This buzzing capital has so much going on that you’ll want to experience it all, from top places to eat to shopping in Harrods. With top music performances and sporting events, art exhibitions or West End shows, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Here are the top 10 reasons to visit London.
London is a cosmopolitan and exciting city, with plenty of shows, performances and exhibitions happening all year round. Whether you’re into historical or ghost tours to top DJs performing in night clubs, London has a huge variety in things to see and do. Here are some of the most famous events and attractions that you should include on your visit to London!
1. World Class Theatre and Musical Shows
If you’re a fan of theatre, musicals, comedies, and dance then you’re in luck! With lots of shows arriving fresh from New York’s Broadway and plenty of home-grown talent, take a look at what shows are on in London’s famous Theatre District. Favourites to see are Les Miserables, Billy Elliot, The Book of Mormon and everyone is talking about the and the new Harry Potter play coming this summer. For discounted tickets or day time performances there are often discounts too. Buy your tickets at TKTS for official tickets.
2. Shop ’til you Drop
Whether alternative Camden Market is your thing or up market Harrods, there’s no denying that London has some of the best shops in the world. Oxford Street is famous for high street stores and shopping meccas such as Selfridges, or flashy nearby Bond Street is full of boutiques. Soho has a host of trendy shops and funky Carnaby Street is famous for clothes and shoes. For markets try hipster Brick Lane in East London or alternative Camden market; for upmarket shopping Knightsbridge has Harvey Nichols and Harrods.
3. Sporting Events
From Tennis at Wimbledon to the Rugby at Twickenham, there are a lot of sporting events taking place in the capital throughout the year. With some of the major football teams playing on their home turf in London or the famous London Marathon, there are lots of sporting events that you can take part in our watch live. Wimbledon even has the famous ‘Henman Hill’ for those who don’t have tickets, and the football for the UEFA Euro 2016 should be showing on large screens all around town. You can also visit the 2012 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Find out what events are on here
4. Free Museums full of masterpieces
With some of the best museums in the world, if you’re visiting London you should stop by a couple of the museums – there’s no excuse not to as they’re free! That’s right, from the National Gallery where Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ adorns the wall along with 3,200 other masterpieces, to the British Museum which houses antiquities from around the world, especially Egypt and Ancient Greece. The Tate Modern gallery and Tate Britain on the River Thames are also free and house some of the most valuable art in the world. Go check them out!
5. Great Markets
From designer goods and vintage clothes to organic food and antiques – London has a wealth of markets to visit with lots of choice of things to buy. Try Spitalfields market by Liverpool Street for trendy clothes and handcrafted goods, or Brick Lane for vintage clothes and vinyl records. Head to Camden for alternative clothes and music, or enjoy the food stalls on the canal. There’s also great food at Borough Market and you have to visit Covent Garden market also. Portabello Market is the best for antiques and bric a brac and is a great way to explore the neighbourhood in Notting Hill (closed Sunday).
6. Live Music – Everywhere!
London is a great place to catch your favourite band on tour or just see some great new live music. From busking on London Underground to performances at Wembley, there’s music everywhere in London. There are numerous clubs that have live performances at night clubs around town, such as Camden’s Koko, and Soho’s Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Live. In the summer you can also catch great live performances in London’s Hyde Park or free on the Southbank. Find out more about what’s on with Time Out London or look on Ticketmaster.
7. Famous Landmarks
Whether it’s Big Ben or the chapel from the Da Vinci Code – there are so many cool spots in London to discover, from Victorian squares to World War bunkers. You can visit the Houses of Parliament and discover their history, or London’s China Town or Soho for great food and a cool atmosphere. From Leicester Square you can watch the stars arrive at film premieres or maybe hit the dance floor and see Prince Harry at one of the uber cool nightclubs in Chelsea or Mayfair! You can’t miss seeing Tower Bridge on the river Thames, or the famous skyline from Waterloo – London’s history is laid out to discover. Or take a trip on the London Eye wheel or up the Shard and see them all from up high!
8. Historical Castles and the Queen’s Palace
Brimming full with history from the Tower of London to present day Buckingham Palace, London is full of royal heritage. You can see the Crown Jewels and famous Yeoman with the royal Ravens at the Tower of London (a castle and prison from 1078 in central London), or get lost in the maze at King Henry VIII’s Hampton Court. There are several palaces that are open to the public, including the Queen’s house, Buckingham Palace, and historical palaces around the city from Greenwich to Hampstead. Find out more here
9. Street Life
London is a lively city and one of the best things to do is sit back and soak in all the street life, whether it’s outrageous fashion in Soho or King’s Road, or performance artists in Covent Garden. The South Bank, a large pedestrianised area along the river Thames, also has plenty of live music, comedy and theatrical performances for free. Camden and Brick Lane are also great for watching the world go by and see the new trends and fashions. Or find a quiet square and enjoy the peace of the city!
London is Europe’s greenest capital, with Royal Parks and open spaces all over town. Richmond Park has wild deer and Hampstead Heath has outdoor swimming pools. Hyde Park in summer hosts free music concerts and has horse riding and the Serpentine gallery and lake, while Greenwich Park has the Queen’s House and Maritime Museum. Great for sunbathing, picnics and boating on the lakes! Regents Park hosts London Zoo – which has night visits too and the open air theatre in summer too.
Equity Point Hostel London is located centrally in Paddington – by famous Hyde Park and Notting Hill. With all the usual fabulous facilities of our hostels, we offer a clean, fun and safe place to stay. We also have rooms available to suit any budget. Find out more here