Our London tourist attractions guide will help you gather the best information before your trip so you can make the most of your London family vacation.
There are so many tourist attractions in London that you could sightsee for weeks and still have a must-see list a mile long. And that is if you do the proper research before your vacation! With a little digging, you will uncover a world of attractions that go far beyond the top 10 or 20 lists featured on blogs and travel websites all over the internet.
The question is how you find the best information before your trip. You only want to rely on reputable sources, and your journey will start right here with our London tourist attractions guide. We strive to provide accurate, up-to-date information of value to our readers.
Keep reading to hear our tips for finding the best London attractions for your family. Sometimes your best options aren’t the top attractions, but you have to discover the options before you can add them to your travel plan. We’re about to make the discovery process easier for you with this helpful London tourist attractions guide.
How to Find Information Before Traveling to London
The simplest way to find information about London attractions is to ask people you already know who live in or have traveled to London. If you don’t know anyone personally who has experienced London in depth, ask on social media. You never know if one of your social connections can give you insight into some of the best London attractions for your family.
Beyond word-of-mouth, you want to rely on expert information or at least well-informed opinion from people with considerable direct experience traveling or living in London. Use the following London tourist attractions guide for insight into obtaining that expert information:
- City Maps – We’ve shared some of the best London maps on this website in the past. They’re great for introducing London to children of all ages but may also turn into the most valuable trip-planning resources you have. Attractions that are popular enough to appear on the map are good starting points for exploring London’s biggest attractions. Just don’t stop there because some of the best London attractions never make it to the maps.
- Travel Blogs – There are some travel blogs worth listening to when it comes to London travel tips and information. The best ones are written by locals or residents with extensive knowledge of the city. They can give their personal opinions on the best attractions and even some of the secrets that many travelers miss. Just remember that you’re reading opinions. The attractions that failed to impress someone else may be just what your family wants to enjoy.
- Government Websites – The Royal family is in charge of many leading attractions in London. We’re talking about the palaces, towers, and bridges, for starters. You can find a lot of information about what these attractions offer, hours of operation, locations, prices of admission, and age restrictions, by reading government websites. You will need to know the name of the attractions you want to explore at first but can look around to discover even more leads once you’re there.
- Attraction Websites – When you hear about a new London attraction, look it up online. Even the parks and courts now have some information available online.
- Event Ticketing Services – Ticketing services that operate online are great resources for discovering live shows, concerts, and holiday events held throughout London. You may even use listings on an event website to find the names of theatres and entertainment venues that you want to research further.
- Virtual Tours – There are so many virtual tours surfacing online that you could see most of London from your home. It’s not the same as viewing the city in real life, but the online tours are adequate to help you decide which attractions are the best fit for your family.
- Books and Magazines – Finally, you may want to spend some time reading books and magazines dedicated to London tourists. You’ll learn about some of the best attractions off the beaten path while picking up tips on traveling London safely.
Types of London Attractions to Include in Your Travel Plans
Now that you know where to find information before leaving for London, what type of attractions should you hope to find? That depends on the type of attractions that your family finds interesting, but this list will give you some idea of what you might find as you start planning your London family vacation.
- Free London Museums – Many of the museums in London now offer free entry. You may still need to pay for special exhibitions or events, but browsing the permanent collections and exhibits won’t cost you a dime. Some of the best free London museums include the British Museum and the Natural History Museum.
- Paid Museums – There are at least 50 museums in London, and at least 30 are likely to require payment at the door. These are typically specialized or themed museums that explore niche topics. For instance, there are museums dedicated to Sherlock Holmes, childhood toys, comics, and even female reproductive parts.
- The Palaces – London’s Royal palaces are at the top of most must-see in London lists. It all starts with Buckingham Palace, but there are many others worth exploring. Some are now residential palaces for the Royal family while others are more like museums or working grounds that support the Monarchs.
- The Bridges of London – Walking over the bridges of London is a simple amusement that comes with a lot of historical context. From the London Bridge to the Jubilee Bridges, there’s a lot to explore when you head down to the River Thames.
- Walking Tours – There are self-guided walking tours of London and guided tours that deliver commentary from well-informed guides. Some are free while others are not, and you often have the option of booking a private tour or going with a group. There are a variety of tours, ranging from standard tours of the top attractions to themed tours like ghost tours or Harry Potter tours. There are also tours of specific neighborhoods and boroughs in London.
- Boat Tours – Boat tours include speedboat tours and dinner or lunch cruises that move at a slower pace. Even if you tour from dry land, it’s interesting to see the city from the water.
- Bus Tours – Bus tours are big business in London. You can choose from hop-on, hop-off tours, group tours within London, private tours, and even tours that depart from London and explore other areas of the UK. Tours can last from 30 minutes to a full day or even multiple days.
- Theme Parks – Roller coasters are a thing even in London. If you want to give your family a thrill or cool off in a waterpark, theme parks are worth considering.
- Entertainment Venues – London’s entertainment venues and theatres offer a variety of live performances. That may include plays and musicals as well as music concerts, ballets, operas, comedy shows, and fun activities like karaoke, bowling, freefalling, escape rooms, and climbing walls.
- Adventure Groups – Are you up for a bit of an adrenaline rush? Look for London groups that offer hiking trips, ziplining, outdoor climbing, and other extreme activities.
- Sports Venues – Football (soccer) is big in London, but so is cricket and some other sports. Enthusiasts can catch a game or take tours of stadiums to see where the action happens.
- Bars and Pubs – The bars and pubs of London often offer excellent food plus live entertainment. Some also offer dart boards, escape rooms, karaoke, ping pong, and other amusements.
- Restaurants, Diners, and Cafes – Dining out is a big part of any vacation in London, especially if you have a foodie in the family.
- Zoos, Petting Farms, and Aquariums – Entertainment venues that allow children and adults to interact with animals are always big hits for travelers, and London has some great zoos, aquariums, and farms to consider.
- Art Galleries – From small, local galleries to large national galleries, there’s a lot to explore in London. Don’t forget to stop by the underground tunnels where graffiti takes the form of art.
- Parks, Gardens, and Courts – Remember to schedule breaks with nature into your London travel plan. London is loaded with parks and gardens, but you can’t miss the courts and squares either.
- The Markets of London – Shopping in London ranges from upscale malls and boutiques to outdoor markets that offer great bargains. You can also do some antique shopping while you’re in town.
You will find a lot to see and do in London by simply walking the streets and looking around.
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