500 Of The Best Things To Do In London


We’ve rounded up the very best things to do in London right now.

In a city as full of excitement as ours, it’s not easy to choose the best things to do in London in 2020 – especially with a pesky pandemic upending London life for the foreseeable. Still, Secret London is nothing if not ambitious, so we started concocting our ultimate bucket list of 100 fun things to do in London – from a leisurely stroll through a gorgeous park, to a hedonistic night out on the town – and then found five fantastic places to experience each of them. The result: all the London inspiration you could possibly need, but with enough choice to tick things off your way. Ultimately, these might just be 500 of the best things to do in London. Happy exploring!

Please note: due to the current Covid-19 situation, some of these might be postponed or closed for now. We’ve tried to point such instances out, but do bear in mind that the situation is still changing from day-to-day, so check before you pop along!

1. Visit an iconic London museum

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Photo: @nemcova_kate

London is home to some truly magnificent museums, collecting and exhibiting incredible artefacts from around the world. Best of all, many of the largest are totally free to visit, for Londoners and visitors alike. See our full guide to the best museums in London, or try these…

? Natural History Museum, for the famous whale skeleton

? British Museum, the most popular museum in the UK

? Science Museum, for the kid-friendly Wonderlab

? V&A Museum, dedicated to the history of style and design

? The Postal Museum, with its own underground train!

2. Explore a fascinating art exhibition

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Neon madness from Cerith Wyn Evans at Tate Britain. Photo: Antonio Roberts

London is a major player in the global art scene, with over a hundred galleries to visit. Our essential guide to London’s art exhibitions will help you find the latest and greatest shows to drop in on, but for visitors, these five iconic galleries and art museums each boast a substantial permanent collection to explore…

? Tate Modern, for amazing work from the past 100 years

?? Tate Britain, celebrating the classics

? National Gallery, for masterpieces of European art

??‍? Royal Academy of Arts, home to a famous annual summer exhibition

? Dulwich Picture Gallery, the oldest public gallery in Britain (reopening November 21)

3. Find out how smart you really are

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If you fancy yourself a real lateral thinker, London offers plenty of intellectually demanding things to do – and we don’t just mean the Standard’s cryptic crossword. London’s maddening escape rooms all promise to test your mental mettle, or put your thinking cap on and take on one of these:

??‍♂️ HiddenCity will have you solving clues as you race around the streets

? The Crystal Maze lets Londoners recreate the challenges of the iconic game show

? The Prince of Wales pub quiz is known as one of the toughest (and funniest) in town

? Sherlock: The Experience tests if you can solve one of the detective’s cases

? Otherworld VR will test your skills in a stunning virtual world

4. Go bananas at a bottomless brunch in London

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Photo: UKG Brunch

Are you looking for an outrageous weekend party – but without the jet lag come Monday morning? London’s bottomless brunch parties are currently all the rage, offering food, lashings of bubbly and all kinds of fun entertainment during the daylight hours. A few popular choices include…

? West End Musical Brunch will see you serenaded with musical showtunes

Barrio’s La Isla Bonita brunch offers cocktails and churros

? UKG Brunch features DJs spinning the best of UK Garage

? Bougie Drag Brunch is hosted by fabulous Soho drag queens

?️ Beyoncé Brunch promises five hours of Bey-rilliant performances

5. Take in a West End musical

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(Photo: @ComeFromAway)

Full of heart, humour and toe-tapping ditties, London’s musical theatre scene is the envy of hams around the world – making it that much sadder that they’re currently on hold due to the pandemic. With a constantly evolving lineup, you’re always in for a good time, but five classics we can’t wait to see return include…

?‍♀️ Wicked, which defies gravity in its retelling of the Wizard of Oz story

? The Book of Mormon, hilarious satire from the minds behind South Park

✈️ Come From Away, heartwarming tale of post-9/11 togetherness

? Mamma Mia, the ABBA jukebox musical we all needed

? Matilda, bringing the famous film to life with witty, Tim Michin-penned lyrics

6. Find one of London’s infamous hidden bars

Hidden behind shopfronts, phone booths, and unmarked doors, some of London’s best drinking spots go out of their way to conceal themselves. Our run-down of hidden London bars and speakeasies will reveal their location to those willing to offer up a password. Try these ones first:

?️‍♀️ Evans & Peel Detective Agency, where you’ll need to work for your cocktails

?? Discount Suit Company, tucked behind an old tailors

? The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, where the fridge is not all it seems…

✝️ Reverend JW Simpson, serving up holy-moly cocktails in Fitzrovia (reopening TBD)

? Behind This Wall, a slick basement bar hiding out in Hackney

7. Have a wizard time indulging your inner Potterhead

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Photo: Warner Bros Studio Tour

As the scene of so many famous locations from the Harry Potter series, London is naturally full of brilliant things to do for lovers of the wizarding world. Follow in the steps of our guide to London for Harry Potter obsessives, or just point your wand at one of these…

? Warner Bros Studio Tour takes you onto the real film sets from the movies

? The Cursed Child theatre show is the official two-part sequel to the book (reopening TBD)

? House of Minalima is full of amazing designs from the Harry Potter world

? The Cauldron is London’s magic cocktail bar that HP fans will love

? The Wizarding Chambers is a Potter-themed hotel room for the truly dedicated!

8. Frolic with the animals

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If you’re looking for the purrfect thing to do in London, the city’s furry friends have you covered. And so do the slippery ones, for that matter. There are plenty of animal encounters available in London – so why not try one of the below?

? London Zoo, the home of ZSL’s conservation efforts

? Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, where you can pet a kitty over a cup of tea

? Hackney City Farm, one of many small working farms in London

? Sea Life Aquarium, featuring the ocean’s coolest fishies

? London Wetland Centre, a nature reserve for water-lovin’ wanderers

9. Dig into a brilliant breakfast

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Photo: @sucramagupap

Breakfast: it’s the most important meal of the day! (Probably?) In any case, nothing exudes millennial opulence more than a blowout feast before most people have had their first coffee. We’ve collected our favourites in our London breakfast superlist – but the below pack enough punch to set anybody up for the day.

? Hawksmoor Guildhall’s breakfast for two comes in a sizzling skillet

Florentine’s mighty ostrich egg breakfast is a real group challenge (reopening TBD)

? Brother Marcus‘ Step Sister is an Instagram (and a taste) sensation

? Avobar’s avocado obsession makes them natural brekkie experts

? The Regency Café’s Full English is a real classic

10. Catch a fantastic concert

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In normal times, London is the live music capital of Europe – with nearly 20,000 gigs taking place every year. Gigs and concerts are on hold for now, but if you want to visit somewhere new when they return, try out one of these glorious music venues:

??‍? The O2, for epic stadium-sized gigs

? Royal Albert Hall, an iconic home for orchestral pomp (reopening for Christmas)

? O2 Brixton Academy, for raucous rock shows (reopening TBD)

? Wembley SSE Arena, with a massive variety of musical guests (reopening TBD)

? MOTH Club, for cheap-as-chips gigs from up-and-comers

11. Have a crack at crazy golf

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London’s swish crazy golf courses are the perfect way to spend an hour putting about. Here are some of the best:

⛳️ Swingers City, for 18 holes with cocktails and street food

? Puttshack, where fancy technology keeps score for you

? Junkyard Golf, a wild course made out of mangled machinery

??‍♀️ Putt in the Park, for a classic outdoor challenge

? Dinosaur Escape, a family-friendly course with Jurassic themes

12. Discover a curious collection

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Photo: God’s Own Junkyard

Off the tried-and-tested track of major museums, London is chock full of small and quirky museums and collections to take a gander at.

? God’s Own Junkyard, a neon paradise in Walthamstow

? Viktor Wynd’s Museum of Curiosities, a bizarre hoard in Hackney

? Dennis Sever’s House, 18th-century home decorated by an eccentric artist

? Sir John Soane’s Museum, collection of over 20,000 objects from around the world

? The Vagina Museum, temple to the yonic in Camden

13. Steer your own ship (or let someone else do it!)

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The mighty River Thames, along with London’s various canals, offer salty sea dogs plenty of things to do on the water. Check out our guide to cool London boat trips, or hoist the mainsail at one of these…

? GoBoat lets you hire your own, self-captained electric boat

? Skuna hires out floating hot tubs (!) and boats with an on-board BBQ

? The Bateaux River Cruise serves dinner as you float along the Thames

? Moo Canoes loan out kayaks from an afternoon exploring the canal

? Thames Rockets will whizz you down the river by speedboat

14. Make some time for wine

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Photo: @emjaayzee

If you’re looking for a grape night out, London’s superb wine bars are the place to go, providing classic vintages from around the world along with natural, biodynamic wines, English varieties, and orange and green wines too. These places might be top of the list…

? 10 Cases, with a wine list that never stops changing

Gordon’s Wine Bar, a century-old candlelit cellar

⚒ 28-50 Wine Workshop, where inventive wines meet great food

? Sager & Wilde, come for the wine, stay for the cheese toastie

??‍♂️ Vagabond Wines, serving hundreds of different wines by the glass

15. Discover historic London

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Photo: Westminster Abbey

London’s story dates back to Roman times, and history fans aren’t short of things to do in the capital. Five world-famous locations include…

⛪️ Westminster Abbey, 800-year old church where monarchs are crowned

? Tower of London, castle, notorious prison, and home of the Crown Jewels

⛵️ St. Paul’s Cathedral, iconic domed church by Christopher Wren

? London Mithraeum, remnants of a mysterious Roman cult in the City

? Hampton Court Palace, 500-year old royal palace with a famous maze

16. Explore gorgeous Greenwich

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Photo: @edsimmonsphoto

The old centre of maritime London, Greenwich just about retains a village-y feel despite the horde of tourists milling around the place. Fortunately, the park provides ample room for everyone to spread out, so head here on a warm summer’s day if you can.

⛵️ Cutty Sark, once the fastest sailing ship of her kind in the world

? Greenwich Park, with stunning views over east London’s skyline

? The Painted Hall, a gorgeous interior at the Old Royal Naval College

The Planetarium, the only place in London not affected by light pollution

? Gipsy Moth, a bustling, Grade I listed pub with lovely beer garden

17. Test your nerve – and hit the target

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Photo: @flightclubdarts

ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY! Sharpshooters, disc-pushers and axe-throwers can all test their aim at these excellent London venues, where hand-eye co-ordination is very much the name of the game. (I mean, it’s not literally the name of the game, that would be totally absurd.)

Flight Club, a mini-chain of fancy high-tech darts bars

⚒ Whistlepunks, the axe-throwing joint

? ArcheryFit, where you can pop balloons with a bow and arrow

? London Shuffleboard Club, for sedate puck-pushing and juicy cocktails

Mac & Wild, a fab Scottish restaurant with clay-pigeon shooting simulator

18. Shop at a wonderful weekend market

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Photo: @kassiestarkey

Have late nights and endless shots stolen too many of your weekends? You’ve been missing out on some brilliant, bounteous weekend markets in London: flower markets, farmer’s markets, and vintage markets among them.

? Columbia Road Flower Market, for gorgeous east London blooms

? Borough Market, buzzing food market in lovely Bankside

? Brick Lane Upmarket, for vintage threads each Sunday

? Portobello Antiques, a mile-long marvel in Notting Hill

? Vinegar Yard Flea, for miscellaneous must-haves

19. Catch a movie in one of London’s best cinemas

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Photo: @emeliaspofforth

London is rapidly undergoing a cinematic renaissance – film studios are flocking to produce films here, Brits are cleaning up at the Oscars, and our film festivals are fab too. But whether your tastes are more Avengers Assemble or art-house angst, there are also loads of brilliant London cinemas to visit. Grab some discount ODEON tickets if you like – or try one of these luxury cinemas:

? ODEON Leicester Square, the cathedral-like home of huge movie premieres

? Electric Portobello, the cinema with front-row double beds

? Everyman Cinemas, slick chain of sofa-filled cinemas with drinks-to-your-seat service

? Prince Charles, presenting a madcap programme of movie marathons and all-nighters

? The Castle, a lovingly restored indie cinema in east London

20. Get high at one of London’s rooftop bars

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Photo: @kayeoholland

London’s best rooftop bars have got attitude and altitude. A night out in the city—whatever the weather—isn’t quite complete if you can’t pair your cocktail with some equally intoxicating views of the city. Going up…

? Roof East, where you’ll find curling, baseball and other fun games

? 12th Knot, a chic riverside terrace on the South Bank

⛳️ Frank’s Café, re-invented Peckham car park with stunning views

? Bar Elba, Waterloo spot festooned with lights… and cocktails

Savage Garden, for rooftop sips in the heart of the City

21. Pootle through a beautiful park

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Photo: @georgiehoole

London has been made a National Park city, meaning it boasts a helluva lot of parks, gardens, and open green spaces to enjoy. Over 100, in actual fact! Five of the most well-known include…

? Hampstead Heath, a slice of the countryside in north London

? Regent’s Park, a royally good central London park with rose gardens

? Victoria Park, an east London gem with its own boating lake

? Richmond Park, a major nature reserve with wild deer to spot

Battersea Park, a riverside park with pagoda and hidden gardens

22. Get merry in a historic pub

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Photo: Ye Olde Mitre

Aside from queueing, there are few things the British have perfected more than the humble pub. So add a bit of history to your hedonism by drinking at one of the oldest pubs in London. 

? Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, est. 1538, where Dickens was once a regular

? Ye Olde Mitre, hidden in a Holborn alley since 1773

? The Spaniards Inn, nearly 500 years old and the birthplace of the fearsome Dick Turpin

? The George, a galleried coaching inn dating back four centuries

? The Grapes, Ian McKellen’s own riverside boozer with half-a-millennium of history

23. Go for a quaint or quirky afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is one of those quintessentially British things that should be on everybody’s bucket list. London is full of them, and they range from the folksy to the flamboyant. Here are some of our favourites:

? The Ritz, a rarefied British tradition (as far as taking your Nan somewhere goes)

? Sketch, a hot pink slice of heaven that must be seen to be believed

? Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson, for Alice fans everywhere

? Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Barbican, for cakes in a glorious greenhouse

? The Landmark London, where you can dine beneath the palm trees

24. Wander around Covent Garden

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From designer shops to delicious scoffs, there are so many things to do in Covent Garden. It’s well known for its lovely Apple and Jubilee Markets, and for all the street artists in the piazza – but here are some other juicy picks…

? Neal’s Yard, a colourful courtyard of shops, eateries and more

? Pick ‘n’ Cheese at Seven Dials Market where cheese dishes arrive by conveyor belt

? London Transport Museum, celebrating our city’s iconic public transit

Rules, the oldest restaurant in London

? Blame Gloria, razzle-dazzle cocktail bar with vintage style

25. Face your fear of heights

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Photo: Accelor Mittal Orbit

Nice of you to drop in! If you’ve got a head for heights, why not verti-go along to one of these dizzyingly altitudinous attractions? They’re enough to get anyone’s pulse quickening a little – or a lot.

The Orbit Slide, plunge down the longest, tallest tunnel slide in the world

Tower Bridge Walkway, a glass floor 140ft above the Thames

❄️ Vertical Chill, an ice climbing wall in the heart of Covent Garden (reopening TBD)

??‍♀️ Clip ‘n’ Climb, a colourful, creative climbing centre in Chelsea

? GoApe, a group of family-friendly ropes courses around London

26. Catch a powerful play

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Photo: The Bridge Theatre

Performing on-stage in London’s West End is a must-tick on every actor’s bucket list, which is why you can find even the starriest thesps treading the boards in London’s theatres. Meanwhile, a new generation of directors and playwrights flock here to make their mark on the form. There isn’t much to see right now with the majority of theatres closed, but these shows are either open, likely to return soon, or will see a new date scheduled for 2021.

? Death of England: Delroy, National Theatre show about being a black man in modern England (open now)

? Good, starring David Tennant grappling with his morals in Nazi Germany (opening TBD)

A Christmas Carol, the Bridge Theatre’s socially-distanced festive event stars Simon Russell Beale (opening in November)

The Mousetrap, the world’s longest-running play (reopening TBD)

? To Kill A Mockingbird, much-hyped Aaron Sorkin adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel (opening TBD)

27. Have an award-winning feast

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Photo: @dinnerbyhb

London’s culinary reputation has transformed in the past two decades, and the city boasts a gut-busting smorgasbord of award-winning eateries – not least of which are 70 Michelin-star winning restaurants. Dig deep into your paycheque, friend, and treat yourself to one of these high-end tasting menus.

? Gordon Ramsay Chelsea, as founded by the angriest chef on television

? Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, home of the mysterious Meat Fruit

? Core by Clare Smyth, with a tasting menu that’ll make you say, er, Core blimey

? Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, where you order by placing marbles on a tray

?? Umu, world-class Japanese cooking from Yoshinori Ishii

28. Drink up some dreamy views

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Photo: @katya_efremova

For good or ill, London’s skyline is constantly changing, but at least the skyscrapers shooting up offer new and interesting things to do. There are ample points to enjoy views of London, from hills and parks to swanky cocktail bars. Here are just a few iconic viewpoints for your consideration:

? View from the Shard, the tallest building in London

? The Sky Garden, a free-to-visit Shard-rival (with a bar!)

? The London Eye, the popular slo-mo ferris wheel on the Southbank

Primrose Hill, a north London summit with a perfect sunrise view

? Duck & Waffle, a swish 24-hour restaurant on the top floor of a skyscraper

29. Embark on a riverside pub crawl

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Photo: @schledty

The Thames Path allows Londoners to walk the river, more-or-less uninterrupted from estuary to source. As luck would have it, there are also a ton of pubs and restaurants along the way, lots of them frothing over with salty, maritime history. See how far you can get in a day…

? The Mayflower, a traditional English pub surrounded by cobbled streets

☠️ Prospect of Whitby, the oldest riverside pub dating back to 1520

? Coppa Club, home of much in-demand riverside igloos

Tamesis Dock, the boat that rocks

? The Ship, known for its fantastic Sunday roasts

30. Rock up to a gorgeous garden

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Photo: Isabella Plantation

Urban jungle that London might be, there are some spots offering real flower power. From a national botanical garden with steamy greenhouses to tiny ‘gram-friendly garden squares, here are five you need to check out, petal!

Kew Gardens, an enormous attraction full of floral fun

Isabella Plantation, a riot of pink every spring

? St. Dunstan in the East, a ruined church now overgrown with plants

?? Kyoto Gardens, a touch of Eastern horticulture in west London

Chelsea Physic Garden, London’s oldest botanic garden

31. Hunt down London’s nicest slices

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Photo: @fowlmouthsfood

Ah, pizza. It’s helped us through a lot. Hangovers, break ups, everyday carb-cravings. Here are some of the very best pizzas in the city, according to us.

? Zia Lucia, our Georgie’s personal favourite

? Pizza Union, for cheap-and-cheerful pizzas with excellent vibes

? Yard Sale, for totally underrated pies

? Homeslice, for massive 20″ pizzas with fancy toppings

? L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, the “world’s best” – straight from Naples

32. Take to two wheels

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Photo: @vickyinlondon_

You can cover a lot of ground on two wheels, and it’s generally a lot more pleasant than using public transport. Check out these smashing London cycling routes, use one of these hire services, and get on yer bike!

? Santander, the OG bike rental known as “Boris Bikes”

? Jump, Uber’s electric bike rental

? Lime, bright green electric bikes and scooters

? Tandem, for romantic (?) bike rides with your boo

? Brompton, for foldable bikes available from handy lockers all over the city

33. Celebrate Gin O’Clock

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Photo: Holborn Dining Room

London has long been partial to a cheeky G&T, and with the repeal of the Gin Act in 2008, is also now home to dozens of excellent craft gin distilleries. Pop over to London’s best gin bars, or head to one of these beautiful beauties…

Holborn Dining Room, boasting 500 gins and a legendary pie room

? Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour, fun Covent Garden spot with 300 pairings to try

⚗️ The Distillery, home to Portobello Gin with classes, a ‘gin hotel’ and more

The Viaduct Tavern, London’s last remaining gin palace

? Enchanted Garden at the South Place Hotel, with a flower-filled ceiling

34. Enter a whole new world

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Photo: Mamma Mia! The Party

London is so full of immersive experiences that the phrase has started to lose all meaning. That doesn’t take away from the brilliance of these events, mind you. Check out our guide to London’s best immersive dining, drinking and theatre experiences, or choose one of our favourites:

?? Mamma Mia! The Party, featuring a 3-course Mediterranean meal and an extravagant ABBA disco (reopening TBD)

? Secret Cinema, immersive cinema experiences with ever-changing themes e.g. Blade Runner and Stranger Things

?‍♂️ Alcotraz, the prison-themed cocktail bar

? Gingerline, for clandestine dining adventures in hidden London locations

? The Murdér Express, for Victorian glamour and Masterchef-crafted courses

35. Sample international cuisine

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Photo: Lahpet

If you enjoy trying international cuisine but struggle to find anywhere truly authentic, look no further than these international restaurants recommended by non-UK born Londoners.

?? Bar Dauro, for a “modern take on northern Portuguese food”

?? Casse Croûte, for lovely French fodder

?? Herman ze German, for the best wursts

?? Lahpet, for “spot on” Burmese food

?? The Fat Bear, for “the best gumbo, jambalaya and cornbread in any city outside Louisiana”

36. Learn a new skill

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Learning a new skill is one of the best ways to fill your spare time. (Ha! Free Time! What’s that?) Try one of our recommendations:

? ArtNight, where you can recreate famous paintings at a pub

☕️ Pottery at Hackney City Farm, try your hand at the potter’s wheel

? Neon Life Drawing, capture the human form with a UV twist

? Swing Patrol, learn some vintage dance moves at these fun classes

? Some Voices, join the biggest choir in London – and then perform live!

37. Have a classical night out

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Photo: @mitchellcolver

There’s so much more to London nights out than 2am tequilas. Add a bit of class to your evening with one of these classical events.

? Candlelight concerts, for a precious oasis of calm inside one of London’s most gorgeous churches

? Royal Opera House, for truly breathtaking performances

? English National Ballet, for world-class classical ballet (e.g. the Nutcracker)

? Cecil Sharp House, for award-winning folk music and dance

? Barbican, for an incredible variety of dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts

38. Sample brilliant beers

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Check out these awesome London pubs recommended by London breweries, or crawl your way to these beery nice spots:

? Bermondsey Beer Mile, a 1.4 mile stretch of taprooms and breweries

? Crate Brewery, a brilliant brewery in Hackney Wick that serves top pizzas

? Porterhouse, a MASSIVE Irish pub that serves more beers than you can count

? Beavertown Brewery, a London brewery and taproom founded by Robert Plant’s son

? Mikkeller, an almighty collaboration between Danish craft brewery Mikkeller and none other than Rick Astley

39. Go for a romantic dinner

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Photo: Clos Maggiore

The city is full of dreamy spots that are just perfect for that extra-special date night. Read our guide to London’s most romantic restaurants, or pick one of our favourites:

? Dine beneath a canopy of cherry blossoms inside Clos Maggiore‘s fairy room (reopening TBD)

? Bob Bob Ricard, London’s famous ‘press for Champagne’ restaurant

⚓️ Float as you feast at London Shell Co.

? Orrery, the lovely French restaurant that serves cheese from a giant trolley

? Bravas Tapas, the wholesome family-run tapas restaurant in St Katharine Docks

40. Surprise your eyes!

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Photo: @ioana.berbec

Our city isn’t all concrete and chaos. Believe it or not, we also have castles, caves and calm. London is full of surprises, but nothing will shock you quite as much as the fact that these places are actually within the boundaries of the M25. Here are some highlights:

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, the beautiful Hindu temple carved entirely out of stone

? Painshill Park, a gorgeous landscaped garden that’s home to an actual crystal grotto

? Hampstead Pergola, ravishingly run-down terrace that’s a perfect for a wander

? Crossness Pumping Station, a surprisingly beautiful (wait for it…) “cathedral of sewage”

Leighton House Museum, a magnificent palace filled with breathtaking art

41. Go for a swim in a London lido

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Photo: @naurarat

Outdoor swimming first became a trend back in the 1930s, and councils up and down the country set up hundreds of outdoor pools for their residents to enjoy – nowhere with greater enthusiasm than London. Check out our London lido guide, or dip your toe in these waters…

?‍♂️ Hampstead Ponds, rustic natural lakes for open water swimming

? London Fields Lido, a 50m pool that’s heated to 25°C all year round

?‍♂️ Brockwell Lido, known for its nice café and art deco buildings

? Hampton Pool is London’s hottest outdoor pool, and it’s open for moonlit swims all year round

?‍♂️ Charlton Lido, another excellent heated, 50m pool

42. Dance until dawn at a nightclub

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Unfortunately, all these are on hold for now with nightclubs not permitted to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. Keep your fingers crossed they survive the shutdown, because London offers some of the world’s most progressive and popular clubbing experiences; whether you’re looking for crowd-pleasing guilty pleasures or cryptic, minimal electronica, there’s something out there to inspire a sweaty, euphoric bop. Add these to your bucket list for the return…

? XOYO, one of London’s most famous and well-respected clubs (reopening TBD)

? Fabric, iconic superclub that survived a controversial closure (reopening TBD)

? Bussey Building, home of the joyous South London Soul Train (reopening TBD)

? Printworks, for early-doors raves in a cavernous industrial setting (reopening TBD)

? Pickle Factory, once a pickle factory, now a party place (reopening TBD)

43. Warm up with a hot chocolate on a chilly day

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Photo: Dark Sugars

When it’s cold and/or rainy, there’s nowt better than a nice, warm hot chocolate. Check out our list of London’s best cocoa, or choose from our favourites:

? Dark Sugars, the one that’s topped with a mound of chocolate shavings

☕️ Chin Chin Labs, the one that’s topped with torched marshmallow

? Said, the one where the chocolate is literally overflowing from the mug

☕️ Rabot 1745, served at a restaurant that puts chocolate in every dish

? Rococo Chocolates, the one that you can buy and make at home

44. Sample London’s street food

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Photo: @sevendialsmkt

If you want to try some of London’s famous street food, be warned: the street is not exactly the place to look. Instead, try these amazing street food markets – they’ve all embraced the trend for casual-but-brilliant dining, and regularly host a variety of different street food vendors for you and your friends to try. These five spots are a good place to start:

? Mercato Metropolitano, south London’s epic Italian food hall

? Hawker House, Surrey Quays spot chock full of street food traders and bars (reopening TBD)

POP Brixton, the quirky spot with culinary influences from Venezuela to Vietnam

? Market Halls, a trio of food halls based in Fulham, Victoria and the West End (reopening TBD)

? Seven Dials Market, a recently-opened undercover market in a former banana warehouse

45. See the city on foot

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Photo: @aubrey.w4

Gotta get the steps in! While a wander through any part of London is bound to arouse the senses, the city also has a number of official walking routes to explore – some of which are so long, they’re best attempted a bit at a time. Put on your comfy trainers and tackle one of these…

? Jubilee Walkway, 15-mile saunter past London’s iconic landmarks

? Green Chain, a 50-mile path between the green spaces of south-east London

? Capital Ring, 78-mile circular stroll around inner London

? Thames Path, 79.5-mile walk along the river

London Loop, 150-mile circular route around outer London

46. Go behind the scenes

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Photo: Royal Collection Trust/ Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

Feeling nosy? There are all sorts of fascinating opportunities to explore London’s legendary institutions if you know where to look, and when to book.

Buckingham Palace Tours, visit the Queen’s digs each summer

Hidden London, offering tours of abandoned Underground stations

? Parliament Tours, to see where the magic (or mayhem) happens

? Royal Opera House Tours, giving you the chance to tread the boards

The Sherling Backstage Walkway, peek at the National Theatre’s backstage area for free

47. Try a traditional Sunday lunch

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Photo: @roast_restaurant

We can’t promise that these roasts will be better than your mums’, and frankly we have no right to compare them, but we can pretty much guarantee that they’ll be at least *almost* as good.

? Blacklock, for their ‘All In’ combo with beef, lamb, pork and all of the trimmings

? The Bull and Last, for GIANT Yorkshire puddings

ROAST, for its top-notch namesake dish

?? OSLO, for an absolute classic (or a banging vegan option)

Coin Laundry, for gorgeous interiors and lovely British produce

48. Have a giggle at some live comedy

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Phil Wang at the Four Thieves Pub. Photo: @fourthievespub

Game for a laugh? World-class comedians tour in London all the time, but if you pay close attention, you’ll often find ’em sharpening their jokes at London’s brilliant independent comedy venues – so catching Russell Brand doing his stadium routine in a north London pub is totally possible! A few we like:

❾  99 Club, voted Best London Comedy Club for eight years running

? Comedy Carnival, featuring award-winning international comedians each week

? The Bill Murray, a comedian-run, crowd-funded comedy club

Backyard Comedy Club, declared “best comedy club in the world” by Russell Howard

? Soho Theatre, for stand-up comedy from established and emerging talent

49. Get a sugar rush from a fabulous London dessert

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Photo: Fortnum’s Dessert Parlour

Satisfy your sweet tooth at one of London’s dessert-focussed bars and cafés.

? Basement Sate, the Soho bar that just serves cocktails and desserts

? Milk Train, serving up totally extra candy floss covered ice creams

? Whipped, the Covent Garden café dedicated to all things cheesecake

? Apple Blue Patisserie, where the blue French toast is made for Instagram

? Fortnum’s Dessert Parlour, home to a fantastic selection of nostalgic treats

50. Dawdle around Dalston

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Photo: @dalstongarden

This buzzy east London neighbourhood is full to the brim with quirky bars and eateries, and enough to fill your days with fun, from day until night. Discover these damn good reasons to visit Dalston, or check out some of our highlights:

? Prick, a quirky cacti shop

? Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, a gorgeous community garden on a former railway line

? Rio Cinema, an Art Deco cinema with plush red velvet seats

? Brilliant Corners, a dimly-lit bar-cum-Japanese restaurant inspired by Japan’s jazzy coffee shops

? Ridley Road Market Bar, a tropical dive bar serving its famous Ginger Mojitos

51. Try dinner with a difference

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Photo: @ocelopan

In an ever-expanding London food landscape, there’s a desperate need to stand out from the crowd. It’s something these quirky restaurants have done pretty niftily; whether it’s an unusual menu, wacky decor, a kooky theme, or even singing waiters, they’ve all found their own comfortable little niche.

? Dans le Noir?, where you can dine in the dark, guided by visually impaired waiters

? Hunan, the Chinese restaurant that brings you what they want

? Archipelago, where you can scoff on the likes of crocodile curry and kangaroo skewers

? Sarastro, the flamboyant restaurant filled with reclaimed props and live performances

? Bodega Negra, the Mexican restaurant disguised as a Soho sex shop (reopening TBD)

52. See the Christmas lights

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From early November, London gets taken over by a sparkling array of Christmas lights. From the bottom of Oxford Street, to the middle of Trafalgar Square, and all the way to the top of The Shard – London boasts some of the best Christmas lights in the world. Check out our list of twinkling displays, or ogle over some of the Big Dogs:

Kew Gardens, featuring festive projections throughout the gardens and onto the iconic Palm House

? Regent Street, where angels have descended since 1954

? Enchanted Woodland, a spectacular light trail through Syon Park’s 600-year-old gardens (returning in 2021)

? Oxford Street, boasting a LED-filled new look for 2019

? Carnaby Street, which is always a fantastic themed display

53. Soak up some knowledge

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Photo: Sunday Papers Live

There’s something new to learn every single day, and you should really consider expanding your knowledge at one of these fascinating talks. But we don’t want to lecture you, so we’ll let this lot do it for you:

Sunday Assembly, a secular community who meet to sing, hear poetry and listen to fascinating speakers

? Sunday Papers Live, a festival of talks, walks, food and performances that bring newspapers to life

? Gresham College, home to free public lectures since 1597

? Lost Lectures, immersive talks and entertainment in secret locations

? London Literature Festival, an annual celebration of writing, reading, poetry and performance

54. Follow the parade!

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Photo: @prideinlondon

Join powerful communities as they come together to celebrate traditions, cultures and each other.

? Notting Hill Carnival, one of the world’s largest street parties, late Aug

?️‍? Pride in London, a colourful convoy in support of LGBT Londoners, early July

? The Lord Mayor’s Show, 804-yr old procession through the City, early Nov (postponed in 2020)

? The New Year’s Day Parade, kicking off the year for the non-hungover (online in 2020)

? The World Naked Bike Ride, a mass nude cycle through the streets of London

55. Explore brilliant Bankside

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Photo: @igorzerajic

Head east along the river from the Southbank and you’ll come across some gorgeous Medieval streets, with hidden gems around each corner. Here are just a few:

⚓️ HMS Belfast, a huge WWII Royal Navy warship, now an Imperial War Museum

? Hay’s Galleria, a spectacular Grade II listed building filled with restaurants and shops

⛵️ Golden Hinde, an authentic reconstruction of the ship Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the globe in the late 1500s

? Lyaness, the sequel to the world’s best cocktail bar ‘Dandelyan’

? Gabriel’s Wharf, an enclave of independent bars, restaurants, cafés and shops

56. Sing along (if you know the words…)

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Photo: @luckyvoicekaraoke

Do you secretly believe that you might have, y’know… the X Factor? These fun nights out give you the chance to belt out a ballad.

? Lucky Voice, original chain of private karaoke rooms

? Massaoke, club night where singing along takes centre stage

? Hip Hop Karaoke, for those who’d rather spit bars than hit notes

? Sing-a-long-a…, musical movie screenings where singing along is encouraged

? Arts Theatre Club, for Saturday night show tune karaoke with a live pianist

57. Get a whole new, old look

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Photo: @picknweight

London is full of retro gear for the trendy Londoner, and there are so many great spots to hunt for your next outfit. Here are some of the city’s best:

? Atika, two-storey warehouse of old-school finds

? Rokit, micro-chain of stores selling second-hand wears for men and women

? Beyond Retro, vintage clothing for all occasions

? Vintage Showroom, a quirky store filled with vintage menswear and accessories

PICKNWEIGHT, where you can grab unique looks by the kilo

58. Be blown away by some cabaret

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Photo: @cafedeparislondon

Nab a spot at some of the sexiest shows in the city, starting with razzle-dazzle performances at these eccentric spots.

? Zebrano, for a totally extra drag cabaret show

? Phoenix Arts Club, for captivating Vaudevillian performances

? Proud Embankment, a two-storey cabaret restaurant beside the Thames

? CellarDoor, a former public toilet turned loud and proud late-night venue

?️‍? The Glory, a convival gay pub with regular cabaret events and a fabulous disco scene

59. Have a cheeky flutter

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Photo: The Colony Club

London is home to some world-class casinos where you can try your hand at black jack, hit the slot machines, or show off your poker face. These are the capital’s biggest and best.

? The Hippodrome Casino, a huge Leicester Square slotspot

? Aspers Casino, the biggest casino in Britain

? Empire Casino, a lively casino with a cocktail bar and a dedicated poker room

? The Colony Club, a swanky bar and restaurant with a swankier casino attachment

? McQueen, a sexy Shoreditch club with poker, roulette and blackjack tables

60. Have all the fun – for free!

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Photo: @siili666

We love top-notch cocktails and extravagant pop-ups as much as the next person, but if your bank account is feeling the pinch, check out our roundup of free things to do in London – or try one of these lovely suggestions.

? Museum of London, revealing the history of the world’s greatest city

? Old Blue Last, VICE-run Shoreditch boozer with free gigs

? Royal Opera House, for free lunchtime concerts and recitals

? Barbican Conservatory, a hidden indoor garden in the City

? Inner Space, for free guided meditation sessions

61. Eat your veg!

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Photo: Biff’s Jack Shack

Research has revealed that London is the best city in the world for vegans, and we can believe it. Here are some tasty spots for veggies, vegans and the veg-curious! Or you can check out our guide to vegan restaurants, as recommended by London vegans.

? Pied a Terre, epic Michelin-starred vegetarian tasting menu

✌️ WAVE, a Bali-inspired spot in Hackney with serious boho vibes

? Sutton & Sons, inventors of vegan ‘fish’ and chips

? Redemption, the gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and alcohol free joint with ginormous portions

? Biff’s Jack Shack, the best vegan junk food in London. FACT.

62. Bubble your troubles away

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Ella di Rocco. Photo: @lifeofteral

London life can be tough, but it’s important to make time for yourself. For the ultimate relaxation, check yourself into one of London’s loveliest spas. You deserve it.

? Ella Di Rocco, where Londoners can literally bathe in wine

? COWSHED, a country-themed day spa in Primrose Hill

?‍♀️ Four Seasons Spa, with saunas that look out over Hyde Park

? Float Hub, for stress-relieving float therapy

? Banya Spa, a Russian spa popular with celebs and best known for its Parenie treatment (i.e. getting whacked with hot birch, oak and eucalyptus twigs)

63. Try a trendy new dish

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Photo: @chinchinicecream

From cronuts to ice cream nachos, London’s imagination runs notoriously wild when it comes to food. Check out this weird and wonderful map of bizarre London food trends, or try one these Insta-favourites.

? Dishoom, for their famous bacon and egg naan

? Bake, for iconic fish-shaped waffle cones

? Yorkshire Burrito, a roast dinner within a Yorkshire pudding wrap

? Chin Chin Dessert Club, for ice cream nachos

❄️ Yolkin, for macaron ice cream sandwiches

64. Do things by the book

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Photo: @u_ra_0121

London is a dreamy spot for bookworms, boasting so many bookshops to get lost in and library bars to lounge around in. Here are some lovely literary locations to explore:

? Daunt Books, the iconic travel-oriented bookshop in Marylebone

? British Library, the O.G. co-working space for studious types

? Cecil Court, the secret alley full of curious old bookshops

? Scarfes Bar, a cosy library bar named after British caricaturist, Gerald Scarfe

? Gay’s the Word, the famed London bookshop at the heart of the LGBT rights movement

65. Try a wicked new workout

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Photo: Chessboxing

From dog yoga to morning raves! Discover muscles you never knew you had with these slightly bizarre workouts.

?‍♀️ Project Awesome, free to join early morning running groups

SUP Yoga, for downward dog and more on a paddleboard

? Doga, yoga… with your dog

Chessboxing, where you can challenge your mind and your body

? Morning Gloryville, for morning raves with well-known DJs and lots of biodegradable glitter

66. Sip somewhere sophisticated

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Photo: @thecoralroom

While we do have plenty of cool and quirky bars, we also have plenty of swish and sexy bars, too! London frequently features on the ‘World’s Best Bars’ list, so we’re allowed to show off. Here are some seriously classy corners for a cocktail:

❤️ The Coral Room, with swish art deco furnishings imitating a Wes Anderson set

?? The American Bar, which boasts an impressive alumni of famous bartenders

? Connaught Bar, an award-winning Mayfair bar that oozes timeless elegance

? The Gibson, birthplace of the classic Gibson cocktail

? The Bloomsbury Club, inspired by the notorious Bloomsbury Set, famously comprising of writers and artists like Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster

67. Bop down to Brixton

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Photo: @lostbrixton

Brixton is bursting with culture, and it’s a buzzy neighbourhood for drinks, gigs and market shopping. Here are some top finds:

? Lost in Brixton, a hidden jungle-inspired roof terrace with drinks and street food

? Brixton Village, full of awesome restaurants and cafés

? Electric Brixton, an eclectic spot that hosts various gigs and club nights

? Chocolate Museum, the only one in London

? First Aid Box, a fun cocktail spot with an additional secret Peaky Blinders-themed bar hidden out back (reopening TBD)

68. Grab that famous ‘gram

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Photo: @tmnikonian

There’s nothing wrong with being a bit of a poser. We’ve got a list of London’s iconic ‘alternative’ sites to live your best life at, or you can check out London’s prettiest spots, according to Instagrammers.

? Mayfield Lavender Farm, the perfectly purple field that’s open all summer

? Peggy Porschen, the pretty pink bakery with fancy cupcakes and a ‘grammable shopfront

? EL&N London, the Kensington spot with a ‘Love Hearts’ filled cave

? Girl with a Dolphin, a statue on the north bank of the Thames by Tower Bridge

⚡️ Leadenhall Market, a magical market space that has been used to represent Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

69. Let your inner child run free

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Photo: @steward9124

Ever wish you could go back to the days of ball pits, playground games and zero responsibilities, even just for a day? Well, who says you can’t? Here’s some inspiration for your return to kidulthood.

? Ballie Ballerson, Shoreditch’s ball pit bar

⛹?‍♀️ Rabble Fitness Classes, a unique spin on HIIT classes with dodgeball, frisbee and British Bulldogs

? Four Quarters, a video game bar with classic arcade games

? KidZania adults-only nights, a playground ordinarily run by the untainted minds of 4-14 year-olds

? Adult Soft Play, the adults-only indoor play area with Scalextric, giant Jenga, and retro arcade games

70. Shimmy through Soho

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Photo: @cahootslondon

Soho is another buzzing area in central London, full of excellent restaurants and brilliant bars. But there is so much else to see and do in the neighbourhood. Here are some of the best bits:

? Cahoots, a vintage, tube-themed bar

? Photographer’s Gallery, for scintillating snaps

? Kingly Court, a foodie hub with a cluster of great restaurants

? Jack Solomon’s, a hidden speakeasy that used to be a boxing gym

? Seven noses of Soho, a trail of plaster of Paris noses to sniff out

71. Explore Regent’s Canal

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Photo: @rafaelmandu

This (nearly) 200-year-old canal will take you on a diverse journey through the city, all the way from Paddington Basin to Limehouse Basin, passing loads of lovely canalside spots. Wander leisurely through Little Venice, taking in the adorable house boats; pass through Regent’s Park, where the canal is overlooked by London Zoo’s huge aviary; or check out the quirky craft stalls and street food in Camden Market. Alternatively, check out one of these sweet spots:

? Floating Pocket Park, an oasis of calm in Paddington

⚓️ Cafe Laville, cute café on a bridge overlooking the canal

? Word on the Water, a fabulous floating bookshop

? Barge House, for an indulgent breakfast in bread

? Granary Square’s steps, a perfect lunchtime picnic spot

72. Sleep somewhere special

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Photo: @tmnikonian

We go on and on about why you should come to London and what you should do here, but we don’t often tell you where to stay. But we’d like to think we know what you like, and that’s somewhere perfectly Insta-worthy – so we can only assume that that’s the kind of quality you’d also look for in a hotel. Here’s a bunch of Instagrammable hotels, so take your pick.

⚡️ St Pancras Renaissance, the magical, Hogwarts-style building with a seriously stunning staircase

? The Mandrake, with a fabulously floral courtyard

? Henrietta Hotel, a beautiful boutique hotel bursting with pastel pink interiors

?‍♀️ The Curtain, boasting Manhattan warehouse vibes and a swanky rooftop lido

? Leman Locke, a gorgeous aparthotel, decked out in trendy pastel and filled with beautiful furniture

73. Nose around Notting Hill

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Photo: @bittersweetlondon

We already mentioned the market, distillery, and double-bed filled cinema, but while you’re there, why not try…

? Biscuiteers, where you can ice your own cookies

? The Ledbury, a critically-acclaimed restaurant (currently closed, reopening TBD)

? Trailer Happiness, a chic and tropical cocktail bar

? Museum of Brands, where you can discover the history of consumer culture

? Explore the colourful streets

74. Roam around Richmond

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Photo: @yelloweyes2112

The mighty Richmond Park is obviously a major draw to the area, but there’s more to explore besides:

? Ham House, a National Trust property with gorgeous gardens

? Strawberry Hill House & Garden, a majestic fairytale castle dating back to 1747

? Petersham Nurseries, a lovely garden centre and one of the prettiest spots in London

Holly Hock Café, a fairytale spot nestled within the trees

? White Cross, an iconic riverside pub

75. Get a little bit closer

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Photo: The Brig

For a more intimate night out, try out one of these cosy—and miniature—spots:

? Street Lounge at Bread Street Kitchen, where you can dine in your own space capsule

? The Brig, the smallest bar in London that fits just four people inside

? Oi Spaghetti Tiramisù, the petite Peckham restaurant with just four tables

? Sushi Tetsu, 12-seat restaurant in Farringdon

? The Rake, tiny Borough microbar with legendary £15 pint

76. Enjoy some culture beneath the sky

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Photo: @regentsparkoat

In summer, a bunch of outdoor spaces open for alfresco performances; from open-air theatres to rooftop cinemas. Here’s what to look out for when summer comes around:

? The Globe, for Shakespeare like you’ve never seen before (reopening briefly in November)

⭐️ Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, which has been delighting audiences since 1932

? Rooftop Film Club, which takes over a bunch of London rooftops over the summer

? Opera Holland Park, an annual outdoor opera festival

? The Scoop, the stunning amphitheatre on the banks of the River Thames with free-to-see shows

77. Cook your own dinner (sort of)

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Photo: @hotpotshuang

Flex your culinary skills at these interactive dining experiences.

? Shuang Shuang, where you create your own hot pot

? Robata, which lets you BBQ at your table

? Doughnut Time Academy, which will teach you to create decadent doughnuts

? Spun Candy, play Willy Wonka as you make your own sweets

? Hot May, a luxury hot pot restaurant in Knightsbridge

78. Scare yourself silly

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Photo: @trappedldn

London has a bunch of haunted spots, including these spooky underground stations. But there are plenty of places you can go to scare yourself silly.

? Hyde Park Pet Cemetery, said to be haunted by the ghosts of departed pets

? London Dungeons, which recreates London’s gory past with live actors and special effects

? Ghastly Ghost Tour, a ghoulish walking tour around London Bridge

? Trapped In A Room With A Zombie, an escape room with ‘real’ zombie actor

? Frightfest, the annual horror film festival

79. Get a whole new ‘do

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Photo: Not Another Salon

From bobs to balayages, these are London’s top salons for your next do.

? Blade Hairclub, the salon that combines haircuts and drinking

? BLEACH, a series of salons known for its vibrant dyes

? Duck and Dry, for blow drys and updos with a side of prosecco

? Blue Tit, a series of award-winning hairdressers

? Not Another Salon, the salon that offers ‘silent’ haircuts for people who hate small talk

80. Bring your own bottle…

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Often, the most expensive part about dining out in London is the booze. Upwards of £12 for a cocktail? £6 a pint? Pfft! Swap that for a £5 bottle of wine from the bottom shelf in Sainsbury’s, bring it along to one of these restaurants, and you’re onto a winner…

?? Tayyabs, the extremely popular Punjabi restaurant in Whitechapel

? BúnBúnBún, for excellent Vietnamese cuisine

⛳️ PLONK, for BYOB crazy golf in Shoreditch and Camden

? Moonshine Saloon, a Wild West cocktail bar where you’ll need to evade the sherriff

? BYOC, a BYO cocktail bar in Camden where the bartenders will make you something they know you’ll love

81. Shop ’til you drop at a department store

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Photo: @pennyc.nyc

Shopping in London isn’t always a joyful experience, so it’s important to know where to look. These spots have a history for being brilliant, and, even if you don’t have lots of cash to splash, they’re great for window shopping too.

? Liberty, a gorgeous historic department store

? Fortum & Mason, home of the luxury hamper

? Harrods, for designer clothes and luxury gifts

? Selfridges, worth it for the foodhall alone

? John Lewis on Oxford Street, for literally everything you could ever need (including a rooftop bar!)

82. Travel a little differently

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‘Driving’ the DLR. Photo: Matt Buck

Aren’t you just so bored of the tube? Get from A to B in style with one of our suitably extra transport tips:

? Emirates Air Line, a cable car across the River Thames with unique views

? Bustronome, combine sightseeing with fine dining

? B Bakery’s Bus Tours, for various themed afternoon tea bus trips

? City Cruises, sightseeing and dining tours along the Thames

? ‘Drive’ the DLR, a bucket list opportunity quite frankly (yes, we just mean sitting at the front and pretending it’s a rollercoaster)

83. Frequent these glorious fried chicken joints

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Photo: @wingmanschicken

When it comes to fried chicken, there’s really no better place to be. London is home to the annual—and very prestigious—WingFest, where guests can vote for the best wings the UK has to offer. Throughout the rest of the year though, check out these clucking great spots for your fried chicken fix:

? Wingmans, for the best wings in the business

? Coqfighter, the seriously Insta-worthy restaurant in Soho

? El Pollote, for gluten free, guava-glazed wings and fried chicken arepas

? Mother Clucker, serving up their signature chicken strips and fiery cajun fries

? Chick’N’Sours, home to wicked cocktails and their famous whole fried chicken

84. Enjoy the best of the fests

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Photo: Field Day Festivals

Although you’ll find plenty of fantastic music festivals just a train ride away from London, there are also some brilliant ones that take over London’s parks in the summer. Our festival guide will be updated as and when they’re announced, or you can check out these beauties that are hopefully making a comeback this summer:

? Field Day, ft. the loudest sound system in the capital

? All Points East, a 10-day festival of music and entertainment in Victoria Park

✌️ Mighty Hoopla, a joy-filled pop extravaganza

? Lovebox, a two-day house, techno, hip-hop, R&B and grime festival

? Cross The Tracks, a new funk, jazz and soul festival in Brixton

85. Play a drinking game

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Photo: @londonjem

Friends: they’re nice to meet, but better to beat. If you love nothing more than the cut-and-thrust of high-drama low-stakes competition, we’ve found a dozen great ideas for a game-fuelled night out in London. Oh and there’s also the added bonus of booze.

? Four Thieves, with its own toy racing track

? Bounce, chock full of ping-pong tables

⚽️ Bar Kick, where table football is always spinning

? Draughts, a cute pair of board game café-bars

? Lan Kwai Fong, home to digital beer and prosecco pong

86. Have a world-class coffee

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Photo: @petalsandpostcards41

With coffee around every corner, you’re never far from your next flat white fix. Here are the best indie coffee shops in London. (Alternatively, check out our guides to coffee shops in Covent Garden and east London.)

? I Will Kill Again, tucked away beneath a railway arch in Hackney

? Look Mum No Hands, a coffee shop, bike workshop, bar and exhibition space

☕️ Monmouth Coffee, roasters and retailers since 1978

? Fuckoffee, the Bermondsey spot with rude mugs and fantastic cups of joe

? Black Sheep, the coffee shop that’s making the world a better place

87. Pick up a plant

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Photo: @conservatory_archives

Plants are so on-trend at the minute. Everybody wants them, nobody really knows how to look after them, but of course we’ll keep buying them until our flats are literal jungles. Check out our guide to London’s best plant shops, or choose one of these places to spend money on more Monsteras:

? Kill The Closest Snake, a new indoor plant and cactus shop hidden away in Hackney

? Conservatory Archives, with overgrown jungles in both Cambridge Heath and Lower Clapton

? Forest, who try to stock only easy-to-care-for plants

? Plant Warehouse, a haven for plant lovers on Cambridge Heath Road

? Nunhead Gardener, a tranquil garden centre with everything you could ever want

88. Stroll through King’s Cross

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Photo: @k__liu

King’s Cross may be the end of the railway line, but it certainly isn’t the end of the journey. Just ten years ago, it was downtrodden and looking a little bit tired – but since the station’s renovation and a little bit of sprucing up, the place is becoming pretty desirable. Read our guide to the area, or check out these top spots:

? Coal Drops Yard, a swish shopping district and an architectural dream

⚡️ Platform 9 3/4, where you can take that first step on your journey to Hogwarts

? Walk through the psychedelic tunnel that links King’s Cross station to the shops and restaurants in One Pancras Square

✍️ The House of Illustration, the only art gallery dedicated entirely to illustration and graphic arts in the UK

Drink, Shop, Do, for bottomless brunches, board games, quiz nights, Jenga speed dating nights, and more! (reopening TBD)

89. Take a trip… to the Outer Zones

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These unusual locations are all on the outskirts of London, but they’re well worth the trip. Go on, push your Oyster card to its limits!

? Ruislip Lido, a 60-acre lake with a beautiful beach

? Lee Valley White Water Centre, for white water rafting on the Olympic course

? Mount Vineyard, for wine tastings and cheeseboards

? Eltham Palace, a medieval royal palace that was once home to Henry VIII

? Eel Pie Island, once a huge hippie commune, this fascinating spot is only accessible by footbridge

90. Practice your jazz hands

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London has an incredible jazz scene, and one that is thriving. There are so many spots to enjoy live music with a cocktail in your hand, but these are some of the best:

? Jazz by Candlelight, which pays tribute to jazz legends

? Ronnie Scott’s, the legendary jazz club considered to be one of London’s top cultural institutions

? Jazz Cafe, the iconic Camden venue that has hosted the likes of Amy Winehouse and Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King

? Cafe Oto, a quirky free jazz venue in Dalston

? The Piano Bar, Soho’s best kept secret

91. Chomp on a drool-worthy burger

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Photo: @dirtyboneslondon

London is full of some seriously great burgers that will leave you totally comatose. Check out our list of the best burgers in the business, or try one of these:

? Dip & Flip’s Dip & Flip burger

? Dirty Bones‘ Mac Daddy burger

? Baba G’s Crazy Lamb Jalfrezi burger

? Burger & Beyond‘s Bacon Butter burger

? Honest Burgers‘ Tribute burger

92. Hie thee to Hackney

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Photo: @lukeanthonyhughes

Hackney is a brilliantly diverse area; an east London melting pot. Check out the borough’s brilliant boozers, or try these on for size:

? Clissold Park, home to two Anglo Nubian goats called Wallace and Gromit

? The Spread Eagle, London’s first 100% vegan pub

? Night Tales, a top spot for street food, cocktails and dancing the night away

? Pub on the Park, with a buzzing beer garden overlooking London Fields

? Broadway Market, a haven for London foodies

93. Catch some live sport

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If you’re into sport of any kind, London has a stadium for you. Of course there are dozens of stadiums for local teams, from Allianz Park to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but these are the Big Dogs where you’ll catch all of the Big Matches.

⚽️ Wembley, home to major football matches

? Twickenham, the home of England Rugby and the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world

? Wimbledon, the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world

? Lord’s, known as the Home of Cricket and host to the world’s oldest sporting museum

?‍♂️ London Stadium, which was built to host the London Olympics in 2012 and is now the home of West Ham United

94. Dine inside a grandiose café

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Photo: The Rosebery

Feel like royalty as you dine inside one of London’s fanciest cafés, all bursting with Wes Anderson vibes and brilliant brekkie!

95. Stuff your face with pasta

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Photo: @linastores

Seemingly every week, a new pasta joint springs up in London, serving carby goodness in sheets, ribbons, bows, and stuffed parcels of joy. Read our list of London’s best pasta, or check out one/some of our favourites:

? Pastaio, which serves up excellent, affordable pasta dishes

? Padella, big on queues but even bigger on quality

? Emilia’s, inspired by the trattorias of Emilia Romagna, the notoriously foodie region of northern Italy

? Lina Stores, from the team behind the 75-year-old Soho deli

? Flour & Grape, for fresh pasta and fantastic wine

96. Boogie on down to a boozy bingo sesh

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Photo: @bongosbingo

Who doesn’t like drinking, dancing and winning prizes? From drag dress to garage anthems, we’ve collated the city’s best boozy bingo nights. Here are our top picks:

✍️ Dabbers Bingo, the UK’s first ever purpose-built social bingo hall

? Bongo’s Bingo, ft. lots of dancing on tables and bizarre prizes

? Hip Hop Bingo, for lip sync battles, dance offs, more bling than you can throw a zimmer frame at

? Bingo Lingo, for crazy prizes, twerk offs, sing-offs and rave classics

? Rebel Bingo, the iconic rule-breaking bingo night continues to draw fans

97. Train hard for a scenic run

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Photo: @royalparkshalf

The London Marathon attracts over 450,000 ballot entries each year, making it the most popular marathon in the world. However, only 10% of entrants are lucky enough to get a place. Fortunately, there are so many other amazing London races worth training for! Here are some of our favourites:

? London Landmarks, a half marathon through Westminster and the City

? Hackney Half, part of the UK’s largest outdoor fitness festival

? Royal Parks, run past famous landmarks and through four of London’s eight royal parks

? RunThrough, a series of 5k, 10k and half marathons taking place in iconic locations all over the city

? London Pizza Run, which combines a 5k/10k race with pizza breaks

98. Tuck into a juicy steak

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Photo: L’Entrecote

We’ve selected all of our favourite steak restaurants that will satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank. Try these, or check out the full guide.

? Arlo’s, for free Bavette steak on Mondays (reopening TBD)

? Flat Iron, for £11 steak and cracking sides

?? L’Entrecôte, for steak et frites served with their famous sauce

? Mac & Wild, for a bargain three-course meal ft. a juicy steak

? Jones Family Kitchen, for premium cuts of meat cooked on Josper grills (and excellent cocktails!)

99. Explore Shoreditch

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Photo: Boxpark

There are so many brilliant things to do in Shoreditch, including some great restaurants and coffee shops. Here are our top picks:

? NOBU, for a bottomless sushi brunch

Boundary Rooftop, for fancy food and fab views

? Boxpark, a top spot for street food and good booze

? Happiness Forgets, for top-class cocktails in a dingy basement

? Barbour & Parlour, for an espresso and a new hair do

100. And once you’ve ticked everything off your list, explore somewhere else!

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You can find pretty much everything in London, but sometimes you need a change of scenery. Let this list of 100 day trips from London inspire you, or hop on a train to one of these top spots:

? Cambridge, for pretty punting trips along the River Cam

? Brighton, for fish and chips by the seafront

? Thorpe Park, a thrill-inducing theme park

? Surrey Hills, home to five vineyards that are open for tours and tastings

? Or explore a picturesque village less than two hours from London

Don’t forget, you can always keep the cost down with our roundup of 200 fabulous free things to do in London!