Are you looking for some tips for London sightseeing? If so – this ultimate guide to sightseeing in London, is the perfect place to start!
If you’re planning a trip for sightseeing in London, you might be wondering how to get the most out of your visit. We get it, there’s just so much to see and you don’t want to miss anything! The great thing is, London sightseeing is amazing, as there is so much to see here!
Before you panic though, take a deep breath. Sure, there’s a lot to see in London, but you can get plenty done if you prioritize and go for the stuff that interests you when sightseeing in London.
So, whether you’re looking to explore London’s great historical bits and bobs or prefer to focus on family attractions, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide to tours and day trips for London sightseeing.
Though you probably won’t be able to complete everything from off our list in a single trip, it gives you plenty of options to choose from so that you can create that perfect trip of London sightseeing!
So, are you ready to explore the best London sightseeing and of England’s capital city? Let’s dive right into our list of the best sightseeing spots in London and get that itinerary sorted!
Harry Potter Walking Tour
First on my list of must-do London sightseeing, it’s Harry Potter walking tours. Though this tour is great for superfans, it’s also perfect for those who just love the whimsical nature of that famous wizarding world.
We just want to put a quick disclaimer here that this ISN’T the Harry Potter Studio Tour, it is a great tour to head on if you’re looking to see the real-life versions of some of your favorite filming spots and movie locations.
Fancy checking out the Ministry of Magic and the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron? Well, you’re in luck, as both of those sights are included on this magical walking tour and make London sightseeing so easy! So, if you fancy getting some unforgettable photos and cementing your position as a true Potterhead, then we highly recommend checking out this Harry Potter Walking Tour.
Evening bus tour
Sightseeing in London is amazing any time of day, but seeing the city by night is a gorgeous experience and something you won’t want to miss out on! I love the evening / nighttime open-top bus tour as it’s the perfect way to see the city lit up! This is a perfect option for London sightseeing.
The London Eye
The London Eye is a must-do if you’re visiting the city, as it provides unparalleled views of London, it’s an absolutely classic choice for London sightseeing. Though you can get some great pictures of this attraction from the outside, it’s better to get into a pod for the full experience!
Soaring 135 meters above the river, you’ll be treated to amazing views of Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and more! So, if you’re really looking to see the best of London from a bird’s eye view, then you must put the London Eye on your list of things to do in London!
London Eye River Cruise
When you’re sightseeing in London, a river cruise is a must! If you prefer to see cities by boat, then you should absolutely consider a trip on the London Eye River Cruise. As one of the most famous river cruises in the city, you can rest assured that you’ll get your money’s worth.
If the prospect of a famous cruise isn’t enough to convince you, the tour includes live commentary and a souvenir guide map, so you won’t miss a thing! In case you’re wondering, this cruise passes the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, St Paul’s, the Tate Modern, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and much more!
So, if you’re only having a flying visit for some quick London sightseeing, this could be a great way to see as much as you can.
Tower of London and the Crown Jewels
The Tower of London has a gory history, so if you’re into kings, queens, and executions, then be sure to visit the famous tower! Also, just generally, it’s a fantastic option for London sightseeing.
\Whether you’re looking to learn about the famous Princes in the Tower or want to find out whether Anne Boleyn haunts the place, there are plenty of fabulous guides that will clear things up for you. However, it’s not just gruesome history that the tower is home to – it also houses the Crown Jewels.
Though you can’t get TOO close to the jewels, they are a wonder to behold, so be sure to leave some time in your schedule to ensure that you can check them out!
Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio (with a handy transfer!)
If you’re visiting London, then the Harry Potter Warner Brother Studio tours are actually amazing and such a must-do for London sightseeing. The studios aren’t located in central London, but rather about 45 minutes outside the city – so this ticket option with transfer is really great.
There’s so much to see at the Warner Brother studio tour – it’s honestly one of the best things I’ve done in London and as a Harry Potter fan – you really shouldn’t miss it!
Madame Tussauds is a classic choice for London sightseeing. is popular pretty much everywhere and it’s easy to see why. I mean, who doesn’t want to grab a photo or two with their favorite celebrities?! Whether it’s the Royal Family or Beyonce that you dream of seeing up close, you’ll be able to see them here.
Though this place is a great day out, we’re warning you that it gets REALLY busy. So, to avoid the horrendous queues outside that can often snake round to Baker Street Station, we highly recommend purchasing entry tickets in advance.
Open-Top Bus Tour for London sightseeing
Sightseeing in London doesn’t get better than this! If you’ve seen pictures of London, then you’ve probably seen a shot of one of these bad boys. Open top Big Bus tours have been all the rage in London for years, and they continue to be one of the most effective ways for tourists to see the city.
Offering a variety of ticket options that cover multiple days, there is plenty of flexibility available for travelers of all types! As a ticket covers London’s top attractions (think Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, The London Eye), a big bus tour is a perfect way to see the city as a first-timer. It’s an affordable option for London sightseeing, and you’ll see everything!
You’ve probably seen that strange pointy buildings in photos of London’s city center, but have you ever wondered what that building is?
Well, it’s the Shard! With 72 floors and 360-degree panoramic views of the city, it’s unsurprising that tourists just love heading to the Shard for some memorable snaps. Oh, and if you didn’t know, the Shard is home to Western Europe’s highest viewing platform.
So, if you love reaching new heights in every city you visit, then be sure to pop this on your itinerary for London sightseeing.
London Art Walking Tour
If you’re even remotely interested in art, then we highly recommend booking this into your London sightseeing itinerary. Though you won’t see famous works of art on this tour, you will see some awesome street art!
From excellent urban art to artistic graffiti, there’s plenty on this tour to inspire artistically minded folk.
Stay in a quirky hotel
One of the best things about London is the amount of amazing hotels in the city. I always love finding super quirky hotels in London, because it makes the hotel part of the overall experience of my stay there.
Recently I stayed in The Treehouse Hotel, and I genuinely can’t recommend it enough! Every day I was excited to get back to the hotel room so I could stare out of the amazing windows at the insane view!
Read more: 20 delicious breakfast places in London
Kew Gardens are particularly magical at Christmas time, but you should head down to the gardens regardless of what time of year you’re visiting the city for London sightseeing.
Tucked away in Kensington, Kew Gardens is London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it remains one of the most relaxing places to visit in the city. If you want to make your life easier, we highly recommend nabbing a ticket to the gardens through GetYourGuide.
As the ticket includes entry to 326 acres of gardens, 3 art galleries, a treetop walkway AND Kew Palace, you’re sure to get more bang for your buck than buying on the door! A classic choice for London sightseeing.
The Beatles Tour
Everyone knows The Beatles! And you can do sightseeing in London without seeing something Beatles related. If you’re a mega-fan though, you’ll want to book on to this great Ticket to Ride tour. Not only will you get a great photograph at the famous Abbey Road crossing, but you’ll also get to explore where The Beatles wrote their songs, posed for pictures, played their concerts and more!
The tour isn’t too long, and at 2.5 hours it gives you just enough time to indulge in the best of the 1960s. If you’re worried about being rushed though, don’t stress – they allocate time in the tour specifically for photo opportunities, so you’re covered!
Royal Walking Tour
London sightseeing is ALL about the royal family, this is a classic choice for London sightseeing. There are castles, palaces.. you name it. This Royal Walking Tour of London will help you see all the must-see Royal attractions in the city, and also help you explore places you might now have heard of before!
You’ll be led by a local guide too – giving you plenty of hidden information and handy tips for seeing the best royal spots in the city.
London sightseeing: Take a London pub tour
You can’t visit London without visiting a pub (or 2, or 3!). Pubs are a classic part of London life… Every Londoner has their favourite pub in the city, and this 2 hour pub tour is a great way to experience some of the best pubs in the city! I love this tour, and for people who are new to London sightseeing, this is ideal!
Read more about London travel: The best desserts in London… 30 places you need to try
Take a haunted pub tour!
OK, above I’ve linked a ‘normal’ pub tour, where you’ll visit some of the best pubs in the city… but if you’re after something a bit different – then this haunted pub tour is worth a try instead! Lots of pubs in London claim to be haunted – and this is the best way to experience them!
This is an amazing London sightseeing choice! With a few drinks to enjoy along the way too!
St Paul’s is an iconic part of the London skyline, so we couldn’t write about London sightseeing without including it! It is really something to behold, and though it’s spectacular from the outside, you really should check out the inside too. As you do need a ticket to enter, we recommend grabbing a discounted entry ticket in advance.
If you aren’t overly familiar with St Paul’s, you might be wondering why a cathedral is worth visiting. Well, with a crypt, three galleries, and even panoramic views of London from the top of the dome, we’d say that it was well worth it!
You can grab an audio tour or head around with a guide if you wish, but these do come with additional costs. Sightseeing in London doesn’t get more iconic than this.
Afternoon Tea with a Cruise
There’s something so wonderfully British about an afternoon tea, so it had to make my list of London sightseeing. With warm scones, delicious cakes, and adorable finger sandwiches, it’s unsurprising that people love the idea of a good afternoon tea when they visit London. So, if you’re looking to live your British dream, then why not consider taking your afternoon tea on the water?
Sure, it’s a little unconventional, but you really can kill two birds with one stone here! Not only do you get a delicious afternoon tea, but you’ll also be on a cruise around the River Thames taking in some of the city’s most historic sites.
Talk about multi-tasking… You can book tickets by clicking here.
Indulge on a Soho food tour
Soho is one of London’s most famous neighbourhoods, and it’s full of lively bars, restaurants and cafes. It’s one of my favourite places in the city – and doing a food tour is an absolute must to add to your London sightseeing weekend! On this food tour, you’ll get to tour some of Soho’s best food establishments and sample some of the most delicious food in the city!
The London Dungeon
If you want to insert even more ‘spooky history’ into your trip of London sightseeing… then head down to the London Dungeon. Though the Dungeon is a bit of a cheese fest, it’s genuinely one of the most entertaining attractions in London.
Offering visitors a chance to experience London’s grimmest periods (think the Black Death and the famous Demon Barber of Fleet Street), it’s a great family day out for those with strong constitutions. With 9 interactive shows, 2 thrilling underground rides, and over 1000 years of history to be explored, it’s well worth a visit! This is a classic option for London sightseeing.
The British Museum is one of the most amazing museums in the world and is certainly worth putting on your London sightseeing itinerary. Packed with some of the world’s most famous artefacts, you can spend all day in here just marveling at centuries past.
However, if you really want to get the most out of your visit to the British Museum, we recommend grabbing a ticket with a tour guide included. As these guys are total experts in the museum’s exhibits, you’ll feel more invested in your visit AND learn way more. Cool, right?
The tour lasts around 2.5 hours, so be sure to budget enough time in your day to really make the most out of it.
London Transport Museum
Whether you want to see the world’s first underground steam train or learn what it’s like to be one of London’s tube drivers through a Future Engineer’s simulation, you’re sure to have an awesome time at the Transport Museum.
If you want to gain access to the temporary exhibitions on top of your entrance ticket… You can book tickets by clicking here.
Sherlock Holmes guided tour
If you’re a literacy fan and you consider yourself a bit of a book worm.. then taking this Sherlock Holmes tour is the ultimate of London sightseeing!
You’ll explore some of the locations made famous in the Sherlock Holmes books (and TV shows) and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in this fictional mystery world.
Stroll along the Embankment
One of the easiest ways to enjoy the riverside sightseeing in London, is by strolling along the embankment. You’ll see all kinds of key London sightseeing icons – like Big Ben, Parliament, The London Eye, Westminster, the OXO building, St Pauls – there’s loads to see!
Churchill’s War Rooms
World War II and its events will always be fascinating, and if you want to get up close and personal with Churchill’s struggles during the war then you’ll want to book a tour of Churchill’s War Rooms. London sightseeing is all about history, and this ticks all the boxes.
On this 2.5-hour tour of the rooms, you’ll discover the war secrets of Westminster, see the wartime bunker that sheltered the government during the blitz, and get a better understanding of just how complex wartime decision-making was.
Though it can be tricky to delve deeply into traumatic historical events, we highly recommend checking this attraction out, as it is just so interesting to explore.
Camden is one of the quirkiest neighbourhoods in London – and I absolutely love it. If you fancy breaking away from the big touristy areas of the city – and exploring somewhere a bit more alternative – this is a must-do for sightseeing in London.
Piccadilly and Soho Beer Bike Tour
Though this might not be a traditional London sightseeing suggestion, we just love this Piccadilly and Soho Beer Bike Tour!
Available as a one-hour or two-hour tour, you’ll be able to explore London’s streets on a beer bike whilst visiting local pubs. Sure, it’s an unconventional way to see the city, but it’s certain to be fun!
If you’re worried about navigation, don’t stress – there is an onboard guide and barista that will guide you towards the best pubs and keep you on track with some facts about the area!
Oh my gosh, if you want to explore a bit of London completely world’s away from the rest of the city – then you need to add Regent’s Canal to your London sightseeing list. It’s so peaceful, pretty and just perfect all round!
Natural History Museum
Do you want to journey back in time and discover what life was like before humans came on the scene? Well then, you’ll want to add the Natural History Museum to your list of London sightseeing spots!
Featuring dinosaur bones and other fascinating natural collections, the Natural Museum is a great pick for a family day out in London. We’re not kidding when we say that kids find this place fascinating, so if in doubt, book it!
If you’re looking to cut costs, then you might want to purchase a group ticket for the whole family that will guarantee entry on your chosen day. After all, there’s nothing worse than battling with inpatient kiddos!
Cotswolds Tour with Lunch
If you want to see a little more of what the UK has to offer… then visiting the Cotswolds for the day is a brilliant day trip from the city. It doesn’t take long to get there, and you’ll feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of London’s city street.
The Cotswolds is one of the most famously beautiful countrysides in the UK (made famous in The Holiday Christmas movie!) – and you’ll love seeing the little cottages and cobbled streets! Whilst this is strictly London sightseeing, it’s still a must-do.
Visit the Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark is London’s resident ship – and it’s pretty incredible. If you’ve never explored an old-fashioned ship, then you’ve got to check out this amazing piece of history. If you’re a bit of a history-buff, then you’ll absolutely adore Cutty Sark.
It’s also located in the neighbourhood of Greenwich, which is a wonderful place to explore afterward too (and where they filmed the Thor Marvel movies!). A great choice for sightseeing in London.
Greenwich food tour
If you’re heading into Greenwich to see the Cutty Sark, then you should try and check out the local Greenwich food tour too while you’re in the area. Food is such an important part of a city’s culture – so this is a great idea for London sightseeing.
Greenwich is a really quirky local neighborhood, and it’s a place you’ll love exploring. Even more so… because it’s home to some of the best food in the city!
If you love food markets, then the Chelsea food market (every Saturday in the Duke of York Square) is jam packed full of delicious food stalls. It’s one of my favourite activities for a lazy Saturday morning, and I love strolling around the different stalls and trying all the yummy food!
Stroll around Hyde Park
How could I write a list of the best sightseeing in London, and not mention Hyde Park? Hyde park is insanely pretty, and you can walk through the park for hours enjoying different landscapes and views of the city. It’s the perfect city park!
Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
Next on my list of London sightseeing, it’s the Jack the Ripper walking tour. We might not know the identity of the famous Ripper, but his story is a scary and fascinating one – and tourists who come to the city for London sightseeing are often intriged by his grusome tales.
This two-hour walking tour explores how a series of truly terrible murders gripped the East End of London in the autumn of 1888, and you’ll be able to visit the sites of his murders and learn all there is to know about his unsolved crimes. Scary Lodon sightseeing indeed…
Climb The Roof of The O2 Arena
Something for the adrenaline junkies… one of the best things you can do for London sightseeing is climbing the roof of the O2 Arena. It’s certainly a different day out in London sightseeing, but the views on offer of the London skyline are INCREDIBLE!
We hope that this ultimate guide to London sightseeing has been helpful!
Though we can never be truly exhaustive when it comes to an ultimate guide (there’s just so many wonderful things to do in London – it would be impossible to list them all!), we hope we’ve given you some inspiration for your next trip!
If you’re only around for the day, we highly recommend checking out one of the Big Bus or cruise tours. Though it’s nice to take your time, you’ll get the most bang for your sightseeing buck out of these tour styles.