Looking for things to do alone in London? London is an exciting place to visit and explore in the company of friends and loved ones, but it is equally wonderful for solo travel. Whether you’re a lover of good cuisines, cultural diversity, history, picturesque locations or you simply want to explore the city you live in, London has lots in store for you. So even if you won’t be making the trip with a travel buddy, a great outing alone in London is guaranteed.
Here are some of the best things to do in London on your own!
For more from my London travel guide series check out my best things to do in London, bottomless brunch Shoreditch, things to do in Shoreditch, best food markets in London, Famous Streets in London, Neals Yard Covent Garden, best desserts in London, best brunch in London, things to do in Brick Lane, 5 day London itinerary and day in London.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best things to do alone in London
- 1.1 Visit Columbia Road, Flower Market
- 1.2 Catch a Lecture at the School of Life
- 1.3 Self-Guided London Walking Tour
- 1.4 Take a Walking Tour of the City of London
- 1.5 Take a London Street Art Tour
- 1.6 Visit London museums and galleries
- 1.7 Catch a movie at the cinema
- 1.8 Take in a Matinee Show at the Theatre
- 1.9 Go on a Photo Walk in London
- 1.10 Join a Saturday Morning Parkrun
- 1.11 Visit Daunt Books and Liberia
- 1.12 Visit Famous Streets in London
- 1.13 Visit London Mews
- 1.14 Visit Portobello Road
- 1.15 Visit the South Bank
- 1.16 Visit some of the best markets in London
- 1.17 Take a Food Tour
- 1.18 Get the Best Views of London
- 1.19 Take a Cruise Along the Thames to Greenwich
- 1.20 Visit Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel
- 1.21 Do a Day Trip From London to…
Best things to do alone in London
Visit Columbia Road, Flower Market
There’s nowhere as unique and atmospheric to go shopping for flowers, house plants and seeds, like Columbia Road Flower Market. The Columbia Flower Market has been in the East End of London since the 19th century and is a Sunday only Market in London.
The sight of hundreds of flower varieties, the scent of lavender, mint or jasmine as you stroll past the gauntlet of blossoms… nothing feels as great.
Its unique vibe is aided by the distinctive shouts of stallholders and the buskers playing music at different ends of the narrow street leading to the flower market, creating an upbeat, cheerful feeling all around.
The Columbia Road Flower Market opens at 8:00 am to 3:00pm. Check here for more information
Catch a Lecture at the School of Life
I love the School of Life in London, I’ve been to a few of their classes and can honestly say that they will stimulate and expand your mind and thought process. The venue hosts different speakers who discuss a variety of subjects including, culture, work, modern dating, relationships, stress, and so much more. The lectures and creative workshops here are sure to cultivate and increase your emotional intelligence.
Their youtube channel is also great to watch and their animated videos exploring Eastern and Western philosophy, will not only teach you new things but also help guide you on how you can see things differently.
Self-Guided London Walking Tour
London is a city best explored on foot. There are plenty of exciting things to see in London. You can go for a wander along the River Thames where you’d have a chance to admire famous London attractions such as the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower as well as catch a glimpse of the iconic dome of St Paul’s Cathedral. You can wander around Notting Hill and admired the rainbow coloured houses and filming locations of British romcoms.
If you are die-hard shopaholic, then wander along Carnaby Street, through Covent Garden and down Bond Street, Regent Street and Oxford Street. There are so many things to see in London on a walking tour.
Take a Walking Tour of the City of London
You do not need a travel buddy to enjoy a fantastic walking tour of London, as you could quickly get plenty of them on an exciting walking tour of the City of London.
When you book a spot on a London walking tour, you’ll not only explore London in all of its glory, but you can interact with others. But there’s no need to make friends. So, feel free to explore under the expertise of your guide.
Check here for tickets prices to some of the best walking tours in London.
Take a London Street Art Tour
London’s rich cultural history is much more than just the galleries and theatres that celebrate its treasures. Street art is one of the most unique offerings in the city as it offers visitors an opportunity to connect with the city’s creative heartbeat and the great minds of the locals.
Shoreditch street art tours and Camden street art tours are one of the most valuable activities to do in London. Whether you’re budget conscious or you’re a lover of unique photography, exploring London’s street art is a great way to learn more and connect with the city’s history.
Check here for tickets prices to some of the best street art tours in London.
Visit London museums and galleries
Create your own London museum bucket list for exhibitions you want to see, so you can plan a strategic route that takes you through some of the world’s most stunning museums in London, including the V&A (for fashion lovers), British Museum (for architecture lovers), and Natural History (for budding zoologist) and Tate Britain.
Even if you’re not a Museum person, the beautiful architecture and artefacts held in these prestigious institutions will definitely appeal to you.
Catch a movie at the cinema
A solo trip to the cinema is one of my favourite things to do in London, and with interesting services and the unique designs of some of London’s cinema. Going to the cinema in London is an indulgent experience you’ll be dying to do alone in London.
Whether it’s a trip to the luxurious 100-year old Electric Cinema in Shoreditch or a visit to Somerset House for their Film4 Summer Screen series for the ultimate cinematic experience under the starry skies.
Other amazing cinema venues and open-air cinemas include Shoreditch’s Queen of Hoxton, the Bussey Building Peckham, Backyard Cinema in Camden and the retro-style Prince Charles Cinema.
Take in a Matinee Show at the Theatre
A matinee is an afternoon performance at the theatre, and they are typically available two or three times weekly. Matinee tickets are also cheaper than usual theatre tickets and a great way of enjoying a play or musically that you’ve been wanting to see without being distracted by your chatterbox friends.
If you’re aged between 16 and 25, you can often pick up theatre tickets at a discount.
Go on a Photo Walk in London
A travel buddy is great, but you won’t need one to admire the city’s incredible views. Throughout the City of London, you’ll find lots of astonishing rooftop views which can be best enjoyed under the golden skies. If you’re a fan of history, visit the Monument to the Great Fire of London. If you’re looking to give yourself a special treat, head to the top of the Shard, which was once Europe’s tallest building, for incredible views.
If you want to learn some tips about capturing London by fellow Londoners (London Instagrammers and street photographers), then check out meetup.com or IGersLondon to see when they are holding their next London meet up and photo walk.
Join a Saturday Morning Parkrun
The park run in London is a simple concept: turn up every Saturday morning at 9am in the UK’s parks and walk, jog or run 5km. The idea behind this concept came to fruition in Bushy Park, London in 2004. It grew really fast and with 47 different Parkruns throughout London today.
There is no better way to kickstart your weekend than with a run.
Visit Daunt Books and Liberia
Though Daunt Books has stores in many locations across London, the shop at Marylebone is particularly impressive as it boasts an extensive collection of travel-related publications and has an Instagrammable staircase leading to the second floor.
Located in Spitalfields, Liberia is another massively impressive bookstore that deserves a place in your bucket list of must-visits in London. The bookstore is home to books of all types with plenty of seating areas which allows visitors to blend reading with healthy conversations if they choose. Liberia also has a section dedicated to “enchantment for the disenchanted”. So, if you feel let down in any way, you can rest assured you’ve found the right place.
Visit Famous Streets in London
London is rife with lots of historic streets where iconic events have taken place. While some are known for political reasons, others are famous shopping destinations. These streets are steeped in history and remain relevant even today. Some of the streets that will take you down the history lane include Downing Street, Abbey Road, Oxford Street, Brick Lane, Carnaby Street, Bond Street, Portobello Road, and Piccadilly.
Whether you’d like to treat yourself to some luxury or you could do with some relaxing and calming session, London’s famous streets are worth exploring. You can read my guide the most famous streets in London.
Visit London Mews
London has a small number of village-like secret alleyways, tiny streets and cobbled passages carefully hidden in plain sight. These hidden locations are known as London mews. Tucked away and unique, these mews are some of London’s prettiest streets, and so you won’t want to pass up a chance to check them out on a solo trip to the capital.
Some of the city’s best mews include Kynance Mews, Bathurst Mews, and Holland Park Mews. Once a place for stabling horses, London Mews properties have now been converted into highly coveted, multi-million-dollar homes as they are well steeped in history and provide a quiet atmosphere, away from London’s typical busy atmosphere. You can read my guide of the best Mews Streets in London.
Visit Portobello Road
Portobello Road is located in the heart of the chic Notting Hill and is known for its unique vintage offerings and collectables as it is home to the largest antique market in London.
Though the Portobello Road is great for a wander at any time of the day, Saturdays are the busiest. Portobello Road is one of those great places to visit in London.
Visit the South Bank
The south side of the Thames is buzzing with activity and has loads of amazing things to do in London. The top attractions here include the Southbank Centre, the SEA LIFE London, The London Dungeon, and the Coca-Cola London Eye.
The South Bank has a fantastic range of dining venues, arts, and entertainment.
Visit some of the best markets in London
London has some of the best markets and specifically some of the best food markets in the world. Only a few cities around the world can rival London’s unique cuisine scene. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite, home-made treats or delicious cakes and sweets, a solo trip to some of the best food markets in London should be top of your list of things to do on your own in London. Though the city has many well-known food markets, Borough Market is the most famous, thanks to its over 1,000 years of rich history.
Other food markets worth visiting include the Brick Lane Market (a Sunday market in London), Greenwich Market and South Bank Food Market (one of the best street food market London). Turning up to any of these markets with an empty stomach is always a great idea, as you’d definitely go home happy, satisfied and fulfilled!
Spending the day roaming through London’s food market is one of the coolest things to do in London by yourself.
Take a Food Tour
What better way to discover London and all of its glory than to eat your way through it? As you are introduced to the city’s tucked away spots and unique attractions and hear tales of its rich heritage, sampling its local specialities along the way. This is a great way to explore new places you never knew existed.
Taking a food tour is a fun thing to do alone in London. I’ve done a few food tours on my own in other countries and to this day, they are some of my best travel memories.
Check here for ticket prices to some of the best food tours in London.
Get the Best Views of London
Want to really appreciate London’s panoramic views and unique skyline? You do not need to shell out big bucks to do that! Get your camera ready; from outdoor viewpoints to scenic observation spots, many spots will help you appreciate the UK capital.
Greenwich Park (climb to the top of the hill in Greenwich Park), for instance, is a lovely park with stunning city views, especially enjoyed in warmer months. For a unique view of London head to North Greenwich and take a ride on the Emirates Cable Car for only £3.50 for adults.
Where you’ll be able to see the reflections of the O2, the awe-inspiring lights of Canary Wharf, along with the Shard, St Paul’s and the Sky Garden. Riding the Emirates Cable car is an amazing thing to do in London alone.
London Eye, Sky Garden, Parliament Hill and Duck and Waffle are also among the variety of options available to you.
Take a Cruise Along the Thames to Greenwich
A cruise along the Thames gives you a whole new perspective to the city of London. Taking a cruise along the Thames to Greenwich gives you the best vantage point of this unique river and some of the historical and top sights in London. You’ll see past by spectacular sights, including loads of scientific discovery, naval innovation, and the regular life in London experienced by its residents throughout the ages. Cruising along the Thames River to Greenwich or race down the Thames on a speed boat these are just a few of the entertaining activity to do in London especially on a lovely summers day, it’s one of the top things to do in London.
Visit Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel
Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel (as known as Graffiti Tunnel) is one of London’s dopest street art location after Banksy hosted the Cans Festival in 2008. Tucked away underneath the Waterloo station, this 300-metre tunnel has been London’s largest graffiti tunnel and street art scenery since then. The sheer number of free-for-all pieces offers excellent viewing for anyone that wants to see some of the most unique artworks in London. This is one of the coolest places to go in London.
Do a Day Trip From London to…
While London remains one of the world’s most diverse cultural hubs and has loads of amazing things to do, you could rightly want a change of environment, and the surrounding coast, villages, and cities in the UK are the ideal remedy. A visit to Stonehenge, for instance, allows you to explore its gorgeous English scenery and prehistoric Monument.
Windsor and hours travel journey from London boasts the title of the oldest and largest occupied castle on earth, is an emblem in British history as well as the spectacular getaway residence of the Royal Family.
Oxford is known for its fairytale-like towers, spires and many Harry Porter filming locations. Bath is famous for perfectly preserved Roman baths, and Brighton is best known for its charm and unique attractions. A solo trip to London doesn’t have to be spent only in London after all!
I hope you enjoyed my list of things to do alone in London.
Now you know what to do in London alone!