Destinations

10 Fun Activities You Shouldn't Miss On Your Next Trip to London

Spend a day at the Wizarding World, an afternoon at the largest Van Gogh exhibit to date, and a night at the Royal Albert Hall for a concert.
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London, home of rock ‘n’ roll, poets, and the Queen is one destination that cannot truly be seen in one go. You may have already taken a photo in front of Buckingham Palace a la Meghan Markle at age 15, crossed Abbey Road like the Beatles, or had a bird's eye view the city onboard the London Eye, but there’s still is much more to see. Here’s an updated list of sights and activities you shouldn’t miss on your next trip to London.

Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin at Tate and National Gallery


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For 63 years, these two artists shared a tiny flat in Arles, France. Their friendship has been the subject of interest for decades, and their works can be viewed in museums across London. This year, the two masters will each be having individual exhibits. “Van Gogh and Britain” at Tate Britain presents 50 paintings—the largest Van Gogh exhibit to date. It will also present how the artist was inspired by Britain and how he inspired British artists. The exhibit runs until August 2019. Meanwhile, The National Gallery will be holding the first-ever exhibition of portraits by Paul Gauguin, featuring 50 portraits that show the artist’s move from Impressionism to Symbolism. The exhibit will run from October 7, 2019 to January 26, 2020.

Shakespeare’s Globe


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A visit to Shakespeare’s Globe in Southwark takes you back to the 16th century. While it feels like a movie set, there is an actual theater that hosts real seasonal productions. The Globe today is a faithful reconstruction of the original Globe Theater built in 1599. Take a guided tour, or watch a play under the stars in the summer. The winter theater season, however, sounds promising, with Macbeth by William Shakespeare and Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlow on the program.  

Crystal Maze London

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The city’s rich history is not limited to Medieval references and fine art. It pays great reverence to pop culture, too. Cult ‘90s game show The Crystal Maze is now a literal maze called ‘The Crystal Maze Live Experience’ that visitors can try to solve themselves. A new maze with all-new games will be opening in London’s West End this spring.

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Classic Rock Tour London

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Avoiding touristy things? This tour is anything but. Tours in London are less about selfies and more about culture, so this tour is perfect for music nerds who can’t enough of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. The tour is offered by several different operators, just choose which one suits your schedule. It includes visits to iconic locations in music history, such as the final home of Freddie Mercury, the venue of the Beatles’ final gig, David and Angie Bowie’s apartment — where Mick Jagger also lived for a time, and more.

Making of Harry Potter Tour


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Walking tours around the city are nice, but nothing will come close to seeing the real sets, props, and magic of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. Studio in Leavesden, about an hour and a half from Central London. Open to the public since 2012, the studio keeps it interesting by introducing new exhibits annually. What to see this year apart from the main tour: Behind the Seams, Gringotts Wizarding Bank, Dark Arts (September to November), and Hogwarts in the Snow (November to January 2020).

Mayfair, London


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One of the most expensive districts in London and the world, Mayfair in the City of Westminster is where you’ll find upscale residential properties, commercial shops, and restaurants. It is home to Savile Row, known for traditional bespoke clothing and tailors who’ve dressed legends such as Paul McCartney, Miles Davis, and Twiggy. Dover St., home of the Victoria Beckham flagship, is also in Mayfair—where you can easily satisfy your love for Brit pop and fashion in a single trip.

Camden Town


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Located in Northwest London, Camden Market is a short train ride from Oxford Circus, with markets and music venues that cultivate alternative culture. You’ll find vintage fashion, local designer stores, record stores, bookstores, and quirky tea shops if you give yourself the time to explore all the hidden alleys in the area. Camden is also the hometown of Amy Winehouse, so don’t be surprised if you find several tributes to the late artist. If you’re a fan, stop by Amy’s favorite pub, The Hawley Arms, or check out her bronze statue in Stables Market.

Watch a concert


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London is home not only to the world’s best musical acts but also to some of the best concert venues. Nothing quite completes a vacation like seeing your favorite artist live with thousands other fans, so the next time you’re in London, check out who’s playing at the O2 Arena, Wembley Stadium or Royal Albert Hall.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland


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Almost every park in London puts up its own version of a winter wonderland once the temperature hits freezing lows, but Hyde Park’s annual Christmas treat is the biggest and the best. It is open from November to January, and has activities for kids and adults, such as an ice rink, rides, a circus, themed areas, shops, food, and drinks.

Buckingham Palace


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From July to September, Buckingham Palace, office and London residence of The Queen, will open its doors to the public. If you visit in the summer, you’ll get a chance to walk around 19 different State Rooms, check out the Royal Family’s collection of art, take a stroll in the garden, and witness the Changing of the Guard.

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About The Author
Chonx Tibajia
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