England’s capital city might not seem very romantic on the surface. But you only need to watch romcoms like Love Actually, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones’s Diary to realize there’s no better place for a romantic getaway. There are tons of fun things to do in London for couples, actually.
This city is famous for its gorgeous green spaces like Hyde Park, awe-inspiring viewpoints like The Shard, cultural attractions like the West End, and hundreds, if not thousands, of world-class restaurants and hotels. London is the perfect place to celebrate special occasions like an anniversary or honeymoon with your significant other. This romantic London guide will help you plan the best couples’ trip including where to stay, what to eat, and all of the best things to do together!
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Table of Contents
How To Get Around London
The best way to get around London is to use the city’s extensive subway system. This is known as the ‘underground’ or the ‘tube’. The lack of affordable parking and traffic congestion charges in Central London rule out renting a car!
Ticket prices vary depending on the time of day and direction of travel. It’s always cheaper (and faster) to pay for your journeys at the ticket barrier with a contactless debit/credit card. Better yet, set yourself up with a pre-paid travel card called an Oyster Card.
London is famous for its black Hackney cabs. These are a great way to travel from your hotel to a nice restaurant for a romantic date night (especially if it’s raining, which is likely in London). You can go to a taxi rank (usually outside large hotels and train stations) or hail one off the street if the light is on. The initial charge is around £2.60 and around £2 extra per kilometer.
You can also travel by bus (London’s red double-decker buses are iconic!) and via the Santander bike share program if London’s traffic doesn’t terrify you both. There are plenty of places where riding a bike in London is romantic, like through the parks or by rivers and canals.
Unforgettable Things for Couples to do in London
1. Visit London’s Top Museums
Couples, families, or solo travelers cannot visit London without checking out some of its first-rate museums and galleries. Not only do they display some of the most valuable and famous exhibits and artworks in the world, but most of them are free! These are some of the best museums in London:
- British Museum
- The National Gallery
- Tate Modern
- Natural History Museum
- Science Museum
- Victoria and Albert Museum
- National Portrait Gallery
The British Museum is only a short walk from The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Visiting both is a great option if you only have time to visit two. You’ll find the Rosetta Stone and The Parthenon Sculptures in the British Museum and The National Gallery displays Sunflowers By Vincent van Gogh and The Fighting Temeraire by J. M. W. Turner amongst thousands of others.
2. Take in the Epic London City Views
Easily one of the best, most romantic things to do in London for couples is to enjoy panoramic views of the London skyline. There are so many great spots for you to both enjoy quality time together staring out at a beautiful cityscape.
As the third-tallest building in Europe, The Shard is an obvious choice. The Sky Garden is London’s tallest garden and its viewing platform is completely free! You just need to reserve a ticket in advance. Set yourself a reminder to snag tickets in the busy summer months.
The London Eye, the South Bank’s famous Ferris Wheel, is another fantastic choice. This offers a different view of London as the ride turns from the Houses of Parliament to the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.
Some of the most romantic, best views of London are from rooftop bars. Golden Bee is a prime spot for a first date and Forza Wine feels like you’re sitting on an Italian terrace.
3. Catch a West End Show or Globe Performance
New York has Broadway and London has the West End and Leicester Square. You and your partner will have a fantastic time seeing some of the best musical and theatrical performances London has to offer. Check out Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theater or The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre.
If popular plays and musicals aren’t your thing, there are other brilliant theaters and performance venues in London. Check out the programs of the Royal Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, and the National Theater. The Globe Theater is a great spot if either of you are interested in Shakespeare. This is the theater (though it’s been burned down and rebuilt a few times!) where he performed his plays.
4. Join a Cooking Class (Yes, Really!)
Think British food is bland? Well, London is a diverse, international city where you can discover and taste every cuisine under the sun. You can also learn how to make it! Jamie Oliver’s Cookery School offers an abundance of cooking classes in London from one to three hours long.
London is a great place to learn how to cook dishes from a range of cuisines. There’s everything from Vietnamese street food, Indian curry, sushi, pasta, and more. Learning this new skill together is one of the best things to do in London for couples as you’ll need to work together!
5. Book Concert or Sports Tickets
Most major musicians play in London during their tours and London has dozens of sports stadiums. One of the best things to do is to research what’s happening during your trip and book tickets.
Wimbledon is the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world and the championships are in London every July. You can enter the ballot to get tickets for four of the courts and you have a 1 in 10 shot. We recommend you apply for as many matches as possible!
Some other options are to watch soccer matches (or ‘football’ to the British!) at the grounds of London teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham, or Tottenham Hotspur. Wembley and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are also huge stadiums that host many top sporting and live music events.
6. Wander Through London’s Parks
While London is full of magnificent and historic buildings, one of the best things to do in London for couples is take a romantic walk through the city’s green spaces. Here are some of the best parks in London:
- Hyde Park
- Primrose Hill
- Richmond Park
- Battersea Park
- Hampstead Heath
- Greenwich Park
- Kensington Gardens
- Regent’s Park
- Holland Park
- Green Park
In Greenwich Park, you’ll find the Prime Meridian Line and an 18th-century Royal Observatory with a planetarium. Hyde Park has the beautiful Diana Memorial Fountain lakes where you can do fun activities together like boating and swimming.
7. Explore Kensington or Buckingham Palace
Visit the royal state rooms of Buckingham Palace, the official residence of King Charles III. They’re open for exclusive guided tours which are super popular so book well in advance.
Buckingham Palace is worth visiting for the Changing of the Guard ceremony every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday from 10:45 am. It lasts for 45 minutes.
Kensington Palace is a great alternative. This beautiful former residence of Queen Victoria and Princess Diana is located on the edge of Hyde Park. You will both enjoy the romance and beauty of this opulent 17th-century building.
8. Fly Away on a Helicopter Tour of London
Looking for a unique experience you and your significant other will remember for years? Book a 60-minute helicopter tour and see the entire city from West to East London. Soar 1,000 ft above the River Thames and spot iconic landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, and so much more.
9. Visit the Blooming Kew Gardens
With over 40,000 plants, a huge tropical greenhouse, and a treetop walkway, Kew Gardens is arguably the best botanic garden in the entire world. There are few places prettier and more inspiring to visit with your love in London! Book tickets in advance during peak season as they can sell out.
10. Head to London’s Instrammable Spots
Book a couples’ photo shoot at some of the most iconic and Instagrammable spots in London so that you and your partner will always remember your fantastic trip!
Head to landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. Or, travel further down the River Thames to Tower Bridge (often mistakenly called London Bridge!) and the Tower of London where you’ll find the Crown Jewels.
Somerset House is the place to be in winter for its ice rink but visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the top things to do in London for couples so you can try out its whispering gallery.
London’s picturesque cobblestone lanes also look very beautiful in photographs. Check out Kynance Mews, Osten Mews, and Drayson Mews in South Kensington.
12. Stroll Through the City’s Top Markets
While London’s Oxford Street is a magnet for shopaholics, it’s London’s markets where you can find the best souvenirs and cultural experiences. Head to Columbia Road Flower Market (open Sundays only), Portobello Road in Notting Hill, Borough Market for street food, Covent Garden for souvenirs, or Brick Lane for vintage finds.
Make it your mission to find each other a gift before the end of your trip!
13. Sunset Dinner Cruise on the River Thames
There’s nothing in the world quite as romantic as a sunset. Book an evening dinner cruise so you can eat a delicious meal while enjoying a boat ride along the Thames.
Toast with a glass of champagne to an amazing couples’ vacation in England’s capital city and admire the views of all the stunning and historic buildings along the banks of the river.
14. Join a Unique Tour of London
Choosing London for a romantic trip means there are endless things to do in London for couples. You can choose almost any activity or tour that will get you both excited!
Take a Harry Potter walking tour of all the top filming locations in the city. Join a guided tour of historic London pubs and learn all about the famous artists and politicians who frequented them. Or, if you’re keen to learn more about London’s dark past then take a nighttime ghost tour of the city.
15. Enjoy a Picnic at a Beautiful London Park
All of the most romantic parks in London are listed earlier in this guide. If you’re visiting in summer, why not enjoy a delicious picnic in one of them?
Hit up the nearest fish and chip shop (Brits call it the ‘chippy’) and order huge portions of traditional battered cod with thick-cut chips. Unwrap the paper straight onto the grass and voilà, a perfect and romantic English picnic for two!
16. Book a Delicious Afternoon Tea
Enjoying finger sandwiches and patisserie is a super English, cultural experience and one of the most fun things to do in London for couples that’s also a little bit decadent. Tons of great cafés and restaurants serve Afternoon Tea, but some of the most romantic places are Sketch, Theater Royal Drury Lane, and Zetter Townhouse.
17. Relax on a Couples’ Spa Day
Couples’ massages and facials are the perfect antidote to the stress of London traffic and the cold, wet weather. Some of the best spas in London are the AIRE Ancient Baths in Covent Garden, The Beaumont Spa in Mayfair, and the Ushvani Spa just off Sloane Square.
18. Day Trip to Bath, Stratford-Upon-Avon, the Cotswolds, or York
Enjoying a romantic London trip for a long weekend or even longer? Take a day trip or two! Some of the best places for couples to visit are the city of Bath (115 miles away), Stratford-Upon-Avon (105 miles) and the Cotswolds (100 miles).
Bath is known for its Roman Baths, Georgian architecture, and links to the literature of Jane Austen. Stratford-Upon-Avon also has literary roots as it is the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The Cotswolds is an official Area of Natural Beauty and is famous for its quaint, picturesque villages with thatched-roof cottages and babbling brooks.
Another good option is York, which is a 2 hour train ride from London’s King Cross station. In addition to exploring York Minster, the Shambles, and the city walls, there are plenty of things to do in York for couples.
Where To Eat in London on a Romantic Trip
Although British cuisine has a reputation for lacking flavor, it’s not difficult to find good food in London. This city attracts the best chefs and serves high-quality cuisine from around the world.
Andrew Edmunds Restaurant is near Carnaby in the heart of Central London’s Soho neighborhood. It’s served modern European cuisine for 30 years and counting in this candlelit 18th-century townhouse. The menu is hand-written every day!
Don’t shy away from international cuisine, and Brasserie Zédel proves that even if you’re on a budget you can still enjoy a romantic dinner in London. This beautiful, grand 1930s Art Deco restaurant serves French cuisine and even offers a fixed three-course menu for less than £20. Piccadilly Circus is the nearest tube station so it’s very centrally located.
Just because you’re on a couples’ trip to London, doesn’t mean you should avoid cozy taverns filled with dark wooden furniture. Berners Tavern is an elevated, modern British restaurant in The London Edition Hotel and one of the best places to eat a traditional Sunday roast dinner.
Where To Stay in London on a Romantic Trip
There are tons of romantic places to stay in London, whether you’re looking for an old-world-style inn or a modern hideaway.
The Ned is one of the newest five-star hotels in the Bank neighborhood of London with wrought iron beds and high ceilings with a contemporary twist. It boasts a 1930s-style cocktail bar plus so many more amenities.
If you’re dead set on staying in a room with a view, the Royal Lancaster in Hyde Park literally overlooks Hyde Park. It has a crisp and clean Scandi design for ultimate relaxation.
‘Budget’ isn’t a word that will ever describe London, but you can absolutely find romantic mid-range hotels in London. Check out Artist Residence in Pimlico for a cool, gentleman’s urban loft vibe complete with free-standing bathtubs. Alternatively, The Hoxton in Southwark is a 4-star, mid-century-inspired hotel. One of the perks of staying in this part of South London is that you get unobstructed views of the city.
Try These Things To Do in London for Couples on Your Next Romantic Trip
There are so many romantic things to do in London for couples. You could easily plan an itinerary to spend a long weekend, one week, or more with your partner in the English capital city.
From strolling through the flower gardens in Hyde Park, posing for a photo shoot down an Instragrammable Mews lane, or dining at a glamorous Michelin-starred restaurant, London is a great place to visit for every couple. Use this list of the most romantic things to do in London to inspire a trip there with the one you love!