If you’ve ever wanted to be a wizard or witch for the day, this is your chance! These Harry Potter-themed London tours are the talk of the town, with magic and mystery waiting to welcome all those who venture into the Warner Bros. Studio. You’ll explore the movie sets and relive some of your favorite scenes in the Great Hall and the Forbidden Forest. Don’t miss Diagon Alley where Ollivander’s wand shop and Potage’s cauldron emporium make the perfect selfie stage! Afterward, join one of the Harry Potter location tours to see where some of the filming took place in central London.
Taking a spin on the London Eye is a must if you’re visiting the South Bank of the River Thames. Heralded as one of the most recognizable sights on the city skyline, this giant observation wheel is the tallest in Europe. The views from the top are incredible, with 360-degree panoramas out across the capital. From here you’ll have front row seats to icons like Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Houses of Parliament. For a glamorous evening out, you can book a private capsule with dinner, Champagne, and chocolates. It’s the perfect place for a dash of romance, or even a proposal!
Some of the most immersive London tours are enjoyed on foot, letting you discover hidden gems as well as favorite icons. Walking tours often have a theme, so you can take more than one to make the most of your stay. Travel into the past and explore the streets of Victorian London on a spine-tingling Jack the Ripper tour or put your detective skills to the test with a Sherlock Holmes excursion. Ghost walks are always popular, especially after dark, and Changing of the Guard tours are a must for fans of the Royal Family. On a budget? Then pick one of the free walking tours to keep costs down.
Running through the heart of historic London, the River Thames has long been the focal point of the city. Once the main transport route for trading and commerce, today the Thames takes visitors on a journey past most of the major landmarks. Sightseeing cruises operate between Westminster and Greenwich, while high-speed boat tours will make you feel like James Bond hurtling along the water past MI6 headquarters. Choose a lunch or dinner cruise if you want to enjoy some fine dining with your views or try an afternoon tea boat tour for an authentic slice of English tradition.
If you only visit one historic venue in the city, make sure it’s the Tower of London. Built in the 1070s and added to over the centuries, this imperious riverside fortress has been a royal palace, a treasury, and even a menagerie. The notorious prison was once home to infamous criminals and unfortunate queens, with Guy Fawkes and Anne Boleyn topping the guest list. Today the Crown Jewels and the famous ravens are the main residents. This former place of pageantry and execution is probably the most famous landmark in the city and is often included on classic London tours.
Take to the streets on two wheels and see more of the historic sights than you would on foot. London tours by bike usually last half a day and visit locations that are closely linked to the Royal family. You’ll pedal past Buckingham Palace, the Princess Diana Memorial, and Kensington Palace. Make sure you wave to the Queen as you fly past! London is busy, but don’t worry, you’ll avoid the traffic by cycling through leafy Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. It’s a real treat discovering nature in the heart of the city - don’t miss seeing the pelicans in St. James’s Park.
There’s a lot to see in London but take a break from the city and spend a day visiting some other southern beauties. Stonehenge is one of the most renowned prehistoric monuments in the world, and despite their best efforts, archaeologists are still mystified about its original purpose. Today you can check out the stone circle and see ancient treasures in the visitor center museum. The spa city of Bath is another popular stop, where healing waters have been attracting tourists for centuries. Stroll along Georgian crescents and feel like you’re stepping into a Jane Austin novel. Finally, take a tour of the 900-year-old Windsor Castle just outside London where you can explore the State Apartments and see the revered St. George’s Chapel.
When it comes to entertainment, London really knows what it’s doing. Taking in a musical or a show in the buzzing West End is akin to visiting Broadway in New York City. For the best seats in the house, booking ahead is advised, as performances often sell out, especially at weekends. Whether you’re into light opera, stand-up comedy, or Shakespearian plays, there will be something on that floats your boat. Some of the most popular theatrical productions can be seen here, with everything from The Lion King and Les Miserables to Mamma Mia and The Phantom of the Opera.
Westminster Abbey is a favorite stop-off on many central London tours. It’s one of the oldest buildings in the city and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Building began in 1245, and over the centuries it has become a burial place for numerous monarchs. As tradition dictates, royal weddings and coronations still take place here - it’s where Prince William and Kate Middleton got married! On the tour, you’ll be able to explore inside the abbey and learn about the history behind these hallowed walls. Check out the stained-glass windows and Gothic architecture before visiting Poet’s Corner, the last resting place of many literary greats.
Short on time but want to take in as many sights as possible? Then a hop-on hop-off bus tour is for you. The routes pass through the center of London, swinging by several key attractions and landmarks, taking the hassle out of transport logistics. You can just jump off whenever you want! This is a great way to visit places like 10 Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament, and the London Dungeon, as well as the famous shopping districts of Oxford Street and Regent Street. Covent Garden, The Shard, and Madame Tussauds are also popular sightseeing stops.
London is a firm favorite with all visitors to Europe. Everyone from King Henry VIII to architect Sir Christopher Wren has left their mark on the historic capital of the United Kingdom.
The past is never far away thanks to the hundreds of monuments and buildings that have stood here for centuries. Yet the modern world has its place too, with shiny skyscrapers and high-class restaurants rubbing shoulders with 16th-century taverns and medieval palaces.
You can take advantage of the many London tours while you’re in town, to check off all those bucket list icons. Whether you’re into fine art, international cuisine, or ancient history, London has it all.
The London transport system is superb, with an extensive network of tube lines and buses taking you wherever you want to go. You’ll need to purchase an Oyster Travel Card, which can then be topped up whenever you start to run out of credit.
Pick a hotel in zone one (the central area) to avoid paying more for transport. You’ll be closer to the main sights here too! Covent Garden and Kensington are convenient for exploring, while Mayfair is the place to go for a splurge.
To save money on attraction visits, buy a London Pass which gives you discounts on entry to many of the city’s top sights.
If you’re into history and want to walk in the footsteps of Tudor kings and queens, then join one of the London tours to Hampton Court Palace down in Richmond upon Thames. Closer to the center, the Churchill War Rooms are a must for anyone who wants to learn more about the Second World War.
Green-fingered visitors will love discovering the greenhouses and arboretum at Kew Gardens, while daredevils should take in the O2 Arena Climb, where views from the roof are unbeatable. London is museum heaven, and several of them are free to enjoy including the British Museum, the National Gallery, and the wonderful Natural History Museum.