Skip to main content

Looking for the best things to do in London Bridge? You’re in the right place!

I’m Mel, a born-and-bred a Londoner, and one of my favourite, most diverse places to hang out in town is London Bridge.

Not only is London Bridge buzzing with life and culture, and steeped in history with stunning riverside views… it’s also packed with iconic food markets, coffee shops, cocktail bars, and plenty of other things to do!

I’ve worked in London Bridge and Bermondsey for more than 4 years – and I lived near Bermondsey Street as a local too.

So in this insider guide, I’ll share my top tips for the best things to do in London Bridge, from the best foods to try in Borough Market to the best coffee to where to have after-hours cocktails!

[Last updated: May 2024]

Best Things To Do In London Bridge: An Ultimate Guide

What Are The Best Hotels In London Bridge?

Wondering where to stay in London Bridge? Whether you’re in London Bridge for a weekend or day, there are so many fabulous accommodation choices to stay nearby.

Here are my top affordable, boutique, and luxury places to stay in London Bridge that I’d recommend.

The best boutique and luxury hotels in London Bridge:

  • Bermonds Locke (4-star): is a super trendy boutique hotel with a lovely bar and co-working café (Shaman Bermondsey) as a lobby. It’s all about socialising here. Located in a converted warehouse just around the corner from Tower Bridge, and its rooms are designed for sharing. I personally LOVE this place! Prices start from £150-250 per night.
  • Batty Langley’s (4-star): is a charming hotel with a stylish interior, nestled in a quiet street just a short walk from London Bridge station. Prices start from £200-300 per night.
  • The Dixon, Autograph Collection (4-star): This stylish hotel is built in a former magistrates’ court and police station and offers luxurious rooms and suites. They have a restaurant and bar, as well as a fitness centre and meeting rooms. Prices start from £250-£400 per night.
  • The LaLit London (5-star): is a luxurious hotel focused on Indian culture. It’s located in the heart of the city, close to all the main attractions. Prices start from £500-£700 per night.
  • Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard (5-star): This iconic luxury hotel is located in The Shard, one of London’s most famous buildings, and has stunning views of the skyline. Shangri-La has incredible cuisine options, multiple restaurants and bars, and a world-class fitness centre and spa. Prices start from £800-£1,000 per night.

 

The best budget hotels in London Bridge:

  • Premier Inn London City (Aldgate) Hotel (3-star): This hotel is located just a short walk from London Bridge station and offers comfy, clean rooms at an affordable price. Prices start from £109 per night.
  • Ibis Styles London Southwark (3-star): The Ibis chain always provides a clean, comfortable stay at super reasonable prices. This one is centrally located and easy to get to. Prices start from £119 per night.
  • Travelodge Tower Bridge (2-star): This budget hotel is located in the heart of the city and offers comfortable rooms at an affordable price. The hotel features a restaurant and bar, and guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout their stay. Prices start from £129 per night.

No matter your budget, there are plenty of hotel options in London Bridge. Now let’s talk about what to see!

If you’re travelling in a couple, check out my guide – Best Hotels In London For Young Couples: Bougie, Boutique & Budget

Best Tours to Do in London Bridge

Aside from sightseeing, there are plenty of tours to do in London Bridge! Here are a few of the best things to do in Southwark:

  1. Take a Thames River Cruise: The River Thames is the lifeblood of London, and there’s no better way to experience it than by taking a river cruise. You’ll see many of the city’s most famous sights from a unique perspective.
  2. London’s Secret British Food Tour: This amazing 3-hour tour gives you an insight into British cuisine, from award-winning sausages, to amazing cheese, to the best fish and chips in town, to fabulous desserts – plus a secret dish!
  3. Explore the Tate Modern: This world-renowned art museum is housed in a converted power station and features some of the most important works of modern and contemporary art in the world. The museum is free to enter, although special exhibitions may have a fee. The Tate is a major vibe. They have an amazing restaurant and café with awesome views of the river and skyline, too.
  4. Go on a Street Art Walking Tour: London is famous for its street art scene, and there’s no better place to see it than in the streets of Shoreditch, just a short walk from London Bridge. Take a tour with a local guide to see some of London’s most thought-provoking pieces.
  5. Medieval History Walking Tour:Explore some of London’s oldest (and newest) sights with an expert guide. See Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Borough Market, Winchester Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral and more.
  6. Stroll Along the South Bank: Home to the iconic London Eye, the South Bank of the River Thames is a popular area for locals and tourists alike. You’ll find street performers, pop-up food stalls, and plenty of spots to take in the view of the river.
  7. Harry Potter Locations Walking Tour: Explore different Harry Potter location sites and see the buildings that inspired the books and films by JK Rowling on a walking tour of London. Enter the Ministry of Magic and sip butterbeer!
  8. Afternoon Tea River Cruise: Enjoy a traditional 1.5-hour Afternoon Tea while cruising along the River Thames. See some of the city’s most historic buildings, while sipping tea, served up with delicate sandwiches and marvellous cakes.
Exploring the medieval arches of St Dunstan In The East Church Garden

Exploring the arches of St Dunstan In The East, a London Bridge landmark

Best Things to See in London Bridge

There’s so much going on in London Bridge – here are some of the most popular things to do in London Bridge:

  1. Tower Bridge: Tower Bridge is an iconic symbol of London and one of the most recognisable bridges in the world. Take a tour of the bridge’s towers, defy gravity by walking across its glass walkway (not for those with a fear of heights) to learn about its history and enjoy stunning views of the River Thames.
  2. The Shard: This towering skyscraper is the tallest building in the United Kingdom and offers some of the best views of the city. You can visit the observation deck on the 72nd floor for panoramic views of London.
  3. Borough Market: This historic market has been a fixture of the London food scene for over 1,000 years. You’ll find a huge range of delicious food and drink, including fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, street food and much more.
  4. Southwark Cathedral: This beautiful cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is home to some stunning architecture and works of art. Be sure to check out the stained-glass windows and the high altar.
  5. The Golden Hinde: This is a full-size reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s famous 16th-century galleon. You can take a tour of the ship and learn about what life was like for sailors in the Tudor era.
  6. St Dunstan In The East Church Garden: This stunning garden sits in the ruins of a Grade I listed church with a tower and steeple. It’s a super popular photography spot!
  7. See the Skyline by Water – Jump on an Uber Boat: Why not explore London’s beautiful skyline by boat? Take an Uber boat (about £8 per ride – you can use your Oyster or debit card) and cruise down the River Thames to Greenwich.

A photo I took of a couple laughing at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a 20-min walk from London Bridge

Where to Take Photos in London Bridge

If you’re a keen photographer, there are plenty of great photo spots along the River Thames in London Bridge. Here are a few of my favourite photography locations in London Bridge:

  1. Tower Bridge: As mentioned earlier, Tower Bridge is an iconic symbol of London and makes for a great photo opportunity. Be sure to get there early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the crowds.
  2. The Shard: The Shard offers some of the best views of the city, and you can capture some stunning shots from its observation deck.
  3. South Bank: The South Bank is a great place to capture photos of the river and the skyline. There are also plenty of interesting street performers and pop-up food stalls to capture in your shots.
  4. Hays Galleria: This historic covered market is a great spot to capture some unique photos of London Bridge. The market features an impressive glass roof and a range of interesting shops and cafes.
  5. St Dunstan In The East Church Garden: This stunning garden sits in the ruins of a Grade I listed church with a tower and steeple. It’s a super popular photography spot!

Strolling along Duchess Walk by Tower Bridge in spring

Where To Eat and Drink in London Bridge

Best Spots to Eat and Drink in London Bridge

One of the best things to do in London Bridge is, of course, trying different foods!

If you’re looking for what to eat in London Bridge, here are a few great foodie spots in London Bridge I highly recommend:

  1. Borough Market: As mentioned earlier, Borough Market is a must-visit for foodies. You’ll find a huge range of delicious food and drink, including fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, street food and much more – plus amazing restaurants within the area.
  2. Vinegar Yard: This open-air market and bar is located just a few minutes’ walk from London Bridge station and is a great place to grab a drink and some food. The market features a range of street food vendors and artisanal shops, and the bar serves up a variety of cocktails, beers, and wines. One of the highlights of Vinegar Yard is the rooftop terrace, which offers stunning views of the city skyline.
  3. Bermondsey Street: This bustling street is home to a range of trendy bars and restaurants, including the famous Bermondsey Arts Club. The club is located in a former public toilet and serves up some delicious cocktails, including the popular Bermondsey Sour, which features gin, lemon, honey, and lavender.
  4. Flat Iron Square: This vibrant food and drink hub is located just a short walk from London Bridge station and features a range of street food vendors, bars, and live music venues. One of the standout vendors is Mother Clucker, which serves up some of the best fried chicken in London. The Square also has a rooftop bar, Omeara, which hosts live music events and serves up some great cocktails.

Trendy Foodie Spots and Best Restaurants in London Bridge

London Bridge is home to some amazing food options, from traditional pubs to international cuisine. Here are a few of my favourite places to eat:

  1. The Breakfast Club: This is a popular brunch spot that serves up hearty breakfast dishes, including eggs Benedict, pancakes, and a full English breakfast. Be sure to arrive early as it can get busy on weekends.
  2. Brindisa: This Spanish restaurant offers a range of tapas dishes and charcuterie boards, as well as delicious paella. The restaurant also has a shop where you can purchase Spanish ingredients and products to take home.
  3. The George Inn: This historic pub dates back to the 17th century and is a great spot to grab a pint and a traditional pub meal, such as fish and chips or a pie.
  4. Padella: This pasta restaurant has gained a reputation as one of the best in London, and it’s easy to see why. The handmade pasta dishes are cooked to perfection, and the menu changes regularly to showcase seasonal ingredients.
  5. Black & Blue: This steakhouse is located just a few minutes’ walk from London Bridge station and serves up some delicious steaks and burgers. The restaurant also has a great selection of wines and cocktails.
  6. The Coal Shed: This contemporary British restaurant is located in the One Tower Bridge development and serves up some delicious seafood and grilled meats. One of the standout dishes is the whole grilled lobster, which is cooked over charcoal and served with garlic butter.
  7. Jose Pizarro: This popular tapas bar is located on Bermondsey Street and serves up a range of delicious small plates, including Iberico pork and grilled octopus. The restaurant also has a great selection of Spanish wines and sherries.
  8. BAO London Bridge: If you fancy soft, pillowy Taiwanese bao buns with a side of grapefruit soda or yuzu cocktails, then head to BAO. There’s a karaoke room downstairs too if you fancy singing your heart out.

Are you a big artisanal coffee fan? Check out Where To Get The Best Coffee In London Bridge

Trendy Bars and Pubs in London Bridge

When it comes to cocktails, there are plenty of great options in London Bridge. Here are a few of the best bars in London Bridge:

  1. The Hide Bar: This stylish cocktail bar is located on Bermondsey Street and serves up a range of creative cocktails, including the popular Hide Martini, which features gin, dry vermouth, and pickled onion.
  2. 214 Bermondsey: This speakeasy-style bar is located on Bermondsey Street and is accessed via a hidden door. The bar serves up a range of classic cocktails, as well as some more innovative creations, such as the Smoked Old Fashioned.
  3. Nine Lives: This sustainable cocktail bar is located on Holyrood Street and serves up a wicked range of cocktails and has a taco truck outside. One of the standout cocktails is the Agave Collins, which features tequila, lime, agave syrup, and soda. The tacos are banging. I recommend the shrimp tacos. Head over on Taco Tuesday.
Walking in all denim outfit outside St Paul’s Cathedral London holding a newspaper

Walking in all denim outfit outside St Paul’s Cathedral London holding a newspaper

5 Interesting Facts About London Bridge

London Bridge has a rich and fascinating history. Here are some of my favourite facts:

  1. The first London Bridge was built by the Romans in AD 50, and it was a wooden bridge that was rebuilt several times over the centuries.
  2. The current London Bridge was opened in 1973. It replaced a 19th-century stone bridge that had become too weak to support modern traffic.
  3. The area around London Bridge was once a notorious haunt of criminals and prostitutes, and was home to several of London’s most infamous prisons, including the Clink and the Marshalsea.
  4. The Old Operating Theatre Museum, which is housed in the oldest surviving operating theatre in Europe, was once part of St Thomas’ Hospital, where Florence Nightingale trained as a nurse.
  5. The Borough Market has been a fixture of the London food scene for over 1,000 years.
Tower Bridge at Sunset - Pastel Pink Sky over the River Thames from above - view from City Hall balcony - illumelation

Tower Bridge at sunset, and a lovely pastel pink sky over the River Thames

What Are The Best Things To Do In London Bridge?

There are so many incredible things to do in London Bridge.

It’s a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, food, and culture. It’s not all about corporate life down there either – there are some incredible eateries, coffee shops and galleries waiting to be explored.

I hope this London Bridge guide was useful!

Relevant posts:

Best Hotels In London For Young Couples: Bougie, Boutique & Budget

Where To Get The Best Coffee in London Bridge

Living in London 101: Should You Move to London?

5 Best Weekend Escapes Near London | Easy London Getaways 

Mel Legarda

Melissa Legarda is the founder of illumelation. She has worked as a travel blogger, creator and writer since 2015, and has collaborated with well-known brands worldwide. She has helped over 1,100+ students improve their travel photography skills since launching her creative courses. Her mission is to encourage and empower others to travel and create more. Find her on Instagram.

Leave a Reply