London is a vibrant and diverse city full with countless of things to do and places to visit.
Here we’ll be exploring some pretty famous and iconic landmarks, as well as some very interesting and lively places along four different neighborhoods.
But don’t worry, this city is very walkable and you can complete the entire journey by foot, in one day if you’d like.
Along the way, you’ll discover some pretty epic photography spots for your Instagram.
And you’ll also find attractions maps and directions for all the points of interest mentioned here.
So let’s get started exploring what to do in London!
Soho is truly a very lively and happening spot that has tons of cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs, as well as an abundance of world-class theaters.
With non-stop entertainment, this is definitely a must-go place for a great time in London.
Found right in the core of London’s West End, it’s a busy and happening place in the focal point of London where you’re surrounded by a huge amount of theaters and musicals, and constantly bound to discover street entertainers performing.
An extremely dynamic place that is loaded up with clamoring eateries and bars, packed with individuals from all over the world.
It’s an extraordinary place to hang out and watch the world pass by.
Make it a point to stop by the official Tkts Booth to get discounted tickets for shows that day.
Everyday they offer the vacant seats of shows and performances for less expensive prices.
Also in the core of London’s west end and near Leicester Square you’ll find a charming and energetic area with authentic Asian eateries, pastry kitchens, markets and shops.
So much that it can be tough choosing precisely where to eat.
It’s stunning strolling the streets that are decorated with lovely red lamps, which makes the area stand out and makes for some wonderful photograph opportunities.
Considered the center of London, this is a great central point for exploring this awesome city.
You’ll find various well known attractions such as:
- Nelson’s column
- The Lions
- The Fountains
- The National Art Gallery (Free Wi-Fi in the museum)
Artists, cultural events, performers, street musicians, and a wide range of fascinating individuals tend to convene at this place which makes it for a very lively and outgoing environment.
It’s a very busy square that makes for a great place to just sit on the grand steps and watch all the people go by.
A pro tip would be to visit in the early hours when there’s less people so you can get some individual time up close to the famous Lions.
On the off chance that you just had one day to explore London, Westminster would be a wonderful place to begin with.
The iconic Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey are all grouped together and a short walk through St. James’s Park or The Mall you’ll find the Buckingham Palace.
Also, Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column are just right up the street too.
Visiting this area is definitely one of the top things to do while in London.
The famous red road leading to Buckingham Palace that you will not want to miss when visiting London.
The road’s color symbolizes a red carpet entrance and runs straight from Trafalgar Square, crossing through Admiralty Arch, to the Buckingham Palace.
There you’ll find the Queen Victoria Memorial & Green Park’s Canada Gate entrance.
Definitely an awesome Instagrammable spot!
It’s where the Queen lives and one of the most beautiful buildings in London that makes it a very popular place for photography.
The Changing of the Guard usually takes place at 11AM and is free to view, but if you want to see it you will need to arrive early in order to have a good place to observe it as it gets very crowded.
It certainly attracts a lot of visitors, but it provides you with beautiful surroundings and a free event that you get to experience that some people just take for granted.
St. James’s Park
It’s the oldest Royal Park in London and it has a large lake where you’ll see many types of birds such as ducks, swans, geese, herons, pelicans, and parrots.
It’s a perfect place to stop, take a break, and relax after walking around and exploring.
With lots of park benches next to the lake, you can feed the ducks and even watch the London eye go-round.
It’s a very natural, well maintained, and superb place to visit, especially for a nice picnic.
Big Ben and Palace of Westminster
As you head out of St. James’ park and just a short walk down Birdcage Walk, you’ll reach the Palace of Westminster where you’ll see Big Ben, the famous clock tower, and the Houses of Parliament.
There is so much history packed in such a small area with a lot of the popular London symbols. All around this area, you’ll find historic buildings, so it’s worth exploring all around and it makes for great photo opportunities.
Also, it’s a great place to see many of the iconic red, double-decker buses.
Cross Westminster Bridge
As you walk over and cross the Westminster Bridge you’ll find one of the best views to observe Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from the other bank.
Park Plaza Building
If you’d like an incredible view from above of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Bridge and London Eye, then head right next door to Primo Bar.
This cool cocktail bar has live music everyday and has a wonderful sky-view of London.
Map Route & Locations
- Leicester Square
- Chinatown Gate
- Trafalgar Square
- The Mall
- Buckingham Palace
- St. James’s Park
- Big Ben and Palace of Westminster
- Big Ben Viewpoint
- Park Plaza Building
From West End to Westminster
It houses some very popular destinations such as the London Eye and the Jubilee Promenade, while also providing a lot of family friendly activities and venues all along the river bank.
In addition to all of the amazing things to do, there’s also the ability to just sit back and admire the famous landmarks such as Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral which are located just on across the other side of the river.
This giant and iconic observation wheel, with 360-degree views and rising up over the Thames in your own pod up to 135 meters.
It’s truly captivating and what many consider a “must do” activity.
Once in the capsule, it takes about 20 minutes to complete a full circle, so it’s a great opportunity to see the city and it’s beautiful landmarks from a different perspective.
It’s one of the most famous and popular tourist attractions in London.
Jubilee Gardens and Walkway
Explore the gardens right next to the London Eye and stroll along the very pleasant walkway of the south bank of the River Thames.
You’ll find amusement rides, a carousel, playground areas, and climbing structures that make it the perfect place to hang out, especially if you’re traveling with children.
There are tons of places to eat, drink, shop, sit, and observe all along the route.
It is a free and lively walk through which you’ll pass by many attractions and can admire all the beautiful buildings along the river. Definitely a must for any visitor.
There’s plenty of opportunities to grab something to eat from the food trucks or the many eateries along the route.
The world-famous arts centre with wide range of restaurants, cafes, bars, markets and shops, this is a good place to come and relax after a long walk along the river Thames.
Seating area upstairs is a great place to enjoy a good coffee, hear some music, people watch and eat some good food.
Southbank Undercroft Skatepark
Along the route you’ll run into this awesome Skateboarding Park dating back to the 1970s that’s full of colorful graffiti walls.
Southbank Street Book Fair
A nice little outdoor book shop. You’ll find this right next door to the skatepark right under the Waterloo Bridge.
Here, many times you’ll find artist creating huge and beautiful sand sculptures along the beach.
There’s also an interesting mix of shops along the wharf that you don’t usually find anywhere else.
Visit the OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie and take elevator to the top floor where you’ll find a free public viewing area.
You can go anytime, it’s free, and the views of the city are great.
Tate Modern Museum
This free art gallery showcases international modern and contemporary art.
It also has a cafe with a viewing platform on the 10th floor with fantastic panoramic river views that’s free to access.
Many consider it the best view of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Definitely a hidden gem!
Exit the Tate Modern Museum and head over to the Millennium Bridge.
It’s one of the newest bridge in London, where only pedestrian traffic is allowed, so there won’t be any cars or buses to worry about.
Definitely a great place to take photos and it provides a great view of St. Paul’s Cathedral in the backdrop.
From Buckingham Palace To Southbank
Neighborhood: City of London
Referred to as the “City” or the “Square Mile”, it’s one of London’s most historic neighborhoods and the financial business district.
You can find historical ruins alongside modern high rise buildings as well as some of the most upscale shops and fine dining restaurants in this part of town.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
After crossing the bridge, you’ll find the Cathedral right in front of you.
If you have the opportunity to enter, visit Whispering Gallery with its unique acoustics.
Then climb to the Stone and Golden Galleries on the top of the dome which offer breathtaking panoramic views over London.
One New Change Shopping Center
Finally, visit the One New Change Shopping Center right next to the Cathedral for some pretty epic shots both from ground floor and from the rooftop terrace.
Map Route & Locations
- London Eye
- Jubilee Gardens
- Queens Walk
- Southbank Centre
- Undercroft Skatepark
- Street Book Fair
- Gabriel’s Wharf
- Oxo Tower Viewpoint
- Tate Modern Museum
- Millennium Bridge
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- One New Change Shopping Center
You’ve Made It
You now have a great guide and reference for planning an awesome trip in Central London. I hope you enjoy your visit as much as I did.
Let me know what some of your favorite spots are!
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