Main Claire's Itchy Feet logo

40+ Epic Things to Do in London On Your Own: London Solo Trip

This, my friends, is not your average guide to things to do in London on your own. While this list focuses on girly things to do in London alone for solo female travelers (it’s called the solo trip to London guide, after all), it’s a fantastic resource for anyone traveling to London who wants non-touristy things to do.

Of course, I’ve included some touristy attractions because you’ll probably want to see some classic London landmarks while traveling solo in London. In this list of things to do in London solo, I’m taking you deeper to enjoy the locals-only side of the city.

Also, I want to thank my good friend Hayley, who helped me research what to do alone in London (read: drink beer with me in fun pubs and hunt for the city’s best pies). Hayley is a Londoner and runs a rolfing clinic in London that helped cure me of my phobia of heights! You can find out more about Hayley and her work here.

P.S. If you want to find some great photo spots in Central London, read this Instagram guide to London.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best London ToursClick here to check out the top London tours
Best London Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in London
Best London Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in London

What to Know Before Taking a Solo Trip to London

London is like any big city in the world—at first, it may feel unwelcoming like everything is moving too fast. Put your city face on and try not to look fresh off the plane, and you’ll be power-walking around the Underground like a local in no time. Things move fast, so people can seem unfriendly sometimes. In reality, London is a multicultural city with some of the world’s friendliest people.

Petty crime is rife here, so watch for pickpockets, especially on a London solo trip. I’ll cover more on this in the safety section, but always stay aware of your belongings and surroundings.

London Transportation

The Solo Girl’s Guide to London usinf public transport in London the london tube things to do alone in London solo female travel london

Navigating London’s public transportation system may take some getting used to. Once you have the hang of it, you’ll be flying! For years, I traveled throughout London on the Tube (underground subway) as I had no idea how to walk from place to place.

This was before the days of smartphones and Google Maps when I had a small subway map in my purse. As I began figuring out my directions above ground, I was surprised to discover many places are faster to walk to.

My point is, don’t solely rely on public transport—do some walking too. Not only is London a great city to walk around, but it’s also an excellent way to orient yourself and get comfortable exploring alone.

Walking and bus tours are other terrific options for enjoying the best walks in London. I recommend taking a bus tour for a break from all the walking you’ll be doing. Most recently, I tried the London Night Bus Tour and highly recommend it. I booked with Keetoo, which saved money on my ticket (more about that later).

If you decide to make some day trips, renting a car in London is a great call. I’ve driven in and out of London several times, and it isn’t bad if you avoid the congestion charges. Nothing beats a solo trip UK spent on the road! There are many nice places to visit nearby, such as Bath, Brighton, and Oxford.

40+ Epic Things To Do Alone In London

These days I have two apps on my phone that I rely on for moving around London:

Citymapper: This is the best app for getting directions from point A to point B with public transport. It helps you find the best route and even tells you the cost of the different options.

Google Maps: I always check this out of habit to see if it’s quicker to walk rather than use the transport. If you are using the maps to walk, remember to be safe and put one headphone in to listen to directions without constantly staring at your screen.

There are many must-have travel apps for London on this awesome guide, so download them before your solo trip to London.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $39. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Are There Safe Things to Do in London Alone at Night?

Regarding safety for solo traveling to London, it’s important to trust your gut and be on guard. Especially if you’re taking your first London solo trip. If you need to get home at night, this is important. We’re all different, and although I might feel comfortable walking home at night in a well-lit area, not everyone will. Typically, the lights stay on in Central London, and there are almost always people walking around. Buses run 24 hours, and the Tube is pretty safe to take at night or early in the morning. If you feel uncomfortable, take an Uber or find someone to travel with.

During the daytime, there are several things to be aware of. The most common safety concerns in London are petty crime—pickpocketing and card fraud are the main issues. The last time I stayed in London, a girl in my dorm had her passport taken from her purse on the Tube. If you have a card with a contactless payment chip, get an RFID-blocking wallet or purse. Be alert, don’t leave anything in your pockets, and secure your bag.

Another popular tourist scam in London involves fake tickets. Whatever you do, don’t buy tickets from anyone on the street. Only buy tickets for shows, sports games, and concerts from official ticket vendors.

Solo Trip UK Packing Essentials

Wondering what to pack when traveling solo in London? I wrote a whole blog post you can read here to help you decide what to put in your suitcase and backpack.

Speaking of backpacks, I recently tried the new Shell Backpack system from Tropicfeel, and I’m OBSESSED! Tropicfeel is my number one travel brand for multifunctional travel backpacks and shoes. I recommend the Shell as your main pack for London and the handy Fold-Away Cruiser as your day bag.

I also LOVE the Sunset Sneakers for city trips—they’re waterproof and lightweight, and the backs fold down so you can slip them on and off in the airport.

What to Pack For London
What to Pack For London
What to Pack For London

Where to Stay During Your Trip to London

London isn’t my favorite city in the world for hostels, although there are some fun and quirky London hotels that will make your stay more interesting. 

I was impressed by the Astor Hyde Park Hostel in South Kensington and the area it was located in. I always consider location as a solo female traveler because I want my accommodations to be convenient and safe.

The Astor Hyde Park London accommodation

The Astor Hyde Park scored a 10/10 on all my safety tests for solo traveling to London. It’s in a posh area near Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall. I took 9 or 23 buses late at night and felt safe walking back alone. It was easy to navigate by walking or public transportation, and there was a 24-hour Tesco close by.

The daytime staff were friendly and knowledgeable about the area. You can ask them any questions, and they’ll help you. The Astor has five properties throughout London and York, where they organize daily events guests can sign up for. They also host a charity breakfast for £1, which has helped them raise £150k for charity since starting in 2014.

You can also enjoy a free nightly dinner (donations are accepted) if you don’t want to cook for yourself in their kitchen. I highly recommend staying here to save money and be in a safe and convenient area of London. It’s my top choice of the best hostels in London for solo travelers.

The Astor Hyde Park London accommodation

To sweeten the deal even more, if you book directly with them using this link and discount code ASTORLUV, you’ll get an extra 10% off the total cost… You’re welcome!

If hostels aren’t your thing, here are a few other options:

Leicester Square One
Z Hotel Trafalgar
Montagu Place Hotel
The Nadler Covent Garden

Saving Money in London

Wondering what to do alone in London on a budget? First, check all of the attractions you want to see online. You can save money by booking ahead for concerts, performances, and museum tickets.

The Keetoo App is my favorite travel tool if you want to see some of the most touristy things to do by yourself in London. I downloaded it to visit The Tower of London and do a Night Tour and saved over £10 off the total price. The app is easy to use, and you can save money on restaurants. 

Download Keetoo on Google Play or iTunes.

Map of Solo Things to Do in London

I’ve included a handy map below of the top things to do in London on your own to help you navigate the city.

 

Things to Do on Your Own in London During the Day

This isn’t your average list of what to do in London alone, so I’m not telling you to see Buckingham Palace or Trafalgar Square—that’s what your Lonely Planet Guide is for. Instead, here are some super quirky and girly things to do in London by yourself that you won’t find in your everyday guidebook.

Breakfast at Borough Market

I love Borough Market, especially if you go in the morning before the crowds of tourists. Head there early and enjoy breakfast at Maria’s Market Café. You can get an egg and bubble bap with a cup of tea for about £5—it’s a great “no-nonsense” British breaky. Once you’ve fueled up, wander the market, sampling the smelly cheeses and fresh breads. You can also check out some of the best vegan restaurants in London, many of which are close to the market.

Visit the Tate

Need recommendations for things to do in London solo when the weather is bad? Visiting the Tate is always a good idea. While you must pay to enter most London museums, many have a free element. The Tate costs a bit to get in, but you can enter the atrium for free. There’s always an exhibition there, and it’s a beautiful space. There are also plugs and tables, so it’s also a great place to spend a few hours working if you’re a digital nomad solo traveling to London.

Cruise Down the River for £7

Instead of paying £20 for a fancy river cruise, take the clipper and use your Oyster Card! You can hop on the ferry at Westminster/Embankment and take it to Greenwich and back. I recommend getting off and exploring Greenwich if you have the time. Once you hop off the boat, you must pay again to reenter. This is one of my top recommendations for things to do by yourself in London during the day or the evening, as it’s beautiful around sunset. They even offer a bar to treat yourself to wine while cruising.

The Solo Girl’s Guide to London things to do alone in London

St. Martins in the Field

Enjoying a free classical concert is one of the best things to do in London on your own. St. Martins in the Field stands in the heart of London on the corner of the city’s famous square stands. Here, you can enjoy a free daily classical concert at 1:00 p.m. Check out the timetable here.

Punch and Judy

Punch and Judy is a classic London activity you should try. Even if a puppet show isn’t your thing, there’s always something happening in Covent Garden, an iconic London spot.

British Library

The British Library is beautiful and one of my favorite places to chill and escape the crowds. You can tuck yourself away in plenty of nooks to read a book. Arrive early, and you might find a table to work at for the day. The library offers fast WiFi and a cute coffee shop to keep you caffeinated.

Swim in the Pond

My friend recently moved to Kentish Town and discovered these hidden gems: ponds open year-round on Hamstead Heath. They’re incredible, but I’m unsure if I should write about them if they become overcrowded!

Ladies, if you visit London during the milder months, you don’t want to miss this. The Ladies’ Pond is secluded and hidden in a picturesque meadow. Once you enter this magical place, you’ll find women relaxing in the open air, naked or semi-naked, reading books, picnicking, and, of course, swimming. It’s one of the most joyous things to do solo in London and costs just £2 for a day pass.

Parliament Hill Lido

London is full of lidos open throughout the year, making them ideal things to do solo in London whenever you visit. Yes, even during winter, swimmers get their laps in! One of my personal favorites is the Parliament Hill Lido.

Maritime Museum

This museum in Greenwich is one of my favorites because you can dress up as a sailor. It’s free to enter, and doesn’t take long to wander around. Greenwich is a great area of London to wander around, and this museum makes a good starting point.

Parliament Hill Farmers Market

You’ll find this famous and popular Farmer’s Market on Parliament Hill every Saturday morning. Besides the live music and great food, it’s also an excellent place to look for celebrities. Many stars live in this area and frequent the market on Saturdays, so keep an eye out!

Green Spaces

London has many green spaces, from larger areas like Hyde Park to small communal gardens. Take some time to kick back and relax in a park or two during your London solo trip. If you want to be super British, why not “nip in” to M&S for picnic food?

The Solo Girl’s Guide to London

Prince Charles CineOnicester Square

If you look carefully amongst the giant flashy cinemas in Leicester Square, you’ll spot the Prince Charles Cinema. This small independent cinema shows a mix of arthouse and classic films alongside new releases. It’s a fantastic theater and offers cheaper tickets than most of its giant neighbors.

The Huskers

Ice hockey in the UK?! Yes, that’s right! You can find the Huskers team tearing up the ice at Alexandra Palace. Check the schedule in advance and catch a game during your London vacation.

Free Museums

London is expensive, and finding free things to do on your own in London can be challenging. Head to South Kensington (near the Astor Hyde Park Hostel) to find three of my favorite London museums: the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the V&A Museum (Victoria and Albert). All these museums are free to visit and located next to each other, making them easy to visit in one afternoon. The National Portrait Gallery is also free and not too far away.

The Solo Girl’s Guide to London National History Museam

The Wallace Collection

While on the subject of free galleries, I always try to visit The Wallace Collection when traveling to London. It contains one of the most significant private collections of artworks ever transferred into public ownership.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese 

If there’s one thing Brits do better than anyone else, it’s pubs—lucky for you, London is full of them. Located on Fleet Street, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese usually has sawdust sprinkled on the floor and some exciting tales to discover. Although there’s been a pub at this spot since 1538, the original was destroyed during the Great Fire of London and rebuilt in 1667. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese claims to have famous regulars, including Charles Dickens, Samuel Johnson, and George Orwell.

Word On the Water

Word On the Water is London’s quirky floating bookstore. This shop consists of a house in a canal barge in Kings Cross. It’s well worth a visit if you are a book lover!

Portobello Market

Although Portobello Market has become super gentrified over the last decade, it’s still worth visiting and has some hidden gems. Once you’ve finished shopping in the market, skip the expensive hipster bars and restaurants and head to The Earl of Lonsdale Pub at the top of Portobello Road. It’s cheap and has an excellent atmosphere for solo travelers.

Things to Do Alone in London at Night

The Solo Girl’s Guide to London things to do alone in London at night

Gordon’s Wine Bar

As a solo female traveler, I hesitate to go out to bars at night as I don’t feel comfortable sitting and drinking alone. But if you’re looking for fun things to do in London by yourself at night that involve wine, Gordon’s Wine Bar is your place! It’s super cute and dimly lit inside, so you can happily sit and enjoy a glass or two of wine without feeling exposed or worried about getting harassed by unwanted attention.

Lates at the Museums

Of all the fun things to do in London alone at night, this is probably the most cultured. Late-night museum openings, or “lates,” are becoming popular in London. They’re great for dating as wine is available, and they’re very sociable events. For a fun night out in London, Google “London museum lates,” as there’s an ever-changing selection.

St. Martins in the Field (at Night)

Famous for its free classical lunchtime concerts, St. Martins in the Fields also hosts a free evening candlelight concert. You can view the full schedule of events here.

Royal Opera House Lates

The only negative about Royal Opera House Lates is they only happen once every three months. I’ve heard they’re fantastic fun, so check out the timetable and go if you happen to be in London when they have one.

Nowhere Special

Nowhere Special is a Prohibition-style cocktail bar in Kentish Town that you could easily miss. The only way to identify it is to look for the exterior light, which is only turned on when the bar opens daily at 5:00 p.m. Inside is a basement bar with seating for 30, low lighting, and an incredibly creative cocktail menu.

Golden Eagle

Looking for unique nighttime things to do alone in London? The Golden Eagle is a fabulous pub that transports you back in time with its cozy, friendly atmosphere and hand-pulled ale. The real selling point for this London watering hole is a chap called Tony “Fingers.”

He’s been a regular fixture every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday when he takes to the piano, belting out tunes that get the entire place singing. My night out here was so much fun that it’s somewhere I return to with friends and alone. Arrive early so you can sling a few pints down to get you in the mood first!

See a Gig at Union Chapel in Hackney

Union Chapel in Hackney is no ordinary church. In addition to weekly Sunday services, it offers a complete program of events, from guided tours to nightly gigs. You’ll feel safe and enjoy experiencing this solo London activity at night.

Go to a Ceilidh

This is another of my favorite things to do in London at night if I happen to be there on a Friday evening. Each Friday in Camden Town, head to the Ceilidh Club, where you can dance the night away to a live band at a traditional Ceilidh. Don’t worry if it’s your first time—each dance is called out first for practice so you can familiarize yourself with the steps.

If you know you’ll be there on a Friday, I strongly advise booking as far in advance as you can since it gets jam-packed. The club holds 70 tickets at the door, but you must arrive before 6:30 p.m. as they sell out fast. This is a super popular event and possibly my top recommendation for fun nights out in London as a solo female.

Visit the Theatre

London is the theatre capital of the UK, so it would be rude to miss out on an evening performance. While the West End can get expensive for backpackers, there’s much more to experience. For dance, head to The Place close to Euston Station. I recommend the Oh Creative Space, The Round House, or Camden People’s Theatre for theatre.

Pub Theatre

If you haven’t already realized, we like pubs a lot in the UK! So much so that we even have theatres in them. One of my favorite pub theatres in London is the Kings Head Pub Theatre in Angel. Founded in 1970, it’s famous for being the first theatre pub since Shakespearean times. The actual theatre is a room at the back of the pub originally used as a boxing ring and a pool hall. They host various shows and performances but book online to avoid disappointment.

Palm Trees

Every Saturday night in Mile End, the Palm Trees has the same band playing for an eclectic mix of hipsters and boomers, dancing the night away and having fun. The building itself is a Grade II-listed public house built in 1935. These days, it stands alone in a blitzed-out street, looking a bit out of place. You can also sit outside by the canal during the summer, enjoying a few pints.

The Netil Bar Hackney

The Netil Bar is a huge roof terrace bar, garden, café, and workspace in Hackney with incredible views of London. It’s well worth a visit—check out the schedule, as they often play films or have live DJs on the weekends.

Where to Eat in London

The Solo Girl’s Guide to London where to eat in London

Borough Market

When asked where I want to eat in London, I’ll say Borough Market nine times out of 10. If nothing strikes your fancy in the market, you can also find many great restaurants in the surrounding streets.

Brick Lane

To try British English curry, you must check out Brick Lane. Here, you’ll find a row of Indian restaurants offering poppadoms and free drinks. If curry isn’t your thing, visit London’s 24-hour bagel shop and a whole restaurant dedicated to cereal, alongside some of my favorite London street art pieces.

The Truman Brewery

Truman Brewery is more than just a place to eat—it’s an arts and multimedia venue in East London, home to independent shops, galleries, markets, bars, and restaurants. They have many great food options and host special vegan nights for those who avoid animal products.

Eat Traditional Fish and Chips in Poppies

To sample traditional fish and chips, visit one of the three Poppies locations in London. The original is in Spitalfields, but they also have shops in Soho and Camden. One of my favorite things about Poppies is that they also make delicious grilled fish if you can’t stomach all the fried food.

South Bank – Strada

There are many great places to eat around the South Bank, especially during the holidays when all Christmas markets are out. One of my favorite places to eat in South Bank is Strada, an Italian restaurant with a modern twist. There’s something for all tastes, with a menu of hand-stretched pizza and freshly made pasta. I highly recommend the fresh pasta dishes paired with a glass of wine.

Enjoy a High Tea

You can’t come to London and not experience one of the most British traditions, high tea! We British love our tea, and there are plenty of places to experience this. My top recommendations are The British Museum, The Wallace Collection, The Ritz, The Savoy, and Claridge’s. Wherever you go, confirm if you need to book first, and be aware there are often strict times and dress codes depending on how fancy the venue is.

40+ Epic Things To Do Alone In London

Duck and Waffle

Duck and Waffle is the best 24-hour restaurant for brunch in London. It’s delicious any time of day, but I especially love brunch there. Depending on what kind of mood I’m in, I opt for the traditional full English breakfast or the caramelized banana waffle.

Zedels

Zedels claims to be the only real brasserie in London, with an authentic art deco French vibe hidden in the Piccadilly area of London. With its French 1930s feel if you dress up. You must reserve a table, as this place is popular with locals and tourists.

Godard’s Pie Shop 

Get down to Godard’s Pie Shop in Greenwich for a serving of pie mash and liquor. Godard’s is a family-run business serving up pie and mash (and the odd jellied eel) since 1890. Everything is freshly baked throughout the day and served piping hot.

Enjoy a Traditional Sunday Roast at the Spaniards Inn

At the top of Hampstead Heath, this traditional British pub serves up a weekly Sunday roast dinner worthy of venturing off the beaten path. The pub has more than a few stories, as it was built in 1585 and was a tollgate on the Finchley boundary. The rumor goes that highwayman Dick Turpin was born there, as his father was the landlord for a time.

Sample the Best Breakfast in London

Looking for London’s best greasy spoon cafe where you can get a tasty London fry-up? Look no further than The Shepherdess. This no-nonsense cafe is about as British as it gets, with plastic sauce bottles on the table.

UK Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for UK?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to UK which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for UK on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in UK?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in UK?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are Booking.comHotels.com, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

What to Do in London Alone FAQs

Is London safe to travel to alone?

Yes, London is considered a safe destination for solo female travelers.

What are the best things to do alone in London?

Grab some food and drinks at a traditional English pub, visit the city’s local parks, and enjoy a late-night museum tour.

Is London safe at night?

London is generally safe to travel at night if you stay alert and stick to well-lit areas.

Final Thoughts on Solo Things to Do in London On Your Own

That was my London solo trip guide! It’s a big one, but I hope it’s useful on your next solo trip to London and helps you decide what to do in London alone. Show this post some love and share it on social media!

Kris

Sunday 16th of October 2022

Brilliant. Thanks for sharing. Is this a group for ladies only ?

Claire Summers

Friday 25th of November 2022

Yes I'm afraid so

neha

Sunday 10th of July 2022

Hey thanks for such an informative article. I have a question. If i book an oyster card in advance, online it says they will deliver it to my mailing address in London. In that case, on arrival into London airport, how do i pay for the tube/hetrow express travel to paddignton station. Request you to kindly let me know. In that case is it better to get an oyster card at the airport itself. Thank you for taking the time out to read and respond to my query. Thank you.

Claire Summers

Tuesday 29th of November 2022

TBH I think. these days you can just pay with your card if you can use it for contactless payments. Or use Apple pay. Otherwise I'd just get one at the airport.