London is the city of the British Crown, of noble buildings and of a particular urban layout governed by the tributary of the Thames, but it is also one of Europe's leading cities, an inescapable political capital on the international stage and home to some of the most striking attractions. In this definitive guide I present the 22 best things to do during your visit to discover the spirit of London.
From the Tower of London to Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, St. Paul's Cathedral and the Harry Potter theme park, I'll tell you which are the best tickets to get to know London in depth with the most fun activities. Are you ready for this adventure?
1. Tower of London tickets
The Tower of London, which houses the official Royal Palace, is considered the most famous building in the city, not only for its history and for having been the protagonist of some of the most famous events of England's past, such as the beheading of Anne Boleyn, but because it is the site where the jewels of the British monarchy are located, such as the coronation throne or the imperial Crown of State.
During your visit to the Tower of London you can access the different buildings of the complex and take a guided tour with a representative of the Beefeater guard, on a tour in which you can learn the most bizarre stories of this monument that is considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Being one of the most visited monuments in London, it is best to book your tickets in advance.
2. Tickets for Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is the most important and distinctive Anglican building in England and also one of the most representative of London, as there have been held the vast majority of the coronations of British monarchs and royal weddings, such as that of Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Philip. With these tickets you can visit the interior of the abbey, which stands out for its central nave and chapel.
In addition, you can also visit the tomb of the abbey in which are buried some of the most prominent personalities in the history of England, such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking and Charles Dickens. Undoubtedly, touring Westminster Abbey will be an adventure similar to traveling back in time.
3. Windsor Castle tickets
To take dimension of the historical importance of the residence of Windsor is enough to mention that it is one of the most famous castles in the world and the oldest that remains inhabited. The royal family lives there and there are also the crown museums, which you can visit during your visit to discover the works of art that includes the Royal Collection.
Thanks to these tickets for Windsor Castle you can also visit St. George's Chapel, the State Rooms, where the monarch meets regularly with the Prime Minister of England, and the State Apartments, where the servants' quarters and cellars are located.
4. Tickets for the London Eye
If you want to see the skyline of the English capital one of the best alternatives is to visit the London Eye, a modern viewpoint that works like a Ferris wheel and that will take you with this ticket for 30 minutes to see London from the heights in one of its glass capsules with wide views. From there you can see Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the bridges of the city.
Before entering the capsules of the London Eye you can also watch an introductory video in which you will learn how the wheel was built, what materials were used and what were the inspirations of an attraction that was initially questioned by the English but has already earned a place in the London panoramic thanks to its tourist contribution.
5. St. Paul's Cathedral tickets
Christopher Wren was one of the most famous architects in the history of England and his greatest legacy was St. Paul's Cathedral, a 5-story religious building that contains many of the monuments to British heroes, a Golden Gallery full of works of art and a terrace from which it is possible to discover one of the best panoramic views of the city.
During your visit you can tour the interior of the cathedral, which is the only religious building with a baroque style in its entrance portico, and also meet the bust of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, who was one of the most important figures of the Napoleonic Wars and is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.
6. Tickets for Harry Potter Studios Park
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter saga in London you can visit the Harry Potter Studios theme park, where you will immerse yourself in the fantastic world of the young wizard created by the writer J.K. Rowling. From the first moment the experience will be unforgettable, since the transfer to the park will be in charge of a bus similar to the one that appears in fiction. If you buy your tickets on the Hellotickets website you will have included transportation to and from the park.
In addition, in the studios you can discover the authentic sets, the props that were used in each of the films and you can visit the popular Diagon Alley. You can also stop at the park's gift store and taste the butterbeer consumed by the main characters of the saga. Are you ready for the magical journey of the Harry Potter theme park?
7. Thames river cruise tickets
One of the best alternatives to get to know a different profile of London is to opt for a cruise on the Thames River, which is the water artery that divides the British capital in two. During this tour you can experience the city from different perspectives, while you find on the horizon the silhouettes of Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and St. James Park.
During these tours, which usually last about an hour and a half, you will be accompanied by an audio guide in different languages who will teach you about the curiosities of London and the history of the city. In addition, you can combine these tours on the Thames with other popular activities such as hop on-hop off sightseeing bus tours or the views of the city from the height of the London Eye Ferris wheel.
8. Tickets to climb to the top of the O2 Stadium
If you want to live a different experience in the heart of London you can choose to tour the O2 arena, which is a well-known multidisciplinary stage in the British capital that has served to host various artistic and sporting events. The main attraction of the O2 is climbing up to its dome, which you can do holding on to a harness and following the path of a railing.
From the top of the O2 you will access another of the main panoramic views of the city, from where you can distinguish Greenwich Park and the Olympic Park. In addition, you will live an adventure experience with this ticket that includes climbing and you can take some of the most beautiful pictures of London from the 52 meters high of the stadium.
9. Tickets to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
The Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is a tradition in major cities around the world, but its headquarters is in London, so if you visit the British capital you can meet what was the first wax museum in the world and discover figures of all kinds, from Madonna and James Dean to Louis XVI, Queen Elizabeth II, David Beckham and Kim Kardashian.
In addition, this museum also offers an immersive experience aboard a cab inside the exhibition through which you can learn about the history of London while touring a gallery filled with wax figures of the most important characters of London's past. A must if you are traveling to London with children.
10. Tickets for the London Dungeon
If you want to live an alternative experience you can book tickets for the London Dungeon, a play that reviews in different stagings the most terrifying and chilling events in the history of the British capital, such as the rotting of the Great Plague or the Great Fire of 1666.
During this show, which lasts approximately 2 hours, you can also take a boat ride through the Traitors' Gate or experience firsthand the chases of Jack The Ripper, the popular serial killer who plagued London at the end of the Victorian Era and was never discovered.
11. Tickets for The Shard
If the panoramic views from the London Eye or the O2 stadium are not enough for you, you can choose to reach the top of The Shard, the 310-meter building that is the tallest in England and that will allow you to see the city in all its splendor, especially during the clear days of London's summer.
At The Shard, in addition to the 360-degree panoramic views, you can also use the interactive telescopes in the observatories located on the 68th, 69th and 72nd floors and, if you want, you can also choose to include in your ticket a glass of champagne and the service of a tour guide who will tell you the history of the sites that appear on the skyline.
12. Tickets for Kew Gardens
If you want to live a different experience in London, away from the historic buildings of the epicenter of the English capital, you can buy tickets to visit Kew Gardens. It is a natural space of more than 120 hectares of landscapes full of exotic plants and species, which will allow you to escape the bustle of London for a while to take refuge in this floral paradise that was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
During the tour of Kew Gardens you can visit its five greenhouses, The Hive and the Palace, which is the main building of the natural complex. In addition, you can take pictures on the natural walkway formed by the trees in Treetop Walkway and visit the two art galleries. If you plan to travel to London with children, they can enjoy the Climbers & Creepers playground, which offers games and attractions for the little ones.
13. Tickets for Shrek's Adventures in London
London is one of the paradises of children's animation and in Shrek's Adventures you can live a family experience in the theme park of the most famous ogre in the world where you will also cross paths with legendary characters such as Puss in Boots, Donkey, Cinderella and Fiona, as well as stroll through Far Far Away, a 4D recreation of the universe of Shrek.
Among other attractions you can also try to enter the villains' bar, called the Poisoned Apple, which is run by Doris, another character from the Shrek saga who became famous as Fiona's friend, and attend more than 10 different live theatrical shows, in what will be one of the best options you have available in London to visit with your family.
14. Old Royal Naval College Painted Hall Tickets
The Painted Hall of the Old Royal Naval College is considered the Sistine Chapel of London, as it is noted for its frescoes and wall decorations, which were designed by Christopher Wren, the same architect who designed St. Paul's Cathedral. Initially, this hall of the building was to be a place for the meetings of the veterans of the Royal Hospital, but its beauty turned it into an attraction to visit.
From the Painted Hall, you can also contemplate an open view of the Thames, as it is located on the banks of the river. With these tickets you can also visit the other buildings of the Old Royal Naval College complex and have free time to visit the gardens and common areas.
15. Tickets for the Greenwich Observatory
If you are one of those people who enjoy scientific experiences in London during your travels, you can't miss the tickets for the Greenwich Observatory, where you can stand on the meridian line that divides the two poles of the planet and discover the stories of the drawing of the first star map, which established the time zones and redesigned the methods of marine navigation.
This fascinating experience will take you through the work of the astronomers and physicists who began to shape the first GPS and planetary organizations to help ships navigate and ensure the fluidity of trade that made England a world power. During the tour you can also get the best views of London from the Great Equatorial Telescope.
16. Tickets for Kensington Palace
Have you ever fantasized about being part of royalty? If the answer is yes, one of the closest experiences you can have is to visit Kensington Palace, the monumental building where the heirs to the British throne live. It contains the King's rooms, chambers, chambers and galleries, which are open to the public thanks to these entrances to testify to the royal lifestyle.
Kensington Palace, which has been part of the Royal Heritage since 1690, was the site where Queen Victoria was born and raised and was also the residential home of Princess Lady Di. During the tour, you can also visit the gardens and its paths flanked by statues, sculptures and fountains and visit the historical exhibits, which display jewelry, costumes and photographs of the palace and its inhabitants.
17. Tickets for the ArcelorMittal Orbit
Another place to see London from above is the ArcelorMittal Orbit, which at 114 meters is the highest point of the Olympic Park in the city. From there you can get panoramic views, take pictures with the Olympic rings and see the skyline of East London, one of the most emblematic areas of the British capital.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is the tallest sculpture in the UK, so from the walkways suspended in the air you can reach views of more than 30 kilometers, easily spotting the legendary Wembley Stadium, St. Paul's Cathedral, the viewpoints of the O2 stadium and even the dome of Westminster Abbey.
18. Tickets for The Dare Skywalk experience
Tottenham Hotspur is one of London's most traditional soccer teams and since its stadium for more than 62,000 spectators was renovated it is possible to access the viewing platforms at the top to complete the London skyline and also take pictures with the golden rooster, which is the emblem of the club.
The Dare Skywalk is one of the most striking activities in the city, because it combines panoramic views with a tour of one of the most famous stadiums in England, as well as a curious walk along the glass walkway that is located about 50 meters high. From there you can also see the field of play and the stands that are filled with spectators every weekend.
19. Tickets for Kidzania
Traveling with children presents the challenge of combining adult experiences with children's activities and in London one of the best opportunities to enjoy a tour with the little ones is to visit Kidzania. These tickets allow you to enjoy an interactive city with themed attractions where children can play professional roles, dress up and play at being grown-ups.
Kidzania is focused on providing children with a wide range of alternatives so they can play their favorite profession or trade, so they will have the opportunity to be firefighters, dancers, journalists, doctors, bankers, scientists, cooks or even airline pilots for a day.
20. Tickets to Sea Life London Aquarium
Sea Life London is one of the most renowned aquariums in Europe, partly because there you can discover more than 500 species of marine life, including sharks, octopuses, penguins and eels, but also because you can visit it in a place close to the epicenter of London, which is rare in more populated cities.
In total you can visit up to 14 themed areas with different marine habitats and more than 50 exhibits, including the Shark Wall, a walkway where you can see sharks swimming in a glassy pond right under your feet. Sea Life London is one of the best tickets to opt for a family or children's tour in London.
21. Tickets for ZSL London Zoo
ZSL London Zoo is the ideal place for tourists who enjoy wildlife and the wonders of wildlife, because in this zoo you can find gorillas, giraffes, lemurs, tigers, lions and even exotic or endangered species such as Komodo dragons and panda bears, so the experience will be complete.
Among the zoo's special options you can also visit the butterfly garden, the penguin beach and the reptile house, where you will find snakes, turtles and crocodiles living together in a thematic environment. At the end of the tour you will have been able to meet more than 17,000 different animals.
22. Discover every corner of the city with the London Pass
If you want to know London in depth you can opt for the London Explorer Pass, an electronic pass with which you can save up to 35% of money during your trip by choosing tickets from over 50 attractions available, including the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, the British Museum, The Shard and Wembley Stadium.
This pass is valid for up to 60 days and is activated from the first use. From there, you can access the number of attractions for which you have purchased the tourist card, which offers options of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 attractions. In addition, this card will also give you access to the Big Bus hop on-hop off sightseeing bus services and the Thames river cruises.