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Travelling to London needn’t be expensive. You’ll find a wide range of things to do in London for free.
Wile away hours in world-class museums such as the V&A, the Natural History and the British Museum, or take in one of London’s many events and exhibitions at the Barbican Centre or Somerset House. Arty types can explore classic or contemporary work at the Tate Modern or National Gallery, while literary lovers can scour the shelves at the magnificent British Library.
Must-see things to do in London include climbing the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral or witnessing the changing of guards at Buckingham Palace. Those who like to be at the heart of the action can enter the Houses of Parliament and watch live debates, while photo-takers can catch a great view of Big Ben from the Westminster Bridge on the banks on the River Thames.
London’s many green spaces, such as Richmond Park or Hampstead Heath, mean that you can take some time out from the hustle and bustle of the city. Spot wildlife, take a leisurely bike ride or pack a picnic for a wonderful family day out.
As one of the most visited cities in the world, London needs little introduction. With such a wealth of attractions, from art and culture to food and history, you’ll be spoiled for choice. To help you make the most of your time, we’ve put together a short destination guide of our recommendations for the best things to do in London. Take a look and start planning your coach trip today.
London has plenty of attractions for you to visit during your break. See the city from the skies – with a trip on the London Eye or the newly-opened Shard – or even from the Thames, on a memorable river cruise with a three-course meal and champagne.
Get up close and personal with your favourite celebrities at Madame Tussauds, sneak a peek at Her Majesty’s Crown Jewels at Buckingham Palace or discover all the different types of marine life at London Aquarium. Those looking for a little adventure can experience the gruesome thrills of the London Dungeons or Tower of London, while those after a more relaxing day can amble through the beautiful Kew Gardens – often hosting educational events and fun workshops for kids.
Arguably the shopping capital of the world, it’s hard to know where to start with London. From charming, upmarket districts such as the Marylebone High Street or Chelsea’s King’s Road to hidden gems tucked away in bohemian Soho, you’ll be utterly spoiled for choice.
A walk down bustling Oxford Street or Regent Street will find you at the heart of high street shopping, while Bond Street is home to London’s beautiful designer boutiques. If you love to shop ‘til you drop, a good bet is to try the iconic department stores, such as Harrods, Selfridges, Liberty and Westfield, where you’ll find a myriad of shops and eateries. If you’re a lover of all things vintage, head to Spitalfields and Brick Lane – the hip heart of London, with quirky shops selling retro records, furniture and clothes.
If visiting on a weekend, London’s markets are great places to pick up bargains. On a Saturday, Portobello Road turns into row upon row of world stalls selling everything from trinkets and antiques to old records and gourmet foods. Borough Market is also worth a visit. Rise early for the pick of fresh and delicious British and International food. On a Sunday, meander down East London’s quirky Colombia Road, where you can pick up cut-price blooms from the flower market.
London’s eclectic food scene means you’re sure to find something for everyone. From the famous Brick Lane curry district and renowned foodie markets, such as Borough and Billingsgate, through to Michelin starred restaurants and cosmopolitan bars, you’ll be overwhelmed with choice. We’ve picked out some of our favourites, from cheap eats to celebration dining.
On a shoestring:
The Golden Hind: touted as the best fish and chips in London. Don’t take our word for it – head down early and take a bottle.
Princi: delicious mix-and-match Italian food in the heart of Soho.
Franco Manca: cheap and tasty brick oven baked pizza made with freshly sourced ingredients.
Middle of the road:
Rainforest Café: one for the kids. A tropical hideaway in London’s West End, bringing together the sights and sounds of the jungle.
Meat Liquor: said by many to serve some of ‘the best burgers in the world’. Queues can be long, so get there early and grab a drink from the bar beforehand.
Brasserie Zadel: an authentic Parisian brasserie serving delicious, inexpensive French food. Decked out in ornate furnishings, with separate bar and cabaret areas, Zadel ticks all the boxes of a fun evening out.
Splash the cash:
The OXO Tower restaurant: situated on the eight floor of the OXO Tower, this modern British restaurant is as much of a feast for the eyes as it is the taste buds.
Kensington Roof Gardens: 100 feet above Kensington High Street is an elegant bar and restaurant set in one and a half acres of beautifully themed gardens. Get there early for sunset cocktails.
The Ritz: perfect for a special occasion, high tea at The Ritz is a truly quintessential experience.