Best Things to do in London with Kids

Heading to London with the family and wondering what the best things to do in London with kids are? Well, you have come to the right place because we’ve just spent more than a week in London and let me tell you, there are so many awesome London things to do for kids – a week just isn’t enough!

The family attractions London offers are endless, not just in Central London but also in surrounding areas. The best things to do in London with the kids include exploring the many free museums, soaring above the London skyline on the London Eye, cruising down the Thames River, seeing the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace and so much more! 

To help you plan your family trip, this guide covers all of the top things to do with the kids in London, including London family attractions and London activities with kids, as well as everything you need to know about ticket prices and opening times.

As well as all the family things to do in London, this guide will provide tips on getting to London from Heathrow airport, getting around London and where to stay in London on a budget.

There are so many great things to do in London with family and the surrounding areas that in this guide, I will focus on the things to do in Central London for kids. 

This post may contain compensated links. Please refer to my disclaimer here for more information.

Talk to other families about their tips on visiting London and join our Thrifty Family Travel Facebook Group or be inspired on our Instagram Feed.

Map of London Things to do for Kids

To help you plan your itinerary – it’s always best to group the different things to do in London for children based on their location, so you’re not travelling all over town.

So you can easily see where all the different children attractions in London are – check out the map below.  You can zoom in and out for a better view.


Best Things to do in London with Kids

Below in the things for kids to do London guide, I’ve provided a comprehensive list of the very best attractions in London for kids.  

Please note that all prices mentioned were correct at the time of publishing and are in local currency.  To check the rate in your currency, click here.

London Dungeon

The London Dungeon is one of the best London kids’ activities to learn about the city’s historical events.  But be warned, it can be a little spooky too – after all, some of London’s history is gruesome.

The kids will learn about London’s history through interactive exhibits, actors, and special effects. Topics covered include what life was like during medieval and Victorian times, the Great Fire of London and the Jack the Ripper murders.

And a roller coaster takes the kids through the depths of the London Dungeon!

Allow about 90 minutes for your visit. As it’s on the South Bank, combining this with other things to do with children in London on this side of the Thames is easy. 

It’s recommended that only kids 12+ visit London Dungeon as it can be a little scary – but children 5+ can enter at the parent’s discretion.

Location: The Queen’s Walk, London

Hours:11 am to 4 pm on weekdays | 10 am to 5 pm Saturdays and 4 pm Sundays

Price: Adults £32 | Kids (5-15) £26 | No entry for under 5s – Click here to book tickets online

Shrek’s Adventure

Shrek’s Adventure is one of those things to do with children in London for fans of the movie series. If your children love meeting their favourite characters, they’ll adore this immersive experience. 

Take a 4D bus ride led by Donkey, learn Kung Fu with Po, join in with the day’s fairytale shows, see the Madagascar circus and more awaits. It’s good entertainment for kids in London, especially on a rainy day. 

Location: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London

Hours: Daily from 10 am (11 am Thursdays) to 3 pm – 4 pm on the weekend

Price: Adults £30 | Kids (3-15) £24 | Kids under 3 are free | Click here to book tickets online

Westminster Abbey

Even the chattiest kids can be stunned to silence when gazing in awe at the magnificent Westminster Abbey. This famous London site is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and where Royals have been crowned, married and mourned. The scale of the place is just spectacular – it really does have to be seen to be believed!

Some of the best things to show the kids at Westminister Abbey include the Coronation Chair (where the kings and queens have been crowned since 1308), the Royal Tombs (monarchs such as Queen Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Henry III are buried here), the High Altar (the site of many important ceremonies) and more.

Included with your tour of the Abbey is an audio guide, so you can learn as you go about the various iconic people buried here.

We visited just after Christmas so it was still decorated.

This is among the top things to do in London for kids, whether they’re studying history or have watched Royal weddings on TV. It takes around an hour to see the abbey; you could certainly spend longer here – but an hour is probably enough for everyone.

And if you don’t have time or the budget to go inside – make sure you stop by the outside – it’s worth a look and a few photos.

Location: 20 Deans Yd, London

Hours: Changes throughout the year – generally Monday to Friday around 9.30 am to 3.30 pm | Saturdays 9 am to 3 pm and closed Sundays 

Price: Adults £27 | Kids (6-17) £12 | Family Pass (1A+1C) £27 | Kids under 6 are free | Click here to book tickets online.

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Right by Westminister is Big Ben – one of London’s most recognisable buildings!  But did you know that Big Ben is the bell’s name inside the clock: the tower is officially called the Elizabeth Tower. 

Next to Big Ben is also the Houses of Parliament (known as the Palace of Westminister) –  home to the UK’s government.  

Together these buildings are among the top ​​free things to do in London for kids, as only UK residents can go inside. However, you don’t need to enter to appreciate these breathtaking structures – or snap some selfies!

Location: London, SW1A 0AA

Hours: Anytime to visit the outside of the buildings

Price: Free

10 Downing St

Number 10 Downing Street is the home of the British Prime Minister, so it’s a familiar sight to people worldwide. It’s one of those things to see in London for kids so that politics come to life – and they may have seen it on TV, on the news or in some of their favourite movies.

The street is ​​among the few free things in London for kids and adults to see, as you can’t enter inside – just take a quick look from the outside. 

There are a few nice war memorials in the area to look at too.

Location: 10 Downing Street, London

Hours: Anytime to visit the outside

Price: Free

Churchill War Rooms

Visiting the Churchill War Rooms is one of the best things to do in London for kids interested in the second world war. And while not all kids are interested in war – my 11 yo has a massive fascination with WWII – mostly thanks to Anne Frank – so she was keen to visit this attraction.

Now a museum, these underground rooms were once used as secret offices during the war.  Here you’ll see the Map Room, where Churchill planned the Allied response to the war; the Cabinet War Rooms – the offices of Churchill and the government and the Churchill Museum, which features a range of exhibits about Churchill himself, including personal items, photographs, and artwork.

They’re also known as the Cabinet War Rooms and were where the Allies successfully plotted their eventual victory and the end of WWII. 

For families where the parents want to visit and not so much the kids – there are a few interactive exhibits for them to check out – otherwise, perhaps bring a fully charged device so you can freely look through.  Entry comes with an audio guide too, which helps explain what you’re seeing as you walk around.

Allow 2 hours to explore the Churchill War Rooms fully – although all day if you want to read and see absolutely everything. 

There’s a nice Bali Bombing Memorial to look at just outside too.

Location: Clive Steps, King Charles St, London

Hours: Daily from 9.30 am to 6 pm

Price: Adults £30 | Kids (5-15) £15 | Under 5s are free

St James Park

A visit to St James Park is another one of the fabulous free things to do in London with kids. This park is a beautiful green space in the heart of London – just a short walk from many of the above attractions.

It’s a great space for the little ones to burn off some excess energy, and there are some wonderful places here for families to visit.  You can visit the lake to see the ducks, see pelicans being fed at 2.30 pm daily near Duck Island, take photos of the kids on Blue Bridge and explore the various gardens.

Throughout the park are various kiosks for drinks and snacks as well as a playground for the kids.  And if you’re an Aussie like us – this is a great place to spot squirrels!

Location: London, SW1A 2BJ

Hours: Daily from 5 am to 12 am

Price: Free

Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard

For first timers to London, a visit to Buckingham Palace is a must!  Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarchy and while most people don’t get the chance to go inside, you can take a guided tour inside the palace at certain times of the year.  

But even if you can’t go inside – it’s still worthwhile taking the kids to see the outside.  Get the children to look out for the palace flag flying; if it is, that means the King’s at home! 

Better yet – ensure you time a visit to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guards – it’s another one of the things to do in London for free with kids.  It takes place four times weekly, at 11 am on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, unless bad weather means it’s cancelled.

The ceremony involves the Old Guard being replaced by the New Guard and includes a marching band and a display of military precision.

For a decent view, arrive by 10.45 am at the latest. We arrived around an hour before and were able to get right at the front of the gate looking into the palace – but it was quite tiring waiting around all that time.  I wouldn’t recommend getting here with little ones – just accept that you won’t see it all though.

It is, of course free to visit Buckingham Palace and to see the Changing of the Guards, but if you want someone to take you to the best viewing spot and talk you through what you’re seeing – then you can take a guided tour as well.  Some tours combine many close-together places to visit in London with children. 

The entire ceremony takes around 1 hour.

Location: London, SW1A 1AA

Hours: The ceremony takes place at 11 am on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

Price: Free – Click here for guided tours

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is one of the most central points in the entire city – it’s just a stone’s throw from Charing Cross station, which is considered the true heart of London. The square contains a statue of Lord Nelson, created to commemorate Britain’s Battle of Trafalgar victory. 

Exploring the square is one of the best free things to do for kids in London – especially as it’s close to Covent Garden, Leicester Square and other key West End sites. In addition, this location is famous for appearing in a Harry Potter movie (with lots of pigeons) and is on the edge of Theatreland. 

Other things to do in and around Trafalgar Square include visiting the National Gallery, getting a photo of the kids with the iconic bronze lions that guard the base of Nelson’s Column, shopping and watching street performers.  There were some very entertaining dancers performing while we where there.

It’s usually a spot for demonstrations and protests too – another time we visited recently, there was a demonstration about some recent events in Iran which promoted some discussions with our pre teen – so possibly a topical place to visit with teens too.

Location: London WC2N 5DN

Hours: Always open

Price: Free

London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum traces the history of travel within the UK capital. So if you’re seeking things for kids in London, this is the one for your family! It’s also located in Covent Garden, so it’s easy to fit into exploring the area. 

During a visit, kids can try their hand at driving a tube (London’s underground trains), see an underground steam train, learn how London Transport began in the 19th century and view the artwork that goes with the brand. 

In addition, there’s a range of vintage buses and trains on display, model railways, and plenty of interactive exhibits where the kids can learn about London’s transport history.

Believe it or not, this is one of the most awesome cheap things to do with kids in London, as only over-18s pay for entry!

Location: The Piazza, London 

Hours: Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm

Price: Adults £21 | Kids under 18 are free | – Click here to book tickets online

Covent Garden

There’s plenty of fun for kids in London in Covent Garden. This lively part of the West End is home to markets, a central square with street entertainers and lots of shops and places to eat and drink. 

Beware this place can get hectic!!!!  We visited on a Saturday afternoon and it was chaos.

It’s a lovely place to wander around though – particularly if you’re already going to be there for a show or some of the nearby attractions.

Be sure to check out the super colourful laneways in Neal’s Yard.

Location: London, WC2E 7BB

Hours: Always open

Price: Free

St Paul’s Cathedral

The dome of St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most iconic sights, but the huge church is even more impressive from the inside. Kids can climb into the galleries to try out the acoustics and see sweeping views over the city or look for the tombs of famous people in the Crypt. 

The cathedral has artistic, architectural, historical and of course, religious significance, and the kids are sure to be wowed when you tell them that the King’s first wedding took place right here inside St Paul’s. Also, the kids will love the Whispering Gallery, where one kid can stand at either end and whisper to each other yet still be heard.

A visit to St Paul’s Cathedral is via a guided or self guided tour. There are several different tours depending on your interest.  Most tours can only be booked in person on the day – so just check when you get there.

For families, I’d recommend taking the self guided family audio tour, which is aimed at younger kids with a range of activities and interactive games to keep things interesting for them.  This is what we did and we found it kept us all engaged the entire time – not too much info – just the right amount – and provided in a really easy to understand way.

It is a hard slog though walking to the top of the dome – I’m the only one who did it out of my family – the rest decided to sit and wait for me from below.  But the views from the top are well worth it and the walk back down is pretty easy.

If you want kids’ activities in London that are educational and come with views, this one’s hard to beat. 

Location: London, EC4M 8AD

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 8.30 am to 4.30 pm | Wednesday 10 am to 4.30 pm | Sunday 8 am to 6 pm

Price: Adults £18 | Kids (6-17) £7.70 | Family Pass (2A+2C) £43.70 | Kids under 5 are free – Click here to book tickets online

Sky Garden 

The Sky Garden is a public garden located on the top of the Walkie Talkie building offering panoramic views 155 meters above the city. There are three floors to explore, including a tropical garden, a terrace, and a viewing platform. 

The Sky Garden is one of the rare ticketed yet free things to do with kids in London. You’ll need to book tickets online up to three weeks ahead. These are released on Mondays if you want to be first in the queue! 

If you haven’t booked in advance, you can try getting in as walk-ins are accepted when there’s availability: before 10 am is your best bet. At other times, you can enter Sky Garden only if you visit the bars and restaurants inside.

Location: 1 Sky Garden Walk, London

Hours: Monday 10 am to midnight | Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 8 am to midnight | Friday and Saturday 8 am to 1 am

Price: Free entry on weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm and weekends from 11 am to 9 pm

Tower of London

The Tower of London would have to be one of the most popular things for kids in London – and most adults are keen to see it too!  In fact, I’d even go as far as saying it’s the number one must do in London!

The Tower of London is a historic castle, founded in 1066 by William the Conqueror and has served as a royal palace, a prison, a treasury, and a royal mint.  While today is mainly a tourist attraction – it’s still home to the Royal Crown Jewels.

For most people, a highlight of their visit to the Tower of London is the castle tour, led by a “Beefeater” in their fancy red costumes. On these tours, you’ll learn about the history of the Tower and see some of its most famous landmarks, such as the White Tower, the Chapel Royal, and the Bloody Tower.

Other London things for kids to do and see here include the Crown Jewels and several historic buildings, including the White Tower, the Royal Mint and the Jewel House, the Bloody Tower, Torture at the Tower exhibition, Fusiliers Museum and Royal Mint exhibition.  

If you want to visit, ensure you arrive at opening time and book well in advance as this attraction sells out. Head to the famous Crown Jewels first, as the line for this usually is very busy during the day.  When we arrived, we were straight into see the Crown Jewels, but just an hour later there was a very very long line!  I think some of those people would have been in line for hours!

It can be tempting to do the Beefeater tour first – as this does give a great overview of the attraction – but if you want to see the Crown Jewels definitely see this first – even if there is a small line as it will only get bigger.

Plan to stay at least half a day at the Tower of London.  We spent 5 hours there and loved every minute of it.

Location: London, EC3N 4AB

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 9 am to 4.30 pm | Sunday and Monday, 10 am to 4.30 pm

Price: Adults  £32.90 | Children (5-15) £16.40 | Familly (1A+3C) £57.50 | Family (2A+3C) £90.40 | Audio guides  £14 per family – Click here to book tickets online

Tower Bridge 

Tower Bridge is right by the Tower of London – a historic bridge in London that crosses the River Thames.  As well as taking a few photos of the bridge from afar, it’s well worth going inside too as there are a few things for children to see in London.

Your entry to the bridge includes the Bridge Walk that runs along the top of the Tower Bridge, providing great views across the city as well as a glass floor you can walk over and see the River Thames flowing beneath your feet.

Also inside you’ll learn about the building of the bridge and how it once operated as well as some other interesting facts.  There are plenty of interactive displays for the kids as well as the original engine rooms which once powered the lifting of the bridge and more!

Plan to spend around one hour to 90 minutes here.

Location: Tower Bridge Rd, London

Hours: Daily from 9.30 am to 6 pm

Price: Adults £11.40 | Kids (5-15) £5.70 | Kids under 5 are free

London Bridge Experience

The London Bridge Experience isn’t really about structures spanning the water – it’s about the city’s gruesome history. It’s, therefore, one of the older kids’ things to do in London rather than being aimed at little ones. 

This attraction is called the London Bridge experience because it’s set within the bridge’s historic vaults. Once you’re there, engaging and interactive performances from live actors let kids meet characters like Jack the Ripper before making their way through the maze of the London Tombs. 

Location: The Rennie Vaults, 2 – 4 Tooley St, London

Hours: Daily from 12 pm to 6 pm

Price: Adults £28.95 | Kids (5-15) £23.50 | Kids under 5 are free – Click here to book tickets online

Tate Modern 

Tate Modern is one of the world’s largest museums of modern and contemporary art and is home to a collection of over 75,000 works of art.  While primarily aimed at adults, the Tate Modern is worth a visit with the kids – particularly as it’s another one of the things to do in London with kids for free. 

Inside you’ll find paintings by renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Frida Kahlo, sculptures by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and David Smith, photos from Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin, installation art by Marina Abramovic and Yoko Ono and so much more!

There are several family friendly exhibits as well as workshops held from time to time where the kids can try their hand at making their own artwork.  

Though it’s free to enter, do note that for some exhibitions, there may be an entry fee. 

Location: Bankside, Holland Street, London

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

Price: Free

London Eye

The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel located on the South Bank of the River Thames and at 135 meters, it offers fantastic views of the city.  The Eye has 32 enclosed capsules, each of which fits up to 25 people.

The London Eye is one of the top attractions to visit during days out in London with kids.  Each ride is often referred to as a ‘flight’ and lasts around half an hour. Don’t forget your camera for some incredible selfie opportunities.

A ride on the London Eye is certainly one of the more popular things to do with kids in central London. 

Location: Riverside Building, County Hall, London

Hours: Daily from 11 am to 6 pm

Price: Adults £36 | Kids (3-15) £32.50 | Kids under 3 are free | – Click here to book tickets online


With wet weather likely every third day (on average), it’s best to plan some things to do in London with kids when it’s raining. The SeaLife aquarium is ideal for this. While children can see all sorts of underwater life here, they don’t need to get wet!

Over three floors and across 14 themed zones, SeaLife is home to over 500 species of marine life worldwide. There are sharks, rays, seahorses, jellyfish, various fish and invertebrates. 

The aquarium also has several interactive exhibits, such as a rockpool where visitors can touch and learn about different marine animals and a glass tunnel where visitors walk through an underwater world. 

Not to be missed are the interactive public feeding and diving displays.

Location: Riverside Building, County Hall, London

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

Price: Adults £32 | Kids (3-15) £29 | Kids under 3 are free | – Click here to book tickets online

View from the Shard

If your kids are brave enough to ascend to the tallest viewing platform in the city – then the most magnificent 360 degree views in London are to be found from the Shard. It’s one of the most fun things to do in London for families. 

You’ll start your journey by taking the lift to level 68 – in just 60 seconds!  You can then climb to the 360 degree viewing platform on level 69 and, if you dare, head to level 72, where you can spot London’s most famous landmarks from the open air sky deck.

It’s not cheap though – and you can get similar free views from the Sky Garden if you plan ahead.  Otherwise, if you don’t want to spend the money here – spend it at St Pauls and climb the dome.  While you’ll have to walk up the stairs and sure the views aren’t as good – they are still pretty awesome.

Location: 32 London Bridge St, London

Hours: Opening times vary throughout the year – check the current times here 

Price: £32 per person | Kids under 3 are free| – Click here to book

Themed Afternoon Tea

Tucking into a themed afternoon tea offers a twist on the tradition and is one of the most awesome ideas for London days out with kids who love tasty treats. The best ones for families are the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Peter Pan at the Shard afternoon teas. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea

This themed afternoon tea in London is a must for Roald Dahl book or movie fans. Expect fluffy floss, lemon sherbet tea and foods that aren’t quite what they seem. 

Location: 1 Aldwych, London

Hours: Wednesday to Friday, 12 pm to 3 pm | Saturday and Sunday, 12 pm to 4 pm | Closed Monday and Tuesday

Price: Adults £75 (including wine or a cocktail) | Kids (under 12) £45 (including a mocktail)

Peter Pan at the Shard afternoon tea

The Peter Pan afternoon tea at The Shard is served in the triple-storied atrium, with panoramic city views. The food is served on a Jolly Roger stand, including a Tinker Bell cookie and a Tick-Tock crocodile dessert.

We opted for the Peter Pan afternoon tea so we could combine it with the awesome views from the Shard.  I’m not sure what we expected – but this was one of the fanciest meals I’ve ever had – never mind afternoon teas!

The food and service were absolutely first class and the views were to die for.  We left absolutely stuffed – but was it worth the price??  Probably not.  To be honest, it’s not really a family thing – our fussy pre teen, didn’t really like the food much, so even younger kids are going to struggle.

Plus after converting to AUD it was crazy expensive – so your money could probably be best spent elsewhere.  

Location: The Shard, 32 London Bridge St, London

Hours: Thursday to Sunday from 12.15 pm to 4.15 pm

Price:  £52 per person

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is another of those indoor things to do in London with kids that’s ideal for rainy days. There are over 250 wax figures of famous politicians, actors, musicians, sporting stars and even Royalty that you and the kids can snap selfies with. 

There are loads of popular British celebs here such as the royals, Spice Girls, Freddie Mercury, David Beckham, Little Mix and worldwide celebs including, Johnny Deep, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Barack Obama and much more.

In addition to the figures, there’s also a really cool ride at Madame Tussauds in London.  It’s a good family friendly ride where you jump in a black taxi and drive through the history of London – it was a real nice surprise.

We always have a bit of fun posing with all the figures at Madame Tussauds – they do such a good job and they look so life like.  We spent around an hour here.

Location: Marylebone Road, London

Hours: Weekdays 10 am to 3 pm | Weekends 10 am to 4 pm

Price: Adults £37 | Kids (3-15) £33.50 | Kids under 3 are free – Click here to book tickets online

See a Show

Many Brits and tourists head to London to see a show in London’s West End. For many, this is an unmissable experience. With many shows to choose from, there is something for everyone. Take your pick by browsing the current range of shows here

During our recent visit, we saw Matilda and Wicked – both excellent family friendly productions.  The thing I like about seeing shows in London is the theatres are nice and cosy – so any seats will provide you with a decent view.

We pre booked our tickets before leaving Australia – but for super cheap tickets – just purchase on the day – although just be aware you run the risk of not getting tickets for the musical you want to see.  But provided you have a few in mind – you’ll save yourself a stack of cash.

Seeing a show is one of the top London activities for kids – they’ll be unable to stop talking about it for months afterwards!

Sherlock Holmes Museum

Wind your way down to Baker Street to see the world of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick Dr Watson. The museum whisks visitors back to Victorian times, where the Sherlock Holmes stories are set. 

It features several exhibits and displays related to the character and the stories, including original manuscripts and letters written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and a replica of Sherlock Holmes’s study.

It’s recommended to allow 45 minutes to an hour to visit the museum – it’s also among the best things to do with kids in London when it rains as it is all indoors.

Location: 221b Baker Street, London

Hours: Daily from 9.30 am to 6 pm

Price: Adults £16 | Kids (6-16) £11 | Kids under 6 are free

Natural History Museum

For the best days out for kids in London – head to the Natural History Museum. Expect to be swept off your feet before you’ve even walked through the front doors. 

The museum has many exhibits and displays focusing on dinosaurs, minerals and insects.  Usually, the Dinosaur Gallery is a highlight for the kids, where they can see life size models and the Discovery Centre is popular too with its hands on exhibits.

There is so much to see here – you’ll need at least half a day to see it all – even the entire day if you have time.

Location: Cromwell Road, South Kensington

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5.50 pm 

Price: Free – although pre-booking tickets is advised

Science Museum 

The Science Museum is another of those free and fun things to do in London for kids. And it’s a great place for the kids to get hands-on with the exhibits  There is something for everyone here regardless of age – even the youngest of kids can enter the Garden (ages  under 6.)

While entry to the Science Museum is free – there are a few paid things to do here, such as the IMAX cinema and Wonderlab.  There are also some awesome flight simulators which we had a go off – there’s Red Arrows 3D film where thanks to flight motion technology you’ll feel like you’re flying (perfect for the young ones) or the Fly 360° where you fly your own jet even doing barrel rolls and loop the loops.

There is a stack to see here – you could easily spend the day here.  We spent a few hours here and got to see the highlights.

Location: Exhibition Road, South Kensington

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm 

Price: Free, although pre-booking tickets is advised

V&A Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is a world-renowned museum of art and design and holds over 2.3 million objects spanning over 5,000 years of human creativity. Its collections range from ceramics, fashion, furniture, glass, jewellery, metalwork, photographs, sculpture, textiles, and paintings to name a few.

While the museum won’t be for everyone – I recommend checking out what’s on and deciding from there.  While in town we saw they had a musical theatre exhibition – and as a family, we just love all things musical, so decided to check it out and loved it!

Other parts of the museum we enjoyed were the jewellery exhibit – which had pieces on display from various centuries, as well as the fashion display showing how fashion has changed over time.

We spent a few hours here – but you could easily spend the entire day or just an hour if there was only one exhibit you were interested in.

Location: Cromwell, South Kensington

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm 

Price: Free

Twist Museum

While in London we kept seeing signs for the Twist Museum which sounded interesting so we went and checked it out.  It’s certainly a unique museum – more like a hands on art gallery – this attraction is a collaboration between artists, neuroscientists and philosophers.

Basically, you walk around the museum and interact with various exhibits designed to really test your senses with a range of illusions.  You’ll be wowed – trying to figure out how some of the exhibits work.  

It’s a great place for the little kids who want an interactive experience or the older kids looking for some cool pics for their Snapchat

We spent around an hour to 90 minutes here and really enjoyed it.

Location: 248 Oxford St, London

Hours: Monday to Thursday 10 am to 6 pm | Friday 11 am to 9 pm | Saturday 10 am to 9 pm | Sunday 10 am to 7.30 pm

Price: Adults £27.50 | Kids (under 15) £22.50 


If you have any shoppers in the family, they’re definitely going to want to stop at Harrods – probably the most famous shop in the whole city. This posh department store sells everything and even employs a Toy Concierge to help you choose gifts or source a rare item!

But be warned – Harrods is expensive – so this may only be a window shopping option!

Location: Brompton Road, Knightsbridge

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 9 pm | Sunday, 11.30 am to 6 pm

Price: Free


If you’re looking for fun things to do in London with a family, head to Hamley’s, the biggest and oldest toy shop in the world. Though there are now branches in other UK locations, the flagship Regent Street store is where it all began. There are seven magical floors to discover, and the basement is dedicated to all things Harry Potter. 

Discovering what’s on every level is ideal for family fun in London. You can even snap some pictures with the city themed displays while you’re in there – the staff don’t mind as they’re used to it!

We spent a good hour here, playing with the toys and posing around the store – we didn’t even buy anything!

Location: Regent Street, London

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm | Sunday, 12 pm to 6 pm

Price: Free

Notting Hill

Cool Notting Hill is a location featured in many movies and is also home to one of the most famous markets in London. The area has been seen on screen in the Love Actually and Paddington films, and even had a movie named after it!

This is one of the best places to go with your family in London as there’s plenty to see and do. Shop at the Portobello Road Markets, which sell different items daily. Saturday’s the main one for fashion and vintage goods – a great place to buy some souvenirs. 

If you’re a fan of the film named Notting Hill, don’t miss the Blue Door (280 Westbourne Park Road) and the Notting Hill Bookshop (13 Blenheim Crescent), where Hugh Grant first met Julia Roberts. Although sadly the Blue Door was covered in graffiti when we visited.

Love Actually fans, meanwhile, should head to St Luke’s Mews (Number 27), the pretty street where Andrew Lincoln declared his undying love for Keira Knightley. 

Kids will love visiting Alice’s Antique Shop (86 Portobello), where Paddington Bear meets with Mr Gruber, or snapping selfies by the colourful terraces of Lancaster Road. 

Then, head to Acklam Village for lunch before or after exploring: this vibrant market offers live music and a range of international street food. 

All the locations above are easy to find – just look for all the tourists taking photographs.

Click here for more cool things to do in Notting Hill.

Location: Notting Hill, London 

Hours: Always open

Price: Free

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is what Central Park is to New York – a huge green space in the heart of the city and really is one of the top things to do in London with kids.  

There is so much to do here – take the kids out on a row boat in the Serpentine Lake, enjoy one of many playgrounds – particularly the Diana Memorial Playground, which has a Peter Pan theme. Take a ride on the small train, explore the Rose Garden and so much more! 

There are several kiosks selling food and drinks dotted around the park too. 

Location: London W2 2UH

Hours: Daily from 5 am to midnight

Price: Free

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is the official London home of Prince William and his family. Royal children, including William and Harry and even Queen Victoria, grew up at Kensington Palace, so you might be surprised you can visit the grounds with the kids!

A number of the rooms of the palace are open to the public. For example, you can see the King’s and Queen’s State Apartments, the King’s Staircase, the King’s Gallery and the garden. Keep in mind though that the rooms open on the day you visit may vary and not all be open.

There are also exhibits where you can learn about the lives of the royal family with items on display, including Queen Victoria’s dresses and other personal items.

A great way to get more out of your visit is to join a guided tour.  These tours are short and are included with your entry ticket.  Alternatively, you can take a self guided tour with an audio guide – also included with your entry ticket.

Allow at least one to two hours to properly see the palace and gardens, or book a guided tour for the best experience. 

If you’re looking for things to do for free in London with kids – no tickets are required to visit the gardens. 

Location: Kensington Gardens, London

Hours: Vary with seasons – Click here to check

Price: Adults £17.60 | Kids (5 to 15) £8.80 | Kids under 5 are free | – Click here to book tickets online

Regent’s Park

If you’re looking for the best family days out in London – Regent’s Park is a great place to start.  The 400 acres of parkland has heaps to do for families, including London Zoo (see more below), playgrounds, a wetland area and gardens. 

Other things to do in Regent’s Park are to visit the playground at Primrose Hill, rent pedal boats on the lake, look for birds, explore the Rose Garden and more!

Location: London NW1 4NR

Hours: Daily from 5 am – closing times vary with seasons – Click here to check

Price: Free

London Zoo

For family entertainment in London with children who are creature crazy, you cannot beat London Zoo. The zoo is home to over 15,000 animals of 700 species, including Asiatic lions, huge gorillas and Humboldt penguins. 

A great feature of the zoo is the Wild Walkway – a walkway that takes you through the zoo’s animal habitats, providing an up-close look at the animals.  Plus, like most other zoos, you can attend animal talks and demonstrations.

Fun Fact: Its Reptile House also played a starring role in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone movie – the scene where a Burmese python speaks to Harry Potter. The enclosure filmed is actually home to a black mamba (a highly venomous African snake.).

Location: Regent’s Park, London

Hours: Daily from 10 am and closes between 4 pm and 6 pm, depending on the season.

Price: Adults from £26.50 | Kids (3 to 15) from £17.25 | Kids under 3 are free – Click here to book tickets online

Little Venice

Near Regents Park, you’ll find Little Venice, a neighbourhood known for its picturesque canals and waterways.  There are several things to do here, like visit the London Canal Museum, take a walk along the canals, and enjoy a meal at a canal side pub. 

But for those wondering what to do with children in London, one of the best things to do in Little Venice is to take a boat ride through the canals.  Various operators run boat trips, such as London Waterbus.

A one way boat trip from Little Venice to Camden takes around 45 minutes, passing London Zoo, the Maida Vale tunnel, houseboats and grand houses en route. Onboard there is commentary too where they’ll even point out some celebrity homes.

One way fares are £14 for adults and £10 for kids (5-16) – kids under 5 are free.  Click here to book boat trips from Little Venice, or click here to book boat trips from Camden.

Location: Little Venice, London 

Hours: Always open

Price: Free

Camden Town

Camden Town is arguably the edgiest and most funkiest district in central London. It’s a cool place to hang out if you’re looking for days out with the kids in London

One of the most popular things to do here is to stroll around the Camden Market.  It’s a great place to pick up unique clothing, handmade goods, accessories and gifts. Inside is a statue of the late singer songwriter Amy Winehouse to see. 

Camden Town is a great place to grab a bite to eat and explore the canals.  And if the kids are behaving perhaps take them to Babylon Park – where they can play arcade games for tickets and later trade in for sweets and little trinkets.

Location: Camden Town, London

Hours: Always open

Price: Free

British Museum

Another one of the free things for kids to do in London is to visit the British Museum – known for its extensive collection of art, artifacts, and cultural objects from around the world.  

One of the best ways to explore the museum with kids is by taking the “12 objects to see with children trail”.  This 40 minute trail takes you to see ancient armour, mummified mammals, bygone board games and massive monuments.  

There are other family trails to choose from, all of which are designed to appeal to kids of specific ages or with different interests. For example, there’s the Ancient Greece or Ancient Egypt trial or Fantastic Creatures trail.  You can download the trail on your phone or ask for a copy at the Families Desk at the museum.

You can also book a 1.5 hour guided tour with a commentary to help you understand the importance of relics from ancient civilisations of Greece, Rome and Egypt. Click here for more information and to book.

It’s recommended to allow at least three hours to explore the museum.

Location: Great Russell Street, London

Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 10 am to 5 pm | Friday, 10 am to 8.30 pm 

Price: Free, although pre-booking tickets is advised

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour

The Harry Potter Studio Tour London is an interactive exhibition that allows visitors to explore the sets, costumes, and special effects used in the Harry Potter film series – absolutely one of the top things for kids to see in the London area. 

Some of the things you’ll see here include a replica of the Great Hall,  Gryffindor common room, the Forbidden Forest, and the Diagon Alley set, all with original costumes and props from the films.  You’ll even get to sit inside a full size replica of the Hogwarts Express!

Other things to see here include the special effects area, an interactive exhibit where you’ll learn about the techniques used in the films and the art gallery with original concept art and storyboards from the movies.

Be warned though – you must book well in advance!  We booked a month before our visit, and only one time slot was left during the eight days we spent in London!

You can make your own way there by taking the train from London Euston to Watford Junction and then jumping on the free shuttle bus that will whisk you to the studio in 15 minutes. Its super easy.  

Alternatively, book an inclusive ticket with coach transport from Victoria – Click here to reserve your seat. 

We spent around 3 hours a the studios, but you can stay as long as you like.  If you wanted to look at every single little thing on offer – you could easily spend the entire day here.

Location: Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR

Hours: Opening times vary throughout the year

Price: Adults £51.50 | Child (5-15) £40 | Family Pass (2A+2C) £160 | Kids under 4 are free 

Harry Potter Walking Tour

If you want even more Harry Potter things to do with kids in London, booking a guided walking tour is an awesome idea. These magical themed tours will take you on foot to all the key London sites, such as the Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley and the Ministry of Magic.

There are various tours, such as the Magical London Walking Tour.  This is a 2.5 hour tour where you’ll visit sites like the Millennium Bridge and Trafalgar Square that featured in the movies, plus the site used as Gringotts and Daniel Radcliffe’s former school. 

Or the Harry Potter Walking Tour of London – a three hour tour- so it’s one of those activities in London for kids that should really tire them out! Again, you’ll see iconic London sights and key filming locations and can also shop for butterbeer and chocolate frogs.  

Thames River Cruise

One of the more relaxing things for children to do in London is to take a cruise down the Thames.  It’s a great way to see the city as you’ll gain a unique perspective from the water while gliding along one of the world’s most famous rivers. 

There’s a range of different cruise options available.  Take a one way two hour cruise from Westminister to Greenwich – where you can then spend the day exploring all the Greenwich attractions (see more below).

Or better yet, take this Thames boat cruise with a cable car ride. This is a great way to start the day. See more about the cable car below.

This Westminister to Tower Bridge cruise might be best for those short on time.  The cruise is circular, so you’ll end up where you began. 

IFS Cloud Cable Car

The IFS Cloud Cable Car crosses the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. You can board it just five minute’s walk from the O2 and North Greenwich Underground station. It’s one of the coolest things to do in London with kids at night or day.

A ride involves being suspended 90 metres above the water, and the one kilometre trip takes ten minutes each way. During this short time, you can see views of St Paul’s Cathedral, The Gherkin (building), the Thames Barrier, Greenwich and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park used for the games in 2012. 

Location: Edmund Halley Way, London

Hours: Monday to Thursday, 7 am to 9 pm | Friday, 7 am to 11 pm | Saturday, 8 am to 11 pm | Sunday, 9 am to 9 pm

Price: Adults £5 each way | Kids (5 to 15) £2.50, Kids under 5 are free

Day Trip to Greenwich

If you have more than a few days in London, you must take a day trip to Greenwich. There is much to do in this area south of the river, from maritime attractions to those related to the Prime Meridan Line. It’s the perfect day out whether you’re after things to do in London with young children or older ones. 

Start your day by taking the Westminister to Greenwich cruise along the Thames River and seeing all the iconic London buildings.  

When you arrive in Greenwich, you’ve got plenty of attractions to choose from!  Start by visiting the Royal Observatory, where you can get a photo of the kids standing on the Prime Meridian Line – the line of longitude that divides the Eastern and Western hemispheres and is used as the reference point for Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).  The observatory is also home to a planetarium, an astronomy observatory and the world’s largest telescope

You’ve also got the Old Royal Naval College – which was previously a hospital and of many famous British figures, including Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Shakespeare. Finally, don’t miss the stunning Painted Hall, considered the UK’s Sistine’s chapel – an epic 18th century masterpiece!

The kids will love climbing onboard Cutty Sark – this vessel is an old tea clipper dating back to 1869, where the kids can imagine their sailing the sea.

Another interesting museum for the kids is the National Maritime Museum, the largest maritime museum in the world. The museum is home to a wide range of interactive exhibits and displays that explore the history and culture of the sea.

Don’t miss going inside the Queen’s House – the former royal residence of Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles I. The house is now a museum where visitors can see works of art, furniture, and other historical objects. A highlight for many is the Tulips Stairs, one of the first examples of modern staircase design. 

As you wander between the attractions, you’ll pass through Greenwich Park.  It’s the perfect place to take a break when the kids have had enough of museums. There is a playground, lake and lots of wildlife to spot too.

And when the kids are hungry – head to Greenwich Market.  This covered market is open daily and offers a great mix of stalls selling antiques, handmade goods, food and more. 

Click here for our full guide on things to do in Greenwich. 

London Attraction Passes

If you’re searching for cheap things to do in London with kids, a great way to save money is to buy a pass that gives you entry to multiple attractions for one price.  

Popular attraction passes for London include the London Pass and the Go City Explorer Pass – both are looked at in more detail below.

Before purchasing either of these passes, though, I recommend you look at the above attractions in this guide, decide which ones you want to visit, and note the entry fee.  

Next, add up all the entry fees; if the total is more than the card’s cost, the card is worth getting. 

Just be realistic with how many attractions you can see in the 2 or 3 days – with kids, there is no way you can visit all of the attractions the cards cover – I’d probably allow no more than 2 or 3 a day.

The London Pass

One of the most popular passes to buy for seeing the best of the city is the London Pass. It covers over 90 London attractions, including a hop-on, hop-off bus tour, which can be a great and flexible way to see the city. 

So many activities for kids in London are covered, including popular attractions such as Westminster Abbey, London Zoo and the Tower of London. You can also enter Greenwich attractions, take football stadium tours or visit a broad range of more offbeat museums. 

You can choose how many days you’d like a pass, from one to six days, or for 10 days if you’re staying longer. 

A one day pass is £89 per adult and £55 per child (age 5 to 15) – whereas the 10 day pass is £199 per adult and £129 per child (age 5 to 15).

An example of the saving you can make is, let’s say in one day you visited the Tower of London (£32.90), Westminster Abbey (£27), View from the Shard (£32) and used the hop on hop off bus to get around (£41) this would cost you £132.90.  But with a one day pass, it will only cost you £76, saving you £43.90.

The savings will vary, depending on what attractions you plan on visiting – but as you can see from the above, the passes can be well worth the money.

Click here for more information about the London Pass and to buy it online. 

London Go City Explorer Pass

The Go City Explorer Pass for London also offers entry to over 80 attractions. This one differs from the London Pass, though, as you can tailor make your own itinerary by picking the attractions that interest you. 

A key advantage is that this pass is valid for 60 days after activation, so if you’re landing in London for a few days before heading off to explore elsewhere in the UK or Europe before heading back at a later date, this one’s ideal. 

You can choose between two and seven attractions, and options include tours, boat cruises, dining experiences, and iconic monuments. 

A two attraction pass is £49 per adult and £34 per child (age 5 to 15) – whereas the seven attraction pass is £122 per adult and £83 per child (age 5 to 15).

An example of the saving you can make is, let’s say one day you visit the Tower of London (£32.90), Westminster Abbey (£27) and View from the Shard (£32). This would cost you £91.90.  But a three attraction pass will only cost you £64, saving you £27.90.

The savings will vary, of course, depending on what attractions you plan on visiting – but as you can see from the above, the passes can be well worth the money.

Click here for more information about the London Go City Explorer Pass and to buy it online. 

Best Family Hotel in London

Looking for the best family hotel in London?  Somewhere central, close to an underground station and won’t completely blow your budget?  Below, we’ve covered our top three recommendations.  

These family London hotels offer great value for money and are in excellent locations for sightseeing around town.

Click here for our more detailed guide on family hotels in Stratford Upon Avon.

The Montana Hotel


The Montana Hotel is a three-star hotel in Kensington, within walking distance of many popular attractions, including the Royal Albert Hall, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum.  Also around the hotel is a supermarket and many fast food joints, making it super easy to feed the kids.

The Montana Hotel offers family rooms with a double and two single beds – so the kids don’t have to share.  A cot is available upon request and free of charge for kids under three.  Family rooms also come with private bathrooms, TVs, AC, free Wifi and tea and coffee making facilities. 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available at the Montana Hotel most days.

The hotel is just a few minutes’ walk to Gloucester Road Station, the nearest tube station – it’s on the Piccadilly line, making it a breeze getting to and from Heathrow.  

We stayed here for more than a week while exploring London and found this a fabulous base.  You’re just across the road from the tube station and surrounded by places for food – we highly recommend it.

Click here for more information and to check the current price.

Falcon Hotel


The Falcon Hotel is a three-star hotel in Bayswater, within walking distance of popular attractions, including Kensington Gardens, the Royal Albert Hall, and the Natural History Museum. Around the hotel is a range of cafes and restaurants, making it feeding the kids an easy option.

The Falcon Hotel offers family rooms with a double bed and two single beds – so there is no need for the kids to have to share.  Family rooms also come with private bathrooms, TVs, heating, fan, free Wifi and tea and coffee making facilities.

The hotel is just a few minutes’ walk to Paddington Station, the nearest tube station.  This station is also serviced by the Heathrow Express train making it a breeze to get to and from Heathrow.  

Click here for more information and to check the current price.

Stayo Covent Garden


Stayo Covent Garden is a serviced apartment complex in Covent Garden. The complex is within walking distance of many popular attractions, including the British Museum and the West End theatres. Around the apartments are a range of cafes and restaurants, making it super easy to feed the kids.

One bedroom apartments can sleep up to four people, with a double in the main bedroom and a sofa bed in the living area.  Two bedroom apartments can sleep up to six people, with both bedrooms having a double bed and a sofa bed in the living area.

All apartments have private bathrooms, fully-equipped kitchens, and living and dining areas. This is the perfect place for families wanting plenty of space and the ability to save some money by catering some meals.  Other amenities include a washing machine, heating and free wifi.

The complex is just a few minutes walk to Covent Garden Station, the nearest tube station –  it’s on the Piccadilly line, the same line that services Heathrow.  

Click here for more information and to check the current price.

Heathrow Airport to London

Usually, the best way for families to get from Heathrow Airport to London is by train.  Regarding trains, you have two choices: take the London Underground (also called the tube) or the Heathrow Express (a dedicated air train). The train you should take depends on the location of your hotel in London.

Click here for our more detailed guide on getting from Heathrow to London. (coming soon)

Heathrow Express

Starting with the Heathrow Express – this is usually the best train for families staying around the Paddington area.  

Heathrow is a large, busy airport with many terminals where the trains depart.  The Heathrow Express only stops at Terminals Five and the Heathrow Central Station (located between terminals two and three).  Passengers arriving at Terminal Four will need to get the free transfer train to one of these terminals.

Depending on which terminal your plane arrives at – the journey time from Heathrow to Paddington could take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes – not including time to reach the train stops at Heathrow or any waiting time.

The Heathrow Express operates daily from around 5 am to midnight and costs between £5.50 and £25.  If you buy well in advance, it’s cheaper than same day purchases. If you choose to buy on the same day, you can use your credit card to purchase.

Kids under 15 travel free but require a ticket.

London Underground

For those staying anywhere but Paddington, the London Underground is usually the best way to reach London from Heathrow.  The tube line that services Heathrow is the Piccadilly line which makes it super convenient for families staying anywhere along this line.

The train leaves Heathrow from Heathrow Central Station (between Terminals Two and Three) and Terminals Four and Five.  However, there are two trains – route one train stops at terminal Four, while route two stops at terminal Five – both routes stop at Heathrow Central Station.  This is important when coming into Heathrow from London, less so when leaving the airport. 

Trains leave Heathrow every five minutes or so and take around 40 to 60 minutes to reach London – depending on which station you’re headed to.  Trains run daily from 5 am to around midnight – even later on weekends.

You can purchase an Oyster Card (more on that below) to buy your ticket, use your debit / credit card or pay cash.  With cash, the rate is £6.30 per adult, with other payment methods being £5.50.  Children under five are free, whereas generally, other children are half the fare of adults.

Private Transport

Some families may transfer into London by taxi, ride share or pre book a private transfer.

In most cases, this will be more expensive than the above methods and, in peak hours, may even take longer and cost more. However, when travelling with small children and lots of luggage, the convenience of going directly from the airport to your hotel may outweigh the financial or time gains.

Expect the cost to be anywhere from £45 to £100.

Getting Around London

In this section, we will provide a brief overview of how to best get around London. First, however, it’s recommended you head on over to our detailed guide on getting around London for more specific information (coming soon).

While London is a large city with the various attractions well spread out – the good news is, many attractions are close together.  So in most cases, while you may need to get public transport to a certain area at the beginning of the day – for the remainder of the day, you generally can get between places on foot.  But not always!

In addition to walking around, the best ways to get around London generally are by underground and by bus.  Below we briefly cover each method of transport.

Oyster Card

Before we get into the different methods of getting around London, we need a quick overview of the Oyster Card.  This is the card people use to pay for their train and bus fares.

While it is possible to use a debit / credit card, each family member will need to have their own card, which makes this a bit of a hassle.  Not only that – but for international visitors, these charges will soon add up – particularly with transaction fees and conversion fees – much better to top up your Oyster Card once or twice than have charges every day.  Mind you – if you’re only travelling for a day or two, it may be worth it to use your debit or credit card.

You can also use cash if you want to –  but fares for cash are much more than what they are with a card – so it’s highly recommended to get yourself an Oyster Card.

Kids under 11 travel free with a paying adult, so they don’t need their own Oyster Card. However, for kids 11-15, getting a Young Visitor Discount Card is recommended; see more about that in our Getting Around London guide (coming soon). This will mean they get a discounted fare – otherwise, they will have to pay the adult fares.

The other benefit of using an Oyster Card is the daily travel caps. So if you’re doing heaps of travel during the day – the most you’ll pay for zone 1 or 2 is £7.70 for adults – kids are around half of this fare. The daily cap includes travel on the underground, buses, the tram, DLR, London Overground, Elizabeth line and National Rail journeys in London.

If you’re catching the underground from Heathrow – purchase your Oyster Card from the vending machines at the airport. Otherwise, they can be bought at vending machines from other underground stations. The cards cost £7, which is refundable. You can also check your card’s balance at vending machines.

There are Oyster Visitor Cards too – but we don’t really recommend them.  They are not as flexible and in the long run, cost more.

Before you head home – any balance owing to you on your Oyster Card you can get paid out to you at the ticket vending machines too.

Travel Cards

The other thing worth mentioning before we discuss the methods of getting around is travel cards.  You can purchase a travel card on its own or buy one which is uploaded to your Oyster Card.

You can purchase a travel card for one day, seven days or even a month.  So if you’re a visitor to London and plan on travelling on public transport extensively for one of those time frames, you may well save money with a travel card.

Travel cards cover a range of transport, including the London Underground, London Overground, London buses, Docklands Light Railway, Tramlink, some riverboat services, and National Rail services within the London Fare Zones.  You can even use it to get discounts on Uber boats.

To obtain a seven day travel card, you will be required to supply a passport photo to make up the card – but if you upload it to your Oyster Card, this isn’t needed.  Travel cards can be purchased at underground stations, including Heathrow. You can buy them as soon as you arrive.

The advantage of having a Travel Card uploaded to your Oyster Card is that you’ll buy a travel card for a certain zone.  Whereas an Oyster Card is like a debit card with cash preloaded to it – so it can be used for all sorts of travel.  So you’re best to buy a travel card in the zone you’ll travel to most regularly – probably zone one and two and then the Oyster Card can cover any additional fares.

A seven day travel card for zones one and two is £38.40.  To work out if this is a good deal, you can easily add up all the trips you plan on taking throughout London with the fares mentioned below for the underground and buses.

If you don’t want to do that – it’s generally accepted that a seven day travel card is worth it for anyone in London for more than five days.  We calculated that our fares across nine days would be over £50, so the seven day travel card was worth it.  We just started the travel card on the second day (we paid for the trip on the train from Heathrow to London with our Oyster Card, as we did on our final day).

London Underground

The London Underground is by far the easiest way to get around.  Trains come regularly around every five minutes, so there is no need to keep track of a timetable – just turn up.

Fares for the underground are based on zones – and most hotels and attractions are in zone one.  With cash, a trip in zone one is £6.30 per adult or with the Oyster Card or debit/credit card, the fare is £2.50 per adult – quite a big difference! On the other hand, the kid’s fare is only £0.85 with an Oyster Card – also worth the trouble of getting them a Young Visitor Discount Card.

You can use Google Maps to plan your trips with the underground and getting around – super easy!

London Buses

While the underground is easy to get around – buses allow you to check out London while you travel!  We loved sitting at the top on the double decker buses – it was a great way to see London.

Buses in London cost £1.65 per journey, capped at £4.95 per day.

As with the underground – use Google Maps to plan your trips via the bus.

Hop on Hop off Buses

Many travellers gravitate towards the hop on hop off buses. However, while they certainly provide an easy way of getting around the city, if you’re short on time, they will not take the most direct route – nor are they the cheapest.  Plus, they also tend to have fairly inflexible timetables.

Look at the options discussed above for families wanting a quick, easy and cheap way of getting around London.  For those still set on the Hop on Hop off Buses – click here for more information.


Hopefully you found this guide on London with kids helpful. I also have some great guides to help plan your trip to London (coming soon).  You can also check out the London Travel Planning website more for information.

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