Looking for the top things to do in London’s East and West End?
With so much to do and see across London, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to know which attractions are worth a visit.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to planning your London trip, London’s West and East End are a must when visiting the city due to the sheer amount there is to do and see in these areas.
From the hottest spots to hidden gems, we’ve compiled a list of our top 3 attractions you should visit in the East and West End of London.
The top 3 things to do in the East End of London
Once considered the ‘tough’ part of London, the East End is now one of the trendiest areas of the city known for its eclectic bars and eateries, vibrant street art and alternative nightlife. Visit London’s East End to get inspired by the creativity, innovation and fun atmosphere.
1. Explore the stalls at Old Spitalfields Market
If highstreet shopping and big brands don’t take your fancy, the Old Spitalfields Market might be more up your alley.
Old Spitalfields is known as East London’s original market and brings together local traders selling everything from clothes and jewellery to antiques, vinyl, art, crafts and more. Open 7 days a week and with 64 market stalls to explore, you’re bound to find some special items worth taking home.
All that shopping will certainly make you work up an appetite, but thankfully the Old Spitalfields Market has plenty of street food vendors offering an array of global cuisines, sweet treats and beverages, meaning you can enjoy shopping without the risk of dropping!
See which stalls and street food vendors you’ll find at the Old Spitalfields Market on their website.
2. Enjoy a unique dining and theatre experience aboard the The Murdér Express
We all know about the world-famous theatre scene of London’s West End, but the East End can offer you a theatrical experience that’s a little more unique.
The Murdér Express is an award-winning dining and comedy theatre experience set at the fictional Pedley Street Station in Shoreditch. Enter the luxurious 1920s dining carriage, which doubles as the setting for your exquisite 4-course meal and the scene of a murder!
Sip on sophisticated cocktails inspired by the era, dine on delectable dishes designed by 2-star Michelin Chef Niall Keating, and become immersed in the thrilling murder mystery that unfolds.
Find out more about The Murdér Express experience and book your tickets here.
3. Take a walking tour of the dynamic street art
When in London, you can expect to do A LOT of walking, so why not take in the city’s vibrant street art at the same time?
While the rest of London showcases the beauty of historic art and architecture, the East End caters to those looking for more modern artistic representation. As the go-to spot for street art in the city, London’s East End is adorned with an ever-changing array of murals and exhibits showcasing the talent of notable artists locally and from further afield.
There are tonnes of guides and groups that give street art walking tours in East London, so do your own research to find one doing a tour on a day and time that suits you. Many walking tours in London are free or allow you to make a donation of your choice, so you won’t have to bend your budget.
Here’s one of our picks for street art walking tours in the East End of London.
The top 3 things to do in the West End of London
The West End is an iconic area of London that is an essential destination during your trip to London. Famous sites include Piccadilly Circus and Big Ben, but you can also explore an array of top-class museums, exquisite restaurants and architectural delights.
1. Celebrate the performing arts at The Royal Opera House
Home to the Royal Opera Company, The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera, The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is one of the finest opera and ballet venues in the world.
As well as spellbinding performances and stunning architecture, cinema showings, dance classes, workshops and other events also run throughout the year.
If you’re not interested in seeing a performance, you can book a tour instead to explore backstage and hear fascinating stories about this historic building and the people who have performed here.
See what’s on at the Royal Opera House on their website.
2. Relax in nature at Regent’s Park
It’s no secret that London is very busy, which is why a trip to the park can be the perfect way to slow down and take a break without leaving the city.
Regent’s Park in the West End of London is a nature-lovers delight! It contains Queen Mary’s Garden, where an impressive 12,000 roses come into full bloom in the summer and Avenue Gardens where you’ll find stunning paths and a beautiful fountain in the centre. Primrose Hill in the north of Regent’s Park is the perfect viewpoint for seeing fantastic views of London, while just to the south of Primrose Hill, you’ll find London Zoo. Regent’s Park also has London’s largest outdoor sports area, or you can hire a boat and head out for a leisurely trip on the lake.
Learn more about Regent’s Park on The Royal Parks website.
3. Enjoy a show in the renowned theatre district
We couldn’t mention London’s West End without recommending the world-famous theatre district.
Otherwise known as ‘Theatreland’, the most prominent streets for theatre-going include Drury Lane, Shaftesbury Avenue and The Strand.
From old favourites like The Mousetrap to new additions like Matilda the Musical, there’s a West End show for everyone to enjoy, but not before a pre-theatre meal!
If you’re wondering where to get a pre-show dinner in the West End, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Try Brasserie Zedel for relaxed French dining near Piccadily Station, Bocca Di Lupo for authentic and affordable Italian small plates in Soho, and NoMad for a decadent menu of local flavours within lush surroundings in Covent Garden.
We hope our recommendations help you plan an unforgettable trip or day out in London, no matter your interests. Now get out there and explore as much of the city as you can!