Unveiling Hidden Gems: Non-Touristy Things to Do in London

You’re looking for non touristy things to do in London. So let’s get straight to the heart of it – 

As a seasoned traveler who has explored the city’s nooks and crannies (and who lived there for the better half of 2018), I can vouch for London’s charm beyond the typical tourist spots. 

Non touristy things to do in London

First time in London and worried about safety? Check out “Is London Safe for Solo Female Travelers – Uncensored Guide.

In this bustling metropolis, a bit of street smarts certainly goes a long way. 

Discover Non Touristy Things to Do in London

Non tourist things to do in London Neal's Yard

Neal’s Yard

  • Hidden Factor: Nestled away from the common tourist paths, Neal’s Yard is a delightful surprise in Covent Garden. 
  • How to Get There: Easily missed, find your way through a narrow alley off Shorts Gardens and Neal Street.
  • Budgeting: A variety of shops and cafes cater to different budgets, but it’s a place where you might want to splurge a little for a unique experience. 
  • Watch Out For: Avoid crowds and enjoy the tranquility of Neal’s Yard, it’s recommended to visit before noon.

🔥 Hot Tip:

  • Don’t miss the chance to try the local cheesecake – it’s a hidden culinary treasure.
  • Typically, in central London, you might expect to pay anywhere from £4 to £8 for a slice of cheesecake at a quality bakery or café.
  • Honey & Smoke offers a unique cheesecake with feta filling, Greek thyme honey, almonds, and blueberries, while
  • The Hummingbird Bakery is famous for its American-style cheesecakes, including the classic New York cheesecake​

For a more precise budgeting guide for Neal’s Yard, here are some specific price ranges for popular spots:


This pizza place offers a 20-inch pizza from £24. Their menu includes a variety of unique toppings, and you can also buy pizza by the slice for a smaller option​​.

Neal’s Yard Remedies

Specializing in organic health and beauty products, the prices here will vary widely depending on the type of product. You can expect a range from affordable items like soaps and lotions to more expensive skincare and beauty treatments.

St. JOHN Bakery

Known for doughnuts and other bakery items, prices here are generally in the mid-range for London bakeries. Expect to spend a few pounds on individual items like pastries and bread.

Compagnie Des Vins Surnaturels

This wine bar offers a selection of over 400 different wines, with prices varying significantly based on the wine you choose. They also serve food, ranging from light snacks to full meals, with prices that are likely in the mid to high range given the central London location.

Casanova & Daughters

As an Italian produce and wine bar, expect a range of prices. For example, a glass of wine could start from around £5-£10, with antipasti and other food items varying depending on what you order.

26 Grains

A café known for its health-conscious options, you might spend around £5-£15 for a meal here, depending on what you order. This includes items like porridge, toasties, and bowls.

Non tourist things to do in London Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market

  • Hidden Factor: Leadenhall Market, with its historical charm, often remains a hidden gem in the shadows of London’s more famous attractions.
  • How to Get There: Located in the financial district, the market is accessible via Gracechurch Street or Lime Street.
  • Budgeting:
    • Dining: Ranges from budget-friendly at “Boom Bap Burger” and “PizzaExpress” to upscale dining experiences.
    • Shopping: Offers a mix from affordable to luxury. Notably, “Barbour” and “Hobbs” are great for high-end fashion shopping, while “Waterstones” caters to book lovers.
  • Watch Out For: Don’t miss “Chequers Beauty Salon”, a unique spot for pampering in the heart of the market. It’s a perfect example of the hidden treasures you can find while exploring.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Leadenhall Market regularly hosts unique pop-up events and exhibitions, adding dynamic and unexpected experiences to your visit.

Non tourist things to do in London Neal's Yard Wellcomme Collection

Wellcome Collection near Euston Station

  • Hidden Factor: Despite its grand neoclassical façade, the Wellcome Collection often remains under the radar for tourists. It’s a unique museum that delves into the intersections of science, medicine, life, and art.
  • How to Get There: The museum is located near Euston Station, which is not typically frequented by tourists, but is only a 15-minute walk from the British Museum.
  • Budgeting: Entry is free!
  • Watch Out For: The museum houses intriguing temporary and permanent exhibitions that are both interactive and thought-provoking.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Don’t miss the reading rooms – an informal space where you can relax and explore diverse topics through art pieces and books.

Non tourist things to do in London Museum of the Home

Museum of the Home in Shoreditch

  • Hidden Factor: The Museum of the Home, formerly known as the Geffrye Museum, offers a unique perspective on domestic life through the ages.
  • How to Get There: Located just in front of Hoxton station, it’s easily accessible and makes for a great stop after visiting nearby markets like Spitalfields or Brick Lane.
  • Budgeting: Entry is free! #winning
  • Watch Out For: The museum’s newly refurbished spaces that provide a modern take on the concept of home.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Pair your visit with a stroll through Shoreditch to fully immerse yourself in the area’s rich cultural and historical tapestry.

Explore East London’s Eclectic Markets

Non tourist things to do in Spitalfields and Brick Lane

Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane Market

  • Distinctive Character: These markets epitomize East London’s cultural diversity and artistic flair. Spitalfields offers a mix of contemporary art, fashion, and food, while Brick Lane is a haven for vintage lovers and culinary adventurers.
  • Spitalfields Market: It’s a fusion of history and modern trendiness. From bespoke clothing to unique artwork, it’s a one-stop-shop for artisanal goods.
  • Brick Lane Market: Known for its eclectic mix of vintage clothing, bric-a-brac, and a wide range of international cuisine.
  • Budgeting: There’s something for every wallet – from affordable trinkets to pricier, unique finds.
  • Getting There: Both markets are easily accessible via public transport, with Liverpool Street station close to Spitalfields and Shoreditch High Street station near Brick Lane.
  • Watch Out For: The hustle and bustle, especially on weekends. It’s part of the charm, but be ready for crowds.
  • Product Highlight: Look for handmade jewelry at Spitalfields or rare vintage records at Brick Lane – perfect souvenirs that capture the spirit of East London.

Sonia Santamaria Jewellery

Specializing in handcrafted jewelry, Sonia Santamaria offers unique pieces inspired by her travels in South America, Spain, and Portugal. Her work emphasizes recycling and transformation, making each piece a testament to artistic creativity. You can find her at Spitalfields Market on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays​​.

Pama Crafts

This market trader brings unusual collectible items from around the world, including handcrafted ornaments, ceramics, and mosaics. They are known for their high-quality handmade items and are available at Spitalfields from Friday to Sunday​​.

Mi Cielo London

For those looking for modern handmade jewelry, Mi Cielo London offers elegant designs for both men and women. This shop, established in Spain and now based in London, provides a range of simple to special designs catering to various styles​.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Brick Lane is renowned for its wide array of international cuisines, particularly its Bangladeshi and Indian food stalls. A visit there is a must for culinary adventurers looking to explore diverse flavors.

Experience Fringe Theatre

Non tourist things to do in London Theatre

Etcetera Theatre and Finborough Theatre

  • Unique Appeal: These theaters are the antithesis of the grand West End stages. They’re intimate, often pushing the boundaries of traditional theater with avant-garde and experimental performances.
  • Etcetera Theatre: Located above a pub in Camden, it’s known for its cozy setup, fostering a unique connection between the audience and performers. Perfect for offbeat plays and comedy nights.
  • Finborough Theatre: A hidden gem in Kensington, renowned for its championing of new playwrights and rediscovered classics. The small space makes every show a personal experience.
  • Budgeting: Tickets are generally more affordable than West End shows, offering a budget-friendly cultural experience.
    • Etcetera:It’s common for tickets at smaller theatres to range from £10 to £20, depending on the show and seating options.
    • Finborough: The Finborough Theatre offers a range of ticket prices. For the first week of each new production, tickets are priced at £10 for under 30s when booked online. Regular ticket prices for the first two weeks of a show are £20, with concessions at £18, and Tuesday evenings are priced at £18 for all seats. During the third and fourth weeks, ticket prices increase slightly to £23, with concessions at £20. On Tuesday evenings, all seats are £20. Additionally, residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham can avail of £15 tickets on the first Saturday evening when booked online
  • Getting There: Both are accessible by public transport – Etcetera is a short walk from Camden Town tube station, while Finborough is near Earl’s Court.
  • Watch Out For: Limited seating – book in advance to secure a spot.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Check out their rotating schedules for new, exciting productions that you won’t find on the mainstream stage.

Find Solace in Lesser-Known Parks

Non tourist things to do in London Hampstead Heath and Kyoto Garden

Hampstead Heath and Kyoto Garden

  • A Nature Retreat: Hampstead Heath, with its sprawling meadows and ancient woodlands, offers a slice of countryside in the city. Kyoto Garden in Holland Park is a serene Japanese garden, complete with koi ponds and cascading waterfalls.
  • Hampstead Heath: It’s a place where you can enjoy panoramic views of London from Parliament Hill, immerse in wildlife, or even take a dip in its famous swimming ponds.
  • Kyoto Garden: This meticulously crafted garden provides a peaceful retreat, perfect for contemplation or a quiet stroll.
  • Budgeting: Both parks are free to enter, making them ideal spots for budget-friendly relaxation.
  • Getting There: Hampstead Heath is accessible via Hampstead or Golders Green tube stations, while Kyoto Garden is a short walk from Holland Park or Kensington High Street stations.
  • Watch Out For: The changing seasons bring different charms to these parks, from spring blossoms to autumn leaves.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Early mornings in Kyoto Garden offer a tranquil experience, while sunset at Hampstead Heath is not to be missed for breathtaking city views.

Uncover London’s Street Art Scene

Things to Do in London Streetart in Shoreditch

Shoreditch & Hackney for Streetart Galore

  • Vibrant Artwork: Shoreditch and Hackney Wick are outdoor galleries, showcasing incredible street art. Every mural tells a story, from political statements to cultural tributes.
  • Getting There: Easily accessible by public transport, particularly from Shoreditch High Street and Hackney Wick stations.
  • Watch Out For: New art pieces regularly appear, transforming the area’s landscape.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Join a guided street art tour to uncover the hidden stories behind each piece.

Culinary Adventures in Brixton Village

Things to do in London Brixton Village

Brixton Village for Amazing Eats

  • Melting Pot of Flavors: Brixton Village is a foodie’s paradise, offering a rich blend of global cuisines.
  • Getting There: Short walk from Brixton tube station.
  • Watch Out For: Bustling evenings and weekends. Try off-peak hours for a more relaxed experience.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Don’t miss the Caribbean eateries for an authentic taste of island cuisine.

Craft Beers in London Totttenham

Craft Beer and Brewery Experience in Tottenham

  • Hidden Factor: Tottenham’s industrial estate, a less-known destination for tourists, is home to the burgeoning craft beer scene with breweries like Beavertown and Pressure Drop.
  • How to Get There: A short walk from Tottenham Hale Station, this area offers a unique beer-tasting experience away from the usual tourist attractions.
  • Budgeting: Costs vary, starting from around £5, offering a range of options for different budgets.
  • Watch Out For: Both breweries open their tap rooms on Saturdays, often featuring a variety of food options.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Beavertown is known for its outdoor seating, while Pressure Drop allows you to enjoy drinks amidst the brewing action.

Afternoon Tea in Sophisticated Venues

Things to do in London Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea with the Queen

  • Hidden Factor: Afternoon Tea is a quintessential British tradition, and in London, you can find it served in various sophisticated venues, offering a luxurious experience.
  • How to Get There: These venues are scattered across London, often situated near major attractions or in elegant hotels.See examples below.
  • Budgeting: Prices range widely, from affordable to premium, depending on the venue’s location and level of luxury.
  • Watch Out For: The classic afternoon tea includes finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries, and of course, tea.

🔥 Hot Tip:

For a unique experience, choose venues that offer themed afternoon teas or those with panoramic views of the city.

For an authentic Afternoon Tea experience in London, consider these venues:

The Ritz London

The Ritz London

Known for its luxurious setting, The Ritz offers a traditional afternoon tea experience in its Palm Court, complete with live piano music.

Sketch London


Located in Mayfair, Sketch is famous for its quirky and artistic décor, offering a contemporary twist on the classic afternoon tea.

Fortnum Mason London

Fortnum & Mason

This iconic department store in Piccadilly serves afternoon tea in an elegant tea salon, known for its fine teas and homemade scones.

Shard London

The Shard

For breathtaking city views, afternoon tea at The Shard combines a luxurious experience with a stunning panorama of London.



Offering a quintessentially British afternoon tea, Claridge’s in Mayfair is known for its art deco elegance and impeccable service.

Historic Homes and Unusual Museums

Charles Dickinson Museum and Staint James

Charles Dickens Museum and Sir John Soane’s Museum

  • Step into History: These museums offer a glimpse into the lives of two iconic London figures.
  • Getting There: Both are centrally located and easily accessible by tube.
    • Charles Dickens Museum: The closest tube station is Russell Square, which is only a 5-minute walk from the museum. Russell Square is served by the Piccadilly Line. Other nearby stations include Chancery Lane (Central Line – 10-minute walk) and Kings Cross/St Pancras Station (Victoria Line, Piccadilly Line, Hammersmith & City Line, Northern Line, and Metropolitan Line – 15-minute walk)​​​​​​.
    • Sir John Soane’s Museum: While specific information about the closest tube station to Sir John Soane’s Museum wasn’t found in the recent search, it is generally known that the museum is located in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, in central London. Holborn tube station (served by the Central and Piccadilly lines) is commonly used by visitors to reach the museum. Additionally, Chancery Lane tube station (on the Central Line) is also nearby.
  • Watch Out For: Unique artifacts and personal collections that offer deep insights into Dickens and Soane’s lives.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Check for special exhibitions or events that often occur at these museums.

Themed Walks and Unique Tours

  • Exploring Different Facets: Literary and ghost tours provide unique perspectives on London’s rich history and storytelling.
  • Watch Out For: Unexpected tales and hidden spots revealed during these tours.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Evening ghost tours add an extra layer of thrill to the experience.

Charming London Neighborhoods

Things to Do in London Hampstead

Hampstead Area Exploration

  • Hidden Factor: Hampstead, known for its village-like charm, offers a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle. It’s a blend of green spaces, historic buildings, and quaint shops.
  • How to Get There: Accessible via Hampstead or Golders Green tube stations, it’s a short journey from central London.
  • Budgeting: The area offers a mix of dining and shopping experiences, from affordable cafes to more upscale boutiques.
  • Watch Out For: The picturesque streets can get busy, especially on weekends.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Don’t miss Hampstead Heath for nature walks and spectacular city views.

Things to Do in London Hampstead

Little Venice Canal Walk

  • Hidden Factor: Little Venice, known for its tranquil canals and charming boats, provides a serene waterside experience.
  • How to Get There: Start your walk from Warwick Avenue station and stroll along the canal.
  • Budgeting: The area has a range of cafes and pubs, suitable for various budgets.
  • Watch Out For: The peaceful walk can get crowded on sunny days.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Enjoy a coffee at one of the boat cafes or a meal at the Waterway gastro pub with canal views.

Things to do in London - Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill for Panoramic Views

  • Hidden Factor: Primrose Hill, not far from the bustling Camden, offers one of the best views of London’s skyline.
  • How to Get There: A short walk from Chalk Farm tube station, it’s easily accessible.
  • Budgeting: The area around the hill has cafes and pubs catering to different budgets.
  • Watch Out For: Popular for picnics and sunsets, it can get crowded during good weather.

Unique Activities and Workshops

Things to Do in London Fascinator Course

Fascinator Course for a Traditional British Experience

  • Hidden Factor: The Fascinator Course offers a unique chance to delve into British fashion tradition by crafting your own fascinator, a stylish headpiece.
  • How to Get There: Held at various locations across London.
  • Budgeting: Prices start around £50, with potential discounts available online.
  • Watch Out For: Courses last about 2 hours, with all materials provided.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Great for creating a personalized souvenir and understanding a unique aspect of British culture.

Stand up Paddle Boarding on the Thames

Stand Up Paddle Boarding on the Thames or Regents Canal

  • Hidden Factor: Paddleboarding offers a fun, offbeat way to explore London’s waterways.
  • How to Get There: Accessible locations include Camden and near Richmond for Thames or Regents Canal.
  • Budgeting: Prices typically start from £50+.
  • Watch Out For: Suitable for beginners and enjoyable for all skill levels.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Perfect for seeing London from a different perspective, especially the scenic routes along the canal.

Tranquil Nature Escapes

Hampstead Heath Ponds

Swimming in the Hampstead Heath Ponds

  • Hidden Factor: Hampstead Heath Ponds offer a unique urban swimming experience in natural waters.
  • How to Get There: Accessible from Hampstead Heath Overground station.
  • Budgeting: Entry is free to £4, offering an affordable nature experience.
  • Watch Out For: Different ponds for mixed, men’s, and women’s swimming.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Ideal for a refreshing swim and experiencing a local tradition.

London Regents Canal Walk

Regent’s Canal Walk from Camden to King’s Cross

  • Hidden Factor: This walk along Regent’s Canal showcases the varied landscapes of London.
  • How to Get There: Start from Camden Market and walk towards King’s Cross.
  • Budgeting: Free, perfect for a budget-friendly exploration.
  • Watch Out For: Changing scenery from bustling markets to tranquil canal paths.

🔥 Hot Tip:

Great for observing London’s blend of historic and modern architecture.

Embracing Technology in Travel: The Rise of eSIMs in London

Is eSIM the best option for me?

The Digital Revolution

eSIM technology is revolutionizing travel, offering seamless connectivity. This tiny digital SIM eliminates the need for physical SIM cards, streamlining the way travelers stay connected abroad.

For an in-depth comparison of leading eSIM providers, check out our detailed analyses in “Airalo vs Holafly – Uncensored, Unfiltered, Truth.

How eSIMs Work

eSIMs are embedded in your device and can be activated with a simple plan subscription. They’re ideal for the non-tech savvy, offering an easy setup without the hassle of swapping physical SIM cards.

Learn more about how they function in our “Airalo Review – Uncensored, Unfiltered, Truth” and “Holafly Review – Uncensored, Unfiltered, Truth.

Benefits of Using eSIMs in London

In a connected city like London, eSIMs provide instant access to data, making navigation and communication effortless. They’re cost-effective, often cheaper than traditional roaming plans, and you can choose the best local data plans, avoiding unexpected roaming charges.

For broader insights, our “Best eSIM for International Travel – Uncensored Guide” offers a comprehensive look at global eSIM solutions.

Recommended eSIM Providers

For travelers in London, providers like Holafly, Airalo, and Simify offer reliable eSIM services with a range of plans to suit different needs. These providers ensure you stay connected whether you’re navigating the Tube, exploring markets, or sharing your London adventures in real time.