Best London activities after lockdown

Find the best things to do in London after lockdown as the capital embraces the “new normal”.

From museums and galleries, to drive-in cinemas and rooftop bars, London’s doors are opening once again. Discover the best things to do in London after lockdown in your local area and across the city.

Before heading out, remember to check direct with the venue to find out more about the special safety measures in place, including pre-booked tickets and reduced opening times.  

Be sure to follow the latest lockdown rules while exploring the city. And remember to stay safe, be responsible and follow social distancing guidelines when out and about.

Make sure to share your London using the #BecauseImALondoner hashtag on social media. 

Reopened cultural spots

Museums

Check out some of the best museum exhibitions in London

Galleries

  • Explore one of the world’s greatest collections of paintings at the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square.
  • Lose yourself in paintings, drawings and sculptures spanning the centuries at the Guildhall Art Gallery, before taking a peek at London’s Roman Amphitheatre.
  • Marvel over the first Andy Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern for almost 20 years and admire some of the greatest pop art ever made. Until 15 Nov
  • Spend an afternoon learning about British art from the 1500s to the present day at Tate Britain.
  • See the first UK exhibition from Toyin Ojih Odutola at The Curve as the Barbican throws open its doors again. Until 24 Jan
  • Discover new pieces of art from emerging artists and famous names at the Royal Academy of Arts' annual Summer Exhibition. Until 3 Jan
  • Celebrate the gallery district with Mayfair Art Weekend's month-long programme of events, including the Mayfair Sculpture Trail. Until 31 Oct
  • Visit Among the Trees at the Hayward Gallery to learn about human relationships with trees and forests. Until 31 Oct

Discover some of the top art exhibitions in London

Top London events

London theatre and shows

  • Be dazzled by the smash-hit Les Misérables – The Staged Concert as it bursts onto the Sondheim Theatre's stage. 5 Dec-31 Jan
  • Don your gladrags for a night with The Great Gatsby at one of his famously scandalous parties. Until 31 Jan
  • Tap your feet to a tale of historical heartbreak filled with girl power and singalong tunes during Six The Musical at the Lyric Theatre. 14 Nov-31 Jan 
  • Discover why Everybody's Talking about Jamie as this smash-hit musical makes its return to the London stage. 12 Nov-16 Jun
  • Laugh along to Mischief Theatre's hilarious productions The Play That Goes Wrong (20 Oct-2 May) and Magic Goes Wrong (17 Nov-2 May).  
  • Join award-winning comedian Adam Kay to hear stories of his time as a junior doctor in This is Going to Hurt. 22 Oct-8 Nov
  • Laugh out loud to Showstopper! The Improvised Musical at the Garrick Theatre. From 16 Nov
  • Step back in time to the First World War during the moving story of Private Peaceful at the Garrick Theatre. 7-22 Nov
  • Enjoy an evening of theatre fun and choose from one of 12 one-person plays in the Bridge Theatre’s auditorium. Until 7 Nov
  • Be part of the audience for a collection of mesmerising live dance performances at Sadler's Wells. Various dates
  • Take your seats for an exciting lineup of socially distanced shows as part of the Live from the Barbican series. Until 13 Dec
  • Listen to powerful rendition of Mozart's Requiem by the English National Opera at the London Coliseum. 6-7 Nov 
  • Experience the creativity of London's musicians and composers at the Between the Lines festival. Until 29 Oct
  • Head to the Hampstead Theatre and see Harold Pinter's 60th anniversary production of The Dumb Waiter18-19 Dec
  • Wiggle along to the artsdepot for The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, a theatrical recreation of the well-loved children's book. 24-27 Oct
  • Prepare to be on the edge of your seat during a spine-chilling performance of When Darkness Falls at the Union Theatre. 23 Nov-12 Dec
  • Welcome back London's oldest surviving grand music hall as Wilton's reopens its doors to delight audiences for theatre, music and spoken word. From 19 Jan

Outdoor events in London

More top London events

  • Experience a dazzlingly glamorous performance from singers, dancers and entertainers during London Never Dies at the London Cabaret Club. From 17 Oct
  • Be transported through five different periods of musical history with One Night Records' Lockdown Town. Until 30 Dec
  • Combine yoga with a sprinkle of vogueing during the sass-filled VOGA fitness class. 24 Oct, 7 and 21 Nov
  • Head to Live at Ally Pally for an evening of socially distanced fun, including stand-up comedy, live music and quirky entertainment. 15 Oct-22 Nov
  • Enjoy the spirit of the Fringe with a seven-week winter season in a new three-tier auditorium at The Pleasance. 11 Nov-17 Dec
  • Watch scary screenings in a forbidden forest as part of the Pop Up Screens Peckham series.
  • Choose from a lineup of 80 breweries from the UK and around the world with the London Craft Beer Festival at Tobacco Dock. 27-28 Nov
  • Celebrate Black communities, culture and history with a lineup of events during Black History Month. Until 31 Oct
  • Get ready for a month-long celebration of all things cocktails with special deals and menus across the city during London Cocktail Week. Until 31 Oct
  • Treat your taste buds to exclusive menus and foodie experiences during the London Restaurant Festival. Until 31 Oct
  • See more than 20 amazing artworks scattered across London's Borough of Culture 2020 for the Brent Biennial. Until 13 Dec
  • Scare yourself silly this Halloween in London with plenty of spooktacular events, activities and attractions. On and around 31 Oct
  • Tap your feet to live jazz performances as the legendary EFG London Jazz Festival returns to the city. 13-22 Nov

Fun London attractions

  • Explore the incredible collection of plants and fungi at Kew Gardens.
  • Climb aboard the famous Cutty Sark – one of the fastest sailing ships of its time – in Greenwich.
  • Step inside Tower Bridge to learn all about the incredible history of this world-famous London landmark. And make sure to stand on the glass floor in the Walkways, if you dare!
  • Check out the new public sculpture by Eva Rothschild in Coal Drops Yard, before hunting for more art in the area.
  • Scale one of the most iconic structures in London to get unbeatable views of the city at Up at The O2.
  • Step through the famous doors of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to enjoy an open-air guided tour and learn all about its fascinating history. 
  • Fuel your adrenaline rush and whizz down the river at high speeds with Thames RIB Experience and Thames Rockets.
  • Be amazed by the stunning architecture of St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London.
  • Gather your trusted team for a day of adventure and try to crack The Crystal Maze Live Experience.
  • Take in London’s riverside landmarks as you travel along the Thames with City Cruises or Uber Boat by Thames Clippers.
  • Explore the Roman Temple of Mithras and the collection of excavated artefacts found on the ancient site at London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE.
  • Say hello to some of your favourite big-screen stars with Scenes in the Square.
  • Explore the capital's largest wetlands during the 11-month contemporary art programme Wetlands Unravelled.

Best things to do outdoors

Find more fun things to do outdoors in London. 

Places to go shopping in London

Plan a trip to some of the best markets and shopping destinations in London

Top things to do with the kids

  • Pre-book a ticket to see the incredible selection of animals at ZSL London Zoo.
  • Watch the pelicans being fed every day in St James’s Park, while keeping your eyes peeled for a range of other wildlife.
  • Spot landmarks including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace from the London Eye
  • Experience classic sets from the films, 10 laugh-out-loud live shows and more at Shrek’s Adventure on the South Bank.
  • Meet sharks, sea turtles and tropical fish at SEA LIFE London Aquarium
  • Walk through London’s scary history and discover secrets from the torture chamber at The London Dungeon.
  • Come face-to-face with the wax figure version of your favourite celebs at Madame Tussauds.
  • See the iconic Hogwarts Great Hall and discover the Forbidden Forest at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter.
  • Say hello to the Beefeaters at the Tower of London, and learn about the history of the royal palace and its grizzly past.
  • Step inside the Butterfly House at the Horniman Museum & Gardens, where you'll be surrounded by hundreds of fluttering creatures. 
  • Let the little ones have some educational fun as they try out a range different careers at Kidzania
  • Journey into space during a visit to the Peter Harrison Planetarium at the Royal Observatory. From 20 Oct

Find more things to do with the family, as well activities during October half-term

Tasty food and drink in London

  • Indulge in a sky-high bottomless brunch 40th floors above the City of London at Duck and Waffle
  • Sit outside to enjoy a meal at one of London's best alfresco restaurants.
  • Dine in an Instagram-worthy igloo with views over Tower Bridge at riverside hotspot, Coppa Club
  • Sample a delicious menu of Bombay-inspired dishes at the newly revamped Dishoom in Covent Garden. 
  • Snap Chinatown decked out in hundreds of rainbow-coloured lanterns, before tucking into a meal at a restaurant in this popular pocket of London. 
  • Take in stunning views of the city at Sky Pod Bar in the Sky Garden, which sits at the top of The Walkie Talkie building.
  • Hop in The Standard, London's iconic red pill lift for Decimo, where a Mexican and Spanish feast of flavours by Michelin-starred chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias awaits. 
  • Get your street food fix from one of London's best markets
  • Explore the emporium of goods while you stop to refuel at Petersham Nurseries' Richmond and Covent Garden venues.
  • Escape to Neverland London for fondue, feasts and cool cocktails in an alpine forest setting. From 30 Oct
  • All aboard the Brigit's Bakery classic afternoon tea bus tour! Enjoy a cuppa and a selection of treats while taking in the sights of London from a Routemaster bus.
  • Experience incredible London views on the Skylight rooftop at Tobacco Dock. 
  • Treat your sweet tooth to the luxurious Charbonnel et Walker afternoon tea at the May Fair Kitchen.
  • Get cosy with a cocktail at one of London’s best rooftop bars.
  • Support neighbourhood businesses with a visit to one of your local restaurants.

The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme officially ended on 31 August. However, you can still eat out for less at selected restaurants across the city, which offer similar deals and special discounts.

Before heading out, check the latest restrictions on restaurant, pub and bar opening times.

Find out what's open and when as lockdown continues to ease in the capital, or download the Visit London app for more inspiration while out and about.