94 things to do this summer in London

Pack your shades and get ready to rock your summer wardrobe. Sunny days are coming and it's time to get planning!

With countless unique experiences and unforgettable activities, there is truly no better place to celebrate the summer than in London. From rooftop bars and outdoor cinemas to music festivals and picnics in the park, discover 95 ways to make the most of the summer with this ultimate guide.

Get ready for days filled with sunshine and all things alfresco. Find the best outdoor activities and things to do from open-air tours and attractions to iconic summer events throughout JuneJuly and August.

Summer school holidays 2024

Schools out! Which means there are a ton of exciting things to do this summer in London. This is your chance to have the ultimate adventure in the capital, ticking off iconic landmarks and making memories at top attractions.

Plan summer activities such as The London Eye which overlooks the river Thames 
  1. School's out! Discover plenty of fun things to do in London for families: Top Tip: Sightsee and save at top attractions with The London Pass or the Go City London Explorer Pass.
  2. Find the the best family attractions in the capital: Take your pick of cool museums for kids and action-packed adventures.
  3. Tick off the capital's top 10 attractions: Enjoy family favourites Shrek's Adventure! LondonSEA LIFE London Aquarium and the London Eye.
  4. Or see top sights on The Total London Experience: The popular day-long tour takes in key sights and includes a river trip to Greenwich.
  5. Experience Harry Potter's London: Relive the magic at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter or be spellbound by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre.
  6. Head to The Postal Museum: Fun for all the family, discover the first ever postcard, ride the Rail Mail, and much more!
  7. Hop on the IFS Cloud Cable Car for a selfie with a backdrop: Travel through the London sky at sunset for perfect snaps.
  8. Attend an exciting program of summer events at Battersea Power Station: Last year visitors got involved at The Battersea Games, watched live matches at The Wimbledon Experience and scaled the Lift 109 viewing platform.
  9. Inspire the little ones at KidZania: Keep the kids entertained as they take part in immersive play and try out different careers.
  10. Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers: See iconic landmarks as you hop on and off London's river bus. Make sure to snap a selfie in front of Tower Bridge!
  11. History buffs can get their fix at the Tower of London: Hear tales of torture and treachery from the Yeoman Warden's and their raven companions. 
  12. Take on the terrifying London Dungeons: Discover London's scary history and meet some of the city's most gruesome character's, from Jack the Ripper to Sweeney Todd.
  13. Stand with a foot in each hemisphere at the Royal Observatory Greenwich: Visit the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the world-famous Meridian Line.
  14. Climb the rigging on the Cutty Sark in Greenwich: Bring out your inner adventurer as you plot your way to the top of the tea clipper. 
  15. Test your Tube driving skills at the London Transport Museum: Explore real life buses and trains as you discover the history of London's public transport network.
  16. Or head to the newly reopened Young V&A Museum: See the exciting redesigned space with its amazing hands-on sensory experiences and creative play areas. Opening 1 Jul
  17. Play Monopoly Lifesized: Get on your feet and roll the giant dice as you travel around the high tech, interactive game board. 
  18. Try something new in London: Grab your mates and enjoy these thrilling immersive experiences.
  19. Plan a London break: Stay in London's best hotels for families.
  20. Make London memories that last forever: Work your way through these 101 things to do with the little and not-so-little ones.

What's on in London's theatre during summer 2024?

 A dancer wearing a bra is standing on stage and seems to be confused while surrounded by the troop seating in various positions.

  1. Book ahead for London's top musicals: Get The Lion King tickets London or enjoy must-see shows such as the Wicked musical and The Phantom of the Opera London.
  2. Discover the best shows for kids: Take your seat for family favourites.
  3. Laugh out loud at the best comedy shows: Be amused by chucklesome antics in a hilarious show by booking The Play That Goes Wrong tickets.
  4. Feel summer vibes at Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre: Get into holiday mode with this summertastic musical featuring all of your favourite ABBA songs.
  5. Fall in love with Les Miserables at the Sondheim Theatre: Witness this heart-wrenching tale of sacrifice and redemption.
  6. Join Marty McFly on his adventure Back to the Future at the Adelphi Theatre: Take a thrilling trip back in time with Marty and Doc at the West End show based on the 1985 blockbuster film.
  7. See the multi-award winning new musical Standing at the Sky's Edge at the Gillian Lynne Theatre: A love letter to the city of Sheffield, follow the hopes and dreams of three generations over six tumultuous decades. 
  8. Witness the dazzling musical Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club: Travel back to 1930's Berlin at this electrifying immersive theatre experience within the Playhouse Theatre.
  9. Get in loser, it's time to see Mean Girls at the Savoy Theatre: The infamous girl gang, The Plastics, rule North Shore High and will burn anyone who gets in their way.

Check back nearer the time for more theatre shows.

What are the best exhibitions in London this summer?

A painting of blue and brown colours depicting cravelli's garden by paula rego that is exhibiting at the national gallery museum in london

  1. Discover art and new galleries across the capital during London Gallery Weekend: A three-day programme of exciting activities for families, talks and other special events which are free and open to all. 31 May-2 Jun
  2. Explore the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition: Experience an annual celebration of art and creativity, with works on show from up-and-coming artists.
  3. Don't miss Fragile Beauty: Photographs from the Sir Elton John and David Furnish Collection at the V&A: Discover iconic images across fashion, celebrity, reportage and the male body. Opens 18 May
  4. Encounter Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind at Tate Modern: Explore the work of the world-famous artist and activist. 15 Feb-1 Sep
  5. Delve into Japanese history and culture at Japan: Myths to Manga at the Young V&A: From iconic anime movies to forward-thinking fashion. Until 25 Jun
  6. See Women in Revolt! Art and Activism in the UK 1970-1990 at Tate Britain: Observe works of the revolutionary Rossetti generation at this immersive show of poetry, paintings and more. 6 Apr-24 Sep
  7. Journey to outer space at the annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year at the National Maritime Museum: Galaxies, suns and silver moons - see incredible photos of our universe and beyond.
  8. Immerse yourself Impressionists on Paper: Degas to Toulous-Lautrec at Royal Academy of Arts: See works by Degas, Van Gogh, Morisot and Cezanne on paper using drawings, pastels, watercolours, temperas, gouaches. Until 18 Jun
  9. Marvel at Paula Rego: Crivelli's Garden at the National Gallery: See depictions of the courageous strong women from Rego's life portrayed in this impressive painting. From 20 Jul

Check back nearer the time for more summer 2024 exhibitions in London.

Summer days out in London

What better way to make the most of the warmer months than by enjoying memorable summer days out in London. Get together with friends and family in London and wander the city's lush green parks, uncover its top hidden gems on a guided tour and dance the night away at its buzzing rooftop bars and pop-up summer events.

 white and pink cherry blossom obscuring the palm house at Kew Gardens during summer in London 
  1. Spot roses in bloom at Kew Gardens: Wander the Great Broad Walk Borders and seek out colourful flower gardens.
  2. Marvel at pretty city views on one of London’s best bus tours: Climb aboard an iconic double-decker bus and take in the sights.
  3. Fly along the Thames on a speedboat tour with Thamesjet: Enjoy this thrilling family experience as you ride along the river spotting landmarks as you go.
  4. Explore the city on foot with a guide on a walking tour of London: Uncover incredible spots, from hidden gems, and movie filming locations to royal hotspots.
  5. Or head out on a treasure hunt with CityDays: Work together or go head-to-head, solving clues, riddles and puzzles on an urban adventure across London. 
  6. See the variety of exotic animals at London Zoo by Regent's Park: Hang out with meerkats, penguins, lions and more. 
  7. Get some of the best uninterrupted views in London: Get your adrenaline fix as you scale new heights with the Up at The O2.
  8. Check out the top London summer date ideas: From romantic spots for first dates to fun outdoor experiences to enjoy together.
  9. Explore the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park: Relax in the picturesque Japanese garden with its vibrant plants and soothing water features.
  10. Grab a blanket and a bottle of fizz, and head to the city’s leafy parks when the sun shines: Enjoy a picnic and have a go on a pedalo in Hyde Park, or spot the resident deer in Richmond Park.
  11. Venture to Battersea Park and take on the Go Ape experience: Be daring and cross the zigzag bridges and fly through the trees on the zip wires.
  12. Make a splash when the mercury rises: Take a dip in one of the city’s azure-blue lidos or venture north for a swim with leafy views in Hampstead Heath.
  13. Snuggle up during a summer film at one of London’s great outdoor cinemas: Check out Rooftop Film Club’s iconic venues, or hop in the car for a drive-in cinema experience. 
  14. Hop on your bike and ride some of London's best cycle paths: Discover the hidden corners of London as you explore on two wheels. 
  15. Walk up Primrose Hill for sweeping views of Regent’s Park and the London skyline: For the perfect shot, don’t miss the William Blake quote etched into the stone at the top: “I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill.”

Summer food and drink in London

Enjoy summer activities such as visiting London's Sky Garden complete with trees and glass windows overlooking the City. 
  1. Make the most of the long summer evenings at The View from The Shard: Sip on champagne cocktails and late-night drinks at London's tallest attraction.
  2. Discover some of the city’s best rooftop bars for sunset drinks: Experience killer views from The Nest at Treehouse London Hotel, or catch a sunset at Bar Elba with views of the London Eye.
  3. Or head to the Sky Garden, more than 500ft (152m) above the streets: Experience show-stopping views alongside summer dishes at its restaurant Darwin Brasserie.
  4. Sit outside and enjoy a meal in the summer sunshine: Experience some of London's best alfresco restaurants.
  5. Hop aboard a boat and indulge in a London Dinner Cruise: Savour a four course meal as you take in the sights from the Thames. 
  6. Soak up knockout views of the capital from high up at the classy Sushisamba City: Enjoy colourful Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian-fusion fare from the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower.
  7. Feast on all things Italian at Eataly in Broadgate: Find authentic foodie treats, a huge market area, three restaurants, a winery and a cooking school.
  8. Get your summer foodie fix: Devour heavenly treats in the surrounds of a former church at Mercato Mayfair, enjoy street food bites from KERB traders at Seven Dials Market, or hang out near the Thames at the Southbank Centre Food Market.
  9. Head to Lost in Brixton and satisfy all your cravings with food from downstairs Brixton Village: Chill with a local beer or a colourful spritzer, while waiting for your food to be brought straight to your table. Who said you couldn't have it all? 
  10. Or, try locals’ favourite food markets: Tempt your taste buds at Mercato Metropolitano, lively Pop Brixton and foodie haven Maltby Street Market.

London summer festivals

A carnival queen dressed in a white costume with red feathers, surrounded by red ticker tape dancing at the Notting Hill carnival during summer in London

  1. Soak up the atmosphere at the iconic Royal Albert Hall: Enjoy stunning summer performances from musical concerts to the world-famous proms.
  2. Don't miss show-stopping performances at BST Festival in Hyde Park: Previous acts have included the likes of Blackpink, Tate That, P!nk and Billy Joel. TBC
  3. Get your wellness fix at Fearn Cotton's Happy Place Festival: Attend mental health talks by inspiring speakers and attend restorative workshops such as yoga and sound healing.TBC
  4. See one of the prettiest parts of town at the Notting Hill Carnival: Dance to the sounds of steel bands, tuck into Caribbean jerk chicken and watch the colourful parade make its way through the streets of west London. Aug Bank Hol
  5. See live music acts at City Splash Festival in Brockwell Park: Celebrate the impact of Caribbean and African culture in the UK and beyond. 27 May
  6. Celebrate London's LGBTQ+ community at the colourful Pride in London parade: Sing and dance along, as more than 300 floats wind their way through central London. Jul
  7. Head to Somerset House for an exciting program of summer events: Attend day and night performances, inspiring exhibitions and family-friendly activities.
  8. Enjoy a summer spectacular at the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival 2023From street art and circus acts to light installations and dance performances, immerse yourself in London's diverse culture at this free family-friendly festival.TBC

London life by the water

Houses by the Regent's Canal. during summer in London

  1. Hop aboard a riverboat for a relaxing ride along the Thames: Sail to one of London’s most charming neighbourhoods: Greenwich.
  2. Fill your Instagram feed with snaps of Little Venice’s charming canal: Stroll along the Regent’s Canal towards Camden and Regent’s Park, or float down the waterways on a canal boat.
  3. Chill out in the sunshine at one of the hip drinking spots close to Camden Market: If you’re feeling peckish, browse the tasty bites on offer at the market's food stalls.
  4. Soak up the sun in a floating hot tub with Skuna Boats: Wave at passers-by while cruising down some of London’s canals from West India Quay.
  5. Unleash your adventurous side: Explore Hammersmith or Richmond during a stand-up paddle boarding session with Active 360 on the river Thames.
  6. Enjoy drinks by the river: Sip on a craft beer from Hackney’s trendy canal-side microbrewery Crate, or head to one of the riverside pubs and bars lining South Bank.

Summer shopping in London

People sitting in the square at Covent Garden with women strolling past during summer in London

  1. Spend a day perusing the 160 luxury-brand boutique outlets of Bicester VillageEnjoy some retail therapy just a short train ride away from London.
  2. Head to elegant Regent Street for world-class dining, lifestyle and shopping: Discover high-street fashion brands like Burberry, Kate Spade and Mango, plus there are plenty of independent shops to discover on the side streets.
  3. Browse Oxford Street, the world’s biggest high street: Find fashion, beauty and tech items at iconic brands and department stores, including John Lewis and Microsoft.
  4. And don't miss Bond Street in Mayfair: Head to the home to ultra luxury fashion just around the corner from Oxford Street.
  5. Hop around artisan shops and boutiques in St James's: Explore the historic area known for high-end fashion and numerous stores with the Royal Warrant.
  6. Explore vibrant Carnaby Street: Ideal for fashion lovers looking for concept stores, designer clothes, trendy footwear and colourful shop fronts. If you’re not in a retail-therapy mood, there is also plenty of food to enjoy from Carnaby’s restaurants.
  7. Take a wander the Piazza at Covent Garden: A foodie paradise and one of the best shopping destinations in London's West End. Look for classy items in the market while soothed by the sound of opera singers performing.
  8. Stroll around Seven Dials: Where independent boutiques, classy cafes and picturesque courtyards collide. 
  9. Stop by Coal Drops Yard in King's Cross: Shop for niche brands and enjoy a latte and cakes at its many cafes. 
  10. Peruse London’s top markets: Find food, flowers, modern art, clothes and more.
  11. Rummage through charity shops and the city’s best vintage fashion shops: London is a temple for second-hand fashion and one-of-a-kind items. 
  12. Find something different at hidden shopping gems in London: Once you’ve hit the big shopping destinations, take a look at the many art and antique shops.

Enjoy a summer of sport in London

A tennis match being played on grass in front of an audience during summer in London

  1. Don't miss The Wimbledon Championship where the world's Tennis icon's take to centre court: Experience incredible matches and entertainment at this action-packed event.1-14 Jul
  2. Head to London Stadium for another summer showdown as the MLB World Tour: London Series returns in 2024: Enjoy a sporting show like no other as the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies go head-to-head. 8-9 June
  3. Watch the English FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium: Cheer on your favourite team as two teams compete to be crowned champions of English football. 
  4. Be thrilled by the 2023 London E-Prix: See teams go wheel-to-wheel when the ABB FIA Formula E Championship comes ExCeL London and the Royal Docks this summer. TBC
  5. Venture to the Kia Oval and Lord's Cricket Ground: Enjoy a season of incredible local and international cricket. 

If you’re still hungry for more things to do this summer, find top tips for things to do in London this weekend and things to do today. Or find on-the-go ideas by downloading the Visit London app.