Are you looking for cultural experiences in London?

Then you better start getting excited as London is bursting with awesome activities.

From afternoon tea to the Globe Theatre, there are cultural attractions at every turn.

Keep reading to discover the 15 best cultural things to do in London.

Table of Contents

1. Dine at Jugged Hare Pub & Restaurant

Start your trip to London right – with a meal at the Jugged Hare Pub & Restaurant.

As one of the best gastropubs in London, this dining experience combines a traditional English pub aesthetic with incredible gourmet food.

Described as a game restaurant, the Jugged Hare Pub & Restaurant is known for its meat-based dishes.

Of course, they excel at the classics like steak.

But they also serve a few lesser-known, seasonal dishes, such as squirrel croquettes and crispy crumbed pheasant.

Lastly, if you’re a fan of whiskey, then whatever you do, be sure to order off of their exclusive “game and whiskey pairing menu.”

  • Opening Hours: Monday to Wednesday 11am–11pm; Thursday to Saturday 11am-12pm; Sunday 11am–10:30pm
  • Address: 49 Chiswell Street London.

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Where to Stay

For a unique, luxury hotel just steps away from Jugged Hare Pub & Restaurant, look no further than the Montcalm at the Brewery, London.

This stunning hotel is set within a former brewery that dates back to the mid 18th century.

It is nestled nearby the Barbican Centre and is only a 15 minute walk to historic St. Paul’s.

Rooms combine traditional English decor with modern amenities.

We’re talking about iPhone docking stations, Nespresso machines, free WiFi, flat screen TVs, and 24 hour room service.

Some rooms even come with four-poster beds and an optional butler service.

  • Star Rating: 5 stars
  • Address: 52 Chiswell St, London EC1Y 4SA, United Kingdom

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2. Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea is like a rite of passage in London.

So if you love tea and dessert, then it’s an absolute must while visiting the city!

Luckily, there are plenty of places to enjoy a spot of afternoon tea.

From traditional tea rooms at historic hotels to cruises on the Thames or buses around town, you can choose the afternoon tea experience that suits you best.

No matter which you choose, you can expect a choice of delicious teas, fresh-made savoury sandwiches, and decadent desserts.

And of course, it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without homemade scones, jam, and clotted cream!

To find out where you can enjoy this unique cultural experience, read our article:

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3. Taste Local London Food

London is one of the most diverse cities in the world.

One of the amazing benefits of this is that you can find delicious cuisine from across the globe.

Whether you seek out specific restaurants or choose to sample foods at one of London’s many public markets, exploring the city’s food scene is a must.

But with so many places to eat, it can be intimidating to choose one on your own.

Thankfully, there are plenty of food tours and dining experiences in London that you can book in advance.

From an Indian food tour to a tour of Borough Market, this is the best way to get a local’s perspective on London’s cuisine.

Learn more about where to find cultural London food in our extensive article:

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4. Cruise on Thames River

One of the best ways to experience London is from the Thames.

This historic river is one of the most famous in the world.

Glide down the Thames on a cruise of your choice and get an unbeatable views of the city all around you.

There are a wide variety of river excursions to choose from, ranging from sightseeing cruises to upscale dinner cruises.

You can even book a hop on hop off cruise, which is a great way to explore different neighbourhoods of the city.

No matter which cruise you end up booking, you can expect to see famous landmarks including the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and Big Ben all in one trip.

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5. Shakespeare’s Globe

Whether you were an English major or not, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a must-see attraction while in London.

The Globe is where Shakespeare used to put on his plays back in the 17th century.

Although the original structure burnt down in a fire, the Globe that stands today is a perfect replica.

It opened to the public in 1997, mere feet from the location of the original.

Many Shakespeare plays are still performed here so if you’re interested in catching a live show, be sure to buy a ticket in advance.

In addition to the theatre itself, there is also a permanent Shakespeare exhibition on display.

  • Address: 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT, United Kingdom

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6. Watch a Premiere League Football Match

If you’re a sports fan, then watching a football game in London is a must!

After all, football is the national sport of England.

Thus, it is no surprise that a city as big as London has several football teams you can see play live.

Tottenham, Arsenal, and Chelsea all play in and around London and most are accessible by tube.

There are also tours you can book that include the ticket price and transportation from the city centre.

Be sure to buy your tickets in advance and of course, get into the spirit by wearing the colours of your chosen team!

Tottenham Tickets Arsenal Tickets Chelsea Tickets

7. Harry Potter at Warner Bros Studio

Calling all Potterheads!

Every Harry Potter fan knows that London is a very special place when it comes to the books and movies.

Not only were many parts of the book set there, but many scenes in the movies were filmed in London as well.

In fact, London is home to Warner Bros Studio, the spot where some of the most magical filming locations came to life.

Now that the film series is complete, they have opened the movie sets to the public.

That means you can stroll through Dumbledore’s office, Diagon Alley, and more.

See original costumes and props, grab some butterbeer ice cream, and watch the magic come to life before your very eyes.

  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9:30am-8pm; Weekends 8:30am-10pm
  • Address: Studio Tour Dr, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR, United Kingdom

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8. The Beatles & Abbey Road

One of the best parts of London’s culture is its incredible music scene.

Although many musical artists have originated in the UK, few are as famous as the Beatles.

Even more, there aren’t many album covers more recognizable than the Beatles’ Abbey Road.

Whether you’re a fan of the Beatles specifically or just of music, a tour that takes you to some of the most famous spots associated with them is a must.

There are several different Beatles walking and cab tours that will take you to sites like Abbey Road Studios, St. John’s Wood, Wimpole Street, and more.

Don’t miss out on a chance to learn about one of the most iconic London bands in history.

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9. British Museum

London is a museum haven.

But few are as famous as the British Museum.

The British Museum is one of the largest museums in the world.

Up there with the Louvre in Paris or the Met in New York, it is a must-visit whether you like history or not.

It was founded in 1750 and quickly became one of the most visited cultural attractions in the city.

Despite its name, the British Museum houses artefacts from all over the world.

We’re talking about everything from Egyptian mummies to Roman sculptures and Greek Parthenon marbles.

There is also a cafe and gift shop on-site, and there are often family events and activities for kids throughout the week.

  • Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday 10am-5:30pm; Friday 10am-8:30pm
  • Address: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom

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10. London Natural History Museum

If you love animals, then the London Natural History Museum is the place to be.

This historic museum is housed inside a gorgeous building in Kensington that dates back several centuries.

Today, the Natural History Museum houses over 70 million specimens.

Those on display range from awe-inspiring dinosaur skeletons to creepy-crawlies.

You can also expect to find fossils, a life-size blue whale replica, and an earthquake simulator.

The museum is conveniently organized into four different discovery zones.

It is great for children and adults alike.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5:5pm
  • Address: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom

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11. Ghost & Haunted Tours

As one of the oldest cities in Europe, you can bet that London has some eerie ghost stories.

If that’s something you’re into, then you have to check out the many ghost & haunted tours available in the city.

From Haunted Pub walking tours to Jack the Ripper cab tours, there are spooky locations all over the city.

There are even ghost tours around the Royal Maritime Academy in Greenwich, as well as haunted e-bike tours and haunted cruises on the Thames.

Most tours take place at night and should be booked in advance.

Taking a haunted tour is a great way to discover a different side of London.

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12. Visit Buckingham Palace

If you go to London and didn’t see Buckingham Palace, were you really in London?

This royal palace has served as the official residence of the UK’s reigning monarch since 1837.

Buckingham Palace is a sight to behold, as is witnessing the famous changing of the guards ceremony.

If you want to see how the royals actually live, then consider a tour that takes you inside the palace.

Inside, you will find the impressive State Rooms, furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection.

The palace is also home to several famous works of art by artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, and Canaletto.

  • Address: Westminster, London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom

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13. Changing of the Guard

Beyond simply look at Buckingham Palace, no trip to London is complete without watching the famous changing of the guards ceremony.

The changing of the guards ceremony is one of the most cherished traditions of the palace.

In addition to the colourful pageantry, you’ll also get to hear the beautiful music of the regimental band.

It occurs most days of the week at 11am local time so you have many chances to see it.

But be sure to show up early to get a good spot, as even on weekdays it gets extremely busy.

While in London, be sure to witness this famous cultural tradition.

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14. Explore London Markets

Yet another famous part of London’s culture is its markets.

The city is brimming with markets of all kinds, from foodie markets to flea markets.

If you’re not sure where to begin, consider a tour of the city’s many markets.

There are tours that will take you to multiple locations in one day, and others that will show you around one specific market.

After all, some are so large, it’s easy to get lost!

Some of the must-see markets in London include Portobello Market, Camden Market, Borough Market, Greenwich Market, and the seasonal Brugge Christmas Market.

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15. Shopping at Harrods

Harrods is a London institution.

It is hands down one of the most famous department store in the world, and London is home to its original location.

Thus, while in London be sure to take a walk through this iconic shopping complex.

Even window shopping is fun here thanks to the wide array of items.

From wedding gowns to children’s toys, there isn’t much you can’t find here.

They also have an amazing food hall filled with everything you could possibly want.

Fresh grocery items, prepared food, afternoon tea, French patisserie, gelato, and more can be found at Harrods.

  • Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am-9pm; Sunday 11:30am-6pm
  • Address: 87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL, United Kingdom

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As you can see, London is chock full of cultural things to do.

Whether you choose to spend your time exploring the city’s many markets or cruising down the Thames, there are plenty of ways to soak up the culture.

Find More Cultural Things to do in London

For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!