Looking for things to do around London Bridge? I’ve got you covered. Here’s my personalized guide for how to spend time in the area from Borough Market all the way to Tower Bridge — enjoy!
But getting into the groove of London life, I slowly found myself frequenting London Bridge more than not. Between nights on Bermondsey and strolls to Tower Bridge (which people always confuse with London Bridge), I’ve made more memories in this pocket of London than I can count, and now you can too!
Without further ado, here are 13 best things to do around London Bridge , but first, if you’re interested, a little history lesson.
A Quick History of London Bridge
The London Bridge area has always been center of it all. Since Roman Times London Bridge stood between Southwark and the City of London — 55AD to be exact.
Taking 33 years to build it was erected as home to a chapel, shops, and drawbridge for ships to pass through. But in the infamous Great Fire of London, London Bridge was left collapsed, and the nursery rhyme followed shortly thereafter London Bridge is Falling Down.
By 1973, London Bridge was built into what we see today. Told you it’d be quick!
How to Get to London Bridge
To see the best of London Bridge from the start, you’ll want to come to London Bridge Station by the Northern, Jubilee Line or National Rational.
P.S – Don’t forget to use Citymapper to find your way around London!
13 Best Things to do Around London Bridge
1. See the View From the Top of the Shard
You’d be hard pressed to find a building as iconic as the Shard. Designed by Renzo Piano in 2009, it’s the sixth-tallest building in Europe, and the tallest in the UK.
It’s name comes from the desire to resemble “a shard through the heart of historic London”; and needless to say the view (and photo op) are well worth the visit.
Once you go through the airport-style security screening, a high-speed elevator will take you soaring to the 68th floor where you can find a full 360-degree view of London.
See up to 40 miles of skyline and admire the city through the telescopes…or with a cocktail. Plus, if you go to level 72 you can see the city through a slanted perspective at the open-air tip, and get one of the most unique views of London you’ll ever see.
I’d highly suggest visiting during sunrise or sunset, but if you do end up going during a particularly cloudy day they’ll give you a free ticket renewable for up to 30 days in advance.
Book your tickets in advance here!
Pro-Tip: So you can also pair it with a London Pass which gives you access to the Shard View, inside Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast and many more attractions in London.
2. Eat Your Way Through Borough Market
If you love to eat, go to Borough Market.
A foodie haven right across London Bridge (and London’s oldest food market) you can eat your way through everything from Spanish paella to juicy pastries and smelly cheeses. Not to mention tons of free samples offered on every corner…don’t mind if I do.
The outdoor market is completely free, but unfortunately not a hidden gem in London so the crowds can get quite hectic. Try to go as early as possible and avoid lunch hours if you can (12-2pm) and remember there’s tons of bars, cafés and restaurants around the market if you’re more in the mood of a sit-down.
P.S -Borough Market is one of the filming locations in the Bridget Jones’s Diary movie!
3. Go Shopping at Vinegar Yard
If you’re looking for more “off-the-beaten-path” things to do around London Bridge, this is it. I stumbled here with a friend a few years ago on a day out in London and couldn’t believe it was hiding in plain sight!
A London Bridge hotspot filled with everything from eclectic street food finds, to pop-up shops, bars, an outdoor market, and of course, vintage finds — Vinegar Yard is a local go-to. But for the best experience be sure to go on a weekend when the flea market is open!
4. Visit the Fashion & Textile Museum
Museums are a great way to get a new perspective of London; especially the quirky ones. The only UK museum to showcase contemporary fashion and textiles the Fashion & Textile Museum’s exhibitions are never-ending, so there’s always something new to see!
The bright pink and yellow building are hard to miss, and the insides are equally as striking.
For the particularly keen they also offer short courses and lectures on fashion design.
5. Get Your Art Fix at White Cube
A short walk down and you’ll also find White Cube, a cultural hub and contemporary art gallery in the heart of Bermondsey.
Of course, pieces are up for sale, but if you’re “more of a browser” you can simply wander around the gallery and admire the architecture.
6. Have Dinner and Cocktails at The Last Talisman
I couldn’t write about things to do around London Bridge and not mention my go-to spot — The Last Talisman! A cocktail bar and Asian grill it’s the perfect place to end a night around London Bridge with delicious small plates, low-lite ambiance and live music.
P.S – Be sure to try the Talisman Bellini cocktail (and thank me later).
7. Gorge Out at Maltby Street Market
Not as well known as its Borough Market counterpart — but equally as delicious!
Hidden among Bermondsey (seriously, you’ll want to pull out Citymapper for this one) Maltby Street Market opened in 2010 and has been a local favorite ever since.
The stalls host everything from patisserie’s to juicy beef and Japanese Gyozas. So don’t forget to go on a very….very empty stomach.
Because of its low-keyness (which hopefully remains after this blog) you can visit anytime really, especially you find Borough Market too crowded.
8. Brace the Bermondsey Beer Mile
I’ve never heard the word Beer and Mile in the same sentence, but here we are. A well-crafted mile and a half of breweries, spend an afternoon sipping on pints through London’s infamous Bermondsey Beer Mile.
The perfect post-Maltby Street Market activity — grab your friends (or “mates”) on a Saturday, start at the Southwark Brewing Co. and tipsyly end at Fourpure Brewing Co.
Map of the Bermondsey Beer Mile
9. Peek Into Southwark Cathedral
One of my favorite things about London is the architecture — especially when it comes to Cathedrals. Tucked along the South Bank, you can add a stroll around London Bridge with a quick detour to Southwark’s Cathedral.
The historic 7th Century building (previously St Saviour’s Church) was bought from King James I by merchants for £800 (Lord knows how much that would be now!).
The congregation attracted actors and wealthy merchants alike for its proximity to Shakesphere’s Globe and was even the burial ground for William’s brother, Edmund Shakesphere.
The church is free to visit (and the interiors are beautiful) so be sure to have a quick wander around.
10. Stroll Along Tower Bridge
A 15-walk from London Bridge and you’ll find yourself front and center to the most recognized view of London; Tower Bridge.
Between countless films and jaw-dropping architecture, it’s no wonder Tower Bridge is top every London bucketlist (and often confused with London Bridge).
Of course, walking down the iconic strip and taking more Instagram photos than you can count is the standard. But did you know you can go in Tower Bridge?
Yep, the walkway between the towers was turned into an exhibition, allowing visitors to look down at the Thames from the glass walkway 42 metres high.
P.S – If passive views are more your thing, wine and dine with a view of Tower Bridge at the second floor of the Tavolino at 2 More London Riverside, London SE1 2DB
11. Shop at Hay’s Galleria
A short walk around London Bridge and you’ll find your starstruck at London’s most delicious architectural eye-candy, Hay’s Galleria.
An 1850 wharf turned shopping and leisure hub, Hay’s Galleria is filled a slew with shops, bars, restaurants and cafes calling your name.
Take a snap of the impressive Tea Clipper centre piece or make a visit around Christmas time to see all the decorations in full swing.
Pop a Squat at the Scoop
For such a big city, you’d think London lacks community feels, until you see the Scoop that is. An 800-seat amphitheatre the space holds tons of events, festivals, films and screenings during the summer, right across London Bridge.
Open to everyone and free of charge — you can treat yourself to some riverside eats and park a seat at the Scoop.
13. See London Bridge
Although I must admit, it’s not nearly as aesthetic as Tower Bridge — London Bridge is still worth taking a walk across, especially for the view.
Standing on 2,000 years of history is also pretty cool.
Bonus: Walk Along Bankside and Hop on the Thames Clipper
One of the best things about being around London Bridge is you’re right near Bankside!
This includes the lovely Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Tavern and the Millennium Bridge. Take in all the sights and end the day (or roll into the evening) with a hop on the Thames Clipper.
The high speed catamarans are one of the more boogie ways to get around London, but oh so worth it. You can buy your tickets beforehand for £9 for a single fare and around £15 for a return .But if you want to save a few pounds, book your tickets online or use your contactless or Oyster card for a discount.
Map of Things to do Around London Bridge
Let me know what you get up to near London Bridge in the comments — have the best time!