Must See London Sightseeing List for First Time Visitors
Visiting London for the first time? We have a London sightseeing list to help narrow down the best places to visit on your trip.
Planning For a Trip to London
Planning the itinerary is exciting at first but can quickly become overwhelming as you realize how much there is to do and see in this amazing city. There are so many quirky neighborhoods, family-friendly restaurants, cozy tea rooms, and historical attractions. How do you decide where to go this time and what to leave off for the next trip?
The best tip we can give you is to start planning as early as possible. The more time you spend exploring online, the more likely you are to select the best attractions and points of interest for your family. Every family is different, so there is no cookie cutter London sightseeing list or itinerary that works for everyone.
First Time Visitor Must-See London Sightseeing List:
We can give you a head start by sharing our London sightseeing list of must-see London attractions for first-time visitors. Steal the ideas that appeal to your family and dismiss the rest.
- Battersea Park – Battersea is more than just a beautiful green space with a large lake. It features a children’s zoo that is less intimidating than the London Zoo for young children. It’s also a bit more affordable.
- Big Ben – When you hear bells chime through Westminster, it’s the sound of Big Ben. You can’t tour this massive clock due to ongoing restoration, but it’s a great spot for photos.
- Buckingham Palace – See the official residence for the royal family since the 1800s. Book a tour of the state rooms to see what it’s like to live like a royal in a true palace.
- Greenwich Market – It’s a bustling market with fresh goods for sale and one of the best historic sites in London. Shop and take in the history at once.
- Hyde Park – Visit the largest of four royal parks for a bit of free London fun. Relax by the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Go for a dip in the Serpentine. Ride a horse. Play a game of tennis. Or simply relax at the café.
- Kensington Palace and Gardens – Tour one of the palaces where some members of the royal family live, and then slip into the picturesque gardens surrounding the palace. Make sure to find the playground dedicated to Princess Diana to let the little ones stretch their legs and their creativity on a giant wooden pirate ship.
- Leadenhall Market – It’s all about food and shopping at the Leadenhall Market. This is the perfect place to add to your London sightseeing list to fill up your souvenir bag and indulge at one of the market’s family-friendly restaurants and cafes.
- Leicester Square – This is one of the liveliest squares in London, and it’s a ton of fun day or night. When the sun is up, enjoy shopping, dining, and live street entertainment. Take a walk along Scenes in the Square while you’re at it. When the moon is up, watch the square light up as you go for a stroll or have a drink.
- London Bridge – Explore the history of this iconic bridge crossing the River Thames.
- London Dungeons - Explore the darker side of London’s history with entertaining storytellers, thrilling rides, and interactive exhibits. It’s a bit on the scary side, but most parents deem it suitable for kids at least 10 years of age.
- London Eye – It may look like a giant eye in the sky, but it’s actually a massive Ferris wheel that delivers stunning views of the London skyline. Bundle tickets to other major attractions to save a bit of money.
- London Zoo – What’s a family vacation without a trip to the zoo? This is a larger zoo than the one you’ll find in Battersea Park.
- National Gallery – Explore the finest of European art with a variety of themed exhibits.
- Natural History Museum – Explore fascinating exhibits to learn more about science, animals, and the earth. From dinosaurs to slugs, you never know what you’ll find in this museum.
- The O2 – Book tickets for a live show at one of London’s most popular entertainment venues. From comedy to live music concerts, there’s always something amazing hitting the stage at the O2.
- Piccadilly Circus – This is one of the busiest open squares in London. It gives you access to a variety of shops and restaurants while connecting you to Leicester Square, Regent Street, and other popular tourist areas.
- Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – Slip down a massive slide known as the ArcelorMittal Orbit and immerse yourself in some of the most scenic park views in London.
- Tower Bridge – This expansive bridge features a glass floor that allows you to see London from the sky.
- Tower of London – This is one of the greatest historical landmarks of London. No first trip is complete without a tour and viewing of the Crown Jewels.
Happy Trip Planning
This London sightseeing list of must-see attractions should help you cover the most popular points of interest. If you still have some holes in your itinerary, continue browsing our site for more recommended attractions. We have tons of ideas for everything from accommodations and transportation to dining and recreation in London.