Top tips for solo travel in London

Meet fellow travellers, mingle with locals and see the sights with these top tips for spending time alone in London.

Explore the city at your own pace, follow your interests and discover the best places to be alone and to make new friends.

Seek out London’s best solo dining spots, enjoy activities perfect for one, take in a show or visit attractions in London by yourself – spending time in London alone is far from lonely.

London hotels for single travellers

Find compact but plush single rooms at The Hoxton hotel in Holborn – look out for its “shoebox” rooms featuring bespoke wallpaper inspired by Charles Dickens. Or check into Mimi’s Hotel Soho, which has snug “tiny single” options.

The Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington is well located for the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. Farther east, The Ned, in the City of London, is close to St Paul’s Cathedral and the Bank of England and has 1920s-style “crash pad” and “cosy” options – the latter is a charming option for solo female travellers in London.

Great-value local chain Z Hotels has smart single rooms in handy locations from Soho to Shoreditch, Piccadilly, Victoria and other London areas. Or, take a look at the coolest London hostels, which are perfect for meeting like-minded travellers.

Solo dining in London

London restaurants with counter dining

Grab a seat at one of the many restaurants with counter dining in London. Try South Kensington’s Yashin Ocean House for smart sushi, the Riding House Cafe near Oxford Street for modern British fare, Ceviche Soho for exciting Peruvian flavours, Breddos in Clerkenwell for lip-smacking tacos, or Barrafina for outstanding tapas in Soho, Drury Lane and Covent Garden.

Relaxed dining at London markets

Get food without formality at one of London’s markets – they’re known for food stalls and cosy, communal restaurants. Top foodie hotspots include Borough Market near London Bridge, Berwick Street Market in Soho, south London’s Brixton Village Market or Hackney’s Broadway Market.

London street food and pop ups

Grab some handheld bites at pop-up street-food hubs such as Pop Brixton, Southbank Centre Market, Dinerama by Street Feast in Shoreditch, and Kerb’s fleet of food trucks in King’s Cross. Or, explore the city’s culinary delights on an Eating London food tour.

London supper clubs

Pull up a chair and sit alongside locals at a London supper club. Monograph runs elegant under-the-radar Japanese experiences, or try KinoVino for international films matched with guest chefs. Syrian Supper Club offers a friendly experience in aid of refugees. Find more supper clubs, including one on a London Underground train, on Eatwith. Booking ahead is essential.

London cafe culture

People-watch with a flat white at one of London’s top independent coffee shops, enjoy a picture-perfect treat at Instagrammable cafes, or sit down with a cupcake at an indulgent cake shop. If you fancy some feline company, head to Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium.

Tours of London by yourself

Are you travelling to London alone for the first time? Get your bearings by taking a bus tour or a boat on the river, where you may be entertained by the Thames watermen’s cheeky humour.

London is a great city to explore on foot, and specialist walking tours include Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes and Shoreditch street art. You can even book your own solo travel tour.

Guide yourself around the City of London on the City Visitor Trail, track down Harry and Meghan’s favourite places or find the best London selfie spots.

Outdoor things to do alone in London

Solo London workout sessions

Keep fit and meet people at Rabble’s high-intensity workouts, featuring games such as British bulldogs, frisbee and dodgeball. Alternatively, join Project Awesome’s friendly tribes for a bright and early session at The Scoop or Primrose Hill. Daredevils can learn to fly through the air with Gorilla Circus’s Flying Trapeze School during summer.

Running and team sports

Parkrun organises free 5K weekend runs around London – the Alexandra Palace one has great views over the city. For team sports, Go Mammoth and Footy Addicts can match you to games of netball, football, volleyball and more at locations all over London.

Places to relax outdoors

Pack your swim bag and head to one of London’s lidos or to Hampstead Heath’s famous bathing ponds. Relax in the sunshine or read a book under a tree in London’s best parks, loved for their flora, fauna and special events.

Fun things to do in London by yourself

Shopping

Shop ‘til you drop – there’s no one to tell you to stop! Whether it’s luxury boutiques, vintage fashion, quirky hidden gems or world-renowned department stores, London is a shopping paradise. You can even shop like the Queen.

Art and craft classes

Get creative at a craft class from Drink Shop & Do, London Craft Club or M.Y.O. Take a street-art tour and graffiti workshop with Alternative London.

Urban dance classes

Dance to the beat of the city at a bookable or drop-in class at Pineapple Dance Studios, Danceworks or At Your Beat, or learn to lindy hop with Swing Patrol.

Cooking classes

Sharpen your knife skills or learn to make sourdough or homemade pickles at sustainability-focused Cookery School in Fitzrovia. Cheese fans can make their own at The Urban Cheesemaker. And for a true London tipple, craft your own gin with bespoke botanicals at Notting Hill’s Ginstitute.

Solo cultural activities in London

Art and artefacts

Explore London’s world-leading museums and galleries at your own pace – it’s one of the perks of travelling solo in London. Check out the best temporary art and museum exhibitions too, for once-in-a-lifetime shows.

Shows for single travellers

Head to the West End to catch one of London’s famous stage shows, with a wide choice of world-class performers, plays and musicals. See if you can snap up a last-minute theatre ticket – it’s a benefit of solo travelling – or join the “groundlings” and catch a play at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. The Royal Opera House, the London Coliseum and Sadler’s Wells will cater to opera and ballet buffs.

Film and cinema

Treat yourself to an armchair and dinner at the Electric Cinema in Portobello – it’s the perfect solo date night. Film aficionados should head to the BFI, while the Prince Charles Cinema shows old favourites at rock-bottom prices to a vocal crowd.

Explore the universe at a Science Museum IMAX 3D show or gaze into the night sky at Greenwich Observatory’s Peter Harrison Planetarium. Find more unique and unusual cinemas in London.

Libraries, bookshops and lectures

Find a quiet spot in one of London’s best bookshops, or visit the British Library, a temple of knowledge that holds some of the most precious and fascinating manuscripts in the world.

All the major museums and galleries hold lectures, as do the Royal Society, the Bishopsgate Institute and many London universities; while the School of Life holds talks on personal development and psychology.

Where to meet people in London

There’s a plethora of things to do solo in London – you won’t run out of fun things to do by yourself. But if you’re travelling alone in London and would like to connect with others, Meetup has hundreds of groups all over the city devoted to specialist interests, while citysocializer and thinkingbob run events, socials and nights out around the city.

Find more things to do in London, from adventure activities and stunning sunsets to avocado hotspots.