London is a busy city with so much to see and do. Whether you’ve got lots of free time on your hands or only a few hours to spare, how do you decide how to keep occupied? Luckily there are lots of things to do in London, from museums and tours to cultural experiences or exhilarating activities that get your heart pumping. If you’re not sure how to spend your time, take a look through our list of activities in London to find a great way to spend the day or evening.
The guide to activities in London
In this guide
Activities and other fun things to to in London
- Monopoly Lifesized – Play on a life-sized game board
- The Monument – Climb to the top
- The Crystal Maze Live Experience – Bringing the gameshow to life
- St Martin-in-the-Fields – Atmospheric classical concerts
- Borough Market – Foodie heaven
- Highgate Cemetery – Burial site of Karl Marx
- Tate Britain – Highlights of British art
- The Jack the Ripper Tour – Revisit the infamous crimes
- Hackney City Farm – Working farm in East London
- London Waterbus Company – Scenic canal journeys
- Shakespeare's Globe – Enjoy a Shakespeare play
- Up at The O2 – Climb the roof of the arena
- Kyoto Garden – Japanese tranquility
- ScooTours – Electric scooter city tour
- Tower Bridge – Get inside an icon
- Four Quarters – Retro gaming bars
- London Paint Party – Join the arty party
- Hijingo – Multi-sensory bingo experience
- Sky Garden – Public garden above the city
- Eataly – Vast Italian food hall
- Crystal Palace Dinosaurs – 19th century dinosaur safari
- Thames RIB Experience – London's fastest speedboats
- Alternative London – East London street art tours
- Palace of Westminster – Explore the UK parliament
- ArcelorMittal Orbit – World's longest tunnel slide
- London Zoo – Wildlife in the city
- Sipsmith Distillery – Gin distillery tour
- Walthamstow Wetlands – Get back to nature
- London Eye – London's observation wheel
- Bunker 51 – Paintball, laser tag, zombie experiences
- iFly London – The ultimate high
- Skuna Boats – Soakin' 'n' floatin'
- Museums – Visit a world-famous museum
- Crazy golf – Hit the mini links
- GoBoat – Leisurely cruises along the canals or the Thames
- Active 360 – Paddle away
- VR experiences – Journey to another world
- Go-karting – Step on it
- Karaoke bars – Sing your heart out
- Shuffleboard – Everyday you're shuffling
- Escape rooms – Break on through to the other side
Activities and other fun things to to in London
London activities - top things to do in London
Play on a life-sized game board
Play Monopoly in a completely new way at Monopoly Lifesized. You can get competitive as you move around a life-sized game board and take on fun challenges to win as much cash as possible. Once you finish the game you can relax at the on-site bar and restaurant.
Climb to the top
The Monument is an instantly-recognisable London landmark but visitors can get another perspective by climbing the 311 stairs to the top. Once you reach the top you're greeting with fantastic views of the London skyline. This is a popular activity for getting your steps in and getting that perfect photo opportunity.
Bringing the gameshow to life
Take part in a thrilling challenge at The Crystal Maze Live Experience. Working as part of a team, you'll take on puzzles and challenges in a number of zones before you reach the finale and enter the crystal dome. This activity is ideally suited to groups of friends or corporate team-building events.
Atmospheric classical concerts
Classical music lovers can take in a performance at St Martin-in-the-Fields, a church close to Trafalgar Square that's well-known for its classical and choral concert programme. Enjoy a free performance at lunchtime or book tickets for an evening concert in this unique setting. Family-friendly and educational performances are also on.
Popular with both locals and visitors, Borough Market is paradise for food lovers. Explore the market stalls, buy artisan ingredients or street food, or enjoy a meal in one of the market's restaurants. Borough Market runs a variety of special events too, including cookery demonstrations.
Burial site of Karl Marx
For a unique day out that's full of history and atmosphere, visit Highgate Cemetery, best known as the final resting place of Karl Marx. Take either a guided or self-guided tour to explore the burial sites of many famous faces, as well as the cemetery's imposing Victorian architecture.
Highlights of British art
Situated on the banks of the Thames, at Tate Britain you can explore British art from the 16th century up to the present day. You can visit the permanent collection free of charge or see a show from the regularly-changing programme of temporary exhibitions and special events.
Revisit the infamous crimes
Jack the Ripper's mysterious crimes continue to fascinate today and you can discover more on The Jack the Ripper Tour. This walking tour takes you to each of the murder sites and the pubs that Jack and his victims frequented in the 19th century. You'll gain insights throughout from your specialist tour guide.
Working farm in East London
Hackney City Farm is a working city farm with plenty to do. Meet the farmyard animals, see the gardens, visit the packaging-free farm shop, or participate in activities like art classes or bicycle maintenance sessions. There's also an Italian restaurant on-site offering farm-to-table cuisine throughout the day, including breakfast.
Scenic canal journeys
See London in a different light on a scenic cruise between Camden and Little Venice with London Waterbus Company. The 45 minute trip involves beautiful scenery, a relaxing pace, and commentary from your guide. Trips run regularly throughout the day in both directions.
Enjoy a Shakespeare play
The West End isn't the only place in London for theatre! You can watch a Shakespeare play at Shakespeare's Globe on the South Bank. This reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre has a regular programme of performances, including plays aimed at children. You can also visit the gift shop or take a guided tour.
Climb the roof of the arena
Up at the O2 is popular with thrill-seekers, giving you the opportunity to scale the roof of this iconic arena. Take in clear views of Greenwich, Canary Wharf, and beyond with a daytime, sunset, or twilight climb. A celebration climb with a glass of champagne at the top is also available for special occasions.
Visit Holland Park's Kyoto Garden for a peaceful activity in the heart of West London. gifted by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991, you can take your time wandering around this elegant landscaped Japanese garden. Check out features like the koi pond, waterfall, and peacocks that roam around freely.
Electric scooter city tour
Experience the first electric scooter and bike tours in London with ScooTours. A variety of routes are available - there's something for everyone, whether you want to see the famous sites, explore hidden London, or journey across the whole city. This is the fast and eco-friendly way to get to know the capital.
Get inside an icon
Tower Bridge is immediately recognisable but you can go deeper with a visit inside the attraction. Explore the bridge's engine room, walkways, and towers, and learn how its famous bridge lift works. Brave visitors can step onto the glass walkway between the towers for thrilling London views.
Retro gaming bars
Play the arcade games you remember from your youth at one of the Four Quarters bars in London. These retro arcades are full of carefully restored games from the 1970s up to the early 2000s. Play the games you love with a drink from the bar or refuel with a snack. Live music and comedy events are held regularly too.
Join the arty party
Join London Paint Party for a unique activity that's great for special occasions or simply a unique night out. Enjoy drinks and music whilst you paint a pre-sketched canvas - all equipment is provided. Dry hire of equipment is also available if you want to host your own party at home.
Multi-sensory bingo experience
Modelled on the bingo bars of Tokyo, at Hijingo you can enjoy a multi-sensory bingo experience with lights, sound, and entertainment. You could earn some exciting prizes too. Drinks and snacks are available whilst you play, or you can join in with a Hijingo bottomless brunch.
Public garden above the city
Sky Garden is London's highest public garden on the 36th floor of the Walkie-Talkie building. See impressive views of the city and soak up the atmosphere amongst plenty of lush plants. Enjoy a drink or meal on-site, listen to live music, or join a morning yoga class in this unique setting.
Vast Italian food hall
Next to Liverpool Street station, Eataly is a hub for Italian food lovers in the capital. You'll discover a vast range of vendors and eateries under one roof. Enjoy an authentic meal, buy tasty ingredients to take home, or take part in a special event like a cookery class.
19th century dinosaur safari
Enjoy nature, art, and history with a visit to the Crystal Palace dinosaurs. These intriguing monuments were built in the 19th century and are quite different to what we know of dinosaurs now. You can tour these Grade I listed monuments either on foot or by water in a pedalo.
London's fastest speedboats
Cruise along the River Thames at top speeds on the Thames RIB experience. A popular activity for thrill-seekers, you'll zoom by the city's sights with commentary from your guide. The powerful PA system ensures you won't miss anything. You can also take photos home with you as a souvenir.
East London street art tours
Explore the rich street art of East London on a walking or bike tour with Alternative London. Local street artists and experts lead the tours, guiding you through the history and culture of the area. You can also take part in a street art workshop and create your own work with professional guidance.
Explore the UK parliament
Visit the Palace of Westminster, one of the world's most recognisable buildings and home to the UK parliament. UK residents can attend some tours free of charge but everyone is welcome to join. On the tour you'll discover the history of the building and can finish off with a trip to the gift shop.
World's longest tunnel slide
Get down the slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit - at 178m it's the longest tunnel slide in the world! The ArcelorMittal Orbit is also the tallest sculpture in the UK. Experience clear views from the viewing platform before you hop on the thrilling slide. You can also take the stairs for a calmer route back down.
Wildlife in the city
Get close to wildlife in the city at London Zoo. A popular day out for the whole family, you can see animals like big cats, gorillas, and rainforest creatures at the world's oldest scientific zoo. There are also special events like the adults-only after-hours nights and events for children.
Gin distillery tour
If you're a fan of gin you can learn more on a tour of the Sipsmith Distillery in Chiswick. Find out more about the history of gin and how it's made before taking part in a guided gin tasting. Guests also receive a gift bag of treats to take home.
Get back to nature
Walthamstow Wetlands is a reservoir and nature reserve spanning 211 hectares. Ideal for peaceful walks and spotting wildlife, there's also a varied programme of events. Try your hand at bush-crafting or join a sensory tour. You can complete your visit with a trip to the on-site café and shop.
London's observation wheel
Enjoy peaceful sightseeing on the London Eye - one of the most popular attractions in the UK. Located on the South Bank, the clear pods give you panoramic views of the city on your 30 minute journey. You can also book private pods or indulgent champagne experiences.
Paintball, laser tag, zombie experiences
Bunker 51 in Greenwich is styled as a nuclear bunker where you can play a range of thrilling games. Choose paintball, airsoft, laser tag, an escape room, or a heart-pounding zombie experience - pick from 3 different zombie-themed games. Children's birthday parties and sessions just for kids are also available here.
The ultimate high
iFly provides a top-notch indoor skydiving experience that caters to individuals of all ages and skill levels. By utilising cutting-edge wind tunnel technology, iFly can generate velocities reaching 150mph, allowing you to experience the sensation of freefall without the need to jump from a plane. Experienced staff members are available to assist you throughout the process, and various group packages are also available.
Soakin' 'n' floatin'
Skuna Boats offers modern boat hire with a twist. You can choose between a boating barbecue or drifting in a floating hot tub, perfect for families and groups of friends. Enjoy a two-hour electric BBQ boat ride with the option to bring your own food or order a BBQ package, or unwind in a heated hot tub boat while taking in the sights of London from a fresh perspective.
Visit a world-famous museum
London boasts some of the best-known museums in the whole world, with institutions such as the Natural History Museum, the British Museum, and the V&A drawing millions of visitors from across the globe each year. There's also a number of lesser-known yet still fascinating museums around the city, showcasing stunning collections of artefacts from all walks of life, delving deep into a single topic, and chronicling times gone by. Find the best ones in our dedicated guide.
Hit the mini links
Crazy golf has become a popular pastime activity among Londoners in recent years, and there are all sorts of different themed courses scattered around the city. Whether you're planning a family outing, want to get together with your mates, or organise a fun team building event, our guide to where to play mini golf will have you swinging away in no time.
Leisurely cruises along the canals or the Thames
GoBoat offers a traditional river or canal cruising trip, with different self-driving routes to choose from. Each boat can fit up to eight people, and no prior nautical experience is required. You're welcome to bring food for the journey, with the eco-friendly electric boats fitted with picnic tables so you can take in London from a different point of view in full comfort.
For Londoners eager to explore stand-up paddleboarding, Active 360 is an excellent choice, catering to all experience levels. At multiple locations across the city, you can engage in a range of paddleboarding activities, from beginner and private lessons to paddleboard yoga or pilates, guided tours, or simply renting a SUP for a solo adventure.
Journey to another world
Thanks to technological advancements, immersive VR experiences have become incredibly realistic and responsive. At the various VR experiences around the city, you can explore wondrous digital worlds, get unprecedented insight into artistic masterpieces, or tackle all sorts of thrilling challenges, from battling zombies and other creatures to racing and more.
Step on it
For those craving heart-pounding excitement and exhilarating adventures, London's go-karting venues are sure to satisfy your need for speed. Our guide to go-karting in London highlights the best destinations where you can hit the track at full speed and get your adrenaline rush.
Sing your heart out
Whether you're a natural-born belter or a secret shower singer, a night singing karaoke can be great for letting off some steam in good company. Many of London's karaoke bars are fitted with private booths, so you can channel your inner rock star without worrying about what strangers might think. Grab your friends, order a drink or two for courage, and sing the night away at the best karaoke bars in London.
Everyday you're shuffling
With a rich history spanning over half a millennium, shuffleboard has experienced a resurgence in London's vibrant nightlife. Striking the perfect balance between entertainment, competitiveness, and fun to enjoy after a few drinks, this addictive game is sure to captivate you. From neon-lit modern bars to cosy traditional pubs with wooden tables, read our guide to where to play shuffleboard to find the top spots in the city.
Break on through to the other side
In order to get out of these fun chambers, you'll have to collaborate with your friends or colleagues, utilising each individual's distinctive skill set to crack different riddles, puzzles, codes, and other clever challenges. The first clue to point you in the right direction? Our guide to the best escape rooms in London, spanning everything from adventures in ancient Egypt to confronting murderous dentists.