London is one of the most exciting cities to visit, boasting rich history and culture.
Spread out across the city, you’ll see bridges, shopping spots, palaces, and galleries.
There are also unique places and markets to eat.
But with so many tourists visiting London, following a private guide might be the best option.
Whether you’re travelling with family or as a couple, you’ll get much more insight on a tour.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the best places to visit in London on private tours.
1. Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Are you a Harry Potter fan?
If so, you need to book a Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London.
These iconic studios are where all eight of the Harry Potter films were produced.
Choose a Deluxe ticket to enjoy a guided tour as a small group.
Explore incredible sets, such as the Great Hall, the Forbidden Forest, and Diagon Alley.
Take a closer look at the costumes used during the films, including Quidditch kits and Yule Ball outfits.
Have a photograph taken in front of the Great Hall doors.
There’s also a gift shop where you can purchase all kinds of Harry Potter memorabilia.
- Opening Hours: Tours vary from 8:30am-10pm
- Address: Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, England
2. Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the city’s most famous landmarks.
And what better way to learn all about it than with a private tour?
This impressive fortress dates back to the 11th century, originally built to protect London from enemies.
There is so much to see here, from the famous Crown Jewels to the White Tower.
Hear stories about the Tower of London from experts.
Look out for the ravens, known as the guardians of the Tower.
You’ll also find a café where you can stop for refreshments at the end of your tour.
- Opening Hours: March to October 9am-5:30pm; November to February 9am-4:30pm
- Address: London EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom
3. Buckingham Palace
Dating back to 1705, Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarchy.
Many people flock to the Palace gates to get a glimpse of this impressive building.
Visitors can explore inside and see 19 of the Palace’s 775 rooms.
From the Music Room to the Throne Room, there are so many lavish spaces to look around.
You can also visit The Royal Mews, a collection of stables that are still in use today.
The Changing of the Guard ceremony is a must-see event that takes place in front of Buckingham Palace.
If you want to avoid crowds and learn about the palace, book a private tour with an expert guide.
- Opening Hours: July to August 9:30am-5:30pm; September to October 9:30am-6:30pm
- Address: Buckingham Palace Road, London
4. Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace is the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
It is located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Areas of this magnificent building are open for the public to visit.
But it’s best to book a private tour and find out more about this famous palace.
There’s a lot to see here, from The King’s Gallery to The Queen’s State Apartments.
Step inside The Jewel Room and witness the beautiful collection of gems commissioned for Queen Victoria.
You can also look around Kensington Gardens and see areas such as The Sunken Garden and The Cradle Walk.
After the tour, stop for a snack at Kensington Palace Café, serving a selection of sandwiches, cakes, and ice cream.
- Opening Hours: March to October 10am-6pm; November to February 10am-4pm; Monday & Tuesday closed
- Address: Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX, United Kingdom
5. Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is a medieval Gothic church in the City of Westminster, London.
It’s a world-famous building and England’s most important church.
Inside, you can visit areas such as The Coronation Chair, the Royal Tombs, and The Lady Chapel.
During a private tour of the Abbey, you’ll visit special places such as the Tomb of Edward the Confessor.
Keep in mind, this is not part of general tours.
You’ll also pass by The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, a space that has never before been open to the public.
Tours are usually led by a verger who will provide expert commentary throughout.
Look inside The Abbey shop on your way out, where you can browse a range of unique gifts.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 9:30am-3:30pm; Sunday open for services
- Address: 20 Deans Yd, London SW1P 3PA, United Kingdom
6. Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster (otherwise known as the Houses of Parliament) is the seat of the UK government.
This is where laws are made and current issues are debated.
The Palace of Westminster is one of the most important buildings in London, so it’s definitely worth taking a look around.
It’s located on the north bank of the River Thames, in central London.
A guided tour lasts around 90 minutes and includes access to Westminster Hall, the House of Commons, and the House of Lords.
You will be shown around by a guide who will tell you all about the Palace of Westminster’s interesting history.
Due to its central location, there are plenty of places to eat within walking distance of the Palace.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm; Weekend closed
- Address: Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA
7. Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is the oldest castle in the world, dating back to 1070.
This incredible structure covers 5.2 hectares of land.
It has been the home of British kings and queens for around 1,000 years.
It’s located in Windsor, Berkshire, about an hour’s train journey from central London.
Private tours are available on days when the Castle is closed to the public.
You’ll also receive a glass of champagne and a copy of Windsor Castle’s official guidebook.
There are many key areas to discover, such as the Moat Room and the Semi-State Rooms.
Just like at Buckingham Palace, the Castle also holds a Changing of the Guard ceremony on selected days throughout the week.
- Opening Hours: March to October 10am-5:15pm; November to February 10am-4:15pm; Tuesday & Wednesday closed
- Address: Castle Hill, Windsor, England, SL4 1NJ
8. Tower Bridge
Built in 1894, Tower Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the UK.
It’s often confused with London Bridge, which is located a little further down.
Tower Bridge is defined by its striking towers that sit at either end.
Today, visitors can go inside the towers and walk across the bridge’s pathway.
You’ll love the breathtaking views of London from here.
A Tower Bridge guided tour gives you access to all areas of the bridge, from the high-level Glass Floors to the Engine Room.
Hear anecdotes and key facts from your tour guide, who will be able to answer any questions you might have.
Tower Bridge is located only minutes from the Tower of London, so you can visit both attractions in one day.
- Opening Hours: Daily 9:30am-6pm
- Address: Tower Bridge Road, London, England, SE1 2UP
9. St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most recognisable features of London’s skyline.
It dates back to 604 AD and is defined by its impressive dome, which is 111.3 metres high.
One of the things to see inside is the Whispering Gallery and the Crypt, which is the resting place of Admiral Lord Nelson.
There are several guided tours to choose from, including a Highlights tour and a Cathedral Floor and Crypt tour.
You can also book a tour of the Cathedral’s Triforium, an interior gallery closed off to the public.
Tours are available throughout the day from Monday to Saturday, usually between 11am and 3pm.
There are plenty of cafés around St. Paul’s Cathedral to grab refreshments after a tour.
Café Rouge St. Paul’s is one of the more popular spots only a minute’s walk away.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 8:30am-4:30pm; Wednesday 10am-4:30pm
- Address: St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD, United Kingdom
10. Covent Garden
You can’t visit London without taking a tour of Covent Garden.
Located in the city’s West End, Covent Garden is a vibrant shopping and entertainment hub.
Besides all the shops and restaurants, there are many theatres close by.
This bustling area dates back to 1656 and was originally used as a place to buy fruits and vegetables.
Today, you can book a private Inside Story walking tour of Covent Garden and find out about its history.
Afterwards, make sure to indulge in a spot of shopping.
You’ll find plenty of brilliant stores here, such as Apple, Chanel, Lacoste, and Zara.
Once you’ve finished, dine out at one of the restaurants lining the piazza.
- Opening Hours: Shops are open Monday to Saturday 10am-8pm; Sunday 11am-6pm
- Address: Covent Garden Market, London, WC2
11. Borough Market
If you want to shop for delicious food, head to Borough Market in Southwark, central London.
This historic market is one of the oldest places to visit in London, dating back to around 1014.
There’s plenty to see, from The Borough Market Store to gourmet food stalls.
To learn more about the area, join a private, behind-the-scenes tour led by a local guide.
This tour lasts around 2.5 hours and includes tasting sessions from traders, including cheese and tea.
If you’d prefer to dine inside, there are lots of restaurants situated around Borough Market.
LOBOS Meat and Tapas is a popular choice, only a 3-minute walk from the market.
Here you can enjoy a range of Spanish dishes, such as Patatas Bravas and Chorizo al Vino.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday 8am-5pm; Sunday 10am-3pm
- Address: 8 Southwark Street, London, England, SE1 1TJ
12. British Museum
Located in Bloomsbury, the British Museum is one of the world’s best-known museums.
Free to visit, it features a permanent collection of 8 million works, covering all areas of human history.
If you want to visit without the crowds, book a British Museum out-of-hours tour.
There are several tours to choose from, including An Introduction to Ancient Egypt and An Introduction to the Ancient Greek World.
These private tours are available daily, between 08:50 and 10:00.
It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about the world’s first national public museum.
The British Museum’s Montague Café is the ideal place to purchase a light bite on your way out.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5pm; Friday 10am-8:30pm
- Address: Great Russell Street, London, England, WC1B 3DG
13. Tate Modern
If you’re an art fan, you need to take a private tour of London’s Tate Modern gallery.
Tate Modern is a contemporary art gallery in Southwark, home to over 100 works of art.
Here you can view wonderful pieces by artists across the globe, such as Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.
Works include paintings, photographs, and sculptures from the 1900s to the present day.
Tate Modern private tours can accommodate up to 25 people.
It’s a great way to learn more about the gallery’s permanent collection or temporary exhibitions.
At the end of your tour, relax and refuel at the Tate Modern Café.
Here you can admire riverside views and choose from a range of sandwiches, sweets and savoury snacks.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-6pm
- Address: Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
14. London National Gallery
London’s National Gallery is another brilliant spot to visit for art enthusiasts.
Located in Trafalgar Square, this gallery features one of the world’s greatest collections of paintings.
Here you’ll find over 2,000 works from the 13th century up until the 20th century.
Highlights include Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh, and The Water Lily Pond by Claude Monet.
Book a private tour and learn more about the history of these famous paintings.
Once you’ve finished exploring the National Gallery, make sure to have a look around Trafalgar Square too.
Marvel at the Landseer Lions – enormous bronze statues that lie at the base of Nelson’s Column.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-6pm
- Address: Trafalgar Square, London, England, WC2N 5DN
15. London Natural History Museum
Learn more about Planet Earth at the National History Museum, located in London’s South Kensington district.
There are lots of exciting exhibits to see here, from the Dinosaurs gallery to the Volcanoes and Earthquakes gallery.
It’s a family-friendly attraction and an excellent place for kids who want to find out about the world around them.
Best of all, entry into the museum is completely free!
You can book an exclusive experience to explore the exhibitions after the crowds have gone.
They generally go for 2 to 2.5 hours.
If you have time, catch a screening at the Science Museum Imax Cinema.
The South Kensington area also offers a wide selection of restaurants.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5:50pm
- Address: Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD
16. Shakespeare’s Globe
A trip to London wouldn’t be complete without visiting Shakespeare’s Globe.
Situated on the bank of the city’s River Thames, this attraction is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre.
This is where William Shakespeare’s plays were performed.
A guided tour of Shakespeare’s Globe will give you insights into the original 1599 theatre.
Walk around the open-air venue and learn about the theatre productions that took place during the Elizabethan era.
Tours go ahead whatever the weather, so make sure you’re appropriately dressed!
After the tour, take a look inside the shop for unique souvenirs like clothes, bags, stationery, and gifts.
The Swan Bar & Restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a tasty lunch, located right next to Shakespeare’s Globe.
- Opening Hours: Tours & show times vary
- Address: 21 New Globe Walk, London, England
The best place to try a range of food in London is Covent Garden or Borough Market.
At Covent Garden, there’s a variety of options from fine dining to quick bites.
While at Borough Market, you’ll find more homely food, like cakes, pastries, cheese, as well as wine.
The best place to visit in London at night is Tower Bridge.
After the sun sets, the bridge is illuminated against the night sky, making it even more breathtaking to look at.
Walk over the bridge to experience views of London’s nighttime skyline.
Spot other brilliant landmarks, such as the London Eye and The Gherkin.
Warner Bros. Studios is the best place to visit in London for families.
It’s perfect for fans of the Harry Potter films, offering access to famous sets used throughout the franchise.
Here you can explore the magic of Harry Potter and explore different interactive exhibits, perfect for kids.
The attraction has a gift shop where you can buy all sorts of Harry Potter merchandise.
The National Gallery is the best place to visit in London for couples.
Featuring over 2,000 paintings, the gallery is a great place for a unique date.
Walk around and witness various masterpieces by artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo.
The National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square, central London.
In the evening, you can check out a live show at Shakespeare’s Globe.
|London Places to Visit||Opening Hours|
|Warner Bros. Studio Tour||Tours vary from 8:30am-10pm|
|Tower of London||Mar to Oct 9am-5:30pm; Nov to Feb 9am-4:30pm|
|Buckingham Palace||Jul to Aug 9:30am-5:30pm; Sep to Oct 9:30am-6:30pm|
|Kensington Palace||Mar to Oct 10am-6pm; Nov to Feb 10am-4pm; Mon & Tue closed|
|Westminster Abbey||Mon to Sat 9:30am-3:30pm|
|Palace of Westminster||Mon to Fri 9am-5pm; Weekend closed|
|Windsor Castle||Mar to Oct 10am-5:15pm; Nov to Feb 10am-4:15pm; Tue & Wed closed|
|Tower Bridge||Daily 9:30am-6pm|
|St. Paul’s Cathedral||Mon to Sat 8:30am-4:30pm; Wed 10am-4:30pm|
|Covent Garden||Shops are open Mon to Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 11am-6pm|
|Borough Market||Mon to Fri 10am-5pm; Sat 8am-5pm; Sun 10am-3pm|
|British Museum||Daily 10am-5pm; Fri 10am-8:30pm|
|Tate Modern||Daily 10am-6pm|
|London National Gallery||Daily 10am-6pm|
|London Natural History Museum||Daily 10am-5:50pm|
|Shakespeare’s Globe||Tours & show times vary|