Oh, London. One of the most popular tourist destination cities in the world.
London is practically overflowing with activities to do, things to see, and bucket lists to be conquered.
But is London worth the hype? Overall…absolutely! But not every activity in London is created equal.
In this article, instead of giving you a never-ending bucket list that every other blogger gives you of things to do in London, I will be going over the main attractions and reviewing them to tell you if it is worth it. Plus, I’ll throw in any tips I’ve learned from locals or from my personal experience.
Sometimes you only have a limited time in London, and you want to make the most of it. My hope is that this article helps you weed through what is actually on your bucket list from all of the chatter and gives you a well-defined London experience!
I do think that everything is worth doing in London, but hopefully, this will help you prioritize your itinerary.
Just for some background, I did a summer college prep program in London and then moved permanently to Cambridge for my university degree. Since I have visited frequently and lived there, I have done all of the “touristy” experiences at least once.
Enjoy London and happy bucketlisting!
Bucket List Review of Visiting London
|My Overall Rating
|Who Needs to Add This to Their Bucket List?
|Those who love big European cities
with endless activities, culture, and history
|Best Time to Go
|Spring, Fall, or Christmas
|Easy to Moderate (can involve lots of walking)
|Group Tour Required
|No, but many tours available
|In most places, some accessible tube stations
If you need more information about the categories of this table, please check out the Bucket List Reviews guide.
What is Big Ben?
Big Ben, often a symbolic representation of London, is not just a clock tower, but a symbol of the city’s historical grandeur and modern vibrancy.
Officially called the Elizabeth Tower since 2012, ‘Big Ben’ is actually the nickname for the massive bell inside. Standing adjacent to it is the equally iconic Palace of Westminster, housing the UK Parliament, where critical national decisions are made.
It is very central and has other iconic landmarks surrounding it, including Westminster Abby, the London Eye, and the Themes.
Is Big Ben worth it?
Honestly, yes! There are tours that will take you inside for £24 if you are a UK citizen. If you aren’t British, don’t fear! I think it is just as impressive just looking at it from the street.
I first saw Big Ben and the surrounding area on my 17th birthday and it did not disappoint! Its sheer size and grandeur are impressive–especially to an American who lacks that type of architecture at home.
Plus, since it is in proximity to many other stops, you may be able to check off several bucket lists in one go.
Tips for visiting Big Ben in London
Since it is one of the most popular stops on every tourist’s map expect very heavy crowds.
Every time I have been to Big Ben, I have been walking down the street like sardines–especially across the bridge.
If you want to do a photoshoot with you and no one else, I would suggest setting your alarms and going to sunrise to beat the tourist crowd.
The London Eye
What is The London Eye?
This iconic giant Ferris wheel (okay, technically it is a cantilevered observation wheel) on the South Bank of the River Thames gives you a bird’s-eye view of the city that you’ll never forget.
From the top, you can spot many of London’s famous landmarks – the majestic Houses of Parliament, the historic Tower Bridge, and even the modern Shard skyscraper.
It stands 443 ft tall over the Themes and is often included in depictions of the London skyline.
Is the London Eye worth it?
If I had a visitor or limited time in London, I would probably skip the London Eye.
I only did it once when I visited for the first time, and then never did it again. It lasted about 30 minutes for a full rotation.
Granted, It can be a good way to see the city. However, it is expensive, and takes time, and there are other ways to get unique perspectives of London (ex. Primrose Hill, The Shard, or even a helicopter).
Also, it seems that most major cities have some sort of “Ferris wheel style” attraction, so it isn’t totally unique to London.
If you have time, however, it is a very pleasant experience and an iconic London landmark.
Tips for riding the London Eye
The London Eye is very touristy and is one of the most trafficked areas of London. Make sure you plan for extra time if you are taking the train to avoid missing your ticket. You can either get off at Waterloo or Embankment for a nice stroll on the Themes beforehand.
Due to its popularity, I would recommend getting tickets online in advance. I would also avoid coming at peak times from 11 am to 3 pm.
If I were to pick a time, I would try to catch the sunset to watch that warm glow fall over London.
If it is your first time, I would try to see it in the daylight first, then go for a night ride.
What is Westminster Abbey?
Westminster Abby place of worship, a historical landmark, and a venue for royal milestones, it’s truly steeped in rich British history.
Dating back to the 10th century, this Gothic masterpiece has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of 30 kings and queens.
From the grandeur of the High Altar to the intricacy of the Lady Chapel and the famous Poets’ Corner, every corner of Westminster Abbey is a whispering testament to the city’s past. Its extraordinary architectural beauty and historical significance make it hugely influential in understanding London’s cultural heritage.
Is Westminster Abbey worth it?
YES…if you are a lover of beauty and history!
To me, a nerd who loved European history and a flare for the gothic yet regal style, this place is truly magical.
I hate to admit it, but I almost got a little teary looking at the resting place of people I had read about in history books for years in school.
Who wouldn’t want to see the grave of Sir Issac Newton or Geoffrey Chaucer? Or wander the hall where 39 coronations took place!
To put it simply, if you are in London, Westminster Abbey is a must-add to your bucket list!
Tips for visiting Westminster Abbey in London
I did buy a ticket at the door with a student discount, but you can also buy them ahead of time.
If you haven’t taken a European history class or are unfamiliar with famous English monarchs, I would brush up on some history before going. This way, it is more meaningful.
They don’t have a strict dress code, but request you wear respectful clothes. It can also get a bit chilly in there during the winter.
What is Hyde Park in London?
Spanning over 350 acres, Hyde Park is a glorious green space in central London and is the city’s largest open space and is known for both its beauty and historical significance.
It’s a sanctuary for nature lovers, a haven for those seeking tranquility away from city bustle, and a vibrant hub for cultural events, concerts, and public gatherings.
From serene lakeside walks to fascinating monuments like the Serpentine and Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park may just deserve a spot on your London bucket list!
Is Hyde Park worth it?
Fun fact–my first time in Hyde Park consisted of my very first mermaid photoshoot when I was just 18!
Not going to lie, I love Hyde Park. It is a nice break from the city and is massive.
I must be honest and say that I do prefer Regent Park to Hyde Park. With that being said, many of my local Londoner friends still rate Hyde Park as their favorite.
Due to this, I would say that it is a personal preference! If you like large lakes and open spaces, I would go to Hyde. I am more drawn to the smaller gardens and denser trees at Regents.
Tips for going to Hyde Park
Before your visit, I would check out the website to see if there are any events going on. Because of its size, it seems like there is always something going on.
For example, in the winter it is home to Winter Wonderland and it is one of my favorite things to do in London at Christmastime!
You can swim in the Serpentine Pool during the summer, but it books fast!
Lastly, don’t forget to learn about the historical events of the park. From suffragette speeches to Rolling Stones performances to housing Nelson Mandela, this park has seen it all!
What is Buckingham Palace?
If you have heard of London, then odds are you have heard of Buckingham Palace.
Home to the British monarch, the palace has an astounding 775 rooms, including the 19 State Rooms teeming with exquisite art from the Royal Collection.
Every summer, these rooms are open to the public, granting a peek into the royal way of life. Don’t forget the Changing of the Guard: a fascinating spectacle of British pomp and ceremony that never fails to impress.
Fun fact: Buckingham Palace is ranked as the most expensive “house” in the world at $1.6 billion!
Is Buckingham Palace in London Worth it?
If you are in the area, it is completely worth it to at least go see the front. This way, you can maybe catch a glimpse of the changing of the guard–a classic representation of England.
If you happen to be there from July to September, it is very fun to go inside!
I will say that when I put on my royal shoes and went inside, it was VERY crowded. I felt like I was my neighbor at one point.
It was still worth it to pretend to be royalty for about an hour and a half and still made it onto my bucket list.
Tips for Buckingham Palace
Check the website for ticket information. During certain times, they have been known to let people in without a ticket.
Next, if you are going to tour the royal home, make sure to dress the part! Okay…maybe don’t bust out your ballgowns but dress nice. I did see them turn away tourists in jeans and trainers (tennis shoes).
Lastly, there is no photography allowed inside. I don’t know why I didn’t believe them, but they were very strict and gave me a good yell!
Regent’s Park in London
What is Regent’s Park?
Regent’s Park, a royal treasure in the heart of London, is another must-add to your bucket list. The park, designed by John Nash, is a delightful blend of open sports fields, formal gardens, and tranquil woodlands, providing a refreshing escape from the city humdrum.
But this park isn’t just about flora and fauna – it’s also home to the London Zoo, the oldest scientific zoo in the world, and the Open Air Theatre.
Is Regent’s Park Worth it?
Absolutely! This is my favorite park in London! Unless you are traveling to London to specifically see the parks, I would say that you only need to travel to one.
I would personally suggest Regent’s or Hyde Park. Going to a park is a lovely break from the city, especially if you are a photographer.
Granted, it isn’t the most unique London activity, but potentially worth a visit nonetheless.
Plus, it houses the London Zoo with a collection of 755 species of animal.
Tips for visiting Regent’s Park in London
One of the things that stood out to me was the gardens at Regent Park was the stunning flowers and waterfalls. You heard me–waterfalls! If visiting, you can’t miss Queen Mary’s Garden.
Leave plenty of time to explore and don’t forget to bring a camera and good walking shoes!
What is The British Museum?
The British Museum, a treasure trove of world history and culture, is a wonderful addition to your London bucket list. With a collection spanning over two million years of history, it’s not just a museum—it’s a thrilling journey through time.
From the Rosetta Stone to the Egyptian mummies, the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, and the enduring mystery of the Easter Island statues, every exhibit tells a tale of human civilization and our shared heritage.
Is the British Museum Worth it?
Again, I am a nerd. Therefore, the impressive and vast amounts of artifacts and history lining the walls of the British Museum make it 100% worth it in my book! And there is very diverse exhibits so I guarantee you won’t be bored.
Plus, it’s free!
However, once I went to the British museum straight after a long-haul flight and accidentally fell asleep while drinking tea in the cafe!
Tips for the british Museum in London
My biggest tip for the British museum is that unless you run, it is unlikely to be completed in one day.
With that being said, I would either budget enough time to span it over multiple days or look at the exhibits ahead of time to prioritize what you will see.
My Favorites to see at the British Museum:
- The Rosetta Stone
- The Egyptian section with the mummies
- The entire Greece section!
What is the V&A?
Victoria and Albert Museum, affectionately known as the V&A, is another mesmerizing stop on your London bucket list.
As the world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, it boasts a collection of over 2.8 million objects, spanning a humongous 5,000 years of human creativity.
From stunning medieval relics, grand sculptures, and historical costumes, to intricate ceramics, and glittering jewelry, every exhibit in the V&A is a testament to artistic genius and craftsmanship.
Is the V&A Worth it?
There are some parts that make it stand out from other museums. It is not as mainstream as the Natural History Museum. AKA it is a little more unique.
If I had to go to only one museum in London, I would opt for the British Museum. If I could go to a second major museum it would be the V&A. Last would be the Natural History Museum.
I did play dress up there once and that was really fun! Plus, I could stay in the jewelry room for HOURS!
Basically, I would go to the V&A if you have time and aren’t rushing around London.
Tips for visiting the V&A
As with most things, I would (if possible) try to go on a weekday to avoid crowds.
I might be wrong, but when I went there didn’t seem to be a centerpiece as there is with most museums. This was nice because everyone was dispersed evenly.
Check the website to see if they have any late-night festivities, Friday Lates, or events after closing hours. If there are, make sure to get there early because it is first come first serve.
It is free and I would budget around 2.5 hours.
Natural History Museum
What is the Natural History Museum in London?
This awe-inspiring temple of discovery, located in the heart of South Kensington, encapsulates the wonders of the natural world right within its majestic, cathedral-like walls.
The museum is home to an incredible 80 million specimens, spanning billions of years, from the time of the dinosaurs to the human genome.
It offers an exhilarating journey through our planet’s history, the richness of life, and the challenges of the natural world. As you wander through the galleries, you’ll come face-to-face with a life-size blue whale, the fearsome T-Rex, and more!
Is The Natural History Museum Worth it?
Granted, the Natural History Museum is massive and has an impressive collection.
I would, however, give it a miss if you are running tight on time.
The entrance and main hall with the blue whale skeleton are quite spectacular. The rest is your standard natural history museum with just a bit more “oomph”.
I am not saying that it is not worth visiting, it just might not be the most unique thing to do in London.
Tips for going to the NAtional History Museum
Of all the exhibits in the Natural History Museum, don’t miss the dinosaurs or the geology section. I don’t know why the minerals and rocks really stood out to me, but the collection is amazing!
If you are in London for Christmas, the massive t-rex on display has been known to sport a Christmas jumper!
The London Dungeon
What is the London Dungeon?
The London Dungeon is a thrilling entry on your London bucket list that promises an immersive journey into the city’s grim past.
This interactive experience takes you through 1,000 years of London’s history, with a chilling blend of live actors, gripping storytelling, and thrilling rides.
Navigate through the dark corners of history, from the Great Fire of London to the plague, Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror, and the torturous methods of medieval times.
Featuring 19 live shows, 20 actors, and 2 heart-stopping rides, The London Dungeon offers a unique blend of history, horror, humor, and fun.
Is the London Dungeon Worth it?
This answer highly depends on who you are and if you love a flare for the dramatic.
Being a past theater kid, this was my kryptonite. The 360 immersive show mixed with bantering humor and London’s history is a real treat!
Also, if you have some children you want to scar for life, this might be the place to do it!
Just kidding…but older children might find this very fun and it is an opportunity to learn about London’s crazy past.
To sweeten the deal, there are even a few rides thrown in there. My favorite is the drop ride at the end that simulates going to the gallows!
Tips for visiting the London Dungeon
I would highly suggest getting tickets early and showing up early for your ticket. That area of London is densely populated with tourists and the tube isn’t always reliable.
Give yourself plenty of time to get there or, better yet, get a flexible ticket.
You can also get a bundle ticket to save money and get you multiple attractions, such as the London Eye.
River Cruise on the Themes in London
What is a Themes River Cruise?
This fantastic voyage offers an entirely different perspective of the city, allowing you to see London’s famous landmarks from a new angle. From the iconic Tower Bridge, the imposing Tower of London, the majestic Houses of Parliament, and the modern Shard, to the London Eye, and the serene royal parks, your journey on the Thames will be a visual feast.
Not just that, many cruises come with live or recorded commentary, enriching your journey with interesting historical facts and amusing tales about the city.
Or, even better, they come with dinner, an onboard pub, dancing, or cultural experiences.
Whether you opt for a daytime sightseeing tour, a sunset cruise, or a dinner cruise under the city lights, a River Thames cruise promises a unique and memorable London experience.
Is a river Cruise on the Themes Worth it?
Obviously, not all cruises are created equal. However, most cruises that I have taken have been cheap, relatively short, and a great way to see the city!
Because of this, I would totally recommend it! I would suggest looking for one that has a pub on board so that you can drink some refreshments responsibly while leisurely taking in the London sites.
Combine this with a hop-on hop-off bus like mentioned in the tour below and that is a very efficient way to cover lots of ground very fast.
Tips for going on a Themes River Cruise
When looking for a River Thames cruise, there are a few key points to keep in mind to ensure the best experience.
First, consider what type of cruise suits your preferences—do daytime views appeal to you, are you more of a sunset admirer, or do you want the romantic vibes of a nighttime cruise?
Companies like City Cruises, Thames River Sightseeing, and Bateaux London offer a variety of options.
Review their offerings and choose the one that resonates with your taste.
Secondly, check for any special events or themed cruises. For instance, some companies offers a delightful Afternoon Tea Cruise.
Lastly, always compare prices and read reviews before booking. Websites like TripAdvisor can provide invaluable insights from previous tourists. Happy cruising!
St. Paul’s Cathedral
What is St. Paul’s Cathedral IN London?
St. Paul’s Cathedral, another iconic landmark of the London skyline, is a must-visit addition to your London bucket list.
This masterpiece of English Baroque architecture, designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London, serves as the mother church of the Diocese of London.
Its awe-inspiring interior, grand dome, and intricate stone carvings are breathtaking, but it’s the Whispering Gallery that really sets this place apart. Climb the 257 steps to this unique space where a whisper against the wall can be heard clearly across the dome, 30 meters away.
The cathedral also hosts an impressive crypt, housing tombs of prestigious figures like Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Don’t miss the chance to climb up to the Stone and Golden Galleries, where stunning panoramic city views await.
Is St. Paul’s Cathedral Worth it?
I have seen my fair share of cathedrals throughout Europe, but St. Paul’s is no doubt a mighty contender for my favorite!
I even traveled down there for an Easter service and soon learned that it did, in fact, earn its place on my bucket list.
Even if you aren’t particularly religious, it can still be worth it to go just to appreciate the sheer size of it and its intricate gothic architecture.
Plus, the Whispering Gallery is worth it in itself and an acoustic phenomenon I have yet to experience anywhere else!
Tips for St. Paul’s Cathedral
You can buy tickets at the door, but I would recommend buying them online in advance to avoid long queues.
Even though you might be in your cute London tourist clothes, remember that it is still a place of worship so do your best to dress modestly.
Next, keep in mind that there are photography restrictions throughout the cathedral. So keep a look out for signs to avoid getting reprimanded (this may or may not have happened to me!). You are still welcome to photograph the outside to your heart’s content!
What are Pubs in London?
Pubs, short for public houses, are an integral part of British culture and definitely a must-visit on your London bucket list.
These establishments are much more than just places to enjoy a pint of beer or cider; they are social hubs that often serve as the heartbeat of local communities.
Dating back centuries, these historic watering holes offer an authentic taste of English life, from the cozy, traditional establishments with low beams and open fireplaces to the modern, trendy gastropubs serving craft beers and artisanal food.
Many pubs also offer traditional British fare such as fish and chips, bangers and mash, and the classic Sunday roast. Visiting a pub in London allows you to experience local culture, engage with locals, and enjoy some hearty English food and drink.
Is Going to a Pub Worth it?
If you do one singular thing in London, I would have it be to go check out some pubs. It is truly an amazing experience!
If you want to find the locals, this is where they will be. I spent most of my time in uni in pubs, just hanging out and studying.
If you aren’t into drinking (which is totally okay), you can check out pubs for traditional British food in addition or instead.
It is quintessential to British culture and it is a crime not to check it out when visiting London.
Tips for going to a Pub
I am astonished at the lengths that Londoners will go to to have a pint with some friends. In fact, when it gets to “pub time” in London, there will be crowds standing outside with their drinks.
With that being said, decide if you want to go during busy times for the rush or go during the day and actually be able to step foot inside the establishment! Both can be worthy of adding to your bucket list but it is a personal preference!
Keep in mind that buying a pint in London is going to be more expensive than the rest of the UK. I would expect to pay around £5-7 at most of the pubs.
And Americans beware–an Imperial pint is about 20% larger than a pint in the US. Always enjoy responsibly!
On that note, if you don’t enjoy beer (like me!) then I would recommend an English cider. My favorite is Stowford Press.
What is Soho?
Soho is another quintessential addition to your London bucket list. Nestled in the heart of the city, this vibrant neighborhood is an eclectic mix of history, culture, entertainment, and food.
Known for its lively vibe, Soho is packed with a plethora of eateries, bars, shops, and theaters, making it a paradise for foodies, shopaholics, and culture vultures alike.
One of Soho’s highlights is Carnaby Street, an iconic pedestrianized shopping street known for its distinct British heritage and diverse shopping options.
Here, you’ll find over 100 international and British heritage labels, independent boutiques, one-off concepts, cult beauty emporiums, and traditional pubs and restaurants. Carnaby Street has something for everyone, from the latest streetwear designs to iconic British styles.
Is visiting Soho Worth it?
I would be lying if I said that this wasn’t one of my favorite sections of London, especially Carnaby Street.
I know that Oxford Street is also known for shopping, but I personally like this better. It is lively, dynamic, and unique!
During one visit, I got my helix pierced, ate street food, went to a pub, and then bought a workout top. There is truly something for everybody!
Tips for going to Soho
For all of my make-up lovers, there is an entire Two-Faced store on Carnaby. It is one of the only designated stores worldwide and normally has merchandise you can only purchase in London. For example, I got a London-themed make-up bag there!
If you are in the area looking for food and love steak, check out Flat Iron Soho. They gave me an incredible steak on a cutting board with a small meat cleaver and free ice cream for only £13!
Honestly, Soho is a foodie heaven, so if you are looking for a place to eat then I would reserve it for Soho.
What is Oxford Circus?
This bustling intersection, where the iconic shopping streets of Oxford Street and Regent Street meet, is one of the liveliest areas in the city, known for its impressive concentration of retail stores.
Housing over 300 shops within its vicinity, Oxford Circus is a shopper’s paradise offering a mix of high street brands, flagship stores, and designer boutiques.
Key attractions include the world-famous department stores Selfridges and Liberty, renowned for their luxury goods and beautifully themed window displays, particularly during the holiday season.
Is Oxford Circus Worth it?
I think that Oxford Circus is a very fun area of London to walk through.
I do think that there are more fun parts of London to focus on, especially if you aren’t interested in shopping.
If you enjoy window shopping for expensive things, I would suggest wandering through Harrods instead.
If you are interested in spending some pounds and Soho isn’t your vibe, then Oxford Street is perfect for you.
Tips for Visiting Oxford Circus
Although it can be decorated very beautifully during the holidays, I would not even attempt the mad rush that is the Christmas season.
If you are short on time, I would plan out the shops you wish to go to beforehand.
If you aren’t from Europe and have never heard of it, I would check out Primark. This was my go-to store during uni that offers a wide variety of cheap clothes over 2 (sometimes more!) floors. The Primark on Oxford Street is pure madness!
Just know that you get what you pay for and it might not be the best quality but it sure is cheap!
This is a review of all of London’s major attractions. You can also read the London Bucket List for more ideas and hidden gems.
What is Piccadilly Circus?
Known for its iconic digital advertising display and the famous Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, this vibrant public space is where five busy streets converge, creating a bustling hub of energy and activity.
At the heart of the city, it’s an area known for its neon lights, theatrical offerings, and energetic atmosphere.
You can catch a play at various theaters, explore the quirky, unique shops in the nearby Soho area, or simply sit and people-watch in this ever-busy junction.
No visit is complete without a photo in front of the iconic illuminated billboards, a symbol of London’s blend of tradition and modernity.
Is Piccadilly Worth visiting?
I think Piccadilly Circus is the “Times Square” of London!
Odds are that you will end up here whether you like it it or not. This is because it is very central and you can reach several other areas of London from this area.
Therefore, I wouldn’t make a special trip–because you are gonna most likely stumble upon it if you are doing other London tourist things or simply exploring!
Tips for Piccadilly Circus
You can walk down the street to Leicester Square to get discounted theater tickets.
If you are hungry, the mac n’ cheese at St. James’ Tavern is, no joke, the best I’ve ever had!
Although it is magnificent during the day, it is unreal at night!
Tower of London
What is THE TOWER OF LONDON?
The Tower of London, not to be confused with Tower Bridge, is an iconic historical landmark with a rich and fascinating history.
Founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest, this imposing fortified complex has served variously as a royal palace, a treasury, a prison, and even a zoo!
Today, it’s best known as the home of the Crown Jewels, an impressive collection of royal regalia that’s still in use by the British monarch.
But there’s more to the Tower than just the glittering jewels. The White Tower, the oldest part of the complex, houses a collection of armor and weaponry.
Then there are the famous resident ravens and the chilling Traitors’ Gate. As you explore the ancient stones, you’ll discover centuries of stories, from royal intrigue and political machinations to tales of prisoners and daring escapes.
Is THE TOWER OF LONDON Worth it?
I think that this is worth it if you are a history buff or love jewels! If that didn’t describe you then you may want to consider doing something else.
I personally loved reading about the polar bear swimming in the Themes in 1252, but not everyone might enjoy the massive history lesson while vacationing.
The Crown Jewels are certainly a highlight and do make it worthy of many’s bucket lists!
It is almost always crowded, but the moving walkways help. This also means that you can’t gawk and dawdle at the intricate and impressive jewels! It also really made me want to add a crown to my daily outfits…
Tips FOR Visiting the Tower Of London
If you are looking to beat the crowds, get your ticket early, go on a weekday, and go early!
Every time that I have gone, it has taken me at least two hours to get through it…and sometimes I went through the Crown Jewels twice cause I am a queen in my head.
If you love London’s rich history, I would suggest going on a Yeoman Warder Tour to enhance your experience. This is given by an iconic “Beefeater” and they share key moments from 1,000 years of history!
What is THE TOWER BRIDGE?
Tower Bridge, often mistaken for London Bridge, is another unmissable icon on your London bucket list.
This majestic, double-decked bridge stretches over the River Thames, offering panoramic views of London’s skyline. Built in the late 19th century, its Victorian Gothic style harmoniously merges with the city’s modern aesthetic.
Visitors can walk the high-level walkways, now hosting glass floors for a thrilling birds-eye view of the city, or explore the Victorian Engine Rooms, home to the steam engines that once powered the bridge lifts.
An architectural marvel and a testament to brilliant engineering, Tower Bridge stands as a symbol of London’s rich history and constant evolution.
Is THE TOWER BRIDGE Worth it?
To see this iconic and unique London bridge? Absolutely.
The only thing that I would say is that it is slightly out of the way from the center and other major attractions and landmarks, but you can easily get there by getting off at Tower Hill on the District and Circle tube lines.
I would recommend this to the folks who want a stereotypical London travel picture or those who are interested in unique gothic architecture.
I have not seen anything quite like it in all my travels, which makes it a great addition to your bucket list!
Tips FOR VISITING THE TOUR BRIDGE
Instead of going across the bridge, I would suggest going to the St. Katherine’s docks on the left side right on the Themes. After seeing the entire thing, you can then go up and walk the pedestrian walkway for an entirely different viewpoint.
If it is more convenient, you can also promenade on the Queen’s Walk.
I would recommend seeing it at night instead of daytime, it just seems a bit more jaw-dropping with the lights!
What is West End in London?
The West End, often referred to as London’s Broadway, is the next stop on this London bucket list review. It’s a vibrant neighborhood known for its world-class theatres and phenomenal performances.
Offering a plethora of plays, musicals, comedies, and dramas, the West End caters to every theatrical taste.
Is seeing a show in the West End Worth it?
As I mentioned previously, I was a theater kid in high school.
I’ve seen several shows in the best venues including Broadway in New York. I can say that these shows are of the same caliber but with less of a price tag!
Unfortunately, I did notice the prices were increasing since I lived there a few years ago, but it is still more affordable than some places in the US.
I have also found that a variety of unique shows and acts call the West End home and it is worth your bucket list to give them a try.
Tips for Seeing a Show at the West End
To see a show here, you can book your tickets online in advance.
If your schedule is more flexible, I would recommend visiting the TKTS booth in Leicester Square for last-minute and discounted tickets.
What is TRAFALGAR SQUARE?
Trafalgar Square is a vibrant public space renowned for its iconic landmarks and cultural events.
Situated in the heart of the city, the square is home to Nelson’s Column, guarded by four lion statues at its base, and the famous Fourth Plinth which showcases changing pieces of contemporary art.
The square is also flanked by impressive architectural gems such as the National Gallery, housing one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, and the historic St Martin-in-the-Fields church.
From witnessing engaging street performances to participating in public demonstrations and seasonal celebrations, there’s always something happening in Trafalgar Square.
Is TRAFALGAR SQUARE Worth it?
When I think of London, Trafalgar Square doesn’t immediately come to mind. That doesn’t mean I don’t love it! I love Trafalgar Square! It’s central, lively, and there is always something going on!
There are also some great food options around! Or you can have a picnic there if you prefer.
Tips FOR TRAFALGAR SQUARE
This place is always busy! Expect strong crowds, especially near the fountains and the lions.
If you do choose to climb the lions, please be careful! I am 5’7” and I need to jump and pull myself pretty far to get on top. And getting down can be tricky and harder than it seems.
Before your visit, check online to see if any events are planned. Trafalgar Square frequently hosts parades, concerts, and seasonal celebrations that could add a memorable twist to your visit.
Harry Potter Studio Tour
What is THE STUDIO TOUR?
The Harry Potter Studio Tour in London is a magical adventure that transports fans of all ages into the enchanting world of the globally acclaimed Harry Potter series.
Located outside of London, the studio tour offers an authentic behind-the-scenes look at the making of the films, showcasing how the magic was brought to life.
Visitors get the chance to step into the actual Great Hall, explore Dumbledore’s office, wander the cobbled streets of Diagon Alley, and even sip on a frothy Butterbeer.
The tour also boasts a vast collection of authentic props, costumes, and sets used in the films. From the iconic Hogwarts castle model to the Knight Bus and the Forbidden Forest, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is an unmissable experience on your London bucket list.
Is the Harry Potter Stuido Tour worth it?
If you are a Harry Potter or film fan, then it is a no-brainer!
I have loved Harry Potter since I was a kid, so the entire experience was extremely nostalgic and even emotional for me.
Plus, butterbeer is, not to be dramatic, my favorite drink on this earth!
I would also say it is worth it for anybody who gets a kick from seeing how movies are made. I learned so much about filmmaking. And it was fascinating to see all of the sets, props, and costumes!
Tips FOR THE HARRY POTTER TOUR IN LONDON
As with most popular excursions in London, it is always recommended to secure your reservation early.
This is especially applicable to the Harry Potter Studio Tours. It sells out quickly and I have even been disappointed due to this.
When you manage to secure a ticket, plan at least half if not full day. It is a little outside of London and the whole thing takes at least 4-5 hours.
If you are there during Christmas, they do a Christmas dinner in the Great Hall and you get to see the set after hours! I have never been able to snag a ticket, but I have heard it is magical…no pun intended.
Final Word on this London Bucket List Review
Out of all of the destinations I have visited, London seems to be the most overwhelming and brimming with endless attractions and activities.
Even though I have lived there and visited several times while living in Cambridge, I find something new every time I visit London.
I hope that my review of London’s major attractions helped you truly conquer London!
There is no doubt in my mind that whatever earns its place on your travel bucket list will have earned its spot there and you will make lifelong memories checking it off!