As someone who’s a huge anglophile and has been to London more times than I care to count let me be the first to say no-one is an expert on London. That city is massive and beautiful and there’s no way in hell you can explore all of in a span of a week or 2. The first time I went I had a full month and that wasn’t enough. So I came back again and again, and each time there’s something new to see or something I missed last time or something I didn’t get to do before. I have friends who have been living in London for years and they still say they haven’t explored London to the fullest. So my best advice would be to make a list of things you want to see, ask friends who’ve been what was their favorite, and when you’re there – ask locals for recommendations. And even after that, you’ll probably experience FOMO because there’s just so much to explore and never enough time. But here are some London tourist destinations that are so good even the locals love them.
1. Kensington Palace Orangery
You gotta start classy. London isn’t all about high tea and snooty royal traditions at all, but it’s part of their history and tradition and honestly just for the sake of feeling like you’re in a period drama you have to experience it at least once. Go, have high tea, feel fancy and enjoy the traditional aspects of being in London. It’s beautiful inside and out and the cakes are truly delicious.
2. Portobello Road
It’s not just for tourists, you know? Portobello is a beautiful, colorful and unique street in London, and if you catch the market at Portobello Road – you’re a lucky person. This is the place where you will see and be able to buy everything from food to the most unique pieces of art ranging from stunning to absurd. Even locals come here to grab some awesome vintage trinkets.
3. The Natural History Museum
It’s one of those things you might dismiss because you might think that museums are boring and what could possibly impress you when it comes to natural history right? Well, you’d be wrong. The building itself is absolutely gorgeous, the architecture alone is enough of a reason to go. And it’s free.
4. Brick Lane
If you want to taste some authentic London food you have to go to Brick Lane. And we’re not talking something fancy you’d expect the Queen to serve for dinner, no, we’re talking street food and the best curries in London. It’s incredible and delicious and while it might sound weird to say that curries are an English classic, but they really have made it a staple of their takeaway.
5. Mercato Mayfair Food Court
Speaking of unusual things you can come across in London. If you want your mind to be blown and you don’t consider yourself to be a hugely religious person – go to Mercato Mayfair food hall. It’s a church that has been converted into a food hall. You can have a meal, meet up with friends for coffee and even have a drink here, yet it still looks very much like a church.
6. Regent’s Canal
Whether you’re looking for a chill place for a date, a nice boat ride or a lovely pub to go to on a summer evening – Regent’s Canal is a winner either way. It’s a lovely place and it passes through quite a large portion of London. I would personally recommend the part of it that’s in
Camden for a maximum summer night out vibes.
7. Alexandra Palace
Few people get to North London on their first trip but we encourage you to try and go to Alexandra Palace. Especially if you’re in London in the summer. It’s beautiful, it’s a great location for a picnic and the view is pretty stunning if I do say so myself.
8. Primrose Hill
This is another great spot for a picnic or just a nice destination to have a walk with a friend, sit down on the grassy hill and look at the view of London while enjoying a nice chat. And it’s actually quite a popular location for locals, even celebrities enjoy a nice day out on Primrose Hill, so there’s a chance you might run into someone you’ve seen on the telly.
9. The Monument
Few people know this, but you can actually climb the monument. It’s a relatively cheap thing to do and you get a spectacular view from the top and a certificate at the end. Plus you get to tell the story to all your friends and hear “omg really? I didn’t know you could climb it”.
10. Sky Garden
It’s a unique space on the top of the building that’s a mix of an indoor garden and a restaurant that offers truly amazing views of London, while also being pretty freaking gorgeous on the inside too. The entrance is free but you do have to book a ticket to get a timeslot, after all, it’s a building and space is limited.
11. Camden Market
Camden Market is one of those places you will either love or hate. It gets crowded and loud but it’s the best place to buy a gothic dress, some cyberpunk stuff, a pair of Dr.Martens, cheap vinyl records, and have some pretty spectacular food. And the amount of vegan options here is honestly kind of overwhelming in the best way possible.
12. The Royal Courts Of Justice
You might be thinking “A court? Really?”. But you’re a bit of a geek you will love this. The court is open to the public and you can plan a visit, but you have to book in advance and you will need to pass the security which is very similar to what you go through at the airport. But it’s worth it. The Royal Court of Justice is absolutely stunning on the inside, it feels and looks like Hogwarts, some parts of it are giving off straight up Slytherin vibes and you get to sit in on actual real court cases.