London is a city filled with culture, history, excitement, and the signature British charm. It is also the perfect solo travel destination because of friendly locals, accessible attractions, and an endless list of adventures you can go on without needing a companion. Here are the 10 best things to do alone in London.
11. Window shop at a local market.
Window shopping is one of the best things to do alone in London, and there’s no better place to do this than at the local markets scattered all around the city. London’s local markets are always bustling with activity and there’s always something worth pausing for at every corner- prepare to be tempted by food samples, quirky accessories, and other oddities. It’s easy to lose track of time once you start browsing through these market streets, so prepared to get lost in them for at least two or three hours. Borough Market and Camden are tourist favorites, but there’s bound to be at least one smaller market in your area if you’re looking for something less touristy.
10. Explore Notting Hill
Visiting Notting Hill is one of the best things to do alone in London and it never fails to make you feel like you’re starring in your own movie. The area is filled with pastel terrace houses and cafe-lined streets, florists selling the freshest blooms in every corner, and local street-side stalls tempting you with trinkets you probably don’t need but will indulge in anyway- for memories’ sake. There’s something about Notting Hill that instantly makes you forget how ugly the rest of the world is, especially when you’re just sitting alone at a local bakery like Biscuiteers for a cup of afternoon tea feeling completely at peace.
9. See Harry Potter’s London
The magic never ends for Harry Potter fans as the book series and movie franchise became, and continue to be, a big part of many people’s lives. Whether you’re a total Potterhead or a casual fan of the movies, you’ll definitely enjoy going on a special Muggle Tour around London to relive the misadventures Harry and the gang had when they weren’t in Hogwarts. With the help of professionals from the (fictional) Department of Tourism and Muggle Relations, you’ll discover the magical side of London and see the city through the eyes of Harry Potter, the boy who lived.
8. Go on a date with your favorite book
Take a break from the busy streets of London by going on a date with your favorite book. Grab your book, head off to your park or museum of choice, pick a bench, pick a seat, and read to your heart’s content. There are hidden reading spots all around London so you can spend time undisturbed, like the Camden Arts Centre and Geffrye Museum Gardens. You can easily finish a book in one sitting granted you don’t get tempted to people-watch the whole afternoon. Reading alone while surrounded by nature, animals, and works of art is always a healing experience.
7. Go museum hopping
There are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of museums in London filled with paintings, sculptures, and all kinds of artwork created by the biggest names in art history. Classics like the British Museum, the National Gallery, and the Museum of London take you on a journey through art, and even, human history. If you’re looking for more contemporary-style art, head over to Tate Modern, London’s center for modern art, to see paintings, photographs and performance art while enjoying a stunning view of the river from the gallery’s cafe. You can even catch an installation at the famous Turbine Hall if you’re lucky.
6. Take yourself on a self-guided tour
Explore London’s sights and attractions at your own pace and learn the history behind them through a self-guided tour. Places usually do these through an audio device or an app you can download on your phone, so just put on your earphones and you’re good to go. You can tour Wembley Stadium behind the scenes, hear the stories behind the paintings hanging in museums, or go on a walking tour around London alone to discover the streets’ secrets and history.
5. Crawl from Covent Garden to Soho
Go on a pub crawl to experience local culture in areas like Covent Garden and Soho, where the streets are always buzzing with life and energy. These neighborhoods are filled with great pubs that exude character and charm. This is also a great way to meet new people- locals and fellow travelers alike. So if you meet a good crowd that matches your own energy then you might not have to travel alone anymore by the end of the night.
4. Buy tickets for the shows at Leicester Square
Immerse yourself in London’s West End theater scene by buying tickets for one of the shows at Leicester Square. It’s easily within walking distance from tourist areas like Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Soho and Covent Garden and is surrounded by restaurants, cinemas, and theatres that will surely excite your senses. Check out the famous Odeon Theatre where all the movie premiers are shown, or pick a spot on any of the grass areas to watch buskers perform.
3. Catch a free concert at Trafalgar Square
If you had lunch a little early and find yourself free at noon, head on over to St. Martin-in-the-Fields to watch a free concert. Once the show ends and the instruments get packed up, walk around the church and its beautiful architecture. You’ll find a lot of other attractions within and near the square as well like Nelson’s Column, The National Gallery, Admiralty Arch, the National Portrait Gallery, and a breathtaking view of Whitehall and Big Ben from Trafalgar Square.
2. Solve mysteries at Baker Street
Easily one of the most popular streets of London, Baker Street is best known as the street where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s popular detective Sherlock Holmes lived. There’s a huge statue of the detective himself guarding the area, looking as contemplative and curious as ever. You can find a Sherlock Holmes museum near the Underground station, and Madame Tussauds is right around the corner. If you’re still feeling as adventurous as Sherlock after walking around Baker Street, climb Primrose Hill for a spectacular view of the city.
1. Shop til you drop at Oxford Street
One of the best things about traveling alone? There’s no one there to stop you from buying anything and everything your heart desires. With over 300 shops and boutiques, Oxford Street is the perfect place to do just that. It is easily London’s shopaholic paradise and the busiest shopping street in all of Europe. Prepare to spend hours going in and out of specialty designer brands and internationally-famous department stores.