London is one of the friendliest, most diverse cities on the planet, with people from over 270 different nations and speaking over 300 different languages calling the city their home.
If you’re heading to London as a solo traveller, you’re no doubt be a bit nervous. After all, it’s a big city, and big cities can be more than a little daunting. However, with a few tricks up your sleeve, you’ll soon be touring the capital with as much ease as a local, with no companion necessary.
We’ve rounded up some top tips to help you get the most out of this incredible city on your own, as well as highlighting some of the best spots the city has to offer its solo visitors.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Try to blend in as much as possible
Avoiding ‘looking’ like a tourist can be a good place to start, whether you’re in a group or riding solo. Avoid checking huge maps in the middle of busy streets, keep bulky cameras out of view when walking around, and be mindful of ‘oversharing’ about being alone and lost in big crowds of people.
Don’t take any unnecessary risks
Although this sounds a little like something your mum might say, it’s good advice when travelling anywhere alone.
Let people know where you’re going if you’re planning to walk far alone at night, only flag down licensed black cabs, and keep valuables out of sight when walking along main streets – all the things you’d generally do back home. And make sure you’ve got accommodation you feel comfortable and safe in. Why not treat yourself to a luxurious stay at the Shaftesbury Hotel London? Always a safe choice.
Give a guided tour a go
London is home to a whole host of weird and wonderful tours – either on foot, by bus or boat – and it can be a great way to find out more about the city, indulge your interests, and make some new friends. With everything from literary tours (Harry Potter, anyone?) to art history, queer tours to a discovery of the city’s most prominent public loos, we dare you not to find one you don’t love.
If you prefer a shopping style self-guided tour, then head to Covent Garden, Oxford Street, or Regent’s Street!
Discover the different neighbourhoods
From hip and trendy Shoreditch to busy and bustling Covent Garden, royal and regal Kensington (home of the Park Grand London Kensington) to cool and quirky Camden, London’s diverse neighbourhoods each have something amazing to offer. Going it alone means you can explore at your own pace, spending more time in the areas you love most, too.
Experience a world-class London show
Head to the West End to catch one of London’s celebrated stage shows, with a varied choice of world-class performers, plays and musicals. See if you can bag a last-minute theatre ticket – it’s a benefit of solo travelling.
If you find yourself wanting some company, you’re in luck.
There are countless ways to meet people in London – Meetup has hundreds of groups all over the city devoted to dedicated interests, while Citysocializer and Thinking Bob run events, socials and nights out around the city.
Explore the city’s museums and galleries
Create your own exhibit bucket list and see the museums of London as you wish. Who says you have to do the whole of the V&A or catch everything on display at the British Museum? Plan and follow your own path through London’s exhibits so you can go at your own pace!
TOP ATTRACTIONS FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS
What list of top London attractions would be complete without this icon – the world’s most photographed clock. You don’t need a buddy to enjoy one of the most significant components of London’s famous skyline.
Located towards the west of the city, this is an ideal starting point for those staying towards the Shaftesbury Marble Arch suites. This is one of the most famous palaces in the world and is still regularly inhabited by the queen today.
Keep an eye out for raised flags to see if she’s in or not!
Tower of London and the Tower Museum
A quick look online will even tell you when the bridge is being raised, presenting a great opportunity to see some enormous ships passing through the bridge, and maybe even grab an impressive photo or two. There’s also a bridge museum that you can explore if you’d like to discover more about one of the most famous buildings in the country.
The London Eye
Who says you need a group to enjoy the wonders and views of the London Eye? In fact, you may even get on quicker, without having to wait for space for multiple people to board as a group. There are offers and packages available if you book early on, so take a look online before you go.
One of the city’s many famous squares, this is a great one to visit as a solo traveller as it’s a little calmer than the likes of Leicester Square and Piccadilly Square. Of course, there’s still loads to experience. Trafalgar Square is surrounded by museums, galleries, cultural spaces and historic buildings. It also has the café on the square.
The Royal Opera House
Go and experience all the Royal Opera House has to offer – stunning performances, delicious food and drink, inspiring interactive events and a perfect place to relax in the heart of Covent Garden. No travel buddy needed as there’s no talking allowed anyway!
London’s Sky Garden
Throughout the capital, especially in the district of the City of London, there are plenty of incredible rooftop views to be found. Best viewed under the dreamlike skies of sunset, head to the famous Sky Garden to enjoy a tipple with a view. Not sure where the building is located? Keep your eye’s peeled for the one shaped like a walkie talkie.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is just as beautiful on the inside as it on the outside, making it the faultless place to visit as a solo traveller. Be sure to explore the surrounding area and capture the enchanting beauty of this place in a photo. It looks great from all angles!