A Local's Guide to Lovely Cultural London

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Advisor - Fora
Curated By


  • London

  • England

  • City Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Outdoors

  • Nightlife

  • Entertainment

Night time cloudy city skyline with bridge , water body with boats and buildings in the background.
Fora’s Take

London, England is a place to enjoy exploring, in and around the city center there are many tips to share. There are so many wonderful neighborhoods to explore, as you literally walk through history in one of the world's most fascinating and cultural cities.

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Where to stay In London

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Things to do In London

London City with Water

Given the sheer multitude of places to explore, it's best to break down highlights by area to make the most of it.

Tourist Stops

Buckingham Palace & Kensington Palace, Tower of London, London Eye, Big Ben & Palace of Westminster, if this is your first time. You could certainly opt for a Hop-on Hop-Off bus tour for an overview while you get your bearings.

Movies & Books Tourism

There are many tours available for everything from Harry Potter to Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper and outside the city for Jane Austen, Shakespeare and so many more historic writers. Search tours online.

Museums & Galleries

There are so, so many, but the big ones are: Victoria & Albert Museum, National History Museum, The Royal Academy of Arts, Tate Modern, British Museum, National Gallery, Design Museum, Museum of London, National Maritime Museum, Horniman Museum and Gardens, Sir John Soane’s Museum and so many more, including gems just outside the city.

Music & Theatre

The West End obviously, it’s legendary, just like New York’s Broadway, or catch a classic at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Also, there are many lovely luxury movie theaters in the city that offer food and cocktails too, like the wonderful Everyman Cinema chain. There are also so many beautiful places to hear music, big and small, but a favorite is certainly Royal Albert Hall.


The lights on Bond Street and Oxford/Piccadilly are fun for popular shops, and famous department stores like Liberty London, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason are here. But the shops through Knightsbridge are luxury, too. Harrods is there, where you can duck down the side streets and head over to Kings Road and the colorful buildings of Kensington and Chelsea. But the markets and street fairs are always the most fun for clothes, antiques, art and food — Portobello Market, Camden Market, Borough Market, Brick Lane Market, Brixton Village and Market Row, Broadway Market, Columbia Road Flower Market, Covent Garden Market, Greenwich Market and Maltby Street Market. Obviously, if you are a big antique fan, you will be in heaven with the many stores and collectives around the city, along with pop-up markets.

The great outdoors

The many parks and gardens of the city are delightful as it is a very green city: Hyde Park, St. James Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent's Park, Victoria Park, Hampstead Heath, Richmond Park, Greenwich Park - Also, the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a huge event, Queen Mary’s Rose Garden in Regent’s Park rose garden in beautiful when it blooms in and the Columbia Road Flower Market in east London is a favorite.

Day trips

The great train system from London, makes day trips a breeze, or even small group tours with companies like Rabbie’s. Visit Cornwall, Dorset, Oxford, Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Brighton, Rye, Whitstable, Margate, Stratford-upon-Avon and a lot of beautiful spaces in the country like Hampshire. Head further North to Scotland ( Edinburgh is a favorite), over to Wales (Swansea or Cardiff) or the trusty Eurostar to Paris.

Places to eat & drink In London

people eating a roast

London has a lively food scene, with cuisines from around the world, so there are endless choices. Here are a few staples I recommend.

Lunch & Dinner

Chet's in Shepherd's Bush

Bibi Kitty Fisher's Hide in Mayfair

Petersham Nurseries in Covent Garden

Cafe Cecilia in Hackney

The Clove Club in Shoreditch Borough Market or Seven Dials Market for casual choices

Incredible Indian restaurants

Sunday Roast at a cozy neighborhood pub

Afternoon Tea

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Bijoy Shah’s guide, To-do & To-eat: A Lively London Respite.

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The Modern Travel Agency


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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to London.