Things to do in London this Weekend

If you're stuck for things to do in London this weekend, we're here to help.

Whether you're a visitor in town for a couple of days or a local in need of some inspiration, this is where you'll find our pick of weird and wonderful London events every Friday, just in time for the weekend. We'll cover events where you can eat, drink, do something different or get a culture fix all over the city.

Last Updated: February 16, 2017

Things to do in London this weekend: Feb 17th-19th

Best for: Art in London

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi – The Whitworth Tapestry, 1967. Image courtesy of the Whitechapel Gallery

The vibe:

Explore the work of the Godfather of Pop Art

Need to know:

Eduardo Paolozzi might be one of London’s favourite artists, with the colourful mosaics he designed for Tottenham Court Road tube station brightening up thousands of commutes every day (and, just about, surviving destruction in the ongoing Crossrail works).

So, expect the Whitechapel Gallery’s new exhibition to be one of the most popular in town this year. Spanning five decades, the exhibition includes more than 250 artworks, including prints, collages, sculptures and fashion designs.

Website and Twitter

Eduardo Paolozzi – Wittgenstein in New York, 1964. Image courtesy of the Whitechapel Gallery

When: Thursday 16th February-Sunday 14th May
Opening times: 11am-6pm (11am-9pm Thursdays, closed Mondays)
Getting there: Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX
Nearest Tube: Aldgate East
Price: £11.95 (concessions available, tickets available from the official website)

Kinetica 10th Anniversary Exhibition

Hans Kotter – Triple Tube

The vibe:

Celebrating 10 years of mind-blowing art

Need to know:

Not being held back by not having an actual “museum” to call home, Kinetica Museum has been touring around the world with exhibitions of exciting cutting-edge art for a decade now. And, this weekend, they’ll be celebrating their tenth anniversary with what could be their most mind-blowing show yet.

Specialising in new media artists, Kinetica’s 10th anniversary exhibition, titled The Thin Veil, will include works by 35 artists, from more than 10 countries. The more than 50 artworks on display will include high-tech interactive installations and some of the most jaw-dropping holograms imaginable.

Website and Twitter

Balint Bolygo – Harmonograph

When: Friday 17th February-Sunday 19th February
Opening times: 1pm-9pm (Fri), 11am-8pm (Sat), 11am-6pm (Sun)
Getting there: Ugly Duck, 47-49 Tanner Street, SE1 3PL
Nearest Tube: Bermondsey
Price: From £10 (tickets available from the official website)

The Pancakes and Booze Art Show

The vibe:

Pancakes. Booze. Art.

Need to know:

Doing exactly what it says on the tin, the Pancakes and Booze Art Show combines art, pancakes and drinks. Founded in 2009, the show has been an instant hit, spreading to more than 30 cities in the US and around the world.

The pop-up art show showcases work by a wide selection local artists, including some particularly striking body art. Throw in live painting, bands and DJ sets and plenty of booze, and it looks like a good bet for a great Friday night out. Plus the £5 cover charge also includes free delicious pancakes.

Website and Twitter

When: Friday 17th February
Opening times: 7pm-1am
Getting there: Studio Spaces, 110 Pennington Street, Wapping, E1W 2BB
Nearest Tube: Shadwell (Overground/DLR)
Price: £5 (tickets available on the door)

Best for: Theatre in London

The Sick of the Fringe

The vibe:

Exploring health and well-being through theatre, performance and art

Need to know:

An event two years in the making, the first ever The Sick of the Fringe festival takes place this weekend.

Exploring health, illness, well-being, disabilities and medicine, the festival takes in stand-up comedy, theatre, live music, performance art and discussions.

Among the many highlights are a set by truly unique comedian Jess Thom (AKA Touretteshero), playful family-friendly show Eaten and a new version of drag artist Le Gateau Chocolat’s powerful concert inspired by his struggles with depression, Black. Throughout the weekend there’ll be free performances and drop-in sessions at the Wellcome Collection, as well as an art installation by Busty Beatz of hip hop-inspired fringe favourites Hot Brown Honey.

 Website and Twitter

Busty Beatz Photo by Daria Yakina

When: Friday 17th February-Sunday 19th February
Opening times: From 10am (Fri & Sat), 11am (Sun)
Getting there: Wellcome Collection: 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE, Camden People’s Theatre:  58-60 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 2PY, The Place: 17 Duke’s Road, London, WC1H 9PY & Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL
Nearest Tube: Euston/Euston Square (Wellcome Collection, Camden People’s Theatre and The Place), Holborn (Conway Hall) 
Price: Varies, from free (tickets can be booked in advance from the official website

Best for: Tatts in London

Tattoo Collective

The vibe:

The best of British, and Irish, tattoo art

Need to know:

The International London Tattoo Convention is widely viewed as the world’s greatest tattoo convention, and now has a more than 3 year waiting list for artists wanting to take part. So the people behind it are now launching a brand new sister event, The Tattoo Collective, which celebrates the best in UK and Irish tattooists.

If you’re thinking about getting some new ink, or are just a tattoo fan, you’ll be bound to find some inspiration in the convention’s exhibitions, with hundreds of unique artworks, including work by both some of the world’s most in-demand tattooists and up-and-coming artists.

Stalls will be selling merchandise, clothing and unusual collectibles – including taxidermy – and the incredibly hip AONO Barbershop’s staff will be on hand, offering free haircuts and styling.

Website and Twitter

When: Friday 17th February-Sunday 19th February
Opening times: 12pm-10pm Fri and Sat, 12pm-8pm Sun (11am for advance ticket owners) 
Getting there: The Old Truman Brewery 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL 
Nearest Tube: Shoreditch High Street (Overground)
Price: £20 Fri and Sun, £25 Sat, £45 for all three days, available from the official website

Best for: Tipples in London

Gin Festival

The vibe:

The UK’s biggest gin festival comes to London

Need to know:

Given that gin remains very much in, it’s probably no surprise to note that this weekend’s London edition of the country’s favourite gin festival is pretty much sold out already.

However, we’re saying that it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on their website and eventbrite waiting list for returns, as this is set to be a sensational celebration of the botanical beverage.

Taking place at Wapping’s Tobacco Dock, the third London Gin Festival will be biggest one yet. There’ll be cocktail mixing, live music and talks from gin industry experts, as well as more than 100 varieties of the wonderful drink on offer, including several produced exclusively for the festival. And if that sounds like an intimidating amount of gin – don’t worry – the festival’s expert bar staff will be more than happy to help you find your perfect tipple.

Website and Twitter

When: Friday 17th-Sunday 19th February
Opening times: 6.30pm-11pm (Fri), 12.30pm-11pm (Sat), 11.45am-10pm (Sun)
Getting there: Tobacco Dock, London, E1W 2DA
Nearest Tube: Shadwell (Overground/DLR)
Price: £15.21 (returned tickets and waiting list places are listed on eventbrite)

Best for: Style in London

Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair

The vibe:

Vintage threads in chic surroundings

Need to know:

Endorsed by the likes of fashion bible Vogue, the award-winning Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair might be the best place to find classic designer clothes in London.

Especially now that the fair has a brand new home – the 5-star Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch on trendy Old Street.

The fair’s 50 cherry-picked vendors will be offering clothes from 1900-1990, and will be able to fill you in on the history of each piece.

You can also enjoy cocktails and afternoon teas in the hotel’s brasserie, where jazz chanteuse Madeline Rose Witney will be performing throughout the afternoon.

Website and Twitter

When: Sunday 19th February
Opening times: 11am-5pm
Getting there: Courthouse Hotel – Shoreditch, 335-337 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LL
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Price: £4 (£2 with NUS card)

London Fashion Week

The Graphic Bar’s Pretty Pickle Cocktail

The vibe:

Hang out with the fashionistas

Need to know:

It might only run from Friday to Tuesday, but London Fashion Week packs more than a week’s worth of chic into its five day span. If you wander past LFW headquarters at 180 The Strand, you’ll be sure to see the city’s most fabulously dressed posing and attempting to spot the next big thing on the catwalk.

While you probably won’t have much luck attempting to get into one of these exclusive shows, you can still experience a bit of London Fashion Week for yourself. Topshop are hosting their own London Fashion Week pop-up at the Tate Modern, and some of the West End and Soho’s bars and restaurants will be serving particularly chic specials to celebrate the occasion.

The Savoy Hotel’s Beaufort Bar will be adding a new Coco Chanel cocktail to their menu, crafted from rose and jasmine-infused Grey Goose vodka, Lillet Blanc, a red wine and blackberry reduction and 2004 vintage Moet & Chandon champagne. Soho’s Graphic Bar will also have fashionable cocktails on offer, including the Pretty Pickle, while the area’s latest concept eatery – gourmet crisp and dip restaurant Hipchips – is expected to be a popular refuelling stop for attendees.

 Websites:

London Fashion Week, Beaufort BarHipchips & Graphic Bar

The Beaufort Bar’s Coco Chanel cocktail

When: Friday 17th February-Tuesday 21st February
Opening times: Varies
Getting there: LFW Headquarters – The Store Studios, 180 Strand, WC2R 1EA, Tate Modern – Bankside, SE1 9TG, Beaufort Bar – The Savoy, Strand WC2R 0EU, Hipchips – 49 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 6HL, Graphic Bar – 4 Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9HT
Nearest Tube: The Store Studios & The Savoy  Temple, Tate Modern – Blackfriars, Hipchips – Leicester Square, Graphic Bar – Piccadilly Circus
Price: Varies

Essential weekend information

Find more inspiration for things to do in London here.

We’ve also pulled together a guide of 50 things to do in London in the Winter, if you’re in need of even more suggestions.

For all the latest news and travel information, visit the Transport for London website.

If you’re planning on spending more than a day in London, then we have plenty of London hotels.

And finally, remember to check out the weather forecast.