47 Things to do in London in May 2024

Head outdoors to explore London in May, join cultural celebrations and marvel at vibrant flower shows across the city.
Written by Kirstine Spicer Edited by Kirstine Spicer 04 April 2024
People walking, admiring the floral displays of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Discover what’s on in London in May. Snap away at the flower displays at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Credit: RHS/Georgi Mabee. Image courtesy of RHS.
Here are the best things to do in May 2024

In May, spring is well under way with warm weather and some delightful sunshine, but you may still need a light coat and a brolly, in case of a light drizzle. 

There's also two public holidays (bank holidays) this month: the Early May Bank Holiday and Spring Bank Holiday, so keep an eye out for what’s on in London in May to make the most of the long weekends.

Unmissable London events May 2024

An invited guest steps onto The Silk Road Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

  1. Join an exciting spring workshop at the Chelsea Physic Garden: Take the family to Kids Lab to meet friendly insects, learn all about Living Medicine and discover how to grow herbs at home.
  2. Tuck into delicious cuisine at the Foodies Festival in Syon Park: See top music acts, demonstrations by celebrity chefs and join exciting cooking classes. 25-27 May
  3. Dance the night away at Soul City at the Jazz Cafe in Camden: Connect the dots between disco and house at this historic venue. 
  4. Don't miss the brand-new The Paddington Experience: Meet Paddington, the Brown family and friends as they prepare for the Marmalade Day Festival! Opens 31 May
  5. Enjoy a night of laughs at the West End Comedy Club: See up and coming acts and comedy legends at this iconic venue in the heart of London.
  6. Be inspired at Grand Designs Live at ExCel London: Meet top design exhibitors, get tips from the experts and enjoy live talks including one from the show's presenter Kevin McCloud. 4-12 May
  7. Marvel at stunning horticultural displays at the RHS Chelsea Flower ShowPick up the latest gardening trends and rehome a plant or two. 21-25 May
  8. Attend a Fraternité talk at Westminster AbbeyJoin Alison Weir and Sarah Gristwood as they explore the relationship between the courts of Tudor England and Renaissance France. 16 May
  9. Hop aboard an Uber Boat Thames Clipper for a rather special Sofar Sounds session: See live music acts as you enjoy views of the London skyline from the river. 18 Apr
  10. Head to Greenwich Peninsula for their Urban Village Fete: Enjoy tunes by legendary DJ Gilles Peterson, enjoy London's best street food and see creative talks and inspiring speakers. 19 May
  11. Join the National Gallery in celebrating their Bicentenary: Enjoy exciting events to mark 200 years dedicated to bringing people and paintings together. From 10 May
  12. Eurovision fans unite at Eurosmash FestivalFan favourites and cult classics take from across the continent take to the stage including iconic acts such as Subwoolfer and Jedward. 4 May
  13. Attend the European Writers' Festival at the British Library: See thirty leading and emerging writers respond the 2024 theme of 'Transformation'. 18-19 May
  14. Head to Brockwell Park for Wide Awake FestivalThis independent festival is for those looking for something different with the best up and coming talent alongside top bands. 25 May
  15. Enjoy carnival vibes at City Splash FestivalCelebrate the impact of Caribbean and African culture in the UK music scene, from Roots and Dub to Jungle and Garage. 27 May
  16. Grab your ticket to Cross The TracksDon't miss London's number one jazz, funk and soul festival that promises great music, food, workshops, talks and more. 26 May
  17. Get a ticket for the Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium: Or join football fans in pubs all over London to cheer on your favourite team. 11 or 12 May
  18. Get your fill of beautiful flower displays at the Belgravia in Bloom festival: Wander through the streets lined with exquisite floral displays and experiences. 20-27 May
  19. Or admire vibrant floral displays at Chelsea in Bloom: See the streets of Chelsea burst with colour at London's largest free flower festival. 20-26 May

Take a look at the London events calendar to see what else is happening. 

London theatre in May

Cara Delevingne playing sally bowles in cabaret at the kit kat club.

  1. Make the most of the warmer weather with a show at Regent's Park Open Air TheatreCatch an exciting production of Twelfth Night, kid's favourite The Enormous Crocodile and a musical classic Fiddler on the Roof.
  2. Catch celebrated actor Brian Cox in Long Day's Journey into Night at the Wyndham's Theatre: Immerse yourself in a tangled web of chaotic family relationships. 
  3. Uncover stories of modern Britain at Standing at the Sky's Edge: Follow the hopes and dreams of three generations in this moving musical adaptation.
  4. See stage legend Ian Mckellen in Player Kings at the Noel Coward Theatre: A coming together of two Shakespearean greats.
  5. Be spellbound with Wicked London tickets at the Apollo Victoria: Experience magic as you watch the witches in the Wizard of Oz. 
  6. Discover the exhilarating MJ The Musical at Prince Edward Theatre: An electrifying show covering Michael Jackson's best songs and iconic dance moves. 
  7. Meet the sassy Sister Mary Clarence at Sister Act at the Dominion Theatre: Discover the life-affirming story of a woman finding her way in the world after marriage and motherhood. 
  8. Watch Cara Delevingne in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club: A musical like no other, don't miss this spectacular show that promises catchy tunes and dazzling dance numbers.
  9. Sing along to top pop hits at ABBA Voyage at the ABBA Arena: See the world's favourite pop band perform together once again in this unforgettable show.
  10. Or join the immersive Mamma Mia! The Party at The O2: The ultimate dinner with a show featuring ABBA's most catchy hit songs. 

Check out even more exciting theatre shows in London this May.

Family activities in May

Two women are taking a selfie abord a City Cruises boat, with Big Ben on the background.

  1. Plan a Harry Potter-themed day outHave a magical adventure at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, where the iconic films were made.
  2. Tick off items from your London bucket list: Check out top attractions in London and the capital's popular kids attractions
  3. Make the most of two bank holidays and a whole week for May half-termPick up a sightseeing pass, such as the London Pass, the London Explorer Pass or the Merlin Attractions Pass.
  4. Head outdoors for a spot of sightseeing in the sunshine: Tour the city on an open-top or hop-on hop-off bus tour, or take to the river on a special Thames tour or cruise.
  5. Celebrate King Charles III's coronation anniversary at London's top royal attractionsTick off the capital's most memorable royal landmarks such as the Royal Mews and Westminster Abbey.
  6. Or explore the city's most beautiful royal palaces: Uncover fascinating history at Hampton Court Palace, and see the birthplace of Queen Victoria at Kensington Palace.
  7. Take a stroll through idyllic Kew Gardens this spring: See bluebells, daffodils and cherry blossom in bloom along with more unusual plants and flowers.
  8. Spend the day at a Theme Park: Ride the UK's fastest roller coaster at Thorpe Park and let your imagination run wild at LEGOLAND Windsor.
  9. Explore the exciting Cutty Sark: Bring out your inner adventurer as you discover London's iconic ship and its many workshops and events this spring.
  10. Head to the Home of English Rugby for a tour of Twickenham Stadium: Get a backstage pass to one of the world's most famous sporting venues.
  11. Scale London's highest free viewing platform at Horizon 22: Take in 360-degree views of the city, spotting its most iconic Landmarks.

Discover more fantastic activities for families in London.

London exhibitions in May 2024

Princess Diana beside screens of other famous royal faces.

  1. Be captivated at the brand-new Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibtion: Journey through the life of the late princess through this intimate exhibition. Opens 25 May
  2. Head to the King's Gallery for the Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography exhibition: See how portraiture has played a vital role in shaping public perception of the royals. Opens 17 May
  3. Immerse yourself in world-famous artwork at Frameless: See the inspiring works of Van Gogh, Picasso and more brought to life.
  4. Don't miss Fragile Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Enjoy photographs from the Sir Elton John and David Furnish collection. Opens 18 May
  5. Explore the works of Angelica Kauffman at the Royal Academy of Arts: See inspiring pieces from of the most celebrated artists of the 18th century. 
  6. Take the family to see Japan: Myths to Manga at the Young V&A: Go on an atmospheric trip through Japanese history at this eclectic exhibition. 
  7. Get a more in-depth look into London's most impressive collections on a tour: Explore the highlights of the National Gallery or see the best of the British Museum.

Check back nearer the time for more exhibitions in May in London.

What is on in London for kids in May?

Schools across the UK usually break up for a half-term holiday at the end of May, bringing a packed programme of family-friendly activities and events at some of London’s top attractions.

Is it worth visiting London in May?

May is one of the best times to visit London given the warmer weather and many fun outdoor activities to be enjoyed.

Longer spring days allow for more sightseeing with relatively moderate crowds taking to the city before the summer holidays begin.

Is end of May a good time to visit London?

Late May is a great time to visit as the city gears up for the summer months, with many attractions putting on seasonal experiences. 

Scale the masts of the famous Greenwich tea clipper on a Cutty Sark Rig Climb Experience, enjoy a themed river Thames sightseeing cruise and see spectacular flower displays at Kew Gardens with their delightful special exhibitions. 

You can also enjoy a number of exciting pop-up events over the spring bank holiday weekend

Some attractions and transport links are a little busier than usual so why not plan ahead and book yourself a London Pass to ensure you get around the city with ease.

For more things to do in London in May, take a look at this events calendar and guide to what's on in London. And catch the best of the London stage with this London theatre guide. For on-the-go adventure ideas, download the Visit London app.

WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see our London Weather page.