London is the city I’ve visited most in the world. I absolutely adore it and continue to go back and and time again. There are countless things to do in London alone, so you’ll never get bored no matter how many times you visit the city.
It may seem like a cliche to say London is one of the best cities in the world and everybody should visit at least once in their life. But some things are cliches because they’re true!
The good news is not only are there plenty of things to do alone in London, but the city is very easy for solo travellers to navigate.
Even if it is your first time travelling alone, London isn’t too big of a beast to tackle.
The city is so used to and open to solo tourists. Nobody bats an eye at you if you’re wandering around alone or eating alone.
Close to 40% of London’s population weren’t born in the UK. Even though it is a huge city, it is a melting pot of culture, food, and people.
Taking a solo trip to London is a choice you won’t regret.
If you’ve already decided you want to visit London alone, here are my top things to do in London alone.
There are tons of other things you can do in London by yourself, but I wanted to create a list of places to go alone in London where you won’t feel weird in the slightest being there alone.
As much as I love going for tea in London, that isn’t on the list. It is totally fine to go for tea alone in London, but it may make some newer solo travellers feel uncomfortable.
This list is for both the beginner solo travellers and the experienced solo traveller!
1. Rent a Bike and Ride Around Hyde Park
One of my favourite things to do when I’m travelling alone in London is rent a bike and ride around a park. Hype park is a great option because it is huge and has lots of sights you can stop and look at.
There are bikes you can rent all over London and in multiple places in Hyde park.
You get half an hour free, and then it is quite expensive to pay to use the bike after that.
The good news is that once you return your bike before 30 minutes is up, you can rent another bike 10 minutes later and get 30 minutes for free again!
That’s my sneaky little tip for renting bikes in London and never having to pay! I use this trick quite frequently.
You don’t have to return the bike to the same rental area you got it from. You can return it to any rental rack run by the same company!
There is a little basket on the front of the bike to hold your stuff, and you’re on your way.
Normally, there are quite a few people riding bikes around Hyde Park, so be on the lookout for other bikers, pedestrians, and horses.
Another important thing to remember is that you cannot ride your bike in Kensington Gardens, which are connected to Hyde Park.
Be on the lookout for signs indicating where Kensington Gardens begin, so you don’t break the rules.
One last thing to be aware of is people drive on the left-hand side of the street in London (the opposite side that we drive on in North America).
If you take your bike out on the road, be sure you’re riding the right direction and being safe.
I’m not going to share my horror story of accidentally coming across a roundabout when biking in London and trying to sort out how to use it on the fly going the opposite direction I’m used to!
Needless to say, that was the end of my biking for the day, and I walked my bike back to the nearest return rack.
2. Visit the Queen’s Gallery
The Queen’s Gallery is one of the most underrated attractions in all of London, and I think it is one of the best things to do in London alone.
The Queen’s Gallery is right next door to Buckingham Palace and is a gallery where the Queen displays items from her personal collection.
The exhibit changes quarterly, and you get to see artwork and artifacts you would never otherwise be able to see since they’re straight out of the Queen’s private collection.
I’ve been there a number of times and had the chance to see some incredible collections including a Leonardo da Vinci collection that included original hand drawings.
Yeah. That was absolutely incredible.
The reason I think this is such a great thing for you to do in London by yourself is because everybody is listening to the audioguide and moving at their own pace.
Even people who come in groups get separated throughout the gallery and meet at the end.
If you’re hesitant about travelling alone, not a single soul will notice you’re alone. And if they do, they’ll simply assume the rest of your group is somewhere else in the gallery.
Plus, the Queen’s Gallery is super affordable, and if you get the back of your ticket stamped, you can reenter the gallery for free whenever you want for a year.
If you’re lucky, you just might be able to catch one exhibit the first day you’re in London and a new exhibit at the end of your trip.
It is rare for that to happen, but if it does, count yourself extremely lucky!
3. Visit a Free Museum
There are 20 free museums in London for you to explore!
There are art museums, history museums, science museums, museums about the City of London, museums about the banks, library, and so much more.
No matter what you’re interested in, there will be a free museum you can wander around for a few hours and explore.
It is so nice that there are so many free museums throughout the city. It is a nice break from paying for some of the most expensive attractions like the Tower of London.
Give your wallet a bit of a rest!
Some of my favourite museums are located in the Kensington area. The Natural History Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum are right next to one another and are two of my favourites in London.
Another hugely popular free museum in London is the British Museum. It is always back full, and you can see some of the most unique artifacts in the world.
Museums are some of the best places to go alone in London because people are so absorbed in exploring the museum that they don’t pay attention to what is going on around them.
If you go during a weekday day, it will likely be pretty quiet and full of school groups. They’re busy running around doing their projects and don’t care about you.
They can get a bit loud and aggressive at times though so be aware of them. I like to leave the room if there are a bunch of little children running about. Come back later, and it’ll be a much more enjoyable experience.
Museums are often a good place to find free wifi in London so keep that in mind if you’re ever in a pinch and in dire need of internet access.
4. Tour the House of Parliament
Just like the Queen’s Gallery, touring the House of Parliament is one of the most underrated things to do in London.
You get to go inside Westminster (not the church but the big famous building that has Big Ben) and tour around the actual place bills and laws are debated in the UK.
Before you start dozing off, it is actually quite interesting!
You can either take a guided group tour or go on a self-guided 90-minute audio tour. The audio tour is what I did and what I recommend for solo travellers.
It gives you more freedom to go at your own pace compared to taking a guided group tour.
There are only limited days you can tour the House of Parliament, so I recommend buying your ticket online in advance. You can also show up at the ticket office across the street from Westminster right outside the metro station and try to snag a last-minute ticket.
I will admit that touring the House of Parliament is a bit expensive (as most sights in London are).
Tickets range from £19 to £29 depending on what type of ticket you qualify for. You can find a list of ticket types and prices here.
This is a surprisingly fun and unique way to spend an afternoon in Central London.
Even if you’re not too into politics, the inside of the House of Parliament is stunning and well worth the price of admission alone.
You also learn about a number of interesting historical events that took place in the building.
All in all, this is definitely something you should considering doing when alone in London if you have the money and can get a ticket.
5. Take in a West End Show
One of the best things you can do alone in London as night is go to a West End show. I go to at least one show every time I’m in London and absolutely love it every single time!
The West End is similar to New York’s Broadway. There are dozens of theatres in the district, and you can choose from a wide variety of different shows.
I don’t recommend you purchase your tickets in advance through the theatre unless there is a specific show you’re dying to see.
There are two different ways to get discount theatre tickets either the day of the show or a day or two before it:
- TKTS booth in Leicester Square
- TodayTix app
I personally use the app 99% of the time. It is so convenient, and you can book your tickets on your phone from wherever you are and not have to worry about going all the way to Leicester Square.
Not only that, but the TKTS booth often has a long line to get tickets. It isn’t uncommon for you to waste an hour or so waiting in line to get tickets.
That just isn’t how I want to be spending my time in London!
With TKTS, you get your tickets right at the booth when you purchase them.
With TodayTix, you have to pick up your tickets at the box office at the theatre. Be sure to arrive at the theatre early enough to get your ticket and bring photo ID.
I’ve never had a problem collecting tickets when I purchase through the TodayTix app.
I just walk up to the box office, say I’m collecting my tickets, and they give them to me!
A Word of Warning
I’ll always encourage you to go to a West End show. They’re absolutely fabulous and a fun way to spend a night alone in London.
However, there is one thing you need to be aware of, and that is intermission.
I always feel a bit weird during intermission because there is never any wifi in the theatres, and I can’t scroll around on my phone.
I just sit there and wait for the show to begin again.
So, if you’re going to a West End show alone, have a plan to make the intermission time fly by!
Bring a book, go for a walk around the theatre, or grab a snack or drink.
Many London hotels provide guests with a complimentary smart phone they can use during their stay.
If you’re lucky enough to stay at a hotel that offers this, catch up on the news or random Google searches. You won’t be able to access your social media, but at least you have a phone to keep you distracted!
Lastly, if you’re a frequent traveller, you may want to consider investing in a Solis wifi device.
It is your own personal pocket wifi device that gives you access to the internet pretty much anywhere and everywhere you go.
There are a few countries it doesn’t work in, but it does work in the UK.
You always have access to the internet, can scroll social media, keep in touch with family and friends, and use Google Maps to your heart’s content (big selling feature for me).
I got my Solis in 2019 and adore it.
Be sure to use code TRAVELSWITHERICA for 10% off your purchase if you decide it is the right internet solution for you and your travels!
6. Join a Free Walking Tour
Free walking tours are one of the best things to do in any city you visit! You get to explore part of the city with a local tour guide, and it doesn’t cost you anything except a tip.
Please be sure to always tip your free tour guides! The only money they make is from your tips!
There are tons of free walking tours in London, and you can find a free walking tour for pretty much any interest you have!
There are tours about Jack the Ripper, Harry Potter, WWII, Graffiti, different areas of London, and, of course, the royal family and history.
You can choose from a variety of different tour operators based on what you want to see and what time works best for you.
I’ve used Free Tours by Foot a number of times in London and have had a good experience each time.
But I’m sure you’ll have a great experience no matter who you go with!
This is without a doubt one of the best things to do in London alone because you’re joining a group of other tourist and listening to a guide.
There will be a lot of people on your tour, and it is easy to stay at the back of the pack and go unnoticed if you want.
Free walking tours are also a great way to meet other travellers. Many people who join free walking tours are younger, and you may be able to meet some people to tour around with for the rest of the day.
No matter what, I highly recommend taking a free walking tour near the start of your trip.
I’ve been on countless free walking tours all over the world, and they provide so much valuable information about the city you’re visiting you wouldn’t otherwise have.
A free walking tour can put a city in a whole new perspective and give you a new way of looking at it for the rest of your trip.
7. Visit Kensington Palace and Explore the Gardens
Kensington Palace and its gardens are a very interesting thing to do in London. If you have any interest in the royal family or the history of the royal family, this should be a must-do for anybody visiting London.
You get to tour various parts of the palace including the King and Queen’s sleeping rooms, ball rooms, and art rooms.
There are also limited time exhibits that often feature outfits worn by royal family members.
Kensington Palace is a unique opportunity to learn quite a bit about royal history and the modern royals.
Kensington Palace is a popular attraction, so you’ll want to purchase your ticket online in advance.
You can just show up to the palace the day you want to visit, but there is a good chance all the reservations are full, and you won’t be able to tour the palace.
Even if you don’t want to go inside the palace, you should spend some time walking around the gardens.
They are huge and feature a lot of unique sights and statues for both royals from long ago and more recent royal family members.
Kensington Gardens connects to Hyde Park, so you can easily visit both in a single day.
Kensington Palace may seem like one of the odder places to go alone in London, but, trust me, it is worth the visit.
True, there isn’t an audio guide you can hide behind like some of the other attractions, but, just like the rest of the museums, people will assume you’ve just separated from your group.
If they even notice you at all!
Don’t let being nervous about being a solo traveller in London hold you back from visiting the sights you want to see!
8. People Watch in Trafalgar Square
I love people watching, and there isn’t a better place in London to people watch than Trafalgar Square.
It is a hub for tourists, street performers, and all things odd and interesting.
Grab a coffee to go and sit near Trafalgar Square while you drink it. You never know what you’ll see.
The square often has a number of pop-up events and markets, so you may get to experience an even more unique side of London.
Trafalgar Square is definitely full of tourist and not a place you’ll find many locals, but it is an interesting place to take a quick break, watch tourists, watch a few street performers, and take in the hustle and bustle of the area before you move onto somewhere else.
It is a just a short walk from Westminster on the way to the West End and China Town.
Most tourist will naturally walk through the area, so you may as well slow down and enjoy the chaos.
9. Take a Day Trip
London is such a small taste of what the UK has to offer. It is super tempting to stay in London and explore everything it has to offer, but you should consider taking a day trip.
There are tons of cities you can visit on a day trip from London that only take a few hours to get to by train or bus.
All three cities give you a taste of a different side of the UK and gets you out of the hustle and bustle of the city.
If you can only choose one, I highly recommend Brighton. I love it so much!
Taking a day trip outside London may seem intimidating when you’re travelling alone in London, but it is actually super easy.
You just need to hop on the train, get off, wander around the city, and hop on the train again when it is time to leave.
Not only is taking a day trip one of the best things to do alone in London, but it also helps you develop your solo travel skills and become a more confident traveller!
10. Go Back in Time at the Globe
I never miss the chance to watch a show at the Globe if there is one playing when I’m in London. It is an exact recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe, and they put on authentic Shakespearian plays.
Now, I’m not a Shakespeare fan, but there is something completely different about sitting in the Globe watching a Shakespeare play. It is so much fun!
You should purchase your tickets in advance. I like to pay for a seat, but many people choose to pay for the cheapest ticket and stand in front of the stage.
That gives you the best view, but you also have to be at the theatre super early to get a good spot and have to stand before the show, throughout the show, and during intermission.
It is definitely a young person’s game.
If you’re not in London when there is a play running, you can take a tour of the Globe.
You get to go behind the scenes and learn about the history of the building and Shakespeare.
Both are super fun, but if you can only choose one, see a show. It is worth every pence you pay for it!
11. Tour HMS Belfast
This is another hidden gem in London and one of the best things to do in London alone.
I adore the HMS Belfast. I actually stumbled upon it by accident the third time I was in London and was looking for unique attraction I’d never done before.
Boy am I glad I found this one!
The HMS Belfast is the most significant surviving WWII Navy Warship, and it shot some of the first shots at the D-Day landings.
It is one of the most interesting things to do in London, but so few people know about it.
The ship sits in the River Thames right in front of Tower Bridge and across from the Tower of London.
Tens of thousands of tourists look at the ship every year and have no idea what they’re missing out on.
You get an audioguide and weave your way through the ship exploring all the levels and learning about what life on the HMS Belfast was like.
I promise even if you’re not into this sort of thing, you’ll have an amazing time and be so glad you did it!
You don’t need to reserve your tickets in advance because it is such an underrated London attraction.
You can show up pretty much whenever you want and tour the ship.
Just like the Queen’s Gallery, it is an audio tour, so nobody will notice if you’re standing in front of an area all by yourself. They’ll simply thing the rest of your group is ahead or behind you and not bat an eye.
Plus, they’re so involved in their own tour that they likely won’t even give you a second thought at all.
12. Walk Along the Thames
The river Thames is one of the most iconic sights in London but so few people take the time to take in its beauty.
A lot of London’s top attractions are near (or on) the Thames, and you should take a little extra time to walk along the Thames.
There are plenty of cafés and restaurants along the Thames. Sit down, have a cup of coffee, and appreciate the Thames.
There is so much history mixed in with the Thames. It has played a huge role in London and the UK’s history, and it deserves to be appreciated.
You can even take a boat ride along the Thames if you want to see more than just what you can cover by foot.
My personal opinion is that walking along the Thames is sufficient, but you may think otherwise!
13. Watch the Changing of the Guards Ceremony
Watching the changing of the guards ceremony is a classic thing to do in London.
The actual ceremony is quite a long, drawn out process that takes about 45 minutes, but you don’t need to (even be able to) see the entire ceremony.
The part you want to watch is the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, and that takes place at 11am.
You’ll want to get there early though to get a good view! 10:45 should be plenty of time to get a prime view, and 10:50 will get you a decent view.
The best viewing area is near the Victoria statue right in front of the palace. The second best is along Marlborough Road, so you can watch the guards marching before the changing over ceremony.
Don’t be nervous about watching the ceremony alone. The people around you will be chatting with their friends and family and won’t even notice you.
If they do, they’ll either assume you’re saving a spot for the rest of your group or strike up a conversation with you.
This is one of those things to do alone in London that some people are nervous about, but you shouldn’t be.
You don’t want to miss out on an iconic London experience just because you’re a little shy about being there alone!
14. Window Shop on Oxford Street
Oxford street is one of the most famous shopping streets in London. It is filled with both big brands and small shop owners.
There is plenty to see and do on Oxford street even if you don’t spend a dime.
In fact, I think window shopping on Oxford street is one of the best things to do in London alone. You get to people watch and blend in like a local going about their own shopping.
Plus you get to pop in and out of stores to see what is in style or perhaps find a unique gift to bring home to a loved one.
I like to get off the main street and wander around some of the side streets. You get out of the hustle and bustle, and that’s where you’ll find the most unique and local items!
Oxford street is within walking distance of the British Museum, so you can plan to visit both in a single day!
15. Spend a Morning at Camden Market
Camden Market is one of the most popular things to do in London for both tourists and locals alike.
It is located near Regent’s Canal and has over 1,000 stalls selling everything and everything you could dream of.
From music to fashion to food, Camden Market has it all!
It is quite busy, so I recommend going earlier in the day on a weekday to not feel so claustrophobic and be able to move around easier.
The market opens at 10am everyday, so try to get there as close to opening time as possible.
Grab a drink and spend a few hours wandering around the market. It is one of the best things to do in London by yourself, and you won’t regret it!
As you can see, there are tons of things you can do in London alone.
London is truly one of the most welcoming cities to solo travellers, and it is a great city to start your solo travel journey in.
I 100% believe you shouldn’t let travelling alone hold you back from anything you want to do.
Your uncomfortable feeling will disappear once you’re experiencing the attraction. You’ll regret it in the long run if you don’t visit the attraction you’re dying to see.
All of the things to do alone in London on this list are very easy for beginner solo travellers. Nobody will care that you’re alone, and nobody will bat an eye at you.
But, these aren’t the only things to do alone in London. Anything you would be keen on doing with a friend or family member can easily be done alone.
I challenge you to put aside the fact that you’re travelling alone and plan your dream vacation to London!
It truly is one of the best cities in the world!