London is on everyone's bucket list. A truly global city, where history meets modernity, London is the capital of the UK. In 2019, London received 21 million visitors, making it one of the most sought-after cities in the world. From the iconic British Museum to the London Eye, the city has everything to woo the traveller in you. This ultimate London Bucket List is the only guide you need to plan your London trip.
67 London Bucket List Experiences
#1 Say hello to the queen at Buckingham Palace.
On top of your London bucket list is, of course, the iconic Buckingham Palace is currently the home of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning monarch of the UK Royal Family. Sprawling across 19 acres inside Central London, Buckingham Palace hosts Royal and National celebrations. If you're traveling between 22 July – 2 October 2022, you will have the opportunity enter the State Rooms inside the Palace.
#2 Take a selfie with Big Ben
A cultural icon of the city of London, Big Ben is the massive clock in the Elizabeth Tower at the Palace of Westminster. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Big Ben, designed in neo-Gothic style, stands at an imposing 96 meters tall. The four-faced chiming clock, completed in 1859, is still ticking.
#3 Be awed by the Gothic architecture at the Westminster Abbey
A stunning Gothic-style church, Westminster Abbey holds a noble place in the history of Britain. The church is where important religious observations such as the coronation of British Monarchs happen. It was founded in AD 960 and has been rebuilt many times. Tourists have to pay a fee to enter, while the worshippers can visit for free.
#4 Hop onboard a double-decker bus and tour the city
The bright red double-decker bus is a symbol of London. Over 9000 buses are serving 675 routes inside the city. Hop on one of the buses to see London landmarks up close. If you want to experience the best sights, the routes to choose are 9, 11, 15, and 38. Don't forget to sit on the top row front seat for the best views. Besides, the public transport in London is quite extensive and if you're looking for something else, here's everything you need to know about public transport in London.
#5 Watch a theatre performance on West End Theatre
West End is a matter of pride for Londoners. There are nearly 38 theaters in West End, and the oldest one was opened way back in 1663. Boasting 15 million footfalls every year, the West End theaters often feature the best of screen actors around the world. You can choose a show from the 18700 staged every year and can explore what more of what West End has to offer here.
#6 Sip Champagne atop The Shard
The Shard is a new London landmark, is the tallest in the UK at the heights of 72 storeys. Perched on its 70th floor is an observation deck, which allows you to watch as far as 40 miles. You have to shell out between £25 to £29 for entry, and there's a lot of good restaurants to buy champagne.
#7 Watch the Change of Guards ceremony at 10:45 am in Buckingham Palace
A slice of royalty in action, the Change of Guards ceremony at Buckingham Palace happens every day at 10.45 AM. It's a new guard replacing the old guard on duty. You don't need to book a ticket to watch this 45-minute display of tradition. It's advisable to look at the schedule for any last-minute changes.
#8 Discover a thousand years of British history at The Tower of London
Home to the British Crown Jewels, the Tower of London is the only castle inside Central London. Standing since 1078, the Tower was once a watchtower. Then it was used as a fortress, a prison, and even a zoo, and ultimately, in 1988, UNESCO declared the Tower of London a World Heritage site.
#9 Cruise the Thames on a bright sunny afternoon
To see London from a boat is always a different feeling. You can opt for a river cruise through the Thames to see a lot of iconic London landmarks. With a 24-hour pass, a hop-on-hop-off cruise would take you to attractions like The Tower Bridge and London Eye. On an Afternoon cruise, traditional tea is served with jam and cream, making it a very English experience. The tea is accompanied by sandwiches and cakes, but you can also sip a glass of champagne if you wish as you indulge in the British tradition.
#10 Visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition
The Tower Bridge in London is an iconic landmark. You can visit the bridge for free, but to dive deep into its history, you should buy a ticket for the Tower Bridge Exhibition. Entry for an adult cost £10.60. Entrance to the Exhibition is via the bridge’s northwest tower, from where you can catch breath-taking views of the city and learn some of its history.
#11 Sign up for a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
Part of the beautiful London Walking Tours, Jack the Ripper walking tour is based on the infamous serial killer who roamed the London streets in 1888. The interactive guided walking tour would take you to Victorian England as you probe the murder mystery, with a small team in the company of an expert guide.
#12 Be amazed by the architecture of St. Paul’s Cathedral
Be amazed by the architecture of St. Paul’s Cathedral. A classic London landmark, Saint Paul's Cathedral was consecrated in 1697. It was designed in the English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren. At 111 meters, St. Paul's Cathedral is one of the most iconic symbols against the city's skyline. You need to buy a ticket to experience this spectacular church in it's full glory.
#13 Stand on two time zones at the Prime Meridian in Greenwich!
At Greenwich Observatory in London, you can stand with one foot in the eastern hemisphere and the other in the Western hemisphere. The line dividing the two hemispheres is called Prime Meridian. Standing on the point, you'd be at 0-degree longitude! Greenwich Mean Time or GMT starts from this point. A ticket for an adult would cost £8.
#14 Watch the sunset from the London Eye
The London Eye is the giant Ferris wheel that gives you the opportunity to take in the allows beautiful views of the city. Sitting inside a glass pod and slowly rising to 135 meters in the sky, you can catch the sun setting behind the skyline of London. London Eye also gives amazing views of The Parliament and Big Ben. Buy a standard ticket for £24.50.
#15 Be amused by street performers at the Covent Garden
Covent Garden is known for its busy plaza. The car-free piazza is crowded with shoppers and diners. The street performers of Covent Garden are part of a long tradition dating back to 1662. Performances take place in West Piazza, North Hall, and South Wells, and range from opera to fringe, catering to all tastes.
#16 Pose inside a Red Phone Booth
A London bucket list is not complete without this! The postcard-perfect red telephone booths still function in London. An iconic stamp of the city, you can make a phone call or pose for a photo inside one of these memorabilia. They are everywhere in London, and of course, some of them may not work, but most of them are still functioning. If nothing, strike a pose!
#17 Harry Potter fans, visit Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station
This one is for the avid Harry Potter fans. At London King’s Cross Station, you can find platform 9¾ Harry Potter and fellow wizards used as a transit to Hogwarts. For those not into Harry Potter, this attraction is a brick wall bearing a platform board that reads 9¾. But don't assume the place is only reserved for Potter fans as it's a very popular attraction that saw a lot of tourists all day. London is somewhat of a hotspot for Potterheads so there are plenty of Harry Potter Tours you can take!
#18 Find 221B Baker Street, home of the infamous Sherlock Holmes!
221B in Baker Street is the home of Sherlock Holmes, a detective character of British author Sir Conan Arthur Doyle. To commemorate the fiction, the street in which Sherlock Holmes Museum is located was renamed Baker Street. Pay a visit to the museum for souvenirs, books, and antiques related to the best detective from novels. A Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour of London is also available, if you want to walk through places that inspired Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as locations where Sherlock and Robert Downey Jr's Sherlock Holmes were shot!
#19 Pose like The Beatles on Abbey Road
You can also take a moment to visit the Abbey Road, and recreate the iconic Beatles cover of the album Abbey Road. Visitors can pose in the Zebra crossing, the pop music band used in one of the covers of their albums. To take your picture the Beatles style, a dedicated webcam is installed on Abbey Road in the exact same spot.
#20 Go street art shopping on Brick Street
Brick Street in London's East is the best place to see street art. Brick Lane stretches across from Whitechapel to Shoreditch. The street is divided into many small but unique streets. You can bargain and shop in the hippie, vintage streets. There are a lot of bars and restaurants as well.
#21 Eat to your heart’s fill at Borough Market
Borough Market in London is on everyone's bucket list. It's the ultimate destination for a foodie in London looking for street food. You can order the Instagram-worthy doughnuts from Bake Ahead or grab lunch from international street food on offer from various outlets inside the market. And Borough Market is always packed, so if you want to explore it a bit systematically, the Borough Market Tour would be perfect for you!
Tea like the Brits!
Drinking tea is an experience in Britain. And the best time of the day to have tea is in the afternoon. Afternoon Tea, as a tradition, comes at different budgets. You can go for a budget place or a luxury tea. The Langham is a good option for an authentic experience. They are serving tea since 1865!
#23 Have a Sunday Roast like the locals
Sunday roast is a British tradition local people admire. On Sunday people in Britain prepare a roast meal mainly consisting of roasted meat and potatoes. Vegetables such as carrots, turnips, broccoli can be served either roasted or boiled. Another integral part of this meal is Yorkshire pudding. If you're up for trying out this local dish, you can find them in almost any of the many pubs dotting the city.
#24 Lose yourself in history at the British Museum
Arguably the best in the world, The British Museum has nearly 80000 artifacts on display. It's also the world's oldest public Museum having started operation in 1759. It has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Egypt. The prized possessions include real Mummies and Rosetta stones inscribed in Hieroglyphics, the ancient language of Egyptians. Entry to the Museum is free, but if you want to check out the Rosetta Stone at your own pace and in private, there are VIP Access Tickets you can buy!
#25 (Window) Shop at Harrods
Harrods on Brompton Road is a landmark known for its luxury brands. If you can't afford Harrods, it's still a good place to window shop. It has over 5000 brands in clothes, jewellery, furniture, etc. The building of Harrods sits on five acres and designed in Gothic style and is currently owned by Qatar Investment Authority.
Paddle around Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the most beautiful parks in London. It's a good destination for a lovely picnic, but the best activity you can opt for is rowing the boat. Paddleboats are available inside the park, and services resume in summer. If you are traveling with family or a partner, this activity shouldn't be missed.
#27 Spend a whole day at Covent Garden - eat, shop, drink, watch!
A popular neighborhood in West End, Covent Garden, for a tourist, is an ideal place to spend a day. It's easily accessible via public transport. There are a lot of fashion brands - both British and International - to indulge your shopping desires. If nothing else, there are some excellent eateries you can go to for a world-class dining experience!
#28 Enjoy a tranquil afternoon at Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens is where people go to escape the hustle and bustle of London. It is a botanical garden outside the city, sprawling across 300 acres. You can find 50,000 living plants in the garden, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003. You need a ticket to access this facility.
#29 Visit the city’s most popular art gallery
The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square is Britain's most popular art gallery. The Gallery was founded in 1824 houses around 2300 paintings from the 13th century to the 1900s. The collections include European masters like Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, and Picasso. Entry to the National Gallery is free.
Walk across the Millenium Bridge
The Millenium Bridge over river Thames is a popular tourist attraction. It's reserved for pedestrians. The bridge is 325 meters long and is made of steel. It connects the City of London with Bankside. The weird-looking design of the bridge was selected in a competition. You can see this bridge in such films as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Taylor Swift's music video for her song, Endgame, a collaborative song with Future and Ed Sheeran.
#31 Enjoy a walk across the iconic Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge is a prime London landmark. On the one side of the historic bridge are the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and on the other side is London Eye. Standing on seven spans on the river Thames, the bridge is 250 meters long. It was opened in 1750, and the view from the bridge is breathtaking.
#32 A blast to the past at the Churchill War Room
Churchill War Rooms are part of the Imperial War Museums in London showcase the war-room British Prime Minister Winston Churchill used during World War II. The collection includes the war-time bunker and Cabinet Rooms Ministers used for planning. The underground headquarters can be explored by the tourists themselves.
#33 Watch a football match at Wembley Stadium
Home of the England National Football team, Wembley Stadium in London is owned by the English Football Association. It has a capacity of 90000 seats, making it the largest football stadium in the UK. The stadium, crowned by an arch known as the Wembley arch, which is 134-meters high, is a major attraction of the Stadium. You can explore it yourself, or take a Wembley Stadium Guided Tour.
Devour fish and chips with a mug of beer
Fish and Chips are a quintessentially British meal. This culinary fusion is often considered the national food of Britain. Fish and Chips are always served hot and is a take-away food. Cod and Haddock are the most common fishes used for the meal. The dish is garnished with Salt and Vinegar.
#35 See a free comedy show at Theatre Royal Stratford East on Mondays
Built in 1884, Stratford East is a noted theater in London. It hosts theater shows, comedy, dance, and music. The 460-seater theater hosts free comedy shows every Monday and there's a bar inside the Theatre that hosts regular shows and music. You can reserve a table to have a morning cup of coffee or to fix a drink in the evening.
#36 Enjoy spectacular views from Up at the O2
The O2 Arena in South London is a massive structure that houses sports and entertainment events. You can climb the O2 for the breathtaking 360-degree view of London. The view of about 15 miles includes London attractions such as Big Ben, Greenwich, the Olympic Park, and Tower Bridge. The trip lasts 90 minutes.
#37 Enjoy modern art at its finest at the Tate Modern
Located in the Bankside of London, Tate Modern is a gallery showcasing international modern and contemporary art. It often finds itself in the list of the world's most visited art exhibitions. Entry into the gallery is free, but you need to get tickets for temporary exhibitions conducted by international artists. You can also opt for a guided tour of the Tate Museum that takes you through the best of it's collections.
People watch at Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square gets its name from an 1805 battle Britain won over France and Spain. A bustling place inside Central London, the Trafalgar Square often features public demonstrations and large gatherings. The piazza has a lot of sculptures and two beautiful fountains. National Gallery is located near to this Plaza.
#39 Say hello to the world’s sole surviving tea clipper ship - the Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark is an old tea clipper ship operated during the British Empire. Made in 1869, Cutty Sark was a fast ship intended to bring to London the first crop of tea from China. The ship holds the record for the fastest journey undertaken between London and Australia in 10 days.
#40 Enjoy a splash of colour at Neal’s Yard
Neal's Yard inside the shopping neighborhood Covent Garden is a place emanating indie vibes. The streets here are filled with colorful buildings. You can stroll through the narrow streets as you scan the vegan cafes, handmade furniture shops, and independent businesses. Neal's Yard is an environment-friendly, alternative place ideated by Nicholas Saunders, a champion of a sustainable lifestyle.
#41 Watch a tennis match at Wimbledon in June/July
Wimbledon is an annual international lawn tennis tournament held during June and July. It's the oldest and most prestigious of all tennis grand slams. You can book tickets to watch some of the world's best Tennis stars playing in the iconic Centre Court. There's a Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and Tour you can opt for all year.
Pose with your favourite celebrities at Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds is a world-famous wax museum in London established in 1835. A popular attraction for families, the museum features life-like wax figures of international celebrities and historical icons. In London, the Museum also showcases the members of Britain's Royal family. The Museum was the creation of French wax sculptor Marie Tussaud.
#43 Climb to the top of The Monument
A symbol of the Great Fire of London in 1666, The Monument is a major tourist attraction. It's a fluted doric-style column built between 1671 and 1677. The tower, 202 feet tall, offers superb views of the City of London area. To reach the top of the climb, you have to ascend 311 steps.
#44 Watch some old school theatre at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre
The Globe of Theatre was built by iconic English playwright William Shakespeare. It caught fire in 1613, but another theatre was built in the same place in 1614. The theater still stages Shakespeare plays with modern-day twists. Guided tours of the theatre are available all year for all ages. Tickets are normally sold out, so book in advance.
#45 Go Market-Hopping
There are several markets you can visit to emerge in the culture of London. Portobello Market is a destination for shopping antiques and street fashion. If you're into art, music, and street food, visit Camden Market. To see the flowers, go to Columbia Road Market. To taste food around the world, travel to Borough Market.
Visit the Kensington Palace & Gardens
Kensington Palace in London's Kensington Gardens is a residence of the British Royal family. It's the house of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Rooms in the Palace are open to the public, and it features private rooms of former Kings and Queens. The Palace has a beautiful garden, which you can enter without a ticket.
#47 Go vintage shopping in Shoreditch
Markets in Shoreditch is known for its vintage collections from around the world. You can bargain for second-hand antiques, jewelry, and art. Brick Lane inside the market is the best place in London to get street fashion. You can buy the best vintage clothes or antiques without the fear of burning a hole in your pocket.
#48 Have a full English breakfast
English Breakfast is available across the country, but nobody serves the authentic Full Breakfast the way they do in London. A typical English breakfast includes bacon, sausages, eggs, baked beans, toast, and grilled tomatoes. You can order either tea, hot chocolate or coffee as accompaniment. You can find the breakfast served all day in many of the cafes and restaurants.
#49 Get lost in the world of literature at Daunt Books
A London icon, Daunt Books is a chain of bookstores centered around London. The independent bookseller deals with books in different genres, and it's a wonderful place to find your favorite authors. Visit the Marylebone High Street to feel the old-timey feeling of shopping for a book in an ancient setting
Immerse yourself in a sea of lavender at the Mayfield Lavender Farm (open from June to August)
If you're in London during June and August, Mayfield Lavender Farm is a sight you should check out. A lavender farm in 12 acres overlooking Central London, Mayfield Lavender Farm is run by a former top executive of perfume brand Yardley. The nursery and gift shop are open all year.
#51 See ballet or opera at the Royal Opera House
Home of Royal Ballet and Royal Opera groups, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London is the perfect venue to enjoy an opera or ballet. Opened in 1732, the Royal Opera House is a cultural landmark. The auditorium can accommodate 2,256 people. You can book tickets online but make sure your view is not obstructed by pillars - call the Royal Opera before booking.
#52 Ride in a Black Cab like the Londoners
Black Cabs are everywhere on the London roads. Black cabs are used by Londoners on their daily commute. If the TAXI sign on the car is lit in yellow, you can hire one. These are metered cabs, and the minimum charge is £3.20. If you're looking for a cheaper option, hail a minicab.
#53 Attend the Chinese New Year celebrations in China Town
Chinatown in London is a spectacular place filled with Chinese restaurants and establishments. In February 2022, Chinese New Year celebrations will take place in Chinatown and West End. This time around, the theme is Year of the Tiger. You can indulge in Chinese street food, take part in a parade, cheer for special performances at Trafalgar Square.
Catch a burlesque shows at Soho
Soho is an active center of nightlife in London. Head to Soho to watch a Burlesque Show in one of the teeming Cabaret destinations. The Soho Burlesque Club is a good option. You can watch renowned burlesque performers like Miss Polly Rae in action. You can also check out Midnight Lounge Bar & Restaurant for regular performances.
#55 Sip a drink and enjoy terrific views from the Sky Garden
Sky Garden, often dubbed as London's highest public park, is a sub-tropical garden inside a skyscraper. It is located on the top three floors of 20 Fenchurch Street. Access to the facility is free, but you need to book in advance to avoid the rush. It has a large glass dome for a 360-degree view of London, a terrace, bar, and restaurants.
#56 Transport yourself to the Victorian era at Notting Hill
Noting Hill is a very expensive neighborhood in London, known for its Victorian architecture houses. Most of the houses have stucco pillars, porches, and communal gardens, and the residents of Noting Hill include celebrities and wealthy businesspersons. For artists and architecture enthusiasts, Notting Hill would be a very exciting destination to explore.
#57 Take a break from the city’s chaos at Holland Park
Away from the city center, Holland Park is a quaint place to relax. This 22-hectare park was opened to the public in 1880 and is situated in Kensington, with no visible boundaries. It has tree-lined streets featuring Victorian-era townhouses. The park is a popular tourist attraction with Museums, luxury spas, and restaurants.
Hunt Banksy around London
Banksy is an unknown street artist whose murals have become world-famous for the touchy subjects. Banksy draws on Walls and city streets. Some of the Banksy arts have been vandalized or removed by unknown miscreants, London still has a handful of Banksy art. You can find one of Banksy's celebrated works on Clipstone Street, Fitzrovia.
#59 Indulge in some cheap street food at Spitalfields
Spitalfields is London's best destination for food and drinks. A street food heaven, the market is open all day between 10.00 AM to 9.30 PM, except on Sundays, when the shops close at 5:00 PM. If you're a foodie and love to experiment with street food, order from one of the Gourmet Street Food Trucks.
#60 Sip a drink and enjoy terrific views from the Sky Garden
Emirates Air Line cable car experience comes with breathtaking views of the London skyline. The route connects Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks. On this 13-minute journey, you can see some iconic London landmarks and sunset on the Thames River. A multi-journey ticket for ten trips would cost £17.
#61 Visit Karl Marx’s Grave at Highgate Cemetery
The tomb of Marxist theorist Karl Marx is in Highgate Cemetery, London. The tomb commemorates Marx, his wife, and other family members. The Communist Party of Great Britain funded the tomb and was unveiled in 1956. The iconic quote from the Communist Manifesto, "Workers of All Lands Unite", is inscribed on the tomb.
#62 Climb up the Parliament Hill for sunset views of the capital
Parliament Hill is the highest point in London. At 98 meters, it allows you to enjoy panoramic views of St Paul's Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster. It is private property, but open to the public. As part of history, Parliament Hill is considered by many as a Bronze Age burial barrow. It was at this location that the last scene of Marvel's Eternals was shot.
#63 Enjoy the decadent interiors at the Leighton House Museum
Noted for its unique architectural style and interiors, Leighton House Museum is located in Holland Park. Completed in 1895, the interiors of the building encompass elements from the Middle Eastern style. It has a room called the Arab Hall built using tiles from the Middle East. The Museum also houses some important artworks from various times.
#64 Watch a criminal trial at the Old Bailey
The real name of Old Bailey is the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales. It's part of the Crown Court and a busy establishment handling cases of different nature. Visitors are allowed to sit in the public gallery allocated on a first come, first serve basis but you can't take children to this court gallery.
#65 Check all the 10 royal palaces in London off your list
Royal Palaces of London is an example of the cultural importance of the British Monarch. There are ten palaces in and around London that belong to Royal Family. The list includes Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, Lambeth Palace, Palace of Westminster, St. James’ Palace, Tower of London , Whitehall Palace, and Windsor Castle.
Go swimming with the locals at Hampstead Heath
Covering 790 acres, Hampstead Heath is an ancient woodland in London. A vibrant Sunday picnic option, Hampstead Heath has several ponds. This park is a regular spot for locals who come here to swim and enjoy the views. You can visit the park for free, buy paintings, read books or swim with the Londoners.
#67 Ice skate at Somerset House
The Somerset House is a very popular attraction in London with an ice rink. The Ice-skating activities come alive during the wintertime. You can enjoy live music performances on certain nights. There are plenty of options for food and beverages inside the building. The facility also allows people in a wheelchair to skate all season.
The London Bucket List - FAQs
London has beautiful palaces of the British Monarch. Some of the Palaces even allow you inside to see the luxurious life up close.
No. You can customize your experience, but London is a global city, plan well in advance.
The Palaces, British Museum, St. Paul's Cathedral, Parks, Tower Bridge, The Big Ben, the list goes on.
It's a global city, a melange of modern and traditional elements. It's truly a multicultural experience.
Yes, while London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, it is possible to budget your travel. Cheaper options are available if you plan well in advance and do your research! Definitely be on the lookout for attractions that have free entry, especially the museums!
Londoners go for a picnic in parks, eat Sunday Roast and enjoy their tea. Pubs are a significant part of their lifestyle as well!
Don't miss the British Museum and Big Ben, and also try to cover at least all of the palaces!
Don't visit very expensive places, especially when you've cheaper alternatives.
You shouldn't miss the British Museum, Palace of West Minister, The London Eye, Red Double Decker Buses, and the Buckingham Palace.