Guide to London. Feel welcome to discover the best of it with Visit London, the official guide to England’s exciting capital. Find things to do in London, from iconic sightseeing spots and fun-filled days out to top restaurants, theatre and unmissable London events. If you’re not able to visit just yet, plan ahead to make the most of your next visit.
(c) Marcin Nowak
Restaurants & Cuisine
Explore the most unusual places to eat in London from Michelin-starred eateries to a restaurant based in a prison. Book a spot at one of these fun restaurants in London. Known for its diverse dining scene, there’s no shortage of quirky restaurants to choose from in the capital. Many restaurants have reopened following the easing of coronavirus restrictions. Just be aware that some restaurants may still be closed and pre-booking may be required.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthall
(c) Dinner by Heston Blumenthall
Settle down for a quirky culinary experience at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, a two Michelin-starred restaurant that’s consistently voted one of the best restaurants in the world. The celebrity chef taps into Britain’s rich culinary history with unusual results, such as the signature Meat Fruit starter, where chicken parfait is served in the guise of a clementine.
(c) Rainforest Cafe London
Take your children to the Rainforest Cafe, one of the most fun restaurants in London. Kids go wild experiencing the sounds of waterfalls, lightning and rain, as they spot animals and real tropical fish. Close to Piccadilly Circus and the West End’s many theatres, shops and attractions, this family restaurant offers a two-course kids menu and activity packs.
The Clink Restaurant
Eat within the walls of prison at The Clink Restaurant based at HMP Brixton. Many of the ingredients are sourced from prison farms around the country, while everything is cooked and served by the prisoners as they train for careers in hospitality after their release. Not only does this unique dining experience help with rehabilitation, but the food is also excellent and of good value too.
Places, Landmarks & Venues
See world-famous London attractions, iconic landmarks and lesser-known sights. Whether exploring socially distanced indoor attractions or spacious outdoor spots, make sure you plan ahead. Most attractions require advanced booking for a timeslot, even if they’re free to enter.
(c) Buckingham Palace – The Royal Family
Book your visit to Buckingham Palace for a glimpse inside one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. You can tour the 19 spectacular State Rooms. These magnificent rooms are decorated with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck. Outside of the summer opening, you can still see the iconic exterior of the palace and watch the famous Changing the Guard.
(c) Carnaby – Visit London
The 14 streets of Carnaby are known for unique independent stores and global flagship brands, making it one of London’s most popular and distinctive shopping, food and drink destinations.
(c) Madame Tussauds – My WoWo
See famous faces at Madame Tussauds London, a wax museum and star attraction with more than 250 life-like wax figures on display. Meet music superstars, Hollywood A-listers and the royal family at Madame Tussauds in London. You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at how sculptors create the figures, and a fun ride through the history of London in an iconic black cab.
From clean, but basic, youth hostels to the world’s grandest properties, the list of the best places to stay in London is long. For most of us price comes into the equation, just like location, so here are some of our Guru’s top picks.
Claridge’s is an Art Deco darling and London institution, it’s pretty universally considered one of the best hotels in London and is arguably one of the most beautiful too, with its red brick facade, and sweeping black and white marble entrance and tea lounge. Claridge’s recent refurbishment was sympathetic to the beauty of the original, and it’s helped make the restaurant and the top floor spa just as popular as afternoon tea in the foyer. There are more Art Deco features here than you can spot on a visit of less than a week, and old-fashioned charms, like manned lifts complete with a sofa and the sort of service that’s really a pleasure.
Converted from a row of three Georgian townhouses in the heart of Soho, Hazlitt’s is a great choice if you’re looking for character and a lively, central location. And it’s got some great literary associations. The hotel has 30 rooms and suites, all of them individually, and quite splendidly decorated, with wood-panelled walls, considered collections of antiques, art and rugs. They do a great breakfast, have an elegant bar, and you’re in a wonderful position for eating out of an evening. It’s so stylish and classic that it’s always cool.
No.11 Cadogan Gardens
(c) Cadogan Gardens – The Hotel Guru
It’s very grand but No.11 Cadogan Gardens, the eclectically styled, lavishly decorated luxury boutique hotel just behind Chelsea’s Sloane Square, is a really great London hotel recommendation for families. The family suites are lovely and big, with huge windows, and expansive marble bathrooms, and the hotel, which has been converted from several red brick townhouses, is an exciting warren of secret-feeling passages and surprise public spaces. There’s a library, a drawing room and a terrace, and the restaurant is excellent. Perfect if you or your children appreciate a Murano chandelier!
Events & Experiences
Discover what’s on in London, whether you’re here this weekend, this month or are planning ahead if you’re not yet able to visit. Book shows at socially distanced West End theatres, enjoy famous annual events and see exhibitions without the crowds.
Mamma Mia! The Party at The O2
(c) MammaMia – The O2
From 01 October 2021 to 03 April 2022, be transported to a Greek island paradise for a night of Abba-themed fun with Mamma Mia! The Party at The O2. Take a seat in Nikos’ taverna and watch the feel-good story of Mamma Mia! unfold during an evening of iconic Abba songs, delicious Mediterranean food and plenty of dancing, as part of this interactive London show.
Bags: Inside Out at Victoria and Albert Museum
(c) Bags inside out at Victoria and Albert Museum – Vam
Until 16 January 2022, explore the style, design, function and cultural significance of bags from the 16th century to the present day, with Bags: Inside Out at the V&A. From military rucksacks to designer purses, despatch boxes to vanity cases, rediscover some of the most iconic bags in recent history and learn about the craftsmanship of the ultimate accessory.
London Design Festival
From 18 September 2021 to 26 September 2021, explore a range of creative installations and join events celebrating contemporary design during the London Design Festival 2021 (LDF), which transforms the city into an enormous art piece.
♦ SEE ALSO ♦
GUIDE TO LOS ANGELES
GUIDE TO MILAN
GUIDE TO DUBAI
♦ FOLLOW OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL ♦