London Travel Guide for Beginner’s: Things to See & Do
Here is a detailed guide of London by neighbourhood. Find a list of all the major areas, attractions, places to eat, drink and shop. I have included links to my own personal posts – including photos, tips and advice.
The Main Neighbourhoods
The West End
Considered the centre of London, this is the go to place for theatre-lovers. Find Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Soho, Chinatown, Covent Garden and the National Gallery.
The City of London
The oldest part of the city and often referred to as “The City”. Find St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
The South Bank
Here you will find the London Eye where you can get an amazing view of London from above. Also find Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the London Dungeon and Borough Market (open Thurs-Sat).
Made up of the Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney, this area is experiencing a lot of growth and development. Smaller sub-neighbourhoods include Hoxton, Spitafields, Wapping and Whitechapel. This is where you can find the young artistic types. You might want to check out Columbia Road Flower Market, Whitechapel Bell Foundry, the Wiltern Theatre and Dennis Sever’s House.
Here you can find the centre of the government. Find Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Parliament. You might also want to stop by the house of the Prime Minister and Queen Elizabeth II.
Where you will find Portobello Market (open every Saturday). There are two adjoining markets – an antiques market and street market (food, clothes & crafts).
If you are interested in the history of London, you can find all the museums here. Find the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum. Expect the museums to be busy on weekends and free entry to most (tickets for special exhibitions). Also, you might like to explore pretty nearby parks like Holland Park and the Kyoto Peace Garden.
Perfect for a peaceful walk or boating on the Serpentine Lake. Visit Speaker’s Corner on Sundays. Nearby parks include Kensington Park and Green Park.
This area is known for it’s alternative atmosphere (punks, piercings & nonconformity). Camden High Street and Camden Lock Market are full of personality, shops, pubs and street food. Nearby is Abbey Road Studies where you can take a photo of yourself crossing the street like the Beatles.
—> Best Pubs in Camden
—> Best Places to Eat in Camden Town
A relaxed upper class area in North London offering plenty of shops, bookshops and leafy green areas to walk around. A popular destination is Hampstead Heath, Keats House and Freuds House.
—> Bull & Last Pub
This area was once a cheap place for struggling artists to live and has now become at the forefront of the art world. Shoreditch has a unique character with bars, galleries, good food and an international presence.
—> 10 Best Places to Eat in Shoreditch
Further West London
Here you can find Hammersmith, Shepherd’s Bush, Chiswick and Barnes. Take a walk near Hammersmith Bridge and along the River Thames. Or you might like to visit The Dove, one of London’s oldest pubs.
Located in South East London, you can find Greenwich Park, the National Maritime Museum, The Old Royal Naval College and the Royal Observatory.
In North East London, you might like to visit the William Morris Gallery or the Vestry House.
An extremely posh neighbourhood with plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants.
—> Top 10 Best Pubs in Chelsea London
This is considered the academic hub of London.