When it comes to fun things to do in London, there’s definitely not a shortage. From historical landmarks to legendary museums, we have it all.
Countless tourists visit the capital for culture, history, food and entertainment. Not to mention a few sessions of setting the world to rights in a cab driver conversation or two.
- Ballie Ballerson
- Cecil Court
- The Star Tavern
- Novelty Automation
- Twinings Cafe
- Swimming at Hampstead Heath
- Climbing the O2 Arena
- ArcelorMittal Orbit
- Portobello Road Market
- Regent’s Canal
- The Rooftop Film Club
- Mudchute Farm
- Trinity Buoy Wharf
Any list of fun things to do in London is sure to leave your diary bulging with potential days out. From evenings in the bright lights to hidden historical hideaways.
We’re delving deeper into the fun things to do in London today. The science museums and O2 Arena are all well and good, but they're often jammed with tourists.
That's why we've created our own 'Fun Things to do in London' list. These amazing activities and days out are sure to make your visit unique.
Cocktails are always among the most fun things to do in London. But how many times do we need to traipse around the same old highbrow hipster venues, putting on airs and graces?
Remember simpler times? Ballie Ballerson in Shoreditch does. Here, it’s not just about neon lights, mirrors and classy cocktails – but also sweet-shop snack favourites and the namesake ball pits.
That’s right – millions of balls to sink into, swim around in and feel like a big kid again – except with cocktails in hand. With two ball pits to jump into while you let the tipsy feelings take over – enjoy responsibly! – this is a Shoreditch night out that’s different from the norm.
Here, it’s not just about neon lights, mirrors and classy cocktails. It's also about sweet-shop snack favourites and the namesake ball pits.
That’s right – millions of balls to sink into, swim around in and feel like a big kid again – except with cocktails in hand.
With two ball pits to jump into while you let the tipsy feelings take over – enjoy responsibly – this is a Shoreditch night out that’s different from the norm.
Everyone knows one of the most popular fun things to do in London is shopping. But, this is also a city rich in history and mystery in equal measure – it’s there in every inch of the architecture.
Fancy a stroll through bookshops, art boutiques and more? Enjoy all these wrapped in sumptuous, untouched 19th Century architecture. Cecil Court is truly one of the best hidden gems in London.
Tucked away a short walk south of Leicester Square tube station. Cecil Court is a sidestreet that time almost seems to have forgotten.
Said to be the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, it’s packed with bookshops and art galleries. All specialising in creations that are off the beaten path.
Explore rare first edition prints signed editions of popular books and forgotten writings. Each one litters the intimate shelves of the shops of Cecil Court.
You’re sure to find your next nightly read – or the books you’ll use to line your backdrop for your endless Zoom meetings. We won’t tell anyone.
Not ready to flash the cash for first editions and artsy paintings? Not to worry. Plenty of baskets adorn the streets of Cecil Court. Each one is packed with bargains well worth getting elbow-deep to rummage for.
The Star Tavern
A fun day out in London often ends in a trip down the pub sooner or later – yet with thousands to choose from, where best to go?
If in doubt, head down to Belgrave Mews West to visit The Star Tavern. Here tall pints are poured and tall tales are swapped every night.
Countless London pubs can boast of playing a part in making history. But The Star Tavern is the drinking establishment of choice. Catering for both high society and cheeky Cockney crooks alike.
Nowadays it’s safe and pleasing to the eye. The Star Tavern has welcomed Bing Crosby, Peter O’Toole and Princess Margaret. Even the culprits of The Great Train Robbery have sat within its walls.
The upstairs of the Star Tavern is decked out in suitcases, maps and playful plot devices. All offering a nod to the more villainous past the pub once held.
Fun activities to do in London often involve a touch of technology.
There are VR rooms and video arcades all over the capital. As well as some of the world’s most immersive cinemas and performances.
You'll find this retro gaming experience a quick walk from Holburn tube station. Barely using any screens, Novelty Automation is ideal for retro game lovers.
Dedicated to mechanical automatons both bizarre and satirical. This place challenges you to play carnival games of a whole different class.
Can you win at such mechanical games? From buying a house to flying to another planet or safely operating a nuclear reactor. This arcade is a unique activity to enjoy during your time in London.
The pastimes here lean towards the poignant and peculiar. But they’ll certainly leave a lasting impression.
Don’t misunderstand – other brands of tea are available. Yet a visit to the Twinings Cafe on The Strand is a must in any list of fun things to do in London.
Where would the fair capital be without a cup of tea or two a day, after all?
Twinings is a business that played a huge hand historically. Bringing tea from Asia to Great Britain.
Today, the Twinings Cafe hosts every variety of tea you could possibly hope for. As well as several you may never have heard of.
Naturally, there are few finer places in London to sit down for a hot brew. But you’ve got the chance to nourish your mind as much as your senses here.
That’s because the cafe stands as a loving museum of sorts to tea and its impact on British life.
Swimming at Hampstead Heath
Exercising is always one of the most fun things to do in London. Getting back to nature is often a way to feel that much more invigorated.
How best to find natural spaces in a city as bustling as London? Look no further than Hampstead Heath. Here, swimming is all outdoors, all year around.
London weather isn't always the most inviting. Yet if you brave the elements, you'll be richly rewarded with naturally clean water. Plus, beautiful greenery all around and an active community of fitness lovers to meet.
The opening and closing times of Hampstead Heath tend to vary. Time will depend on the seasons, especially for swimming. But, those of you who like to get some exercise in before work are in luck, as it usually opens as early as 7 AM.
Climb the O2 Arena
This venue is one of the most famous places to see stand-up comedy or music concerts. The iconic shape of the O2 Arena has itself become one of the most fun things to do in London too.
That’s because you can now climb it!
There was a time when climbing the O2 would have been a terrible idea, with it being somewhat illegal. Now though, you can strap yourself in and explore the dizzying heights of this structure.
Luckily, nowadays it’s all above board, with guided trips to climb and conquer the external dome of the O2 Arena.
Suspended pathways welcome the brave and the bold as you clamber ever onwards. Plus, if you get to the top and feel more adventurous still, get ready for a treat.
You can even book yourself into a bungee jump off the top!
Everyone’s seen and done The Shard. But, if you really want to see the London skyline, you need to head to ArcelorMittal Orbit at Stratford.
At almost 115 metres high, this structure has come a long way since the 2012 London Olympic Games. In fact, it’s now one of the most fun things to do in London.
The views alone are sensational, and there’s some great food and drink to be had. But, it’s the way in which you get down from the top that often appeals the most to people.
The massive slide twists, turns and slinks down this outlandish creation. It's a long voyage that’s so invigorating you might want to pop back to the top for another go right away.
Still not enough excitement for you? How about trying your hand at abseiling down the side instead?
Portobello Road Market
When it comes to London shopping trips, you can't beat hitting the historic pavement. London is filled with indie shops, stalls and more to explore. To explore the very best, you need to visit Portobello Road Market.
Antiques and artwork rub shoulders with second-hand goodies. Indie fashion and electronics sit side by side. Authentic London keepsakes are plenty in this astonishing melting pot of bargains.
Hone your haggling skills and discover the next must-have you never knew you needed. Who knows what you’ll discover?
Need a day on the water as well as a change of pace?
Regent’s Canal near Camden is a waterway of houseboats and weeping willows. It's more than happy to leave London’s hum of activity far behind.
Sometimes the best things to do in London are to just unwind and soak in the less frantic side of the city. To help you do that, Regent’s Canal offers boat tours that lean towards the idyllic.
Pack a picnic, sun yourself on deck and let the capital roar on without you for an afternoon or so. It's the perfect pick-me-up when it’s time for you and your loved ones to reconnect.
If you want to bring your dog on the adventure, then why not try one of these 8 dog-friendly pubs in Islington?
The Rooftop Film Club
If you're looking for the perfect London activity to get you out but keep the vibe of staying in, this is the one for you.
The Rooftop Film Club is a place where you can sit back and unwind. You can enjoy your favourite films with friends and still get some fresh air.
Find Rooftop Film Clubs in both Peckham and Stratford. Grab a golden oldie or a hot new classic, whatever takes your fancy. then, simply head up to the cinema tucked away on top of buildings in the fresh open air.
Make sure to check out their website for a full listing of all the films scheduled each month.
Petting pigs, shearing sheep and getting back to nature in East London? Sounds impossible, yet Mudchute Farm is just the ticket.
The farm is set on 32 acres of carefully tended farmland. It is by far one of the most fun things to do in London if city life has begun to take its toll.
It's a fantastic place to take the kids or retreat from the world. Plus the farm hosts corporate events and team-building exercises, too.
Every which way you look at it, it’s a great way to cut down on screen time and get back to your roots.
Better yet, it proves you don’t have to take a long drive out of London to get into the countryside spirit.
Trinity Buoy Wharf
Experience the rippling water of the Thames. Explore a secret city of containers turned into creative spaces. Even studios to rent for professional creatives.
Trinity Buoy Wharf has become a secret hotbed of some of the capital’s best creative talent. Visiting it is one of the most fun things to do in London if you need inspiration.
Events are hosted all year round, and weddings and moviemaking go on here morning, noon and night.
Even if you are a casual visitor, you’ll find fantastic food and drink to be had here. Together with wonderful views of the waterside.
Fun things to do in London are around every corner when you know where to look. What’s your favourite?