London Solo Travel Guide
London is a giant metropolis filled with an abundance of activities and attractions for women that travel alone. Throughout the city you’ll find grand historic architecture, remarkable cultural landmarks, spectacular green parks, and impressive museums.
From entertaining theater performances, to bustling food markets, to dazzling shops, and eye-catching attractions, London offers something for everyone. The city is also a fantastic starting point for a solo vacation across Europe.
If you’re considering traveling by yourself to this thriving city, read below to see our solo travel guide to London.
What to See on a Solo Trip to London
There’s no shortage of interesting activities to experience during a solo getaway to London. Even a casual walk through the bustling streets will reveal the city’s cultural icons. You might see the famous red double-decker busses pass by, recognize the red telephone booth at the street corner, admire the heritage buildings at every turn, or come across one of many historic pubs.
This iconic bascule bridge was completed in 1894 and overlooks the River Thames. At the street level, visitors can walk across the bridge and see the fascinating details of the Neo-Gothic architecture up-close. With scheduled lifts that allow boats to pass through, you might be able to catch the bridge lifts in action. The bridge also offers additional high-level glass walkways for those that would like to get a birds-eye view of the city below, which is available with an admission ticket to the towers.
This massive 350-acre royal park is an incredible spot for solo travelers to take a break away from the busy streets. Right in the heart of the city, Hyde Park conveniently has multiple entry points. Enjoy a picnic on the grass or bench, admire the swans in the lake, discover the Peter Pan statue, or take a walk through the picturesque Kensington Gardens, the former private gardens of the royal Kensington Palace.
This impressive art and design museum is free to visit, and houses a collection of over 2 million objects. The museum features a diverse collection spanning over 5,000 years, and includes Alexander McQueen evening dresses, ancient Chinese ceramics, theater costumes from the 18th century, and much more. Various exhibits are available as well, with some requiring an additional fee to access.
Camden Town is a hip district with colorful shops, live music, alternative nightlife, and the well-known Camden Market. Take a walk through Camden High Street, which showcases its funky shops and vibrant atmosphere. Stop by the Camden Market for an eclectic mix of food vendors, as well as shops selling fashion items, jewelry, accessories, and other fun collectible items. The market is a fantastic spot for solo travelers to browse around for a souvenir or gift, or to just experience the fun vibe.
Officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, this cultural landmark often comes to mind when you picture London. Possibly the most famous clock tower, the structure stands tall at 316 feet, and is located at the North end of the Palace of Westminster. The surrounding Westminster district is a great spot for solo travelers to grab a coffee and go for a walk.
Westminster Abbey is a grand Gothic-style church that has been the site of every coronation for British monarchs, as well as 17 royal weddings. Admire the ornate detailing of this impressive structure that was built in 1245. The church is also a five-minute walk from Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.
This famed neighborhood is filled with colorful buildings, adorable cafes, and independent shops. A lovely area to visit for women traveling alone, casually stroll amongst the pastel-colored houses, grab lunch at a cafe, or browse through antiques and vintage items at the long-standing Portobello Market.
What to Do at Night in London
West End Theater District
A solo trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to the West End, home to the city’s incredible theater district. With a selection of over 35 theaters, you’ll find some of the best Broadway musicals, plays, stage performances, comedies, and operas. An entertaining evening awaits for those traveling alone, as you admire the elegant interior of the historic venues and enjoy a show!
While you’ll want to check the theater listings for show schedules, several long-running highlights include The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, and Disney’s Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre.
With an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, Soho especially comes alive after dusk with its energetic vibe. Soho is a great choice for single travelers looking for a night out on the town.
A diverse selection of pubs and jazz bars offer live music with a fun atmosphere for dining in. For an English pub experience, popular spots include The Spice of Life and O’Neill’s Wardour Street where you can enjoy a hearty meal in a vibrant setting. For jazz and blues, highlights include the long-running Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, and Ain’t Nothing But the Blues Bar.
Sitting on the North edge of the neighborhood is the lively Oxford Street, perfect for an evening stroll and shopping. If you’re looking to socialize and dance, stop by one of the many nightclubs right in central Soho.
Where to Stay in London
London has an abundance of neighborhoods to choose from, along with a fantastic subway system that can conveniently get you around the city regardless of where you stay. However, there are certain areas that offer closer proximity to the attractions and highlights, allowing you the opportunity to see more all at once. If you’re traveling by yourself and wish to be close to the action, there are some fantastic spots to consider.
Mayfair is the perfect area for solo travelers looking to be centrally located to London’s top attractions. This neighborhood is a great base for sightseeing, and is conveniently walking distance to Buckingham Palace. Surrounding the immediate area, you’ll also have access to Hyde Park, the bustling Oxford Street for shopping, the Big Ben clock tower and Westminster Abbey.
South Kensington is a fantastic option for solo women that would prefer a more peaceful setting. In this lovely neighborhood, there’s beautiful side streets, a laid-back atmosphere, and admirable historic houses. It’s also home to the V&A Museum and the Natural History Museum, two top museums which are free to enter.
This vibrant district consists of a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. It’s a great choice for solo travelers looking for a lively atmosphere and close proximity to nightlife options. Given Soho’s convenient location, it’s also a great base for daytime sightseeing.
This chic area is an excellent choice for solo travelers interested in shopping, entertainment, and dining. In the heart of the district, you’ll uncover markets showcasing a variety of artisan crafts and antique collectibles. A diverse collection of trendy restaurants, modern cafes, and retail boutiques are also in abundance. Additionally, Covent Garden is located close to the operas and the theatre district for evening entertainment.
What to Eat
London offers a myriad of food venues including bustling markets, historic pubs, chic cafes, upscale restaurants, and tea houses. Food markets are an excellent choice when you’re on vacation alone. They’re fun to browse, and offer a diverse selection of food that you can enjoy in a casual and lively environment.
Borough Market is often considered to be the most famous food hall in London. It’s also the largest and the oldest, as it dates back to the 12th century. The eclectic market showcases international offerings such as handmade Italian gnocchi, delicate French pastries, savory English pies, Scottish smoked fish, vegetarian Indian curries, and much more. The market offers both ready-to-eat meals and takeaway specialty items such as cheeses, cured meats, jams, and fresh bread.
Fish & Chips
A trip alone to England should include a taste of the classic fish and chips. Right in central London, there’s a variety of awesome fish and chip shops, such as Golden Union, Poppies Fish & Chips, and Rock & Sole Plaice. These eateries offer a casual vibe, simple decor, and options for both dine-in and take-out.
Afternoon tea is a popular British food tradition that dates back to the 1800’s. It consists of a variety of finger sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream or jams, and dainty cakes and pastries. The light meal is served alongside a pot of fresh tea, and served at a dining table in a leisurely environment. Solo travelers looking for an afternoon tea experience have many notable spots to consider, ranging from casual quaint tea houses to traditional venues in historic hotels.
Full English Breakfast
Before a day of sightseeing, relish in a full English breakfast, which generally consists of sausages, back bacon, fried eggs, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, and toasted bread. This hearty meal is a great way to start the day, and can be enjoyed at many joints throughout London. While you can find this meal at many cafes and brunch spots, top casual eateries in the city center include The Breakfast Club (multiple locations), and Half Cup.
How to Get Around London by Yourself
London’s extensive subway system is a magnificent way for single travelers to navigate through the city. There’s over 200 subway stations spread out in various neighborhoods across the city of London.
If you’re planning to stay in London for a week, consider getting a 7 Day Travelcard which allows for unlimited trips for the week. Single Day Travel cards are also available, offering unlimited trips for a single day. These might come in handy on select days where you plan to do the most sightseeing.
The underground subway system avoids traffic and is an efficient mode of transportation. On the street level, you’ll likely have noticed the red double-decker busses. Hop on a bus to experience a fun way of getting around the city, all while seeing the action on the streets.
Solo travel in London is a fantastic way to uncover hidden gems. It’s an easily walkable city, and there’s plenty you’ll see and experience by getting around on foot! A visit to centrally-located areas such as London’s West End allows you to explore quite a bit, as the attractions, shops, eateries, and entertainment are concentrated.