30 things to do in London when it rains

Uncover 30 exciting indoor activities in London when it rains. From top museums to cosy cafes, make the most of rainy days in the capital.
People inside a room with art projected on walls and floor
Frameless immersive experience in London. Credit; Shutterstock

Rainy outside? No problem. London is packed full of world-acclaimed museums, gorgeous galleries, immersive exhibitions, fun activities, cosy pubs, cute cafes and cultural gems galore. Discover the best things to do in London when it rains with this guide to top-notch indoor activities in the capital.

Kids in tow? From interactive play centres to toyshops, check out these top things to do in London with kids on a rainy day.

Fun indoor activities to do in London when it rains

Low angle shot of the Tower of London, with a light show projected onto the building and the silhouette of an adult and a child holding hands watching the display
Immersive light and sound show, Crown and Coronation, at the Tower of London. Image courtesy of Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2023.
  1. Visit the magnificent Buckingham Palace: Experience the best of British history and culture with a tour of one of the most iconic and impressive royal palaces in the world.
  2. See the Crown Jewels at the Tower of LondonMarvel at the 100 objects and 23,000 precious stones that make up the Crown Jewels and enjoy a spectacular new Crown Jewels exhibition at the most famous castle in the city.
  3. Experience the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter: Discover the magic behind spellbinding special effects, uncover behind-the-scenes secrets and step onto real-life sets from the Harry Potter film series.
  4. Make the best of a rainy day in London by delving into the marine world at SEA LIFE London AquariumSpot up to 400 species including sharks, stingrays, moray eels and clown fish, all the while staying dry!
  5. Plunge into an immersive art experience at London's Twist Museum: Explore how your brain interprets reality with more than 60 exhibits and interactive illusions.
  6. Surround yourself with world-famous art masterpieces at Frameless: Discover an immersive gallery with motion sensors and virtual technology that brings works of art to life as you navigate the rooms.
  7. Have a go at one of London's best escape roomsTurn spy, sleuth, time traveller or adventurer as you battle your way out of locked rooms and dangerous worlds...
  8. Roll a strike at London’s best bowling alleys: Escape from the rain with some proper old-school fun.
  9. Test your racing skills at Capital Karts: Speed through the UK's longest indoor go-karting track for a rainy day in London to remember!
  10. Or take it easy and indulge in a spa day: Treat yourself to luxurious spa treatments that'll make you forget all about the rain and feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

Best shows and entertainment on a rainy day in London

A troup of dancers wearing colourful dresses are dancing the French Cancan on the stage of Moulin Rouge The Musical in London.
French Cancan at Moulin Rouge The Musical. Image courtesy of Dewynters.
  1. Get tickets to see a top London theatre show, play or musical: From Moulin Rouge's sparkling cabaret numbers to timeless West End classics such as The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera to satirical musical comedy at its best in The Book of Mormon.
  2. Dance to ABBA's most famous hits with immersive show ABBA Voyage: Experience the worldwide music sensation brought back to life with jaw-dropping classics performed through special effects and projections.
  3. Face the ultimate team challenge at The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience London: Test your your mental and physical skills with exhilarating challenges based on the iconic 1990s TV show.
  4. See a show at the incredible Royal Albert Hall, one of the most famous music and concert venues in the world: Soak up the atmosphere, the interior and the amazing acoustics at one of more than 360 events a year.
  5. Grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy alternative films at one of London's best independent cinemas: Discover the coolest spots to watch a film in London on a rainy day.
  6. Catch a top London exhibitionFrom blockbuster shows at iconic museums to incredible art displays in top galleries, immerse yourself in the London art scene.

Free indoor activities in London

Great Court at British Museum
British Museum - Great Court
  1. Travel back in time with cultural treasures from around the world at the British MuseumDiscover ancient relics, from Egyptian mummies to an Aztec serpent sculpture.
  2. See world-class art for free at the National Gallery: Explore one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, featuring artworks from famous artists such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Turner.
  3. Delve into the history of planet Earth at the Natural History Museum: See a life-sized blue whale, a 40-million-year-old spider and the beautiful Hintze Hall.
  4. Explore a treasure trove of objects celebrating art and design through the ages at the V&AAdmire fashion, jewellery and furniture with a memorable visit of this world-leading museum.
  5. Discover world-class contemporary paintings, photographs and performance art at Tate Modern: Sitting grandly on the banks of the Thames, it's the perfect place to shelter from the rain.
  6. Journey through the history of British art from 1500 to the present day at Tate Britain: See masterpieces, as well as outstanding modern and contemporary art.
  7. See, touch and experience the major scientific advances of the last 300 years at the Science MuseumGet hands-on with interactive exhibits, take a virtual reality trip through space and more.
  8. Check out the Royal Academy of Arts' free collections of artworks, sculptures and statues: The permanent collection spans 250 years of British art with works from the likes of John Constable and David Hockney.
  9. Head to the quirky Horniman Museum in south London: Encounter an eclectic collection of musical instruments, anthropology and natural history, including a gigantic overstuffed walrus!
  10. Discover beautiful designs at the William Morris Gallery in east London: Learn about the life of one of Britain's most famous arts and crafts designers.

Find more free museums and art galleries to explore on a rainy day in London.

Foodie things to do in London when it rains

People sit in a restaurant in camden.
Explore Camden's pub scene. © Unsplash/Marco Chilese
  1. Hop on an iconic double-decker for an afternoon tea bus tour of London: Explore the streets of London from the comfort of your seat while savouring delicious sandwiches and pastries.
  2. While away a rainy afternoon in a cosy London pub: Grab a drink, order some comfort food and settle in by a crackling fire – one of the best, quintessentially London indoor activities on a rainy day!
  3. Find more than artisan coffee at the best quirky cafes in London: Discover unique coffee bars in unexpected locations, from a crypt to a Victorian-era gents’ toilet.
  4. Shelter from the rain at London's best activity bars: From ball pits and ping pong to electric shuffleboard, test your sporting skills with the coolest indoor activities in London bars.

Find more food and drink locations to while away a rainy day in London.