Things to do in London
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Things to do in London

With its diverse array of neighbourhoods, enchanting museums and vibrant food and shopping districts, it’s fair to say there really is no other city quite like London. Here’s our ultimate guide to things to do in London for those in need of a bit of inspiration.

Top 11 London City Hacks - Tips for Travellers

Ever wondered where to catch the best London views or find the coolest vintage markets? Watch our London city hacks video to discover our top 11 tips for travellers who are looking to save money, find unique attractions and free things to do in London, and navigate the city with ease.

Top London Landmarks

  • Buckingham Palace

  • The Houses of Parliament

  • St Pauls Cathedral

  • Tower Bridge

Best free things to do in London

  • The British Museum

  • The Natural History Mueseum

  • The Museum of London

  • The National Maritime Museum

Insider Tips

Our travel blogging friends have kindly given us their top London travelling tips. Check them out to discover what to do in London, including free things to do in London as well as some of their favourite attractions.

Transport

  • By air

    The city is served by several major airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted as well as City Airport in London’s historic Docklands. All offer hundreds of daily flights to and from destinations around the world as well as quick transfers to the city via express train (£20-30), tube (£6 - Heathrow only), DLR (£6 – City Airport only) and coach (£15-25).

  • By tube

    London’s Underground or the tube as it’s more commonly known is the quickest and easiest way to get around town. The vast network of trains covers the entire city and the surrounding boroughs with services running from around 5am to just after midnight every day.

  • By bus

    Buses are a great way to get around London and see some of the fabulous sights along the way. They are convenient, cheap and run regularly and a single fare will only cost you £1.50. You can’t pay for your ticket with cash though and will need an Oyster Card, a Travelcard or a contactless payment debit or credit card to get on board.

  • By bicycle

    Cycling is a great way to get around London and keeps you fit too. The city’s bicycle hire scheme is available all year round and has more than 750 docking stations and 11,000 bikes in circulation. It costs £2 to get access to a bike for 24 hours and the first half hour of each journey is free.

Weather

There’s nothing Londoners like better than discussing the weather but contrary to popular belief, London isn’t always rainy and cloudy. When the sun is out London is hot and inviting with both tourists and Londoners alike heading to Hyde Park or Greenwich Park for a bit of impromptu sunbathing. In wintertime, London can become a magical place even the cold can’t touch, with twinkling fairy lights, inviting coffee shops and Hyde Park’s renowned Winter Wonderland running during the colder months.

Tipping in London

Although it is customary to leave 10-15% of the bill when eating out in London, restaurants will often add on a service charge of around 12.5%. Be sure to look out for this when you're checking the bill so you avoid tipping twice!

Popular Neighbourhoods

  • Soho

    Soho is a melting pot of culture, clubs, watering holes and restaurants. You’ll find an eclectic mix of tourists, media professionals and older Londoners filling up the bars and, with Chinatown and Old Compton Street at its heart, you’re sure to find fantastic Asian cuisine and some truly unique nightlife.

    YHA London Central

    YHA London Oxford St

  • Camden

    Camden is the antithesis of genteel Kensington or the transformed Docklands. It breathes old London and fosters a vibrancy which is incredibly unique. Well-known for its creative atmosphere and strong music scene, Camden also boasts one of London’s most popular open air markets and a plethora of live music venues.

    YHA London St Pancras

  • Shoreditch

    Shoreditch is so achingly cool it almost hurts. Located in the historic East End, the neighbourhood has undergone a huge transformation from rundown industrial dinosaur to a creative hub for music and art. Interactive art galleries jostle for space with converted warehouses and fashionable, urban cafes against a gritty graffiti-covered backdrop.

    YHA London St Pauls

    YHA London Thameside

  • Chelsea

    If shopping is on your agenda then head to Chelsea, one of London’s most well-heeled neighbourhoods boasting a wealth of shops to suit all tastes. The Kings Road has everything from cowboy boots and home wares to fashion and food. Nearby Sloane Square is home to pricier, designer shops whilst the Chelsea Physic Garden offers the chance for peaceful repose.

    YHA London Earls Court

Explore Outdoors

  • White Water Rafting in Lee Valley

  • Explore Hyde Park on two wheels

  • Exotic wildlife at Kew Gardens

  • Discover London's Little Venice

  • Chill out in London's Royal Parks

    If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, be sure to take a stroll or a cycle in one of London's 8 beautiful royal parks. From the jaw dropping skyline views at Greenwich Park to the omate flower beds of Kensington Gardens, there's plenty to see and do in London's famous green spaces.

Weird & wonderful things to do in London

  • Find a farm in the city

  • Climb a London Landmark

  • Changing of the guard

  • Debates at speaker's corner

Best budget accommodation in London

We have the best budget accommodation in London near the best attractions, landmarks and locations. YHA has 6 superb hostels in the city centre, including accommodation in Oxford Street, Earls Court, St. Pauls and St Pancras, so there's a fantastic selection of cheap hostels to choose from if you’re looking to stay central.

Book a stay at one of our amazing London hostels.

London POV Video

Ever wondered where to catch the best London views or find the coolest vintage markets? Watch our London city hacks video to discover our top 12 tips for travellers who are looking to save money, find unique attactions and navigate the city with ease.

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