Get the Finder app 🥳

Track your credit score

Free

Things to do in London 2020

With iconic tourist attractions, theatres, festivals, markets and history, how will you fill your days in the vibrant city of London?

Updated

We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder.

London is a dynamic, sprawling metropolis that refuses to stay still. It doesn’t matter whether you arrive in the heat of the European summer or the dead of January, there’s always a festival running, gig to attend, event to entertain you or tourist attraction to experience.

Standard attractions range from public museums and historical walks to panoramic viewpoints and close encounters with the royals.

Do yourself a favour and make sure you tick these off your London bucket list.


Top things to do in London

Buckingham-Palace-Viator-300

Tour Buckingham Palace

No trip to London would be complete without visiting the Queen herself… or at least her palace. While you’re there, wave like the Queen, poke fun at her guards (don’t actually poke them...) in their black fuzzy hats, witness the changing of the guards and tour her state rooms and art collections.


RidetheLondonEye

Ride the London Eye

It’s cheesy, it’s touristy and it has incredible views. It’s something you should definitely have on your list.

Hot tip: to avoid the crowds book your spot online before you arrive or arrive first thing in the morning. Weekends and evenings are generally the most crowded times to ride.


SeeBigBen

See Big Ben and Westminster Abbey

Catching a glimpse of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey is pretty easy to do when you’re spinning around on the London Eye.

If you passed on the Eye, you can see Big Ben easily from the banks of the River Thames. Westminster Abbey is also available to tour at a price.


VisitTheTower

Visit the Tower of London and Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is a beautiful construction of sandy brick and baby blue trimmings. You can walk across it to the Tower of London, which houses the crown jewels and other historical artefacts.

Book your ticket to the Tower of London to avoid the queues during peak times.


shutterstock_360029975-300

Ride a double-decker bus

No explanation necessary when it comes to riding a double-decker bus. This is a necessity and is super easy to achieve with the help of an Oyster transport card.

Alternatively, you can hop onto a vintage London bus tour or a Big Bus to enjoy added commentary on your surroundings.

Other necessities when in London include a trip in a black cab and photo in a red phone booth.


TaketheUltimateHarryPotterTour

Take the ultimate Harry Potter tour

Fans of the series can spend days exploring Harry Potter’s London. Walking and bus tours of the city are popular, as is a trip to Warner Bros. Studio, where the films were made.


The-Mouse-Trap---Viator-300

Watch a play in the West End

The best shows performed by A-list actors reside in the West End. Book early if you want to ensure you get tickets, or be spontaneous and buy on the day for cheaper seats that are still for sale.


TakeawalkinthePark

Take a walk in a park

London is 47% green space so it isn’t hard to find a park or reserve to enjoy. Famous city parks include St James’s Park, Hyde Park, Green Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.


GototheMarkets

Go to the markets

London is well-known for its fabulous markets. The Borough is famous for produce, Portobello for antiques, Camden for designer wears from emerging artists and Spitalfields Markets is a mix of food and antiques.

While larger markets, such as Camden and The Borough, are open daily, many are open purely on the weekends. Check before you arrive to avoid disappointment.

Image: Camden Markets


ShopOxfordSt

Shop on Oxford Street

While Oxford Street is undoubtedly the most renowned shopping hub in London, other hot contenders for finding high-end brands are the nearby Regent and Bond Streets. There are also Westfield centres in Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford City.


MuseumHop

Museum hop

London has a wealth of museums that are not only exceptional, but are free to enter with the option to donate.

Some of the best include British Museum, National Art Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and Science Museum.


VisitaCastle

Visit a castle

The UK is filled with them and from London, it’s not that hard to get to some of the more popular ones such as Windsor, Warwick and Leeds.


DayTriptoOxford

Take a day trip to Oxford or Cambridge

These university towns are known the world over for their academic achievements and historical architecture. Beyond that, they are great towns to explore.

Both are accessible by train from London or by organised tour.


DayTriptoStoneHedge

Day trip to Stonehenge

The mysterious neolithic monument of Stonehenge can be accessed from London.

During the summer and winter solstices, druids and revellers gather around the stones to celebrate the season’s change.

Otherwise, the monument is available to tour most days of the year.


shutterstock_1375599-300

See a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Located on the River Thames, tours operate daily at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and both modern and Shakespearean plays are performed at the venue.


TryToTakeBeatlesPhoto

Try to take that Beatles photo

Warning: You’ll need a clear road and a milk crate to get it right.

Alternatively, Beatles fans can tour Abbey Road Studios, visit The Beatles Story museum in their hometown of Liverpool or take a Beatles walking tour of the city.


Free things to do in London

  • Visit Platform 9 Âľ at Kings Cross Station
  • Take in breathtaking views of London at Sky Garden
  • Explore art, history and culture at the British Museum
  • Experience the street art that fills the streets of Shoreditch
  • Take a walk through Chinatown, located in the heart of Soho

Things to do in London with kids

  • Visit the much-loved and world's largest Lego store in Leicester Square
  • Meet farmyard animals, monkey and meerkats at Battersea Park Children's Zoo
  • Explore the colours of the rainbow at the world's largest confectionery store, M&M's World
  • See one of Roald Dahl's most iconic stories come to life with a trip to the theatre to see Matilda the Musical
  • Experience the wizarding world at the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Watford, a short distance north of London

Unusual things to do in London

  • Visit the Grant Museum of Zoology
  • Hop on board a London Ghost Bus Tour
  • Release your inner child at Pollock's Toy Museum
  • Visit God's Own Junkyard, a psychedelic neon haven
  • Step back in time by doing a tour of the London Dungeon

Things to do in London in winter

  • Appreciate the magic of winter in London at Kew Gardens
  • Watch the annual switching on of the Oxford Street Christmas lights
  • Celebrate all things Christmas at London's Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park
  • Enjoy seasonal drinks and showcase your ice skating skills at Canary Wharf Ice Rink
  • Count down the remaining seconds of the year in the surrounds of Victoria Embankment and South Bank for New Years Eve

Cool things to do in London

  • Take a stroll along the canals at Little Venice
  • Take a class at Gorilla Circus Flying Trapeze School
  • Visit one of the many speakeasy bars around the city
  • Sit back and indulge with a high tea at Sketch London
  • Test out your skills on the slopes at London's largest indoor ski centre, Chel-Ski

Best events to attend during the year

Guy Fawkes Night: A night of bonfires and fireworks commemorates the fact that Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators failed in their infamous Gunpowder Plot to assassinate King James I in 1605. 5 November

Glastonbury: The Woodstock of the UK, Glastonbury is one of the largest arts and music festivals in the world. You can book a Tipi or take your own tent and enjoy the indie-cool vibe. The line-up is A-list spectacular and many of the festival’s headline acts are UK-born and bred. 26–30 June October 2020

Wimbledon: Marked by its distinct all-white clothes policy, Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam world tennis events, and a must for any fan. If you line up early enough on a game day within the first week of the tournament, you have the opportunity to snatch up free tickets. 1 –14 July 2020


London deals

London Pass London Pass

Fast-track entry at London attractions

Get fast-tracked entry to select attractions like Tower of London, Tower Bridge Exhibition, London Zoo and London Bridge Experience with your pass. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Klook Klook

Up to 60% off activities, experiences and things to do

Valid on select dates including holidays like Christmas, New Year's and more depending on the destination. Destinations include Hong Kong, Singapore, Osaka, Taipei, Dubai, Sydney, Melbourne, London, Paris, New York and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

London Pass London Pass

Up to 13% off London attractions

Subscribe to London Pass newsletter and receive up to 13% off. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

isango! isango!

Up to 15% off city tours

Available on select travel dates. Destinations include London, Venice, Lisbon and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

London Pass London Pass

Up to 20% off passes

Available on 3, 6 and 10-day passes. Passes are valid for 2 years. Attractions include Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Windsor Castle and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Interrail Interrail

Up to 20% off Europe walking tours

Available on select travel dates for Interrail Pass holders. Destinations include Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Paris, London and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Big Bus Tours Big Bus Tours

Up to 10% off London bus tours

Available on select dates. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

isango! isango!

Up to 20% off top attractions

Available on select dates in 2020 and 2021 in Sydney, Los Angeles, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris, London, Athens and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Big Bus Tours Big Bus Tours

Up to 10% off Big Bus tours

Valid on select tours in Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Darwin, Dubai, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Miami, Muscat, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, San Francisco, Sydney, Vienna and Washington DC. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Trip.com Trip.com

Up to 5% off tours and attractions tickets worldwide

Available in select cities in China, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, South Korea, Macao, Dubai, Paris, Taipei and London.

Last verified

London Explorer Pass London Explorer Pass

Up to 40% off London attractions

Available for travel on select dates. Includes hop-on and hop-off tour bus, sightseeing and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

London Explorer Pass London Explorer Pass

Extra 5% off all-inclusive passes

Sign up and save an extra 5% on London Explorer passes. Discount will be sent through e-mail upon signing up.

Last verified

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site