London: The centre of everything

London’s calling – a melting pot of food, fashion, culture, history and shopping recognised as among the best in the world. Here we pick out the best places to eat, drink, shop and sightsee in the capital.

Here are the best things to see and do in London, the great places to grab some grub, the perfect places to pitch up for a pint and where to head for some retail therapy. Plus the secret spots you might never have heard of.

London’s calling – a mix of food, fashion, culture, history and shopping recognised among the best in the world.

Take in a show in the West End or a gig in Camden. Enjoy fine dining at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal or street food at Brick Lane. Rummage for a bargain at a vintage market out east or splurge on a little luxury at Bond Street. 

Things to do in London  
The Victoria & Albert Museum in SW7 is known as the “world’s greatest museum of art and design”. Visit before the end of July and fall in love with the history of Italian fashion design from Gucci, Prada and more.

From tales of grim executions to glistening Crown Jewels, the Tower of London has the lot. Breathe in its 900-year history - from the swords and poleaxes of the Royal Armoury to the story of the Tower’s brooding ravens. 

Have a thing for dinosaurs and other ancient creatures? You can’t miss this Natural History Museum. Here you’ll find vast, towering skeletons of dinosaurs such as the diplodocus and much more. The museum last year was a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award winner.

Shopping in London
London is one of the world’s top three shopping cities, according to CNN Travel. From vintage to high street and designer to heritage brands, it excels at everything.

The capital’s top thrift stores can all be found in east London, according to TimeOut. Dig out bargains at the East End Thrift Store, or connect with your love of vintage at Beyond Retro.

Designer brands more your thing? Don’t miss Regent Street. You’ll find famous department store Liberty London as well as Burberry, Barbour and more.

For high street heaven it has to be Oxford Street. Flagship branches of Topshop, M&S and Selfridges mean this simply cannot be missed.

Food and drink in London
Eating in London? The capital is a true melting pot of cooking styles, cultures and cuisines. Here are a few of our favourites.  

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal was voted number seven on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Expect historical British dishes dating back centuries “revived and reworked” for the modern kitchen at this Knightsbridge eatery. 

Meanwhile at the Delaunay on Aldwych in west London you’ll find European café-chic décor and grub. Enjoy a classic schnitzel or wiener – both of which are specialities. 

Looking for more of a pub lunch? Check out The Bull and Last near Hampstead Heath. The salt-beef sandwich and triple-cooked chips are a real treat – the Bull and Last made it into the UK’s Top 10 Gastropubs 2014.

Hidden London 
Here are three spots in London you might not have heard of

Head to Kew Gardens to check out a distinctive 10-storey high Chinese Pagoda. Completed in 1762, the pagoda towers 163ft from the ground at Kew above the firs and other trees. It was once the tallest reconstruction of a Chinese building in Europe.

Get all nostalgic at the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising in Notting Hill where you’ll find all manner of drinks cans, biscuit tins and other consumer goods from yesteryear. Who doesn’t want to spend an hour remembering the Coca-Cola cans of the 1980s?

Love creaky old pubs? The Ye Olde Mitre Tavern in Farringdon will be right up your street. With a history dating back to the 1500s, this old-worldly tavern sits at the centre of a small web of alleyways. Once you’ve found it, enjoy a pint of real ale by the fire, beneath the ancient beams.   
Upcoming events in London

Urban Food Fest (Until 21 June) Head to Brick Lane for the Urban Food Fest where you’ll find much of he world’s cuisine in one place – served from converted horse boxes, US ambulances and Thai tuk tuks.

Open Garden Squares Weekend (14 June – 15 June) Held in association with the National Trust, this even will see around 200 communal gardens not usually open to the public do just that for one weekend.

Field Day (7 June - 8 June) At this London music festival you can check US alt-rock favourites Pixies, who’ll be headlining in Victoria Park on the Sunday, as well as Nenneh Cherry and Metronomy.

Enjoy your trip to London.

Upcoming events