Solo travel London, how on earth do you survive that?
Yeah, I totally get it. Me too.
Believe it or not, I haven’t traveled solo to London in ages (I mean I don’t even know what Elephant and Castle is. Come on!) and really had no idea how to even start planning my upcoming trip.
I mean, finding fun things to do in London with friends and family is pretty easy, but the whole solo travel aspect threw me off.
Then I had a mild stroke of brilliance.
I’ll just ask some of my blogger buddies about some of the best things to do in London when you’re traveling alone.
And there you have it, this post was born!
So read on to discover what to do in London by yourself, including some amazing things to do alone in London at night, as well as some tips on where to eat when you travel to London by yourself.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
***Looking for some of the best hostels in London for solo travelers? I totally understand. Finding affordable accommodations in London can be a bit tricky, to say the least. So if you’re traveling alone in London and have no one to split the cost of a hotel with, then definitely check out Wombats City Hostel, Generator Hostel, Astor Hyde Park, and Astor Queensway.***
1. The Royal Opera House
By: Jill Bowdery of Reading the Book Travel
2. The London Eye
By: Cris Puscas of LooknWalk
Of all the awesome things to experience as a solo traveler in London, I had to choose the most touristy, didn’t I?
Before you judge, hear me out!
At the time of my visit – 2011- It was probably the best place to get a bird’s eye view of London (The Shard opened in 2013), as long as you didn’t visit the London Eye on a foggy March day.
But What is the London Eye?
It’s a giant Ferris wheel that is located on the South Bank of Thames and that stands as Europe’s tallest and most popular (paid) attraction.
Standing 135 meters tall, at the time of its opening (2000), it was the world’s tallest ferries wheel.
It also has 32 air-conditioned capsules, each of which can hold 25 people. And since this wheel rotates slowly, at 0.9kph (0.6mph), solo visitors have ample time to soak in the view and take as many photos as humanly possible.
When I visited, I loved the 4D cinema the most, even if the ticket price was rather steep at 27 GBP for an adult.
Call it touristy and overrated, but it is a cherished memory that has stuck with me for many years.
***Skip the line and get your tickets to the London Eye in advance!***
By: Federica Provolenti of A Stroll Around the World
Wondering what to do in London on your own?
Well, if you’re a crafty traveler who is dying to visit one of the cutest attractions in London, then Biscuiteers is perfect for you!
Conveniently located in Notting Hill, right next door to a ton of quaint restaurants and bookshops:
Biscuiteers is without a doubt one of the sweetest places to spend a few hours while exploring London on your own.
At this Notting Hill Boutique & Icing Café (since 2012):
You’ll be amazed by a beautiful assortment of delicious, hand-iced, sweet treats.
From biscuits to cakes to cupcakes to chocolates, this little shop has the perfect assortment of delicacies for anyone with a sweet tooth.
So if you’re traveling to London alone, be sure to stop here and treat yourself to a cup of tea or to a fabulous class at their Biscuiteers Icing School.
At this two-hour Icing workshop (£78 per person):
You’ll receive a ton of tips and tricks on how to ice the perfect cake or sweet treat of your choice. Just be sure to make a reservation since this place is a beloved destination for Londoners of all ages.
Want the perfect British, solo travel experience?
Then book an afternoon tea at Biscuiteers for £28.50 per person (combine it with a DIY icing upgrade for £10 per person).
By: Melissa Kane of the Portly Passengers
Stonehenge is a great way to escape London for a day and see one of the most well-known, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world.
Many myths and stories surround the construction of Stonehenge:
A fact that creates a certain amount of excitement in any solo traveler who is visiting this place for the first time.
So whether you want to visit on your own, from the South Western Railway Station, or join one of the many amazing tour companies with package deals to Stonehenge, this top attraction in the United Kingdom is well worth the two-hour trip.
Located in Wiltshire England:
Stonehenge is just a few miles from Salisbury, an area where you can find many ruins from Neolithic settlements, the Salisbury Cathedral, and even some quaint shopping areas that are fun to explore.
Take some time to explore this iconic site from a multitude of different angles and soak in the awe-inspiring beauty of this magical place.
***Secure your spot and get a timed admission ticket to Stonehenge before you visit!***
5. Pub Tour of Shoreditch
By: Carol Guttery of Wayfaring Views
Shoreditch is a great neighborhood for solo travelers to London.
Not only is it a true Londoner’s neighborhood, with a ton of edge, but there are also many fun things to do in Shoreditch, like seeing world class murals, visiting kooky museums and eating killer street food.
***If you are into street art, definitely check out the Alternative London Street Art Tour in Shoreditch***
But if you are Traveling to Shoreditch Alone:
I recommend visiting some friendly neighborhood pubs.
Alternative London runs a beer tour that features friendly pubs that serve amazing craft beers.
This is not a pub crawl but a unique tour that explains Shoreditch’s immigrant history and that explores various pieces of local street art as you move from pub to pub
If you aren’t into doing tours but want to visit a pub where you can chat up some locals then:
Pride of Spitalfields is located just off of Brick Lane and is known as a classic “boozers” pub that has locals brimming out onto the street and a fat cat roaming the bar.
You can also try the Ten Bells, which is a Spitalfields institution that was opened in the 1890’s and that is famous for its pulled ales.
Old Fountain is also another great spot that is found on the western edge of Shoreditch, just a few blocks north of the Old Street tube station.
It’s a great local’s pub with friendly bartenders and a huge selection of craft beers.
6. London’s Sky Garden
By: Rachel Clarke of Earth’s Magical Places
Located at 20 Fenchurch Street:
London’s Sky Garden is a must-visit attraction that is often overlooked by most visitors.
Sitting atop the 36th floor of the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building:
London’s Sky Garden provides visitors with breath-taking, 360-degree views of the entire city.
While many people believe that the best London views come from The Shard (also the tallest building in the European Union). I personally believe that the views from the Sky Garden are far better.
I mean, you can’t really appreciate The Shard from inside it now, can you?
The Sky Garden is free to visit! Therefore, solo travelers can spend their hard earned money on delicious cocktails and not a steep entrance fee.
if you’re looking to meet people at one of the Sky Garden’s three bars, make an advance, online reservation since queues can get pretty long.
Just don’t miss out because London’s Sky Garden really is one of the best things to do alone in London at night.
7. Shad Thames
By: Bernadette Jackson of A Packed Life
8. St. Dunstan in the East Church
By: Marianna Dimova of Irma Naan World
London is a bustling metropolis that is filled with thousands of tourists who are roaming through some of the world’s most famous attractions.
Before I visited, I often wondered to myself, “is it safe to travel to London alone?”
Well, I am happy to report that London is not only one of the loudest but also one of the safest cities that I have ever visited.
And after finding true UK hidden gems, like St Dunstan in the East Church, I began to fall even more in love with this amazing city
The quiet and peaceful church, or ruins, is located in the center of London and made up of a splendid series of black and white walls that are accompanied by a tower, a tower that is enlaced in charming cascades of ivy and flowers.
Vacant windows complete the scene and give the church an almost otherworldly feeling.
Safely hidden from public view, by modern buildings, locals and photographers come here to get some peace and to take some amazing photos.
This church was built almost nine centuries ago and later damaged during the Great Fire of London, in 1666. Restored four centuries later, the church was once again destroyed during World War II.
This time Though:
Instead of restoring the church, a park was planted inside the ruins, creating a pleasant place where visitors can enjoy some quiet time away from the crowds of London.
9. St. Paul’s Cathedral
By: Ameeta Pathak of Aye Wanderful
St Paul’s Cathedral is an unmistakable part of London’s skyline.
One of the most famous landmarks in the city, it is a must-see attraction that is at the top of every visitor’s London itinerary.
But St Paul’s is just as beautiful on the inside as it on the outside, making it the perfect place to visit as a solo traveler.
Be sure to spend some time inside and marvel at the sheer scale, grandeur, and beauty of all the exquisite frescos that adorn the interior of this peaceful place.
***Make sure to save time and purchase a St. Paul’s Cathedral fast track ticket before you visit this beautiful Cathedral***
As You Leave:
Be sure to explore the surrounding area and capture the magical beauty of this place in a photo.
As a London Local for the Past Seven Years:
I know some of the best places to photograph St Paul’s Cathedral and am willing to share my secrets with you.
Our first stop is at the Millennium Bridge, a classic shot where the Cathedral is showcased in the center.
Our next photo is a Peek-a-Boo shot of St Paul’s from Canon Alley.
Next, we’ll head to the New Change Mall for a beautiful shot of the Cathedral that features twin reflections of the building in two glass panels.
Head to the roof of New Change Mall for a fabulous view of St Paul’s Cathedral that is completely free of charge. A truly great way to experience the city during your solo trip to London.
10. Great Gatsby Immersive Theater
By: Amy Dodd of Oceans to Alpines
When visiting London solo, you have to see a show (a show kind of like the Harry Potter Studio tour only less crowded).
And the perfect place for a solo traveler to see a show is at the Great Gatsby Immersive Theater; a theatrical experience that ttruly brings The Great Gatsby to life.
As an immersive show, you become part of the show! So try and blend in with the performance by donning classic flapper/roaring 20s style attire.
Order some drinks before moving into a larger room where the main show takes place.
The show begins and characters will swirl around and interact with you as though you’re a bystander to the events on stage.
You will be pulled out of the main room and into a separate area where a smaller group of patrons will interact with an individual character.
A truly perfect experience for solo travelers since you become a part of the show and, in so doing, get to interact with other audience members as well.
So much more fun sitting alone at a traditional, with absolutely no one to talk to.
As the Show Ends, Another Cocktail Hour Starts.
So feel free to enjoy some drinks, mingle with other audience members, and actors, and chat about the unique experience that everyone shared during the show.
11. Borough Market
By: Nicky Cade of That Anxious Traveller
London’s Borough Market is the ideal breakfast/lunch/dinner spot for any solo traveler.
Not only does it offer stall after stall of yummy street food, but if you’re someone who feels a bit awkward about eating alone in a restaurant (While ducking your head and pretending that you’re doing something terribly important on your phone when we all know that you’re totally checking Instagram), then why not visit a market where everyone eats on the street?
The only issue you will have at Borough Market is choosing what you want to eat since this market has it all!
From Italian pork to Indian curry to Balkan snacks to British fish and chips, It’s all here, and it’s all delicious (you MUST visit Spice Mountain, probably the best spice shop in Britain). Your taste buds will travel the world while you remain firmly rooted in London, taking in the enchanting market atmosphere.
But What Makes this Market Even Better?
It is really easy to get to since it is right next to London Bridge station.
(Bar Douro is in Borough Market and a great spot for solo travelers since you can sit at the bar and enjoy the beautiful, Portuguese azulejo tiles that adorn the interior)
So on your next solo trip to London:
Stop here. I promise, neither you nor your stomach will regret visiting.
***Looking for some other fantastic options for solo dining in London? If you are then taste the culinary delicacies at Lina Stores in SOHO (get the gorgonzola, pear, and mustard chutney), XU restaurant since they literally have tables that are designed for solo diners in London, and Ottolenghi (a vegan restaurant with a lovely buffet) which has a large table in back that is perfect for solo diners.***
12. Attend a Show in the West End
When it comes to theater:
London is home to some of the best theater and shows in the entire world, next to Broadway in New York City of course.
But I’m a New Yorker and a little bias.
Yet, when I first visited London’s West End Theater, I was enchanted by a performance of Billy Elliot and absolutely fell in love with the shows that I found on the London stage.
And added bonus?
The West End has a ton of shows that you can choose from; shows like the Book of Mormon, the Lion King, Kinky Boots, School of Rock, and more.
There really is a show for everyone here, making this one of the perfect things to do for any solo traveler in London.
I mean, you’re kind of required to be quiet during the show so clearly you won’t have a problem sitting alone.
You’ll probably even score better tickets since you only need one ticket and not two! Just do yourself a favor though and purchase tickets from the TKTS booth in Leicester Square since the tickets here are much cheaper.
13. Monument to the Great Fire of London
Have you ever peered up at a tall, commemorative column and thought “Oh gee, I’d really like to climb to the top of that”?
Yeah, me neither!
I only ever physically exert myself when cops are chasing me (AKA never).
When I FINALLY joined the cool kids club and learned that you could indeed climb to the tippity top of the Monument to the Great Fire of London, I was intrigued.
Constructed between 1671 and 1677:
This Monument stands at a staggering, 202 feet, has an enormous winding staircase with 311 steps, and sits atop St. Margaret’s Fish Street, the very site where the first church was destroyed by the Great Fire (This edifice is also 202 feet west of the spot on Pudding Lane where the Great Fire started on September 2, 1666. Feel free to use that fun little factoid to win Who Wants to be a Millionaire, if that show even still exists).
Super cool right?
Plus, this activity is totally under the radar since many Londoners don’t even know about it.
And trust me, I’ve spoken to A LOT of Londoners.
So I pinkie promise that you won’t have much competition for the best views while you’re at the top.
Going it alone is even better since you’ll be desperately gasping for air, as you trudge to the top, and won’t really have breath enough for idle chit chat with one of your travel besties.
Stop by daily, any time between 09:30 – 17:30 (5:30 pm is the last admission) and purchase tickets for a mere £5.00 (To stop by, get off the tube at Monument tube station).
After climbing all those stairs, you’ll be rewarded with a super nifty certificate that doubles as a cool souvenir.
Yup, it’s the little things.
14. Nomadic Community Gardens
Need a break from prim and proper English gardens?
Then head on over to the Nomadic Community Gardens of Shoreditch.
This ecclectic hub of urban creativity sits along the iconic, Brick Lane, and consists of individual garden plots that have been cultivated by a wonderfully unique group of local residents.
Part garden, part sculpture park, part Street Art Gallery, this is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for something a bit more unusual to do as you solo travel London.
But wait, it gets better!
This garden was actually established by a fantastic, non-for-profit organization that aspires to bring nature back to rundown, abandoned and all around neglected parts of the city.
This place is the perfect spot or solo travelers since you’ll be so enthralled with what you’re looking at that you won’t really miss talking to anyone.
Before you leave though:
Don’t forget to stock up on super cool selfies since this garden is covered in a kaleidoscope of different shapes and colors that are perfect for any of my Instagram lovin’ homies out there (There’s also loads of great street art waiting to be photographed in the surrounding neighborhood).
The gardens are open to the public until sundown, Tuesday through Sunday, and host a variety of events like dance parties, album launches, community activist fairs, etc. (Check their Facebook page for up to date info).
15. Zip Now
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Interested in flying through London with the greatest of ease?
If you’re emphatically nodding your head yes right now, then Zip Now is definitely for you.
After taking yourself 35 meters up into the air (Trust me, it’s all safe since you’re in a harness and wearing a helmet):
Prepare to launch yourself across a 225-meter long zip line as you glide across Archbishop Park and reach speeds of up to 50 km/h.
Along the way:
You’ll marvel at iconic London attractions like Big Ben, The London Eye, and of course, the River Thames.
Before you visit though:
Definitely prebook your tickets so that you don’t come all the way here, just to find out that tickets are sold out (Tickets bought the day of are 25 GBP, while Early Bird Tickets are 27 GBP..
Be sure to dress appropriately, in either pants or shorts, since both dresses and skirts will inevitably fly all over the place and give curious onlookers quite the show!
Zip Now also recommends that you tie your hair back and place all of your jewelry in an onsite storage locker.
You won’t lose anything while you soar through the air.
And while you are allowed to bring a camera with you:
All cell phones must be placed in a designated pouch and all GoPros/hand held camera must be attached using a Zip Now wrist strap.
Oh, one last thing before you go!
If you decide not to ride the zip line at the last minute, you can still get some pretty decent photos from the top, before you descend back down to the ground below.
Please be aware that no refunds will not be given. Therefore, definitely make sure you’re game before you decide to book your ticket!
***Many people ask me, “Is London safe for solo travelers?” To this, I emphatically say, “yes!” Believe it or not, London is one of the safest major cities in the world (minus the whole Jack the Ripper debacle), Therefore, solo female travel London is safe as long as you take normal precautions like always keeping an eye on your valuables, staying away from dangerous areas, etc. If you’re American like me though, just remember to look in the proper direction when crossing the road since traffic is on the left side of the street!***
Wednesday 4th of September 2019
Traveling to London solo soon, this was really helpful. Thanks.
Thursday 5th of September 2019
Happy to help!
Saturday 17th of August 2019
I love your quirky sense of humor and I am so happy I found your blog! It is great the way you take us from place to place like we were right there with you.
When I was in London, I was overwhelmed by how huge and majestic everything seemed. So much history; so much culture all in one place that this Iowa country girl didn't know where to start.
In the end, the things I loved best were tea at Liberty London (not super expensive, but really fun), The Book of Mormon Broadway show, and walking the streets. The parks and green spaces are wonderful places to people watch and feel the rhythm of the city.
I wrote about 11 (mostly different from your recommendations) things to do in London on your own. If you want more ideas, I hope you will check it out! Cheers! Kimberly
Sunday 18th of August 2019
Thanks so much for reading Kimberly. I will definitely check it out.
Saturday 17th of August 2019
Am planning a solo holiday to London in October and will be staying at a pub hotel near Waterloo station. Kind of nervous especially about unsafe places in London.
Sunday 18th of August 2019
I think you should be totally fine. I got into London super late since my flight was delayed and took the tube to my hotel and had no problem. But if you're concerned, just take a taxi or uber.
Saturday 13th of July 2019
Your tips are great but you can always go for free tour if you want to see a lot and learn about the places you're visiting. I did my tour with Gem Tours London, it was great, but there is a lot of free tours there. I can really recommend that.
Saturday 13th of July 2019
That is such a great trip and I think super helpful to a lot of people out there. Thanks so much for sharing!
Friday 14th of December 2018
I will be visiting london on the 15th of this month with my wife and ny 16 years old daughter for 2 weeks and this is my first time visiting london so could you please recommend a good places that we shoul visit
Friday 14th of December 2018
Sure! You could visit Harrod's, Big Ben. Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Westminister Abbey, the Globe Theater, Buckingham Palace, the British Museums and more. Hope this helps! Have an amazing trip!