It´s so many things to do in London today. Don´t miss out our advice #51
LONDON: It´s new times in historic city. This is a new and updated Guide made for those of you visiting London. 50 things to do in London tested and delivered by eyewitness. Always updated and highly authentic. Our Advice #51 is also something to think about.
The glorious castles of London
Admire artworks and follow in royal footsteps. A guided tour will introduce you to the buildings, contents and history. But it is more than one tour, it is several tours to decide on inside London´s most iconic attractions. A guide will share stories and facts about the times gone by.
#1 Windsor Castle, Berkshire
Windsor Castle has long historic ties back to the 11th century. It has since been the residence of 39 British monarchs, including today’s head of state Queen Elizabeth II. St George’s Chapel, grand reception room, Waterloo Chamber and Queen Mary’s Doll House are all open for public viewing. State apartments and semi-state rooms are open subject to use.
You can also watch the Changing of the Guard take place at 11am on select days. Another ceremonial event whereby the Queen’s guard march through the streets of Windsor and into the castle grounds to switch duty. Catch view of the immaculate crimson jackets and bearskin headpieces marching to the beat of a military band.
#2 Buckingham Palace
Unlike many of London´s most famous buildings, Buckingham Palace is not a museum. Some 500 people work here, included The Queen. This is a Palace with 775 rooms and more than 20,000 works of art.
Buckingham Palace is open to the public between July and October. With a ticket you have admission to the State Room, the Royal Mews and The Queen´s Gallery. To see the Changing of the Guard is for free at 11.30 every morning during summer and every second morning during winter.
#3 Hampton Court by the Thames
It´s a great pleasure to arrive at Hampton Court by boat. Take the boat service from Kingston or Richmond or the shuttle boat from Hampton Court station. Set in 60 acres of gardens, Hampton Court has been home to kings and queens for more than 500 years. The Palace was built to entertain and impress royal visitors.
This is the palace to discover the colorful life of King Henry VIII. Understand how the king housed a string of wives and political power. The Kitchens at Hampton Court occupy over fifty rooms.
#4 Spencer House last surviving
This is a gorgeous aristocratic mansion and the last surviving 18th century townhouse in central London. Owned by the brother of Princess Diana. The House has been restored as far as possible to its original late eighteenth-century appearance.
You’ll find the beautiful Spencer House in the heart of St James’s, Piccadilly. Owned by the Earl Spencer, its current titleholder is Charles Spencer – ninth Earl Spencer and brother of Diana, Princess of Wales. Address: 27 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NR.
#5 Tower of London
The Crown Jewels are on display at the Tower of London. They are real and very costly. Based on their calculations, the crown costs a respectable $4,519,709, estimated in 2020. But the Jewels are not for sale.
They represent far more than gold and precious stones. They stand for hundreds of years of English history and have been used by English kings and queens since at least 1660. The Crown Jewels are probably the most influential symbols of 800 years or so of English monarchy.
#6 London areas
Central London is made up of 14 areas plus two outlying districts of Hampstead in the north and Greenwich south of London. Five areas are packed with most famous sights: Whitehall and Westminster, The City, Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia, Soho and Trafalgar Square, and South Kensington and Knightsbridge.
#7 Whitehall & Westminster
This is the centre of political and religious power in England for last 1000 years. King Canute was the first monarch to build a palace, later enlarged into England`s greatest abbey. A minster is an abbey church. Whitehall is the offices of state. Star sights: Westminster Abbey, House of Parliament, Banqueting House, Cabinet War Rooms and Horse Guards.
#8 Soho and Trafalgar Square
Soho is renowned for pleasure and has its reputation for entertainment, and also famous as a Chinatown. This is where to find sex shops, burlesque shows and gay and lesbian bars. Other interesting London areas include Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus and Mayfair. Soho remains a red-light district and prostitution still takes place. The name “Soho” appears in the 17th century, possibly from a former hunting cry.
Trafalgar Square buzzes day and night with restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and as a popular meeting place. A Square famous for being the home of the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, alongside Lord Nelson. The Admiral is Britain´s most famous sea lord.
#9 Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia
Historically, Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia have been known for literature, art and learning. Bloomsbury also offers some bookshops. The name Fitzrovia was invented by writers such as Dylan Thomas who had his pints in the Fitzrovia Tavern.
Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia includes British Museum, Charles Dickens Museum and historic streets such Russel Square, St Pancras Station and Charlotte Street. British Museum is the oldest public museum in the world. Charlotte Street boasts a variety of eating places, dominated by the 189m Telecom Tower.
#10 The City of London
Its full name is the City of London, but is mostly referred to as the City. Known as the financial centre, the world´s banking marked and a place shaping the global capital. It´s about power and the world economy.
Historically, City of London is not part of London. But the City of London is situated within the city called London and is actually the original London. To make things clearer, you need to go back nearly 2,000 years in history, to when the Romans invaded Britain. Today it´s a mix banks with stately pillars in Victorian buildings and shiny new ones.
Visit historic buildings; Tower of London, Old Baily and Lsoyd´s of London. Museums: Bank of England Museum and Guildhall Art Gallery and Billingsgate and Leadenhall Market.
New homes 207/18: 7. Total population: 7,700. Active businesses: 32,990. Passengers railway station 2017: 414m
Getting there: City is served by DLR and the Circle, Central, District , Northern and Metropolitan Lines.
#11 South Kensington and Knightsbridge
These two areas have a unique combination of the tranquil and the grandiose. With embassies, consulates and the royal residence of Kensington Place, the buildings have remained fairly unchanged. At the same time, among London´s most expensive areas.
Knightsbridge serve the wealthy residents with prestigious shops. Star sights in South Kensington are Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Royal Albert Hall.
#12 Free attractions in London
London for free is a real offer. From The British Museum as one of many top attractions to cost-free concerts. There is plenty of free places to visit in London.
Visit and explore the history at the Museum of London or hold a genuine bar of gold at the Bank of England Museum. Or simply be inspired by some objects on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
#13 Notting Hill Carnival
Look forward for last weekend of August 2021 and the Notting Hill Carnival. When the streets of west London are packed with people, lots of music and Caribbean colors. Carnival was first held in 1966, celebrating Caribbean culture and traditions in London.
Watch or join floats and colorful and costumed performers in the carnival parade. And you are welcome to dance to the sound of steel bands and calypso music. There will be tempting food stalls along the route. Best tips for the Notting Hill Carnival; Ditch the high heels!
#14 Grant Museum of Zoology
This natural history museum in Bloomsbury is home to 68,000 weird and wonderful animals. Enjoy a free exhibition inspired by the specimens on display, new work by artists and university researchers. Founded in 1828 as a teaching collection, the museum is packed full of skeletons, mounted animals and specimens preserved in fluid
Address: Rockefeller Building, 21 University St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6DE
#15 Royal Academy of Arts
A gallery renowned for hosting some of London´s finest temporary and touring exhibitions. The annual Summer Exhibition, running since the institution first opened, displays select work from up and coming artists and by academicians.
RA has a position as an independent, privately funded institution led by artists and architects.
Address: Burlington House, London W1J 0BD. Tube: Piccadilly Circus/Green Park
#16 Changing the Guard
This ceremony takes place between Buckingham Palace, St James´s Palace and Willington Barracks. The Queen’s Guard are soldiers and they actually work in shifts of two hours.
Advice; The crowds at Buckingham Palace are big.
Try the area at St James & Wellington barracks, they were very small and all on the tour had front row views. The Ceremony happens 11 Monday -Saturday and at 10 on Sundays.
#17 Free museums
London´s museums are filled with an astonishing diversity of treasures from all over the world. Some of these collections started from the legacies of explorers, traders and collectors. Some specialized in one aspect of art, history, science or technology.
Many of London´s museums are for free. All of the big ones are completely free, and vast majority of best museums and galleries are free – at least for the permanent exhibitions.
#18 Victoria & Albert Museum
The free Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington, known simply as the V&A, showing amazing outfits, glittering jewellery, intricate mosaics and ancient sculptures. The collection is constantly changing.
The Fashion collection is the largest and most comprehensive collection of dress in the world. Key items in the collection include rare gowns, mantura dresses, eveningwear and post-war couture. V&A is the world´s largest museum of decorative arts.
#19 Tate Britain
Formerly the Tate Gallery, this museum showcases an outstanding collection of British art covering the 16th century to the present. The permanent collection displays occupy three quarters of the main floor. Each room explores an historical theme or devoted to a major artist.
#20 Kings Cross
Museums, galleries, music, fun with the kids, fitness clubs or a stroll in the park. Young or old, fast or slow, there’s plenty to amuse at King’s Cross. This place is dominated by the impressive St Pancras railway station, one of the most impressive station’s in the world. Eurostar service to Europe, big names in London´s foodie scene, and Google and Art University are here to stay.
King´s Cross has amazing architecture, world-class museums, designer shopping and historic landmarks. They’re blessed with a range of accommodation options to suit every budget, restaurants for every taste, and bars and cafés that offer the chance to connect with local life.
#21 Hampstead and local fashion
If you want to discover a posh area of London, then head to Hampstead Heath. Explore the village, walk the park and meet mainly those living in the area dressed down in NW3-fashion. The park with hills, ponds and most importantly lot of space where you can swim, fish, walk, play sport and by all means enjoy a breath-taking view from the top of Parliament Hill.
Hampstead is the most expensive residential area in North London, located six kilometres from Trafalgar Square. Kenwood House is located in the north end of the park. Women in the area, especially among the celebrities, walk the streets with style that aims to dress down, just to show they are not rich and famous. This style goes by the name NW3-fashion named after the postcode.
Tube: Northern Line to Hampstead
#22 London nightlife
Find free music bars or sample a free comedy club night. London is famed for nightlife, the best clubs, comedy, theatre, there are plenty of fun things to do at night.
Start with afternoon tea at one fancy venue and splash out at one of London´s Michelin-starred restaurants. Finally, dance to the beat at top live music bars. Shoreditch is the hipster district, the techno vibe in Camden Town, and Soho more the fashionable district of London. There are plenty of fun things to do in London at night.
#23 Stand up London
Stand Up if you love the funny side of life. Most of London evenings are comedy evenings where young men and women dream of fame in pubs and clubs. Some funny guys admitted that starting out in comedy was the most difficult they have done. Actually, to be a stand-up joker is serious business.
A typical evening is based on a comic combination of a pint of beer and Stand-Up Comedy. For all of us not-so-funny, get out and listen to the brave men and women making sure we have a hilarious night out.
#24 The Jazz Café in Camden Town
This is one of London’s premiere live music venue showcases the best music from across the world seven nights a week. Since opening in 1990 The Jazz Cafe has welcomed some of the most respected artists through its doors, including Amy Winehouse, D’Angelo, Roy Ayers, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King and many, many more.
Located in the heart of Camden, the venue has one of the best reputations for shows, club nights, food and drinks. With an intimate capacity of just 450, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy a fantastic night, whether you’re right by the stage or watching over from the restaurant upstairs.
Bars and Pubs in London
#25 Glory at the Savoy
Take in the grandeur of the American Bar at the Savoy (fairmont.com), the oldest cocktail bar in England. It’s not about the clientele here, it’s about the history, drinks and service — and the barmen, the best in town. You can’t go wrong with a classic, so it’s sharp, tart white ladies all the way.
The American Bar is so many things – an admired institution of 130 years, the bar of legendary bartenders, the home of countless classics and the 2017 World’s Best Bar. The bar is as much a piano bar as it is a cocktail bar. The Electric Lover is a cocktail ode to Prince’s Purple Rain with purple glitter running through it. And there you have it: a truly classic bar with flashes of eccentricity.
#26 Megaro Cocktail, Kings Cross
This is a bar cellar – an Italian underground space with original blends and soft lighting making a sultry atmosphere. The Megaro Bar is part of King’s Cross’s latest trendification. With a photography theme, a “dark room” and negatives on the ceiling.
The deal: Cocktails like White Negroni and the Candy Negroni cost at around £10 and the tasty nibbles. They are created by the bar´s own staff. Including scallop ceviche (£7.50) and Bufala mozzarella and anchovies are a delight.
Address: King’s Cross, 23-27 Euston Rd, London NW1 2SD
#27 Pubs with Tales and Ales
They are historic pubs. Some tends to be the oldest or the best irish. Some are upgraded, other just keep on going. One thing for sure, they are old but still among the best pubs in London.
The Tipperary claims to be the first Irish pub outside Ireland and the first to sell Guinness in England. Any pub crawl should though include Auld Shillelagh. Read more about historic pubs
#28 The Bedford for talents
Yes, it is a small hotel, but The Bedford has always been a hot bed for up and coming talent. Once home to the likes of Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Eddie Izzard and Michael McIntyre. With Ballroom, Cocktail Bar and the iconic stage at the Club Room.
First built in 1931, The Bedford has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment to create an unrivalled pub, club, restaurant, live music and entertainment venue plus 15 stunning boutique bedrooms.
Address: 77 Bedford Hill, Balham, London SW12 9HD
#29 Gastropub in Fulham
The Harwood Arms is a slice of the countryside in residential Fulham. You’ll find plenty of game on the menu. Try venison scotch egg or game rissole with a pint of proper British ale or take a seat in the stylish blue-painted bar for a three-course meal of some of the best gastropub food in the capital.
Do not leave without trying the crispy garlic potatoes. Outstanding British modern food.
Address: Walham Grove, London SW6 1QP
#30 The Cat and Mutton
Old-school boozers all over London are being spruced up with chefs and cocktail menus. The Cat and Mutton was an old ale house turned Broadway Market hipster spot which was recently bought and revamped, using some of the original fittings. Come for cocktails and the finest pub grub such as fried chicken in East London. Sundays are all about the roasts and Bloody Mary.
Address: 76 Broadway Market
#31 Gordons wine bar is the oldest
For being commonly recognised as London’s oldest wine bar, established in 1890, Gordon’s offers a temptingly fresh and upbeat food menu. From international snack plates mixed up before your eyes to casual sandwich plates and an open-air barbeque, there is surely something for everyone.
Gordon’s Wine Bar close to Covent Garden is unique. The history etched into the walls of a house that once accommodated personages such as Rudyard Kipling is palpable. The quaint atmosphere, the yellowed newspaper cuttings on the walls and worn furniture make for a relaxed atmosphere that must be experienced.
Address: 47 Villiers St, Charing Cross, London WC2N 6NE
#32 All Night Long – in London
Sometimes the best evenings turn into mornings. But only if you know where to go. We asked some beautiful people where they head when darkness falls. Start in Soho — for dinner at Koya (koya.co.uk) at this sanuki udon restaurant.
Next, get a cab to Dalston for nightlife circus. Ruby´s (rubysdalston.com) is a cocktail bar. Finally, when night falls, the fun moves into the basement at Dalstron Superstore and dance acts keeping people moving into the early morning. Music changes from night to night. This is guide to Dalston Superstore. Address: 117 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB
#33 The Queens speech
Before the Queen delivers her speech in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster, an MP is delivered to Buckingham Palace and ‘held hostage’ to ensure the Queen’s safe return. There is more to come from the British World of bizarre Royal traditions. All members of the Royal family need passport to travel internationally – except The Queen.
Some quirky aspects are understandable traditions, other delightfully eccentric nods to centuries gone by. May be the reason why Meghan Markle, also known as Duchess of Sussex, left London and Royal Traditions.
#34 It´s Tea time in London
Nothing is more real or more British than Afternoon Tea. It´s tea-time every day and every afternoon, like a tea-related ritual. This small meal was introduced in the early 1840s and became a British tradition. An excellent way to spend the tiresome hours between lunch and cocktails.
In Central London you can get an affordable taster at Wolseley. Afternoon Cream Tea will set you back £12.75 per person. That includes freshly baked scones, complete with jam, clotted cream and a pot of tea. People who tried afternoon tea all over London rate the Wolseley´s one of the best.
#35 Free Speech at Speakers Corner
Every Sunday morning at the north-east corner of Hyde Park near Marble Arch; Anyone meet up and speak about anything. This public meeting grew out of a revolt in 1866 to complain about the lack of vote for working men. This is a true bastion of free public speech and most interesting theatrical activity on offer.
Nowadays, people from all walks of life talk about politics, politics and even more politics. And always something about staying proud British, fake news, food and arguments about anything and everything, in particular about religion.
#36 Hat on – It´s Horse race
England has so many traditions. Football is the favourite and they are passionate about rugby and cricket. And they have almost an own uniquely category; English horse races! Three events stands out; The Cheltenham Festival, The Grand National and the Royal Ascot.
Races are not just about horses, jockeys and the sport, it´s more like a festival with dress code and norms. Royal Ascot is something of a dress-up pageant, for instance, given the event’s surprisingly strict dress code, which extravagant examples of what we might call traditional horse racing fashion.
#37 Explore Churches of London
The Church Spires puncture the skyline and form an index to many of the events that have shaped the city. The most famous old church is the 13th-century Westminster Abbey. The church with its tombs of British monarchs and heroes and of Coronation.
St Martin-in-the-Fields is in a prominent position grandly overlooking Trafalgar Square. Less well known are the hidden Norman church of St Bartholomew-the-Great, London´s oldest church (1123), the Temple Church founded in 1160 and Souhwark Cathedral. Chelsea Old Church is a charming village church near the river.
#38 The One and Only; Horse Hospital
The Horse Hospital has been crouched in Bloomsbury on Colonnade´s chopped-off corner since the 18th century. There´s not another venue like it on the planet. It´s an art venue providing an encompassing umbrella for a broad range of artistic activity related media of art, film, fashion, literature and music.
Fashion stylists, designers and brands such as Burburry, Victoria Beckham, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Gucci and YSL has been involved – rediscovering and redefining clothes from the past to begin new styles and trends. The Horse Hospital is worth a visit.
Address: Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD. Tube: Russel Square
#39 Jermyn Street Theatre
This is one of London’s most intimate theater – where you as observer take seat only one meter or two from the actors on stage. The Jermyn Street Theatre story came to life in 1994 – close to Piccadilly in the heart of London´s West End. Over the last 25 years the theatre has established itself as one of London’s leading Off-West End studio theatres, with hit productions including “Barefoot in the Park”.
Jermyn Street Theatre impacts a far bigger stage that its tiny size. The theatre was created from the basement of an old Spaghetti House. A star-studded line-up of actors including Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter have stepped in to support.
Address: 16B Jermyn St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6ST
#40 Upstairs at the Gatehouse
Gatehouse is a pub and restaurant, and upstairs is Upstairs at the Gatehouse. This is a small award-winning theatre with a varied program and drama, musicals and fringe theatre productions. Located at the top of Highgate Hill, 446 ft above sea level, this is really one of London´s Top Theatre.
The Gatehouse is an independent local pub, restaurant and beer garden, located in the heart of Highgate Village. Under the watchful eye of our head chef Chris Payne, our focus lies on quality seasonal British food with a strong Spanish influence.
#41 Private Members Clubs of London
London has plenty of private members’ clubs. Some iconic clubs have always been known as the place to be see and seen. You find them in Pall Mall and Mayfair. This is where cool-looking people hang out. Each club has its own niche, making it even trickier to pick the right one.
#42 Disrepute, London
Disrepute, a “hidden gem” nestled within an opulent Soho basement, offers a carefully curated cocktail menu and an atmospheric space perfect for secret late-night sessions. It is one of the most reasonably priced members’ bars in London. Membership: 150 pounds per year.
#43 Quo Vadis, London
Popular among Soho’s creatives, foodies, and more generally seekers of relaxed business and serious pleasures.
Step inside Quo Vadis and you arrive in a little haven away from the hustle and bustle of London life. The dining room is enchanting with its stained glass windows, crisp white tablecloths glittering with silverware, delightful illustrations adorning the walls and floral arrangements artfully placed around the room.
This is a member´s club open for non-members. Here, you get that old-world London charm with a fashionable crowd and a piano player. It’s a classic brasserie with an underlying decadence.
Address: 26-29 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D
#44 Some Strange Clubs in London
London has everything and even a bit more. Such as exclusive – and not so exclusive – clubs. Some might brighten up your next visit.
At The Breakfast Club they eat steak, limited to only 24 at a time. Founded in 1705 and joined by theatre types and politicians. We suggest to knock on the club door on Irvin Street. They are too exclusive to have a website.
#45 Walking along the Thames
Walking the banks of river Thames, you won’t be short of sights and alternatives. You will set your eyes on Tower Bridge, Hampton Palace, The Royal Docks and Kew Gardens and Battersea Park, to name a few. Or you could follow the Thames Path for 184 miles (294km) all the way out to the Cotswolds’.
#46 Amazing Londoners
London has always been a gathering place for prominent and influential people of their times. Among writers is lexicographer Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-84) and novelist Charles Dickens (1812-70). Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) came here after fleeing from the Nazi. Composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) lived in Mayfair and Arthur Conran Doyle´s fictional detective Sherlock Holmes was created in Baker Street.
All over London the former homes of well-known figures are marked by plaques. Look out, especially in Chelsea, Kensington and Mayfair.
#47 Famous writers from london
The best known playwriter of all time is William Shakespeare (1564-93) was associated with the theatres in Southwark, and he may lived nearby. The novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817) lived briefly off Sloan Street, where the flamboyant Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was arrested in 1895 for homosexuality. Playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) lived in No 29Fritzroy Square in Bloomsbury.
#48 Amazing Visitors
As a centre for international culture, business and politics, the English capital has always appealed celebrated people from overseas. Many famous Londoners are famous for being Londoners.
Mahatma Gandhi (1868-1948) studied law at Inner Temple and ate at vegetarian restaurant in St Bridge´s Lane. Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) organized France resistance in World War II from Charlton House Terrace.
The screen comedian Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) was born in south London and lived at No 287 Kennington Road. Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969) lived in Grosvenor Square to plan the North African invasion during the war. The German philosopher Karl Marx (1818-83) lived at 28 Dean Street. He wrote “Das Kapital” in the British Library Reading Room.
#49 London Cemeteries
Graveyard and Cemetery have returned as tourist attractions in London. Some are really old and historic, and have attracted visitors for decades. Highgate Cemetery in North London and Kensal Green in West London were a result of church graveyards in 1830s became overcrowded and a new solution had to be found.
Highgate attract customs by architectural features and the beauty of its landscape. This park became a fashionable place to meet and socialize, as well as to be buried. It´s home to many well-known residents. The most famous of all is Karl Marx, but there are figures from all walks of life.
#50 Oscar Wilde about London
The master playwright Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) reached the height of his fame while living at 34 Tite Street in Chelsea. For centuries, London has been an inspiration for great writers, even so for the young Irish poet Oscar Wilde. In London he was mingling with Victorian high society.
“The London of Oscar Wilde” is an intriguing walk conducted by London Walks to see Wilde´s London through his eyes. Passionate and entertain with Wilde-like wit. The public read and appreciate him, over a century after his death. After this tour you might realise: Oscar Wilde lived and died just a bit too early.
#51 The Bonus Advice
What`s more important; you should never leave London on a Sunday! In this city, Sunday is the right special day of the week. Relaxed locals stroll the parks, people come together and we are all more happy and stress-free. Even the Sunday markets are worth getting out of bed for.
But it´s the Sunday Roast, the old-school lunch on Sunday, that makes this day so special. Where carvers slice grand pieces of beef straight onto your plate. Nothing beats a Sunday Roast in London – and there is always a flight back home on Monday morning.