Ask anyone who lives in London where they'd like to live and they'll answer 'Hampstead'. This gorgeous postcode is home to Hampstead Heath but if you want to dodge the crowds, make your way to Bobby Fitzpatrick for cocktails and retro interiors that would put That 70s Show to shame.
Non-Touristy Things To Do In London In 2023
There’s so much to do and see in the capital, so you really need to know what’s what before you take it on. If you want to avoid tourist traps in exchange for more non-touristy things to do in London, we've got you covered. There’s rooftops with views of famous landmarks, cool pubs with arcade games and if you're not afraid of water - floating restaurants. Buckle up and get booking, cause here's a local's guide to discovering things off the beaten track that aren't part of the usual London bucket list.
Last updated on 12th October 2023
London's awash with secret bars but you need to visit Evans & Peel. Enter an evidence-filled office in Earl's Court and you'll be ushered into an illicit bar with drinks names after notorious criminals, and beer that comes poured it from an unassuming radiator.
The best non-touristy pubs in London? There's plenty to chose from, but if you want to splash the cash we recommend The Cadogan Arms. The Sunday roasts at this pretty Chelsea restaurant have become legendary, and not for their £30 price tag, but the tender meat and cripsy tatties.
A pint with a side of cool? You'll want The Four Thieves in Battersea. This quirky pub might be a little bit away from the hubbub of the city but it's got an entire floor dedicated to retro games alongside bingo bottomless brunches and live jazz sets come the weekend.
A trip to London isn't complete without a trip to Camden High Street. When you've had enough of marveling at the giant shoes hanging from the walls, make your way to BYOC where you swap a bottle of booze and £35 for 2 hours of non-stop cocktails in a very cool prohibition setting.
Afraid of heights? Ditch The View at the Shard and take the stairs to London Bridge Rooftop where you can marvel at the famous building with a cocktail in hand. This central rooftop bar boasts £6 Aperol Spritz every Sunday and very tasty street food.
This stunning rooftop garden near the Thames was voted the most sustainable roof gardens in the world and we can't gatekeep it any longer. They garnish their cocktails with ingredients they grow themselves and they have a fire pit year-round where you can toast S'mores. Tickets are from as little at £8 too, so an absolute bargain.
We can't promise you a crowd-free experience at Flight Club (it's one of the best activity bars in the city and they have an incredible beer garden) but we can promise you one helluva time when you're there. Book an oche for quirky cocktails, pizza paddles and round-after-round of interactive darts.
Calling all Harry Potter buffs. If you're not satisfied with your trip to platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station or this list of Harry Potter experiences, add the Common Room to your bucket list. This mystical place in London promises afternoon tea with bottomless G&Ts and prosecco, dainty sandwiches and a sweetie station.
Did you know there's a world-famous bar in London? Ballie Ballerson is one-of-a-kind with a karaoke room, sweet-inspired cocktails and two ball pits fit for hours of fun. if you're after a day of being a big kid in the city, this is the ticket.
London's food scene is bubbling with flavours from across the globe. If you want a hack to try it all in one evening, book a table for Mercato Metropolitano. This sustainable community has over 40 street food vendors and they dish out £5 plates between 12pm and 5pm from Monday to Friday.
London's best kept secret? It's in an old bike shed and it's called The Brig. For £65 per person you can rent out this intimidate space and order whatever you like from your own personal bartender. They'll even let you jump behind the bar and plug in your own playlist.
London isn't exactly known for its beaches but where there's a will there's a Neverland. This cool pop-up in Fulham changes with the seasons, so you'll get sand between your toes during summer and a winter wonderland come Christmas, alongside stellar drinks and grammable street food all year round.
Love theatre but seen it all? Take a journey to Hoxton to find Alcotraz; London's BYOB prison-themed bar, where you'll be trusted with becoming part of the story line. You'll be expected to sneak a bottle of booze past the guards in an orange jump suit in pursuit of criminally good cocktails.
When you think of London, do you think of beer? Thought so. If you're looking to do something a little bit different in the city, have a snoop at London's best brewery tours. You'll get history lessons, plenty of beer, complimentary cheese boards and in some cases, some free merch.
London's a busy place and sometimes you need to put your feet up after pounding the pavement. Hit two birds with one stone and kick back with some tickets to one of London's best pop-up cinemas. They have popcorn, they have drinks and if you but the right ticket, some slick views of city landmarks.
A trip to London isn't quite complete without sitting down for a full English at The Breakfast Club. Towering pancakes, meaty sausages and hot cups of coffee are the order of the day and if you whisper "I'm here to get lucky" to one of the waiters you might get taken to a secret bar.
Soho is as iconic as it gets. When you're done wandering around and getting a feel for the area and its people, plan ahead with a booking for Swift. This bar is a London treasure with enough awards to sink a battle ship. They even have £7 aperitivo cocktail until 6pm Monday through to Friday.
Believe us when we say this is one boat ride you want to miss. Silent Sounds is one of the best ways to drink in the sights of London with a beverage in hand and three killer radio stations to tune into. They even lift Tower Bridge when you set sail towards Greenwich.
Get yourself down to Canary Wharf for a whale of a time at Fairground. It's the world's first fairground-themed bar with whac-a-mole, roll-a-ball-derby and everything in between. With candy floss cocktails and street food vendors galore, this spot if giving us plenty of big kid energy.
If you're gonna brunch in London, you may as well do it right. Hop aboard the floating restaurant that is Darcie & May Green and get ready for a brunch spread like no other. With award-winning banana bread and bottomless bubbles on the menu, this Paddington gem is a must.
Torrential downpour or glorious sunshine, London always takes our breath away. If you want to do something that's non-touristy, take a look at these grade A ways to catch the sun set across the city. Think steak dinners with Thames-side views to walks through London's most iconic postcodes.