London is a really cool place to visit, there are just so many things to see and do. You have some of the finest art galleries and museums in the world, the famous landmarks like Big Ben and the Tower of London, and the unique combination of modern and new that simply does not exist anywhere else in the world. If you have never visited London before, planning your visit can seem a bit daunting, so here we have listed ten of the cool things to do in London.
1. Take an open top bus tour
One of the best and the cheapest cool things to do in London is to see it on one of the many open top bus tours. You buy a ticket and use it all day, getting on and off whenever you like. The buses visit all the major attractions and you get a running commentary as you go. If you are spending a day sightseeing in London, the open top bus tours are great value for money and you don’t have to squeeze your way onto an overcrowded underground train.
2. Visit a museum
All of the major museums in London are completely free to visit and some of them are huge, so allow plenty of time to walk around them. There are art galleries, such as the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Modern, or try one of the many museums, which include The Science Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum.
3. The London Eye
You get an amazing, panoramic view of London from the London Eye, subject to the weather of course. The enormous Ferris wheel is well worth the fee and you will be able to see many of London’s famous landmarks and get some great photos. It can get busy, but don’t be put off by the length of the lines; it doesn’t take that long to get to the front.
4. The London Dungeon
Another one of cool things to do in London is to visit the London Dungeon. If you want to learn more about the darker side of London’s history, then the London Dungeon will be the place for you to visit. It’s an amazing spectacle of live actors, special effects and gruesome exhibits that will chill your blood. It’s definitely not for the feint hearted, or for very young children, but great fun grownups with a strong stomach!
5. Hire a Boris bike
Boris bikes, named after the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, are bicycles that you can hire from one of the many self-service hire points throughout London. You just pop in your credit card details, ride the bike for as long as you like, and then return the bike to any of the self-service points when you have finished. It’s a great way to get around the city and most of the roads do now have bicycle lanes to make things safer.
6. Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a thriving market area with loads of shopping, restaurants and pubs. The shopping ranges all the way from top designer stores, to small market stalls, selling just about everything you could think of. The other thing that Covent Garden is famous for is its many street entertainers and all they ask for is a small donation at the end of the show for entertaining you.
7. Lunch in pub
Out list of cool things to do in London wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a lunch in a pub. London has its fair share of fast food joints, but, if you want to experience a taste of the real London, then go to an old fashioned London Pub for lunch. Walk down any side street in London and the chances are that you will find a pub tucked away in a corner, serving wholesome and tasty food at great prices. It’s far better than buying a burger that you could get anywhere else in the world.
8. Catch the changing of the guard
A visit to London wouldn’t be complete without taking in some of the magnificent military traditions. There doesn’t need to be a special event for you to see some of the pomp and ceremony, you can catch a glimpse of it with the daily changing of the Queen’s Guard. This happens every day at 11.30am at Buckingham Palace in the summer, and every other day in the winter.
9. Take in a West End Show
One of cool things to do in London is to see a West End Show. The West End of London is where you will find the top theatres and plenty of restaurants for a meal. The West End is London’s equivalent of Broadway and you can see some of the finest live productions in the world staged in some of the world’s most historical theatres. London even boasts the longest running play in the world: Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mouse Trap’, which has been running at the St. Martin’s Theatre for 63 years.
10. Tower Bridge and the Tower of London
If you want to learn more about London’s rich history, then a visit to the Tower of London is a must. Initially the Tower was a Royal residence, but it is probably better known as a place of imprisonment and torture. There’s a load of things to see, including the Crown Jewels, and you get free guided tours given by the famous Beefeaters too. You are then just a short walk from the historic Tower Bridge and, if you are lucky, you might even see the bridge open to allow a tall ship to sail through.