London Top 10 List: The Study Abroad Way

Heather Robinette's picture

Experience the top 10 things to do in London while studying abroad.

Studying abroad in London is a unique experience and has plenty of activities for everyone. While I was abroad, I never passed up an opportunity to explore new areas or visit historic sites. Although my list could go on and on of everything I would recommend, I’ve put together a list of the 10 things I would do in London.

10. Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London, and one of the Royal Parks of London. It is 625 acres. The 7 July Memorial is located in the park and commemorates the victims of the July 7, 2005 London bombings. This historical event is worth studying up on because it was a major event that occurred in London. I saw firsthand how it has changed people’s views on abandoned bags on the London Underground train and how serious they take it. The park also has various statues, walkway paths, and space to enjoy the outdoors.

Hyde Park, London. From London Top 10


Hyde Park! From London Top 10

9. Greenwich

Greenwich is just a short trip down the Thames River. I would recommend traveling via the Thames River Cruise. It gives you an opportunity to see London from a different perspective. While in Greenwich, you can see where a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed, the world’s largest maritime museum, and stand astride the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory.

Thames river cruise to Greenwich - from London Top 10

Greenwich. From London Top 10

8. Fish and Chips

Fish and chips are a main dish that originated in England. Almost everywhere you go; you can order fish and chips. I never gave much thought to it until I studied abroad in London. It is definitely part of the experience, but I’m sure you’ll find yourself eating it on more than one occasion. 

Fish & Chips - an essential part of the London experience! From London Top 10

7. Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms is a museum in London and one of the five branches of the Imperial War Museum. The museum comprises the Cabinet War Rooms, a historic underground complex that housed a British government command center throughout World War II, and the Churchill Museum, a biographical museum exploring the life of British statesman Winston Churchill. Getting to see the war rooms was my favorite part, as well as the large interactive table that allows you to view different events via the electronic filing cabinet.

Churchill War Rooms. From London Top 10

Churchill War Rooms - from London top 10

6. Ben’s Cookies

Ben’s Cookies are unlike any cookie you have ever had before you tried one. There aren’t any stores located in the United States and after you try one, I’m sure you’ll wonder why not as well. Ben’s Cookies are small stores or windows you find throughout the UK, with the goal of making really good cookies. My go to store was on Oxford Street. Cookies haven’t been the same since my study abroad experience.

Ben's cookies! From London top 10

5. Walking Tours

Walking Tours are a great way to learn more about the history of the city and have the opportunity to see more of it as well. The walking tours I went on allowed me to see parts of London I probably wouldn’t have seen, as well as learn more about the history and see where famous movies were filmed. I went on the Harry Potter tour, James Bond tour, and Jack the Ripper tour. All three were great tours!

From the Harry Potter walking tour - London Top 10

4. Tower of London

The Tower of London is a historic castle located in central London. The history of the Tower dates back over 900 years and played a prominent role in English history, as it was used as a royal palace, prison and place of execution, arsenal, jewel house, and zoo! As part of the experience, Yeomen Warders (aka beefeaters) provide entertaining tours where you learn about the tales and tragedies of this historic royal place. And if the line isn’t too long, you can see the stunning Crown Jewels and the oldest exhibition in the world, the Line of Kings.

Tower of London. From London top 10

Tower of London. From London top 10

3.  Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

You have the opportunity to not only take a tour of the museum, but to watch a play in the open-air theatre. The Globe was originally built in 1599, destroyed by a fire and rebuilt again to later be demolished in 1644. The reconstructed Globe Theatre provides a unique experience of what it was like in the early 1600s to see one of Shakespeare’s plays. If only we could have taken a field trip here in high school for English class!

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. From London top 10

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. From London top 10

2.  Changing of the Guard

The Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace encompasses a colorful spectacle and British pageantry. The ceremony lasts about 45 minutes and usually takes place daily at 11:30am from April until the end of July and on alternate days for the rest of the year, weather permitting. The Guards consist of five infantry regiments - the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish, and Welsh Guards - and two regiments of the Household Cavalry – the Life Guards and Blues and Royals. One way to distinguish the difference is the color of the plume, which side it is worn on the bearskin, the collar badge, and the shoulder badge. I would recommend attending several times and always trying to find a different view so you can see all aspects of it.

The Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

The Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

1. London Eye

The London Eye is a major feature of London's skyline. I would recommend doing the London Eye at the beginning of your study abroad trip, because it provides a great view of more than 55 famous landmarks in 30 minutes. Each capsule holds up to 25 people so you are able to easily view London as a group. Don’t be surprised if you see a marriage ceremony taking place inside one of them!

The London Eye. From London top 10

The London Eye. From London top 10


And there you have it! Have you been to all of these top ten places?

London Top 10 - have you been to all of these?




During the summer of 2011, I studied abroad for six weeks in London at the University of Westminster with Academics Programs International. I graduated from Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS in December 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. I currently work as a marketing analyst for a small company in central Texas. I am also pursuing my MBA. While I was abroad in London, I was able to create many unforgettable memories that I will never forget! My study abroad experience helped me gain various skills, but above all else, it helped me to learn more about myself and the world around me.


All photos courtesy and copyright Heather Robinette