London is a metropolis to well over 8 million people and features several famous landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Greenwich, Tower of London, and more. While it is a fantastic place to visit with friends, you can certainly engage in these popular things to do in London by yourself.
No matter if you are visiting the capital of England for a few days or are a local eager to explore something new that the city has to offer, London provides many thrilling solo adventures.
What to do in London alone?
If you are new to solo travel, you might be wondering what to do in London alone.
Firstly, the English capital is certainly one of the safest destinations for a solo travelers. Just practice the usual precautions against petty crime and remain self-aware with the surroundings.
Secondly, London is a popular tourist destination with good tourist infrastructure. This means you will be able to find help or companionship easily. Guided tours and popular activities are great ways to meet other travelers as well.
Traveling in London alone can be still an unforgettable and rewarding experience. In fact, some of the activities might be better done alone at your own pace and leisure.
Before looking at the best things to alone in London, take note of the availability of city passes.
Tourist and city passes are common in Europe’s popular tourist destinations.
London is one of the most important financial centers in the world, and is an expensive destination. When planning a trip, consider if the tourist pass will help to save cost for your itinerary.
- The London Pass. It gives you free entry to 80 popular attractions and guided tours. Prices start from 80€+ for a one-day pass and go up to 250€ for a ten-day card. Public transportation is not included in the price.
- London Explorer Pass. This is a more flexible pass where you can customise based on your budget and itinerary. You choose entry into 2 to 7 attractions from a selection of over 50 monuments, tours, cruises, dining experiences and more.
- Oyster Travelcard. This card enables you to use all forms of public transport in London, and the prices start from 12€ for a 24-hour duration and go up to 60€ for a ten-day duration card.
Popular Things to do in London
London is a beautiful city that offers several exciting activities and engaging places to visit for solo travelers.
Visit flavor town at street food markets
Being an international city, there are unlimited options for some of the best cuisine in London. Some of London’s best foods are discovered in street food markets. Not only are these savory treats budget-friendly, but they introduce delicious flavors from all over the world.
In the mood for Chinese? How about Mexican or Greek food? From classics such as Borough Market to modern-day treasures such as Maltby Street Market, no one leaves with an empty stomach.
These vibrant and lively markets deliver flavorful experiences that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Don’t forget to check out the famous food in london.
Tour The British Museum
London houses at least 170 museums across the city. Don’t be surprised if there is a museum every couple of miles. The British Museum is the world’s first national public museum.
Known for bringing communities of all backgrounds together in harmony, The British Museum provides an exceptional experience for its visitors in an elegant, memorable way. The place is huge and there are many exhibits of different genre and themes to see.
A trip to the museum is one of the best things to do alone in London alone. Take your time browsing the various exhibitions and art galleries at your own pace.
Admission is free, and their opening hours are Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. However, they do stop accepting new entries at 3:30 pm.
The National Gallery and Trafalgar Square
If art is your thing, you want to continue your museum adventure at The National Gallery. Located right at the bustling and grand Trafalgar Square, this art museum features master artworks from centuries of European history.
The exhibition also changes periodically, meaning you can always visit again for new works on display. Admission is free and gives you access to the free exhibitions. Sometimes there will also be exclusive galleries where you need to purchase a ticket for access.
This area is also where you will find some of the most famous landmarks in London.
Reach new heights at Tower of London
Explore one of London’s most iconic landmarks, the Tower of London. It is not uncommon for large tour groups and school field trips to visit, so I recommend going earlier in the day.
Arrive at opening time to avoid the crowds. This should give you at least a solid hour to yourself before it starts to fill with other eager visitors. Find out these fun facts about London before you visit.
The Tower of London is open during the Summer and Winter seasons. Expect to hang around for up to 3 to 4 hours, learning about the city’s beautiful history. Visiting the stone fortress paired with a unique history lesson is a great thing to do in London by yourself.
Changing of Guards at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is one of London’s most renowned and historical landmarks. A visit to this fancy fortress shares a sense of the royal family from the inside when visiting Buckingham Palace.
This elaborately designed household features over 700 rooms, including State Rooms, the Throne room, and a Grand Staircase. The Buckingham Palace is also a residence for the Queen, among a few other locations. Tours typically occur between July and September, and can last up to 2.5 hours.
It’s important to note the Guard Mounting, also known as Changing the Guard. This is when The Queen’s Guard transfers responsibility to the New Guard. The ceremony occurs only on select days (typically Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays) starting from 10:45 am and can usually last up to 45 minutes. The days and times are subject to change, so be sure to check the schedules prior.
Try to arrive at least 30 minutes early to get a good spot. A trip to this grand location is one of the most popular things to do in London.
It is critical to steer clear of the direct path of these guards as their role in protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James Palace is essential. The event is completely free to watch.
Have a celebratory drink at The Gunners Pub
The Gunners Pub is a local favorite for embracing soccer games. Arsenal fans especially claim home to this pub where dozens of fans gather to honor the Arsenal football team and cheer on their favorite players.
The pub is fully outfitted with Arsenal-themed merchandise to keep the spirits high and promote a celebratory atmosphere. Whether you’re into soccer or look for a quick pit stop for a cold beer, The Gunners Pub is filled with like-minded individuals looking to have a fun time and meet new people. In the evenings, you’ll often find local live bands jazzing up the place with trendy tunes.
On match days, you can usually find good crowds at any sports pubs immersing in the EPL matches. Bonding over sports is the best way to meet new people as I discovered during my trip to the World Cup.
A trip to the River Thames and London Eye
The Millennium Wheel is also known as the London Eye on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. Reaching up to 135 meters tall, it offers one of London’s highest vantage points of the city.
Standard admission start from about $30 per person with the option to bundle attractions at a discounted rate. Enjoy the London Eye from a River Cruise that takes you along the famous River Thames with the perfect view of the London Eye.
There are multiple options from evening cruises to some with meals included. One of the most popular option is the hop-on-hop-off cruise, so you can use the waterway as transportation around the city as well.
That said, you don’t have to spend a penny to enjoy this area either. The riverside makes for a calm, reflective walk when traveling alone in London. Simply soak in the atmosphere, and marvel at the impressive bridges and London Eye by the water.
London weather can be unpredictable, so regardless of what time of day you decide to visit, it’s recommended to bring a thin sweater. Any time is perfect for a visit to the River Thames, but seeing the London Eye lit up at night is especially beautiful.
Make a day of exploring Downton Abbey
If you are a sucker for classic British television shows, then you are probably familiar with the global hit TV series Downton Abbey. A tour of the top filming sites used in the famous series enables you to experience the life of aristocrats.
There are various tour options catering to curious visitors sets the tone for Downton Abbey fans to geek out together. If you are a fan, this can be one of the best things to do in London by yourself and meet new friends who shares the same interest.
Check out Spitalfields Market
Home to dozens of restaurants, retailers, stalls, and street food traders, a trip to Old Spitalfields Market makes for the perfect fulfilling solo experience.
Whether you are an avid foodie, music or art lover, or perhaps an antique collector, the market frequently hosts various workshops and engaging activities that inspire and excite. Typically, you’ll find vendors who offer music lessons, yoga classes, and art workshops for the artists in all of us.
After the activities, stop by one of the tasty street food vendors. For a nice drink, Chai Guys offer some of the best Chai tea flavors.
Soak in the bustle at Piccadilly Circus
Sitting right in the center of London, Piccadilly Circus is like the Times Square in New York. Neon, huge and bright digital displays surround you as you look all around. It is always busy with people and traffic.
Unsurprisingly, the surrounding areas (Coventry, Regent, Piccadilly Streets) make a great entertainment and shopping district. There are lots of restaurants, retail shops and theatres around the area.
Along Piccadilly, you can find the largest Waterstones bookstore. Spanning 8 stories high, this is the largest bookstore in Europe. Bookworms will certainly find this one of the most enjoyable things to do alone in London.
The district is a great place to enjoy the hustle and bustle of London, and window shopping is always free!
Watch a film at the London Cinema
London offers a unique selection of cinema venues, including outdoor cinemas and enriching pop-ups. A few classics include Phoenix Cinema, The Lexi Cinema, Rich Mix, and The Prince Charles Cinema.
To kick things up a notch, visit one of the luxury theatres featuring Electric Cinema and Everyman Screen on the Green. If you are not sure what to do in London alone, just grab some popcorn, sit back, relax and enjoy a film!
Panoramic City View at Primrose Hill
North of Regent park is Primrose Hill. The top of Primrose Hill is a perfect spot to enjoy views of the city skyline. If the weather is clear, you can even see key landmarks like the London Eye. There is a plaque at the viewpoint which illustrates and specifies the building in the panoramic view in front of you.
If you want to people watch and enjoy some peaceful greenery, a trip to Primrose hill is one of the things to do alone in London. Locals often come here for workouts or just chill.
One of the other activity that people come here to do is to spot famous personalities. The surrounding district is known to be home to some famous residents like William Roberts, Friedrich Engels and more.
That said, the area around the hill can make for an enjoyable walk as you will be able to observe nice and historical architecture. Some of the buildings here still hold their original looks from the past.
Embark on a self-guided or guided tours
Some might say the best way to see London is on foot. If you prefer to check out the city alone, you can take a self-guided tour of the historical city at your own pace. These tours can be easily guided through a mobile app.
London also offers many interesting walking tours. These involve popular themes such as Harry Potter, Jack the Ripper, Shakespeare’s, Historical pub or ghosts and secrets of London. These tours are great activities to meet and interact with other travelers.
Take a tranquil bike ride through the city
If cycling is more of your thing, experience London on a bike as you ride past the cities famous sights and treasures.
London features quality bike paths, side roads, and alleys that accommodate bike enthusiasts and tourists joining cycle tours. Similarly, there are various cycling tours catering to travelers, some even involving beer tasting!
And if you are too lazy to walk or cycle, you always have the hop-on-hop-off bus which is popular among tourists who just want to chill and enjoy the city.
Trip to Stonehenge
Stonehenge is an absolute legend and dates back nearly 5,000 years. It is considered the most famous prehistoric relics globally. Admission includes access to a world-class exhibition that dives into how Stonehenge builders worked and live in the Neolithic period.
The mystical stone circle of Stonehenge resides in Salisbury. Visiting this iconic monument is one of the most popular trips from London. The easiest way to get there is with a tour covering the transportation. There are many options with some covering other locations like Bath or Windsor Castle, making it a full day trip.