London is one of the most exciting and romantic cities in the world, the perfect place for date-night, or an anniversary getaway, or even your honeymoon.
The city is packed full of romantic activities, attractions, restaurants and hotels – you really can get lost in the romance here. From romantic walks down cobbled streets, to champagne bars and rooftop views over the city – London has something for every kind of couple.
In this guide you’ll find our favourite romantic things in the city, handily organised into useful categories. So you can concentrate more on impressing your partner – and not your itinerary!
Love don’t cost a thing (free things to do)
A big dose of romance doesn’t need to cost the Earth – and the suggestions in this part of our guide prove it. These are romantic things to do in London, that won’t cost you a penny.
One new Change Rooftop
Located at the top of the One New Change shopping mall, this rooftop is completely free, and completely romantic too. The views are breathtaking, so it’s the perfect spot for declaring your love, or getting down on one knee.
Tickets to The Sky Garden are free, but they need to be booked in advance (you can do it online). When you get to the top you’ll be greeted by some of the most awe-inspiring views in the city, with a direct outlook onto Tower Bridge and the epic Shard.
Walk around Greenwich Park
On a sunny day, there’s nowhere quite as pretty as Greenwich Park. Take a stroll to the top of the park, and you’ll have incredible views over Canary Wharf too – which is just picture perfect.
Try some food samples at Chelsea Farmer’s Market
Chelsea market happens outside the Saatchi gallery every Saturday and is full of amazing street food vendors. It’ll cost very little to buy a sandwich or two from the best looking stall – but if you fancy doing it completely free, why not see how many free samples you can get as you walk around?
Browse the antiques at Portobello Road Market
One of London’s busiest markets, this one was made famous by the classic and iconic romantic movie ‘Notting Hill’. If you’re a movie fan, it’s great to see where the film was shot, and maybe start a love story of your own!
Columbia Road Flower Market
Fancy taking a walk through rows and rows of beautiful flowers? Of course you do!
Walk along London Embankment
One of the most scenic parts of London is right alongside The River Thames. The London Embankment runs right along the river, through the heart of the city, so there’s plenty to see and marvel at along the way. Definitely bring a camera, so you can capture some of the magical views forever.
Walk along St Katherine’s Docks
A less touristy side of London, this waterside walk promises to be just as pretty, but much less crowded.
Go Deer spotting in Richmond Park
Richmond Park is found West of the city, and is a beautiful spot for a romantic picnic. Pack some strawberries and champagne, and enjoy the sunshine in your own secluded spot. There are also wild deer in the park, so see if you can spot them!
Visit the Kyoto Japanese Garden in Holland Park
Located right in the centre of the city, for something a little different, this will definitely tick the box. Inject a bit of foreign culture into your day.
Explore Kensington Roof Gardens
Free to the public (when events aren’t happening) the Kensington Roof Gardens are a gorgeous urban oasis right in the heart of Kensington High Street. You’d never known such a peaceful, tranquil haven was hiding away – but it is!
Hyde Park is probably London’s most well known park, and for good reason! It’s huge, and has lots of lovely little places for people to hide away from the world. A perfect romantic place to hang out in the sunshine.
Browse around Harrods
You don’t have to pay to visit Harrods, and it’s free just to browse around the department store. It’s easy to get lost inside – and that’s half the fun! A trip to the food hall is definitely recommended, but it’s also fun to visit the wine cellar and see all the insanely priced drinks they have hidden away.
If you have a little bit of budget, but not a lot – then these romantic things to do in London for under £20 might be right up your street.
Ride the DLR
There’s something cute and romantic about riding a train together, maybe it’s feeling like kids again! The DLR trains have no drivers, so for a few ££s you can buy a ticket and sit at the very front, and explore East London with a front row seat.
For competitive couples, a night of ping pong is the ideal way to ignite passions!
Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes
Same goes for bowling. If ping pong isn’t your thing, maybe you’ll enjoy a spot of bowling instead! Rules are, the last person to get a strike buys drinks all night!
Visit Keats House
For literary lovers, Keats House is a writer’s house museum in the home once occupied John Keats. If you don’t know who he is – he’s one of the most famous romantic poets of the last century.
Visit Greenwich Observatory
Stare at the stars with the one you love, what could be more romantic than that? London’s only observatory is located in Greenwich, and is a must-see for any starcrossed stargazers.
Hire a rowing boat on the Serpentine Lake
The Serpentine Lake is one of the most picturesque areas of London, and what better way to explore it than renting a boat and rowing around it?
Explore Westminster Abbey
This famous Abbey is where Prince William and Kate got married several years ago – setting the tone for millions of couples around the world. It’s the love story of our generation, so why not pay tribute to it, and visit the place where it all happened?
Hire a Santander Bike and explore the city
You’ll find these bikes scattered around the city, and for a small amount you can rent one and begin exploring yourself. No need to return it to the same spot either – just drop it off at any other docking point.
Eat lunch at the Camden Market food stalls
Camden market is one of the quirkiest and busiest areas in London, and there are loads of great food stalls in the market to try. Grab a plate of something delicious, and eat it whilst enjoying views of the canals nearby.
View from the Shard
For epic views of the city, The View from the Shard viewing platform is an amazing place to spend an hour or so. For an extra dose of romance, go between the sunset hours – it’ll be so beautiful you won’t be able to take your eyes off the city.
Eat lunch at one of London’s riverside pubs
Head out to West London (we recommend Fulham or Hammersmith) and enjoy lunch at one of the many riverside restaurants. Most have beautiful beer gardens or outdoor seating, and you’ll be able to watch the boats go by as you enjoy some great food.
The London Eye is a classic tourist attraction in London, and a great place to soak in 360 degree views of the city. Sunset is recommended for a super romantic atmosphere, but if you wait until the sun goes down you’ll be treated to the twinkling lights of the city below you.
Boat tour on The Thames
City Cruise boat tours depart from all the major piers in London, and jumping onboard one makes sightseeing really easy. Forget about achy feet and arguing over directions – instead take a seat on a tour boat, and just enjoy all the riverside sights from there instead. There’s nothing quite so romantic as a boat ride.
Visit London zoo
Are you and your partner animal lovers? If so, a trip to London Zoo is definitely going to be a fun a memorable day out. For something extra special, book a special session with a zookeeper, and actually meet and feed your favourite animal.
Watch a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
Shakespeare is the wordsmith for many of the most famous love stories – so what could be more romantic than seeing them performed live?
Watch a play at Regent Park’s Open Air Theatre
This open air theatre is less known (and less touristy) than The Globe, but just as beautiful. The plays performed here are a little more ‘modern’ than Shakespeare – so may be good if you fancy an easy-going but memorable experience.
Visit the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill
Fancy a cosy movie night? You can’t get cosier than The Electric Cinema in Notting Hill. This is one of the best independent cinemas in the city, and promises a romantic atmosphere.
Occasionally we all need a little luxury in our lives – and if your plan is to truly whisk someone off their feet, then the suggestions in this part of our guide are surely to do so. A lot of these things are once in a lifetime, and will convert anyone into a gooey eyed romantic.
Whisk yourselves away to Paris for the day
Paris is only a short train ride from London on The Eurostar – and as we all know – Paris is the city of Love. If you really want to wow your partner, why not whisk them away for 24 hours?
Hire a canal boat in Camden
London has loads of beautiful canals, and you can hire your own canal boat during your stay. It’s truly seeing London in a different way! Some houseboats are even luxuriously decked out too – so it’s like stopping in your very own floating hotel suite.
Watch a musical and book the best seats in the house
Visiting the theatre is always romantic, but take it one step further – and yourselves a private box or front row seats, to make it even more special.
Hire a private helicopter tour
Just the two of you (and the pilot of course) flying around the city at sunset? Soaking in all the incredible views from high above the clouds? What could be more romantic than that?
Ride on the Belmond British Pullman
Step on board the Belmond British Pullman (sister train to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express) and experience the excitement of luxury train travel. You’ll have never been aboard a train like this before, and it’s truly a romantic, luxurious experience to remember. They run lots of trips throughout the year to various destinations (from London) so you can find the perfect one for you and your partner.
Private pod on The London Eye
We’ve already featured The London Eye further up on this list, but if you really want to pull out all the stops then hiring a private pod is ideal. You’ll get your own private space to enjoy the views – and you can even hire a photographer to capture the time for you too.
Spa Day at The Berkeley Hotel
The Berkeley Hotel is a luxurious hotel situated near Knightsbridge, and has one of the most stunning outdoor pools in the city. The spa and pool is located on the rooftop (tucked away out of sight) and has views over the city and the park. It truly is a hidden gem.
If all that sightseeing has worked up a thirst, heading to one of London’s many cocktail bars is a great way to spend the evening. The bars in this list make for a perfect romantic night-out, ideal spots for whispering sweet nothings all night long.
If you fancy sipping cocktails in a sophisticated and stylish setting, then this bar is for you. Oh, and did we mention the incredible views of the city too?
Cosy up together in the Icebar London, where everything (even the glasses) are made from ice. It’s certainly an experience, and it’ll definitely bring you closer together (if only to warm each other up!).
The American Bar @ The Savoy
The Savoy has long been the ultimate in London luxury – so taking your partner here is sure to impress them.
Located on top of the One New Change shopping centre, this rooftop bar has some of the most breathtaking views on offer. You’ll be able to look right over St Paul’s and the surrounding city.
Sky Garden bars
The are a couple of bars located inside The Sky Garden, a new rooftop development with outstanding views of The Shard and The Thames. Take your pick, but be sure to book ahead.
Karaoke Box Mayfair
Fancy declaring your love using song? We think a karaoke bar might do the trick!
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Bar
This iconic jazz bar is one of the leading ones in London, and can’t help but be romantic. The old-style decor, the atmosphere, the music – all make this a haven for love-birds.
A vintage style bar with a secret – we won’t say too much about it incase we ruin the surprise. But take it from us, if your partner has a thing for old-fashioned love stories and war-time romances, they’ll love it here.
Worship Street Whistling Shop
Tucked away in the cellar of a city building, this cocktail bar is unique, quirky and extremely romantic. The dark atmosphere, cosy corners and candles – all make this the recipe for romance success.
Cocktails on The Thames
Why not jump aboard a dinner cruise (City Cruises has several options) and enjoy some cocktails whilst you take in the sights? See the twinkling lights of the city whilst you enjoy great drinks and great music.
Dinner for 2
If your perfect idea of a romantic evening is enjoying some good food, good wine and good company – then you’ll want to ensure you’ve booked a table somewhere great. A romantic evening will only be made better if you choose to dine at any of these restaurants…
One of London’s leading French restaurants – this place is truly something special. The interior decor is nothing short of magical, and the food is heavenly.
Bob Bob Ricard
This famous bar and restaurant has the iconic ‘Press for Champagne’ buttons next to their tables. So you don’t even need to interrupt your night to place your next order.
Dans Le Noir
If you and your partner fancy yourself a little adventurous, then dining at Dans Le Noir is a must. You’ll be seated in the dark, with only your tastebuds to guide you.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
For a mix of classic and experimental cuisine, you can’t find much finer food than here. The restaurant also has a beautiful view over Hyde Park, if you’re not too busy gazing into each other’s eyes that is.
Another French restaurant, the food here will send you off into heaven. Booking ahead is definitely advised!
For couples who crave something a little quirkier – Sketch is unique and certainly has personality in the bucketloads. We recommend the afternoon tea!
Galvin At Windows
Located high above the city, this place has some of the most magical table-side views in the city. Expect fine dining and exceptional cuisine.
If you’re planning to make your romantic day in London last a little longer, you may want to book yourselves into one of the may hotels the city has to offer. There are so many gorgeous hotels oozing romance, it might feel a little hard to pick the one! Lucky for you, we’ve narrowed down the choices for you…
Corinthia Hotel London
Located near Charing Cross Station, this five star hotel oozes luxury and charm. The hotel rooms are classically decorated, and some offer beautiful views over the surrounding city.
Shangri-La at The Shard
So long as you’re not afraid of heights, this hotel is a magical option. Located in The Shard, the hotel rooms all boast incredible views and stylish decor. You’ll also get access to the amazing infinity pool overlooking the city.
The Langham Hotel
One of London’s most iconic hotels, and a classic choice for those wanting to impress. The Langham is ideally located right in the heart of Oxford Circus, and the beautiful building will have you falling head over heels in love.
The Savoy Hotel
The Savoy is a classic choice for luxury, and has been one of the leading hotels in the city for many many years. You can’t go wrong with it!