When it comes to looking for fun and interesting things to do in London, it’s not a case of ‘what’ to do, but more a case of where to start! London is a vibrant, exciting city that’s a wonderful mix of important historical monuments and the latest in technology, art and culture.
Our Life in London page provides an excellent overview of things to see and do, and here we discuss this in a bit more depth.
A good place to begin your discovery into some of the wealth of entertainment that London has to offer is to pick up a guidebook. Books such as Lonely Planet and the Rough Guide are a great place to start. But once you’re in London, there are some wonderful free publications that are published on a regular basis that tell you what’s happening in the next few days and weeks.
Probably the best known of these is Time Out Magazine. This can be picked up at one of the Tube (Underground) or train stations, or at the newsstands found all over the city.
The national papers also have listings, such as The Times, The Guardian and The Daily Mail. Another great free resource is the daily paper, The Evening Standard, that’s available all over London. It’s published and available in the afternoon each weekday.
Things to see and do
There are Tourist Information centres all over London, and the City of London Information Centre is a good place to get an overview.
When it comes to some of the must-see sights, then you’ll probably want to visit such famous landmarks as The Houses of Parliament, and some of the well-known palaces such as The Tower of London, Hampton Court, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. Information for all of these can be found at www.hrp.org.uk.
London is home to many fascinating museums. Most offer free admission, although you might have to pay for various exhibitions that might showing for a limited period of time. Some of the major museums include The British Museum, the Science Museum, The V&A Museum and the Natural History Museum.
If art and culture is your thing, then you’ll be delighted to know that you’re going to be spoilt for choice in London. Galleries such as The Tate Modern, The National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery are three of the best known. However, there are many, many others, each specialising in various forms of art.
London is one of the epicentres of music in the world. From folk to pop, classical to hip-hop, you really will be spoilt for choice. Even simply walking the streets you can hear talent, with buskers at stations, in places like Covent Garden and all over the city serenading you as you go about your daily life.
World famous names play at venues such as the O2 arena, and Wembley Stadium, each hosting regular concerts throughout the year. Details of upcoming bands and other acts can be found on ticket exchange websites where it’s also possible to purchase tickets online.
But you don’t need to shell out big bucks to hear fantastic live music, as many unknown (but nonetheless extremely talented) musicians play gigs at pubs all across the city. In fact, some of the best nights out can be had by simply stumbling across a live act playing in a pub you’ve visited for a drink after work, or to meet up with friends. That’s one of the great advantages of living in a city such as London.
There are plenty of other music clubs that a simple Google search will bring up. And if you’re searching for opera or classical music venues, then the Royal Albert Hall or the National Opera House websites have detailed information about upcoming performances.
The pub culture
We couldn’t have a guide about things to do in London without mentioning the iconic institution that is the British Pub. And London boasts some wonderful ones. Whether you’re looking for a ‘gastro pub’ that offers excellent dining, or an original ‘spit and sawdust’ pub where locals gather for a gossip after work, then you really will be spoilt for choice. The Good Pub Guide has listings of the best in London and throughout the country.
Going to the theatre in London is an experience not to be missed. From rocking musicals to Shakespeare, serious drama to comedy, there honestly is something for everyone. The Official London Theatre Guide offers show listings, ticket sales and special offers. And for an insider tip, check out www.lastminute.com for hugely discounted tickets for performances coming up in the next few days.
One of the best current deals is the Cineworld unlimited card. For a fee of around £16 per month, you can watch unlimited films at your nominated cinema. And that really is unlimited – you can go every day if you chose (or more than once a day if you’re a real film buff…). This can offer phenomenal savings, as tickets at peak times for a single show are close to £10, so you only need see two films a month to benefit.
We’ve only scraped the surface as to things to do in London. Other great ideas are the many festivals and exhibitions throughout the year, such as the renowned Notting Hill Carnival or the Chelsea Flower Show are events that people travel from all over the world to visit. And for you, living in London, they’re right on your doorstep. One superb, and free, way to know what’s coming up in London is to keep an eye out for advertisements on the London Buses, London Underground and on billboards around the city.
And for details about restaurants and eating out, take a look at our Food in London page. All the information provided on the MovingtoLondon.net is constantly updated, meaning that you can browsein confidence, knowing that everything you see is current and up to date. We know from personal experience how frustrating it can be to search out information on the Internet, only to discover that it’s out of date. And the more you discover about life in London now, the easier the transition to living in this buzzing metropolis will be.