One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, London is a must-see for lovers of history, architecture, and British culture.

Because it’s such a big city, visiting London can be overwhelming. To give you some guidance, we’ve put together this list of our favorite places to eat, drink, and see in the UK capital.

Neighborhoods and Where to Stay

  • Shoreditch – A hipster neighborhood with a younger crowd and vibe.
  • Hackney Wick – Home of the 2012 London Olympic Stadium, this neighborhood has a hipster/artist vibe.
  • King’s Cross – A great neighborhood if you want to be centrally located and near a rail hub (King’s Cross Station).
  • Soho – Centrally located and near most of the major tourist attractions (though it’s likely to be busier and pricier than some other neighborhoods).
  • Chelsea – If you’re looking for an upscale experience, this is the neighborhood to stay in (though expect to pay for the privilege).

Where to Eat

  • Borough Market – A large food market with lots of different options. One of our favorite places to eat in London (and be sure to check out The Rake, a craft beer bar located inside the market).
  • fish! – Located inside Borough Market, this restaurant serves fresh seafood in a variety of classic ways.
  • Brick Lane – A street full of superb Indian curry shops.
  • Franco Manca – Fresh brick oven pizza with a sourdough crust.
  • The V&A Garden Cafe – Lots of fresh options served salad bar style (think: salad bar at Whole Foods).
  • Hare & Tortoise – A solid place for cheap Asian food like sushi, noodles, and curry.
  • Mildreds – A super cute vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Soho.

Where to Drink

  • Attendant (Coffee) – A coffee shop and café located in a former public bathroom.
  • Beany Green (Coffee) – A coffee stand located near Liverpool Station. The best coffee Heather had in London.
  • Ye Olde Mitre (Bar) – Built in 1291, this bar is extremely difficult to find but worth the search. A classic London pub with a lot of history.
  • George Inn (Bar) – Another quintessential London pub built in the 17th century. A fun place to sit and have a pint.
  • The Craft Beer Co. (Bar) – If you’re looking to try UK craft beer, this is the place to go (though it can get a bit pricey).
  • Beavertown Brewery – One of Trav’s favorite craft breweries in the UK. Note that their taproom is only open Saturdays from 12–8 PM.

London Activities

  • Tate Modern – A Modern art gallery located along the River Thames. Plus, it’s free.
  • The National Gallery – Another free museum (most in London are) with a lot of iconic, famous art.
  • The British Museum – A massive, free museum with something for just about every taste (including stuff for kids).
  • Victoria & Albert Museum – We loved the textile and fashion exhibits, though the museum is a must-see for anyone interested in art or design.
  • The Globe Theatre – Shakespeare’s iconic theater transports you back to the 1600s. Cheap tickets are available (as long as you’re willing/able to stand for 2.5 hours), and the production value is amazing.
  • See a show in Soho – If you’re looking to see a more contemporary musical or play, then Soho is the place. Note that many of the theaters raffle off cheap tickets a few hours before the show, which can be a great way to see a big name play without breaking the bank.
  • Camden Market – A fun place to walk through and check out electric, weird shops.
  • Cyberdog – It’s worth popping into this shop to check out the futuristic clothing and rave outfits (even if that isn’t your scene).
  • The London Eye – Odds are you’ve seen pictures of this iconic Ferris wheel, and it remains a great way to take in views of London from above.
  • Westminster Abbey – Another London icon that’s worth a visit if you’re interested in history, Gothic architecture, and the British royal family.

Destination Map

Want to see all of our favorite London destinations on a map that you can access from your phone? We’ve pinned each location mentioned in this guide on the Google Map below:

Final Thoughts

We’ve been to London a few times now, and we’ve still barely scratched the surface of all the city has to offer.

We hope this travel guide will help you out on your London adventure. Cheers!

Prefer listening to reading? Check out the accompanying podcast episode.

If you’re traveling to London, we HIGHLY recommend getting travel insurance. We’ve used World Nomads since 2013 and love it. Click here to get World Nomads travel insurance – don’t leave home without it!

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