Things to Do

11 Great Things to Do in Greenwich, London

Nestled on the banks of the River Thames, Greenwich stands as a testament to London’s rich tapestry of history, maritime legacy, and vibrant culture. From standing on the Prime Meridian to wandering through historic market lanes, the array of things to do in Greenwich will surely have you “chuffed to bits,” as the Brits occasionally say (admittedly, this is an uncommon phrase!).

Greenwich is just a short trip from London – many people treat it as a day trip destination, which is a great way to plan your time there. This iconic borough, with its blend of the regal and the contemporary, offers a day out that’s as educational as it is entertaining.

Free Views in London - Greenwich Observatory

Whether you’re a time-traveling enthusiast keen to explore its world-famous observatory or a foodie looking to indulge at a riverside eatery, Greenwich promises a smashing good time. Let’s dive into the best things to do in Greenwich to help you spend a day or more in the area.

Visit the Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory, probably one of the most popular Greenwich attractions, is both a highly fascinating and completely unique site. Visitors get the opportunity to witness science and astronomy in action, see where East meets West on the Meridian Line (more on that below), and even observe the resident special guest; a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite.

There are all sorts of interesting things to see and do including learning how telescopes were first made and how time became what it is today the observatory enjoys far-reaching views across the city of London, and there are some beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy here too. 

Stand on the Prime Meridian

Here’s LOMM founder Valerie standing on the Prime Meridian, to show what it’s like!

A key attraction at The Royal Observatory in Greenwich is the Prime Meridian. This is the imaginary line that sections Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres’, much like the equator divides north and south.

A visit to the Prime Meridian gives you the unique opportunity to literally straddle both hemispheres and pose for an Insta photo, obviously! A bronze line is embedded into the pavement to show you precisely where to stand and for people visiting who are on a tight budget there is a small part of the shiny line that you can stand on for free. 

Pro-tip: If you want to stand on the Meridian but don’t want to pay, you can find a free part of the line visible on the steep path just below the wall of the Observatory – use my photo on the right to guide you for what to look for!

Stroll through Greenwich Park

Dog Walks in London -greenwich park

Greenwich Park may be just a stone’s throw from the big city, but it is a truly stunning part of London that has been left to nature and is mostly green and unspoiled.

It is also one of the most wholesome of Greenwich things to do with family! There’s a fabulous kid’s adventure playground, with activities for younger visitors as well as older ones. There is also a paddling pool which is the ideal spot to cool off on a warm summer’s day. Many families spend lazy Sundays at Greenwich Park playing ball games, feeding the squirrels, cycling around the hilly paths, and enjoying an ice cream from the cute refreshment kiosk. 

Browse the Stalls at the Greenwich Market

Greenwich Market Sign

Greenwich Market first opened its doors to traders and punters way back in 1737. It has grown and evolved over the centuries, but its undeniable charm has remained a constant. It is a covered market ensuring that the unreliable British weather can’t dampen the market spirit.

Today, the market is a hip and trendy place to spend the day browsing the numerous stalls that are packed with gifts, antiques, homemade crafts, delicious street food, and much more. 

Visit the Cutty Sark 

The Cutty Sark is a clipper ship that has been dry-docked on the Thames at Greenwich since 1954. Much of the hull fabric on board the ship is part of the original structure despite its 150-year age and extraordinary working life which saw it visit 16 countries.

Today, visitors are invited on board to explore the ship and take part in educational events and special seasonal activities. There’s plenty specifically for kids to get involved with on board the Cutty Sark. They can interact with the resident characters, play interactive games, and see how the old crew lived and worked at sea.

Visit the National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is one of the most popular Greenwich things to do with guests from all over the world. It is the largest museum of its kind in the world and is packed with fascinating and inspiring tales of the ocean.

There are exhibitions showcasing ancient ships to those of modern day as well as other influential and important items including navigational instruments through the times and official models of famous ships.

There is also an area dedicated to younger guests who will love the opportunity to take the wheel and navigate a ship to port and even fire a cannon at a pirate ship!

Explore the Old Royal Naval College

The Old Royal Naval College can be found within the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Greenwich, London. It is a great site to visit if you are keen to discover and learn about 600 years of British history. You will also be able to marvel at the incredible replica of Greenwich Palace that includes Henry VIII’s bedroom!

Regular shows, exhibitions, and family-friendly events take place and these are a great day out for all ages. 

See The Painted Hall

During your visit to the Old Royal Naval College be sure to go and admire the exquisite Painted Hall. You can gaze in wonder at the extraordinary paintings and sculptures that cover the walls and ceilings of this remarkable place that was designed way back in the early 18th Century.

Interestingly, it was in fact created to be used as a dining hall for the Greenwich Pensioners, but the stories of its beauty soon spread, and it became the popular tourist attraction that it still is today. 

Visit The Queens House 

The stunning palace in Greenwich is known as The Queens House and is one of the most photogenic of all things to do in Greenwich, London. This is because it has been home to many of England’s most influential female leaders including Mary I and Elizabeth I.

Considered by many as a piece of architectural genius The Queens House is a super place for a day out with the family. You can explore the royal rooms and grounds, admire artwork by some very famous artists, and grab a trail pack which is full of challenges and games to enjoy as your tour the property. Plus, entry is absolutely free! 

Ride the IFS Cloud Cable Car

Things to Do in Greenwich - IFS Cloud Cable Car

For thrill-seekers and lose with a great sense of adventure a ride on the IFS Cloud Cable Car will be the perfect activity to do in Greenwich! You will soar to over 90 meters high over the Thames, giving you the ultimate bird’s eye view of the bustling city below. Your cable car journey begins at the Greenwich Peninsula and you ride to the Royal Docks.

If you want to try something particularly special, you could book a night flight to enjoy the sunset over the river. 

(Note: This used to be called the “Emirates Cable Car” if you’re a bit confused about the name.)

Visit the O2 & Climb the Dome

This is another of the more adventurous things to do in Greenwich, London. It is ideal for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies! Visit the well famous O2 arena and climb to the top of the dome; you will be rewarded with unrivaled panoramic views of London town.

As part of your visit, you will be suited and booted with all the necessary safety equipment and will then follow your guide to the apex of this renowned entertainment hub. You do not need any previous climbing experience to enjoy this attraction, but you will need your brave pants on!

There you have it – the best things to do in Greenwich, one of London’s best nearby destinations. Have any questions about what to do in Greenwich, either what’s on my list or other activities you’ve heard about? Let me know in the comments below!

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Vikki grew up in south east London and enjoyed all aspects of the city for many years before she left to travel the world. She still has family in the city and brings her kids back to enjoy all the wonders of London whenever she can.

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