South Bank

103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA, UK

South Bank has both the best river walk in London and the city’s liveliest cultural centers, so a walk along it is a must. The path takes you from the Globe and the Tate Modern along the Thames—passing Gabriel’s Wharf with its stellar restaurants and bars—to the National Theatre, the Royal Festival Hall, the Hayward Gallery, and the London Eye. A two-mile strip has never held so many different entertainment opportunities; you could spend weeks along it without getting bored. That’s not to mention the regular outdoor performances and the unparalleled views of the bridges over the river, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament.

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Books Under the Bridge

Under the Waterloo Bridge on the Southbank, you’ll find second-hand books for sale at the outdoor Southbank Centre Book Market. I used to come here over the weekends, thinking it was only then the market was open. But now I’ve learnt it’s open every day.

Kids' London

Don’t think that London is just for adults waving flags at the Queen’s celebrations or cheering on Olympians. This grand old lady of cities has much on offer for kids, as this teenager found out when carefully positioning herself between the upward water spouts on the South Bank. (Her mother was not impressed when she ran through them, though.)

Late night shopping on the Southbank

The night markets that take place each weekend on the Southbank are a great place to grab a bite to eat - and a lovely spot for a nighttime walk by the Thames. There are dozens of food stalls representing many different world cuisines, most of them pretty upmarket, so you can choose from pastries to burritos to dolmades. There’s also plenty of local brew to try to, be it beer, wine, cider, or apple juice. I recommend the paella stall, if they’re there.

Quirky South Bank Walk

Start with a 25-minute ride on the London Eye ($30). Take Queen’s Bank Promenade to the South Bank Centre to check-out murals by Phlegm. Watch the skateboarders awhile. Continue along the Thames, and if you’re lucky you’ll encounter Flame Proof Moth singing from the shores. Next stop: The Tate Modern. Don’t miss Dali’s Autumnal Cannibalism, my favorite piece.

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