London is one of the world’s greatest cities – a thriving, modern business centre with a history reaching back to Roman times. But whether you’re visiting to explore the history, or to explore the shopping district – London never fails to impress.
London has so much to offer, a day never feels like enough time! But if you are limited by the clock, here are some things to do in London for a day that certainly won’t disappoint.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering what to do in London for a day. Hopefully this list will give you some great ideas!
Not sure what to do in London for a day? The famous market square, Covent Garden, is a real gem in the centre of London. It’s a great place to hang out with a coffee (or a beer!) and you can spend hours watching the street entertainers, or browsing the boutique and designer shops. It’s free to enter and look around, the price only depends on how extravagant your purchases might be!
Watch the Changing of the Guard
This famous ceremony held near to Buckingham Palace is a British tradition suitable for adults and children. The ceremony is free and takes place daily (click here for guidance on times, etc). Watch in wonder with other tourists as you witness a process hundreds of years old. After you’ve seen the guards change, why not take a walk along The Royal Mile and along The Embankment? They’re right nearby.
Tour the River Thames
A lot of the main sights in London can be seen from the Thames, so jumping on a River Tour or River Cruise is a fantastic idea. Sit back, relax, and enjoy all the tourist sights from the best seats in London! Most tours have different boarding points too, so you can exit the boat when something takes your fancy on land.
The London Eye
Next on our ‘things to do in London in one day’ list… This rotating wheel is a icon in the London skyline, and you may recognise it from the incredible NYE fireworks launched from there each December 31st. This attraction provides visitors with stunning views of the city from its thirty-two capsules and is definitely a tourist favourite. Trips costs £23.45 and last 30 minutes.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
Looking for something to do in London for the day and interested in politics? Why not visit the Houses of Parliament? As well as being the home to British democracy, it’s also one of the most iconic parts of the city – and has been the setting for many movies and TV shows. Guided tours start at £18.50.
Tower of London
Located on the north bank of the Thames and famous for Beefeaters and ravens, the Tower has served as both palace and fortress. Now, it’s an incredible museum dedicated to the Royal Family and the history of London, housing some of the most expensive and rare pieces of jewellery in the world (yes – the tour price includes a visit to view the Crown Jewels!). Entry fee is £28.
London has many parks, but Hyde Park is by far the most memorable and iconic. This 350 acre green space in the heart of the city is popular with adults and children alike, and throughout the year will have various activities / exhibitions / themes. Hyde Park also features landmarks including the Serpentine Lake and Princess Diana Memorial Fountain and is free admission.
St Paul’s Cathedral
Still not sure what to do in London for a day? St Paul’s Cathedral with its iconic dome is a well-known feature of the London skyline, and is a must-see for any budding historian! We’d also recommend visiting the rooftop of nearby shopping mall ‘One New Change’ – from here you can see some incredible views of the Cathredral, and it won’t cost you a penny.
Covering all areas of science and technology, The Science Museum on Exhibition Road attracts over 3 million visitors a year. It’s great for kids and adults, and will easily keep you entertained all day long. Admission is free.