Travel Guide | London

Top 8 Things To Do In London

London is a massive, cosmopolitan, metropolis packed with endless culture, entertainment, and history.

Due to its abundance of worthwhile attractions, an average traveler visiting the city may easily feel overwhelmed. Especially if the allotted time frame in London is short, it can be difficult to decide which activities and attractions are necessary, and which ones can be skipped.

As a study abroad student living in London for 10 months, I’ve been able to grasp the overall feel of the city’s enticing atmosphere, and I’ve had the privilege of visiting a good majority of the tourist attractions. This article serves to highlight the absolute best aspects of the city and to emphasize the essential activities that a traveler should experience to absorb London’s culture. (50 Things College Students should know about London) Hopefully, this list will help ease some of the anxiety that accompanies trying to pick and choose what to see and do in a city as gigantic and exciting as London.

Top Things To Do In London:

1. Walk along South Bank: Taking a leisurely stroll down South Bank of the Thames allows one to pass by Shakespeare’s Globe, the Tate Modern Art Museum, the Southbank Book Market, and the National Theater. Also, there’s usually street performers and live music to entertain you as you admire the beautiful city views from across the river.

2. Visit a pub: This may be one of the easiest tasks to accomplish on this list, as traditional English pubs are scattered all over every street in the city. Spend a rainy afternoon watching a football game while indulging in a drink and some traditional pub food if you want to truly live like a local.

3. Explore Covent Garden: This busy area of central London contains winding side-streets with countless shops, restaurants, cafe, and boutiques that can captivate you for hours. The highlights of this area are the Seven Dials (A small roundabout with seven little exciting streets branching out) and the Covent Garden Center (A two-story roofed market full of restaurants and shops).20151112_184659

4. Visit a museum (or three): One of London’s amazing attributes is that all museums are free, so take your pick out of the numerous educational and entertaining museums and explore for a few hours. The variety of museums is extensive, so choose ones that interest you and enjoy learning about the history, art, and science of London.

5. Have an afternoon tea: Though booking afternoon tea at a restaurant or cafe can be on the expensive side, it’s absolutely worth it to splurge on some heartwarming tea, delicate scones and cakes, and adorable finger sandwiches. The simple act of taking a break from the business of the day to sit down and relax for a couple hours is such a refreshing and satisfying aspect of British culture that everyone should try it at least once.

6. Stroll through the Victoria Area: By the ‘Victoria Area’ I’m referring to the area near Victoria Street and Tube Station which contains many of London’s most famous tourist sights. This general area is home to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, St. James’ Park, and Buckingham Palace, all of which are just as stunning as they appear in photos. I definitely recommend hitting all these attractions, as the elegance and regal atmosphere of these sights should not be missed.

7. Visit a Street Market: In various locations around the city, there lies bustling street markets that allow one to shop, socialize, and enjoy amazing street food. Whether it be Borough Market, Camden Market, Portobello Market, or any of the other wonderful collections of goods around the city, these markets are perfect for browsing local products, engaging with local vendors, and sampling local cuisine.   More about London Markets.                                                                                          20150926_141706
20150927_1237488. Explore Brick Lane: While this historical street lies further off the beaten path, it is full of mind-blowing street art and unique little antique shops that offer endless surprises. You can also find amazing Indian curries in this area, which is a popular dish in London.



While obviously the city has so much more to offer than this short list, these are the eight necessities that a traveler should put at the top of their list when they venture to London. These attractions allow for an entertaining and educational experience in one of the world’s most complex and stunning cities, so I highly recommend these to any London newcomer.

Looking to take a day trip from London? follow our guide here.20151001_144522

Gabrielle Boucher

University of Tampa | 19 stories

After the most amazing study abroad experience in London, I've now graduated with a degree in International Studies and continue to travel during my post-grad life. My favorite travel memories include bartending in Peru, taking a cooking class in Thailand, swimming in waterfalls in Ecuador, wine tasting in Portugal, cliff jumping in Bermuda, and touring castles in Romania. I'm always on the hunt for new adventures, and always using writing as a tool to hopefully inspire others to explore the world.

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