Virtually London: things to do at home

Six members of BalletBoyz gather in a dark space beneath a neon purple square light on stage.
BalletBoyz Deluxe streamed on Sadler's Wells Digital Stage. Credit: George Piper. Image courtesy of Sadler's Wells.
You may not be able to visit London just yet, but that shouldn’t stop you enjoying the city’s culture – find the best things to do at home in London, from live streams and webcams to virtual experiences.

Many attractions, theatres and other venues are currently closed due to coronavirus, but if you’re missing London, don’t worry...

London venues are now streaming live events and performances, and there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the capital from your sofa: watch live webcams, take virtual tours in museums and galleries, and join online classes.

Live London streams

Live stream top performances, learn something new and find out how to keep fit and well during your time at home.

Streamed shows and online theatre in London

  • See the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes and Gillian Anderson in National Theatre at Home's performances, for free, every Thursday. Each show is also free to stream for a week afterwards. Thursdays at 7pm
  • Sing along to some of Andrew Lloyd Webber's biggest West End musicals with The Shows Must Go On, including The Sound of Music and Phantom of the Opera. Fridays at 7pm
  • Make use of free content on Globe Player, Shakespeare’s Globe’s online platform, which also offers recordings of its productions for a small fee.
  • Head over to Official London Theatre's YouTube channel for your fix of theatre, behind-the-scenes videos and interviews. 
  • Hear a global cast read complete Shakespearean works every week with The Show Must Go Online. Wednesdays at 7pm
  • Catch up on scripts and music from Homos Promos' short operatic readings as part of A Gay Century, a recent series of operas exploring 100 years of gay history.
  • Explore themes of workplace fear with dark comedy Contractions, performed in British Sign Language and spoken English by Deafinitely Theatre at New Diorama Theatre.

Find more online theatre.

Live online concerts, recorded performances and music festivals

  • Tune in to the London Philharmonic Orchestra's LPOnline series of performances and playlists. Various dates
  • Settle down for a night of entertainment as the Royal Albert Hall launches #RoyalAlbertHome, with nightly streamed shows, direct from the homes of top artists. Various dates
  • Help support London's smaller independent music venues with the Save Our Venues initiative. Concerts are free to stream but donations are encouraged. Various dates
  • Big name London music festival Wireless is offering 360-degree, pre-recorded virtual reality gigs as part of its three-day Wireless Connect virtual festival. 3-5 Jul
  • Missing your festival fix? Junction 2 has moved online with four stages and six hours of exclusive DJ sets from some of the world’s top house and techno artists. 11 Jul
  • Catch up on Glitterbox Virtual Festivals, events and DJ sets from London-based label Defected Records.
  • Learn more about musicians and other notable people from Brent, the Mayor's London Borough of Culture 2020, in a video series and reggae map, as part of Brent 2020 Unlocked.
  • Join the weekly Big Gay Sing Along on Zoom for an hour of fun tunes and fabulous fun. Fridays at 8pm
  • Join the world's biggest classical music festival, as the BBC Proms goes online for 2020. 17 Jul-12 Sep 

Find more online gigs, concerts and festivals.

Virtual dance, opera and comedy

  • Catch ballet or opera every Friday, streamed live on the Royal Opera House’s Facebook and YouTube channels. Options include Woolf Works and La Bohème. Fridays at 7pm
  • Enjoy free English National Ballet performances from home, including weekly Wednesday Watch Parties (Wednesdays at 7pm). Various dates
  • Tune in to full-length dance performances from Sadler’s Wells using its Digital Stage.
  • Watch a film adaption of dance show Artificial Things – which was originally performed on stage at Sadler’s Wells – and features disabled and non-disabled artists from Stopgap Dance Company.

Online classes and workshops

  • Follow top tips from Seven Dials shops with free online tutorials, from hair and beauty to cooking and jewellery, as part of Seven Dials @ Home.
  • From cooking to crafting, Carnaby's shops and restaurants are on hand to give your inspiration at home.
  • Enjoy the best of King’s Cross’ creatives from the comfort of your home, with live masterclasses, webinars and competitions as part of its #KX2U series.
  • Keep your green fingers active with top tips from Covent Garden's Head Gardener and horticulture expert Kenny Raybould.
  • Be transported (albeit virtually) to iconic Battersea Power Station, where Battersea at Home bundles up recipes, fitness tips and Boredom Busters. Various dates
  • Mix up some vintage-style cocktails with Cahoots London's Instagram tutorials.
  • Recreate your favourite Chinatown dishes at home with #BringingChinatownHome.
  • Go behind the scenes of iconic Regent Street shops and restaurants, including tasty recipes from The Langham and Sakagura, and Untold Stories from retailers.
  • Enjoy Leake Street Arches from home, as you watch exclusive music performances and join graffiti tutorials via #LeakeStreetLive. Various dates
  • Learn how to sing your favourite pop hits with London-wide choir Some Voices in free virtual tutorials. 

Have fun and gain new skills while staying at home with more online learning experiences.

Keeping fit and mindful

Discover more online fitness classes in London and stay active with virtual dance classes.

Live webcams of London

Keep watch on some of London’s top attractions with these webcams of London.

London virtual tours

Museum and gallery virtual tours

  • Visit the National Gallery without leaving the house – there are hundreds of paintings to explore, so put the kettle on and get ready for hours of exploration.
  • Step inside the beating heart of the UK government as you go behind the scenes on a virtual tour of the Houses of Parliament, including the famous House of Commons Chamber. 
  • Travel through time as you learn more about the objects that shaped history with the British Museum’s virtual tour.
  • Get expert takes on exhibits and delve into the stories hidden within the Royal Museums Greenwich through videos, talks and archived material. Or tune in to live Facebook talks with curators and special guests every Thursday.
  • Ride the underground Mail Rail, virtually, with The Postal Museum’s narrated 10-minute video.
  • Experience a mix of digital content from various art forms, regularly shared by the Barbican's Read, Watch & Listen programme.
  • Explore the London Transport Museum's collection without moving from your armchair, including iconic transport-themed posters with Poster Power.
  • See animal exhibits, Hope the whale and many other natural wonders of the Natural History Museum using the Google Arts & Culture tour.
  • Take a virtual tour of "Britain’s Sistine Chapel" and marvel at the Baroque interiors of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College.
  • Find out how Winston Churchill masterminded victory from his secret wartime bunker, on an interactive virtual tour of Churchill War Rooms.
  • Browse more than 200,000 works in the National Portrait Gallery's online collection.
  • Virtually take a look at the Wellcome Collection's eclectic exhibits spanning art, medicine and science, with its online collection.

Check out more #virtualmuseum tours and #museumsfromhome on Twitter.

Sightseeing in London

Online tour guides

  • Tap into stories of hidden London with Uptown Talks from Blue Badge Guide Julie Chandler and the Museum of London. Until 31 Aug
  • Delve into the history of some of London's much-loved areas with Alex Lacey's daily #GlobalTeaBreak on Instagram Live. Mondays to Fridays at 3pm
  • Join London guide Pepe Martinez on Instagram for regular London "chit chats" and fascinating facts.
  • Follow Dani the Guide for quirky London history, its people and lesser-known stories.
  • Join Miss Magpie Tours for a musical take on London sightseeing in regular Instagram videos.
  • Find out more about London areas, sights and its notable people with Guide Emily.
  • Join The Association Of Professional Tour Guides (APTG) for regular London-themed broadcasts on YouTube. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4pm

More things to do at home 

Explore London’s cultural hotspots and take to the streets without moving an inch using these virtual tours.

Virtual events in London

  • Wimbledon Recreated brings a taste of the famous tennis championships to your couch with videos, classic matches and more. Until 12 Jul
  • The annual Pride in London parade and festival have been postponed until next year, but you can still celebrate this summer. Find online events with Pride in London’s Coming Out platform.
  • Or join Pride in London and the Science Museum for a virtual discussion on how technology will change The Future of Sex, relationships and reproduction. 16 Jul
  • Veg out from home as you enjoy all things vegan, with performances, live streams and cooking demos at VegfestUK Summerfest Online. 15-16 Aug
  • Celebrate the south London area of Crystal Palace as its annual Crystal Palace Festival is hosted online, with music, dance, theatre and other performances from local acts. 15-16 Aug
  • Enjoy a whole summer crammed full of virtual events and activities, from art to food, live music and workshops, as The Peninsulist Presents showcases what’s on offer, online, from Greenwich Peninsula. Until 4 Sep

Find more virtual events with our guide to what's on each weekend in London.

London virtual exhibitions

Find more free art exhibitions and museum exhibitions to enjoy from home.

Free online quizzes and challenges

  • Assemble a team for a quiz about Tower Bridge, put together by a team of expert guides and historians.
  • Don your thinking caps as quizmasters including Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Lenny Henry host the National Theatre at Home Quiz. Various dates
  • Enjoy a quiz with a difference, as Sink the Pink’s outlandish LGBT+ quiz night moves to IGTV with its usual mix of cabaret, drag and cocktails. Various dates
  • Know your Mozart from your Monteverdi? Test your classical music knowledge each Tuesday with the London Symphony Orchestra’s quiz on Instagram Stories. Tuesdays
  • Create a new masterpiece to share each day with the #RADailyDoodle on Twitter, set by the Royal Academy.
  • Take on Thames Clippers’ Thames Teasers challenges, from designing your own boat to sharing memories. Ongoing
  • Sing, dance, and laugh through lockdown, with theatre and dance-themed #EveryHomeATheatre challenges from Mousetrap Theatre Projects.

London podcasts and talks

  • Go behind the scenes and explore the British Museum during its regular podcast.
  • Enjoy a fresh perspective on identity from young Londoners in the VENT Weekly podcast as part of Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture, in collaboration with VICE UK.
  • Delve into lesser-known stories of art icons and movements with Tate's regular Walks of Art podcasts.
  • Learn about the history of one of London's most famous landmarks with Tower Bridge podcasts.
  • Or join more City of London attractions for podcasts, talks and weekly round-ups as part of the Our City Together season of cultural activities.
  • Mingle with thinkers, artists and performers with Southbank Centre’s regular podcasts.
  • Gain insight from the world’s top playwrights in regular Royal Court Playwright’s Podcasts, including the co-writer of hit BBC3 series Normal People, Alice Birch.
  • Join Stephen Fry and the Barbican for a look at music, art, mental health and a combination of all three with regular The Art of Change podcasts.
  • Hear from world leaders and thinkers in the fields of science, engineering, health and business with Imperial College London's monthly podcast.
  • Work through the history of the British Army, its conflicts and little-known stories with the National Army Museum’s live talks. Fridays at 12pm

London TV and movie nights

  • Hop online for Bounce Cinema’s Virtual Friday Film Club, showcasing films from the BFI’s archives and works by independent and established filmmakers. Fridays at 7pm until 4 Sep
  • Snuggle up to free short films from BFI Player.
  • Watch award-winning Indian feature films and talks for free, as the London Indian Film Festival goes online. (UK only, available for a limited time)
  • Relive classic London films from your collection, whether rom-coms Notting Hill and Love Actually, thrill-a-minute James Bond, or family favourites Paddington and Mary Poppins. 

Things to do at home with kids

  • Fancy bringing a touch of magic to your home? Have a go at film-making, costume design and more with Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
  • Watch as the zookeepers at London Zoo reveal behind-the-scenes footage in their London Lockdown Diaries series.
  • Enjoy a look at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium during lockdown, with live streams from its team.
  • Or see how hungry pelicans snap up their lunch during feeding time in St James's Park.
  • In addition to shows, Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage is hosting regular dance workshops for children and over-60s.
  • Enjoy visiting the City of London from home, with everything from virtual exhibitions to activities for all ages.
  • Welcome to the Museum of Fundon... Take part in the Museum of London's family activities, from a Great Fire of London game and Roundhouse quiz, to puppetry.
  • Stage a royal coronation, make your own secret sign language and play navigation games online with Westminster Abbey.
  • Look out for South Westminster BIDs' Virtual Event Series, including yoga and storytelling for the kids, and meditation and cooking classes for mums and dads.
  • Delve into history with the Imperial War Museums' new digital programme, Adventures in History, including virtual tours, collections and stories online. Or join the Family Mission every Friday at 11am on the museums' Twitter and Facebook channels, for challenges and fun activities.

Discover more fun and educational things to do with bored kids. And if you're chatting to friends and family online, you can experience London from home with stunning Zoom virtual backgrounds showing the best of the city.

Looking for more inspiration?

Make sure to head to Visit London’s IGTV to discover a new episode of our London Stories video series every Friday, which shines a light on the people who make up the very fabric of the capital.

Check back later for even more ideas for things to do at home in London during the coronavirus pandemic. And make sure to plan ahead for things to do in London later in the year – from attractions, to key events and ideas for each month. We’ll see you again soon!