Things to do in Central London
Being in the center of one of the most popular cities in the world means that the biggest attractions are going to be within easy access. Guests know which ones they are; they are the ones on all the travel guides and blogs about London (Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye etc). Find out more about the most iconic attractions in the city below:
- Westminster Abbey
The church where all of Britain’s monarchs get coronated, this Gothic structure is one of the most admired churches in Europe, even more so than the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. This is also one of the burial sites of Britain’s most notable persons, with 16 monarchs, 8 Prime Ministers, along with poets laureate, actors, scientists, military leaders, and The Unknown Soldier.
Standard tickets cost £23 at the abbey, while small deductions are available for children and those who book online.
- Big Ben
The famous clock is one of the golden selfies to take whilst in the city. While may still be under renovation when you arrive, the chimes are as iconic as the shape. Britain moves through the years thanks to the chimes, and the absence of them is a strike against the British character and greatly affects the stiff British upper lip.
- Trafalgar Square
Home to Nelson’s column, many tourists can be found sitting on the steps every day watching the world go by or taking snaps with the fountains and climbing the base for a pic with the lion statues. While the area commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and the sacrifice of Lord Nelson, the square itself has also been used for protests against war, austerity and climate change.
- Leicester Square
Crowded with shoppers, squashing through the horde of people is an activity in itself while visiting places like M&M’s World and the Lego Store have become part of the London experience. But that’s not all. The restaurants in the square are some of the most popular, while many film premieres take place here every year.
- West End
All the big hits can be found here, like Hamilton, Matilda, Lion King and Wicked, with a few smaller and limited shows scattered around for the more dedicated theatre buffs. While Shakespeare may be absent, contemporary theatre’s greatest talents always have something to show off.
- London Eye
With over 3.75 million visitors annually, the London Eye is one of the centerpieces of the city. Delivering astounding views all over London, this is an attraction that’s not to be missed. Standard tickets cost about £30, but visitors can save more by booking online. Fast track tickets can be purchased for £40, but again can be bought for less online.
Museums in Central London
Central London is home to the top museums in the city. They all cover a variety of subjects, parts of history, the best works of art and the wonderful nature of science. Explore many exhibits, the inventions that have revolutionized the world and habitats that possess the that most elegant and strangest of creatures. The best thing is that most of these great museums and galleries in Central London can be experienced for free.
- British Museum
Not what the name implies, the museum covers many eras of history, not just that of the British Isles. From the North Americas to the native tribes of New Zealand, the samurai of Japan and the Age of Enlightenment, everything is covered here. It’s free entry but it’s sensible to donate. Special exhibitions will vary in cost.
- Natural History Museum
Dinosaurs, botanical delights, whales, the human body, human evolution and the birth of the universe are all covered in rich displays, models and exhibitions. Entry is free but it is wise to donate.
- Victoria & Albert Museum
The world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, the V&A houses a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects. With works from all over the world, Japan to North America, and from all parts of history, this is a delight. Again, it’s free but it’s nice to donate, and other exhibitions will have varying prices.
- National Gallery
Van Gogh, Cezanne, Da Vinci and many, many more of the greatest talents can be found here, with some of their finest contributions to the art world on display for all eyes to see. Entry is free, though donations are encouraged.
- Tate Britain
The best of British art is all here. From the likes of William Blake, JMW Turner, Reg Butler and many more, this is one of the best art galleries in London. While entry is free, it is great to donate, and private exhibitions will cost extra to enter.
Food and Drink in Central London
London is as famous for its divine restaurants as it is for its hordes of attractions. With fine dining options in Georgian buildings to casual restaurants that are suitable for the whole family, there are options for everyone. Plus, given its cultural and global appeal, the city has a catalog of cuisines to sift through that can feed the heart, mind, and soul.
For a splash of French cuisine with a hint of British specialty, this is certainly the place. Taste the likes of Pumpkin & Ricotta Tortellini, Steamed Cornish Cod, Mussels, Welsh Lamb, Woolley Park Farm Duck Breast and much more. Be sure to book a table here as this can be quite a popular place.
Address: 16 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8QH
With three distinct areas to eat in, this delightful place takes you on a journey from the tapas bars of Andalucía through to the Isadora of Castile and the seafood restaurants of Galicia. Taste the very best of the ocean and the land when you pick Sabor to be the place to lift you back up again after a long day.
Address: 35-37 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BR
- Bocca di Lupo
One of London’s top Italian restaurants, this is the premier place that people bring their loved ones to taste a slice of Italy. Some of the tasteful dishes include chard & ricotta pansotti with walnut sauce; spaghetti with sardines, raisins & pinenuts; suckling pig 'porchetta' with fragola grapes; friggitelli peppers & scrambled eggs; and ox tongue braised with chocolate.
Address: 12 Archer St, Soho, London W1D 7BB
- Blacklock Soho
Situated in a basement, and emulating the fun and lively atmosphere of Soho, this Blacklock restaurant comes with a host of dishes that have established the restaurant chain as one of the go-to diners in the city. Get pork loin, pork belly, lamb chops, and many other juicy bits to fill the carnivorous appetite.
Address: 24 Great Windmill St, Soho, London W1D 7LG
One of the best fish restaurants in London, Parsons is something new and exciting, where the wine, as well as the simply prepared fish, plays an equally important role in the experience. With the likes of sea bass, monkfish, haddock, crab, prawns, and mussels to choose from, all eaters have plenty to enjoy.
Address: 39 Endell St, London WC2H 9BA
Never tried Taiwanese food before? Well, now is the chance. Try Taiwanese fried chicken, guinea fowl Chi Shiang, trotter nuggets, yellow bean garlic scallop, lamb shoulder BAO and pig blood cake. Take the taste buds on an adventure by setting an evening aside to try the best food from Taiwan.
Address: 53 Lexington Street, Soho, London WIF 9AS
- The Palomar
Serving the food of modern-day Jerusalem, the intimate, 40 cover space has a reclaimed parquet floor, dark oak-paneled walls, banquette seating in royal blue leather, and features a skylight allowing natural light to flood in. The food alone represents the best that Jerusalem has to offer.
Address: 34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN
There are four in London; with this one being the original. The restaurant has an open kitchen, a beautiful marble-topped bar where guests can sit and watch the chefs at work, or sit on stylish red leather stools. The a la carte menus comprise authentic regional dishes from around Spain and there is also a daily changing specials menu unique to each restaurant.
Address: Dean Street, 26-27 Dean Street, W1D 3LL
- J Sheekey
Enjoy fresh seafood and other oceanic delights to fill the gut after a long adventure in the city. Try the cod, fish stew, crab burger and so many other choices that set your taste buds on a sensual adventure.
Address: 28-32 St Martin's Ct, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4AL
Awarded a Michelin star in 2014, Gymkhana is inspired by the Indian gymkhana clubs, where members of high society socialize, dine, drink and play sport. From a variety of curries, kebabs and other dishes, your appetite will be satisfied in no time.
Address: 42 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4JH
Shopping in Central London
As to be expected, Central London has an array of shopping attractions that are just waiting to be explored. The great thing about the center of any city is that the best, and the best only, lies in wait - and that’s truer than ever with London. Whether it is the crowded Oxford Street and the top brands or the bespoke and luxury delights of Bond Street, everyone can find something that they want.
- Oxford Street
Out of all the many things to do in London, shopping on Oxford Street is always on the list. Why? Because it is one of the UK’s most popular places to shop, as can be attested by the constant crowds pummelling the place for deals and boutique goods. Some of the big brands on Oxford Street include Sports Direct, River Island, JD Sports, Clarks, Next, John Lewis, Hosue of Fraser, Debenhams, Marks and Spencers and many more. In short, hours can be spent here simply surfing the crowds, brands, and offers.
- Tottenham Court Road
With the added convenience of two London Underground stops (Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road), the road is both a splendid place to shop and is the ideal place to hop on the Underground to get to more destinations. Some of the stores that guests can enjoy include M&S, Heal’s, West Elm, Waterstones, Revival Retro, Muji, iSmash and many more that bring the modern street alive.
- Westfield London
This is the largest shopping center in Europe so be prepared to be amazed. Now extended to 2.6 million square feet, the shopping center is home to all the big brands and restaurants that any Londoner and traveler need to buy the best. Not to be missed off any shopping list, be sure to pay the great mecca of consumerism a visit.
- Bond Street
Well known for its posh and upscale shops, Bond Street’s most prestigious retailers include Asprey, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Cartier, Dolce Gabbana, Hermès, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Mulberry, Ralph Lauren, and Tiffany & Co. Save up the pennies as the luxury items are far from cheap.
- Covent Garden
Most guests can spend the whole day looking around the markets, shops, and dining in the many restaurants. So why not do this yourself? The shops alone are fairly luxurious and the dining options range from pub grub to American diners and fine dining - so all budgets are catered for.
- Piccadilly Circus
With newly opened Hard Rock Cafe, there are even more cultural and retail hot spots to enjoy around here. From the huge Waterstones bookstore to the Planet Hollywood restaurant and the super Lillywhites store, no shopper will feel bored or unsatisfied as they budge their way through the crowds and find fantastic sales and boutique items.