Looking for the best London tourist attractions? Well, you certainly have a few to choose from! Having lived and worked in the UK (both of us), we know a thing or two about London.
When Eric lived in Edinburgh, he would visit London quite often on the weekends. His favourite attractions to visit are definitely the View from The Shard and Tower Bridge (he has a thing for beautiful views from high places).
That said, there are famous attractions for all interests in every corner of the city. The great thing about London is that there are lots of places to visit for free – and we will tell you which ones in this article.
Pur detailed guide walks you through the classic tourist attractions – from museums to palaces, monuments and more – to help you plan your trip to London and explore it like a pro.
London Quick Guide
Best Time to Visit: Summer for nice weather (but busy), spring and fall are best as the shoulder season is more relaxed. Just remember to bring your jacket!
Getting Around: The city is relatively flat and walkable – but very large and sprawling. Use Transport for London for transit (London Underground, buses, water ferries, etc.)
Top Things to Do: Tower of London & Crown Jewels Exhibition, The London Eye, Westminster Abbey, View from The Shard
Where to Stay: The Z Hotel Covent Garden for a popular, central location, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge for attractions and views, Blue Bells Hotel for budget, and Page8, Page Hotels for a boutique option by Trafalgar Square.
Top London Tourist Attractions to Visit
Let’s dive into the top London attractions across the city.
Of course, this is not everything – but we wanted to include the most popular and a few different attractions for all different interests and budgets.
The Go City London Explorer Pass may be worth it if you plan to visit several paid attractions during your visit.
Also, these are in no particular order, so don’t feel that they are more important if they are listed higher up. London is a city with – dare we say – too many top attractions for all interests, so there’s no right or wrong answer!
Buckingham Palace & Victoria Memorial
Address: 51°30’05.3″N 0°08’29.3″W
Of course, we felt like we had to start off the list strong with Buckingham Palace. As the former royal residence of Queen Elizabeth II (rest in peace), it’s a building that needs little introduction.
Fun fact: Buckingham Palace is one of the only fully-functioning palaces (that still carries out administrative business and serves as a royal residence) in the world.
It’s located in Westminster – surrounded by lovely green spaces and connected to The Mall, a royal roadway that leads to the heart of London at Trafalgar Square.
The Palace is open to tours during the summer. You can tour the Palace and the State Rooms and check out how lavishly decorated the interior is.
There are also pieces of art by famous painters such as Rembrandt. You can get an audio guide in a bunch of different languages which is nice for visitors from afar.
The famous reason to visit the palace is for the “Changing of the Guard” – a ceremony that takes place once a day – on certain days – starting at 11:00 am at Buckingham Palace.
The Changing of the Guard happens only on certain days of the week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday), so keep that in mind.
Consider a Changing of the Guard tour with a local guide who will tell you all the little details of the famous ceremony!
The ceremony lasts about 45 minutes – and if it’s raining it’s likely to be cancelled so it’s kind of hard to plan ahead. That said, if you want to see it, go early for a good viewing spot.
The Palace of Westminster & “Big Ben”
Location: 51°30’00.1″N 0°07’32.4″W
Again, one of the most iconic and photographed buildings in the United Kingdom – and arguably the world – is the Palace of Westminster and the clock tower “Big Ben”.
Before we go on, let’s set the record straight: Big Ben is the name of the largest of the 5 bells inside the tower.
The tower itself is called the Elizabeth Tower, and it is all connected to the Palace of Westminster. Got it? Great!
The Palace, located right on the River Thames next to Westminster Bridge, is where the UK Parliament is located.
You can actually get a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament (House of Commons, House of Lords) if you’re interested in learning about democracy in historic Britain.
The London Eye
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom
As for touristy things in London, few can beat a spin on the London Eye. Opened in 2000, this massive Ferris wheel stands 135 metres tall.
It was once the world’s tallest Ferris wheel – but sadly it’s been passed. Regardless of its height, this iconic structure is always a draw for visitors to London.
Once you’re on, one rotation takes about 30 minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time to take in the beautiful views.
Our Tip: Get your London Eye tickets here in advance – the price changes depending on whether you want a line-skip ticket or an off-peak timeslot ticket.
You can book a time slot and entry in advance for as opposed to just showing up. If you just show up, you might get passed by people who have tickets already and might have to wait for a while.
Eric has been on it and liked it. It’s certainly an experience to do at least once.
The Eye is located close to Westminster and other top attractions which makes it a good stop along the South Bank even if just for a photograph.
Address: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP, UK
Built in 1886 and completed in 1894, Tower Bridge over the River Thames is arguably one of the most iconic bridges in the world.
It’s funny because Tower Bridge is often confused to be “London Bridge” from the famous children’s song.
That bridge is actually only a few hundred metres away – and admittedly not as grand or exciting as Tower Bridge!
These days, you can walk across the bridge at street level (which is cool enough), but you should look into the Tower Bridge Museum and Tour to see the exhibits, the museum, and even walk across the top!
Get your Tower Bridge entry ticket here.
There’s a glass floor where you can see the cars below as you walk across – it’s pretty cool. Eric visited the inside of the bridge exhibit years ago and loved it!
While you are there, you can even visit the engine room, which helps you appreciate the scale of the mechanisms at work behind raising and lowering the middle section.
There were videos about the construction, life in London back in the day, and much more.
Overall, the Tower Bridge was fascinating to see and experience. The museum was really interesting and you can learn a lot! We would definitely recommend a visit to Tower Bridge.
Location: Through Central London
Of course, you cannot talk about all these attractions in London without mentioning the famous river that snakes its way through the city: the Thames.
The Thames has played a huge role in shaping the city from its early days until now as a commercial and cultural hub of the world.
The river is also very functional, serving as a way to get around the city and as a way to see the city from a different perspective!
You can cross over the Thames using one of the many bridges across the city entre. You could walk along its banks for ages taking in the nice weather – but until you actually get out on the water, you haven’t experienced all the unique sides of London.
Luckily, there are so many ways to explore the famous waterway, from themed boat cruises to speedboat adventures. Check out some of the top Thames experiences below:
Address: 20 Deans Yard, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA, UK
Located in Westminster, close to many of the other important buildings (such as Big Ben), you’ll find the iconic church known as Westminster Abbey.
The first church was founded over 1000 years ago – and since William the Conqueror in 1066, all English and British monarchs have had their coronations there!
The current abbey was built in 1245, has been rebuilt and restored a bunch of times, and is now considered one of the most important Gothic structures in the whole of the UK.
Book your Westminster Abbey entrance ticket in advance if you know you’ll be visiting.
As such, the Abbey is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also been the site of 16 royal weddings (yes, William and Kate, too) – and over 3,000 important British people (heads of state, poets, etc) are buried there.
It’s a popular place to visit in London, so if you’re planning to go, plan ahead.
Address: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG, UK
If you are already in London, you may have seen a very tall glass structure that seems to pierce the sky. That’s The Shard – and you should definitely go up there!
Built in 2010, the Shard has the highest observation deck in London on the 72nd floor.
The building is also home to a few restaurants, bars/cafes, and even a hotel – the Shangri-La! Imagine waking up to views like that!
Eric has been up there and honestly, he loved it. He generally loves high places where you can get a really great view, so the Shard fits the bill pretty well.
The Shard actually has different events and packages like champagne at sunset or even yoga. They even have a weather guarantee where if the weather is bad during your visit you can come back for free!
We’d recommend booking your View from The Shard ticket in advance to reserve your elevator/viewing time if you know you want to go up.
This way, you can make sure you get the time slot you want – because the sunset hours are a popular choice!
Don’t worry – once you are up there, you can stay as long as you like. We like that about the Shard – you can visit at your own pace.
Oh, and if you’re in the area, check out Borough Market – it’s a popular place to explore through your stomach!
Address: Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX, UK
As far as royal palaces go, Kensington Palace just had to make the list.
It serves as the official royal residence for some important younger royals (the Prince and Princess of Wales – aka William and Kate).
Located in Kensington Gardens – the green space just west of Hyde Park – it’s quite central and easy to get to if you are already in central London.
The grounds themselves have seen massive overhaul and restoration works over the decades and are now open to visitors.
Check out Kensington Palace with your entrance ticket.
The Tower of London
Address: Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB
London has no shortage of historic buildings – so why not visit a 900-year-old castle? The Tower of London is just that!
Located very close to where Tower Bridge connects to the north side of the Thames, this famous fortress has a lot to offer visitors.
Over the years it has served as a royal residence, military barracks, an armoury, a notorious prison, and now a museum. Oh, and can’t forget the fortified home of the “Crown Jewels”!
Eric visited the Tower of London a few years ago – and it was pretty cool. The exhibits were great, but there were quite a few people given how popular of an attraction it is.
Seeing and learning about the Crown Jewels was fascinating.
Our Tip: Book your regular Tower of London ticket in advance or get an early access Tower of London & Tower Bridge ticket to help avoid the mid-day crowds when you see the Crown Jewels.
The Sky Garden at The Walkie Talkie
Address: 20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF, UK
If taking to the skies is your thing but you also want to experience some green space, you can have the best of both worlds at the Sky Garden.
Located on the 35th floor of “The Walkie Talkie” building (officially 20 Fenchurch is the name and address), this “urban jungle” is a very cool space with restaurants, bars/cafes, and even events.
As a visitor just having a look, it’s free to go up – but you have to reserve a time slot online. Free tickets are released on Mondays up to three weeks in advance.
They do accept walk-ups but it’s definitely worth booking in advance if you know you want to visit.
If you want to eat or drink, that’s a separate reservation for the bars or restaurants up there.
With views of London’s famous buildings all around you, it’s also a popular place to watch the sunset!
Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, United Kingdom
A visit to London wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Trafalgar Square. This large open-air public square is located in the heart of the city, just a short walk north of the river.
Here you’ll find the iconic Nelson’s Column (which commemorates the win in the Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic Wars). Around the column you’ll find the famous lions keeping watch.
The square is also known for its large fountains and “The Fourth Plinth”, a large stone pillar that gets decorated with modern art every year.
At Christmas time, you’ll find the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, which Norway gifts the UK every year (since 1947) as thanks for their support during World War II.
Generally, Trafalgar is a gathering place for tours and groups, locals and visitors alike. The National Gallery (mentioned next) is also located here.
For Canadian readers, you’ll also find the High Commission of Canada here – just look for the Canadian flags.
The National Gallery
Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, United Kingdom
Are art galleries more your thing? Then the National Gallery in the heart of London is for you!
The National Gallery is located right on Trafalgar Square – which is why we mentioned it above.
The Gallery was founded back in 1824 and focuses on European art. In fact, the collection boasts over 2,000 paintings from as far back as the 13th century!
The nice thing about most museums (the publicly funded ones) in London is that they are generally free to visit.
This makes experiencing these fantastic collections accessible, which is nice if you are on a budget.
The same rule goes for the National Gallery – although special/rotating exhibits usually cost money to see. There is also a charge for guided tours of the gallery.
Explore the National Gallery on the official highlights guided tour.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Address: St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD, UK
Want to visit one of the most famous religious sites in the country? The iconic dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral never disappoints!
St. Paul’s is easy to find. It’s located just north of the Thames, with the Millennium Bridge connecting the sidewalk from the building directly across the river to the front of the Tate Modern Museum. You can see that in the photo above!
The original church on the site dates from 604 and was built on this point at Ludgate Hill – the highest point in the City of London. The old cathedral was originally built in 1256 but burnt down in the Great Fire of London.
The new building (the current one) was rebuilt in 1675. The iconic dome stood as the highest point on the skyline for over 3 centuries until the 1960s and is still one of the highest domes in the world today!
If you’re planning to visit the cathedral, a St. Paul’s Cathedral ticket with an audio guide might be worth your time considering it’s a top attraction.
Also, keep in mind that the cathedral is a fully-operational parish with separate daily services and visiting hours.
The Tate Modern
Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG, United Kingdom
If you are interested in international and contemporary art, the Tate Modern is for you.
The Tate is one of two Tate museums in the city – the other is the Tate Britain near Westminster on the other side of the river. We will talk about it right below this one!
In any case, the Tate Modern was named the most visited attraction in the UK a few years ago – passing the British Museum (also on this list).
It’s probably a good idea to check it out. Of course, admission to the museum is free, but special exhibits might have a small cost attached.
The Tate Modern is easy to find – just look for the massive red brick tower/building exterior on the South Bank of the Thames.
Still lost? The entrance is just across the river from St. Paul’s Cathedral – and connecting the two is the “Harry Potter” bridge.
That’s what the Millennium bridge is sometimes called, because it’s the one destroyed in one of the later Harry Potter films!
The Tate Britain
Address: Millbank, London SW1P 4RG, United Kingdom
As for the other Tate Museum in the city, the Tate Britain has a slightly different feel to it.
More focused on displaying British art – including paintings, sculptures, and more – the Tate Britain also features a stunning staircase which is worth the photo.
Located on the north side of the Thames, it’s just south of the Palace of Westminster on the river bank – close to the Vauxhall Bridge and Pimlico Tube Station.
As with the other museums, admission is free – but you pay to enter special exhibitions.
The Monument to the Great Fire of London
Address: Fish St Hill, London EC3R 8AH, United Kingdom
Want some great views of the city and a bit of exercise? Check out the Monument to the Great Fire of London.
Located on the north bank of the river close to the base of London Bridge, this 62 metre tall tower was built in 1671 to commemorate the Great Fire of London in 1666.
In case you haven’t heard, that fire destroyed 1/3 of the city – including over 13,000 homes. These days, London is much more fire safe as not everything is timber frames!
The monument itself has significance. It was placed near Pudding Lane – the street with the bakery where the fire first broke out.
Climbing the spiral staircase inside involves 311 steps – but you get great views of the city from this vantage point just north of the river.
The Natural History Museum
Address: Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW7 5BD, UK
Did you come to London to have a look at over 80 million specimens available in one museum? Oh, perfect – because that’s how many the Natural History Museum has!
Okay, not ALL of them are on display at once – that would take up way too much space.
Located in South Kensington (close to the southwest end of Hyde Park), the Natural History Museum is one of three major museums on the famous “Exhibition Road” (the other two are also on this list: The Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum).
The museum is significant for its contributions to life and earth science – some specimens were even collected by Charles Darwin himself!
The entrance lobby is iconic because there used to be a dinosaur – a plaster cast of the Diplodocus “Dippy” – which has now been replaced by a full skeleton of a blue whale (which is also quite a sight).
As with most publicly funded museums in London, general admission is free with special exhibits costing a a small fee.
Address: 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT, UK
Are you a fan of Shakespeare? How about the history behind his famous “Globe Theatre”?
Well, there’s a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe in London on the South Bank (very close to the Tate Modern) – and you watch Shakespeare done right just like it was experienced centuries ago!
Eric has been to the Globe and had a true Globe experience, standing on the ground (called floor seats) and drinking an ale that they sell, which is apparently similar to what was available at the time.
He saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the overall experience of the performance was just awesome.
The best part is that while there are balcony seats around the stage, floor tickets are only £5 – but they sell out fast and in advance!
Warner Brothers Studio Tour for Harry Potter
Address: Warner Drive, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LP, United Kingdom
If you are a die-hard Harry Potter fan, then London is a great place to visit! There are many places around London that you can visit to experience scenes from the movies:
- Leadenhall Market was used as Diagon Alley in the first film
- A version of Platform 9 and 3/4 is located in King’s Cross Station
- The Millennium Bridge – which crosses the Thames near St. Paul’s Cathedral – was taken down by Death Eaters
A Harry Potter Walking Tour is a great way to get your fan-fill without leaving the city.
If you really want to immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter, a tour of the Warner Brothers Studios is a must-do.
The studios themselves are located outside the city centre in Leavesden. This is the only attraction we have listed that is truly located outside the city.
However, we wanted to include it as it is so popular that people might be looking for it.
In what has become a major tourist draw, the studios have opened their doors to movie sets such as Diagon Alley, the Great Hall, Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and more. You can tour the sets, and see costumes and iconic props used in the films.
Our Tip: If you want to visit the Studios, hop on a Warner Bros. London Studio Tour with transportation included to make the trip easy and memorable!
Remember to book your tickets in advance since it’s a popular attraction to visit. In fact, tickets must be booked in advance.
Greenwich Park & National Maritime Museum
Address: Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF, United Kingdom
Speaking of attractions in London that are not directly in the city centre: Greenwich Park is one of them!
Located to the east of central London at the southern end of the Isle of Dogs (on the opposite side of the Thames), this famous green space is where you find the Prime Meridian.
You can stand where the eastern and western hemispheres meet and learn all about time at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
From the top of the park’s hill, you get great views of Canary Wharf and the rest of the city. The whole area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its architecture and historical/cultural significance.
There are other things to explore in the park to keep you busy. You can head towards the Queen’s House, the nearbly National Maritime Museum, and the Royal Naval College down by the river.
You can spend an hour cruising the Thames from Westminster to Greenwich, taking in the sights along the way!
You can take transit – either a Tube and train combination or a Tube and DLR combination to get there. The other great way to get there is by boat (Thames Clipper) on the Thames!
The Victoria and Albert Museum
Address: Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL, United Kingdom
If you want to visit the world’s largest museum dedicated to decorative arts and sculptures, then the Victoria and Albert Museum is for you.
Sometimes referred to as the V&A, the museum is located in South Kensington and is one of the three major museums on “Exhibition Road” (along with the Natural History Museum and Science Museum). Admission to the V&A is also free!
The V&A has over 2 million objects in its collection – as it’s been collecting since 1852, this makes sense.
Inside, you will find works from all over the world, spanning 5,000 years of “creatives” – art, print, textiles, patterned objects, furniture, photos, and more!
In fact, the museum has the largest collection of objects from the Italian Renaissance era located outside of Italy.
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom
Of course, you can’t write a post about tourist attractions in London without mentioning the London Dungeons. This attraction is located near Westminster Bridge, basically right next to the London Eye.
If you want to learn about London’s dark past in a more “theatrical” way, then the Dungeons are for you.
This creepy attraction gets many visitors each year who are eager to learn a bit of history while being taken on an entertaining journey by live actors, effects, and rides.
Get your tickets for the London Dungeon here, if you dare!
We’ve never been, but apparently the one in London is quite good. You can find these Dungeon attractions in other larger cities – like Edinburgh – so if you miss it in London you might get a visit elsewhere!
The British Museum
Address: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, UK
As one of the largest museums in the world dedicated to “human history”, the British Museum is a pretty important place to visit.
Founded in 1753, the British Museum has since grown and expanded into the mammoth building it is today.
In fact, the Natural History Museum (listed above) is actually technically a branch of the British Museum’s collection.
Today, the British Museum holds over 8 million pieces – only 1% of which are currently on display. There are even a few controversial objects – like the Rosetta Stone – on display in the museum.
Our Tip: The British Museum is huge – so a guided tour experience might help you get the most out of your visit.
This popular attraction used to be the most visited in the UK – until the Tate Modern overtook it in 2019. However, it’s still a great place to check out since it’s centrally located near Russell Square.
Admission to the British Museum is free – but you can pay extra for special exhibits going on at the time you visit. Donations are always welcomed if you visit, though!
Address: 51°30’30.2″N 0°09’50.4″W
If you want to enjoy some peace and quiet while wandering around the bustling city, head for one of the green spaces – there are plenty to choose from.
Close to Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace are four interconnected “Royal Parks”. The largest one is Hyde Park (there are actually 8 Royal Parks total all over the city).
The park is full of smaller monuments (such as the Wellington Arch), cafes, gardens and paths leading in all directions.
You might want to check out Speakers’ Corner – an area that members of the public have used to protest, speak, and debate since the 1800s.
You can even swim in The Serpentine – a small lake in the middle! Eric has walked through it many times – but never swam.
A Royal Parks and Royal Palaces tour might interest you if you like exploring history and green spaces!
Harrods Department Store
Address: 87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL, United Kingdom
Some would put this on the list of top attractions in London – and others would leave it off. Whatever camp you fall into, a list of top attractions in London just doesn’t feel complete without Harrods Department Store.
Founded in 1849 and located in the lively area of Knightsbridge, Harrods is arguably one of the most famous department stores in the world.
With a Latin motto that translates to “all things for all people, everywhere”, it’s a hectic place famous for its high-end items, its Christmas displays, food halls, and more.
Fun Fact: Harrods had one of the world’s first escalators in 1898. It was actually a sewn leather walkway that moved people – and people at the time were not keen to ride it. The store offered customers brandy at the top of the escalator to help calm their nerves (seriously).
Personally, we don’t know what all the hype is about, but we know friends who have made a trip to Harrods like a pilgrimage while in London. We guess being the largest department store in Europe is pretty neat.
Visit Harrods on a vintage bus tour with a cream tea experience!
The Science Museum
Address: Exhibition Rd, Kensington, London SW7 2DD, UK
If science is your thing, then why not visit the Science Museum?
Founded back in 1857, the Science Museum in London is the final of the three major museums we keep talking about on “Exhibition Road” (the other two being the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum).
They are all located in South Kensington.
Inside the museum, the collection houses over 300,000 items from all facets of science – from astronomy to steam-powered engines.
With interactive exhibits, the Science Museum is a great place to take kids when visiting London. They have also added an IMAX cinema with rotating films on display.
Not to sound like a broken record in this post, but admission to the Science Museum is free – but donations are always welcome.
The Churchhill War Rooms
Address: Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AQ
London has a long and important place in European history – and so it should come as no surprise that wartime history is very popular in London.
The city was bombed by the Germans in 1940 and 1941 in what is known as the Blitz – a series of air raids.
Many people and important objects were moved to bunkers around the city (or out of the city completely). One of these people was the Prime Minister at the time – Winston Churchill.
So, if you want to know what his bunker looked like (with the ability to carry on running the country and the war effort), then head to Churchill’s Bunker/War Rooms!
Located very close to the Palace of Westminster, the War Rooms are a very popular attraction in the city since they have been preserved for future generations with meticulous detail.
If you want to learn more about wartime in London and visit the War Rooms, you can do both on a guided walking tour of Westminster and the famous War Rooms!
Things to Consider When Visiting London
If you are planning a visit to London, there are a few things you should think about before you go.
We thought it might be helpful to briefly talk about what you need to know before visiting: like general information, currency, weather, transport, and more!
General Information About London
London is a diverse metropolitan centre made up of over 8 million people. The city is the capital of England – and also the United Kingdom.
It’s also one of the most visited cities in the world! The language spoken is English – but the city is quite diverse so don’t be surprised to hear several languages when you visit.
London is divided into two halves by the Thames – a winding river that snakes its way through the centre of the city.
There is a north side of the river and a south bank – and each has different neighbourhoods, attractions, and things to do!
The currency used in London is the British Pound – so make sure you take some out before you leave, or be prepared to take out cash when you land.
You can basically use cards everywhere in London, but it’s always good to have some cash on you. Also, the Pound is different from the Euro – so if you carry on through Europe, you will need another currency!
Best Time to Visit London
Determining the best time to visit London is complicated – since the UK is known for its cloudy weather. That said, spring might be a little wet but not as wet as the winter months.
Summer has a good chance of being warm – but the city can get VERY busy. So, we recommend visiting in the fall when the weather is likely to still be nice and only a bit cooler.
Whichever time of year you visit, there is always a chance of rain in the United Kingdom.
Joking aside, you can absolutely enjoy London in the rain since there is lots to do indoors and a good rain jacket is all you need to survive!
Read More: Check out our Packing List for Europe!
Getting Around London
As for getting around London, you have options when it comes to one of the world’s most famous transit systems – made up of buses, the Tube (London Underground), DLR (London Light Rail), the Overground (basically just trains), river trains (ferries), and more.
The subway is famously known as the London Underground – or the Tube – and you can take it to many of the top attractions across the city.
As a visitor, you should check out the official Transport for London website.
When it comes to paying your fare, you have a few options. You could buy individual tickets to travel with paper tickets from vending machines.
Another – more likely and very convenient – option is to pay for transit fares using a contactless debit or credit card. This is super handy. The gates also accept Apple and Google Pay.
Then there are also tap cards used for the transit system, which are called Oyster Cards. You can get a Visitor Oyster Card, which is a prepaid Oyster Card that also comes with discounts on restaurants, museums, and more.
You can also just get a regular Oyster Card – which is a regular refillable tap card. As of late 2022, Oyster cards are 7 pounds and that is not refundable. They used to be 5 pounds and you could return them and get your money back.
The Transport system also has Visitor Passes and Travel cards, which you can read about here.
Popular London Tours
There are lots of great ways to get around London on tours, which are also a great way to see the sights and learn as you explore the city!
Where to Stay in London
Being London, there are so many places to stay – both accommodation options and also great areas/neighbourhoods. We have a detailed guide on where to stay in London if you are planning a trip and want to know more.
Get started searching for Accommodations in London.
For the purposes of this post, we’ll give you our spark notes to get you started.
If you are looking for a popular option in a great location, The Z Hotel Covent Garden is located in Covent Garden, which puts it within walking distance of many top areas and attractions.
For views of “Big Ben” and a location right beside the Thames, the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London is located at one end of Westminster Bridge and close to transit (Waterloo Station).
London can be expensive, so a nice budget option is the Blue Bells Hotel up near Paddington Station (close to Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens).
Lastly, a really nice boutique hotel option is the Page8, Page Hotels which is located just steps from Trafalgar Square.
Tip: Staying in an area of central London – such as Soho, for example – will have you close to many of the top sights. However, it may be noisier compared to a location on the river (like Lambeth) a little further from the action.
If you are planning a trip to London (or to the UK in general), here are some more posts that you may find helpful:
- One Day in London Itinerary for First-Time Visitors
- Where to Stay in London: Neighbourhood & Accommodation Guide
- Day Trips From London (& How to Get There)
- 3 Days in London Itinerary
- Our Experience (+Tips) for Visiting Stonehenge
And there you have it – a very comprehensive list of the top tourist attractions in London! Now, this isn’t everything – but it should be more than enough to keep you busy during your visit.
In any case, these are some of our favourite attractions – and a few that we haven’t been to yet, but have had on our list for ages!
London is a massive city with tons to see and do – so let us know what you get up to. Have fun!
As always, Happy Waddlin’,