The Big Smoke is no stranger to art, culture, or world -class shopping, so it makes sense that London is one of the world’s top travel destinations. The capital of England earns its reputation by offering top -notch theater productions, food from around the globe, and some of the finest museums on the planet. Of course, afternoon tea should also be on any London itinerary. Whether you head to town to watch the changing of the iconic guards at Buckingham Palace or get bird’s eye view of the city via the London Eye, sightseeing in London is sure to deliver memories to last a lifetime.
Things to do in London, England vary from the refined to the bohemian. You can grab a nightcap after an evening at the opera just as easily as you can shop the stalls of artsy street markets. Whether your trip to London will be fancy or carefree, you can find a borough or neighborhood here that makes you feel at home.
Kensington — This is one of the trendiest boroughs in the city, officially dubbed the “royal” borough. It’s no surprise, then, that the streets are lined by expensive homes and well-manicured trees. Kensington High Street offers fine shopping and dining, and visitors are welcome to tour Kensington Palace.
Covent Garden — This West End district is best known for its energetic public square, where you will often find street performers. The daily open market is perhaps the best of its kind in the city. Things to do in London’s Covent Garden also include more formal affairs, however. You can take in a show at the Lyseum Theatre or get dinner at London’s oldest restaurant, Rules.
Notting Hill — Notting Hill is more than the setting of a famous romantic comedy. This charming part of London has cobblestone streets, pubs begging for you to enjoy a leisurely lunch, and plenty of antiques vendors.
Leicester Square — Leicester Square is often considered to be the entertainment hub of the city. And with cinemas, theaters, and casinos galore—visitors can certainly keep busy any time of day.
Landmarks and other things to see in London are dripping in stories from bygone times, so if you aced AP history, you’re bound to fit in immediately. Before you take to London by foot or get adventurous, grab your camera and head to one of the many historical sites. Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and Big Ben are just a sampling of the places you will be happy you explored in person. Of course, you can find a theater production of nearly any sort in the city every day of the week. Catch a matinee musical in Leicester Square or grab dinner and a show in Trafalgar Square.
In addition to the many sights and attractions in England’s capital, there are also opportunities to get active. Go for a jog in Hyde Park, grab your nicest swim suit and take a dip in a lido pool, or rent a pedal boat in Battersea Park. London tours also help you burn some calories while you take in the city; whether you embark on a walking tour or kayak excursion, you can spot important sites while you work off those fish and chips. If you’re ready to see what the rest of England has to offer, day trips from London provide a wonderful opportunity to see countryside as well as major U.K. universities.