24 Best Things to Do in Westminster London (2024)

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Looking for the Best Things To Do in Westminster London?

I’ll show you the most essential sights, landmarks, and things to do in this iconic London neighbourhood. If you’re planning on visiting London, you’ve just got to spend some time around Westminster England!

Cars crossing Westminster Bridge in London
Here are the best Westminster London things to do

Westminster is the government area near Buckingham Palace and city of Westminster UK. There are so many important buildings and things to see here. This section in of downtown London is filled with fun things to do and places worth seeing.

As this is a major area for tourists, it is easy to reach, safe to get around, and offers plenty of great places to eat, drink, and shop. 

Don’t have time to read the whole article? The best Westminster tour is this Big Bus Ticket with London Eye and Thames Cruise tour with a near-perfect ⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating.

Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace

I’ve been a local here in London for over a decade, so I know which tourist places in Westminster London are actually worth stopping by.

Here is a complete list of all the best Westminster things to do, from must-see London landmarks to some of the city’s best nightlife – there is so much happening in this exciting area. 

Where is Westminster & How to Get There

Woman looking at the Palace of Westminster at night
Visit Palace of Westminster one of the top ten things to do in London

Westminster is a popular borough in Central London. It is an area along the banks of the River Thames, part of the city’s West End. As Westminster is such a central area, it can easily be reached by the underground tube. 

Westminster station is between St. James Park and Embankment. The station is serviced by the Circle, District, and Jubilee lines. 

Best Things To Do In Westminster London | Top Westminster Attractions

Westminster Attractions - Palace of Westminster
For the best Westminster sightseeing take a Thames River Cruise

Anyone visiting London will be sure to find themselves in Westminster at some point, as this is where some of the most important attractions can be found.

Wondering what to do in Westminster England? Here are the top places to visit in Westminster London that you just can’t miss out on. 

1. Big Ben

People walking around in front of Big Ben

One of the things to do in Westminster London is to see Big Ben. You can’t visit London without taking a classic photo with Big Ben. The Big Ben area is always buzzing with activity and will likely be your first stop in Westminster. 

Big Ben is the iconic striking clock tower at the north end of the Palace of Westminster and is one of the most iconic Westminster tourist attractions. Big Ben is actually the nickname of the big bell used in the tower – although we now use the name to refer to the entire tower. 

Big Ben is easily recognisable from a distance, but it is even more beautiful up close. Admiring the fine details and evident history of this building is a real thrill. 

Try to time your visit on the hour so that you can hear this magnificent clock tower loudly striking its bell. Snap a picture, and admire one of London’s favourite landmarks from different perspectives. 

Currently covered in scaffolding, maintenance of the bell tower began in 2017 putting to a stop to the glorious hourly chimes of the bell until 2021.

Tours tend to be sold out for up to 6 months in advance so be prepared to wait awhile. Due to the refurbishment of Big Ben, tours have been suspended.

Pro London travel tip | Try visiting the Houses of Parliament during the evening when the palace is all lit up. This is one of the most beautiful things to see in London.

Nearest tube station | Westminster

2. Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster
One of the best tourist attractions in Westminster London is Palace of Westminster and Big Ben

The Palace of Westminster is where the two houses of the UK parliament meet. Also known as the House of Parliament, this is one of the most important buildings in the country. 

Despite its role in government, the Palace of Westminster is a stunning building to simply admire from the outside. As this building is joined to Big Ben, you will be sure to pay it a visit.

Take a walk around the architecturally impressive palace and marvel at its grandeur. You can also enjoy amazing views of the Palace of Westminster from the opposite bank of the Thames. 

If you are interested in the historical and political importance of the building, you could take a guided royal Westminster tour. This will provide some excellent insight into some of London’s most important landmarks. 

⭐️ RATING: 4.2 out of 5 Stars (462+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2.5 hours |  🎟️ BOOK NOW

3. Parliament Square

Parliament Square can be found just next to the Palace of Westminster. This iconic square has a large green area in the middle, as well as twelve famous statues of notable people. One of the most well-loved of these is the Mahatma Gandhi statue. 

This is a good place to relax a little and soak up the energy of Westminster. You will most likely pass Parliament Square while walking between attractions here, so it is definitely worth taking some time to check out. 

4. Westminster Abbey

Views of Westminster Abbey at golden hour
Places to visit near Westminster Abbey

If you are after the top things to do in the Westminster area, Westminster Abbey has to be on your list. This massive Gothic church is possibly the most important religious building in the UK. 

Westminster Abbey has seen sixteen royal weddings and all of the coronations of British monarchs. This is a building with huge historical significance. Westminster Abbey is also the burial site of some of the most prominent figures in British history. 

You can enter and take a walk around this insanely beautiful church to take in its fine details. Big Ben and Westminster Abbey are within easy walking distance of each other, so be sure to check these both out while in the neighbourhood. 

5. Buckingham Palace & The Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace London

The official royal residence in London, Buckingham Palace is a must for anyone to see while visiting this city. Can you even say that you went to London without trying to get a photo of the iconic Queens Guard? 

Try to watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace if you really want the ultimate experience here. This prestigious ceremony takes place at 11:00 on weekdays and 10:00 on Sundays. 

Seeing Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard is one of the most necessary things while in Westminster United Kingdom. Just be aware that it can get really busy here during the guard change.

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6. White Hall & the Horse Guards Parade

Horse Guards Parade

The Palace of Whitehall was once the main residence of the English monarchs before most of it was destroyed by a fire. In fact, Whitehall was once the largest palace in Europe.

The palace is an impressive sight to behold – full of historical significance. In front of Whitehall is the Horse Guards Parade. This is a big parade ground where many annual ceremonies are held.

Try to time your visit at 10:30 on weekdays and 9:30 on Sundays to watch the changing of the Queen’s Life Guard. This is a great display put on by the horse-mounted guards. 

This display is a lot less crowded than the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and there are also no rails. If you want to get up close to the action, then this would be the guard change to watch. 

⭐️ RATING: 4.2 out of 5 Stars (462+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2.5 hours |  🎟️ BOOK NOW

7. Trafalgar Square

People in front of Trafalgar Square

When in Westminster, London, Trafalgar Square is another essential stop. This public square in central London has been a significant landmark since the 13th century.

Today, it is a vibrant and busy place – with some important statues and monuments to check out. 

Some of the must-see monuments here include Nelsons Column, the lion sculptures, and statues of many important historical figures scattered around the square.

The fountains at Trafalgar Square are also iconic and worth taking a picture in front of. 

Trafalgar is also famous for its mass of pigeons that descend onto the square. If you are interested in London’s history and architecture, take some time to slowly walk around here, noticing the many buildings, plaques, statues, and monuments around the square. 

👉Read More: Best Things To Do in Covent Garden

8. Southbank London

People eating at SouthBank food market
Southbank host one of the best Sunday Markets in London

Southbank is an exciting hub along the River Thames. Southbank is basically a riverside walkway that passes some of the most notable sights and cultural attractions in London.

Taking a walk down the dynamic area will reveal the true charm and beauty of London.  As Southbank is situated along the river, you get some seriously fantastic views here. The views of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster are particularly good. You will also pass the iconic London Eye. 

Besides the landmark sites, Southbank is loaded full of cool bars, restaurants, and places to hang out.  Some notable institutions include the Southbank Centre, The Southbank street food market, National Theatre, and BFI Film Theatre.

There are also some classic London pubs here. Visiting Southbank is ideal during the evening, as this is when the place really starts to come alive. 

Whether you just enjoy the passing views from a bench or stop into one of the top restaurants here, you will be sure to create a memorable experience. 

👉READ MORE | BEST LONDON WALKING TOURS

9. The London Eye

The London Eye
One of the most famous London attractions is the London Eye

The London Eye is one of the best things to see in Westminster London. This massive observation wheel along the banks of the Thames is the ultimate attraction if you are after views of London. The London Eye is an essential part of the city’s skyline and has become a necessary stop for anyone visiting the city.

A full revolution on the wheel will take 30 minutes – giving you enough time to soak up the best views you could possibly get over Westminster and beyond.

As this is the largest observation wheel in the world, it is a very popular attraction. Be prepared for crowds when visiting and I do mean CROWDS.

👉 Check out this fantastic London sightseeing tour that includes Westminster London tickets to the London Eye. 

10. Westminster Bridge

Westminster Bridge
One of the free things to do in Westminster is to walk across Westminster Bridge

One of the top things to do in Westminster London is to walk across Westminster Bridge to marvel at one of the city’s greatest structures. This bridge crosses over the Thames, connecting Westminster with Lambeth.

Walking over the bridge is one of the top Westminster activities for those seeking great views and iconic architecture. 

The bridge is an important piece of London and is easily recognisable. While walking along the bridge, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the riverbanks. 

Things to do near Westminster Abbey and Westminster Bridge include popular attractions like the London Eye, Southbank, Westminster Palace, and Big Ben. 

👉READ MORE | THE TOP HISTORICAL WALKING TOURS IN LONDON

11. Number 10 Downing Street

Westminster is the government hub of London, and number 10 Downing Street is the most important address around here.

This is the official residence of the British prime minister. Since 1902, every prime minister has lived right here. 

You cannot access 10 Downing Street, as this is a seriously high-security residence. You can pass the gates at Downing Street though to grab a peek at this famous address.

The simple black door may not look like much from the outside, but it holds plenty of political significance.

👉Read More: 21 Famous Streets in London England

12. St. James’s Palace

St James Palace Westminster London
St. James’s Palace is one of the top attractions in Westminster London

Although Buckingham Palace is the most popular royal attraction in Westminster, St. James’s Palace is actually the most senior royal palace in the United Kingdom.

This regal building is the home of many members of the royal family and one of the best things to see in Westminster London. It has seen many important events throughout history. 

Unfortunately, the palace is closed to the public. Those that want some insight into the inside of this spectacular building can visit the active Chapel Royal which is open to everyone. 

13. St. James Park

 St James's Park
Lake at St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace London

Located in the middle of all the best things to do around Westminster London lies a beautiful green space. This is St. James Park. While you are sightseeing in the area, be sure to visit St. James’s Park for a peaceful break. 

The park has a lovely little lake – home to many waterbirds (including pelicans). There are trees, lawns, benches, and flowerbeds, making this a truly beautiful place to be. You could have a picnic under the trees, feed the ducks, or just enjoy the fresh park air. 

14. Tate Britain

Tate Britain in London

Wondering what to see in Westminster London? Then pay a visit to the Tate Britain. Tate Britain is a historic gallery in Westminster – dating all the way back to 1897. If you are after a good fill of arts and culture, then this would be the ideal place to visit if you’re looking for free things to do in Westminster.

Being the oldest art gallery in London’s Tate network, you can see some seriously impressive works on display. 

The gallery is one of London’s free attractions and is loaded full of artistic gems. Wandering between the famous paintings and exhibitions at Tate Britain will be an unforgettable experience for any art lover. 

👉READ MORE | BEST LONDON SIGHTSEEING TOURS

15. Westminster Millenium Pier

Harry Potter Sightseeing Tour
What to see in Westminster London is Millennium Pier

What is there to do near Westminster Bridge? Visit the Millennium Pier of course! This pier on the north bank of the River Thames is close to Big Ben and always buzzing with activity. When in Westminster, be sure to pass along the Millennium Pier.

The pier is great to walk along and enjoy some spectacular river views. This is also the place to go if you want to do a Thames River cruise, as the boats depart from the pier.

A cruise like this is loads of fun, and it offers one of the absolute best perspectives of Westminster. 

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars (1305+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours |  🎟️ BOOK NOW

16. The Mall

The Mall on a sunny day in London

If you are sightseeing around the Westminster borough, you will be sure to pass the Mall. It is ones of the top Westminster attractions and should not to be confused with a shopping centre, The Mall is a long road connecting Buckingham Palace with Trafalgar Square, passing Admiralty Arch.

The road is closed to traffic on the weekends, and it plays a big role in many ceremonial occasions and the London Marathon.

As the Mall passes so many important sites in Westminster, you will definitely want to walk (or cycle) along it. Take note of the Union Jack flags proudly positioned along the neat rows of trees alongside the road. 

Unusual Things to Do in Westminster UK

Not all Westminster tourist attractions involve London’s typical landmarks. Here are some more unusual things to do while visiting this area of the city. 

17. Kayak on the Thames

Thames River cruise passing under Westminster Bridge

If you aren’t going to do a Thames River cruise on a boat, you could always opt for something a little bit more adventurous. 

Kayak tours down the Thames are available around the House of Parliament every day. This is one of the cheap things to do in Westminster and gives a totally unique perspective of many Westminster landmarks while allowing you to enjoy a bit of outdoor fun. 

18. Visit a Dungeon

The London Dungeon may be a well-known stop on the Westminster attractions map, but exploring an old dungeon is still a pretty unique thing to do.

Located along Southbank, this fully immersive attraction allows you to travel through 1000 years of history with a number of interactive shows and live actors. 

You will get to learn all about the gory and dark history of London Gallows at this fun attraction. This is something that the whole family can enjoy. 

I have visited the London Dungeon and it exceeded my expectation by being inactive, engaging, and fun. I highly recommend visiting the London Dungeon if you are exploring Westminster.

19. Climb Westminster Cathedrals Bell Tower

What to do in Westminster London

One of the best places to visit in Westminster London is the Westminster Cathedral. When exploring Westminster Cathedral, you could take the experience to new heights by climbing up the bell tower. Not many people add this bit while in the cathedral, but it is definitely worthwhile. 

You will get unbeatable views from the four different balconies up here. There is a lift up to the 7th-floor tower, so it can be easily accessed by everyone. 

20. Harry Potter Sightseeing Tour

With this tour you’ll get to visit some of the best places to see in Westminster London. Between the many Westminster museums, landmarks, and tourist attractions they are a number of Harry Potter sights. 

If you are a fan of the wizarding world, you could take a themed tour of this part of London. There are many film locations found around Westminster, and walking between them is loads of fun. 

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21. The Churchill War Rooms

Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms are where Winston Churchill and his cabinet sheltered during WW2.  You can take a tour of the war rooms to discover all kinds of artifacts and interesting displays around this iconic period in London’s history.

If you are interested in war history and politics, then this is an attraction not to miss out on. 

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars (391+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2.5 hours |  🎟️ BOOK NOW

Things to Do in Westminster London at Night

Things to Do in Westminster London at Night
Westminster London attractions

Westminster is an exciting place to explore throughout the day, but there is also plenty of fun to be had at night!

Whether you are after some classic pubs or vibey nightclubs, here are some of the best things to do in Westminster at night

22. Sightseeing Walk

All of the main Westminster sights and attractions are lit up by floodlights at night. Seeing these places at night offers a beautiful perspective of London’s top places of interest. 

You could take a walk past Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, the London Eye, and all the rest. 

One of the best perspectives for these sites is from Southbank where you can see other tourist attractions near Westminster. Not only will you get incredible views of the attractions, but you will also pass a number of great bars and restaurants along the way. 

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars (391+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2.5 hours |  🎟️ BOOK NOW

23. Floating Comedy Club

One of the fun things to do in Westminster is visit the floating Comedy Club.The Boat Show Comedy Club can be found on a refurbished paddle steamer next to the London Eye.

This is a fun experience for anyone looking for a few laughs along the popular Westminster riverside. You can enjoy a few drinks in this unique and hilarious atmosphere. 

24. Nightclubs

Want to dance and party in the early hours of the morning? There are some great nightclubs around Westminster that will be sure to keep you moving. Heaven is a legendary nightclub famous for its gay club nights, massive dance floor, and many years in the London nightlife scene. 

Bars Near Westminster Bridge

Westminster is full of excellent bars and pubs to suit all kinds of people. Westminster Bridge is the perfect starting point, with plenty of the area’s best bars and hotels in Westminster London.

Here are some fantastic bars in this area: 

🍻Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden

A lovely rooftop bar that is the perfect place to watch the sunset. You get fantastic views over Southbank below and can enjoy the garden atmosphere. 

🍻The Albert

British pubs don’t get much more classic than this Greene King gem. The Albert is a grade-II listed pub with a Victorian charm to it. Those after classic pub grub and the perfect setting for a few pints will love The Albert. 

👉Read More: 20 Best Brunches in Covent Garden

🍻Rooftop St James

Another fantastic rooftop bar overlooking Trafalgar Square. Rooftop St James is the perfect place to soak up the London skyline during clear warm evenings. There is delicious food on the menu here too, if you are looking for where to eat in Westminster London. 

🍻St. Stephens Tavern

A classic ale house serving a wide range of craft beers. As this pub is opposite the Houses of Parliament, it is a favourite destination for London politicians. 

👉Read More: 14 Best Cafes in Covent Garden

🍻The Red Lion

A Westminster favourite near the river. This pub is the perfect place to stop for a few drinks, a bite to eat, and a typical London environment. The Red Lion is a well-known establishment and it’s one of the best things to do near Big Ben, popular with tourists and locals and one the best places to eat in Westminster London. 

Things to Do in Westminster London: FAQs

How Do You Spend a Day in Westminster?

To spend a day in Westminster, you could stroll through its historic sights such as Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, or the Houses of Parliament. You could also take a River Thames Cruise or visit St James’s Park. In the evening there is an abundance of restaurants, theatre shows, and pubs in this part of London.

What is Westminster Known for?

Westminster is one of the most iconic and touristy parts of London, similar to Manhatten in New York, known for its historic sights such as Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, and Buckingham Palace.

What is the Difference Between City of London and Westminster?

City of London is a separate neighbourhood just northeast of Westminster. It’s also situated along the River Thames. and has a lot of famous attractions like St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Opera House.

What Type of Attraction is Westminster Abbey?

Westminster Abbey is a Gothic monastery church in London with beautiful stained glass windows and chapels. It is one of the world’s most notable religious buildings and contains monuments to some of Britain’s greatest figures, a coronation church, and the royal tombs.

Final Thoughts: Things to Do in Westminster London England

No trip to London would be complete without spending some time in Westminster. This area of the city is a central hub of activity, landmarks, and iconic attractions. Some of the biggest sights and activities in London can be found here. 

Whether you want to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, hear the strike of Big Ben, tour Westminster Abbey, or ride the massive London Eye, any combination of the best things to do in Westminster London will make your trip memorable!

If you want to take some of the planning out of your trip, consider booking a relaxing River Thames Cruise or knock half of them out in an afternoon on one of London’s best sightseeing bus tours!

So there’s my exhaustive answer to “What to do in Westminster England.” Follow this guide to experience some of the city’s most important points of interest. 

BEST THINGS TO DO IN WESTMINSTER LONDON UK

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