TOP 30 best things to do in London | Visit London in 3, 4, 5 days

TOP 30 best things to do in London | Visit London in 3, 4, 5 days

London is one of the TOP travel destinations to visit in Europe. How to visit London in 3, 4 or 5 days? What to do in London for a successful trip or getaway? Discover our TOP 30 of the best things to see and do in London: from the must-sees and the main attractions to the most unusual things. Let’s go!

  1. TOP 30 of the best things to do in London 🤩
  2. Best areas to stay 🛌
  3. Nice places in London 🍽
  4. Itineraries to visit London in 3, 4 or 5 days 📍
  5. What to do in London for free? ✌️
  6. … and when it rains? 🌧
bridge visiting london with family

1. TOP 30 best things to do in London: unmissable + unusual

Let’s go for our TOP 30 of the best activities to do in London, unmissable places to visit, but also more unusual places!

1.1 Seeing Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster

Symbol of London. Big Ben is the large bell in the Elizabeth Tower of the Palace of Westminster. Even if the palace is less known by name than the famous bell, it is the palace and its tower that represent London.

A must-see to visit? The Elisabeth Tower is open to visitors to people living in the United Kingdom, and only after having obtained a special authorization. The Palace of Westminster is the seat of the British Parliament. It is open to visitors only a few weeks a year. Thus, it is clearly a must to see in London, but not necessarily to visit.

On the other side of the Thames. In order to see the Palace of Westminster in all its glory, it is best to cross Westminster Bridge and go to the quays on the south bank of the Thames.

must sees london big ben thames

1.2 Visiting Westminster Abbey in London

Monarchy. Built in the 13th century, Westminster Abbey is the site of royal coronations. In addition, one can also see here the tombs of British monarchs, as well as the tombs of great personalities of the country.

Architecture. Visiting Westminster Abbey is one of the interesting activities to do in London, if you want to discover beautiful examples of medieval architecture. The audioguide in French is included in the price of the visit.

Good to know! The places for visiting Westminster Abbey are limited. Tickets to visit Westminster Abbey in London are sold with a date and time of entry. Therefore, in high tourist season, it is strongly recommended to book tickets in advance. Find more information here: availability, dates and prices to visit Westminster Abbey.

Westminster-tickets

1.3 Discovering Tower Bridge

Drawbridge. Tower Bridge is one of the must-see places in London. This bridge rises at night to allow large cargo ships to pass.

How to see the Tower Bridge? You can of course go to the quays of the Thames, but this part is rather away from other places to visit. So, the best, in our opinion, is to see Tower Bridge from a viewing platform. For example, The Shard or London Eye. We will discuss this in more detail later.

Visit the interior? It is quite possible to visit the Tower Bridge inside, and more precisely its high platform. It is an interesting visit to do, if you want to visit London in 5 days or more. Otherwise, it is rather an optional visit.

tower bridge

1.4 Visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral in London

Impressive! Rebuilt after the great fire of London in 1666, Saint Paul’s Cathedral is a very pretty religious building. The top of its dome reaches 111 meters in height and weighs 65,000 tons in total.

The city. Today, the cathedral is located in the business district of London, the City. If you come here on the weekend, don’t be surprised by the calm that reigns there. The neighborhood empties when office workers leave for the weekend.

View of London. Visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the must-see places to visit in London. In addition, you can also climb on the dome of the cathedral to admire a nice view of the city. Count at least 1h-2h for the visit: book tickets with audio guide.

saint paul cathedral city

1.5 Walking on Millennium Bridge

Pedestrian bridge. This suspension bridge over the Thames is a very pleasant place to visit in London. It joins the City district and the left bank of the Thames. Thus, you can discover this bridge after visiting Saint Paul’s Cathedral, for example.

walking tour london

1.6 Going at the top of The Shard Tower of London

Magic! The Shard (GoogleMaps location) is one of London’s most recognizable skyscrapers. This skyscraper is located on the left bank of the Thames, just opposite the City. Incidentally, The Shard is the tallest skyscraper in the UK: 310 meters tall. The Shard is one of the TOP 10 tallest skyscrapers in Europe. In the skyscraper, there are offices, restaurants, a bar, but above all an observation platform at the 68, 69 and 72 floors of the tower.

Unique 360 ​​degree view. Day or night, the view from The Shard over London is spectacular! Climbing The Shard is therefore one of the activities to do in London. The open-air terrace is located on the 72nd floor. To save time, grab skip-the-line tickets to ride The Shard without waiting. A very nice moment to live during your trip to London as a couple or with your family!

Surprise. On the 69th floor of The Shard, the toilets may surprise you… they too have a view of the city.

must sees in london city view

1.7 Discovering Little Venice by boat: unusual activity to do in London

What is Little Venice? Little Venice is a charming little neighborhood in London. It is full of greenery and is located away from the tourist attractions of the city. Here, you can take a break in a barge boat, or take a boat cruise.

Regent’s Canal. From Little Venice, you can reach the famous district of Camden (we talk about it right after) by boat! It is an unusual activity to do absolutely in London to mark your trip. The journey takes 50 minutes, and the boat arrives directly in Camden: perfect! It is advisable to book tickets in advance: cruise from Little Venice to Camden.

london unusual things to do

1.8. Visiting the amazing Camden Town area of London

Unusual. Camden is considered one of the atypical neighborhoods to visit in London. One of the most famous places to discover is the Camden Town Market. The best to visit is on Sunday, it is the day when the district is most alive.

Quite far from the city center. Camden Town is located northwest of central London. If you want to visit London in 4 or 5 days, and the alternative side attracts you, you can choose this area to stay in London. Find out more in our article: Best areas to stay in London.

camden market unusual place to visit in london

1.9 Seeing Buckingham Palace’s Changing of the Guard

Free! The changing of the guard lasts 45 minutes. It takes place in front of Buckingham Palace from 10:45 a.m., but only: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Weather permitting (see the calendar here). The Changing of the Guard also takes place in Windsor Castle (more on this later in this article).

Very touristic. Among the activities to do in London, it is one of the most touristic. There are many people, and sometimes too many. Having a good place is not always easy. Therefore, if you are going to visit London in 3, 4 and 5 days, it is not a must if you are not a fan.

Visit of the palace. The Buckingham Palace State Apartments can be visited. You can discover the exceptional furniture, the sublime paintings and sculptures of the royal collection. The visit takes place with an audio guide. This is a nice visit to London with the family: book tickets according to availability and prices according to age. Very popular, the visit of Buckingham Palace is to be booked in advance, in order to be sure to have the tickets.

Buckingham-Palace

1.10 Visiting the British Museum in London

Free! This huge and rich museum is one of the oldest museums in the world. And the icing on the cake, admission is totally free! However, the number of visitors is limited. Once again, remember to book tickets in advance, especially since the museum is not open every day.

Cultures and civilizations. This is the highlight of the British Museum. These huge collections show cultures from different corners of the world: Africa, America, Asia, Europe, Pacific. It is an activity to do in London with family or as a couple, we come to visit London in 4, 5, 6 days or more. Moreover, it is one of the top activities to do in London for free.

must see museum britich london

1.11 Unusual experience to do in London

London Dungeon. Visiting London Dungeon is a unique experience to do in London. Here, you can walk through the streets of London’s past and meet people from that time. On the other hand, you must have a good level of English in order to fully enjoy the experience. This is an original and unusual activity to do in London with family, friends or as a couple: check the prices and book the tickets for visiting London Dungeon. If you are going to visit London in 3 days, and this is your second trip, this is a very nice activity.

1.12 Visiting Soho

Perfect for going out in London. You may have already heard of Soho or Picadilly at least once (another district to visit in London, we will see it just after). Located in the very center of London, this district is very lively. In Soho, you can find a lot of cool places to go out in London at night.

soho best area

1.13 Seeing an opera at the Royal Opera House in London

What to do in London at night? Seeing an opera is one of the best activities to do in London as a couple or with the family in the evening. The Royal Opera House offers attractive rates for a great cultural evening in London. Discover the programme, times and tickets on the Royal Opera House London website.

Picadilly. The Royal Opera House is located in the Picadilly district. A stone’s throw from the Soho district, Piccadilly is also a very lively district to visit in London.

Shopping. A 5 minute walk down Piccadilly Avenue is one of London’s biggest known stores: Selfridges. We could compare it to the La Fayette or Printemps stores, located not far from the Paris Opera. On the other hand, if you did not come to visit London for the shopping, then come to this area for the Royal Opera House.

opera london activity for couples

1.14 Visiting Victorian London: walking in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper

19th century London. Jack the Ripper (wiki page) is one of London’s most notorious serial killers. This immersive thematic visit allows us to immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of 19th century London, and to follow in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper like the investigators of the time. An unusual visit to do in London, if you have a good foundation in the language of Shakespeare: guided walking tour in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper.

1.15 Visiting the Tower of London

History and Royalty. If you want to see London in 4, 5 or more days, this tour is a historic tour to add to your itinerary. This is all the more the case if you would like to learn more about the 1000 years of history of London and to see the most jewels of the British crown. Book your tickets in advance, and go directly to the cash desk avoiding the wait: take tickets for the Tower of London.

The biggest diamond in the world. The Great Star of Africa, or the Cullinan, is the largest diamond ever discovered. Its mass is 3,106 carats, i.e. 621.2 grams. It adorns the British imperial scepter on display at the Tower of London.

tower-of-london

1.16 Admiring a magnificent view of London from the Sky Garden

Free! Sky Garden is an incredible garden located in one of the City’s skyscrapers. Access to the Sky Garden is free. The view from Sky Garden over London is awesome. On the other hand, the visit of the garden must be reserved in advance on the Sky Garden website.

Restaurant. On the same website, you can also book a table to make the most of the view from Sky Garden. This is a good place to eat in London for a romantic trip, for example.

sky garden free thing to do in london

1.17 Enjoying tea at Kensington Palace in London

From Queen Victoria to Diana. Discover this emblematic place of the royal family. Kensington Palace will reveal its secrets and its magnificent apartments to you.

Like the royal family. In order to make the most of the visit, you can take a guided tour with the traditional English tea break. It’s a great way to appreciate this place even more. The tea break includes cakes and scones. More information: guided tour in English with a Royal Hugh Tea break.

kensington plaace itinerary visit london

1.18 Strolling through Hyde Park in London

A green break. Hyde Park is one of the prettiest parks to visit in London. Take a walk in this park, accompanying it with a lunch break. In addition, the park is located between the Kensington district (Kensington Palace that we have just seen above) and the Notting Hill district. Come for a walk here, if you came to visit London in 3, 4 or 5 days!

Notting Hill district. Do you know the movie “Love at first sight in Notting Hill” starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant? It is in this rather trendy and lively district that this film was shot. In our opinion, this is one of the best areas to stay in London.

walk hyde park cool thing to do in london

1.19 Visiting the Portobello Road antique market

What to do in Notting Hill in London? In addition to Hyde Park, here is the antiques market. In order to see the most stalls, come and visit the Portobello Market in London on Saturday morning.

Neighborhood architecture. Nothing Hill is a nice and friendly neighborhood. It is also known for its friendly streets and architecture.

1.20 Immersing yourself in the Harry Potter universe

Visit the Harry Potter studio. Harry Potter fans, visiting this Warner Bros studio is one of the must-do things to do in London for you. Discover the secrets of the filming and visit Oxford with a guide: guided tour in English in the Harry Potter + Oxford studios. But it is also possible to discover the Harry Potter universe by staying in London.

Pier 9 3/4. You can go to Kings Cross station in London. This is where the famous platform 9 3/4 is located. So, young wizards, ready for a start at Hogwarts?

Magical! Enjoy a guided tour in French that will take you around London in the footsteps of Harry Potter: guided walking tour in central London. This is an original visit to London alone, with family, as a couple or with friends! Only good memories!

studio-harry-potter-with family

1.21 Visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London

Unique. These gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew illustrates the characteristic periods of garden art from the 18th to the 20th century. It is also a center for the study of plants recognized throughout the world: more than 30,000 species of plants.

Bucolic visit. The plant collections are amazing. Visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens is a must-do activity in London for plant lovers. Moreover, it is also a very nice visit to make in London as a couple. Find out more: prices and admission tickets to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

botanic garden to visit in london in family

1.22 Strolling and having lunch at Greenwich market

Left Bank. Greenwich Market (open in GoogleMaps) is located on the left bank of the Thames, that is to say on the opposite bank of the City, Big Ben or Saint Paul’s Cathedral.

Typical London market. If you are going to visit London for 4, 5 days or more, you can add this address to your itinerary. It’s not an absolute must to visit in London, but it’s a nice address if you want to get off the beaten track. Here, you can find both crafts and world cuisine stalls.

1.23 Discovering Shoreditch and Brick Lane

Hipster. Shoreditch is a cosmopolitan and hipster district of London. For years, this part of London was rather industrial, today it has found a new lease of life.

Street art. Brick Lane is a bit of a reference in the Shoreditch district (open in Google Maps). You can discover a lot of street art here, alternative places, art galleries and theaters, or cool places to eat or have a drink in London.

bricklane street art  things to do in london 3 4 days

1.24 London Eye

Best view of Big Ben. Among the panoramic sights of London, that of London Eye allows better the historical center of London, the Palace Westminster and the Big Ben. Climbing the London Eye is the most visited tourist attraction in London, to do with family or lovers.

Comparative. Above, we also talked about The Shard. Tickets to get on The Shard are almost the same price as those for the London Eye. The experience is also not the same: skyscrapers vs ferris wheel.

Lots of waiting. London Eye is far more popular than The Shard. Here, there is a lot of expectation, more than for The Shard. Therefore, in order to avoid wasting travel time, it is recommended to take skip-the-line tickets. It’s efficient and simple: skip-the-line tickets for the London Eye without waiting.

london eye view

1.25 Taking a boat trip on the Thames

From Westminster to Greenwich. To visit London by boat, the ideal is to take a cruise on the Thames. It is a perfect opportunity to rest and to discover London and its monuments from the waters. The boat tours last between 1 and 2 hours approximately. You can book tickets in advance (audio guide in English included), or take them on site.

Cruise with lunch. In order to have a 2-in-1 boat ride, you can opt for a cruise on the Thames with lunch. Indeed, it is a good option that avoids running around the city looking for a place for lunch, and at the same time a synoptic visit. To do in London with family or lovers: cruise + lunch.

drone view best to visit in london center

1.26 Seeing the Lion King show

wow! One of London’s phrase musicals is The Lion King. The show takes place at Lyceum Theater in London. So why not take advantage of your trip to London to see this musical? This is a great activity to do in London with the family and for musical lovers. Costumes, music, emotions… everything to have a good evening! Read more about dates and times here: choose your date and seats.

1.27 Discovering Trafalgar Square in London

Mythical place. Trafalgar Square is a rather very touristy place in London. In this square, there is a large column, Nelson’s Column, as well as fountains that light up at nightfall. Trafalgar Square is considered a social and freedom of expression space.

National Gallery. Among the most interesting museums to visit in London is the National Gallery. It is located in Trafalgar Square. If you are an art lover. Admission is free to the permanent collections of 2,300 UK state paintings.

Hungerford Bridge. Another pedestrian bridge that you can discover not far from Trafalgar Square. The Hungerford Bridge is a pretty place for a stroll over the Thames.

trafalgar-square

1.28 Strolling through Holland Park in London

Japanese garden. One of the parts of Holland Park in London is dedicated to the Kyoto Japanese Garden. If you are going to visit London in more than 5 days, it is a pleasant place to discover with family. In addition, Holland Park is located not far from the Kensington district, the French quarter of London.

great park to visit in london in 4 5 days visiting

1.29 Visiting the Tate Modern museum of modern and contemporary art

Surprising. The Tate Modern is the most visited modern art museum in the world. It brings together works from the 1900s to the present day. For example, we can see here the works of Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol or Salvador Dali. The museum is in a disused power station in Bankside.

Tate museums to visit in london in 3 4 5 days

1.30 Visiting Windsor Castle from London

50km from London. If you are going to visit London for a second time, you can consider this tour. Windsor Castle is located outside of London. Thus, it takes a good half day or more to visit the castle from London.

Tour from London. To make your life easier, you can take a ticket that includes transport from London: guided tour in English from London + transport. On the other hand, without transport and without a guide, tickets are necessarily cheaper: tickets to visit Windsor Castle.

windsor castle visit around london

Bonus: Visit Stonehenge from London

This megalithic monument needs no introduction. It is one of the most mysterious monuments on our planet. If you are going to visit London in 5 days or more, you can add Stonehenge to your itinerary. On the other hand, the visit will take you at least a good day. You can visit Stonehenge with other tours such as Windsor Castle, for example: guided tour from London.

around London Stonehenge

2. Best areas to stay to visit London

Soho, Covent Garden, Camden, Notting Hill, Shoreditch are the best areas to sleep in when visiting London as a couple, with family or friends. Some of these neighborhoods are more suitable for visiting London with the family, others are perfect places for visiting London as a couple, and still others are the most interesting for a trip with friends. Find out more about each of these neighborhoods in our article: Best places to stay in London.

Best places in London. Accommodation prices in London are among the highest in Europe.

Locke at Broken Wharf: welcoming and nicely decorated studios and apartments. Only 8 minutes walk from the River Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral. The location offers the possibility to visit the historic center of London on foot. Very good address to visit London in 3 days.

Kensington Gardens Hotel: an interesting hotel for a couple’s trip to London. It is located in the friendly neighborhood of Notting Hill.

citizenM London Shoreditch: located in the hipster district of London, this hotel is a very nice place to stay for a romantic visit to London. The view of the city from the rooms is top, the decoration is modern.

stay in london for couples

3. Nice places where to eat in London

To visit London in 3, 4, 5 days or more, you should not forget the gastronomy part of the trip either. Discover our selection of the best places to eat in London.

  • Clos Maggiore. A nice place to eat as a couple in London. European cuisine, romantic and charming place.
  • Darwin Brasserie. This address is located in Sky Garden. We talked about it above: the incredible garden on the top floors of one of the City’s skyscrapers. In order to enjoy the spectacular view of London from Sky Garden, you can come here for lunch or dinner (point 16 of our TOP 30).
  • Mildreds Soho. A nice vegetarian restaurant: seasonal dishes and organic ingredients in the heart of London’s Soho!
  • Greenwich Market. Typical London market with crafts and world cuisine stalls (point 22 of our TOP 30). It is a good place to have lunch, if you are staying in London for 4 days or more.

4. Itineraries to visit London in 3, 4 or 5 days

How to visit London in 3, 4 or 5 days? Here are some ideas for itineraries and activities to do to discover London.

3 day weekend in London

If you want to know what to do in London in 3 days, it is first essential to optimize your trips. Here is an itinerary for a first trip to London 3 days that you can do. If this is not your first trip, look at the unusual activities in our TOP above.

What to do in London on the first day?

  • Seeing Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster
  • Visiting Westminster Abbey (see available dates to book)
  • Seeing Buckingham Palace’s Changing of the Guard (Optional: Palace Tour)
  • Walking in the historic center of London to Trafalgar Square, then back up to the Soho district (or for Harry Potter fans: take a guided walking tour around Harry Potter)
  • Discovering the lively districts of Soho, Picadilly and Covent Garden
visit london best to see

What to do in London on day two?

What to do in London on day three?

  • Going by boat from Little Venice to Camden (tickets for the boat tour)
  • Exploring Camden Town and its market (usually Sunday is the best day)
  • Exploring Shoreditch and Brick Lane

Visit London in 4 days

In addition to the activities of the 3 days above, here is what we could add for the 4th day.

  • Visiting Kensington Palace in London (tickets + tea time)
  • Taking a walk in Hyde Park
  • Discovering Notting Hill
  • Going at the top of the Sky Garden to discover its garden and its view

Visit London in 5 days

What to do in London on the 5th day?

  • Visiting the largest museum of modern art in the world: Tate Modern
  • Strolling and having lunch at the Greenwich market
  • Discovering the incredible collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
  • Attending an opera at Royal Opera House (optional)
visit london 3 4 5 day trip

5. What to do in London for free?

Among the activities to do in London for free, there is of course visiting museums. Admission to the museums’ permanent collections is free. However, we recommend that you reserve tickets in advance. The number of visitors is sometimes limited. Here are the most interesting museums to visit in London for free:

  • British Museum
  • Tate Modern
  • National Gallery

Among the activities to do in London for free, there is the visit of the districts, but also the visit of the markets and the parks of the city.

  • Camden Town and its market
  • Greenwich Market
  • Nothing Hill district and its antiques market
  • Hyde Park
  • Holland Park with its Japanese garden in Kyoto

Without forgetting the star: Sky Garden!

big ben visiting london city

6. What to do and visit in London when it rains?

When does it rain the most in London? The climate of London is an oceanic climate. The rainiest months are June, August, September, October, November, December and January. The rainiest month in London is the month of October.

So what if you fell on rainy days? No choice: take less outdoor walks and choose indoor visits. Here are some examples:

  • Visiting the interior of Buckingham Palace
  • Discovering the magnificent Westminster Abbey
  • Seeing shows or operas (we talk about it in our TOP 30 above)
  • Discovering London’s museums: Tate Modern, British Museum, National Gallery
  • Visiting the Tower of London
  • Visiting Harry Potter and Oxford Studios

How to visit London in 3, 4 or 5 days? For a first trip, it is difficult to visit all the essentials of London in 3 days. However, if you make a good selection and optimize your trips, it is quite possible. Even if you come to visit London in 3 days, we recommend that you discover areas outside the city center such as Notting Hill, Camden Town or Shoreditch. For a 4-day weekend in London, it is easier to make itineraries and less running around. Same for a 5 day stay.

5/5 – (1 vote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.