Ever get bored while waiting for your train at Paddington Station? There is no point in waiting aimlessly for your train if you have a few hours to kill.
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Paddington in the borough of Westminster has an abundance of places to explore.
I have travelled through Paddington Station twice a day for six years, from Monday to Friday to and from work.
Through delays, cancellations and leaf’s on track (Londoners will know this announcements too well), so I think I am in a good position to give you expert advice on some of the best things to do in the Paddington area.
There is much more to Paddington Station than the cute little bear it shares a name with (although the bear is a big part of it).
The surrounding neighbourhood has amazing museums, restaurants, and waterside activities to check out, no matter the weather.
If you’re ever looking for things to do in Westminster and near Paddington Station, this neighbourhood guide will help you out.
The area has a whole host of amazing things to see and do, whether you’re on a solo trip or with a group of friends. Find the best things to do in Paddington, London, to keep you busy below.
A list of what to do in Paddington wouldn’t be complete without visiting the adorable Paddington Bear himself. He is named after the station, after all.
You can make a fun game out of it as there are a few places in London where you can spot a Paddington statue. First place being, of course, Paddington Station.
According to the story, the Brown family found Paddington in the station under the clock on Platform One— and so can you.
Look for a bronze statue of a bear wearing a hat looking out for the family. He sits on his tiny suitcase, ready for the journey. And on what a journey he goes.
If you’re looking for things to do in Leicester Square, Notting Hill or even near Buckingham Palace, you can go on a scavenger hunt for this cheeky cub.
Speaking of finding little bears everywhere, this lovely trail takes you straight to a few in the city. Pick up a Paw Trail pamphlet from the Paddington Bear Shop at Paddington Station and start exploring.
The Paw Trail pays homage to one of London’s most iconic residents — Paddington Bear. The trail offers three adventures throughout the city that take you on fun experiences and activities along the way.
The first adventure sees you wandering along the canal to the London Zoo. You’re tasked with finding a blue Paddington along the way. Take this route if you love the waterside, laughing, and seeing a few furry friends from around the world.
The second adventure allows you to see the city’s bridges and boats. On this trail, you’ll visit more waterways and might even get a chance to do a bit of paddleboarding or canoeing. See if you can spot Paddington cleverly disguised as a brick wall on this trail.
Take the third trail if you enjoy nature, pirate ships, and Princess Diana (what a combination). This trail passes through Hyde Park and Norfolk Square Gardens, where you’ll find Paddington dressed in white, blue, and red, ready for his next stop.
Note: To get the Paddington Paw Trail you can pick up a map from the Paddington gift shop in Paddington station. The shop assistant will also tell you where the trail starts.
Just a 15-minute stroll from the station in the Paddington area, you’ll find a canal so beautiful and tranquil it received the nickname Little Venice.
This waterway is very reminiscent of the Italian canal in the sense that many boats float along here. This hidden gem of London even has a few waterside cafes, pubs, and restaurants for you to enjoy the serene views.
While here, walk along the canal and take in the beautiful sights and sounds of the boats on the water and people chattering in the background. You can also take a ride on one of the canal boats.
If you’re in the area in May, you’re just in time for the IWA Canalway Cavalcade. This is a yearly festival that takes place right on the waterway. It is a celebration of life on the canal and its community. At this lively event, you can enjoy live music, food, stalls, and art displays from local schools.
Tip: Check out their website for dates on upcoming waterside events nearby.
Paddington Basin is just off the Regent’s Canal and Little Venice. It is a great area along the water with lots of restaurants and resting spots.
One of those resting areas is the Floating Pocket Park. As the name suggests, this modern garden is also buoyant. This green area is a treat for sore eyes among the grey buildings surrounding it, so it is wholly welcomed.
While you’re there, you can overlook this modern green garden as you eat at one of the canal side restaurants.
There are many to choose from in and around this busy business area. If you’re in the mood for a pizza and a beer try Heist Bank or pick up some street food from the marts close by.
Another interesting thing to spot nearby is the Rolling Bridge. This bridge is half modern bridge and half contemporary sculpture, as it curls on itself to close and unfurls again to allow guests to cross it.
The Paddington Basin also has a boating service that allows you to paddle your own boat across the Regent Canal. Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful way to soak up the sun?
Another worthy trail to follow is Paddington’s Public Art Trail. This area is full of artists and art lovers and thus has many art installations and statues peppered all about. You can discover all of these artistic wonders by following the trail.
The trail starts at Paddington Station at the statue of an ‘Unknown Soldier’. From there follows the art installation of St Mary’s Hospital, paying respects to Alan Turing and his lifetime achievements.
As you move along the trail, you’ll see many more bronze statues dedicated to important figures in Paddington’s history. But there are also a few contemporary art installations on the trail.
One of these is the Fan Bridge at Merchant Square and the Rolling Bridge at Paddington Basin. Other modern installations include ‘Brunel Mural’.
This blue glass tiled project can be found on the canal side beneath the Westway near Harrow Street. This beautiful exhibit seeks to display both the rich heritage of the area and its rapid degeneration as time passes by.
These few mentioned artworks only scratch the surface of what this art trail has on display. Take the trail for yourself and grab your best cameras for Instagram to see how many artworks you can spot.
Hyde Park is connected to Kensington Gardens and holds many important landmarks and sites within its gates.
This Grade I listed park in central London is just a stone’s throw away from Paddington Station. This park is an amazing escape within the city from the city. The lush landscapes of the park measure about 142 hectares, and, as a result, it is one of the biggest and best parks in London.
Give your eyes and nose a treat by exploring the beauty of the rose garden in the southeast corner. Although the roses are most gorgeous around summertime, this garden blooms all year round. There are also two beautiful fountains in the garden.
Kensington Palace has a rich and royal history. Not only was it the birthplace of Queen Victoria, but is also the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Its gardens are open to the public for free. However, if you’d like to explore inside the palace, you must book a ticket.
This garden has many highlights, including the Sunken Garden complete with a sunken pond. It was Princess Diana’s favourite place to be while at the palace, and as a result, has become a memorial area for her. It is filled with all kinds of beautiful flowers and a statue in her remembrance commissioned by her sons.
The Canal Café Theatre on the Regent Canal is an award-winning comedy, theatre, and cabaret venue. Since its start in the 70s, it has helped catapult many comedians to fame.
You’ll be splitting your sides watching these comedy shows and up and coming new acts. The theatre hosts up to 14 shows per week, which include performances like sketch shows, improv, stand up, and plays.
Before your show, pop downstairs to the Bridge House Pub, which this theatre is built on top of. It serves anything from ales and wines to cocktails and soft drinks. It’s also a great place to book a tasty buffet to enjoy after the show.
Padding Station is in Central London, which means there’s plenty to do. Below are things to do around Paddington Station that are a little further away. If you’re up for it, these fun activities are about a 30-minute walk (or quick tube ride) away.
What do you do when you find yourself near 221b Baker Street? Elementary, my dear Watson. You visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum, of course.
This museum near Paddington station sits in a four-storey Georgian townhouse. While it was first built in the 1800s, it wasn’t until 1990 that it opened its doors as a museum.
Today, you can step back in time and visit the beloved home of Sir Conan Doyle’s fictional top detective.
Whether you’re a die-hard Holmes fan or an occasional mystery lover, you’ll enjoy exploring the museum’s artefacts. It is filled with memorabilia from famous cases Sherlock (and Watson) helped solve.
Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop to commemorate your trip with your own deerstalker hat or the complete collection of books. Better yet, channel your inner Holmes and get a puzzle game you have to solve yourself. Unfortunately, Watsons come separately.
Okay, so London doesn’t exactly have a Walk of Fame. But, the city can do you one better. You can still see your favourite stars at Madame Tussauds wax museum on Marylebone Road.
See your celebrity heroes up close and personal, from musicians to actors to even a few royals. Rub shoulders with the likes of Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, George Clooney, Prince William and more. While taking a few selfies with the stars may be fun, the museum blurs the line between real and fake even more with their zones of fictional characters.
If you’re an action film lover, you may enjoy the ‘Hall of Marvel Heroes’. Here you can snap a picture with the most powerful superheroes from the big screen. Strike a Wakandan pose next to the Black Panther, or move out the way as a 4.5-metre tall Hulk reaches out to perform a ‘Hulk smash’.
Besides these wax figures, the Madame Tussauds museum also offers its guests other experiences. Test your bravery as you step on an alien spaceship with otherworldly wax figures or awaken Kong with its giant blinking and snarling head.
If you prefer something a little more relaxing, perhaps you’ll enjoy one or two movies in their 4D movie theatre instead.
By now, every Londoner and London visitor knows about the British Museum. But, there’s a reason why it’s so well known. It holds over two million years of human culture and history. The best part? Entry is absolutely free.
The museum has three floors of galleries, each displaying works from all over the world. These artefacts date back thousands of years. Some items, like their Greek vases, date further than 500 BC.
The museum has many exhibitions and often switches out its displays to showcase ‘new’ items. You can take a self-guided tour, but guided tours are always better if you’re trying to learn more about a specific time period or selection of objects.
Besides ancient artefacts, the museum also displays both historic and contemporary artworks. If you’re an avid art lover and creator, you might enjoy the free workshops and lectures they host every so often.
Fun Fact: The British Museum is older than the United States of America.
Oxford Street is one of the most famous shopping streets in London. This commercial street sees around 200 million visitors a year. As a result, it is also often crowned as one of the busiest streets in London.
This is because this 1.9 km long street is packed with stores selling everything from fashion, confectionery, beauty, tech, and lifestyle items. It has over 90 flagship stores, including the likes of H&M and Niketown.
Of course, while you shop, you may get a bit peckish. That is why there are hundreds of restaurants and eateries lined along this commercial street. It’s safe to say you’ll never run out of choices. Choose from Middle Eastern to French and Italian cuisine.
Fans of Charles Dickens might also recognise this street’s name as the author often mentions it in his novels. In fact, the Charles Dicken museum is only a few tube stops away from Oxford Street. If you’re a fan, it’s definitely worth a visit.
These Paddington station restaurants are worth checking out if you’re ever in the area.
If you love flavours from Lebanon, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, you’ll love Paramount Lebanese Kitchen in Paddington.
This restaurant serves Lebanese food for all dietary restrictions, including Halal meals. Start your meal with their complementary Lebanese bread and vegetarian sides.
A must-try is their Kebbeh which is Lebanon’s national food. This minced tenderloin is skillfully seasoned using authentic Lebanese cooking methods and comes with a tahini dipping sauce.
You have lots of options for your main meals. Choose from salads and wraps to grilled meats and shawarmas. Each meal is delicious and creative, with vegetarian options also available.
Their drink menu also creatively intertwines Middle Eastern flavours. Try their freshly squeezed and handmade juices or sip on Paramount’s own tea blend.
For dessert, tuck into a Middle Eastern favourite – baklava. Their Lebanese kinafe (knafeh) is also worth trying out. It is a creamy cheese dessert drizzled with rose blossom syrup.
If you’re looking for authentic Italian restaurants near Paddington station, Bizzarro is the place to go.
With over 50 years in the biz, Bizzarro has built up a lengthy menu inspired by the Abruzzi region in central Italy. Choose from Italian pasta favourites like lasagne and ravioli to grilled veal and salmon.
The venue has an authentic feel with brick and marble walls decorated with white tablecloths and silverware on the tables. However, if you want to switch up the atmosphere, head upstairs for al fresco dining or stay downstairs and enjoy tunes from the live band.
Whether you’re stopping by for breakfast, lunch, or a late dinner, you can count on Frankie & Benny’s to be open and ready to serve.
This Italian-American fusion restaurant serves comfort food at affordable prices. For breakfast, try their stacked pancakes with berries and yoghurt or try their big classic breakfast. They also have plentiful vegan and vegetarian options whether you’re eating brekkie or mains.
For mains, you have a choice of something light like wraps or sandwiches for lunch. After four, they open their dinner menu, where you can choose between towering burgers or barbecued meats straight from the grill.
While they serve Italian and American classics, they haven’t forgotten about the best of British cuisine. Expect to see sausage and mash, fish and chips, and a full breakfast on the menu too.
You cannot miss this classic British pub as it’s just a two-minute walk away from Paddington Station. It’s also one of the oldest and more well-known pubs in the area since opening in the 1920s.
Here at Pride of Paddington, they know how to take care of you. Pick up a pint or a glass of wine at their bar or have their mixologists serve up a cocktail. And, if you’re hungry, their capable chef will fix you a plate in no time.
Their menu has a range of plate sizes to choose from, depending on the party size. Start off with their small plates or to-share meals before moving on to their hearty mains. Mains include burgers, pasta, chilli, seafood, and more.
On Sundays, they have a roast with all of the Sunday essentials. For mains, choose between 28-day aged meat, chicken, leg of lamb, or a vegetarian take on a beef wellington. You can’t forget the sides as each dish is served with a heap of them, including a red wine gravy, roast potatoes, and veggies.
As you’re walking along the canal, you might notice a few boats dressed up in colourful displays. No, these aren’t party boats. These cheerful boats are your next favourite brunch spot.
Darcie & May Green serves Aussie-centred foods and needs to be on your brunch, lunch, dinner, and cocktail itinerary. It is one of the few restaurants near Paddington station with outside dining.
They serve brunch seven days a week and are some of the best bottomless brunches in London. Their brunch menu has strong influences from down under but still manages to keep classic brunch dishes from up North with both sweet and savoury options.
On colder nights, head to their cafe also located on Regent Canal. Under the warm shelter, you can enjoy hearty meals from 17:30 onwards. Their menu has a selection of vegetarian, seafood, and meat dishes to try out.
Aussies really love their meats and know how to prepare them well. Try their 45 days aged ribeye or slow-roasted ham shoulder for a savoury treat that melts off the bone.
There you have it. Everything worth doing in and near Paddington Station. This area is dotted with the cheery Paddington Bear waving hello or standing and waiting with his suitcase. In a way, he is your companion on your journey through the neighbourhood too.
Paddington has many things to show you on your journey, from a beautiful canal boat ride to uncovering mysteries at the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
The area also has some amazing eateries. From the colourful display of boats on the canal for brunch to the ‘ol Paddington Pub that has become its pride. You’ll never be bored (or alone) again with these Paddington things to-do list.
If you’re not ready for your list of fun activities to be over, why not add these cool non-touristy things to do in London to your itinerary.