London skyline

Things to do in London

A recent poll of the UK’s top attractions showed that London is the place to be

Visitor numbers for the UK’s most popular attractions of 2018 have just been released and the top 10 hot-spots are all places to see in London. Just over 12 km’s cover each of the London attractions from the Natural History Museum in Knightsbridge to the Royal Museums in trendy Greenwich. Most are free to enter so if you’re looking for things to do in London, take a look at our pick of the best:

1 – Tate Modern

London’s modern art gallery is set inside the former Bankside Power Station and houses the national collection of British art along with international modern and contemporary art. The gallery also regularly holds temporary exhibitions featuring world famous artists. Free to enter.
Transport – Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Waterloo East and London Bridge stations are all close by with the nearest underground station being Southwark. The Millennium footbridge leads directly from the north side of the Thames.
Nearly 6 million visits in 2018.

2 – British Museum

The former No.1 most visited attraction in the UK. The British Museum now holds over 8 million important cultural artefacts from around the world. Most were gathered at the time of the British Empire. Free to enter.
Transport – Nearest tube is Holborn.
Nearly 6 million visits in 2018.

3 – National Gallery

Located on the northern side of Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery boasts a collection of paintings by British and international artists. Exhibits date from the mid-13th century through to 1900. Free to enter.
Transport – Nearest mainline and tube station is Charing Cross.
5 ½ million visits in 2018.

4 – Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum houses over 80 million natural history specimens gathered from around the world. The museum based in Knightsbridge is most famously known for its collection of Dinosaur skeletons. Free to enter.
Transport – Nearest tube station is South Kensington.
Over 5 million visits in 2018.

5 – Southbank Centre

London’s premier arts location based on the south bank of the Thames is made up of several venues. It includes the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery. Each providing performances of dance, film, music and literature. Mostly paid for performances.
Transport – Nearest mainline and tube station is Waterloo.
4 ½ million visits in 2018.

6 – V&A London

The V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) is the world’s largest collection of art, design, sculpture and textiles. It houses many important national collections of fashion and photography. Free to enter but includes some paid for exhibitions.
Transport – Nearest tube station is South Kensington.
4 million visits in 2018.

7 – Science Museum

The Science Museum contains mechanical and technological exhibits that tell the story of our scientific development. From the very first steam locomotives right through to the latest space rockets. Free to enter but includes some paid for exhibitions.
Transport – Nearest tube station is South Kensington.
Over 3 million visits in 2018.

8 – Somerset House

Built originally as a palace on the banks of the Thames. Somerset House is now a museum, events hall and music venue. At Christmas its central courtyard becomes a large ice-rink. Paid for activities.
Transport – Nearest tube station is Temple.
Over 3 million visits in 2018.

9 – Tower of London

Parts of the Thameside castle date back to the Norman conquest. Following several phases of extension the Tower became London’s most notorious prison. Today the Tower is home to the Crown Jewels of England. Admission charge.
Transport – Nearest tube station is Tower Hill.
Nearly 3 million visits in 2018.

10 – Royal Museums Greenwich

Map of Royal Museums, Greenwich
Map of Royal Museums, Greenwich

The National Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark, Queen’s House and The Royal Observatory are all situated in and around Greenwich Park. The Prime Meridian of the world runs through here at the home of Greenwich Mean Time. Admission charges apply to the Observatory, Queen’s House and the Cutty Sark.
Transport – Nearest mainline and DLR station is Greenwich or take a Thames River Cruise to Greenwich Pier.
Over 2 ½ million visits in 2018.

Why not use one of our compact London maps to help you discover all of these things to do in London along with many more.

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