Whenever people I know are planning to visit London or they are just curious about my favorite attractions over there - I can never say JUST one. There is so much to London that I don't even believe I was able to see all of it and I spent an entire year there.
This list that I've compiled for you is just a comprehensive, tourist list of attractions to see while you are in London. There are quite a few other boroughs and quirky places to visit while you are there BUT if you are only in the city for a week or less - this ultimate London Bucket List will give you a good start! Find cheap, roundtrip flights from the US to London via Skyscanner.
1. Big Ben
Big Ben is an iconic part of London and something most people first think of when they visit this beautiful city. I've walked across Westminster bridge too many times to count by now and the view of Ben never gets old. It never tires. You will want to stop by and see it as much as possible on your trip. *Side note, Big Ben is actually called the Elizabeth Tower and Ben is the name of the great bell inside.*
2. London Eye
The London Eye is one of my favorite parts of London because of how lit up it is at night! I actually never rode it while I was in London (just because I thought it was a tourist trap) but boy did I love seeing it at Christmas time. If you're near the London Eye, there are several little eateries and pubs that will give you the best view of the Eye and Big Ben. So, if you don't want to ride the Eye you can at least enjoy it's beauty!
3. Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is absolutely gorgeous. I was able to see it during the light show in January and I didn't want to leave! Absolutely a must see and BONUS this is where every royal gets married!
3. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace isn't the MOST beautiful Palace I've ever seen but who is in it and what I've seen there have been some of my favorite memories. I went to the Queen's 90th Birthday Parade this past summer and it was unreal. I got quite a few shots of the royal family and Kate Middleton *who I adore* and it was amazing. Definitely a must see for any tourist.
4. Hyde Park
While in London, be sure to rent a bike and take a ride through Hyde Park. It has several beautiful statues and ponds and let's not forget - Kensington Palace! Home to Will & Kate. Hyde Park is absolutely gorgeous during the Autumn season - so if you are there during this time, you're in for a real treat.
5. St. James Park
I walked through St. James Park several times while I lived in London. Next to Hyde Park, it's one of my favorite parks and always has something going on. It's also not THAT far of a walk from Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square! Again, really beautiful during the Autumn season - so be sure and check it out.
6. Covent Garden
I would highly recommend checking out Covent Garden while you are in London and ESPECIALLY around the holidays. This place lights up like no other and it's absolutely gorgeous. It's basically an outdoor mall and has a few places to eat as well. I had Shake Shack here for the first time and it really is great! Be sure and stop by while in London.
Shoreditch is definitely one of my favorite parts of London, period. It's eclectic and has a retro sense to it. It's also super hipster but I couldn't love it more. While there - check out Dinerama - get the wings & fries. It's a lot of outdoor food places and a pub basically. It's FREE to get in before 7pm so check it out!
8. Tower Bridge
For the longest time, I thought Tower Bridge WAS London Bridge and it. is. not. REMEMBER THAT. When you visit London, you want to see TOWER Bridge not LONDON Bridge. Your google maps will take you to a different bridge if you type that in - so don't make that mistake. Tower Bridge is super neat though because you can do a skywalk and it's just beautifully made. Be sure and walk across it while you're there & on your way to Tower of London!
9. Tower of London
I never went into the Tower of London but I heard for history buffs it's amazing! IF you check it out - comment below with a picture & what you thought!
10. The Shard
There are three places in London that are known to give you spectacular views: The Shard, the Sky Garden and the London Eye. I didn't go up the Shard but I did see it from the Sky Garden (which I'll discuss next) and it is pretty great! Normally, the Shard has a really long line and is kind of expensive (to me) so just pick and choose what you do according to your budget!
11. Sky Garden
The Sky Garden is FREE. Yes, FREE!! If you plan ahead and want to see some really great views- I highly, highly recommend it. Check a month before you leave and see if they have availabilities and if it's not open - just keep checking! We had a coffee there but a lot of people were having drinks and just really soaking in the views.
12. Camden Town
Listen, Camden Town is a MUST SEE when you are in London. It has this weird, eclectic, awkward vibe going on and I couldn't love it more. They have a really great market with tons of shirts and goodies as well as an AMAZING food market - I'm serious, it's so good. BUT most importantly, for tourist, buy your souvenirs HERE - they are so much cheaper!! Honestly, you can get stuff for under £1 sometimes - so check it out!
13. Oxford Street
Oxford Street is where you go to shop. It has every shop and every designer you could possibly want. So, if you're a shopaholic or want to see what London has to offer - check it out. It's also really gorgeous during Christmas time so if you are there during this time - prepare to be amazed!
14. Piccadilly Circus
Honestly, Piccadilly Circus is just a miniature Times Square BUT it's something every tourist should see just because it's typical London.
15. Leicester Square
Leicester Square is where they have all the HUGE movie premiers and there is a large M&M's store there. Also, the light show that happens every January takes over Leicester Square and it becomes a wonderland. I would recommend checking it out and seeing what it has to offer while you're there. It's also right next to China Town - which I HIGHLY recommend!
16. Ride a Double Decker
I don't even know how many double deckers I rode while I was in London because it became a part of my every day life - but - when I moved there I was excited to finally ride one! So, take a ride on one and see where it takes you. Bonus! They are cheaper than the trains/underground - only £1.50!
17. Take pics w/a Guard
I never took a picture with a guard like some of my other friends did but I took pictures of them. That counts, right?
18. All the food markets
I don't really need to go into detail here because the picture speaks for itself. Just go to all the food markets - they are really great and absolutely amazing, amazing food. Reference the donuts above!
19. Trafalgar Square
I had seen Trafalgar Square in so many movies and I thought, "wow, London is busy!" It is so, so true to London: fast moving & never ending. It also has a pretty sick view of Big Ben that I still can't get over. Check it out and have a picnic while you are there! Everyone else does it.
Below you will find an image and a download link to the London Bucket List PDF file. I hope that this will give you a good springboard to exploring London and that you fall in love with London like I did! Please don't hesitate to email me or message me on social media regarding any questions or recommendations you might have during your travels in London.
I hope you've added everything to your bucket list for London and are ready to explore the amazing city that it is! Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions you might have - happy to help!