53 Fun Things To Do Alone In London

Whether you’re a solo traveller, or perhaps in need of a little ‘me time,’ there are plenty of things to do alone in London that are fun, safe, and entertaining. We’ve put together a huge list of things to do that cater to just about every taste- from the touristy spots, to the unusual, to community building.

If you’re looking to meet other people, we’ve got your covered. And if you’re happy to go solo? We’ve got you covered too. London is a safe place to explore alone during the day, just exercise caution at night.

1. Sky Garden

The Sky Garden (in my opinion) is one of the best free things to do in London. There is a fantastic view from the top of this building, which is affectionately called the ‘Walkie Talkie’ by Londoners.

You’ll need to book your free tickets in advance, which you can do so via their website. I think that this view point could actually be better than The Shard, and it gets massive bonus points for being free to visit.

If you’re in London as a solo traveller or have an afternoon to yourself, I would highly recommend a visit to The Sky Garden.

2. God’s Own Junkyard

Another one of my favourite free things to do in London, is God’s Own Junkyard. It’s filled with a collection of fun neon signs, and it’s incredibly unique.

God’s Own Junkyard is open to all, and it’s an Instagrammers paradise. You’ll find a photo opportunity at every corner. Even the loo is inside a Tardis!

The neon museum is based in Wathamstow, and it’s a bit of a walk from the tube station. My advice? Make sure that you get there early enough to walk there and back in daylight, otherwise take a cab.

3. Free Walking Tour

A free walking tour is a great way to see the city on foot, and you get your steps in too! London has lots of free walking tours available, and you have your pick of several locations in London.

If you’re a solo tourist, it’s a great way to meet other people who are travelling solo, and to get chatting about the city. It’s also a low cost (you’re expected to tip your tour guide) way to see the city if you’re on a strict budget.

4. V&A Museum

The V&A (Victoria and Albert) Museum is another one of the best things to do in London (am I ever going to stop saying that?!). But seriously, it’s brilliant. The free exhibitions are breathtaking, and no one does an exhibition like the V&A.

If you are visiting when there’s a paid-for exhibition? Go to it! Everything is curated to an extremely high standard, and it’s sure to be a highlight of your trip. I would recommend going, even if the topic of the exhibition isn’t on your radar. You’ll love it. Just be sure to secure your tickets early.

5. Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is in a beautiful location on the banks of the River Thames. It’s within walking distance of the millennium bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, and other central landmarks.

Not only is it a fantastic contemporary gallery (again with excellent free exhibitions) but it’s also a great spot to see other key areas of London. You’ll also get a great view of the London skyline from their café.

Borough Market

6. Borough Market

If you love a food market, you’ll love Borough Market. It’s one of the most famous markets in London, and it’s right there next to London Bridge tube station.

It’s a great spot if you want to go walking along the River Thames, if you want to see The Shard, and of course if you want to try some great food. Be sure to stop by for lunch or for a cake if you’re passing through. It’s famous for a reason!

7. Go thrift shopping

One of my favourite ways to spend a day alone in London is to go thrift shopping. London has some of the most excellent thrift shops (or charity shops as we call them in the UK) in the country.

In certain areas of London you’ll find lots of designer items in stores (think West London locations such as Notting Hill and Chelsea), but most high streets will have several charity shops which you can pop into.

8. Have a spa day

For the ultimate day of solo relaxation, why not treat yourself to a spa day? Of all the things to do in London alone, it’s surely the most luxurious.

Spa days in London can vary wildly in price. But, to avoid paying over the odds (which we never like to do at Thrifty Londoner!) it’s a great idea to try and get a deal.

The best place, in my opinion, to get a deal on a spa day, is to check out deal sites like LivingSocial and Groupon. They often have luxe 5 star spa days for a snip of the usual full price. It’s a must!

9. Wild swimming at Hampstead Heath

Did you know that you can go swimming in designated areas at Hampstead Heath? Not only is Hampstead Village a gorgeous place to visit, but you can also take a dip! Whether you decide to swim solo, or join part of a swimming group- it’s certainly a fun thing to do in London.

The swimming ponds are open all year round, but you may wish to save this one for during the summer months. Although beware- in a heat wave, the swimming ponds get extremely busy.

10. Get the Uber boat

The Uber boat is a cheap way to get a boat across The Thames, without paying over the odds for a tour boat. If you’re travelling solo in London and want to avoid the crowds, this is a great option! The boat has 24 stopping points across the river- so you are spoilt for choice.

As well as the Uber boat, there is also the option of getting the TFL river boat– you can literally tap in and tap out at certain points across the river. There’s nothing quite like seeing the famous London skyline from a boat.

11. Attend a class

A class is a great way to meet likeminded people in London. Choose something you are passionate about, and friends will come! You can attend a class in London as a local, but if there is a particular class running when you’re visiting, why not give it a try?

Whether it’s a free dance class in London, a pottery workshop, or just a one off class on something you have an interest in, put yourself out there and see what happens! Eventbrite is a great place to find classes near you.

12. Go to a Meetup event

Meetup is a website that lists groups and ‘meetups’ based on different interests. You’ll find a group for every interest under the sun (seriously). Most of the time, the groups are free to join, or you may just have to pay for the activity if that is applicable to the group that you join.

When you head to the website, you can get an idea of the group demographic, how popular it is, how large the group is, and whether it’s your cup of tea. If you’re looking to meet more people in London, Meetup is worth a try.

13. Visit a book shop

London is filled with book shops and second hand bookshops (my favourite!). Whether you go to the famous Notting Hill book shop, or you decide to go a little more avant garde (try Word On The Water, a floating book shop), visiting a book shop alone in London is a lovely experience.

If you’re looking to connect with other people, you can ask the shop attendant for a recommendation, otherwise, it’s the perfect place to enjoy some alone time. Pick out a couple of books that take your fancy, and who knows, maybe you’ll even have a rom-com meet-cute moment?!

14. Get a free gym pass

London is home to thousands of gyms, and many of them offer a free gym pass trial. Sometimes this is a one day pass, other times you can get a pass for several days. Lots of chains offer this option, as do several smaller gym groups.

Free gym passes are perfect for anyone wanting to test the waters at the gym, OR for anyone travelling in London who wants to keep up their work out schedule without having to pay for a whole month’s gym membership! If you’re travelling solo, it’s a great way to start the day.

15. Shoreditch street art

The street art in East London is famous. Particularly around the Shoreditch area- the artwork changes fairly regularly, and huge brands like Bottega Veneta have even commissioned huge pieces of street art in Shoreditch to advertise their new product releases.

If you turn up at Shoreditch and wander around, you will come across many pieces of street art. But, sometimes it pays to get a tour of the street art to see the most famous pieces, and to learn more about the history. There are free street art walking tours, but also paid ones too. Take your pick!

16. Columbia Road Flower Market

Columbia Road Flower Market is another East London must-see. It’s a road that gets transformed into a stunning flower market every Sunday. But be warned, it’s extremely popular.

You can find flowers (obviously), potted plants, trees, and other knick knacks. It can actually be pretty hard to move around in the market because of how crowded it gets, so go first thing in the morning (it opens at 8am) if you can for the best chance of beating the crowds.

As well as the flower market, there are some beautiful independent shops, cafes and restaurants on the street which are ideal to visit if you need a bit of breathing space! Put it on your list for the ultimate weekend in London.

17. Head to a cat café

If you are in need of a cat cuddle, head to one of the cat cafes in London. They are super cute, and you can have a cup of tea while interacting with a cute feline friend.

Most of the cat cafes are actually a kind of halfway house for cats. Sometimes the cats in the cafes are waiting to be rehomed, and you can actually offer to rehome one of them (if you’re in the market for a fuzzy companion!).

Check out Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in Bethnal Green (and visit Columbia Road while you’re there), Java Whiskers or Whiskers and Cream.

18. Try the best fish and chips in London

The best fish and chips in London is hotly contested. Everyone has their own opinion on the best fish and chips in London, but you can’t go wrong with Poppies or Rock & Sole Plaice (the oldest chippy in London!).

Fish and chips is very much a ‘British’ fast food option, and in London, you can be pretty overrun with options. There are the gourmet style fish and chip restaurants, but there is also the cheap and cheerful ones- if you’re just visiting? Make like a local and try one of the cheap and cheerful options!

19. Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross

Coal Drops Yard was opened in 2018, and it’s conveniently located right next to King’s Cross station. It’s a hub of activity, with super cute independent shops, events, and even a classic photobooth!

During the Christmas season they have activities like Curling set up, and in the summer they have film screenings on the big screen- and it’s free!

My favourite shop at Coal Drops Yard has to be the incredible Boutique By Shelter that is located there. It has the best vintage and designer stuff, and also hosts regular events and brand collaborations.

If you’re at a loose end and looking for things to do alone in London, this is the perfect place! It’s got a buzzing atmosphere, with food, drink, shopping and activities all in one place.

20. Attend a free lecture

If you’re the studious type, or you are interested in learning something new, why not go to a free lecture? Free lectures are frequently held across the city at universities such as Goldsmiths, and you can find a whole list of upcoming free lectures here.

You can also check out a list of upcoming free lectures in London on good old Eventbrite. Whether you’re into art, science or business, you’ll be sure to find somethng of interest.

21. Go to a talk or networking event

Keep your eyes peeled for exciting talks or networking events in your industry. You don’t have to belong to a paid members club or society to get access to brilliant networking opportunities in the city. In fact, you could probably find an interesting free networking event every week if you wanted to.

So where can you find networking events? Networking.London offers a free first networking event to those who live in the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, Meetup also has regular professional networking events, as does trusty Eventbrite.

22. Browse at Liberty

Liberty (that beautiful black and white building near Carnaby Street), is, in my opinion, the most beautiful and exciting place to shop in London. And the best part of shopping alone? You can spend as long as you want looking at stuff!

The Liberty architecture, the products, the history- I love it all! If you’re in central London and you want to pass the time, pop into Liberty for a browse. Each floor is dedicated to something different- whether it’s the haberdashery, clothes and accessories, crockery, or even Christmas!

23. Go to a fancy cinema

Take yourself out on a date to watch a new film that you’re dying to see- and why not see it at a luxe cinema? There are several in London.

Everyman Cinema is probably the most well known alternative cinema, but why not try something extra special and off the beaten track like Olympic Cinema in Barnes?

24. Head to Isabella Plantation

Isabella Plantation is a stunning 40 acre garden, located in Richmond Park. It was first established in the 1830s and is now totally free to enter.

Visit during late April or early May to see the gardens at their best. But if you’re heading there from Richmond station, be prepared for a long (but beautiful!) walk.

25. Treat yourself to cake

London has a huge selection of the most fabulous bakeries. Whether that’s Peggy Porschen (that beautiful pink bakery you’ll have seen all over social media) or Toad Bakery for something extra fancy.

If you can’t visit a super cool bakery to have a one-of-a-kind pastry or cake when you’re on a solo day out in London, when can you?!

26. Visit the British Library

The British Library is an iconic building in London. And for good reason! The British Library has over 170 million items in its possession.

The Library is a great place to read, work, or study. But, there’s also events, talks, exhibitions and even business support available. If you want something to do, or somewhere to go and spend some time in central London (that’s also free!), The British Library could be a great shout.

27. Camden Market

Camden Market is always full of people- every single day of the year. So if you want to do something fun alone in London and you feel like being around other people? Camden Market could be a great shout.

Whether you go for the market stalls, the food, or even the people watching, there is something fun for everyone in Camden. They even have some really great charity shops in the area too.

And for a totally different experience? Head up the road to Primrose Hill…

28. Primrose Hill Viewpoint

Primrose Hill is an upmarket neighbourhood in London, with beautiful boutique shops that could be straight out of a 00’s London rom-com! It’s beautiful. The perfect spot to explore solo in London.

As well as the neighbourhood, the hill itself is pretty famous too. The view from the hill is incredible, and offers a stunning vista of the London skyline. But, it does get very busy on a hot summer day- so go prepared!

View from Greenwich Park (The Royal Observatory)

29. The Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory is based in Greenwich (and is actually the home of Greenwich Mean Time). For anyone interested in outer space, this is a great landmark to visit.

You can see telescopes, go to the planetarium, watch science and astronomy demonstrations, and more! It’s also in a top-tier London location. So even if you don’t go inside The Royal Observatory itself, go to enjoy the view of the London skyline.

30. Rent a Santander cycle bike

Santander Cycles are bikes that you can hire by the half hour. You pay £1.65 for your journey for up to 30 minutes- so it’s a super affordable and fun thing to do alone in London.

There are more than 800 docking stations around London- so you’ll never be far from a bike. It’s perfect for safely riding around places like Hyde Park, or using the many cycle routes around the city.

31. Try a Brick Lane bagel

Did you know that Brick Lane is famous for bagels? There are several bagel shops on Brick Lane- the hardest part is choosing which one to try!

If you’re in Brick Lane for vintage shopping or for the market, be sure to grab a bagel for an on-the-go snack. It’s perfect for any solo traveller, and it’s super affordable too.

32. Visit a food market

A solo traveller to London MUST check out the London food markets. It’s definitely a bucket list item. My favourite food market is Maltby Street market for delicious lunches, cakes, and drinks.

Depending on where you’re based you could also check out Broadway Market, and the aforementioned Borough Market for more excellent food choices and interesting market stalls.

33. Wander along the Thames

The River Thames is a huge point of interest in London, and the Thames Pathway is a much-loved walk by Londoners alike. Whether you opt to walk in the lush green areas of West London like Chiswick, Kew and Richmond, or you opt for a central London location like Embankment to spot famous buildings and locations, you are guaranteed to enjoy yourself.

Some of the Thames Pathway also allows bicycles, so that could also be an option if you’d prefer to cover more ground. Just check before you set off on your journey that your planned route allows cyclists.

34. Ride in a cable car

Did you know that London has a cable car? The IFS Cloud (formerly Emirates) cable car goes between Greenwich Penninsula and Royal Docks. You can do either a round trip, or a one way visit.

Since the cable car is run by TFL, you can actually tap in and tap out using contactless payment. Super convenient! From the cable car you can of course catch a birds-eye view of the city, which makes this an unmissable thing to do in London.

35. Shop at an outlet village

If your idea of a fun Saturday afternoon is hitting the shops? You’ve got to check out the outlet villages in London. The main designer outlets are based in Wembley and at the O2 arena (yep- that arena!).

Both outlet villages also have lots of places to eat and things to do, so you can really make a day of your trip. And if you want more shopping options? Check out our complete guide to London outlet villages.

36. Go to a car boot sale

A car boot sale is a British classic, and believe it or not, London has a ton of car boot sales on offer, particularly during the summer months.

Some of the ‘car boot sales’ are actually held indoors (and don’t actually include any cars), and are in central, accessible locations.

If you fancy a rummage, a car boot sale is definitely something to put on your list of things to do alone in London. And who knows, maybe you’ll even discover a new neighbourhood that you love?

37. Visit the Natural History Museum

If you haven’t been to the Natural History Museum yet- make a booking! It’s free to enter the museum, and the museum itself is huge.

Going to a museum solo is, in my opinion, underrated. You can spend as long as you like looking at things you’re interested in, without having someone else hurrying you!

You’ll most certainly learn something new, and while you’re there, you could also go across to the V&A museum- they’re conveniently located right next to each other.

38. See Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is one of the big sights of London that you absolutely must see, even if you’re travelling solo. The Palace is very close to other big attractions like Hyde Park, Harrods, and Knightsbridge- so it’s easy to see this corner of London in the space of an hour or two.

There is usually always lots of tourists outside The Palace, so if you’re travelling solo, make the most of the photo opportunity and ask someone to snap a picture for you.

39. Window shop at Harrods

Harrods is possibly one of the most famous shops in the world. If you’re visiting London solo, it’s a must- even just to satisfy your curiosity.

It’s somewhere to go to marvel at the displays (be sure to check out the food court on the ground floor), and take in the brilliantly unique window displays. If you’re visiting London during a holiday (Christmas, Valentine’s, etc), you will usually find an exciting themed display.

40. Go on a canal boat in Little Venice

Have you ever considered going on a London tour via a canal boat? Well, you can! Book a tour through the London Waterbus Company and head off on a water-based tour from Little Venice.

On the tour you’ll go between Little Venice and Camden, and experience London from a whole new perspective. You can book onto the tour in either direction, and it takes around 45 minutes. The perfect way to spend a summer afternoon as a solo traveller in London.

41. Go to the theatre

If you go to the West End solo- congrats! You probably have the best choice of seats, and you may even be able to find a free or cheap ticket. Head to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square to get last minute theatre tickets. When you’re solo, you can take up those last available seats.

Top tip- if you’re a tourist in London, avoid the restaurants in Leciester Square and go a little further afield to find nicer food at better prices!

42. Union Chapel performance

Union Chapel is a working church AND a venue for performances. From music, to drama, to film. Lots of the events at Union Chapel are free, but there are also paid events too.

Check out their what’s on page for upcoming performances. It’s certainly a unique experience that will stay with you!

43. Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral

Want to see inside St Paul’s Cathedral, but don’t want to pay the entrance fee? You can go in for free during Evensong, which is an evening prayer at the cathedral.

You won’t be able to walk around or take photos during Evensong, but you will of course be able to see the inside of St Paul’s from your seat.

44. St Martin In The Fields

St Martin In The Fields is another musical offering. With free lunchtime concerts on a Friday, and late night jazz, soul, folk, country and cabaret nights in their iconic Crypt. Sound interesting? It’s certainly a quirky thing to do in London!

The Crypt is located underneath St Martin, Trafalgar Square, making it an extremely unique and exciting location. Be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

45. Try Borrow My Doggy

If you haven’t heard of Borrow My Doggy, it’s a website where dog owners will list their dogs and you can take them for a walk! If you can’t have a pet of your own for whatever reason, it’s a great way to spend some time with a pup.

The idea is to establish a relationship with a dog owner over time, so you both get to know each other, and you get to know their dog. It’s such a fun thing to do if you live alone in London, or you fancy some canine company on a weekend walk.

46. Join a local parkrun

London hosts park runs all over the city. A parkrun is essentially a 5k run that is arranged at the park, that anyone can join, and is usually on a Saturday morning at 9am.

It’s totally free to join a parkrun, and you only need to register once. There’s a handy map of all the runs available UK wide, with a ton of runs available in London.

Parkruns are usually very well attended, and the perfect way to start a solo weekend in London!

47. Volunteer in London

There are lots of volunteering opportunities in London. Whether you’d like to be more present in your local community, meet new people, or simply do something to help others.

Think about your hobbies and whether there might be any volunteering opportunities that align. For example, you might wish to volunteer for a food bank, a community garden, or even a local charity shop.

You can find out more about available opportunities by going to Simply Volunteer London.

48. Go to a restaurant with a view

Is there anything more decadant than going to a fancy restaurant solo? It gives serious main character energy. There are lots of restaurants (both fancy and non-fancy) with excellent views of the city. And if you’re visiting London, it’s a must to see the skyline at night.

The best restaurants in London with a view include Duck & Waffle and Fenchurch. You won’t regret it!

49. Visit Covent Garden

Covent Garden might already be on your list, whether you’re a solo traveller or a fully fledged Londoner. There is SO much to do in this pocket of London. Whether you go to Covent Garden Market, visit the London Transport Museum, or walk on over to Seven Dials.

Be sure to stop off at the Seven Dials food market for excellent independent food and drink stalls. Think bao buns, tacos, burgers and more.

50. See a comedy show

There are a whole host of comedy shows in London- from big name, sell out shows to hole-in-the-wall gigs. Watching some good old fashioned British comedy is money well spent.

And if you’re looking for a free option? Top Secret Comedy Club offer pay what you can Sunday-Wednesday shows, and Angel Comedy Club offers free comedy shows 7 days a week!

51. Go to Spitalfields Market

Spitalfields Market is based in East London, so it’s a great place to stop off if you’ve been in Shoreditch already to check out the street art.

Spitalfields has every kind of stall you can imagine- from handcrafted items to unique doughnut stands and artisan sandwiches. Go try it for yourself.

52. Try out a new skill or hobby

Trying something new is a great way to spend a solo day in London. There are lots of weekend classes available in London based around learning new skills like sewing, pottery, or even coding.

And at the end of the weekend? You’ll have learnt an entirely new skill and hopefully made some friends along the way.

53. Swim at the lido

One that is more suited to the summer months, going for a swim at the lido is a great way to start the day alone in London. If you haven’t read The Lido by Libby Page, do give it a read as it’s based in London, and features themes such as feeling lonely in London and making new friends.

There are several lidos in London, including Tooting Bec, London Fields and Brockwell. The lidos get extremely popular on hot summer days, so plan ahead to avoid disappointment.

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