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To follow on from my post “Secret Places in London without the Tourists!‘, we want to share with you our favourite touristy things to do in London; because c’mon… they’re popular for a reason!! Whether it’s your first visit to England’s capital or your 100th, these iconic London attractions are always worth a visit!

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Harry Potter Studio Tour

At £47 per adult, or £150 for a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) it can be a pricey day; especially if you treat yourself to a chocolate frog and your very own wizarding wand at the gift store, but it is so worth it. All of your favourite scenes and film locations have been recreated in the Harry Potter Studios, complete with a room full of genuine props and costumes. They’re constantly adding new things so even if you’ve been before, it might be completely different for your second visit! 

The Natural History Museum

I love all things David Attenborough; so it was no surprise I loved TNHM when Dec took me there for the first time in 2014. Like most museums, this one is free so if you pack your own lunch and avoid eating at the on-site cafe it makes for a very cheap day. We recommend you head to the blue sections and discover the mammals of past and present before following on to volcanoes and dinosaurs.

If this gets you into the mood for museums, there’s another really cool one just around the corner. Check out our post for The Grant Museum of Zoology.

London Zoo

This is by far my favourite zoo in the UK. With massive enclosures and hundreds of natural habitats, it’s clear to see that conservation is at the heart of this zoo. A day visit here will set you back £23 per adult. £22 per child but if you book online you’re likely to find a discount price or some kind of special offer. There are animals here that aren’t often seen in other UK zoos, like Kangaroo and hippos, so for us it’s definitely worth the price.

Find out about other Ethical Zoos in England

Covent Garden

No matter how often we go to London, we always head to Covent Garden. It has a whole different atmosphere compared to other parts of London; I love the retro Moomin store! This cultural part of London can easily kill a good half-day if you take the time to explore all the stores and watch the various street performers. Have a bite to eat and check out the market stalls – it can also be as free, or as expensive as you’d like – and can make for some great Instagram photos!

Piccadilly Circus

Who doesn’t love piccadilly Circus? The bright lights and busting streets are what make this city come alive and it’s the heart of the West End. From here there’s easy acess to all your favourite theatres and shops. While you’re here, don’t forget to drop in and visit the Body Works exhibition; A science exhibition dedicated to the human body, shown through the plastication of real human cadavers. Sound creapy? Read more about it in our guide to Secret Places in London!

Image by Martin

Buckingham Palace

If you’re wanting to see the most iconic places in London then you can’t miss Buckingham Palace off your itinerary. It’s the official home to our Queen, HRM Queen Elizabeth II and is used for a wide array of special functions. You’ll see iconic soldiers in their black and red uniforms guarding the entrance. Most people visit Buckingham Palace to wander up and down the gates taking photos of the exterier but did you know, during the summer you can take a walk inside and see a select few of the State Rooms. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday’s are the best days to visit if you want to see the changing of that guards.

Get your tickets to the state rooms

The London Eye

Every city has it’s own wheel these days, but the London Eye is the original and when it opened in 2000 it was the world’s tallest observation wheel. Today tickets cost $40 per adult and $34 per child on the gate but you can get a discount by pre-booking online. I aslo reccomend getting a fast track ticket to avoid standing in long queues – especially if it’s typical British weather while you’re there… raining. Taking 30 minutes to do one full circle, it’s one of the best places to see London from above.

Where is your favourite tourist destination in London? I never used to be a fan of London but the more I’ve visited the more I realise it’s a city that doesn’t stop giving. There’s always something new to do there, whether it’s a secret location or a popular tourist spot, there is always a new adventure waiting around the corner.

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