8 Things You Absolutely Cannot Miss in London

I know, I know... Everyone and their mom has a post about what to do in London.  My list is extra special though because it's a combination of my own recommendations + Maja's (current London resident) + Jackie's (former London resident).  Give them a follow if you haven't already!

While you could easily spend at least a full week exploring London, I've done so only in short spurts which means I've become an expert on drilling down my list to just the most important things (you know, in my humble opinion).  Here are 8 things you absolutely cannot miss in London!

 

1. See all the major sights via a bike tour

...of course!  If you're new to London, your best bet is to do this via the grand bike tour of London.  My favorite way to get around any new city is by bike (I always do it first thing upon arriving so that I can get a feel for the city and so I have time to go back to whichever spots I want to see more of).  This one I especially recommend because you get to see all the major spots at once, such as:

  • The London Eye
  • Houses of Parliament
  • Westminister Abbey + Big Ben
  • Buckingham Palace (+ the changing of the guards)
  • Trafalgar Square
  • And many more! (click the link above for a full list)
 

2. An Instagram-worthy brunch in Chelsea

Because you can't go if it's not Instagram-worthy, right? Right.  No. 11 Pimlico Road in Chelsea is my new London brunch go-to, do not miss it! It was absolutely delicious and the decor is to die for.  It seems like it gets busy but luckily they take reservations so I would suggest making some.  Once you're done give yourself some time to walk around Chelsea which is full of cute boutiques, cafes, and streets.

 

3. Lunch at Borough Market

Borough Market is London's biggest outdoor market and is fun even to just walk around and snack on samples.  Jackie says it's most famous for it's grilled toasties (grilled cheese) and Maja suggests Rabot 1745 where they put cocoa in everything and have amazing pancakes! If you aren't hungry but need a little pick me up, try Monmouth for coffee if the line isn't too crazy.

 

4. Tea time in the famous pink room at Sketch

Not gonna lie, I go here every. single. time. I'm in London.  Last time I really hit the jackpot because we coincidentally were there during the flower show so the entire place was covered in fresh flowers... I have never seen anything like it.  

Anyway, you can't go to London without going to afternoon tea and Sketch is home of that fabulous pink tea room you see everywhere on Insta so there's no better place to do it!  Even the bathrooms are to die for, no joke.  They do take reservations and it gets packed so make these as early as possible.  Pro tip: go right when it opens for the best photo opps.

If you're feeling extra fancy (we were), stop at Blow LTD for a blowout on the way.  We loved ours & it's a nice walk from Blow LTD through Regent Street over to Sketch.  You can also have them come to you if you need!

 

5. Watch the sunset from Sky Garden or Madison Rooftop Bar

Madison has an open roof terrace with an amazing view of St. Pauls.  It's pretty fancy, so make sure you are dressed appropriately if you go!  Sky Garden is another great option (gorgeous photo opps, omg!) if you are able to get passed the huge lines :)

 

6. Walk around Regent Street

Roam Regent Street if you want to do some shopping and even if you don't.  Last time we were there it was covered in British flags for the Queen's birthday which made it extra beautiful, but it's still worth it otherwise.

 

7. Eat Indian food for dinner at Dishoom

I know, random... And full disclosure, I actually never made it here, but I had Dishoom recommended so many times I felt compelled to add it.  Maja even said that it's by far her favorite restaurant in London!  There are many around town now but she suggests the King's Cross location due to it being the most "aesthetically pleasing" :)

As with all my recs (sorry), this spot is popular with the dinner line starting at 5:30 and people waiting up to 2 hours!  According to Yelp they do take reservations so definitely go that route.

 

8. Explore colorful Notting Hill (and don't miss The Churchill Arms)!

I mainly visit Notting Hill for the photo opps (a color lover's heaven!) but also love to visit the Churchill Arms.  It's covered in plants and oddly the pub has a really good Thai restaurant in the back of it.  Once you've tired yourself from all the walking around Notting Hill, stop here for a beer to recoop.  If you happen to be there on a Friday or Saturday, also stop by the Portobello Road Market.

Any absolute can't miss spots I missed?