10 best things you must do

Which are the ten best things to do in London? We’ve put together a list of what we think are the 10 best attractions that every tourist to London should try not to miss.

London: A Visitor’s Guide

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#1 – Changing of the Guard

No trip to London would be complete without seeing the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Check out Drummerboy’s review of the ceremony.

#2 – A trip on the London Eye

The London Eye is one of the largest observation wheels in the world, and offers visitors a 360 degree view of up to 25 miles. Opening times: Closed (middle two weeks of Jan); 10 AM to 8.30 PM (last week of Jan-Mar); 10 AM to 9.30 PM (first half of Apr); 10 AM to 9 PM (second half of Apr); 10 AM to 9 PM (Sun-Thu, May-Jun); 10 AM to 9.30 PM (Fri-Sat, May-Jun); 10 AM to 9.30 PM (Sat-Thu, Jul-Aug). Cost: Adults £23.00; Children £17.00 (4-15); Infants free (under-4); Family ticket £80.00. 

#3 – Whispering Gallery

A trip to St. Paul’s is a must, and so is a visit to the famous Whispering Gallery. The huge dome rises 259 steps above the mosaic floor and, due to a bizarre acoustic effect, everything said on one side can be equally understood on the other – 107-feet away! Opening times: 8.30 AM to 4.30 PM (Mon-Sat); Last entry 30 mins before closing; The cathedral is only open for worship on Sundays. Cost: Adults £18.00; Children £8.00 (6-17); Infants free (under-6); Family ticket £44.00. 

#4 – Houses of Parliament tour

You don’t have to wait for summer for Parliament to open its doors to the public… they also offer tours every Saturday. You’ll get to see many of the finest rooms, including the House of Commons and House of Lords.

#5 – Yeoman Warder tour

Next time you visit the Tower of London join one of the famous Yeoman Warder tours. The tours are always very informative and amusing, and will contain tales of intrigue, imprisonment, execution and torture. Opening times: 10 AM to 5.30 PM (Sun-Mon, Mar-Oct); 9 AM to 5.30 PM (Tue-Sat, Mar-Oct); 10 AM to 4.30 PM (Sun-Mon, Nov-Feb); 9 AM to 4.30 PM (Tue-Sat, Nov-Feb); Last entry 30 mins before closing. Cost: Adults £24.50; Children £11.00 (5-15); Infants free (under-5); Family ticket £60.70. 

#6 – Open-top sightseeing bus

A tour on an open-top bus is probably the first thing that any visitor to London should do. It will give you a good overview of the city, and introduce you to things that you never even thought about. Most of the bus tour companies operate in a hop-on, hop-off manner, so you can use them to travel around without having to pay extra for the bus fare.

The two most popular companies have both been reviewed by our own Drummerboy – the Original Bus Tour and Big Bus Company.

#7 – Buy something at Harrods

If you buy just one present in London, make sure it’s from Harrods – the world’s most luxurious department store. If you want something cheap then check out their sweet section… the posh pick-n-mix is like nothing you have ever seen! Just remember to pick up one of their famous green carrier bags… so you can prove to your mates back home that the sweets really were from Harrods. Opening times: 10 AM to 9 PM (Mon–Sat), noon to 6 PM (Sun).  

#8 – See a concert at The O2

The O2 (or ‘Millennium Dome’) is a world-class concert venue. The seats cling to the sides of the dome, sometimes rising so high that they give you vertigo! The incredible acoustics and unobstructed views make this one of London’s best nights out. You can find out which music concerts and comedy gigs are playing on our O2 events page.

#9 – Take a photo at Horse Guards

Getting your photo taken outside Horse Guards is a must. There are two horse boxes on the Whitehall side, and tourists like to stand there and try to make the soldiers laugh (you won’t succeed – they are famous for staying stoney-faced).

If you hang around until 4 PM then you can catch the Dismounting Ceremony. But there’s an even better parade that takes place in the parade ground – the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony.

#10 – Boat trip to Greenwich

The boat ride to Greenwich is one hour of pure bliss. Starting off at Westminster Pier, in the shadow of Big Ben, the one hour trip will take you past Cleopatra’s Needle, the Globe Theatre and St. Paul’s Cathedral, before sweeping under Tower Bridge and past the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. It will then drop you off at Greenwich, a short walk from the Cutty Sark and National Maritime Museum.

Look through our guide to what’s on in London for more ideas about things to do

 

Have you seen our London eBook?

850+ pages packed with reviews, tips, photos and street maps

Over 180 reviews of London’s most popular tourist attractions

Example itineraries – two weeks of ideas including seven days for kids

Insider tips – look inside St Paul’s, the Tower and Westminster Abbey for free

Bus and train fares – a beginner’s guide to London’s buses, taxis and trains

Available for eReaders like Kindle
download it from all good eBook stores

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