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14 Top Things to in London with Teenagers (Visitors Guide)

14 Top Things to in London with Teenagers (Visitors Guide)

If you have a teenager, you know how difficult it is to plan a trip that truly interests them more than their smartphone. But fear not! London is a city that effortlessly blends history, culture, and trendy lifestyle, offering an array of experiences sure to captivate even the most screen-addicted teens.

From iconic landmarks to hip neighborhoods, there are plenty of things to do in London for families with teenagers. In fact, there is so much to see and do that the choice can be overwhelming…

We recently visited London with our three teenagers and they loved the city, just as much as when they were kids. In this article, I share some ideas for things to do in London with teens and tweens based on our experience and what our family enjoyed the most.

Good to know: This list includes a wide array of activities and attractions, from Royal sites and London’s must-sees to iconic city views, street art, traditional food, and even a few hidden gems. I strongly believe that variation is key when traveling with children of any age, and even more so when planning a trip with teenagers!

If you are a visitor like us, you are probably not traveling to London to go bowling, skating, or for other activities that you can also find at home. So in this article, we focus on those sights and attractions that are not just teen-approved but will also allow you to discover the very best of London.

All these places and activities are unique to London and are truly worth your time even if you are visiting from the other side of the world. Find out!

Best things to do in London with teens and tweens

In random order, here are some of the best things we recommend in London with teenagers:

1. Musicals & Shows

London’s West End is renowned for its world-class theatrical productions and no trip to London would be complete without seeing at least one musical or a show.

From the iconic “The Lion King” or “The Phantom of The Opera” to recent additions like “Back to the Future”, there is a show to suit every taste, also for families with teenagers. No matter what you choose, your teens will be impressed by the magic of live theater and captivating performances.

Our experience: We have been to London many times, also with our kids when they were younger, so we have seen most of the classic musicals before. On this recent trip with our teens, we opted for two musical shows: “TINA” at Aldwych Theatre (we got tickets here) and “ABBA Voyage” at their specially-built arena outside the city center (we booked tickets that included a bus transfer).

You might think that the music of Tina Turner or ABBA wouldn’t necessarily resonate with younger generations, but to our surprise, our teenagers thoroughly enjoyed both shows. They were particularly captivated by the ABBA digital avatars; we all were! As for TINA, it was simply the best!

Every time we go to London, we try to see as many shows as we can possibly fit into our itinerary. If your schedule and budget allow, book a few musicals, shows, or theater performances – you won’t be disappointed!

Tina Musical, The Aldwych Theater, London
Tina Musical is simply the best!

2. Tower of London & Tower Bridge

No trip to London would be complete without visiting some of its most famous landmarks. On this trip, we decided that the kids were old enough for an introduction to the rich but also dark history of the Tower of London.

A visit here truly takes you back in time. In its 1000 (!) years the Tower served as a fortress, royal palace, and prison. You can see the old execution site, explore the Bloody Tower, the Torture Chamber, and many others. The Crown Jewels are not to be missed and even the most skeptical teenagers will be impressed by the world’s largest diamond and the stunning crowns of Britain’s monarchs.

Our experience: Since the Tower of London is one of the most visited tourist attractions and the crowds are insane, we opted for this early-access tour. It brings you inside before it opens to the public. An additional perk was meeting some of the Beefeater guards, watching an Opening Ceremony, and seeing the Crown Jewels without any wait. The same tour company also has an amazing after-hours tour, but our evenings were already filled with shows and musicals…

TIP: If you decide to visit the Tower of London on your own, reserve tickets online (and well in advance!). If you can get your teens out of bed early in the morning, opt for the earliest time slot and head straight to the Crown Jewels. Later in the day, the wait time to see them can easily be an hour or even longer.

Afterward, visit the iconic Tower Bridge which offers plenty of photo opportunities for your teen’s social media.

Teenagers at The Tower of London
The Tower of London is a must-see!

3. London Eye

Treat your teenager to a bird’s-eye view of London’s iconic landmarks aboard the London Eye, Europe’s tallest observation wheel and the UK’s most popular ticketed tourist attraction.

Of all the places that offer elevated views of the city, the views from London Eye are the most impressive. From Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster to Buckingham Palace, the entire central London is right at your feet.

We have been on the London Eye before (and even featured it as the #1 attraction in London with kids), but it never gets boring. Our teens enjoyed it just as much now as in the past.

TIP: For the best rates and availability, book London Eye tickets on the official site in advance. Walk-up tickets are a lot more expensive! Also, consider getting fast-track tickets. It will save you lots of time, especially in the high season and on weekends.

Money-saving tip: If you can visit the London Eye between 2-3 pm, you can save a lot of money with this great online deal for afternoon tickets.

London Eye - best things to do with teenagers in London
London Eye is a must-do!

4. Street Art

If you are looking for something different to do with teens in London, get a bit off the beaten path and discover the vibrant street art scene.

There are quite a few places where you will find street art in London. One of the most impressive locations – The Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel, aka The Vaults – is very easy to add to any London Itinerary. You can find this colorful graffiti tunnel just 5 minutes walk from the London Eye.

The tunnel was ‘founded’ by Banksy and the ‘exposition’ here changes all the time. You can often see some artists at work too. Our teens loved this short detour and I’m sure your kids will be impressed as well.

If you have more time, consider visiting London’s East End, where colorful murals and graffiti adorn the walls of Shoreditch and Brick Lane. This is a very dynamic -and Instagrammable – neighborhood that young people will likely appreciate more than the main tourist sights.

TIP: If you don’t know where to start and don’t feel like aimlessly wandering around London looking for a few random murals, book one of the popular street art tours. There are walking tours and bike tours, and some of them even include a ‘workshop’ where you can create your own piece of art.

London street art tunnel The Vaults - cool places to see in London with teens
The Vaults.

5. Sky Garden & Other Skyscrapers

Unless you live in a city full of high-rise buildings, your teens will really enjoy visiting some of London’s impressive skyscrapers. No matter which building you choose, it will give you a chance to see a different side of the city and provide a great contrast to the city’s historic landmarks.

If you are looking for dazzling city views seen from a very unique setting, we highly recommend visiting Sky Garden at the top of the Walkie Talkie Building. It’s located just 10 minutes walk from the Tower of London, so it’s really easy to plan a short visit here. The toughest part is securing the free tickets which are usually booked up the day when they get released on their website about three weeks in advance.

TIP: If you can’t get free tickets to Sky Garden, reserve a table at Darwin Brasserie which is located on the 36rd floor, at the upper level of the indoor garden. The food is not cheap but it’s very good and they have some family-friendly options. We came here for lunch after our Tower of London morning tour. Our teens were impressed.

Alternatively, visit London’s tallest building, The Shard. From Western Europe’s highest viewing platform on the 72nd floor, you can enjoy unparalleled 360° views. The Shard is located on the other side of the river, about 15 minutes walk from Tower Bridge. You will need to book timed-entry tickets here as well (these are not free, unfortunately).

In addition, there are several other skyscrapers that you can visit in London City financial district. Some examples include The Garden at 120 on Fenchurch Street, Horizon 22 on Bishopsgate, or simply look for some rooftop bars or restaurants online.

READ ALSO: Best Views in London

Sky Garden - top places to see in London with teenagers
Sky Garden.

6. London Dungeon

If you are looking for some fun attractions for teens in London, check out the London Dungeon.

This immersive experience introduces you to the darker side of London’s history and brings the city’s gruesome past to life. From Jack the Ripper to the Great Fire of London, your teenagers will be thrilled by the interactive exhibits, live actors, and spine-tingling special effects that recreate the macabre events of centuries past.

Our experience: I wasn’t sure what to expect from our visit to the London Dungeon, but I kept on seeing it recommended as one of the best attractions for teenagers. Since the Dungeon is located right next to the London Eye (and you can get multi-attraction tickets), we decided to check it out. It certainly didn’t disappoint and the actors were amazing. All our teens thoroughly enjoyed the experience and said it was well worth it.

Good to know: London Dungeon is best suited for teens, according to the official site from 12+. While it’s not nearly as scary as we expected, some younger kids might find it a bit too much. That said, younger kids are allowed and it really depends on the child. When we visited, our group had a few children of about 7-8 years old and they were having the best time.

Also here, it’s highly recommended to book your tickets in advance (it’s cheaper too). You need to foresee about 1.5 hours for a visit. Please also note that photos are not allowed inside so put your phone and your camera away and let this experience transport you to the dark past of London.

Money-saving tip: Also at London Dungeon, you can save quite a lot of money with this great deal for afternoon tickets.

London Dungeon - London attractions for teens
London Dungeon.

7. Windsor Castle & Royal Guard

Every trip to London should include a visit to at least one Royal site. While you can see Crown Jewels at the earlier-mentioned Tower of London, it’s not exactly the royal palace your teenagers might have expected of the British Monarchy.

So if you want to visit a real royal castle in the UK that is used by the Kings and Queens of current generations, we highly recommend venturing beyond the city limits and visiting the famous Windsor Castle.

The oldest and largest inhabited castle, Windsor Castle is the best place to get acquainted with Britain’s Monarchy. You will likely recognize it from countless TV series and films, and of course, Royal weddings and funerals.

You can visit the beautiful St George’s Chapel and lavish State Apartments, and see Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. Inside the chapel, you can also see the tombs of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Philip, among many other monarchs. In addition, you can witness the iconic Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Our teenagers were impressed with the guards and the castle, but even more so by a royal helicopter that took off in front of our eyes.

How to visit: Windsor Castle can be reached by a direct train from London Waterloo and the journey takes about one hour. You will need to book timed entry tickets for the castle in advance! Train tickets can be bought at the station. Alternatively, you will also find many guided tours that include a visit to Windsor Castle in their itineraries, usually in combination with Bath, Stonehenge, or Oxford.

READ ALSO: Best Day Trips from London

Alternative: If your time in London is limited, you can also see Buckingham Palace in the city center. However, the State Rooms are only open to the public a few months a year, usually from mid-July through September (see here for opening dates and tickets). For the rest of the year, you can only see it from the outside, witness the Change of the Guard ceremony outside the palace, or visit the Royal Mews.

Royal Guard at Windsor Castle near London
Royal Guard at Windsor Castle.

8. Traditional Pubs & Markets

Whether you want to try traditional British food or discover international cuisine, London truly has it all! One of the best ways to immerse in London’s rich culinary and cultural heritage is by visiting traditional pubs and local food markets.

If you are looking for an authentic British pub experience, you will be glad to know that the portions are usually large and the prices quite affordable (perfect for families with ever-hungry teens). You can find English pubs all over the city; simply open Google Maps on the phone and search for pubs nearby. However, if you want to have dinner at a popular pub, it’s best to do some research and reserve a table in advance.

Another must-do is wandering through some local food markets where you can sample local delicacies, interact with vendors, and experience the vibrant culinary scene. Some of our favorites include Borough Market, Camden Market, Spitalfields Market, and Greenwich Market.

Good to know: Borough Market is the easiest to add to any London itinerary since it’s within walking distance of the Tower Bridge area and also quite close to many other landmarks (we walked to the London Eye from here in a bit over half an hour). Greenwich Market is a great place for lunch if you are visiting Greenwich attractions. And Spitalfields Market could be combined with one of the street art tours in that area. Camden Market requires a separate trip by metro but teens will love Camden Town.

TIP: On our recent visit to London with teens, we did this highly-rated Borough Market & Southwark tour. What we love about this tour is that it brings you to one of the oldest neighborhoods in London, visits the bustling market, passes a few hidden gems along the way, and includes tastings of various classic dishes with a modern twist. Sausage rolls and apple crumble were the very best we ever had, to mention just a few. And there was plenty of food to keep our teenagers happy. They even tried oysters – something they would never eat at home!

READ ALSO: British Food: Best Traditional Dishes to Try in the UK

Borough Market - cool spots to visit with teens in London
Borough Market.

9. Hip Neighborhoods

In addition to all the tourist areas, be sure to take your teens to one or a couple of London’s trendiest neighborhoods.

Whether your teenager is into fashion, music, or art, London surely has some cool neighborhoods that will appeal to them. Even if you just visit one, it will make your trip so much more memorable.

Notting Hill and Soho are great places to find hip cafes, boutiques, and art galleries. Camden Town has an alternative, bohemian vibe, with diverse music venues and the earlier-mentioned Camden Market.

Shoreditch is the place to be for street art lovers. And the (much more touristy) Covent Garden area is a great place to see street entertainers and find some trendy restaurants.

TIP: Do some research on things you can do in the specific area before deciding where to visit. As already mentioned before, taking a guided tour can be a great way to discover more of the local neighborhoods. But if you spend some time mapping out some cool attractions, shops, or cafes, you can easily explore on your own.

READ ALSO: Best Things to Do in Camden Town

Camden Town cool shops - London with teens
Camden Town has many quirky shops that teens will love!

10. River Cruises & Boat Trips

A boat trip on the River Thames is a good way to take a break from walking and see more of the city from a different perspective. On the way, you will pass many iconic landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, HMS Belfast, and Tower Bridge, to mention just a few.

There are many different boat trips to choose from: sightseeing river cruises to hop-on hop-off boats, speedboat tours, afternoon tea or dinner cruises, etc.

The most popular are hop-on hop-off sightseeing river cruises that run between Westminster Bridge (London Eye, Big Ben, etc.), Tower Bridge, and Greenwich. Depending on the ticket you choose, you can hop on/off at any of these locations, so it’s also a very convenient mode of transportation between some of the main tourist hotspots.

TIP: If you are looking for something fun and a bit unusual to do in London with teens, consider a RIB boat tour. It’s so much fun! Also here, you can choose from several different options and starting locations. Check out this highly-rated speedboat tour with a comedian guide on board. A touch of British humor will only make this exhilarating experience even more fun for the whole family.

River Thames cruise and Tower Bridge in London
River Thames cruise and Tower Bridge.

11. Best Museums

If you are looking for more traditional attractions to visit in London with your teens, there are plenty of amazing museums to consider. Below are some of our personal recommendations.

One of the best museums to visit in London for families is the Natural History Museum. From dinosaur skeletons to the secrets of space or the oceans, it offers a wealth of educational opportunities and interactive exhibits that the whole family will enjoy.

If your kids are interested in art, check out The National Gallery and/or National Portrait Gallery at the Trafalgar Square.

London Transport Museum close to Covent Garden is a great choice if you want to learn about the history of London’s transportation system. They have old trains, historic double-decker buses, typical London cabs, and so much more. This museum is great for kids, but most teens will enjoy it as well!

If your teenagers are interested in World Wars and history, take them to the Churchill War Rooms. This museum is located inside the underground headquarters that Prime Minister Winston Churchill used during WWII.

Natural History Museum - London with teens
Natural History Museum in London.

12. Hidden Gems

In addition to world-famous museums and major landmarks, London has countless cool spots and lesser-known gems that most tourists completely overlook.

We already mentioned street art and several hip areas, but there are so many hidden gems to be found all over the city. From tucked-away gardens and town squares to quirky museums, your teens will love discovering the lesser-known treasures of London.

Even if you add just a few of these unusual places to your itinerary, it will make your trip so much more special and memorable for everyone in your family!

For some inspiration on where to go, check out our guide via the link below!

LEARN MORE: Hidden Gems of London

Leadenhall Market - exploring London with teenagers
Leadenhall Market.

13. Cool Shops

Whether your teens love shopping or are just looking for cool experiences, take them to at least a few of London’s coolest shops and boutiques.

From flagship stores on Leicester Square or Oxford Street to vintage finds in Covent Garden and quirky colorful shops of Camden Town, there is something for every style and budget. In addition, you can browse quirky markets and pick up some unique souvenirs.

One of the best memories our kids had from previous trips was visiting some of London’s most impressive shops (I guess that’s what kids remember best – colors, toys, and sweets…). Anyway, they really wanted to spend some time shopping on this trip as well.

Some shops, like M&M’s World Store on Leicester Square, were just as big a hit with them now as when they were little. But this time they really appreciated the smaller quirkier boutiques as well.

m&ms world store in London - places to visit for families
M&M’s World Store is one of the places our kids/teens always want to visit in London.

14. Fun Attractions

London has so many interesting attractions; most of these will appeal to teens and tweens much more than traditional museums. Depending on your kids’ age and interests, you may want to consider some of the following experiences:

Harry Potter Studio Tour is the most popular day trip near London (book well in advance). Immerse in the wizarding world of Harry Potter as you explore the sets, props, and costumes from the beloved film series.

Madame Tussauds is a great place to take some photos with your teens’ favorite celebrities and historical figures.

Frameless Immersive Art Experience offers a cool way to get acquainted with the masterpieces by some of the most renowned artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Dalí, to mention just a few. It’s an exciting, interactive experience that will actually get the teens excited about art.

Silent Disco Adventure is a unique 1-hour musical dancing tour of London.

O2 Arena Rooftop Climbing Experience is fun to do for the whole family and will be a definite hit with teens!

These are just a few examples of so many cool things to do in London with teens. Give your kids a few suggestions and see what piques their interest. You are sure to find something that the whole family will enjoy!

READ ALSO: Best FREE Things to Do in London for Families

Harry Potter Studios London - places to visit with teens
Harry Potter Studios visit is great for all ages!

So, this is our guide to London for families with teens. We hope that it helps you plan a truly fun and memorable trip!

For practical information and good-to-knows, make sure to read our tips for visiting London for the first time. If you are wondering where to stay, check out our guide to the best areas to stay in London.

If you found this post helpful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

What to see and do when visiting London with teenagers

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