Some places are meant to be traveled with family and friends but a city like London embraces its solo visitors. England’s capital is full of wonderful activities that you’ll be able to enjoy all on your own.
One pro tip before we look at things to do solo: purchase a London Pass to gain access to over 80 attractions and the chance to skip long lines.
Top Solo Activities to do in London
Take a Self-Guided Tour
From Buckingham Palace to the filming locations of Notting Hill, London has so many landmarks that every traveler will want to see. There’s a high probability that you won’t get to complete your bucket list in one walking tour. If you only have a weekend to spare, however, one way to compensate for that is with the hop on and off buses, which the London Pass includes.
In a day, you can do as much sightseeing as you like and see all these amazing locations that you’ve only seen in movies, including the Thames River, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The famous castles are also included so don’t miss your chance to see Windsor Castle, where Prince Harry to Meghan Markle got married. CNN recommends allotting 2-3 hours to visit the grounds, and at 11 AM to you’ll get to witness the Changing of the Guard.
Go For Museum and Gallery Hopping
From historical to scientific and artistic, London’s collection of museums and galleries has it all. There might actually be too many of them to choose from, so Time Out’s list of the top cultural centers might help you decide where to go. If you’re into tracing the history of fashion, the V&A, with its gothic structures, is the place to be.
The British Museum houses more than 8 million artifacts from British explorers and you can view about 50,000 of them. Fans of contemporary art can revel in the works of Warhol, Dalí, and Hockney in Tate Modern while the National Gallery is home to pieces from the likes of Matisse, Picasso, and van Gogh.
Meanwhile, the Natural History Museum is a fascinating place filled with natural wonders. You’ll find giant fossils, animals and plants that have gone extinct, and various other specimens. If you have a London Pass, check out some of the museums, which are included as well.
Sample the Finest Cuisine in London
The city serves amazing food at different price points but some of the finest dining options are to be found in Kensington and Chelsea. After browsing the Kensington’s Design Museum, sample Parabola’s specialty, ox tongue with sauce gribiche. Sound a little too fancy for you?
How about a bowl of curry with all the fixings at the nearby Thali Restaurant? Their spices go well with the damp days in London. And for meat-lovers, Macellaio RC’s beef dishes are said to be the best in the village.
Watch a Football Match
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a sports fan or not, watching a live game of soccer— or football as it is known in Europe— is one of the best ways to experience local culture. The Emirates Stadium, home to London club Arsenal, is definitely one of the best sports stadiums in town where you can witness fans scream their lungs out in support of their local team.
They are one of the most popular football clubs in England and while currently sitting in 5th place in the league standings, the Gunners are predicted by bwin to finish in the top four of the Premier League, at the end of the season. You might just feel the excitement in the air when you enter the Emirates Stadium, as the club are currently under new management, and there is a renewed sense of optimism around the place.
Use your London Pass for a free visit to the stadium and the chance to nab some cheap tickets.
Head to the local parks
Head to the nearest cafe with a book in hand, or the park with a mat to lay on the grass. People-watching is an entertaining pastime especially on those days when you’re alone. There are several well-maintained parks to choose from and you can easily kill an afternoon people-watching. Rent a bike and circle the 7-mile route at Richmond Park while St. James’s Park is a place you can have great fun walking around.
If it’s a nice sunny day out, head to Hampstead Heath and take a dip in the Ponds. It tends to fill up so it’s a great way to meet locals and fellow travelers. Just remember some basic safety tips when interacting with strangers; try not to be too comfortable, keep your guard up around others, and always take care of your belongings.
Richard Evans is a solo world traveler and blogger. His main interest is writing solo travel guides that will help fellow travelers make the most of their time on the road.