Things to do in London

Get Your Bearings in London

See & Do

Things to See

London may have a reputation for its dusty medieval monuments, but its attractions cater to every interest and age group. So don't overlook the odd ones! Take a row boat to a brewery, buy flowers from a Cockney, cleanse your energies, or hop in a chopper, if your budget allows -- keeping a keen eye out for London's unique experiences make your holiday unforgettable.


Mega-sites on the weekend -- leave the Tower Of London, The Eye, and Westminster Abbey til a quiet weekday.

Hot Tips:

Go east, where the up-and-comers are always curating new, innovative experiences

Where to Stay

Though you may not always be staying at The Savoy, London's hotels offer the kind of quaint charm and groundbreaking artistry to fuel an Anglophile's daydreams for life. There's a form of accommodation to fit each budget, so do your research wisely and keep an open mind. You never know where it might get you.


Leicester Square, Picadilly Circus, and Victoria are all ram-packed arteries for foot traffic, so book with caution

Hot Tips:

Hostels can often be as colorful and swanky as hotels in London, so keep an eye out

What to Eat

Gone are the days of boiled potatoes and beef Wellington (for the most part). The last decade has seen London rival Paris and New York for dining prestige, and partaking in London's continental classics and New World innovations could take up an entire visit -- you'd be well advised to go in with a solid foodie game-plan. Splashing out in posh Mayfair? Diving into the edgy East End? Heading south for the most authentic Caribbean curry east of Port Elizabeth? There's a signature dining experience for each of the city's vibrant nooks.

Take It or Leave It:

Get your hands on some haggis if you can manage it. Though not exactly local, it crops up on breakfast menus from time to time.

Be Sure to Sample:

Any of the artisanal offerings from Borough Market

Places to Party

Come nightfall, London's underbelly opens up a whole new world of entertainment options to the first-time visitor and seasoned veteran alike. Maybe you want to rub shoulders with the swanky elite, or get grubby and gritty like your punk icons of yesteryear. Keep your ear to the ground -- London will always offer up some type of late-night adventure.


The "Shoreditch" clubs near the Old Street roundabout. If you want an east London night out head further into the belly of the beast, toward Dalston and Hackney

Hot Tips:

Don't rule out the pubs! Some will have inexplicable street cred with the younger late-night set

Where to Shop

Don't you dare look at that exchange rate! No visit to London would be complete without stocking up on all the fashions, confections, literature, and gizmos that hide behind every set of doors you're bound to encounter. Head to Hatton Garden for jewelry or to Oxford Circus for the "highstreet" goodies you won't find across the pond. You can head east to save some of that hard-earned dosh on vintage and second-hand items that would pass as painfully curated sartorial masterpieces anywhere else.


The megastores in Leicester Square. They're the types you can find anywhere.

Best Local Souvenir:

Marmite chocolate! It exists, trust us.



Things to do in London

London is known for...

Five of London's most unique features and characteristics.

1. The Queen & Royal Family:

Apart from being England’s capital city and the Queen’s back garden, London is home to the world’s now favourite power couple, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Wills and Kate). Summer 2012 promises to delight royal fans as London leads UK celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and 60 years as ruling monarch from 2-5 June. Young Royal spotters may head to Boujis – a club in sloaney South Kensington for a chance to spot Harry enjoying a right royal knees up. The changing of the guards is another royal must-see but you’re unlikely to ever witness one of the Queen’s Grenadier Guards crack a smile.

2. Houses of Paliament and Bonfire Night Conspiracy:

Remember, Remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot…  In 1605, a now infamous plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament was thwarted, resulting in a much celebrated UK tradition where bonfires are lit and fireworks blast into wintery skies all across the Capital. One conspirator in particular, Guy Fawkes (the original Fall Guy) took most of the rap. Despite Guy and his friend’s best efforts the Houses of Parliament still stand proud on Embankment as Britain’s steadfast political seat while Big Ben continues to chime on the quarter hour.

3. Black Cabs:

All hail the London cabbie! Those who do won’t have to travel too far before they share a story or two. With only a ‘couple of quid’ on the meter you discover two things. Firstly they are not keen to drive ‘South of the river’ and secondly that unlike cabbies in most parts of the world, the iconic "black cab" driver knows the intricacies of the city’s A to Z of streets having studied the official ‘knowledge’ for four years.

4. Cockney Culture:

Born under the sounds of the Bow bells, East Londoners may now live in one of the cooler parts of town for the chic Hackney bars and street market culture. Mile End, Stratford, Plaistow and Bethnal Green are the tube stops to find the real East end famous for gangsters, jellied eels and pearly kings and queens. Even more famous is the local dialect cockney rhyming slang: apples and pears (stairs), cup of rosy lee (tea) and whistle and flute (suit).

5. 2012 Olympics:

The capital’s all abuzz over London 2012. Backed by the likes of David Beckham, Prince William and London’s eccentric yet affable Mayor, Boris Johnson, the main focal point of the event is a new Olympic Park in the East End. The site spans 357 football pitches, has an 80,000 seat capacity and a Stadium standing 53m tall: three metres taller than Nelson’s Column. Soon, it will play host to athletes, media and spectators from around the world, all hoping their team brings home precious metal. British hopes rest with two-time Olympic Gold-winning swimmer, Rebecca Adlington and the blur that is the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time, Sir Chris Hoy.