things to do in london for the weekend

Last Updated on: 3rd July 2024, 11:54 am

Hello, I’m excited to introduce you to a guide that will help you make the most of your weekend in London. As a city that enthralls its visitors with endless wonders, London offers numerous things to do in London for the weekend, so buckle up and let’s go!

In this guide, we will walk through London’s captivating landmarks, cultural experiences, hidden gems, shopping and dining opportunities, relaxation and wellness activities, and much more. Whether you are a Londoner or a tourist, this city has everything to thrill you from sunrise to sunset. Planning a weekend in London? Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s always something exciting to do. For those on a budget, check out our guide on free things to do in London.

Things to do in London for the Weekend

1. Explore Iconic Landmarks and Attractions

If you’re visiting London, you can’t miss its iconic landmarks and attractions. These famous sites are not only picturesque but also carry significant historical and cultural value.

First on the list is the Tower of London, a medieval fortress and palace that has served various purposes throughout history. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses the Crown Jewels of the British monarchy.

Another must-see attraction is the London Eye. This Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames offers breathtaking views of the city’s skyline. You can book a private capsule or join a shared ride to enjoy the panorama.

To dive deep into the city’s history, visit the British Museum, which boasts an extensive collection of artifacts from around the world. The museum holds world-famous exhibits like the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles.

For a more relaxed activity, take a leisurely stroll along the Thames. You can enjoy a scenic view of the river and catch glimpses of iconic landmarks like the Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. South Kensington is home to some of London’s best museums and galleries. Explore our recommendations for things to do in South Kensington.

Top 5 Iconic Landmarks and Attractions

Attraction Description
Tower of London A historic fortress, palace, and jewel house that used to be a prison.
London Eye A giant Ferris wheel with enclosed capsules that offer panoramic views of London.
British Museum A world-renowned museum housing cultural and historical artifacts from around the world.
Buckingham Palace The official residence of the monarch, featuring opulent state rooms and the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony.
St. Paul’s Cathedral A magnificent Anglican church built in the 17th century, famous for its dome and intricate mosaics.

These are just a few of the iconic landmarks and attractions that London has to offer. Don’t miss the chance to see them all and immerse yourself in the city’s history and culture!

2. Discover Hidden Gems in London

Beyond the well-known attractions, London has a plethora of hidden gems waiting to be explored and discovered. Some of my favourite areas to visit include:

Notting Hill

Notting Hill is a charming neighbourhood known for its colourful houses, bustling markets and independent shops. The famous Portobello Road Market is a must-visit, offering a unique mix of antiques, fashion and street food. Wander through the picturesque streets and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic area.

Camden Town

Camden Town is a hub of creativity and has a distinctive alternative vibe. Explore the eclectic markets selling everything from vintage clothes to handmade crafts, and sample the delicious street food from around the world. Check out the iconic music venues, such as the Camden Roundhouse, where many famous musicians have performed over the years.

hidden gems in London

“Notting Hill and Camden Town are two of my favourite hidden gems in London. They offer unique and authentic experiences that showcase the city’s diversity and liveliness.”

Each neighborhood in London offers its own unique charm and attractions. Don’t miss the trendy shops and beautiful streets of Chelsea.

3. Indulge in Shopping and Dining Experiences

London is a shopper’s paradise, with a variety of retail options to suit every taste. Whether you’re searching for designer brands or unique finds, the city offers an exceptional shopping experience. Head over to Mayfair to browse high-end boutiques such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton. For a more quirky shopping experience, explore the independent stores and market stalls in Covent Garden. Don’t miss out on the delicious food options that London has to offer. Sample traditional British fare at a gastropub like the Golden Bee, or experiment with international cuisine at BaoziInn, known for their mouth-watering dim sum.

“I love exploring the different markets in London. You never know what you’ll find, but you’re guaranteed to come across something unique and exciting.”

London is renowned for its diverse culinary scene, reflecting the city’s multiculturalism. For an extraordinary dining experience, book a table at Hakkasan in Mayfair, a Michelin-starred restaurant specializing in contemporary Cantonese cuisine. If street food is your thing, head over to Borough Market, where you can taste a range of delicious foods from around the world.

Shopping and Dining Highlights

Area Shop Restaurant
Mayfair Burberry Hakkasan
Covent Garden The Tea House BaoziInn
Borough Market Nana Fanny’s The Wright Brothers

London’s shopping and dining experiences are not to be missed during your visit. Make sure to experience the vibrant culture and tastes of the city firsthand. For those who enjoy shopping and dining, London Bridge offers a variety of options, from boutique shops to gourmet restaurants.

4. Immerse Yourself in Art and Culture

London is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and is home to some of the world’s most esteemed museums, galleries, and theaters. Whether it’s exploring contemporary art at the Tate Modern or witnessing a captivating performance in the West End, spending your weekend immersed in art and culture is a must.

One of my personal favorites is the British Museum, which houses an extraordinary collection of artifacts spanning thousands of years of human history. You can explore exhibits showcasing ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as learn about cultures from around the world.

For art enthusiasts, the National Gallery is another must-visit destination. The gallery has a vast collection of European paintings from the 13th century to the 19th century, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and Rembrandt. It’s a feast for the eyes that promises to leave you in awe of the world’s greatest artists.

Museum/Gallery/Theater Location Special Exhibit
Tate Modern Bankside The EY Exhibition: The Making of Rodin
British Museum Bloomsbury The Silk Road: A Living History
National Gallery Trafalgar Square Artemisia
Royal Opera House Covent Garden The Nutcracker

If you’re in the mood for a play or a musical, head to the West End, which is known for its fantastic theater scene. With shows such as The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables running for decades, there’s no shortage of options. If you prefer something more contemporary, there are several smaller theaters and fringe venues across the city that showcase up-and-coming talent.

London’s art and culture scene is truly unparalleled. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the city’s rich cultural tapestry during your weekend visit. Covent Garden is a cultural hub with theaters, markets, and street performances. Learn more about things to do in Covent Garden.

Art and Culture

5. Enjoy Outdoor Activities and Parks

London is one of the greenest cities in the world, with an abundance of parks and gardens to explore. During your weekend getaway, make sure to take advantage of the city’s outdoor spaces.

Hyde Park

One of the most famous parks in London is Hyde Park, located in the heart of the city. This expansive park is perfect for a leisurely stroll, a picnic or renting a paddle boat on the Serpentine Lake. Visitors can also take part in a variety of outdoor sports activities such as tennis, horse-riding, and even open water swimming during the summer months.

Regent’s Park

Another popular park in London is Regent’s Park, known for its stunning gardens and views over the city. Visitors can enjoy a picnic on the lawns, explore the Queen Mary’s Rose Garden or take a boat ride on the lake. The park also has open-air theater productions during the summer months.

Richmond Park

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, Richmond Park is the perfect destination. This park is home to ancient oak trees, herds of deer and numerous walking, and cycling paths. Visitors can rent a bike and explore the park or join one of the guided nature walks.

Activity Park
Picnicking All parks
Walking All parks
Cycling Regent’s Park, Richmond Park
Boat rides Hyde Park, Regent’s Park
Horse-riding Hyde Park
Tennis Hyde Park

Each park offers its unique set of outdoor activities and is worth a visit. With plenty of wide-open spaces, greenery, and tranquil ambiance, make sure to include at least one park visit in your itinerary to relax and enjoy the city’s natural beauty.

6. Experience London’s Vibrant Nightlife

As the sun sets, London reveals its lively nightlife scene. With an array of bars, clubs, and late-night restaurants, the city offers limitless opportunities for an unforgettable night out. From trendy cocktail bars in Shoreditch to world-renowned clubs in Soho, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The city’s energetic atmosphere will keep you entertained all night long and leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Dance the night away at Fabric, a legendary underground club, or listen to live music at The Jazz Cafe in Camden. For a more exclusive experience, visit the private members’ club, The Arts Club, in Mayfair.

If you prefer a more laidback evening, unwind with a drink at one of London’s many rooftop bars. Sip a cocktail while taking in the breathtaking views at Sky Garden or enjoy a cold beer at the Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop bar in trendy Shoreditch.

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” – Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson was right – London is a city that never sleeps, and its vibrant nightlife is a testament to that. Make the most of your weekend in London by experiencing its exciting after-dark scene. Soho is known for its vibrant nightlife and eclectic entertainment options. Check out our guide to things to do in Soho.

7. Attend Events and Festivals

London buzzes with energy and creativity throughout the year, showcasing a diverse cultural scene, punctuated by a wide range of events and festivals. Music lovers can indulge in the eclectic atmosphere of Wireless Festival or immerse in the classical sounds of Proms in the Park. Carnivals such as the Notting Hill Carnival or the vibrant Chinese New Year celebrations showcase London’s diversity and buzz with life, color, and excitement. These events provide an excellent opportunity to experience the city’s culture and meet new people, making them a must-visit to complete your London weekend experience.

London’s calendar is always full of engaging and fun activities. Check out the official Visit London website for the latest events schedule, and plan your weekend accordingly. Whether you’re a music lover, a foodie, or just looking for some fun, there’s an event or a festival for you. Indulge in the city’s vibrant atmosphere and explore its rich culture through its festivals and events.

8. Explore Day Trips from London

Looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of London? Why not take a day trip to some nearby destinations for a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air.

Windsor Castle

Located just 30 minutes outside of London, Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Explore the lavish State Apartments and St George’s Chapel, take a tour of the castle grounds or watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

day trips from London

Oxford

The charming university city of Oxford is just an hour’s train ride from London. Known as the “City of Dreaming Spires,” Oxford boasts stunning architecture and rich history. Take a tour of the iconic Oxford University, wander through the Botanic Gardens or visit the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology.

Stonehenge

Experience the mystery and wonder of Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument located in Salisbury. Just a two-hour train journey from London, Stonehenge offers a glimpse into the ancient world and is truly a sight to behold.

Canterbury

Explore the idyllic town of Canterbury, famous for its stunning cathedral and medieval architecture. Take a stroll along the River Stour or enjoy the local cuisine at one of the town’s many restaurants. Canterbury is just a one-hour train ride from London.

Bath

Discover the beauty of the spa town of Bath, located just 90 minutes outside of London. Take a dip in the natural hot springs at the Thermae Bath spa or indulge in a spot of shopping at the Bath Christmas Market. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Roman Baths while you’re there.

These day trips from London offer the perfect opportunity to take a break from the city and explore the stunning destinations just outside of its reach. Choose your favourite and start planning your adventure today!

9. Enjoy Relaxation and Wellness Activities

After a busy week, it’s time to unwind and practise some self-care. Luckily, London is the perfect place to indulge in relaxation and wellness activities.

Begin your day with a calming yoga session at Triyoga in Camden or take a dip in the luxurious pool at The Ned in the City. Treat yourself to a rejuvenating massage at the award-winning Bamford Haybarn Spa in Mayfair or indulge in a Hammam treatment at the Agua Spa in Southwark.

If you prefer the outdoors, head over to Hampstead Heath for a peaceful walk in the park. Take some quiet time to reflect in the serene Japanese Garden at Holland Park. Take in the beautiful sights and sounds of nature while unwinding from the stresses of city life.

Whatever your preference, London has something to offer for everyone seeking relaxation and wellness activities. Take the time to recharge during your weekend getaway and return home feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Conclusion: Things to Do in London for the Weekend

As I conclude this guide, I hope you now have a comprehensive list of things to do in London for the weekend. The city has a lot to offer, and it’s up to you to choose what tickles your fancy. Whether you’re interested in exploring iconic landmarks and attractions, discovering hidden gems, indulging in shopping and dining experiences, immersing yourself in art and culture, enjoying outdoor activities and parks, experiencing London’s vibrant nightlife, attending events and festivals, exploring day trips from London, or enjoying relaxation and wellness activities, there’s something for everyone.

Remember to plan your itinerary, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable experience in London. Don’t forget to use our SEO relevant keywords – things to do in London for the weekend – to search for more information about each activity. Have a great weekend!

FAQ

What are some iconic landmarks and attractions to visit in London?

London is home to a range of iconic landmarks and attractions, such as the Tower of London, the London Eye, and the British Museum. These sites offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture. Don’t forget to explore the scenic beauty along the Thames and enjoy the stunning views.

Are there any hidden gems in London worth visiting?

Absolutely! Beyond the well-known attractions, London is filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Notting Hill, with its colorful houses and vibrant Portobello Road Market, is a must-visit. Camden Town, known for its alternative scene and bustling markets, offers a unique experience. Explore these neighborhoods for a taste of local culture.

Where can I enjoy shopping and dining experiences in London?

London is a paradise for shoppers and food enthusiasts. From high-end boutiques in Mayfair to quirky independent stores in Covent Garden, there’s something to suit every taste. And when it comes to dining, the city offers a diverse culinary scene, from traditional British pubs to international cuisine from around the world.

What art and culture experiences can I enjoy in London?

London is renowned for its world-class museums, galleries, and theaters. The Tate Modern houses contemporary art masterpieces, while the West End offers a wide range of theater shows. Immerse yourself in the city’s cultural heritage by visiting these institutions and taking part in art and entertainment events.

What outdoor activities and parks can I enjoy in London?

London’s parks and green spaces provide a wonderful escape from city life. Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, and Richmond Park are great options for walks, picnics, and bike rides. Take advantage of the city’s natural beauty and enjoy outdoor activities during your weekend in London.

What is the nightlife like in London?

London’s nightlife is vibrant and diverse, offering something for everyone. From trendy cocktail bars in Shoreditch to world-renowned clubs in Soho, there are plenty of options to dance the night away or simply unwind with a drink. Experience the energetic atmosphere of London’s nightlife scene.

Are there any events and festivals happening in London?

London hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. From music festivals like Wireless and the Proms in the Park to cultural celebrations like Notting Hill Carnival, there’s always something happening. Check the calendar to see if any events coincide with your weekend plans.

Can I take day trips from London?

Absolutely! If you have more time, consider exploring the stunning destinations just outside of London. Visit Windsor Castle for a glimpse into royal life, or venture further to Oxford, a charming university city. These day trips offer a change of scenery and a chance to experience the beauty of the English countryside.

Can I enjoy relaxation and wellness activities in London?

Yes, London offers a range of relaxation and wellness activities. Treat yourself to a spa retreat, join a yoga class, or simply spend some quiet time in one of the city’s tranquil parks. Take a break from the hustle and bustle and prioritize self-care during your weekend getaway.

What can I expect from a weekend in London?

A weekend in London promises an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nightlife, or simply enjoying the beauty of the city, there’s something for everyone. Plan your itinerary, pack your bags, and get ready to create wonderful memories in London.