The city of London has a rich history and is one of Englands biggest cultural treasures. It is the capital, after all. This is also why it attracts over 30 million visitors
from around the world each year.
Bursting with beautiful architecture, historical sites, museums, galleries and more, there is so much to see and do in the city. In fact, with so much to choose from it can even be a little overwhelming at times, which is exactly why we have created this guide.
Below, were going to narrow down some of Londons biggest and best cultural attractions and provide you with all our top tips on how to have a cultured trip to the city.
Go back in time with a trip to the museum
London museums hold treasures from around the globe. From a gigantic whale to a complete dinosaur skeleton, the Rosetta Stone, Pantheon Marbles and plenty of mummies, youll be blown away by how much culture is housed within those museum walls.
Some of the most popular museums include the Natural History and the British Museum. This is followed closely by the Victoria and Albert, Imperial War and Science Museums.
Which you choose to prioritise will really depend on what artefacts you prefer to see and where your interests lie. However, all these museums offer a huge array of items and interesting facts about British history, and other cultures from around the world.
If you're planning a cultural getaway, you should have at least one of these museums on your list. Best of all, many of them are free to enter, with the exception of a few, so you can even do this when youre sticking to a budget.
Get your creativity flowing at an art gallery
As well as museums, London has some world-renowned art galleries too, most notably, The National Gallery and the Tate Modern. At The National Gallery, youll find famous pieces like Vincent van Goghs, Sunflowers, Claude Monets, The Water-Lily Pond and Leonardo da Vincis, The Virgin of the Rocks.
Some of the other galleries you should add to your list are the Tate Britain, the Barbican, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Saatchi Gallery. As with the museums, some of these offer free entry, while others may charge. You may also have to pay extra for certain exhibitions, but its always worth doing a little research before you go to find out what installations are available during the time of your visit.
Catch a show at the theatre
London is a hub of entertainment, particularly the theatre. After all, it is home to Shakespeares Globe. During your visit, we recommend catching a show, whether you see a musical at the West End, an opera
or experience something a little different at Regents Park Open Air Theatre.
Ahead of your trip, take a look at what performances will be taking place and any shows that are running on the dates of your visit. You could even bag yourself a bargain if you book your tickets ahead of time.
Spot important architecture
It would be remiss of us to talk about a cultured weekend in London without highlighting some of the most important and iconic architecture the city has to offer. If you get yourself a travel card for the day, you can hop on and off the bus or the tube, seeing as many of these beautiful landmarks as possible.
And what are we talking about? Well, theres Buckingham Palace, of course. You could also stop by the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and Victoria Memorial.
There are also lots of other great buildings and locations along the way, but how much you're able to see will depend on the length of your trip and your itinerary.
Visit famous film and cinema locations
If you're a film or TV buff, there are also loads of great cultural activities available to you in London.
There are lots of famous film and TV locations
throughout the city, including big hits such as James Bond, Downton Abbey, Sherlock Holmes and Batman. You can join walking tours of these locations or simply find them out for yourselves based on the films or franchises you like the most.
And there is one huge franchise we absolutely have to mention and that is Harry Potter. If you're a fan, get yourself down to the Harry Potter studios or complete a walking tour of the movie locations; famous places like Kings Cross Station.
Enjoy some music
Whether its an opera or a bouncy pop concert, London has a venue and genre for everyone. Depending on when you visit, check out what is on at the O2, which often plays host to some of the biggest names in the music industry. Or, for something more sophisticated, see what is on at the Royal Albert Hall.
But just as with film and TV locations, there are also lots of iconic music spots you can also visit across the capital. You can even take part in tours dedicated to just that. Some of the top spots include Abbey Road Studios where the Beatles famously recorded their album, as well as Camden Market Stairway, the unforgettable setting for The Clash's first album from 1977.
Go for some great food and drink
Finally, from rooftop bars to food markets and Michelin-star restaurants, there is something to suit every mood and taste in London. The tricky part is narrowing down what to have.
As youre planning a cultural experience in the capital, there are some classic dining experiences and locations you should certainly consider. For example, going for afternoon tea at Harrods or Fortnum & Mason, or having a slap-up meal at The Ritz.
Some Michelin start locations to consider are The Shard which offers wonderful views. Then there is The River Cafe, Sketch and The Gherkin. Or if youre hoping to sample lots of different cuisines, why not stop by one of Londons many incredible markets? You have Borough, Broadway, Seven Dials Market and Southbank Centre Food Markets to choose from.
And how can we forget about China Town, which although there is food available all day, really comes to life at night.