Best London activities after lockdown

Plan ahead and find the best things to do in London after lockdown.

From museums and galleries, to drive-in cinemas and alfresco restaurants, discover some of the top things to do in London after lockdown.

Many of London's shops, outdoor attractions and outside hospitality venues have reopened; while indoor London attractions, hospitality and leisure venues are due to reopen on 17 May at the earliest, following the proposed easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Be aware that some venues listed below may still be closed, and you may also need to book in advance – make sure to check back for all the latest information.

Remember to follow the latest government guidelines and act responsibly when out and about in London.

Best things to do outdoors

  • See the city from two wheels and discover London’s cycle routes. Plus, take a look at these tips on how to cycle in London.
  • Stretch your legs and explore the capital by foot with London’s best walking routes.
  • Surround yourself with blooming trees and gorgeous flowers at one of the capital's best gardens.
  • Eat alfresco in one of the city's loveliest picnic spots.
  • Get your blood pumping and seek out these outdoor spots for exercising.
  • Take a dip in one of London’s outdoor swimming pools or lidos
  • Surround yourself with nature and boost your wellbeing in London's Royal Parks.
  • Discover an art trail between Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2 with The Line.
  • 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.
  • Try your hand at outdoor crazy golf at Plonk in London Fields.

Find more fun things to do outdoors in London. 

Places to go shopping in London

Tips for safe shopping in London

When visiting shops and markets in London, you can expect to find special safety measures including socially distanced queuing, hand sanitiser stations, one-way systems and a limit on in-store capacity.

It is mandatory to wear a face covering in public indoor settings, including shops and supermarkets.

Many shops are also still running delivery and click-and-collect services, so you can continue to support your favourite local spots. 

Tasty food and drink in London

  • Enjoy delicious dishes from one of Covent Garden's top restaurants with outdoor seating across the piazza and its surrounding streets.
  • Or, treat yourself to something from one of the area's resident street food vendors. Thursday to Sunday until 16 May
  • Dine in an igloo on a spring-themed terrace and enjoy views over Tower Bridge at riverside hotspot, Coppa Club.
  • Soak up the views at one of London’s best rooftop bars or at one of the city's largest beer gardens, The Terrace at Alexandra Palace.
  • Experience incredible London views on the Skylight rooftop at Tobacco Dock.
  • Experience seaside vibes at The Berkeley's beach huts, serving up seafood platters, lobster and chips and nostalgic desserts.
  • Sit outside to enjoy a meal at one of London's best alfresco restaurants.
  • Get your street food fix from one of London's best markets.
  • Grab a pint and soak up the sunshine at a pub garden.
  • Dine in front of the Queen's House in Greenwich as the Bridgerton filming location welcomes some seriously Insta-worthy dining domes. 7-31 May
  • Indulge in a sky-high bottomless brunch 40th floors above the City of London at Duck and Waffle.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Treat your sweet tooth to the luxurious Charbonnel et Walker afternoon tea at the May Fair Kitchen.
  • Support neighbourhood businesses with a visit to one of your local restaurants.

Many places are also still running delivery, click-and-collect and takeaway services, so you can continue to support your favourite spots and discover new places on your doorstep.

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.
  • Spend an afternoon learning about British art from the 1500s to the present day at Tate Britain.
  • See photographs inspired by politics and black lesbian and gay identities in contemporary South Africa at the Zanele Muholi exhibition at Tate Modern. Until 31 May
  • View some of the Queen's favourite paintings from the Royal Collection at the Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace exhibition. Until 31 Jan 2022

Take a look at some of the top art exhibitions in London.

Top London events

London theatre and shows

  • Book tickets for one of London's top 10 musicals, from The Lion King to & Juliet and Pretty Woman.
  • Tap your feet to a tale of historical heartbreak filled with girl power and singalong tunes during Six The Musical at the Lyric Theatre (21 May-22 Aug) and the Arts Theatre (24 Aug-5 Sep).
  • Discover why Everybody's Talking about Jamie as this smash-hit musical makes its return to the London stage. 20 May-29 Aug
  • Attend one of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre's shows under the stars. 17 Jun-25 Sep
  • Chuckle along to Mischief Theatre's hilarious The Play That Goes Wrong. 18 Jun-30 Jan
  • Laugh out loud to Showstopper! The Improvised Musical at the Garrick Theatre. 7 Jun-11 Oct
  • Head to Theatreland and discover the much-loved tale of The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre. 1 Jul-8 Jan
  • Get ready for the return of the summer season at Shakespeare's Globe with Romeo & Juliet, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and more on stage. 19 May-30 Oct
  • Join the stars of RuPaul's Drag Race for a side-splitting murder mystery with Death Drop at the Garrick Theatre. 19 May-11 Jul
  • Tap your feet to the tunes of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in Jersey Boys at the Trafalgar Theatre. 28 Jul-2 Jan
  • Witness world-class virtuosi at Reunion: Summer at the Southbank Centre, presenting an incredible lineup of music events across all its venues, including the Southbank Centre. May-Aug
  • Grab tickets for opera and ballet performances at the Royal Opera House, including Current, Rising, a 15-minute hyper reality-opera experience (21 May-10 Jun).
  • Enjoy an evening of theatre fun with one of the plays at the Bridge Theatre.
  • Be part of the audience for a collection of mesmerising live dance performances at Sadler's Wells.
  • Take your seats for an exciting lineup of socially distanced shows as part of the Live from the Barbican series.
  • Welcome back London's oldest surviving grand music hall as Wilton's reopens its doors to delight audiences with theatre, music and spoken word.
  • Experience a dazzlingly glamorous performance from singers, dancers and entertainers during London Never Dies at the London Cabaret Club. 4 Jun-20 Nov
  • Be transported through five different periods of musical history with One Night Records' Lockdown Town. 23 Jun-24 Jul

Discover more of the best theatre in London.

Outdoor events in London

  • Step outside and make the most of the outdoor entertainment across the capital, from riverside theatre to open-air art. 
  • Pop over to the West End and take a free self-guided audio tour of Theatreland, narrated by the legendary Sir Ian McKellen. 
  • Jump in the car for a night of entertainment at the West End Musical Drive-In. Various dates 
  • Plan a fun-filled night out at one of London’s best outdoor and drive-in cinemas.
  • Grab your team for a game of crazy golf across Coal Drops Yard with Club Golf. Until 9 May
  • Explore the gorgeous Buckingham Palace gardens and stop of for a picnic in surroundings fit for royalty. 9 Jul-19 Sep
  • Surround yourself with nature during a spot of forest bathing, tai chi, yoga, pilates and more at Kew Gardens. Various dates
  • Alternatively, cycle through the gardens on a one-of-a-kind bike ride during Kew Garden's Summer Cycle. Various dates
  • Explore the city's Royal Parks with the kids on the self-led More than Bugs walking trails, where you'll learn all about ladybirds, bees, dragonflies and more fascinating creatures. 
  • See your favourite music superstars live on stage and discover the hottest emerging artists at one of London's top music festivals.

More top London events

  • Marvel at one of the biggest collections of vintage classics and historic cars at The London Classic Car Show, a must for all motor enthusiasts. 25-27 June
  • Take the ultimate selfie at Van Gogh Alive – an interactive exhibition of the artist's most famous work, which features a fully mirrored room filled with hundreds of sunflowers. 4 Jun-26 Sep
  • Set in a historic royal palace, RHS Hampton Court Palace Festival 2021 brings you breathtaking show gardens and flower displays to marvel at. 6-11 Jul
  • Loosen your belt at foodie paradise Taste of London. The festival is set in Regent's Park and celebrates the best of London's food scene, while also offering plenty of drinks and live entertainment. 7-11 and 14-18 Jul
  • Join the party at the London Craft Beer Festival in Tobacco Dock, where you can sample beers from more than 100 breweries and taste street food from some of the city's best restaurants, while top artists spin the decks. 13-15 Aug
  • Navigate a lineup of free night-time events and exhibitions across the city during Art Night 2021, inspired this year by self-determination, and featuring commissioned projects by international artists, including Guerrilla Girls. 18 Jun-18 Jul

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!
  • 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.
  • Or enjoy the scenery at a slower pace and have lunch while you sail down the river Thames on a Bateaux London cruise.
  • Be amazed by the stunning architecture of St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London.
  • 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.

Plan ahead for a trip to some of the best attractions in London.

Top things to do with the kids

  • Pre-book a ticket to see the incredible selection of animals at ZSL London Zoo.
  • 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.
  • 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 Greenwich.
  • Take on a family-friendly challenge at The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience London.
  • Watch the pelicans being fed every day in St James’s Park, while keeping your eyes peeled for a range of other wildlife.

Find more things to do with the family.

Find out what's open and when across the city, treat yourself to a London gift voucher, or download the Visit London app for more inspiration.