a little bit of research in to your own family history and see if you have more ties to London then you thought! 

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travelling london (26)

7. Go buy dirt cheap tickets to a West End show

When in London, you simply can’t go pass seeing one of the magnificent West End shows. There is no shortage of shows and musicals to pick from, so there is certainly something out there for everyone to enjoy! The best news is you don’t have to spend and arm and a leg to get hold off tickets.

To get tickets:

  • buy them in advance online
  • look for a stall around London selling cheap tickets (they are everywhere!)
  • go to the theatre an hour or two before the show and go on the standby list…

You can buy tickets for less than price of a pub dinner and a pint of beer! When I was in London we found 20 pound tickets to see Wicked at the Apollo Theatre. We may have had back row seats but it was still a dream come true!

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travelling london (19)

8. Hang out for the day at Hampstead Heath

This little pocket of town is one of the best places you can hang out on a lazy day. With 320 acres of grassy parkland to wander through, there is no better way to escape the city. Take a picnic to the park and watch the world go by. Or sit in one of the many surrounding garden pubs for a pint and a bite to eat.

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9. Find the Tardis from Doctor Who

An absolute must for ‘Doctor Who’ fans, hop off the train at Earl’s Court to find the original Tardis in all it’s shining glory! Let me know if you find a way in and become a time lord…

To see more ‘Doctor Who’ sites, check this walking tour

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10. Create your own list!

In such a diverse, buzzing city, we could go on and on about things you must do when you visit London. But honesty, walk around this city for a few days and you will have created your own endless list of things that just must be done in this fabulous metropolis.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoy exploring London as much as I did. If you have your own list of things to do in London to add… Share them below in the comments!

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Best things to do in London
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HEY THERE, I'M NICOLA!

I am on a mission to discover the BEST destinations & dishes from around the world. In fact, I’ve visited 54 countries and cooked 196 cuisines in this very pursuit. Whether it’s hopping on a plane or into the kitchen, come join the adventure!

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