If you’ve been wondering whether to visit the capital of the United Kingdom, get this:
London is worth visiting for its fantastic museums, world-class galleries, red phone booths, double-decker buses, and lush parks. Architecture fans will love the Shard, cultures vultures – the British Museum, nature enthusiasts – Hyde Park, and history admirers – the Buckingham Palace.
On this list, you’ll find 33 reasons to visit London. By the end of the guide, you’ll know why you should travel to the British capital.
Put on your virtual travel belts and let’s discover!
Note: This article contains affiliate links. In case you purchase something through one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost for you. Thank you for helping us keep creating the free content on this website!
Visit London for Its Breathtaking Landmarks
The British capital teems with famous attractions and historical edifices. Each of them tells a story of the rich past of the city. In this section, you’ll explore the top landmarks that make London worth visiting.
- Buckingham Palace. The most expensive residential building in the world is the administrative headquarters of the British monarch. The palatial complex boasts a whopping 775 rooms, while its garden is the largest private garden in London. On select days in winter and summer, you can visit the state rooms of Buckingham Palace. Check this link for the exact visitation dates.
- The Big Ben. This is the moniker for the Great Bell of the magnificent clock at the northern side of the Palace of Westminster. However, one of the craziest facts about London is that Big Ben most often refers to the whole clock tower. The new-Gothic edifice dates back to 1859. At that time, the building was the largest and most accurate four-faced clock worldwide.
- Westminster Abbey. One of London’s most famous religious temples is Westminster Abbey. The Gothic church hosts British monarchs’ coronations, weddings, and funerals. Established in 960, the abbey has witnessed 16 royal weddings and keeps the remains of over 3,300 famous people. Among those are actors, scientists, poets laureates, military leaders, 8 prime ministers, and 17 monarchs.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral. Among the most symbolic buildings in the British capital is St. Paul’s Cathedral. With its 365 ft. (111 m), the church was London’s tallest building from 1710 to 1963. After the Liverpool Cathedral, St. Paul’s is the second-largest cathedral in the U.K. Follow this link to secure your discounted entry tickets.
- Tower Bridge. The iconic landmark consists of two 213-ft. (65-m) tower bridges. At the upper level, they’re connected by two horizontal walkways. Every day, over 40,000 vehicles cross the 19th-century Tower Bridge. Ships pass through thanks to a pair of bascules that open in the center of the bridge.
- The Shard. London might teem with historical structures, but it has a contemporary side, too. The Shard is one such example. The futuristic edifice is U.K.’s tallest building. The panoramas from 1,016 ft. (309.6 m) above the ground are to die for. Interestingly, the country of Qatar owns 95% of the tower. Grab your skip-the-line ticket through this link and marvel at the gorgeous meanders of the River Thames from the 72nd floor.
Travel to London for the World-Class Museums
Besides Paris and New York, London is one of the world’s most popular cities for culture vultures. In the section below, you’ll discover the fantastic museums and galleries that make London worth visiting. The best part is that a lot of London’s top exhibition halls are free to visit.
Explore London for Its Gorgeous Markets
One of the best ways to get acquainted with the unique atmosphere of the U.K. capital is to visit its marketplaces. Dip yourself in a world of spices, flavors, and foods in the markets that make London so special.
- Camden Market. Over 250,000 visitors come to the three markets that comprise Camden Market every year. Camden High Streets is for T-shirts and trinkets. Camden Lock Market offers arts and crafts. Stables Market sells peculiar furniture and fetish clothing. The three markets stretch from Camden Town tube all the way to the Regent’s Canal.
- Broadway Market. Books and coffee, fresh flowers, organic groceries, vintage clothes, and quirky handmade gifts all try to grab your attention every Saturday at Broadway Market. Expect to rub shoulders with hipsters, artsy students, and creative types from East End. Don’t miss tasting the toothsome Yorkshire Burrito.
- Borough Market. In existence since 1014, Borough Market is very close to London Bridge. The marketplace is a foodie paradise where fish, fresh fruits, cured meats, and mouthwatering baked pastries invite you from every corner. Indulge in foodgasms from Monday to Saturday.
- Columbia Road Flower Market. This weekly Sunday flower market is a stone throw’s away from the artsy district of Shoreditch. Merchants sell bulbs, herbs, shrubs, bedding plants, and buckets of cut flowers. Arrive at 8:00 AM for the best selection, or around 3:00 PM for the best deals. Refuel your energy at one of the numerous cute cafés in the area.
- Greenwich Market. Historic Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also home to the funky Greenwich Market. More than 120 stalls offer you everything from art, clothes, and jewelry to gifts, crafts, and second-hand furniture. When you quench your bargain thirst, pop a beer in the nearby park and people-watch.
Travel to London to Get Lost in Its Verdant Parks
Visiting the city’s lush parks is one of the best free things to do in London. In the section below, you’ll discover the many parks that make London worth visiting.
- Hyde Park. The most famous park in the British capital is both huge and central. Over 4,000 trees and heaps of activities attract locals and tourists alike. In Hyde Park, you can chill, stroll, ride a bike, row a boat, or even go swimming in the Serpentine Lido. A few of the must-visit spots are the sylvan meadow, the lake with geese, the rose gardens, and Princess Diana’s memorial fountain.
- Green Park. The former hunting grounds became a public park in 1826. After a few hours of meandering around London’s landmarks, the popular stripy deckchairs of these lush gardens offer a great place for relaxation. Among the eight royal parks of London, Green Park is the only one in the shape of a lovely triangle of trees and grasslands.
- Greenwich Park. The oldest royal park in the capital provides you with jaw-dropping views over the River Thames and the City of London. It’s not uncommon to see a tiny herd of deer wandering Greenwich Park. In the former hunting grounds, you can also admire the Prime Meridian Line, Queen Elizabeth’s Oak, and the Royal Observatory.
- St. James’s Park. Three palaces surround St. James’s Park: Clarence House, Buckingham Palace, and St. James’s Palace. If you’re there around 2:30 PM, head to the lake to see the feeding of the pelicans. Peculiarly, the birds have lived in the park for almost 400 years.
Go to London for the Lip-smacking Foods and Drinks
After a tour of London’s parks, museums, and landmarks, it’s time to explore the foods and drinks that make London worth visiting. Let’s dive right in!
- The English breakfast. The typical English breakfast consists of eggs, bacon, sausages, black pudding, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, toast, and a caffeinated beverage of your choice – either tea or coffee. Almost every eatery serves this dish in London.
- Fish and chips. Probably the most popular British dish, fish and chips is a staple food in London. Nobody knows exactly who invented this culinary fusion of potato chips and fried fish in crispy batter. But it’s known that the two main components are from separate immigrant cultures. The original recipe also includes a side dish of mushy peas.
- Curry. This spicy dish might be originally from India, but it has turned into one of U.K.’s national dishes. The variations of curry are almost as many as the number of Indian restaurants. If you’re not a fan of chili food, make sure to ask for a milder version when ordering.
- Shepherd’s pie. Cooked minced meat and mashed potatoes join forces to create another food that London is famous for – Shepherd’s pie. The dish has numerous variations, but its main ingredients are red meat, onions in gravy, and a topping of mashed potatoes.
- London gin. The dry London gin emerged in the British capital in the 19th century. Before that, gin used to be sweet. The new spirit didn’t require any sweeteners to disguise its taste. Nowadays, London gin doesn’t have to stem from London. But it has to be prepared with natural botanicals like juniper.
- Beer. One of the things that make London worth visiting is its lip-smacking beer. Every bar in the city serves the golden beverage, and it comes in countless varieties. Before you order a few glasses of beer, bear in mind that the pint in the U.K. is larger than the pint in the U.S.
- Afternoon tea. English afternoon tea – or simply afternoon tea – typically blends teas from Africa, China, India, and Sri Lanka. These blends are traditionally lighter than their breakfast counterparts. The purpose is to complement, not mask the flavor of the afternoon tea meal.
Discover the Craziest Facts About London
The rich history of London overflows with peculiar things. Find the most bizarre facts that make London so popular with tourists in the following section.
- London outperforms both Mumbai and Delhi when it comes to Indian restaurants. In theory, every local restaurant in Delhi and Mumbai is an Indian restaurant. Even so, London beats both cities because it boasts over 10,000 curry houses. This means that if you dine at a different one every day, you’ll need more than 27 years to try them all.
- London is a forest. Downtown London might be full of skyscrapers, but that shouldn’t fool you. The capital of the U.K. is chock-full of lush parks and greenery. Actually, there are so many trees per square mile that the United Nations classified London as a forest. Do you know what’s even more interesting? The city even employs a Forestry Conservator.
- The city is a fox heaven. One of the craziest facts about London is that it’s home to 10,000+ foxes. But even that number doesn’t make the British capital the city with the largest concentration of city foxes. Bournemouth gets that title. Don’t worry about foxes, though. In general, they’ll back off when they see humans.
- More than 20 rivers flow under London’s streets. As the capital expanded, the city architects needed to allocate space for London’s thriving population. For that reason, they decided to bury the city’s marshlands, flowing into the River Thames, under London’s streets and houses. If you pass through Romford or Brentford underground stations, you might see where some rivers make it up to the surface.
- The U.K.’s tiniest city? London! See, when you refer to the British capital, that’s the City of London. The small city has a population of less than 10,000, but it employs more than 1 million people. The “real” city is the Greater London area, which includes surrounding towns and boasts a population of over 14 million.
Is London Worth Visiting? You’ve Just Learned the Answer
This ends our list of 33 cool reasons to visit London.
The megapolis packs a powerful punch of outstanding museums, historical landmarks, must-try foods, and opulent parks.
In addition, London is the best spot to marvel at royal buildings, taste an Indian curry, or bump into a fox.
So, if you’ve been wondering whether London is a good place to visit, we bet this article has already answered that question.
To help you make the best of your trip, check our guide with 44 London travel tips.
Now, we’re curious:
What do you think makes London so special?
Let us know in the comment section below.