What to Do In London for a Day?

What to Do In London for a Day?

In 2023, travel rates to the UK rebounded to an estimated 37.5 million visitors, an impressive 92% of 2019’s numbers. The UK is known for its many sights and cultural landmarks, but a trip to London is one of the top UK travel destinations, and for good reason. 

Visiting London is a must-do. From Buckingham Palace to the Tower of London, there’s so much to explore. If you’re planning a trip to London and are wondering what to do in London for a day, you’re in luck.

With this helpful guide, you can make the most of your London day trip. Keep reading below for more details.

Contents

Take a Ride on the London Eye

The London Eye is a giant observation wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames. A ride in one of the capsules offers stunning bird’s-eye panoramic views of the city, like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Tower Bridge. 

Lines can be long during peak times, especially during sunset for a magical view of London’s skyline. So, consider booking a ticket in advance to skip the lines and fully enjoy the experience.

Visit the Tower of London

The Tower of London is a historic castle turned infamous prison and place of execution on the River Thames. Learn about the fascinating yet grim history of some of the Tower of London’s most notable prisoners, like statesman and author Sir Thomas More or Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife.

The Tower of London is also home to the Crown Jewels in the Jewel House. See treasures such as St. Edward’s Crown, which is only used to crown a new king or queen during a coronation ceremony, along with other coronation regalia like the Sovereign’s Orb dating back to 1661. You’ll also see the Koh-i-Nor, a massive diamond weighing 105.6 carats

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Explore Covent Garden 

Covent Garden is a bustling and vibrant hub, making it an essential destination for what to do in London for a day. The lively area is known for its street performers, boutique shops, and historic market halls. 

You can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere while exploring the diverse range of shops. You may even be able to catch a street performance in the central square.

If you visit London in the summer between June and September, you can take part in the new Summer Festival with daily music, street food, and live entertainment.

See the Tate Modern 

The Tate Modern is a London art gallery. It showcases modern and contemporary art pieces from the 1900s, from artists around the world. Some artists of note include Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, making it an art lover’s prime destination for what to do in London for a day.

Housed in the former Bankside power station, the Tate Modern has an eclectic charm all its own. Entrance to the main museum is free, but special exhibits may require you to purchase a separate admission ticket. Members and museum supporters are always free with their membership cards.

Stroll Through Hyde Park

Hyde Park is known as one of London’s largest and most famous parks. It’s a great place for what to do in London for a day if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city. It hosts several different events throughout the year, from music festivals to open-air performances.

If you’re visiting London in the summer, the Rose Garden is a must-see with its beautiful seasonal flowerbeds. Hyde Park also has 19 different memorials, fountains, and statues, including the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. There are playgrounds, picnic spots, sports fields, pedal boats year-round on the lake, and so much more.

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Take in a Show at the West End

The West End Theatre District is the UK’s version of Broadway in New York City. London’s West End is home to many historical and iconic theatres like the Royal Opera House, the London Palladium, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and the Apollo Victoria Theatre. 

The West End also offers an impressive selection of big-name Broadway musicals like The Lion King, Les Misérables, and The Phantom of the Opera. You can also see classic Shakespearean productions as well as modern dramas. This makes it an essential stop for what to do in London for a day for theatre aficionados.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is one of seven different residences of the Royal Family. This grand estate also houses the Queen’s Gallery, a public art gallery that exhibits a rotating collection of masterpieces from the Royal Collection. You can tour certain public rooms like the Throne Room and the Music Room, along with the Royal Mews and the Palace stables, during certain times of the year.

On the outside of Buckingham Palace, you can see the historic Changing of the Guards Ceremony. This colorful spectacle is steeped in tradition and pageantry. Be certain you have the most up-to-date schedule so you don’t miss it.

Tour The British Museum

The British Museum plays host to an astonishing 8 million permanent objects and works of art. No other museum in the world has accomplished this feat. The museum itself is widely free to the public, but special exhibitions may require a separate fee.

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The museum was founded in 1753 and officially opened its doors in 1759, after 265 years in business. It’s also one of the largest indoor attractions to be mapped on Google Street View. It’s ideal if you’re a history buff wondering what to do in London for a day.

While you may not be able to see all 8 million items in residence in a day, you can book a special tour that will show you all of the top British Museum Highlights. This will ensure that you see the best of the best, like the actual Rosetta Stone, real ancient Egyptian mummies, Easter Island statues, and more.

What to Do in London for a Day: Have Your Pick

London is a place that is bursting with a rich history and vibrant culture. If you’re wondering what to do in London for a day, these sights and attractions won’t disappoint. When visiting London, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

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