There are a great many things to do near London Bridge; London’s oldest crossing over the Thames river. The current bridge was built in the 1970’s, however, its predecessors date all the way back to 53AD. Given its fame, nowadays London Bridge is often mistaken by tourists for its neighbouring, better looking Tower Bridge. However, despite the somewhat underwhelming design of what is still a spectacular engineering feat, there are still an absolute mountain of things to do near London Bridge that should all be on the must-see list when you visit London.
Firstly, the bridge is surrounded by some of London’s best food markets. Borough Market is not only London’s oldest food market, it’s also one of the most famous in the world and can be found nestled into the south-west corner of the bridge. Flat Iron Square is also London’s latest foodie hub and the vibrant Maltby Street market is just a ten minute stroll away.
London Bridge is also a perfect starting point for a scenic Southbank river walk to see some of London’s most popular tourist spots, such as Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the Shard to the east, or TATE Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and the charming streets of Southwark to the west. London Bridge is a place that should be on everyone’s London itinerary.
INSIDR recommendation highlights on our interactive map of London Bridge
Prepare your visit to London Bridge
When to visit
Everyone knows that there are lots of things to do near London Bridge, which makes it a popular destination with lots to see and do both day and night. You can visit Borough market from 10am or 8am on Saturdays, however it’s closed on Sundays. Meanwhile, Maltby Street market is open on weekends only.
How long you need to visit
London Bridge is the ideal place to start your day in London. Reserve at least 1-2 hours to stroll through Borough Market and grab a bite to eat, then spend a few hours walking along the river bank to some of London’s biggest tourist attractions. For the braver travellers among you, the London Bridge Experience – dubbed as the UK’s scariest attraction, takes about 1.5 hours from start to finish.
What should I wear to visit
As there are lots of things to do near London Bridge that are within walking distance, I would recommend that you wear comfortable and relaxed clothing as you’re likely to be doing a lot of walking during the day. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars open in the evening, when something a little dressier would be appropriate.
What is there to see
Borough Market is the oldest and most famous food market in London, which naturally puts it right up there as the most foody of foody things to do near London Bridge. It’s crammed with local producers who directly source all their products and have a real focus on quality. Stroll the rows of fresh produce, follow the crowds – and your nose – to discover some of London’s best food. Don’t shy away from testing all the samples too! The full market is open on Wednesday – Saturdays.
Found just south of London Bridge, The Shard was completed in 2012 with a total of 11,000 glass panels, modeled on a shard of glass. This 95-storey skyscraper – the tallest in Western Europe – is home to the best view of London. The View from The Shard observation deck is found on the 68th – 72nd floors and accessible by a lift that climbs 6m per second!
Some wouldn’t advise having a drink in hand when many hundreds of meters above the ground, but I’ll play the devil’s advocate and say that you absolutely should! If you’re looking for a drink as part of your quest for things to do near London Bridge, then I can personally attest to how special an experience it is to polish off a few whiskeys at either Oblix or Gong; two bars situated on some of the highest floors within The Shard. If the sun is out, then you can see all of London from this viewpoint.
If history floats your boat and you’re still on the hunt for things to do near London Bridge, then HMS Belfast is a historic warship moored on the river Thames that you’ll easily spot from London Bridge. As the most significant surviving Royal Navy warship from the second world war, HMS Belfast is now a museum with nine decks that you can climb and explore. Discover what it was like living, working, being at war and at sea on the HMS Belfast. You’ll need about 90 minutes to explore the museum.