Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by Louise
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.
Table of Contents
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.
Book your ticket for Tower Bridge
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.
Book the ArcelorMittal Orbit: Skyline Views with Optional Slide Ride. If you want the slide ride as well as the view, make sure you select the slide option.
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.
Book your speedboat tour with Thames Rockets. 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!
Book your tickets to the London Dungeon
Discover London’s Bloody History at the Tower of London
The Tower of London is a 900 year old castle that 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 off-peak (such as midweek) to 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.
Book your ticket to see the Tower of London and Crown Jewels
Step Inside History’s Most Daring Conspiracy at The Gunpowder Plot
Photo from The Gunpowder Plot Facebook page
Step back into London 1605 and find yourself at the heart of The Gunpowder Plot. This immersive experience is unlike any other attraction and mixes live actors and VR to give you a unique way of experiencing history.
The Gunpowder Plot was an attempt by Guy Fawkes and other Catholic conspirators to blow up Parliament and kill King James 1. During the experience, you will be a spy infiltrating the Gunpowder plot.
The experience takes place in the Tower Vaults next to the Tower of London, although it is a separate attraction.
It’s a thrilling experience which is scary in places and is sure to keep teenagers enthralled and entertained.
Find out more about The Gunpowder Plot
Ride the Mail Train at The Postal Museum
Photo Credit: The Postal Museum Facebook page
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.
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 for the 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.
Embark On a Harry Potter Walking Tour
If your teen is a Harry Potter fan, experience a Harry Potter walking tour around London with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. Discover Harry Potter filming sites and see parts of London that you wouldn’t discover by yourselves.
Highlights include passing The Leaky Cauldron, the secret wizarding inn. Explore the real Diagon Alley, where Harry buys his first wand. Even see the bridge destroyed by the Death Eaters in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”.
Book your Harry Potter walking tour.
Take a Day Trip to Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour
Another one for Potterheads is a day trip to Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour. A bus will take you from London to the Warner Bros studios where you can see Harry Potter sets and the magic behind the films.
It’s a dream for Harry Potter fans. Discover behind the scenes secrets, step inside the Great Hall at Hogwarts, explore the wizarding bank of Gringott’s and climb aboard the Hogwarts Express.
Book Your Harry Potter Studio Tour day trip
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.
Book your ticket for Madame Tussards.
Visit a Free museum
London is jam-packed of free and interesting museums. Here are some that might interest your teen.
(It’s worth noting that even though these museums are free, some ask that you book a free ticket in advance of your visit – so check their website before you go).
The Science Museum
If your teen likes science or studies science, the Science Museum 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.
The Imperial War Museum
My own teenage son is interested in the history of war so next time we are in London, the Imperial War Musuem is on our list. It’s a free military museum on war and conflict. Important galleries on World War 1, World War 2 and the Holocaust feature personal stories to bring the experience to life. Teens may also like to see the range of tanks and aircraft. There’s also a new section on the conflict in Ukraine.
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 and sustainable fashion, Brick Lane Vintage market is situated in East London and is the place to go. In addition, try amazing street food at the Upmarket (Brick Lane Food Hall) on Sundays. Then partake in a round of Junkyard mini golf in Shoredtich (about 10 minutes walk away)
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.
Explore London’s Dark History with a Ghost Tour
London has a dark and somewhat gruesome history and therefore has some of the best ghost tours in the world.
Ghost tours are a great way to engage teenagers in the history of the city. There are many to choose from and you can also read our guide to 9 of the best ghost tours in London.
One of the top picks is the Cloak and Dagger Tour. A costumed guide takes you on a 2 hour ghost tour where you’ll discover the depths of London’s grisly past. The tour ends in a pub where you will watch actors recreate a murder which happened over 300 years ago!
Another dark tour that appeals teenagers is the Jack the Ripper tour. Head back to 19th Century East London with an expert guide. Learn about what life was like for the Ripper’s victims and the inhabitents in Whitechapel at the time. Try to figure out who committed the unsolved murders using the photographic evidence and true stories about the investigation.
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 which makes it perfect for combining afternoon tea with a shopping trip. You can grab afternoon tea in The Gallery or lunch in The Garden room. Sketch is the perfect venue for those Instagram pics. Check out Sketch’s Instagram account to see the beautiful rooms where you can dine.
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 route master enjoying afternoon tea at the same time.
Peggy Porshen – If you have a teen who loves pink, head to the cute Peggy Porshen cafe. The afternoon tea is themed according to the season. There are branches in Belgravia and Chelsea and it’s best to book in advance as the cafes are small, so they get booked up quickly.
A Fashion-Themed Afternoon Tea at the Berkeley – With amazingly crafted cakes in the style of clothes and accessories, this afternoon is ideal for the teen who loves fashion!
Embark on a Treasure Hunt
Photo by Hidden City
Get your teen on board with exploring London on foot by trying a treasure / scavenger hunt. Solve clues sent to your phone in a treasure trail experience. It’s a great way to see parts of London you wouldn’t otherwise know about.
There are plenty of pre-planned treasure and scavenger hunts you can choose from and download to your phone. They are a great way for teens to discover London from another perspective.
Hidden City is the top rated London treasure hunt on Trip Advisor. Play a role in the story as you uncover secret locations, unravel riddles and solve puzzles. Pause for food and drinks at built-in break points. You can do this in teams of 2 to 5 players.
Treasure Trails have 50 trails you can undertake in several different areas of London. For just £9.99 it’s a very cost effective way to entertain teens for a couple of hours and discover a chosen area of the city.
Street Hunt Games are described as when scavenger hunt meets escape room meets murder mystery. This outdoor immersive game takes you on a journey to uncover hidden clues in London.
Play Monopoly Lifesized
Photo Credit: Monopoly Lifesized / Facebook
If you’re looking for something different and fun to do in London, why not try a game of Monopoly Lifesized?
This new and immersive game lasts 80 minutes. Play with family and friends and move around the board. Complete challenges for a chance to buy London’s properties.
It is pricey, but if you’re not on a budget it’s well worth checking out!
Go Back to WW2 at Churchill War Rooms
As my teenager has an interest in World War 2, the Churchill War Rooms are another attraction that’s on his list to visit in the captial.
Hidden beneath the streets of Westminster, discover the underground headquarters where Winston Churchill and the British Government strategised during the Second World War. The headquarters have been left exactly as they were at this time.
After visiting the headquarters, move onto the Churchill Museum. Learn about the life of Winston Churchill from his childhood to the legacy he’s left after his death.
Climb the roof of O2
An unforgettable 90 minute experience for adrenaline seeking teenagers is climbing over the roof of the O2. The 360 degree views from the top are amazing. On a good day you can see landmarks 15 miles away! Choose from options of sunlight, sunset and twilight climbs.
Challenge Friends and Family at Puttshack Mini Golf
Break up the sightseeing with a game of high tech mini golf. Puttshack Mini Golf has 2 locations in Bank and White City. The games are interactive and super fun. It’s the world’s first mini golf with automatic scoring. No having to add up the scores (and less opportunity to cheat!).
There are 9 holes in total so it’s a quick game but Puttshack is also brilliant to grab a bite to eat. With burgers, pizza and fries – most teenagers will be happy. Sometimes they also have an extra game offer for half price so it’s worth checking the website before you book.
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