I’ve lived in London for a pretty long while and I’ve done a lot of what there is to be done. Here, I’ll be detailing my opinions on stuff I’ve done. I’ll try to vaguely organise it into the different parts of London, but there’s public transport so feel free to hop, jump and skip around to whatever interests you.

If you are visiting, I’d also definitely have a gander over my previous article about the public transport here because it’s the best way to get around.

West End

A visit to the West End gets you to a lovely part of Central London. You’ve got most of the London theatres and you can see everything from Six to Hamilton. I’ve been to see a fair few productions, so here are my general opinions on some of the ones that made an impact on me (but you’ll be happy with pretty much anything).

If you’re after snacks, I’d recommend grabbing something outside of the theatre because it’s always insanely expensive inside. The same goes for the cinemas if that’s your poison - there’s corner shops everywhere.


(historical - stories told from the perspectives of each of Henry VIII’s wives)

Six is incredible, and I would highly recommend going to watch. When I went, there were incredible vibes all around and you’ll definitely come out smiling.

Interestingly enough, this was started at Fringe - a huge performing arts festival in Scotland. Anyone can perform (assuming you can book a venue & accommodation 🤣), so you’ll often see lots of university companies. You also hear about productions starting at Fringe, getting noticed and then getting West End & Broadway Runs (with Six being one of the most common examples of a Fringe production doing incredibly well).

It was also fun for me to see some new parts to Henry VIII’s wives which I didn’t know about before. The songs were also great and stays on my playlist to this day1.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

(late 20th century - a man going for a funeral and remembering the events of the past. adaption of a Neil Gaiman novel)

This was an incredible piece of theatre annnnnnnddddddd we got another banging soundtrack which has also remained on my playlist. The actors all were incredible at their roles (although the actors might have changed by now - I saw it in 2022) and the technical effects were top-notch. It also really made me feel something at the end, which I suppose lends credence to my acclaim of the story and actors’ skill.

I also really enjoyed assistant stage managers - they were really effectively utilised and incredibly skilful.

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

(modern - a Harry Potter story told a long time after the main series) - I’m aware that the writer isn’t the best, but there are better people to speak about that.

The story was really good and the pacing was phenomenal (which is a feat for a play this length - see the next paragraph). They also had some really interesting technical effects which I’ve not a clue how they were pulled off2.

Somewhat famously, this is shown as 2 2.5hr plays with one interval in each mini-play and a larger interval between both of them. There’s Wednesday, Friday & Saturday showings that start the first at 14:00 and the second play at 19:00 and then a Sunday showing which is an hour earlier. I think you can also book individual parts, but check the website for latest details. I’m glad I got to see the West End version, as I’ve heard that the Broadway version has some parts cut out to make it all fit into one showing. I loved the double-feature nature because I got to grab dinner in between and digest3 what I’d seen so far with my family.

The Play that Goes Wrong

(modern - a play that goes terribly terribly wrong whilst the actors attempt not to break character)

I went to this one with a friend in the summer and when I left my face hurt from the constant smiling. What happens is in the name, but I won’t spoil the degree to how far it goes. The actors all had perfect comedic timing and I also had the fortune of being a part of a really good audience.

Convent Garden & Soho

Convent Garden isn’t too far away from the West End and is really lovely. There’s a fair few nice cafes and ice cream parlours for your culinary enjoyment, or just to hang around in. There’s also the London Transport Museum which I’ve always enjoyed.

Then not too far from there is Soho which is also lovely to walk around4. Whenever I’m around there, I’ll also always pop into Forbidden Planet which is the only place I’ve found in London that has stock of all of the various Dungeons & Dragons books.

South Kensington

South Kensington is also a lovely area of London which hosts some of the best museums in London (in my humble opinion). There’s also lots of embassies and some very expensive real estate.

All of London’s museums are incredible, and they’re mostly free to enter! I’d highly recommend visiting a few, and as with the theatres these are just the ones that have made a particular impact on me.

Also - for accessing the ones in South Kensington, you don’t even need to cross any roads! There’s an underground tunnel5 which leads to an underground entrance to the V&A and comes up onto the street next to the Science and Natural History museums6.

The Science Museum

I could pretty much describe the entire museum from top to bottom at this point and navigate mostly blindfolded. This museum is my home away from home7 in Central London and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to truly give thanks to all the incredible curators8.

My usual route is as follows - I walk straight through the entrance (on the opposite side to the shop to avoid temptation) where they’ve got some huge steam engines. Then I’ll enjoy the space section that comes afterwards - I’ve over 150 hours in Kerbal Space Program9, but I’ve never had anything that’s shown me how much rocket is needed to get such a small payload into orbit10. I then always enjoy all the cars & trains, as well as the smaller pieces off to the side. There’s then the back section with the rotating exhibition but I can never stay too long there because I just feel super tired after a while. I then usually work my way up the exhibits at the back end - one about genetics and people on the second floor which is good, and then one at the 3rd floor about logistics? There isn’t really a concrete theme other than a large number of sofas and interactive games to play - I used to enjoy it, but now it feels a bit shallow.

After that, I’ll work my way back to the front of the museum - there used to be an area here with some climate science stuff (it might still be there, but the map says that it’s currently under refurbishment), but this then takes you to the back of the Flight exhibit. After that, I’ll go to the 360° simulator11 if I feel like it. I’ll now go on a brief tangent to mourn the Launchpad.

Both of my parents used to work full-time (leave the house at 7:15 and get home at 11 on a good day full-time) - because of this they hired a nanny to look after us in the day and deal with things like the school run and meals. During the holidays, we spent most of the time at museums12 wandering around which is part of the reason I’ve always known the Science Museum like the back of my hand. Out of the time in the Science Museum, my favourite part was always the Launchpad - my memories are a little foggy because it was so long ago but I remember running around and seeing all of the different parts for hours. However, in 2015 it went down for renovations to then be relaunched as the Wonderlab Gallery in 2016. I can see the effort that’s been put in, but it gets a no from me for the following reasons:

  • It’s paid! The old gallery was free to enter but this new13 one is paid entry for £9 (in fairness, they do also offer a year pass for £14). I get why it’s now paid but wasn’t before - they run lots of shows and the employees do most definitely need to be paid14 but it still annoys me that something that was once free is no longer such.
  • The shows vary in quality - I adore the one that is around something that could be likened to a bar, but the other two aren’t as good.
  • The activities are much smaller in scale - in the old launchpad there was a pretty big variety in activities sizes, with a few that could be explored for a good while without getting boring. The new ones are much smaller and less interesting. However, there’s one factor that probably trumps all of the others:
  • I’m old now, and my desire to go back to the launchpad probably partially reflects a desire to go back to when I could spend all week in museums without any worries for exams or homework or other things. I’ve also grown up a bit and exhibits that once would’ve amazed me don’t quite do it the same any more because I understand why these things happen.

After mourning the launchpad, I’ll head downstairs to the second level and wander through the Information Age. Usually after that I’m pretty happy and so I’ll head out, possibly stopping by the gift shop even if I almost never actually buy anything.

Overall - would highly highly highly recommend.

This was a contraption I saw in the medical gallery for giving a tobacco enema. I wonder what our equivalent will be for future generations?
I'm pretty pleased with the bokeh I managed to get on this turbojet from the flight gallery.
This was also from the Flight gallery.
Downstairs, I saw this protein model which was *insane*. I don't even want to think about how long it must have taken to build.

The Natural History Museum

Fortunately for the reading time, I don’t have quite as long a spiel on the NHM as I do on the Science Museum.

The NHM appears much more prominently in popular media than the Science Museum, so if you’ve heard of one of them then it’s probably this one. The most recent depiction I can recall was probably in the Paddington films. They also advertise a fair bit more15.

They tend to spend much more time on life sciences and history - there’s galleries filled wall to wall with specimens of various animals and insects. The main exhibits I can recall are those on dinosaurs, photography and one about the human body and genetics which is far better than the equivalent in the Science Museum.

The NHM also seems to have much more of a focus on research and preservation than the Science Museum but I can’t really speak to that because I’m not a postgrad.

They also run an ice rink in December, but I can’t speak for the quality of the ice because I’ve never been to use it.

I'm pretty happy with this shot I got of the exterior.
This a nightmare to focus onto (and is still blurry 😓), and I found it in the Treasures of the Earth gallery.

Imperial College London

But Jack, that’s not a museum, that’s a university! Most of the time you’d be 100% correct, but every summer they run a weekend festival as a part of the Exhibition Road festival. There’s all kind of stations you can visit, talks you can watch and it gives a similar vibe to something like New Scientist Live with less people trying to sell you stuff. There’s also food everywhere which has been pretty good when I’ve gone.

Victoria & Albert

This is the only arts & history museum on Exhibition Road - I haven’t spent nearly as much time there as in the other two, but whenever I’ve been in, I’ve wanted to spend more time there16.


Knightsbridge is posh, which means that there’s an abundance of fancy shops if you’re feeling like seeing how the other side lives, and nice coffee shops for when you’re done.

I’d especially recommend having a look through Harrods - there’s so much insane stuff in there that it’s fun just to wonder through and play guess-the-price with a friend. The food court (and the rest of the food) all looks incredible but I’ve never actually eaten any due to prices that I haven’t ever seen surpassed. If I recall correctly, on my last visit I saw a £17 croissant and a £32 carbonara. insane

There’s also a huge variety of different shops inside - parts feel more like a retail outlet17 with a labyrinth containing shops from the different brands and parts are the Harrods own-brand stuff. The latter is always funniest to me - there’s time-share and full purchase opportunities for waterside villas on beaches thousands of miles away from here, and the tech section never fails to impress. The idea of a wealthy Harrods customer has always made me giggle - pop in in the morning to grab a new coat that costs more than the median person in the UK makes in a month, stay for lunch with no natural light paying more than a properly fancy night out, and then finishing the day considering entire houses in the Bahamas.


Whilst, technically I think Riverside refers to a specific place, I’m using this to chat about all the lovely bits on the river.

The Tate Modern

You couldn’t have possibly thought that we were done with museums? The Tate Modern is a lovely space with lots of modern art all housed inside a beautiful building. Before the renovations at Battersea Power Station, this was also pretty unique in that it was built in an old power station - that’s why the two halves are called Turbine Halls A & B.

Whenever I walk past, I always have think about the nearby residents - if you go to the top floor then there’s a balcony looking away from the river directly (about 10-20m away) into some nearby apartments. The residents got annoyed at people looking at them from the gallery and brought a suit against Tate Modern and lost whereafter the judge told them to install blinds.

I don’t even think I’ve ever paid to enter one of the galleries there as there’s tons of free stuff to go see. You can also easily get to it from Waterloo station via Wobbly bridge.

I managed to get this from the opposite side of the river - the contrast between the Tate Modern & The Globe is pretty funny.

Wobbly Bridge

Wobbly bridge (technically called The Millennium Bridge) is a pretty sick bridge which is worth walking over - the views are great, there aren’t any cars and there’s some nice photo ops. If you do end up walking over it, I’d make sure to look at the floor for a bit - sounds weird but check all of the gum. There’s some dude who doodles all over it, which I’ve never seen anywhere else.

See Exhibit A.
And Exhibit B.
You can also get a photo of a lovely sightline to St Pauls.


The Southbank is always really lovely - there’s food, a skate park, the national theatre18 19 and some incredible views. You’ve also got the London Eye and 3 pretty decent attractions nearby - see below.

There’s also lots of food vendors (especially around the holidays) and a lovely park with a playground.

Sea Life Aquarium, Shrek’s Adventure & The London Dungeon

  • The first I can wholeheartedly recommend - many fond memories and some of the displays are incredible.
  • The second I remember as being pretty decent, but beware of the expected audience - more suited for 7-8 year olds than 18 year olds.
  • The third I can recommend against - the humour is all pretty juvenile but not in a funny way? The pacing was also pretty slow and from what I’ve heard the original incarnation on Tooley St was better.

Tower Bridge, Parliament & Big Ben

Tower Bridge is also definitely worth seeing - there can be queues, but the view is really good and the glass part is always fun to walk over. For some fun London knowledge, there was once an American who adored Tower Bridge so much that they wanted to buy it and move it to the US. They accidentally bought London Bridge which is still lovely, but not quite the same - make sure not to make the same mistake and visit the wrong one!

Parliament & Big Ben are also worth visiting, but there might be some shenanigans around photo ID and booking far in advance, so if you’re interested I’d make sure to look at their websites. I’ve also got another fun fact - Big Ben is technically only the actual bell, and when most people talk about Big Ben they actually mean Elizabeth Tower.

It's even better in person when the bridge lifts up - if you're ever trying to time it, check here: https://www.towerbridge.org.uk/lift-times

Tower of London (& Hampton Court & other crown properties)

From what I can remember both are similar, but the Tower of London has more of a focus on crown jewels and execution but Hampton Court has more of a focus on the daily life of the royals. Both are very interesting and lovely to go to on a hot day - in my experience Hampton Court is always a bit more relaxed because it’s more out of the way and also has more outside green spaces to relax in. I’ve spent many a summer’s day here with picnics and friends and I’ve never regretted it.

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station finished renovations relatively recently, and it’s pretty nice over there. There’s a ton of restaurants, plenty of options for retail therapy & lots of apartments. There’s also a tube station so it’s relatively easy to get to.

Oxo Tower

Oxo Tower was originally created as a power station, and was then later purchased by the manufacturers of Oxo stock cubes and is now owned by a non-profit. Fun fact - when the OXO letters were put into place on the tower, there was legal faffery around whether or not it qualified as an advertisement. The owners claimed that it was simply a geometric pattern with a cross between 2 circles and they won. Obviously, advertising legislation has changed a bit since then.

I don’t have any experience with the gallery or the restaurant, but I love visiting all of the small independent shops below. My favourite is suck uk which sell a variety of unique gifts that rotate around regularly. They’re all designed in-house and all incredible.

The City of London

I’ve had the good fortune of visiting many cities around the world, but I’ve never been around a central business district that gives the same vibes as the city of London. I personally blame it on the fact that most of my more recent visits have been to the US, where the cities are very planned20. In contrast, the city of London has such a mish-mash of architectural styles and layouts, such that you never really know where you’re going along the right route unless you look up at landmarks, especially unlike New York or Washington DC which are strictly gridded.

The history of the City of London is also especially interesting, but I’d probably just butcher the explanation. If you’re interested, I’d highly recommend this video by CGP Grey.

For the purposes of this section though, I’ll mainly just be talking about Central London without truly making a distinction.

The Shard & London Eye

I only visited the Shard for the first time a few weeks ago, and the view was one of the best I’ve ever seen21 and I’d highly recommend heading up to catch the view. If you aren’t as bothered about being the highest or having food/drinks, I’d head up the London Eye instead. Both are very near to public transport terminals (London Bridge & Waterloo) respectively. You can get tickets there and then for both, but I’d make sure to book in advance because they run on time slots and are also cheaper online.

Here's one photo of the shard.
And another taken pretty far away from the first - it's such a huge monument that I had fun taking pictures of it on my walk today at huge intervals and seeing how it became harder and harder to fit in frame on my 50mm lens.


Skygarden is a garden at the top of the Walkie Talkie22, to which you can obtain free tickets and vibe. There’s a cafe and lovely views - would recommend.

You can just about make out the skygarden at the top here, and you can also tell why we call it the Walkie Talkie. You can't see it from this angle, but it's just next to the cheese grater (AKA 122 Leadenhall Street).

Closing Thoughts

By no means is this a complete list of London Attractions, only the ones that have especially stuck with me - as a resident I don’t go to the attractions all that often. I’ll also probably add more things as I do more things and remember old things. I’ll also try and add some photos, because this article23 is currently severely lacking in that area.

This was written during a fairly stressful period regarding my personal future and where I’d be going come September and it’s been really lovely to reminisce. I adore this city and have found no parallel yet - maybe it truly is the best for me, or maybe I have to visit more places and stay there longer and I want to do that. I’ve lived here for all my life, but I want to truly get to know somewhere else - part of the reason that I haven’t applied to any London universities24.

I truly look forward to the day I can write a similar post to this about somewhere else, or the day that I know that I’ve seen enough and am happy to move back home - I guess we’ll all have to wait and see ;)

  1. For reference, I think I saw Six single-digit days before the UK went into the first Covid-19 related lockdown which would be March 2020. ↩︎

  2. Which is pretty rare for me, because a) most shows don’t go that insane with tech and b) I’ve just a little bit of experience with tech ↩︎

  3. heh heh ↩︎

  4. Although maybe not with small children or nuns. ↩︎

  5. Called, confusingly, the Subway. ↩︎

  6. And also to Imperial College - I presume that it’s incredibly useful for the students to avoid rain. ↩︎

  7. A STEM student, loving the science museum? Scandalous! ↩︎

  8. I can’t lie - if I ever make it make it then the Science Museum is relatively high on the list of places to help out. ↩︎

  9. tracked - in reality I probably have > 300-400 hours because it took too long to launch Steam (yes, my rockets were limited in size by frame-rate to not much beyond a Duna return w/ Science lab on board) on my old laptop so I just bookmarked the executable on the desktop. ↩︎

  10. I have had the good fortune to visit both the Kennedy and Marshall Space Centres, which have plenty of rockets but they go beyond the scale of my comprehension of vehicles into the realm of buildings. They were also all pointed vertically which made it harder. Yes, I also also know that there’s a horizontal Saturn in Marshall (which I’ve seen), but that carried a moon mission. ↩︎

  11. I don’t get motion sickness, like at all. I’ve not a clue why because I’ve got decent balance (not sure if they’re linked but I think they’re both inner-ear related - do I have the audience to nerdsnipe a biologist?). This usually doesn’t affect that much, but comes in very handy for VR games and doing non-stop barrel rolls and loops in this simulator. Also - you know how people often don’t realise that they’re unique in minor ways until the situation directly confronts them? I managed to work out that my lack of motion sickness is unusual in this very spot, after I went in with my dad and managed to wipe him out for the rest of the day 😔. ↩︎

  12. Especially the Exhibition Road ones, especially especially the Science Museum. ↩︎

  13. why am I old now? how is 2016 new? ↩︎

  14. Especially in London 😭 ↩︎

  15. I’ve never seen actual targeted advertisements for either, but I’ve at least seen more tube ads for the NHM. ↩︎

  16. even if I just end up going to the Science Museum again next time 😔 ↩︎

  17. Except it’s not an outlet, it’s full price. ↩︎

  18. Which, for reference, is one of the buildings that I think really gets brutalism right. See photos here↩︎

  19. They do a variety of performances here, rotating every so often. They tend to be more theatre-y than most of the West End, which is why you might hear people talking about going to the National Theatre but you’d rarely hear people talking about going to, say the Criterion (no slight against them, just the first to pop into my head). ↩︎

  20. Yes, I know there are actual Planned Cities. However, London is insanely old. For example, by the time New Amsterdam (the old name for New York) had around 2000 people, London had been around for about 1600 years (counting Roman Londinium as the start). ↩︎

  21. even if we had really bad weather 😢 ↩︎

  22. AKA Walkie Scorchy AKA 20 Fenchurch Street. ↩︎

  23. And blog as a whole - call it my new years resolution to improve on that :) ↩︎

  24. That, and London looks like an awful place to be a student in a myriad of ways (spread out accommodation, accommodation far away from campuses, small campuses, and the fact that London is more designed for people earning an insane amount of money which doesn’t include many students.) ↩︎