London has my heart. Fun fact about me: I would really love to live in London for a bit. My favorite part about London is the transportation. Locals may not agree, but for a tourist who’s point of comparison is Marta… the Tube is a dream come true. The list of Best Things to do in London was quite challenging to make. There is simply a lot to do in this cheeky city. (Do I sound British yet?)
I first traveled to London during my tennis-obsessed days to see Wimbledon. London is beautiful in the summer, so it is easy for one to understand how I quickly fell in love with the city. I returned to London a few years later to meet a friend who was working in Ireland. This marked my first completely solo adventure overseas. I would love to tell you about the tears I shed in a London taxi-cab, but that is a story for another day.
At the top of my Best Things to do in London list is Wimbledon. As a flight standby kid, we had to craft a rough outline of our travels and make minimal monetary investments prior to getting a seat on the plane. This has resulted in many hotels booked while sitting on the plane or upon landing in a destination.
We intended to “queue” (aka wait in line) at Wimbledon to get tickets, rather than purchasing them beforehand. Wimbledon is a short train ride outside of London and we arrived to queue at an ungodly morning hour. I loved sitting in the queue and observing people from all different cultures interact. I was fascinated by how many accents, languages and personalities were represented from around the world just in this one line. When we finally reached the ticket booth, we barely missed second court tickets, but scored tickets to the third and fourth courts and the grounds. Wimbledon will forever be one of my most cherished experiences. We should all go back! Let’s plan it.
The Shard is another top Best Things to do in London. It is the tallest building in the UK and on a good day, you can see for miles. You can zip up to the top of the building for the best views London has to offer. We purchased our tickets the day of to ensure that the weather would be nice. We arrived at the Shard around 3pm, a little over an hour before sunset. It was an indescribable experience to watch the sun set and the lights begin to twinkle throughout London. When you arrive at the top of the Shard, you are offered a glass of champagne and an audio guide as you walk around. You can even venture to the outside area depending on the time of year.
Go for a morning walk in Hyde Park and catch a glimpse of Kensington Palace. I love Kensington Palace so much I wrote an entire blog post about it.
Stroll through Nottinghill
Shop on Oxford Street
Explore Harrods, the world’s most famous and luxurious department store
Do all of the iconic London things – Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and St. Pauls Cathedral. Pro Tips: to get into Westminster Abbey for free, attend a communion service.
Find Regents Park and the Beatles Crosswalk, but don’t be fooled – taking pictures on this active crosswalk is not as easy as it looks.
If you are a Harry Potter fan, go to Kings Cross station and see the 9 ¾ platform
Go to Borough Market near the London Bridge. The market is one of the largest and oldest in London, and sometimes the best way to get to know a new city is through its food!
The Ritz Carlton and Number Sixteen Hotel are a few favorites BUT the full list with all of the juicy afternoon tea details is here.
PS – if you’re a breakfast/brunch person, check out our guide on best breakfast spots in London!
Cambridge Street Kitchen
Granger & Co
Eggbreak in Nottinghill
Yes, London is wonderful, but we also love a day trip to explore outside of the city. Don’t miss a visit to Oxford or Windsor Castle while in the UK.