Greenwich is a beautiful and historic South London area. Learn about Britain's naval history, catch a show at the Planetarium and hop over the Greenwich Meridian line
Maritime Greenwich was declared a world heritage site in 1997 by UNESCO. Spend a day soaking up the romantic baroque architecture and rolling parks. The Old Royal Naval College contains the Painted Hall – perhaps the finest baroque dining hall in the country – designed by Christopher Wren and painted by James Thornhill.
The Royal Museums Greenwich group contains the National Maritime Museum, which is home to an impressive collection of maritime art and material related to Britain's seafaring history. Then there's the elegant Queen's House with its superb collection of fine art. You can stroll up the hill to the Royal Observatory for views across the river to London's busy financial district and beyond, or catch a spectacular show in the Observatory's Peter Harrison Planetarium.
Young and old will enjoy a visit to the magnificent Cutty Sark, which dates back to 1869 and is the only surviving tea clipper in the world. The ship has been in Greenwich since the 1950s. A major £50 million restoration project was completed in 2012 on the ship, which is now open to the public.
Europe's largest concert venue The O2 boasts a 23,000 capacity arena. Inside the high-tech complex you'll also find the more intimate IndigO2 music venue, the O2 Bubble exhibition space containing the British Music Experience, a multi-screen cinema, Proud2 nightclub, and a variety of restaurants and bars.
Just outside The O2 is the North Greenwich terminal for London's cable car, the Emirates Air Line. Travel across the Thames to the Royal Docks, or take a 360° return trip, for some of the best views in London.
Woolwich: A Royal Façade and Firepower
Woolwich has been a garrison town for centuries. King Henry VIII established the Royal Dockyard in 1512. It was renamed the Royal Arsenal in 1805 when it became a centre for manufacturing weapons of war. Many of the buildings on site (the oldest date back to 1696) are attributed to Sir John Vanbrugh. In 2012 Woolwich's Royal Artillery Barracks hosted the London 2012 Games shooting and Paralympic archery events. You can learn more about the history and industrial heritage of this area at the Greenwich Heritage Centre.
Military enthusiasts will love Firepower - The Royal Artillery Museum and its impressive collection of tanks, cannon and armoury. It tells the story of arms from before the creation of gunpowder to the modern day. The Field of Fire multimedia show is a great experience for kids, with a shaking floor, dry ice and loud explosions to bring the history of weaponry alive. You can also test your skills in the Camo Zone: try the firing range, bungee run or the radio controlled tanks.
Shopping, Eating & Entertainment in Greenwich
The village of Greenwich is a great destination for quirky clothes and retro furniture and furnishings. The covered Greenwich Market runs from Tuesday-Sunday, with different stalls available on different days. On Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday the market is filled with arts, crafts and food stalls, whereas you can find bric-a-brac, antiques and vintage clothing on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
For great food with a view in Greenwich, head to the Gipsy Moth next to the Cutty Sark, or the beautiful Trafalgar Tavern on the banks of the Thames. For a special occasion, try the Rivington Grill or the North Pole Piano Restaurant.
Where to Stay - Business or Pleasure?
The Old Royal Naval College is on the original site of Henry VI's Palace of Placentia.
The modern, four-star Novotel London Greenwich is conveniently placed right next to the train station and around the corner from all of Greenwich's stunning attractions. It makes a very comfortable base for exploring the area.
For any business needs look no further than Devonport House. An early 19th century building on the Greenwich World Heritage Site, it is ideal for conferences, meetings, private dinners and pleasant weekend leisure breaks.
Transport to Greenwich
Greenwich - take the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to Cutty Sark station, or alight at Island Gardens and walk through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. If you’re arriving by overground train, Greenwich station is a five minute walk to the village centre. Or take a relaxing boat ride to Greenwich Pier on the Thames Clipper.
North Greenwich - take the Jubilee line to North Greenwich station, or a Thames Clipper to QEII Pier at The O2.
Emirates Greenwich Peninsula - Take the cable car from Emirates Royal Docks to the Emirates Greenwich Peninsula terminal, located close to The O2 Arena.
Woolwich - take an overland line from London Bridge station to Woolwich Dockyard or Woolwich Arsenal, which is also a DLR station. The free Woolwich ferry crosses regularly from North to South Woolwich. There is also a foot tunnel joining the two.
Read more about London transport
More Greenwich Features
For a family friendly itinerary, read about our Family Day Out in Greenwich
Those who are less mobile will enjoy our Accessible Day Out in Greenwich