“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” – Samuel Johnson
London is a city beloved by residents and travelers alike. With an abundance of places to go, things to see, and dishes to taste across London’s 32 boroughs, look no further for travel recommendations.
Nestled in the serene neighborhood of Kensington is the Jumeirah Carlton, renowned for its hospitality, beautiful rooms that overlook the park, and prime location in proximity to all that central London has to offer. Order breakfast in bed and watch as the city comes alive from your balcony.
For an unbeatable hospitality experience in an unrivaled location, head to the Corinthia Hotel, located a hop, skip, and a jump from Trafalgar Square and the rest of central London’s attractions. You may not even want to leave this four-star hotel and its gorgeously adorned rooms, Victorian-styled architecture, and gorgeous spa-like bathrooms.
For incredible views of the River Thames or the Tower of London, pick the Tower Hotel. Visitors can choose from single rooms or suite-style accommodations with a stylish flare. Enjoy all that London has to offer in this unexpectedly charming setting.
Honey & Co. is the perfect spot to grab a bite after a morning of exploration in London’s West End (check out Regent’s Park, the British Library, King’s Cross, and the British Museum). A London establishment since 2012, Honey & Co. aims to bring authentic, delicious Middle-Eastern food to the streets of London — and it does so with great success. Stop in for dishes like spiced cinnamon and squash falafel, madfunia chicken, prawn tagine, and a host of sweet treats.
Head to Hackney, London’s quirky eastern neighborhood, for a truly magnificent dining experience at the Laughing Heart. The eatery’s goal is to revolutionize British cuisine with fresh, local produce and a global sense of creativity. The menu includes dishes like white pork and fennel dumplings, mutton tortellini and broad beans, and peach and elderflower tarts. Be sure to make a reservation if you want to visit this cozy locale!
Marksman is another Hackney-based restaurant that can be easily accessed from Hoxton, Shoreditch, Old Street, and Liverpool Street Underground stations. In the lovely mahogany-paneled dining room, choose from a selection of the region’s best beers, lagers, and ciders, alongside fine wines and delicious cocktails. The menu at Marksman is inspired, with delicacies that include onion, pickled walnut, and spenwood tart; fried potato with burnt-onion mayonnaise; and quince and saffron sorbet. Be sure to reserve your table ahead of time!
Head to London’s posh Mayfair neighborhood for the chance to dine at Sketch — possibly the quirkiest and most Instagrammable cafe London has to offer. Peruse the delicious-looking breakfast menu (say hello to fresh juices, morning cocktails, poached egg dishes, and pastries galore), and don’t forget your camera. Sketch has a number of different rooms, each more beautiful than the last, including one decorated entirely in a pink-sorbet color! Before you leave, don’t forget to pay a visit to the wildly futuristic bathrooms!
Ace got its start in the 1930s as a roadside café that catered to those who frequently accessed London’s (then new) North Circular Road, which surrounds the city. Since then, Ace Cafe has grown in popularity, become known for its tight-knit community of bikers and rockers, and expanded to accommodate live music gigs and special events. When at Ace, order a cuppa (tea or coffee), a full British breakfast, or one of their delicious pies or cakes.
Head to the Harp for a cozy and authentic pub atmosphere in the bustling area of Covent Garden, where the beer flows freely. Many patrons have noted that this pub caters to all types of drinkers, including those who’d like to sample a traditional round of ales from the regions around London, The Harp is perfect for a pre-dinner drink or dinner (the food is fantastic) that won’t break the bank!
For a unique night of drinking, head to London’s Pimlico neighborhood (near Victoria station), where you’ll find Clarendon Cocktail Cellar tucked away, but deserving of the extra effort it’ll take to find. With a collection of cocktails based on famous works of art (the Scream, the Son of a Man, etc.), Clarendon is a cozy and versatile place for a nightcap. Come by with a date, friends, or colleagues, and you’re guaranteed to have a cheerful time.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH ATTRACTIONS
An unlikely addition to London’s skyline, the ArcelorMittal Orbit (try saying that five times fast) is a reinvention of London’s Olympic past. Located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the neighborhood of Stratford, the Orbit acts as a piece of public art and recreation center. Today, visitors can slide 376 ft (114 m) to the ground, or rappel down the side of the building using ropes. Not adventure-inclined? Visitors can also climb the tower’s steps (or take an elevator) for a beautiful view of Olympic Park and the city beyond.
Visit a house so grand that it is quite literally #InteriorDesignGoals. The Leighton House Museum, located in the posh districts of Kensington and Chelsea, was commissioned by Lord Leighton for designer and architect George Aitchison — the result is a stunning residence whose interiors are dominated by rich colors, moody lighting, stunning wallpapers, fine art, and opulent decor. Perfect for photographers and interior design lovers alike, the Leighton House Museum is the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon.
For more traditional London attractions, explore the city. Looking to hit up a museum? We have a guide for that, too.
SHOPPING AND MARKETS
Head to London’s Notting Hill neighborhood to experience all that Portobello Road Market has to offer. Visit on a Saturday for the best street stall experience — vendors sell everything from delicious snacks to antique homegoods, Bric-a-Brac, and thrift-shop finds. You’ll be in great company, as well: Portobello Road attracts a number of tourists, Londoners, and even celebrities!
Head to quirky Camden Town for the funky street art, but stay for the market, cafés, incredible food, and friendly atmosphere. Camden Market’s origins stretch back to the 1900s, so it’s no surprise that the town has become a popular London attraction. Visit and explore the colorful stalls that sell everything from jewelry and cosmetics to clothes and electronics, and when you’re hungry, be sure to stop in at one of Camden’s quaint cafés. It’s a weekend experience you won’t soon forget!
For more markets to explore, check out our London Markets Guide.