10 fascinating things do in London

Get off the beaten track in the capital with these amazing experiences

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Aerial view of London and the River Thames

London has long been a firm favourite with visitors worldwide - and it's not just because it's the capital.

By day, tourists get their cultural fix by checking out the biggest sights including the London Eye, Tower Bridge and Big Ben, as well as wandering through bustling neighbourhoods from Covent Garden to the Southbank.

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By night, there's a wealth of dazzling theatre on offer at the West End, not to mention the countless restaurants and bars that line the streets.

Whether you're returning to the city or exploring it for the first time, it's not just the main sights and attractions that should be on your itinerary.

In fact, there are plenty of brilliant activities and tours on offer sure to make your trip even more memorable, from thrilling boat rides on the Thames to a spooky ghost-themed bus tour of the city.

We teamed up with TripAdvisor to bring some of the awesome alternatives for a city break with a twist...

If you're thinking of making a long weekend of it, you'll want to check out thebest cheap hotels in London , as well as our guide to thetop cheap days out in the capital that are perfect if you're on a budget.

Credits: TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

1. Try a River Thames Fast Boat Experience

Thrill-seekers are sure to love this one-hour ride sure to set your heart racing.

Start off with a leisurely cruise past Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye with ample opportunity to get some photos, before reaching the 'fast zone' where you'll accelerate to a high speed all while listening to some exhilarating music.

How much?Prices from £39 on TripAdvisor .

2. Take a crash course in photography

If you're an avid fan of photography (and we're not just talking great Instagram photos) then you'll love this private tour of the city, hosted by a professional photographer guide.

Not only will you learn how to make the most of your camera, but you can put your newfound skills to the test as you walk through popular sights including Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.

Snap away as you check out landmarks from Big Ben to the Houses of Parliament, as well as the iconic red telephone boxes, tube signs and suited horseguards.

How much?Prices from £125 on TripAdvisor .

Credits: TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

3. See the capital's spooky side

Your ghoulish guide will take you to some of the city's notorious local haunts of restless spirits, as well as sites of murder and execution including the Tower of London and the little-known Cross Bones Graveyard.

You'll hear some fascinating stories about London's sometimes gruesome past - and make key stops at the city's eeriest landmarks.

How much?Prices from £21 on TripAdvisor .

Credits: TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

4. Step back in time with Vintage Bus

Travel through the English capital's past, present and future on this entertaining tour that lasts an hour.

You'll make your way past Westminster Abbey, Downing Street and Big Ben, all the while hearing time-travelling tales and hilarious commentary from your guide, Professor Quantum.

Perfect for a sightseeing tour with a difference.

How much?Prices from £20 on TripAdvisor .

5. See the sights before they're open to the public

On this Viator VIP tour you get insider access to both St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London.

You'll kick off the morning with exclusive entry to Tower before the doors open to the public so you'll have plenty of time to explore the 11th-century fortress and even get a tour from a Beefeater guard.

Discover the White Tower and East Wall Walk, then head to see the Crown Jewels before watching the tower's traditional opening ceremony.

When the crowds start arriving you'll head to St Paul's Cathedral where you'll have access behind locked doors to the striking Triforium area, as well as the Crypt and Whispering Gallery.

How much?Prices from £75 on TripAdvisor .

6. Separate fact from fiction on a quirky walking tour

The Liar Liar Square Mile Walking Tour is a 1.5 hour journey showcasing the best of London's sights, while offering some friendly competition.

Each stop you'll hear three stories about the location - and it's up to you to work out which one is the lie!

How much?Prices from £12 on TripAdvisor .

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7. See the city through a wizard's eyes

It's not just the Warner Bros. Studio Tour that gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Harry Potter films: this walking tour takes you to all the locations where it was filmed.

Visit the Ministry of Magic, see the entrance of the real Leaky Cauldron, and then take a leisurely stroll through Diagon Alley.

Plus the tours are limited to just 10 people - so you can ask your guide as many questions as you like!

How much?Prices from £25 on TripAdvisor .

Credits: TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

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8. Check out London's skyline from a whole new angle

Choose between a 12-minute or 18-minute helicopter flight over the capital, following the route of the Thames.

Gaze down at Buckingham Palace, get up close to The Shard, or observe Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from this unique aerial view.

As a bonus, your pilot will point out the biggest sights so you don't miss a thing.

How much?Prices from £150 on TripAdvisor . Helicopter seats a maximum of six people, not including the pilot.

Credits: TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

9. Channel your inner detective on the Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes tour

This 2.5 hour bus and walking tour takes you into the heart of London's grisly criminal underworld, with histories of execution, rebellion and even murder.

Learn all about Sweeney Todd, Jack the Ripper and the Cock Lane Ghost, before paying a trip to the medieval Smithfield Market and the monument to Sir William Wallace, before heading to Trafalgar Square to fill up on a tasty pub dinner and drink.

How much?Prices from £28 on TripAdvisor .

Credits: TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

10. Indulge with a medieval banquet

Henry VIII will be your host at this sumptuous four-hour banquet by Torchlight, in the vaulted cellars right by Tower Bridge.

There'll be plenty of live entertainment from minstrels and players, as well as plenty of ale and wine on offer to complement the delicious four-course meal.

How much?Prices from £50 on TripAdvisor .

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Unusual restaurants around London


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