The hardest part about London with a teenager is deciding which attractions to pick from the millions of options. It’s one of the most diverse cities in the world with something for everyone: from history and art to music and adventure.
Discover beautiful green spaces, intriguing museums and exciting attractions with unforgettable experiences.
If you’re deciding where to go with your teenager on a visit to London, read on. This article lists the top attractions and details why they are the best for teenagers.
Walk over Tower Bridge’s Sky High Glass Floor
A visit to Tower Bridge is educational and fun for teens!
Visit the magnificent Victorian Engine rooms. Learn about this incredible feat of Victorian engineering and discover how the Bridge is raised. Teenagers will enjoy walking across the glass floors, which are 42 meters above the River Thames.
View from the glass floor (image: JvL)
It’s a great place to take an Instagram worth selfie.
Find out more at towerbridge.org.uk
Ride The ArcelorMittal Slide
If you have a teen with an adrenaline seeking spirit, this is a must
Experience the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide.
Spiral down the UK’s tallest public artwork, shoot through light and dark and breathe in the dramatic cityscape views as you go.
Standing at 114.5m tall, the ArcelorMittal Orbit also gives you the chance to explore London’s famous skyline through stunning floor to ceiling windows. In addition, view the city’s landmarks from the outside observation walkway suspended 80m above the ground.
It’s based at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and is for the bravest only! You can reach speeds of up to 15mph on your descent.
Find out more and book your slide here.
Experience a High Speed Boat Tour of London
Image: Michael Gaylard / Flickr
Take an exhilarating ride along the River Thames on a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) tour.
High-speed boat tours are one of the most exciting things to do in London.
The Ultimate London Adventure is one of the most popular speedboat trips. Blast your way from the iconic London Eye Pier for 50 minutes. Take in the incredible sights from Big Ben to London Tower Bridge. The Skippers make the trips informative and entertaining.
It’s a fantastic way to experience London from a new and exciting perspective.
Check out the Thames Rockets website for more information. These guys have over 1000 5 star reviews over on Trip Advisor so they must be doing something right.
Journey Back Into A Gruesome Past at the London Dungeon
Source: Oscar Del Rio / Flickr
The London Dungeon will engage your teenager in the history of this amazing city. Travel back through 1000 years of London’s grisly past. Your immersive journey will include a descent into the dungeon and a medieval lift. Experience the full force of Henry VIII’s wrath on the tyrant boat ride and discover the gruesome fate of Guy Fawkes during his 10 days of torture.
The dungeon experience is brought to life by amazing actors, authentic sets and special effects. The dungeon is also home to two dark scary rides.
Don’t worry, the experience isn’t just scary, it’s hilarious too!
Find out more at the London Dungeon.
Discover London’s Bloody History at the Tower of London
The Tower of London is a 900 year old castle which housed and tortured famous and infamous prisoners. The Tower also houses the crown jewels.
Make sure you join a free Yeoman tour which will keep teenagers interested with tales of its bloody and interesting past including treachery, executions and the legend of the ravens. Get up close and be dazzled by the crown jewels.
The Tower of London is a major tourist attraction so if you can get there early or go at on off peak time (such as midweek) to try and avoid the crowds. Also check out the what’s on page on their website to make sure you don’t miss out on any exciting exhibitions.
Find out more at the Tower of London website.
Ride the Mail Train at The Postal Museum
Take the underground train and travel on some of the old mail rail lines which run under London. Stop along the way to learn about the history from the early days until the rail line close in 2003 (book in advance to guarantee your ride)
It’s a small museum but there are lots of interesting and interactive displays to look at too. Some highlights include the world’s only sheets of Penny Black stamps and a Victorian miniature rail car used by people and post!
There are also walking tours of the tunnels for people aged 12 and over.
Find out more at the Postal Museum website.
Fly High on the London Eye
The London Eye is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, but it’s also one that teenagers will enjoy.
The wheel is 135m high so you can get some amazing views of London. The ride takes approximately 30 minutes.
Book tickets at London Eye
Ride the Emirates Air Line Cable Car
A cheaper way to get amazing views of London is the Emirates Air Line Cable Car. It crosses the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, just five minutes from the O2 by North Greenwich tube station.
There are some magnificent views of Canary Wharf and the O2. Cabins arrive every 30 seconds and the journey is 10 minutes each way. The only downside is that sometimes the queues are long.
Find out more here.
More Ways to Get a View of London
The Millennium Wheel and the Emirates cable car are just two ways to see amazing views of London. If your teen enjoys climbing heights to get experience stunning views, here are a couple more suggestions:
Primrose Hill – Head to Primrose Hill, Regents Park on a sunny day for a picnic and to get incredible views of the city skyline.
The Shard – book at The Shard to experience London’s highest and best view. It’s 800 feet above the ground and the highest viewing platform in London.
Greenwich Park – climb to the top of the hill at Greenwich Park for amazing views of Canary Wharf and the city.
Rollerskating, Boating or Outdoor Swimming in Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of eight royal parks in London and it covers 350 acres. It’s one of the best parks for teens to visit, as there are lots of things to do. Why not hire some rollerblades from either Slick Willies or the London Skate Centre near Hyde Park? Then have fun skating through the miles of skate-ready paths and walkways in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
Hyde Park is also a great stop for a picnic in between visiting London’s many attractions. If it’s a hot day, teens will enjoy dipping their feet in the Diana Memorial Fountain. On hot summer days another cooling off activity worth trying is taking a dip in the Serpentine Lido.
You can also hire boats (pedalos and row boats) on the Serpentine between April and October or why not hop on a ride on the Serpentine SolarShuttle, a magnificent vessel which glides silently across the lake, powered only by the sun. Find out more about boating at Hyde Park.
Explore the Clink Prison Museum
Blue plaque for Clink Prison Museum (image Flick Creative Commons)
The Clink Prison dates back to 1144 making it one of England’s oldest and most notorious prisons.
This is a small museum and is on the gory side so is a great way to bring history to life for teenagers. They are likely to be interested in the torture devices and reading the information boards with more indepth details. It is a quick attraction to visit. Allow at least an hour, but you might get around even quicker. Find out more at the Clink Museum Prison.
Take a Selfie With Your Favourite Celeb at Madame Tussauds
Source: MuLan / Flickr
Find the original Madame Tussauds in London. It first opened in 1835 on Baker Street and now features over 250 wax figures of the world’s most famous people as well as some amazing experiences. Journey through London’s history by jumping into an iconic black cab on the Spirit of London ride.
The different zones of wax models have the celebs that some teenagers want to meet, including icons such as Rihanna, One Direction, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Come face to face with some of the most famous people that have lived, including Michael Jackson, Madonna and Donald Trump.
The newest experience is Marvel Universe 4D cinema. It costs a little extra but you can experience wind chilling, water soaking and face flinching special effects. Get as close as possible to Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Spider-Man and many more.
Visit a free museum
London is jam-packed of free and interesting museums. Here are some that might interest your teen.
The Science Museum
If your teen likes science or studies science, this is a good option. Highlights include the aviation gallery where you can see planes suspended from the ceiling. To get the most out of the Science Museum, pre-book one of the paid-for galleries. WonderLab is an interactive gallery for hands-on experiences. It’s aimed at kids from 8 to 14, so maybe a little young for some teenagers, but if you have younger kids with you, it’s worth a visit.
Teens will love to watch an immersive movie at the Science Museum IMAX 3D cinema.
The National History Museum
Right next door to the science museum is the National History Museum. It’s huge and there are many exhibits. The life-sized dinosaurs are the most popular attraction for many families. As a family, we probably enjoyed the volcano and earthquake section the most. My 13 year old particularly enjoyed the earthquake simulator. The human evolution section is also very interesting.
Victoria and Albert Museum
In the same neighborhood as the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, you’ll find the Victoria and Albert Museum. If your teen loves fashion or is studying a subject such as art or textiles, this museum will interest them. Retrace the history of creativity through fashion, furniture, sculpture, photography, jewellery and more.
Eat and Shop at Camden Market
If you teen loves shopping, especially from more independent shops and stalls – they will love Camden market. It has a unique and vibrant atmosphere. Packed with small shops, street food and eateries for lunch and dessert – it’s the perfect place to wander, shop and eat.
Other Places to Shop in London
Oxford Street – home to high street shops galore. Teenagers will love stores including Primark, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, Nike Town, Adidas and JD Sports.
Westfield, London – Westfields, London is the largest shopping mall in Europe and is ideal if you like all your shopping done under one roof. Based in Stratford, East London it’s the best place to shop on a rainy day.
Brick Lane Vintage Market – if your teenager loves vintage fashion and sustainable fashion, Brick Lane Vintage market is situated in East London and is the place to come.
Spitalfields Market – Spitalfields market is also based in East London. It’s a traders market which is also home to art and food stalls.
Climb Aboard HMS Belfast
Photo: Jorge Franganillo / Flickr
Not far from Tower Bridge and the Tower of London is HMS Belfast. This is a great stop for teenagers. It’s World War 2 Navy warship, that is now a museum. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see inside a war ship and see what life is like. There are interesting displays of life aboard the ship, from the kitchen to infirmary to dental office to sleeping quarters. The engine room is something to marvel at.
It’s worth noting the ship is full of narrow steep ladders, which many teens will like. However, it’s not great if you have mobility issues or have a pushchair.
Find out more at HMS Belfast.
Tour A Football Stadium (or other sporting venue)
Do you have a football mad teenager? If you’re nodding yes, the thing you must do is a stadium tour. You can book a stadium tour with most of the top flight London clubs including Arsenal, Chelsea or Tottenham. If they are not interested in those teams, why not book a tour of the home of England football club Wembley Stadium.
Football not their thing? You can also book a tour of other sporting venues including Wimbledon for tennis fans and Twickenham for Rugby enthusiasts. Both Wimbledon and Twickenham also have museums to look around too.
If they love cricket, a tour of Lord’s – the home of English cricket will be perfect.
Indulge In Afternoon Tea
There are some fabulous places to take a teenager for afternoon tea in London. Here are some ideas:
Sketch – Sketch is Soho located just off Oxford Street and Regents Street so it’s perfect for combining afternoon tea with a shopping trip. If you teen likes pink, the Gallery where you take the afternoon tea is pinkalicious! It’s perfect for those Instagram pics.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tea at One Aldwych – inspired by the iconic Roald Dahl book, teens can induldge in snozzberry jam and chocolate swudge milkshake. It’s not too young for teens, in fact it’s perfect for adults too.
Brigit’s Bakery Classic Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour – What’s more British then a red double decker bus? Combining afternoon tea and a bus trip of course. Explore the streets of London on this vintage routemaster enjoying afternoon tea at the same time.
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