Top Attractions in London
Collected by Emma John, AFAR Local Expert
You really can never be bored of London, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, and where you'll encounter cultural, culinary, historical, and romantic gems that have no equal.
Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK
188-196 Regent St, Soho, London W1B 5BT, UK
Nothing quite prepares you for the squeaking, bleeping and whizzing you’ll encounter at Hamleys. As you enter the store and make your way up the central escalators serving its seven floors, it’s likely some semblance of a modern...
1 Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A 2DD, UK
This underground bunker lay undisturbed for 30 years after the end of World War II, and is now open to the public in its restored original state. The maps are as they were the day the war ended. It's moving to contemplate that this is where...
48 Doughty St, London WC1N 2LX, UK
There’s oodles of literary history in Bloomsbury. The elegant squares and rows of townhouses in this part of town, just east of Tottenham Court Road and south of Euston, were home to any number of authors, poets, and journalists and you can...
21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT, UK
Don’t let anyone tell you that going to the Globe Theatre is what the tourists do. It’s what theatre lovers do. Since this ambitious, open air, Shakespearean-style theatre opened, its productions have been one of the top contributions...
Romney Rd, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF, UK
To do Greenwich properly, you should really arrive by boat. After all, this is the site of the former Tudor palace that was home to Henry VIII, which is now buried beneath the Old Royal Naval College — a former hospital for wounded sailors...
Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, London N1 2UN, UK
Possibly no music venue in London has quite as intriguing a backstory as the Union Chapel in Islington. The 19th-century Gothic Revival church, with its mosaic floor, its carved ceiling, its stained glass windows, and its chunky brick belltower,...
St John's Wood Rd, London NW8 8QN, UK
Even if you don’t know your long-on from your silly mid-off, the world headquarters of the game of cricket is worth the pilgrimage. Almost hidden amid the upscale residential neighbourhood of St John’s Wood, its size, once you get on...
7 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BY, UK
There’s something almost cheeky about the Prince Charles Cinema. Tucked in a little alley behind Leicester Square, it seems to thumb its nose at the great swathes of visitors who go to the square to spend silly money in its vast multiplexes....
St. Martin's Pl, London WC2H 0HE, UK
Nestled in the corner next to the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery isn’t as overwhelming as its larger sibling. It’s an absolute beaut of a gallery, with a permanent collection (free to...
Southwark Cathedra, London Bridge, London SE1 9DA, UK
If you’re looking for a moment of peace and reverence surrounded by gothic grandeur and ancient history, head for this often overlooked gem. It doesn’t get the noisy crowds of Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s, but Southwark is one...
Almeida St, London N1 1TA, UK
If you've seen the big West End shows and you’re looking for something a bit more intimate, nothing beats this classy venue in sophisticated Islington. Small in size, the Almeida still packs a huge punch, constantly winning awards for...
Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, UK
Checking out the famously preserved mummies at the world’s oldest public museum is on many London wish lists, but there’s much more to the British Museum than ancient Egypt. Other must-sees include the Elgin Marbles and the African...
59 Lamb's Conduit St, London WC1N 3NB, UK
Persephone Books is absolutely one of a kind. It's both a bookshop and a publisher, run by Nicola Beauman, a brilliant woman who wanted to reclaim neglected works by women authors. So she set out to uncover great books that had fallen out of...
Hertford House, Manchester Square, Marylebone, London W1U 3BN, UK
This elegant town-house gallery is one of the capital’s lesser-known art spots, but it's simply packed with priceless paintings, furniture and porcelain. Its decorative exhibits range from armor to portraits, and it's a good stop as part of...
Somerset House, 150 Strand, London WC2R 0RN, UK
Tucked away inside the large space of Somerset House, this small gallery leaves a large impression. It houses the collection of the Courtald Institute of Art, a stunning set of early 20th-century art with a focus on French Impressionist and...
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP, UK
Sir John Soane was an 18th-century architect who died nearly 200 years ago. He was also an undiagnosed hoarder. The man's townhouse, which has been left untouched since his death and which free to the public, is an extraordinary jumble of his...
183 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2BE, UK
Completely unique and always fascinating, the Wellcome Trust, not far from the British Library, is a free museum devoted to the marvels of the human body. It has regular exhibitions, taking sideways scientific looks at everything from the the...
149 Piccadilly, London W1J 7NT, UK
Famously given the address No 1, London when it was first built on the north side of Piccadilly, the Duke of Wellington's former home is one of the few Georgian houses in London that still stands alone. From Hyde Park Corner you see it in all...
93 Guilford St, London WC1N 1DN, UK
There's nowhere more exclusive in London than Corams Fields—because this is the one square in the city where adults aren't allowed, unless they're accompanied by a child. A seven-acre park and playground, funded by charity for the past 80...
Charing Cross Rd, London, UK
If you're more interested in browsing than buying, the bottom half of Charing Cross Road is crammed with some of the most extraordinary bookshops in London. It's home to the rare, the antiquarian, and the specialist trades, both new and...
St. Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD, UK
There has been a church on this site in the City of London for 1400 years and the current St. Paul's Cathedral is the mother church of the Diocese of London. Designed by famed architect Sir Christopher Wren in the grand English Baroque style, it...
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