Top 100 London Attractions: The Ultimate List

View of London, Tower Bridge and The Shard from the Sky Garden, London, UK
View of London, Tower Bridge and The Shard from the Sky Garden, London, UK © Art of Escapism

As English writer Samuel Johnson once famously said “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. Indeed, there is hardly any chance you will ever run out of things to do in Europe’s iconic capital, regardless if you’re a tourist passing by or a hardened local.

To celebrate this amazing variety and selection here is a list of the top 100 things to do in London. Some touristy attractions, some unique places, some hidden gems and quirky, unusual spots. There is something here for everyone, but by no means is this list exhaustive! However, it does guarantee that you shall not run out of things to do for a looooong time.

1. London Eye

View of London from the London Eye, London, UK
View of London from the London Eye, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Undeniably one of London’s most iconic landmarks. Aboard Europe’s largest observation wheel you will get spectacular 360° views of the city. The London Eye AKA Millennium Wheel opened in 2000 and was built to commemorate the millennium. From here you can get the best views of Big Ben and Houses of Parliament (also on this list, so it’s like 3 birds with one stone!) and if you’re feeling extra fancy you can go for the Champagne Experience along for the spin.

2. Tower of London

Inner courtyard and the White Tower inside Tower of London, London, UK
Inner courtyard and the White Tower inside Tower of London, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Tower of London is a snippet of history locked away in the centre of a busy metropolis, where you get a chance to be transported back to medieval times. This time capsule is like stepping into a small self-contained village, all with its own pub, where the resident guards (Beefeaters) can have a pint. A royal residence, a prison known for horrific torture, a menagerie with exotic animals, a treasury and armoury – the castle has had many roles over the centuries. It’s famously known as the place of execution of Anne Boleyn, one of Henry VIII’s six wives, as well as the fantastic Crown Jewels which are exhibited here.

3. London Zoo

Lemur at the London Zoo, London, UK
Lemur at the London Zoo, London, UK

The London Zoo located at the edge of beautiful and lush Regent’s Park is the world’s oldest scientific zoo, established in 1828 to study the animal kingdom. The zoo is home to nearly 700 species and it actively pursues conservation projects around the world. To add to the excitement you can also join a myriad of experiences – hone your wildlife photography skills, learn how to be a giraffe keeper or book into a hypnosis session to cure your spider phobia.

4. Southbank

People dining al fresco at restaurants beneath Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank, London, UK
People dining al fresco at restaurants beneath Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Southbank is a lively cultural spot and a great area for a riverside walk. Plenty of cafes and restaurants with al fresco seating are to be found here. Famous for the second hand book market under Waterloo Bridge, as well as the BFI Southbank cinema, which is a must for cinephiles and arthouse film lovers. The Southbank Centre food market right behind Royal Festival Hall will cater to all tastes. This is also the premier spot to admire brutalist architecture, particularly Denys Lasdun’s iconic National Theatre building. But if you want to take it all in in one go head over to Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden Bar & Cafe for a drink and great views of the Thames.

5. Madame Taussauds

Wax figure of Audrey Hepburn at Madame Taussauds, London, UK
Wax figure of Audrey Hepburn at Madame Taussauds, London, UK © Art of Escapism

For some a tourist trap, for others an opportunity to get lots of selfies with ‘celebrities’. Regardless of how you look at it the Madame Taussauds wax figure museum has become a permanent fixture of London’s tourist hotspot landscape. Navigating through the history, scandals, splits and marriages the museum is always in tune with the latest news in showbiz, sports and politics.

6. Tate Modern

People walking through a fog tunnel during Olafur Eliasson exhibition at the Tate Modern, London, UK
People walking through a fog tunnel during Olafur Eliasson exhibition at the Tate Modern, London, UK © Art of Escapism

A must-visit destination for any lover of modern and contemporary art. Set in a former power station the gallery has carried some of the most awe-inspiring exhibits in the past including a Yayoi Kusma retrospective, Damien Hirst butterfly room and formaldehyde animals and mind-blowing installations by Olafur Eliasson. On permanent display are many iconic artists including Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, DalÍ­, Warhol and Pollock. Don’t miss the Rothko Room – a spiritual cathedral of abstract art. Best way to arrive at the Tate is to go to St. Pauls station and cross the Thames via the Millennium Bridge (look out for tiny artworks made painted on chewing gum blobs on the ground).

7. Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Famous Ronnie Scott's jazz club, Frith Street, Soho, London, UK
Famous Ronnie Scott’s jazz club, Frith Street, Soho, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Only one of the most important jazz venues in the world situated in the bustling nightlife district of Soho. The Ronnie Scott’s stage has hosted performances of many prolific stars including Nina Simone, Jimi Hendrix and Prince. The cabaret style seating and dim table lamps make for a great atmosphere to spend an intimate evening (all with table service, should you want to grab a bite). For the main show you will need to book tickets in advance as the shows usually sell out fast. As an alternative check out the Upstairs @ Ronnie’s bar for a more casual evening with live jamming.

8. Kew Gardens

Interior of Temperate House Kew Gardens, London, UK
Interior of Temperate House Kew Gardens, London, UK © Art of Escapism

On the outskirts of London is the spectacular Kew Gardens. The royal botanic gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage site with over 50000 plant species in their collection. Among the main attractions here are the two large, Victorian glass houses – the Palm House and newly renovated Temperate House. At the treetop walkway, 18 meters above ground, you can enjoy a stroll among tree canopies and get good views of the gardens. There is also an impressive 10 storey Chinese Pagoda and beautifully pampered Japanese Garden. To cover the vast grounds and the many attractions allow for the whole day, take picnic with you and if you have left over time visit the nearby charming village of Richmond.

9. Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament shrouded in mist, London, UK
Houses of Parliament shrouded in mist, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Surrounding the Big Ben are the equally iconic buildings of the Houses of Parliament, also called the Palace of Westminster. This is the meeting place of the UK government. The current building was rebuilt after a devastating fire in mid-19th century and is in the then-popular English Perpendicular Gothic style. All tours are currently suspended, but usually you can visit on Saturdays or in months of July and August.

10. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge over the Thames River, London, UK
Tower Bridge over the Thames River, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Tower Bridge is another one of London’s iconic landmarks, often mistaken for London Bridge. It’s one of the most elaborate examples of a bascule bridge, which opens up to allow for boat traffic underneath. Built between 1886 and 1894 in a Victorian Gothic style it blends in seamlessly with the historic London buildings. You can visit the bridge and walk across the West Walkway on top of the bridge, as well as see the engine rooms that kept the bridge going. Nearby you also have the historic Shad Thames street filled with converted warehouses, the Tower of London and Bermondsey’s contemporary art gallery – the White Cube.

11. Big Ben

Big Ben, London, UK
Big Ben, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Big Ben is the quintessential London icon. The clock tower of the Houses of Parliament has been renamed Elizabeth Tower in 2012 in celebration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee and Big Ben is actually the name of its largest bell. At the moment there are no tours of the tower, as it is undergoing refurbishment, which is set to complete in 2022.

12. Soho

Wardour Street in the evening and Las Vegas amusement arcade in Soho, London, UK
Wardour Street in the evening and Las Vegas amusement arcade in Soho, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Soho is the epicentre of London’s nightlife. Historically known as the city’s red light district, as well as the birthplace of gay culture, its bustling streets are filled with colourful neon signs. Full of trendy clubs, bars, restaurants, sex shops, karaoke – you name it, there is something to do for everyone. There are so many noteworthy places here is calls for a separate guide. There is Bar Italia, unassuming hotspot for partygoers. Open until ungodly 5:00 if offers excellent coffee and a great people watching opportunity. Another spot is the famous jazz club Ronnie Scott’s. For a taste of red light district remnants head to Soho Original Adult Store, which stocks 2 floors of erotica material. Soho Square is a bit a green space in this compact area, you can grab some experimental ice cream from nearby Chin Chin Dessert Club and relax.

13. Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, London, UK
Westminster Abbey, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Westminster Abbey is the site of royal weddings, coronations and burials. This Gothic style marvel saw in more recent times the weddings of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William as well as the funeral of Princess Diana. The abbey is not open for tourist visits every day, so check times and bookings in advance.

14. Canary Wharf

South Quay Footbridge and skyscrapers in Canary Wharf, London, UK
South Quay Footbridge and skyscrapers in Canary Wharf, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Canary Wharf is where the endless-skyscrapers look of New York merge with canal vibes of Venice. This floating glass and steel island is London’s financial district, although it has much more to offer than initially meets the eye. Located in the historic docklands, some elements from its past as a centre of trade under the British Empire and storage hub of imported exotic goods are still preserved. Walking around you will encounter lifting cranes and old warehouses converted into trendy restaurants. Although not officially an open-air art museum, Canary Wharf’s vast collection of sculptures dotted around makes for a great trail to follow and includes prolific artists such as Igor Mitoraj, Helaine Blumenfeld and Henry Moore. Make sure to visit the Crossrail Place Roof Garden for a bit of respite.

15. Hay’s Galleria

The Navigators sculpture in Hay's Galleria, London, UK
The Navigators sculpture in Hay’s Galleria, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Hay’s Wharf was originally a drop-off point for ships carrying tea, which was then stored at the surrounding warehouses. In the 1980s, as part of the docklands transformation project, the existing wharf was sealed off and the warehouses connected by a glass roof. It’s now called Hay’s Galleria and houses a number of shops, cafes and souvenir carts. The centrepiece of the galleria is a quirky, steampunk-looking kinetic sculpture called The Navigators by artist David Kemp. If you’re after a quick break the Absolutely Starving cafe and deli is a feast for the eyes and tastebuds, with an astounding selection of things to choose from.

16. Regent Street

Regent Street, London, UK
Regent Street, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Regent Street running via Oxford Circus to Piccadilly Circus is a major shopping destination with many upscale shops. The rows of buildings referred to as the Quadrant were designed by John Nash and have a characteristic curved shape. In the 19th century this was trendy fashion destination and it is still today with designer shops including Burberry, Belstaff and Calvin Klein. It is home to the Apple Store as well as famous toy store Hamley’s. Other notable spots here are luxury department store Liberty and the quirky Sketch restaurant, which has a pastel pink Wes Anderson style dining room and futuristic capsule toilet pods.

17. Liberty’s

Tudor style exterior of Liberty London department store, Great Marlborough Street, London, UK
Tudor style exterior of Liberty London department store, Great Marlborough Street, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Inside a striking black and white, mock-Tudor building is Liberty’s luxury department store just off of Regent Street in the very centre of the city. Famous for its colourful floral prints and intriguing objets d’art gathered from around the world it makes for an unmissable luxury shopping experience. Here you will find a curated selection of fashion brands, cosmetics and homeware, but if you’re not looking to spend any money it’s still worthwhile to have a look and admire the timber interior, which was repurposed from two decommissioned Royal Navy ships.

18. SEA Life Aquarium

Sea Life Aquarium, London, UK
Sea Life Aquarium, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Marine life enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Sea Life Aquarium has the largest collection of underwater species in Europe. The glass displays and thrilling underwater tunnel let you in close on the action. You can also meet a bunch of playful Gentoo Penguins or pet a starfish. You can get discounted tickets if you combine it with other attractions such as Madame Tussauds.

19. Somerset House

People having coffee al fresco in the Somerset House courtyard, London, UK
People having coffee al fresco in the Somerset House courtyard, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Somerset House is host to a programme of exciting arts and cultural events. In summer the courtyard of this grand, neo-classical building is transformed into an outdoor cinema. In winter on the other hand you can test your skills at the ice rink. Due to the building’s long-standing connection as the venue of London Fashion Week, many exhibitions here are connected to fashion designers and photography. Large fairs such as Photo London and London Design Biennale are also hosted here on a regular basis.

20. Centre Point

Brutalist style skyscraper Centre Point in Tottenham Court Road, London, UK
Brutalist style skyscraper Centre Point in Tottenham Court Road, London, UK © Art of Escapism

One of London’s first skyscrapers, this tower is a prominent beacon marking the very centre of London. Initially completed as an office space in 1966 it was the tallest building at the time and is now the 27th tallest. Built from precast concrete segments, the crisp facade is often likened to a honeycomb structure. It is one of the city’s most prominent examples of brutalist architecture. At the base of the tower you will find Arcade Food Theatre – a food concept that brings together 7 different kitchens under one roof.

21. Angel Camden Passage

Camden Passage in Angel, Islington, London, UK
Camden Passage in Angel, Islington, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Angel’s hidden-away alley called Camden Passage has lots of interesting places begging to be discovered. For antique aficionados there is Kevin Page Oriental Art selling Japanese and Chinese ceramics and decor. At Hearts and Daggers Militaria you can hunt for some military memorabilia for your collection. There is also plenty of other second hand and vintage boutiques offering jewellery and clothing. There are also a variety of market stalls that sell antiques, for days and times best check the website. Kipferl Cafe & Kitchen is an Austrian coffeehouse offering delicious pastries, such as the traditional apfelstrudel. Love Brownies Angel is a whole shop dedicated to, you guessed it! Brownies! The Bird and Blend Tea Shop offers a wide range of quality teas and blends.

22. National Gallery

The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London, UK
The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The grand neo-classical building overlooking Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery, which holds masterpieces from the 13th to 19th century. If you love classical masters such as Rembrandt, Da Vinci and Monet, this place is not to be missed. The most revered work on display here is Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ and no wonder, the painting’s luminescent colours simply have to be seen in real life.

23. St Paul’s Cathedral

St. Pauls Cathedral in spring, London, UK
St. Pauls Cathedral in spring, London, UK © Art of Escapism

St Paul’s Cathedral is the building that the entire London revolves around, literally. Being a protected vista the city planners have to ensure that other buildings don’t obstructs the cathedral’s visibility. The beautiful English Baroque style building has been designed by architect Sir Christopher Wren and is one of London’s most recognisable landmarks. A visit to St Pauls includes climb up the Whispering Gallery situated around the edges of the dome. From here you’re only one bridge away from the Tate Modern contemporary art gallery.

24. Trafalgar Square

People relaxing Trafalgar Square on a sunny weekend, London, UK
People relaxing Trafalgar Square on a sunny weekend, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Trafalgar Square is one of the city’s most central squares frequently visited by tourists. It was named after the Battle of Trafalgar, which the British navy won during the Napoleonic Wars in early 19th century. From here, many important tourist attractions are easily accessible, including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Chinatown and Leicester Square. You might recognise the 50m tall Nelson’s Column monument or the grand building of the National Gallery overlooking the square. People stop here for a breather or a have a quick bite to eat by the magnificent fountains.

25. Neals Yard

Colourful houses of Neal's Yard in Covent Garden, London, UK
Colourful houses of Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Neal’s Yard is one of London’s prettiest and most colourful spots. Once a storage area for bins, the buildings surrounding the courtyard were bought up by entrepreneur Nicholas Saunders and spruced up. The small courtyard hidden away in Covent Garden is filled with independent shops, cafes and restaurants focused around health and wellness. The organic cosmetics brand Neal’s Yard Remedies started here as an alternative pharmacy selling essential oils, herbs and homeopathic treatments. Wild Food Cafe is a plant-based restaurant offering organic dishes and delicious smoothies. Casanova & Daughters is a lovely Sicilian Deli that offers wine tastings.

26. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, London, UK
Buckingham Palace, London, UK

Buckingham Palace is a symbol of the British monarchy and the Queen’s official residence. It is the central point of the nations mourning and celebrations when momentous events unfold. Mostly you will see crowds of tourists gather outside the gates taking pictures or watching the Changing the Guard ceremony. But you can also book tickets to see the gardens, where the Queen hosts her famous summer parties. Tours will allow you to access the opulent State Rooms (only between May and September). Visit the neighbouring St. James’s Park to see pelicans, which have been residing here since the 17th century.

27. Oxford Street

Selfridges in Oxford Street, London, UK
Selfridges in Oxford Street, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The ultimate shopping destination – Oxford Street is UK’s greatest high street. Stretching from Tottenham Court Road all the way to Marble Arch it is one of Europe’s busiest shopping streets with over 300 shops. The most iconic landmark here is the Selfridges department store first opened by American retail pioneer Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1909. His vision was to make shopping an experience, where visitors could freely touch products on display as well as buy into a desirable lifestyle. Nearby is also St. Christophers Place – a charming courtyard with restaurants and small boutiques.

28. St Katharine Docks

Marina in St Katharine Docks, London, UK
Marina in St Katharine Docks, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Former dock turned into a marina full of boats, surrounded by small shops, cafes and restaurants. The warehouses around the docks were all destroyed in the Second World War and the site remained derelict until the 1990s, when it was redeveloped. Now it’s an eclectic mix of architecture including the brutalist Tower Hotel. On its facade you should be able to spot a block with a crown, referred to as the Monolith and it’s actually a rejected prop from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey. You can get a drink or traditional English pub meal at the historic Dickens Inn, which used to be an 18th century brewery. Finally, you can also be captivated by the golden opulence of Queen Elizabeth’s II royal barge usually moored at the marina.

29. Kensington Place

Kensington Palace in Hyde Park, London, UK
Kensington Palace in Hyde Park, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Kensington Palace is the official residence to the royals set in the beautiful Hyde Park. Kate and William currently reside here, but it was also the home of Diana in the past. Despite the noble inhabitants, parts of the palace are accessible to tourists and you can book a ticket via the website. Until January 2022 you will also be able to see Diana’s magnificent wedding dress displayed as part of the ‘Royal Style in the Making’ exhibition. What was once a peaceful countryside retreat in the 17th century is now set in the middle of a busy metropolis.

30. Borough Market

Borough Market, London, UK
Borough Market, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Borough Market is London’s most famous food and speciality produce market. Overlooked by the mighty Shard and with a 1000 years of heritage under its belt it’s the oldest market in the city. During the 20th century it mainly offered wholesale fruit and vegetables, but is now filled with a vibrant and eclectic selection of street food stalls, gourmet food vendors and delis. Kappacasein is especially renowned for their carefully crafted grilled cheese sandwich. The elaborate wrought ironwork of the structure dates back to the Victorian era, however the grand art nouveau portico was a later addition transported from the previous Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

31. Hyde Park

Autumn in Hyde Park, London, UK
Autumn in Hyde Park, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Hype Park is a vast green space, smack in the middle of the city, perfect for cycling, walking, boating and even horse riding! You can get a horse from Hyde Park Stables to ride around on the designated tracks. The park also has two Serpentine Galleries hosting regular exhibitions, as well as the annual architectural commission – the Serpentine Pavilion, which you can see in the summer. There are plenty of statues and monuments to be seen, including Princess Diana’s Memorial Fountain. Hidden away at the northern edge of the park is a small pet cemetery, where wealthy Victorians used to bury their beloved companions (tour access only). If you have some fruit handy with you seek out the resident parakeets, who will be more than happy to eat out of your hand. The grandest sights of all in the park is the Kensington Palace – the former residence of Queen Victoria and Princess Diana.

32. Kyoto Garden

Kyoto Garden, Holland Park, London, UK
Kyoto Garden, Holland Park, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Located in West London’s Holland Park, the Kyoto Garden is a place of zen and tranquility with sounds of the waterfall cascading down. It has everything you may wish for in a Japanese garden – stone lanterns, koi carp and vibrant maple trees. The garden was gifted to the UK in the 90s by the city of Kyoto to celebrate the long-standing relationship between the two countries. The garden is only steps away from the Design Museum, where you can revisit ancient artefacts such as floppy disks and rotary telephones.

33. God’s Own Junkyard

Neon signs inside God's Own Junkyard, London, UK
Neon signs inside God’s Own Junkyard, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Inside an unassuming warehouse in Walthamstow is the retro paradise of God’s Own Junkyard. Chris Bracey, the creator of this unique venue, started off his career as neon sign maker for Soho’s infamous strip clubs. Soon after Hollywood has taken a notice and film buffs will be pleased to find signs that have been used as props in iconic films such as Eyes Wide Shut, Batman, Blade Runner and many more. The place doubles as a cafe/bar called The Rolling Scones. You can enjoy a drink or light meal with basking in the multicoloured glow. God’s Own Junkyard is in the good company of not one, but two breweries – The Wild Card and Pillars, as well as The Real Al Company Cider Taproom.

34. Afternoon Tea at the Ritz

Afternoon tea cakes at the Ritz, London, UK
Afternoon tea cakes at the Ritz, London, UK © The Ritz London

Afternoon Tea at the Ritz is a symbol of luxury with an air of aristocratic Britishness from the days of yore. Afternoon Tea is one of the great British traditions and includes a serving of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam and a selection of small cakes, alongside some tea or coffee (and even bubbly if you wish it). Ritz has been long considered the place of all places to experience this indulgent tradition. The tea is served at the The Palm Court, an opulent Louis XVI style setting and starts from £55 per person. Leave your sneakers at home, the dress code here is smart and men must wear a jacket!

35. Covent Garden Market

Interior of Covent Garden Market, London, UK
Interior of Covent Garden Market, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Covent Garden Market is a former vegetable and fruit market that has been transformed into a shopping and dining destination with lots of character. The 19th century building in the middle of the square has some very unique boutiques worth popping into like Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop or Segar & Snuff Parlour tobacco shop. The Apple Market offers a myriad of antique stalls on Mondays and from Tuesday to Sunday you will find vendors with handmade goods, arts, crafts and jewellery. You might catch a glimpse of an opera singer’s performance in the square and you also have the overlooking majestic Royal Opera House. Nearby is another shopping desitnation Neal Street, which has The Tea House on it, a popular tea shop that gets a lot of camera attention.

36. Fortnum & Mason

Spiral staircase at Fortnum & Mason department store
Spiral staircase at Fortnum & Mason department store, London, UK © Art of Escapism

If you’re looking for the first place to ever stock baked beans in Britain, look no more. The refined department store Fortnum & Mason’s was founded as a grocery store during the Victorian era stocking specialty foods. It also claims to have invented the traditional staple of English cuisine – the Scotch Egg. If that wasn’t enough, they are also royal warrant holders, meaning the supply goods to the royal family. Most people visit to buy pretty tins of English biscuits, teas and other fine and exotic foods. You can also indulge in a luxurious afternoon tea at the Jubilee Tea Salon.

37. Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum, London, UK
Natural History Museum, London, UK © Art of Escapism

At the entrance hall you will be greeted by a massive blue whale Skeleton suspended from the ceiling, endearingly named Hope. Even those not particularly interested in natural studies should find something fascinating at the Natural History Museum. The sparking collections of gems and minerals are certain to catch the eye. Located in South Kensington, the museum sits in good company alongside the V&A Museum and the Science Museum, so make it a day full of educational entertainment.

38. Regent’s Park

Regent's Park in autumn, London, UK
Regent’s Park in autumn, London, UK © Art of Escapism

See beautiful English and Italian gardens at one of London’s Royal Parks. The Frieze London Art Fair runs the Frieze Sculpture event in October every year, where you can see contemporary artworks scattered around the park. One of the most magical experiences is the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. In the summer you can see a variety of performances including Shakespearean plays the the al fresco amphitheater. Tickets go fast, so booking in advance is a must! The park is also home to the London Zoo, also on this list. The nearby Primrose Hill offers fantastic views of the city.

39. Leake Street Tunnel

Colourful artwork and murals inside the Leake Street graffiti tunnel, London, UK
Colourful artwork and murals inside the Leake Street graffiti tunnel, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Leake Street tunnel is the city’s open street art gallery, where graffiti and mural artists are free to express themselves. Formally plain railway arches underneath Waterloo Station, the area has been transformed into a celebration of urban culture and community. Over the years more and more quirky places have sprung up in the area – the most known being the Vaults venue, which hosts a myriad of performances and immersive experiences worth checking out.

40. Prince Charles Cinema

Exterior of the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, London, UK
Exterior of the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square should be on the list of every film and musical lover. This place is known for hosing sing-a-long screenings of iconic films such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Sound of Music. Arthouse and cult films are also on the menu, sometimes screened in their original 35mm and 70mm celluloid glory. Marathons, all-nighters, double and triple bills are thing here, just make sure to get in a hefty dose of caffeine. The reasonable prices are definitely a plus.

41. Shakespeare’s Globe

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London, UK
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a modern 1997 reconstruction of the original Elizabethan era Globe Playhouse, for which William Shakespeare wrote his plays. Here you can enjoy classics like The Tempest, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet. For a mere £5 you can get a standing tickets in the yard under the open sky, come rain come shine. The timber building, being uniquely the only building in London with a thatched roof can also be seen via tour during daytime.

42. Harrods

Harrods luxury department store in Knightsbridge, London, UK
Harrods luxury department store in Knightsbridge, London, UK © Art of Escapism

In the very posh area of Knightsbridge sits the renowned Harrods department store. It started as a fruit and vegetable shop with only 2 staff members. Today its seven floors of unadulterated shopping bliss. You will find anything from luxury designer clothing, beauty products and a food hall. You can make a stop at the elegant Harrods Tea Rooms for a cream tea or afternoon tea. At night the wonderful Edwardian Baroque building is lit up with over 10000 lightbulbs. It’s also a great place for celebrity sightings (just be discreet about it!)

43. View From the Shard

London skyscrapers shrouded in fog as seen from the Shard, London, UK
London skyscrapers shrouded in fog as seen from the Shard, London, UK © Art of Escapism

At a staggering 309.6m tall the Shard dominates the London skyline and is nearly impossible to miss. Completed in 2012 to the design of renowned architect Renzo Piano the glass tower has raised many conflicting opinions over the years. Whether you love it or hate it, its status as the 7th tallest building in Europe remains unshaken. The main attraction here is the top floor viewing platform, where you get the pleasure of observing the tiny people, cars and buildings at ground level. Combine breathtaking views of the city with a visit to one of the few restaurants inside the building including Aqua Shard and Hutong.

44. Chinatown

Colourful oriental style gate into Chinatown at night, London, UK
Colourful oriental style gate into Chinatown at night, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Adorned with red lanterns and exotic oriental gates London’s Chinatown is sandwiched in the very centre between Soho and the West End (aka Theatreland). The first Chinatown in the city was located in Limehouse in the 19th century, however a decline of shipping into the docklands area caused the community to move more central. This is an absolute paradise for foodies, especially those with a sweet tooth. In the restaurant windows you will see juicy roasted ducks ready to be eaten. Visit Newport Court for delicious dessert places like Kova Patisserie, Taiyakiya, TSUJIRI Matcha House and Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream.

45. Victoria Park

People boating on a lake in Victoria Park, London, UK
People boating on a lake in Victoria Park, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Victoria Park is East London’s Hyde Park. Lush and green, it’s a great place to go for a relaxing walk. Runners and cyclists frequent the park along its broad paths shaded by tree canopies. Head to the Pavilion Cafe overlooking a lake for a delicious English Breakfast or brunch or take a ride in a row boat. Have a look at the colourful Chinese Pagoda and the barges mooring on Regent’s Canal, which runs alongside the park’s western edge. On Sundays there is a fantastic food and farmer’s market with a generous selection of dishes from around the world. You can also visit the many cafes and bakeries in Victoria Park Village located at the Northern edge of the park.

46. Thames River Cruise

Tourists on a Thames river cruise with Big Ben and Houses of Parliament ahead, London, UK
Tourists on a Thames river cruise with Big Ben and Houses of Parliament ahead, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Thames river cruises are a great way to sightsee in a speedy fashion and get great, unobstructed photos of many London landmarks. There are plenty boat tours and routes to choose from and some even offer a dinner, lunch or afternoon tea experience. Most of the main companies depart from Westminster Pier near Big Ben. You can also choose a hop-on hop-off option, with many stops along the river, including Greenwich. For a budget (but still very good) option you can go for the Thames Clippers boat services – these are part of the normal public transport network, but pretty much alight at all the same stops as the tourist cruises sans the guide commentary.

47. Brick Lane

Walls covered in graffiti, posters and artwork by Brick Lane, East London, UK
Walls covered in graffiti, posters and artwork by Brick Lane, East London, UK © Art of Escapism

Brick Lane is a lively street known for fashion, street art and curry houses. During the 19th century a large Bangladeshi community settled here and opened up many restaurants. Students from nearby fashion colleges frequent the more unique offering of clothing shops such as Beyond Retro, Rokit and Tatty Devine. If you love second-hand finds, inside the old Truman Brewery building you can find the Brick Lane Vintage Market. There are plenty of small, quirky galleries to discover in the area, Gallery S O is one such gem. It’s nearly impossible to pass by the Dark Sugars chocolate shop with indifference, their enticing display of truffles will have you at hello. Beigel Bake is practically an institution famous for salt beef bagels and being open 24/7. For plant-based eaters Vegan Nights is a perfect mash-up of food and party. It’s run as an event so check for dates in advance.

48. Victoria & Albert Museum

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A for short) is one of the grandest institutions holding a large collection of decorative arts, design and fashion from around the world. The V&A was established in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert who were a dedicated patrons of the museum. Some of the most renowned fashion designers have had retrospectives here including Dior, Alexander McQueen and Yohji Yamamoto. Entrance to the main collections is free.

49. Hampton Court Palace

Gardens and Hampton Court Palace, London UK
Gardens and Hampton Court Palace, London UK © Art of Escapism

King Henry VIII’s favourite residence is a mash up of two very different styles – Tudor and Baroque. Parts of the original 16th century Tudor palace were demolished to make space for a Baroque expansion in the following century, one to match the splendour of Versailles. See opulent interiors, endless manicured gardens and… the largest grape vine in the world! Only a short 30 minute train ride from Waterloo Station, it’s an excellent day out. You can also visit the nearby Bushy Park to get a glimpse of deer roaming freely.

50. Wellcome Collection

Permanent exhibition Being Human at the Wellcome Collection including, London, UK
Permanent exhibition Being Human at the Wellcome Collection including, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Wellcome Collection is a museum that displays objects that span over a multitude of areas, but mainly science, medicine, art and life. If you’re interested in the human body and mind, it’s a great place to spend the afternoon. They have an excellent reading room, where you can relax on bean bags, but also a restaurant called Wellcome Kitchen, an ideal place for some delicious afternoon tea. Admission is free.

51. Sky Garden

Sky Garden rooftop bar, restaurant and viewing terrace in the Walkie Talkie building, London, UK
Sky Garden rooftop bar, restaurant and viewing terrace in the Walkie Talkie building, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Sky Garden has probably the best views of London (arguably even better than the Shard) and the great news it’s free! However, you do need to pre-book your slot. Located on the top floor of the 20 Fenchurch Street skyscraper, known to the locals as the Walkie Talkie (because of its bulky shape), it’s the perfect place to admire the most impressive skyscrapers in the city. Come here just before sunset for a romantic end of day. Filled with lush, green plans you can enjoy the clean air, grab a coffee or drink at the bar or book yourself into the Darwin Brasserie restaurant for a taste of British cuisine.

52. Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market, London, UK
Leadenhall Market, London, UK © Art of Escapism

In the 14th century Leadenhall Market has been primary a meat market. Now a shopping arcade located in the heart of London’s financial centre, it is filled with upscale boutiques and restaurants. The current wrought iron structure designed by Sir Horace Jones dates back to Victorian times. This photogenic spot is also known as one of the filming locations for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

53. Lloyds Building

Lloyds Building, London, UK
Lloyds Building, London, UK © Art of Escapism

This architecture marvel is known as one of the leading examples of bowellism – an architectural style that puts the service parts of the building, such a as lifts and vents on the outside in order to maximise internal space. The impressive structure, both futuristic and industrial with its silver cladding, is one of the most striking buildings in town. It’s also one of renowned architect’s Richard Roger’s most famous designs. Generally not accessible to the public, but group tours can be arranged. Sometimes it is also accessible during Open House Weekend via tours.

54. Royal Opera House

Interior of the Paul Hamlyn Hall at the Royal Opera House restaurant and bar, Covent Garden, London, UK
Interior of the Paul Hamlyn Hall at the Royal Opera House restaurant and bar, Covent Garden, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The beautiful Royal Opera House building offers amazing views of the Covent Garden Piazza. If you fancy seeing ballet and opera performances it’s strongly advised that you book your tickets a few month in advance of your visit. To learn more about the history and tales of the Royal Opera House book in for one of the building tour. You might even catch a glimpse of a rehearsal. Ticket holders can enjoy a meal or a drink at the grand glass and iron Paul Hamlyn Hall, which was originally build to house a flower market.

55. Picadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus in evening time with the iconic Piccadilly Lights advertising screen in the background, London, UK
Piccadilly Circus in evening time with the iconic Piccadilly Lights advertising screen in the background, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Piccadilly Circus is probably most recognised for the Piccadilly Lights – the massive billboard wrapping around one of the buildings facing the square. The billboard used to be made up of multiple LED screens, but in 2017 it underwent a renovation turning it into one single digital screen. The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain is a popular meeting place. From here you’re just a few steps away from Fortum & Mason, the Royal Academy and Regent Street.

56. Mousetrap

Sign for Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap at St Martin's Theatre, London, UK
Sign for Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at St Martin’s Theatre, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap at St. Martin’s Theatre is the longest running play in the West End. It ran for 68 consecutive years until the Coronavirus pandemic. It is a classic murder mystery story, but the audience is asked not to reveal the plot twist after leaving the theatre, so you will have to find it out for yourself.

57. The Brunswick

The brutalist style grade Ii listed Brunswick Centre, London, UK
The brutalist style grade Ii listed Brunswick, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Brunswick is a bit of an interesting place and a blast from the past. Built in the divisive brutalist style in the 70s is feels as though time has stopped here despite having been regenerated in recent times. Apart from the interesting architecture you will find a cinema, shops and restaurants. One of the more exciting places to eat is the Fuwa Fuwa Cafe, which serves extra tall Japanese soufflé pancakes. The Brunswick was used as a location for 1975 film The Passenger featuring Jack Nicholson, although as you see him walking around it’s noticeable that the atmosphere back then was very different.

58. Olympic Village and ArcelorMittal Orbit

Observation deck at the ArcelorMittal Orbit, London, UK
Observation deck at the ArcelorMittal Orbit, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Olympic Village (AKA Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) was build in Stratford to accommodate the 2012 London Olympics. Part of the complex are London Stadium, London Aquatics Centre and the Arcelor Mittal Orbit. The orbit is UK’s largest piece of public art crated by well known artist Anish Kapoor. At the top of the sculpture there is an observation deck, which looks over the whole Olympic Park. You can also exit the attraction in a very adventurous fashion – in a 40 second descent on a slide, created by German artist Carsten Höller. The park itself is quite vast and you can spend some time walking around here. You will also find the Westfield Stratford shopping centre on the west side with many shops and restaurants, but for something a little less commercial you can also visit the hipster CRATE Brewery in Hackney Wick on the East side of the park.

59. Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities

Taxidermy lion at Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, London, UK
Taxidermy lion at Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, London, UK © Art of Escapism

For a bit of an alternative detour visit Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities (if you have the stomach for it). Located in the basement of a dark, taxidermy-filled bar The Last Tuesday Society, the museum is a collection of odd, curious and wonderful artefacts including skeletons, tribal art, occult paraphernalia, a two headed lamb and a mummified mermaid. The tiny space à la Victorian cabinet of curiosities has so many things on display will not know where to look. Conclude your visit with the bar’s speciality – absinth served in the traditional way with fountain, sugar and spoon.

60. British Museum

Great Court inside the British Museum, London, UK
Great Court inside the British Museum, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The British Museum holds 2 million years of mankind’s history. Founded in 1753, it is the world’s oldest public museum. Its impressive galleries of artefacts includes the Rosetta Stone, one of the Easter Island statues and the largest collection of Egyptian mummies outside of Cairo. There is even a whole Greek temple (the Nereid Monument) inside the building! You can access the permanent collections for free, there are also regular ticketed exhibitions.

61. Crossrail Place Roof Garden

Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf, London, UK
Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Crossrail Place Roof Garden provides a slice of a peaceful oasis in the steel and glass jungle of Canary Wharf. The Garden sits on top of the meridian line and the plants here have been carefully selected to represent the Eastern and Western hemispheres. At the end of your stroll you will find Pergola on the Wharf – a romantic, leafy food hub serving fresh, seasonal dishes and cocktails.

62. Billingsgate Market

Prawn salesman at Billingsgate Market, London, UK
Prawn salesman at Billingsgate Market, London, UK © Art of Escapism

For those capable of waking up very early in the morning London’s premier fish market could be a treat. And I mean REALLY early. The market is open Tuesday to Saturday starting at 4:00 and closing at 8:30. You will want to get there before 7:00 as a lot of the goods have already sold out towards the end and traders promptly pack up. Surrounded by fishy smells it’s not the most glamorous place to dine, but the Billingsgate Café offers some legendary English Breakfasts and the famed scallop bacon roll, along with strong builder’s tea that is bound to wake you up.

63. Highgate Cemetery

Circle of Lebanon at Highgate West Cemetery, London, UK
Circle of Lebanon at Highgate West Cemetery, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Highgate Cemetery is the most famous of the Magnificent Seven Victorian cemeteries. Many notable personalities are buried here including Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer and the controversial punk impresario Malcolm McLaren. The cemetery has two sides West and East. Admission to the West section is by pre-booked tour only and it holds some of the most beautiful gems – the Egyptian Avenue adorned with obelisks reflects the Victorian fascination with Ancient Egypt. Followed by the Circle of Lebanon – a row of sunken tombs arranged in a circle around a 200 year-old cedar tree (which sadly died and was removed in 2019). The East part is accessible to anyone with a ticket and there you can roam freely (if you’re going on a tour of the West side, access to the East cemetery will already be included in your ticket). 

64. Barbican

Exterior of brutalist style Barbican Centre on the Barbican Estate, London, UK
Exterior of brutalist style Barbican Centre on the Barbican Estate, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Barbican Estate is like a mini self-contained, utopian city levitating above the street level traffic. The raw concrete, brutalist estate built in the 70s comprises a number of skyscrapers, residential blocks and gardens connected by elevated walkways and passages. At the heart of the estate and its community is the Barbican Centre hosting a myriad of art performances, concerts and exhibitions, a perfect place to sit down with your laptop, do some work and enjoy views of ponds and fountains. When you’re here visit the exotic conservatory, which houses over 1500 plant species, some of which are endangered. You will need to book this visit in advance.

65. Old Operating Theatre Museum

Spices and ingredients at the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, London, UK
Spices and ingredients at the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, London, UK © Art of Escapism

For those who enjoy Frankenstein, Perfume, Ratched, Victorian medical period dramas and the like the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret will be an excellent choice to explore. Hidden away in the attic of St Thomas’ Church is UK’s oldest operating theatre, as well as an apothecary’s shop, which looks as if time has stopped there sometime in the 19th century. Initially part of St Thomas’ Hospital, when the hospital was moved in 1862, the herb garret was completely forgotten until its rediscovery in the 1950s. The collection includes some horrific and morbid exhibit items like amputation tools and preserved human organs, so not for the faint-hearted.

66. Monument

Monument, London, UK
Monument, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Monument to the Great Fire of London (referred to as Monument) is a 62 m tall doric column raised to commemorate the 1666 devastating fire that destroyed a large portion of the city. Climb 311 steps of winding, narrow staircase to reach the viewing platform at the top, which offers great views of the City of London and the river.

67. Fleet Street

Sign for Fleet Street on exterior of Jacobean style building housing Prince Henry's Room, London, UK
Sign for Fleet Street on exterior of Jacobean style building housing Prince Henry’s Room, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The street name may ring a bell, as it’s most famous for the urban legend of Sweeney Todd, the demon barber, who cut his customers’ throats and turned their bodies into pies. Another claim to fame is publishing and journalism, as the street was home to many printing shops and newspaper offices. One remnant of this era the Sunday Post Building at number 185. Walking through into Johnson’s Court there is a small maze of narrow alleys, passageways and courtyards. In Gough Square you will find Dr Johnson’s House – a former place of residence of Samuel Johnson, known for his work on the Dictionary of the English Language. Now a museum, guarded by a small statue of his cat – Hodge. At the Eastern end there are the majestic Royal Courts of Justice. If you like architecture you can get yourself onto a tour around the building.

68. Serpentine and Serpentine Sackler Galleries

The Magazine restaurant at Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, UK
The Magazine restaurant at Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The two Serpentine galleries are the two gems of Hyde Park, only 5 minutes apart, connected by a bridge over the Serpentine Lake. Both spaces are champions of unique ideas in contemporary art. The Serpentine Gallery commissions an architectural creation every year called the Serpentine Pavilion, which you can visit in the summer time. The Serpentine Sackler gallery used to be a gunpowder store and the adjoining Magazine Cafe and restaurant was designed by visionary architect Zaha Hadid.

69. Little Venice

Jason's Trip canal boat going down Regents Canal in Little Venice, London, UK
Jason’s Trip tour canal boat going down Regents Canal in Little Venice, London, UK © Art of Escapism

At the meeting place of Regent’s and Grand Union canals near Paddington you will find the charming Little Venice, a lush place filled with colourful houseboats and boat owners’ gardens along the towpath. While it’s worth doing a walk along Regent’s Canal as a whole, but Little Venice is one of the prettiest stretches, so if you’re struggling for time this is the best part to see. Head to the Puppet Theatre Barge for some marionette entertainment on the water. This is also the point of departure for Jason’s Trip – the oldest canal boat tour around that will take you all the way to Camden.

70. Shad Thames

Warehouses and walkways on the historic riverside street Shad Thames, London Bridge, London, UK
Warehouses and walkways on the historic riverside street Shad Thames, London Bridge, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Shad Thames is a pretty area on the riverside filled with towering, historic warehouses connected by sky walkways. In the 19th century this was the largest warehouse complex in London storing imported tea, coffee and spices. During the regeneration of Shad Thames, English designer Terence Conran has opened a few restaurants here, including Le Pont de la Tour and Butlers Wharf Chop House, both overlooking the Thames and Tower Bridge. For those interested in local history, sculpture and architecture you can follow a self-guided Shad Thames Trail.

71. White Cube Gallery

Sarah Morris exhibition at the White Cube, Bermondsey, London, UK
Sarah Morris exhibition at the White Cube, Bermondsey, London, UK © Art of Escapism

In the trendy neighbourhood of Bermondsey the White Cube contemporary art galley puts on very fascinating exhibitions. The gallery’s vast minimalist rooms with high ceilings certainly enhance the way you experience art in this space. The White Cube is the largest commercial galley in Europe and has hosted works of prolific artists including Tracey Emin, Anselm Kiefer and Sarah Morris. Continue on to London Glassblowing on Bermondsey Street for some awe-inspiring glass sculptures and a sneak peak into a glass blower’s workshop. Alternatively head to nearby Maltby Street Market for an atmospheric food fare along railway arches.

72. Regent’s Canal

A colourful narrowboat mooring on the Regents Canal near Mile End and Victoria Park, London, UK
A colourful narrowboat mooring on the Regents Canal near Mile End and Victoria Park, London, UK © Art of Escapism

To step away from the hustle and bustle of the city take a relaxing stroll down Regent’s Canal. The canal is part of a larger network used during the Industrial Revolution to transport goods. Back then the barges where pulled by horses walking along the narrow towpath. The stretch from Limehouse Basin to Paddington is very picturesque and takes about 3 and a half hours to walk. There are many places of interest along the way including the Camden Market and Little Venice. Quite a few canal boat owners have opened quirky, floating shops and cafes. There is a great sense of community here and the canal lifestyle is a real point of pride for the local boat residents.

73. Ivy Asia

Opulent colourful interior of the Ivy Asia restaurant in St Pauls, London, UK
Opulent colourful interior of the Ivy Asia restaurant in St Pauls, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Walking into Ivy Asia is an experience in itself. Adorned with elements of Chinese and Japanese design and a glowing agate stone floor, the lavish restaurant is one of the more unique ones in London. As far as afternoon teas go, if you’re not ready to spend the big bucks at the Ritz, this is a great alternative. The Chaniwa Afternoon Tea marries the traditional English concept with Asian flavours and aesthetic. Through the windows you can admire an excellent view of St Paul’s Cathedral.

74. Old Spitalfields Market

Old Spitalfields Market, London, UK
Old Spitalfields Market, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Discover one of London’s most exciting markets in the trendy Spitalfields. The covered Old Spitalfields Market is great for the rainy day itinerary and a stark contrast to other commercial shopping destinations like Oxford Street. At the heart of the market are over 30 stalls with only the hottest street food in town offering cuisine from every corner of the world. Equally impressive is the vast number of stalls selling anything from vintage fashion, sustainable cosmetics, home decor and all sorts of arts and crafts you can imagine.

75. Carnaby Street

Colourful houses of Carnaby Street, Soho, London, UK
Colourful houses of Carnaby Street, Soho, London, UK © Art of Escapism

In the corner of Soho is a small shopping area called Carnaby Street. Beneath the colourful facades you will find many independent fashion and design boutiques. In the 60s this area was a shopping hotspot for mod and hippie culture. Famous fashion designer of the era, Mary Quant, setup shop here. For a lovely al fresco lunch find the charming and hidden away Kingly Court – a three-storey courtyard with bars, restaurants and cafes.

76. Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath Pergola and Hill Gardens, North London, UK
Hampstead Heath Pergola and Hill Gardens, North London, UK © Art of Escapism

The wild heath, meadows and woodland of Hampstead Heath are a great place to get a taste of that English countryside feel. It’s amazing to think that a place like this exists in the middle of a busy city. A wonderful way to get lost and be one with nature. The main highlight is the highest point called Parliament Hill, where you can picnic whilst looking at the breathtaking skyline of London. On hot summer days people come here to bathe in the ponds – one for the ladies, one for men and one mixed sex. Another must-see is the tucked away secret garden – Hampstead Heath Pergola, first created as a spot for lavish Edwardian parties. Along the edges of the heath you will find the very charming and posh Hampstead Village and Highgate Village, with their little shops and cafes as well as the famous Highgate Cemetery.

77. Prospect of Whitby

The Prospect of Whitby pub in Wapping, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Prospect of Whitby was known as a notorious meeting place for sailors, smugglers and pirates. Said to be the oldest riverside tavern dating back to the 16th century, it also has a slightly morbid reputation as the place of hangings for sea outlaws. From the riverfront garden you will see a replica of gallows and a noose still hanging there, referencing its dark past. After a roast lunch and drink, take a walk though the cobblestone streets of Wapping. Many of the historic warehouses have been converted into luxury flats, but the area managed to retain its unique character. At the end of this walk you’ll arrive at St Katharine Docks – a historic marina with shops and restaurants.

78. Beigel Bake

Salt Beef Bagel with pickle and mustard at Beigel Bake, London, UK
Salt Beef Bagel with pickle and mustard at Beigel Bake, London, UK © Art of Escapism

This little place is Brick Lane’s famous institution. As one of the few places open 24/7, queues partygoers line up outside in the middle of the night to get their hands on a quick meal before heading home. Beigel Bake (also known as ‘the white one’, don’t mistake it for its competitor a couple of doors down with a yellow sign) is renowned for its signature salt beef bagel. The bagels here are made in the traditional Jewish way by being first boiled and then baked, producing a bite with satisfying chewiness.

79. Horniman Museum

Victorian conservatory at Horniman Museum and Gardens, London, UK
Victorian conservatory at Horniman Museum and Gardens, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Slightly further afield in the depths of South London is the Horniman Museum and Gardens. In the late 19th century Frederick John Horniman, a successful tea trader, bought exotic artefacts during his travels, which was the start of the museum’s collection. With focus on anthropology, natural history and folklore the exhibition boasts an impressive amount of taxidermy specimens. The crown jewel of them all is a plump walrus. As the Victorian taxidermists have never seen a walrus before, they overstuffed the poor thing to smooth out all its natural wrinkles. Stop by for some coffee and cake at the beautifully ornate Victorian conservatory. See a wide variety of flower species in the sunken garden. You can come down for a leisurely picnic in the gardens with amazing views of the London skyline.

80. Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark clipper in Greenwich, London, UK
Cutty Sark clipper in Greenwich, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Cutty Sark is a clipper ship famous for transporting tea from China in the 19th century and only one of two such ships surviving today. Gloriously displayed near the Thames riverbank in Greenwich, you can theoretically see the whole thing from the street, but it’s far more interesting to visit the museum and learn about this ship’s history. You can wander around on the various decks and walk beneath the hull, which is suspended in the air. Greenwich itself is a busy, little village, with many pubs and shops. You can get amazing views of the London skyline from the Greenwich Park. There is also a Fan Museum celebrating the history and art of fan making.

81. Columbia Road Flower Market

Flower stall at Columbia Road Flower Market, London, UK
Flower stall at Columbia Road Flower Market, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Every Sunday Columbia Road transforms into a vibrant and colourful flower market. Independent traders will be shouting offers from their stalls as the crowds shuffle down the narrow street. It’s best to get there early if you want to see stalls filled with flowers and plants and get good pictures. Towards the end of the day the market dies down and the stalls are more empty. However, this is also when you can get all the bargains! Opening times are from 8:00 – 15:00. The market is usually extremely busy, so get ready for crowds.

82. Abney Park Cemetery

Graves and path through Abney Park Cemetery, London, UK
Graves and path through Abney Park Cemetery, one of the Magnificent Seven Victorian cemeteries, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Pioneering Abney Park was the first burial ground combined with an arboretum, as well as the first non-denominational cemetery that didn’t put any specific dividing lines between burial areas of varying religions. Take a stroll through the wild paths filled with headstones overgrown with ivy. Here you will find many Egyptian Revival graves and monuments, so beloved by the Victorians. The surrounding Stoke Newington has many independent shops and cafes, such as The Green Room – cafe and plant shop in one, great place for a nice brunch in the cafe’s cosy backgarden.

83. Boxpark Shoreditch

Boxpark Shoreditch - food market and boutiques in repurposed shipping containers, London, UK
Boxpark Shoreditch – food market and boutiques in repurposed shipping containers, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Boxpark is pop-up mall made out of repurposed shipping containers. The first one was opened in the hipster neighbourhood of Shoreditch, followed by two more in Wembley and Croydon. If you’re after a less run-of-the-mill shopping spree the boutiques here can hook you up with things like vitamin drips at Get A Drip, CBD cosmetics at Green Machine or perhaps an electric skateboard at JT Skateboard. Don’t miss the delicious food, especially the unique ice creams at Soft Serve Society. Buck Street Market is also another newly opened shipping container mall and food market, which you can find in Camden.

84. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Temple

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (AKA Neasden Temple), London, UK
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (AKA Neasden Temple), London, UK © Art of Escapism

‘Is this London?!?’ you ask. Indeed, it is. Being a melting pot of different cultures and influences you can see some unusual things in the city, including this BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu temple. Located in an industrial area near Neasden by a busy motorway it’s not exactly tourist territory, but is definitely worth the trip, especially if you like beautiful exotic architecture. And it’s certainly not the only such place in the city. Nearby, between Wembley and Alperton you will find equally beautiful Shri Vallabh Nidhi Mandir temple and in East London’s Leytonstone you can visit the Shri Nathji Sanatan Hindu Mandir temple.

85. Limehouse Basin and Narrow Steet

Narrowboats mooring in Limehouse Basin, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Limehouse Marina (or Limehouse Basin) is a pretty spot where life on canal boats runs at its own pace. It also makes a great starting point for a Regent’s Canal walk. Limehouse was previously home to London’s First Chinatown and its history is closely tied to the docklands and trade of goods with the rest of the world in the era of the British Empire. Walk down Narrow Street to see the converted riverfront warehouses that were once used to store imported goods. Don’t miss The Grapes – a tiny little pub owned by Sir Ian McKellen (the one and only Gandalf of Lord of the Rings). At the upstairs restaurant you can try Sir Ian’s Shepherd’s Pie.

86. Royal Academy

Antony Gormley exhibition at the Royal Academy, London, UK
Antony Gormley exhibition at the Royal Academy, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Royal Academy near Piccadilly Circus is an important institution and host to some of the more important exhibitions in the city. Its permanent collection is mix of classic and contemporary art and accessible for free. The summer exhibition is one of the most important events in the annual calendar and a platform where new artists are promoted. For those who love a bit of a dress-up immersive experience, you can join one of the regular RA Lates events, which is pretty much a themed dress-up party that ties in with the current exhibition, with a variety of talks, workshops and dancing.

87. Camden Market

Alley covered with umbrellas at Camden Market, London, UK
Alley covered with umbrellas at Camden Market, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Camden Market is a magnet attracting all sorts of subcultures and alternative lifestyle aficionados. The uniqueness of the market comes from its former life as Pickfords stables, once housing a staggering 700 horses used for pulling trains and canal boats. Today the maze of horse tunnels and stable blocks is filled with stalls offering alternative clothing, vintage items, crafts and food. At the entrance of Cyberdog stand two massive silver robots – this is a mecca for rave and cybergoth culture, where you can find attire in all shades of the neon rainbow. Head to Chin Chin Labs for a scoop of scientific liquid nitrogen ice cream. The Modfather shop caters to all interested in the 60s mod paraphernalia. Known as the favourite hang out of the late Amy Winehouse, her statue unveiled in 2014 can also be found here. Word of warning, the market is usually extremely busy, so be prepared to battle the crowds!

88. Freemasons Hall

Interior of the Grand Temple at Freemasons Hall, London, UK
Interior of the Grand Temple at Freemasons Hall, London, UK © Art of Escapism

If you like intrigue, conspiracy and Eyes Wide Shut vibes you must visit this Grand Lodge of the Masonic Order. The Freemasons Hall is one of the most opulent examples of Art Deco architecture and the Grand Temple inside used for ceremonies by the freemasons is decorated with many symbols significant to the organisation. Free visits are available to the public, but need to be booked in advance. The building is located in Covent Garden, so you will have the Seven Dials Market converted from an old, 19th century banana warehouse at your doorstep. Also nearby is the Royal Opera House and Covent Garden Market.

89. Hayward Gallery

Anish Kapoor mirror sculpture at the Space Shifters exhibition in 2018 at the Hayward Gallery, London, UK
Anish Kapoor mirror sculpture at the Space Shifters exhibition in 2018 at the Hayward Gallery, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Hayward Gallery on the Southbank offers an amazing roaster of contemporary art and installations in the stark setting of the brutalist Southbank complex. Your phone (or camera as some use those still) is most certainly in for a treat, as many of the exhibitions feature mirrors, optical illusions, tunnels. For Carsten Höller’s Decision show, two symmetrical slides were installed on the side of the building. Talk about a grand exit. Many prolific artists were featured here including Bridget Riley, Antony Gormley and Tracey Emin. Southbank itself is a buzzing area with lots of restaurants and cultural hubs.

90. Shoreditch

Street art and London Underground carriages on the rooftop of Village Underground, Shoreditch, London, UK
Street art and London Underground carriages on the rooftop of Village Underground, Shoreditch, London, UK © Art of Escapism

In late 19th century Shoreditch was a thriving hub for furniture makers, with many of the warehouses and workshops still there, albeit now converted into flats and offices. The entertainment industry occupied music halls and theatres located here as well. Today it’s a vibrant, urban hipster neighbourhood, still rough around the edges, but full of street art and trendy pop-ups. At the Shoreditch BOXPARK, made out of shipping containers, you will find many small boutiques and street food stalls. Further down there is the famous Old Spitalfields Market – a foodie destination and great place to shop for arts and crafts items. Not to mention the £1 oysters happy hour at the Wright Bros. Last but not least – Brick Lane, a street known for fashion, curry houses and its Bangladeshi community. Here you will find the Brick Lane Vintage Market inside the former Truman Brewery.

91. Richmond

Deer in Richmond Park, London, UK
Curious deer in Richmond Park, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Richmond is really a separate charming, little town, but still very much thought of as part of London only a 40 min Underground train ride away. The main highlight is the nature and free-roaming deer at Richmond Park. The vast park grounds make for a great escape from the city popular with walkers and hikers. Take a walk down the river and stop by Petersham Nurseries – one of London’s prettiest places. The shabby chic garden centre is full of lovely plants and home decor and the cafe offers delicious homemade cakes in a glasshouse setting. If you’re feeling extra adventurous you can also see the 17th century Jacobean manor Ham House.

92. Mercato Mayfair

Interior of Mercato Mayfair - street food market in the restored church of St Mark's Mayfair, London, UK
Mercato Mayfair – street food market in the restored church of St Mark’s Mayfair, London, UK © Art of Escapism

This grand food hall is located inside the stunning, newly renovated St Mark’s Church in Mayfair and it would be sacrilegious not to visit. Also known as the American Church due to its proximity to the former American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, it welcomed prolific visitors President Dwight Eisenhower and Eleanor Roosevelt in its heyday. Mercato Mayfair has lots of quality food, especially Italian cuisine, to choose from. A sustainable community market offers a variety of deli items and speciality products. In the crypt you will also find cheese, charcuterie and a wine cellar.

93. Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market

Colourful houses and shops on Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, UK
Colourful houses and shops on Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Rows of colourful houses, specialist boutiques and the famous Portobello Market, this an a lot more is on offer in the pretty neighbourhood of Notting Hill. The market, running along Portobello Road, is open Mon-Sat, with Friday being focused around antiques and Saturday being the main fare. New additions are the Portobello Green Market were you can dive in for unique vintage fashion finds, as well as the Acklam Village Food Market, both closer to Ladbroke Grove. This area of town is also known for the Notting Hill Carnival taking place every year in August. Colourful floats make their way through the streets with dancers in lavishly decorated samba costumes. Also, see if you can spot the Travel Bookshop from the classic ‘Notting Hill’ film featuring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.

94. Jack the Ripper Tour

Exterior of The Ten Bells pub famous for it's connection to Jack the Ripper serial killer, London, UK
Exterior of The Ten Bells pub famous for it’s connection to Jack the Ripper serial killer, London, UK © Art of Escapism

The quintessential visit to East London will include a Jack the Ripper Tour as a must. Maybe slightly touristy, but uncovering Whitechapel’s seedy past can be quite exhilarating. Following the footsteps of the most ruthless serial killer discover the pubs and alleys where the lives of his victims unfolded and tragically ended. Finish off the tour with a pint at the Ten Bells Pub, which was supposedly associated with Ripper victims Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly.

95. Coal Drops Yard

Warehouses converted into shops and restaurants at Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London, UK
Warehouses converted into shops and restaurants at Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Coal Drops Yard is one of the newest additions to the ever expanding Kings Cross. The former Victorian shed used to store coal from South Yorkshire has been tastefully reimagined as a shopping hotspot. The integration of contemporary elements with the old brick warehouses is what makes this place truly unique. The many boutiques here will cater those who enjoy design and homeware. In the arches designer Tom Dixon has a shop featuring his bold, contemporary creations. Chocoholics will want to get a taste of some gourmet chocolate at Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse. The local Dishoom restaurant offers mouth-watering Indian food in a setting that marries the colonial with the industrial. But if you don’t want to queue, the Canopy Food Market is just around the corner.

96. BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX

BFI Southbank cinema, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Cinephiles will not want to miss visiting the BFI Southbank, which has an array of inspiring programmes focused on directors, foreign language films and arthouse cinema. A couple of drinks at the bar is a perfect way to finish the evening. Alternatively visit on of the many al fresco restaurants dotted around the Southbank and Gabriel’s Wharf. For those wanting to immerse themselves fully in the action, at the BFI IMAX you can experience films on the largest screen in the UK.

97. Greenwich

People relaxing in Greenwich Park with scenic views of Canary Wharf, London, UK
People relaxing in Greenwich Park with scenic views of Canary Wharf, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Probably most famous for being the location through which the the main reference point on maps – the prime meridian passes. There are many things to see – from Greenwich Park you can enjoy breathtaking vistas of the Canary Wharf skyscrapers. Have a wander around Sir Christopher Wren’s historic Old Royal Naval College and visit the Painted Hall, a fantastic, entirely frescoed room dubbed Britain’s Sistine Chapel. At the riverside resides the famous Cutty Sark clipper used in the late 19th century to transport tea back from China. After a small uphill climb you’ll get to the Royal Observatory, where you can gaze at the starts at the Planetarium. To refuel head to the Greenwich Market – hands down one London’s best food markets, with a very wide selection of street food and desserts.

98. Brompton Cemetery

Funerary sculptures at Brompton Cemetery, London, UK
Funerary sculptures at Brompton Cemetery, London, UK © Art of Escapism

Brompton Cemetery is one of the Magnificent Seven Victorian cemeteries created to cope with the demand for more burial space in the late 19th century. Although a cemetery may sound like a scary place for some, people come here to read a book or have a relaxing stroll on a sunny day. Some of the more notable graves include Dr. John Snow who discovered the cause of the cholera outbreak in Soho in 1854, as well as Emmeline Pankhurst, the famous suffragette movement leader. There are many beautiful monuments and mausoleums worth taking a look at.

99. O2 Arena

People climbing the O2 Arena, London, UK
People climbing the O2 Arena, London, UK © Art of Escapism

O2 Arena is London’s largest concert and event venue. World’s biggest artists have graced this stage and if you see anything of interest, grab a ticket. For those more prone to adventure, you can opt for the Up at the O2 experience, where you get the chance to climb over the roof on a 190m long tensile fabric walkway with 360 views at the top. The O2 complex also includes cinemas, restaurants and the Icon Outlet shopping centre.

100. Emirates Air Line Cable Car

Emirates Air Line in East London, UK
Emirates Air Line in East London, UK © Art of Escapism

The Emirates Air Line offers unique views of the ever changing and developing East London. For a one way trip it’s best to get on at Royal Victoria Dock, which will take you to the Greenwich Peninsula, where there are plenty more things to go like the NOW Gallery and O2 Arena. On the 10 min journey you will be crossing over the Thames river and enjoying the contemporary architecture of Canary Wharf.

What is your favourite place in London? Have we missed any worthy contenders? Share with us in the comments below!

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