41 fun things to do this May bank holiday weekend in London 2024

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With spring in full swing and summer firmly on the horizon, May just so happens to be one of the best times to visit London thanks to warm temperatures and a wealth of outdoor activities. Boasting a total of two bank holidays, these long weekends are the perfect opportunity for fun events and experiences across the capital.

The first bank holiday falls early in the month on Monday 5 May, while the other is nearer the end on Monday 26 May. These two dates mean a duo of three-day weekends is on the cards, each bringing new experiences, sightseeing trips, and an abundance of outdoor fun

What's open on a bank holiday Monday in London?

The City Cruises sightseeing boat navigates the river Thames with the Shard looming on the background.

  1. Visit London's top attractions: Explore the latest and greatest attractions and more things to do on a bank holiday in London.
  2. Book your seat at a top London musical: Explore longstanding shows at London's West End, including Disney's The Lion King, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Mrs Doubtfire.
  3. Get your money's worth with a sightseeing pass: choose from The London Pass, the Go City London Explorer Pass and the Merlin London Attractions Pass to unlock the city in style! 
  4. See London from above: Venture to the heights of the London Eye and the IFS Cloud Cable Car
  5. Take in the sights from the river Thames: Hop aboard one of City Cruises' many boats for unique views and memorable dining experiences.  
  6. Take a day trip to Windsor Castle: Explore the historic royal residence and take in your idyllic surroundings. 

Tick off top London attractions

ABBA Voyage performers on stage with red moon backdrop and live crowd with their arms up in the air at London's ABBA Arena.

  1. Visit the historic Tower of London and marvel at the Crown Jewels: Visit a site steeped in both history and tradition and see priceless items up close.
  2. Take a trip back to the glory days of music with ABBA Voyage: Watch as virtual avatars from everyone's favourite pop group take to the stage. 
  3. Discover one of England's most revered sites with a Buckingham Palace Tour and Afternoon Tea: Visit the central London landmark and marvel at its many luxurious rooms.
  4. Take a guided tour of St Paul's Cathedral: Behold the historic relic of London's skyline and discover over 300 years of history.
  5. Come face-to-face with some of the world's most recognisable icons at Madame Tussauds: Examine uncanny wax figures and enjoy plenty of selfie opportunities! 
  6. Embrace over a thousand years of British history at Westminster Abbey: Take in all the UNESCO world heritage site has to offer. 
  7. Visit the most biodiverse place on earth, Kew Gardens: See nearly 17,000 different species of unique plants up close and personal. 

Enjoy family favourite activities in London

the frog choir positioned in the great hall, on tiered standing with floating candles hanging from the ceiling, just like the film set

  1. Discover the magic of Hogwarts at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter: Go behind the scenes to see original costumes, film props, and much more.
  2. See thousands of aquatic animals at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium: Dive in the deep blue sea without your snorkel and be awed by the extensive selection of sea creatures.
  3. Discover how transport helped shape the city as we know it at the London Transport Museum: See groundbreaking designs and even the first-ever tube map.
  4. Embrace your inner adrenaline junkie at some of the UK's top theme parks: Get your thrills at Thorpe Park or let loose at LEGOLAND Windsor
  5. Take a walk on the wild side at London Zoo: Meet lions, tigers and monkeys (plus much, much more) and learn amazing animal facts at daily talks.
  6. Laugh out loud at Dreamworks Tours: Shrek's Adventure! London: Enter the world of Shrek, Donkey and Fiona in this walk-and-ride adventure. 

Top experiences this May bank holiday in London

A shelf covered in brightly coloured macarons.
  1. Take a guided tour of the British Museum: Get closer to history and discover precious artefacts, Egyptian mummies and more. 
  2. Explore must-see sports stadiums and venues: Visit both Arsenal and Chelsea football clubs with a guided tour.
  3. Indulge yourself on a foodie tour of the city: Visit Borough Market for a varied menu or treat yourself to iconic dishes on a Brick Lane Indian Food Tour.
  4. Take an immersive Harry Potter walking tour: Visit the exact locations where Harry, Ron and Hermione stood in the much-loved films. 
  5. See the sights flash by on a Speedboat Tour: Blister down the Thames and see London the quick way on this action-packed tour.

Catch a film or theatre show

The cast of The Book of Mormon dancing on stage in white clothing.

  1. Take your pick from London's top musicalsEnjoy a night out at the theatre or a matinee performance.
  2. Discover the best shows for kidsFind family-friendly favourites from plays to musicals.

  3. Or choose a hilarious comedy musical: Laugh out loud at The Book of Mormon and The Play That Goes Wrong.

  4. Enjoy outdoor entertainment in London: From alfresco shows and artworks to film-themed walking tours.

Explore the great outdoors 

The entrance to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Garden. There are leafy green trees in the foreground and a cafe further back. 
  1. Ditch the concrete jungle for London's famous Royal Parks: Take your pick from London's extensive selection of green spaces.
  2. Swing from the heights of Battersea Park at Go Ape: Strap yourself in for the adventure of a lifetime as you soar from tree to tree. 
  3. Head to some of the greener neighbourhoods beyond the city centre : Explore the likes of Greenwich, Barnes, and Little Venice.
  4. Take a float on a boat or in one of London's many lidos: From the natural swimming ponds in Hampstead Heath to Instagram-worthy pools.

Seek out alfresco dining in London

Group of people enjoying drinks at a riverside pub in Hammersmith

  1. Book yourself an outside table at one of London's many famed alfresco dining spots: Soak up the sun and dine in style at popular destinations such as Kingly Court, St Christopher’s Place and Covent Garden.

  2. Sip in style at one of London's many rooftop bars: Whether you’re drinking cocktails, mocktails or pints, relax and unwind at one of the city's many idyllic spots. 
  3. Chow down at one of London's top picnic spots: Grab a blanket, get some snacks, and don't forget your sun cream! 
  4. Head to one of the hundreds of pub beer gardens: Get that "ahhhh" feeling as you sip on your first beverage of the day. 

Pick up summer-ready items

The inside of the shopping area within Battersea Power Station

  1. Head to Bicester Village to pick up an outfit: Get big discounts on even bigger labels at this outlet village.
  2. Discover London as a top shopping destination: Discover late-spring deals or find the next emerging trends at Battersea Power Station, Oxford Street and more.
  3. Explore one of the weekly markets in London: Whether you're looking for antiques, crafts, trinkets or clothing, London's many markets have got you covered.

  4. Grab yourself some greenery at Columbia Road Flower Market: From finding a new house plant to add to your collection to buying flowers for someone special, Columbia Road has it all. 

  5. Browse London's department stores: Explore the likes of Selfridges, Harrods, and Fortnum and Mason for a range of luxury goods.

Are museums open on a bank holiday in London?

Most museums are open on a bank holiday in London. However, all museums close on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. It is also worth noting that some museums don't open on Mondays (the day that bank holidays often fall on).

If you're planning a museum trip on a bank holiday, be sure to check your destination's regular opening times ahead of your visit.

Practical info for a bank holiday Monday in London

Most attractions, shops and restaurants are open as usual during the bank holiday weekend, or open with amended times.

Please check with the individual venue before visiting. Some transport services may be affected, so check the latest information for Transport for London services and rail networks before you travel.

More bank holiday inspiration

For more bank holiday weekend ideas, find our top tips on things to do on a Saturday and Sunday in London. If you’re staying for longer, make sure to see what else is on during spring and summer, including key events in May and June.

If you’re already in London, follow this guide to activities for today and the upcoming weekend, or download the Visit London app to have inspiration in your pocket.

Stay for the whole weekend to make the most of the bank holiday vibes – find tips on where to stay in London