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: August 31, 2016

Things to do in London this weekend: Sept 2-4

Best for: History in London

St Paul’s Lates

Nave of St Paul's Cathedral with visitors. (c) Graham Lacdao, St Paul’s Cathedral.

Nave of St Paul’s Cathedral with visitors. (c) Graham Lacdao, St Paul’s Cathedral.

The vibe:

Come learn more about the Great Fire of London on its 350 anniversary

Need to know:

On Tuesday, September 4, 1666, ten thousand people were made homeless and St Paul’s was burned to the ground as sparks flew during one of the most famous events in the capital’s history.

While the Great Fire of London celebrations has included walks, talks, tours, special sermons & debates – this weekend sees two lates taking place.

Grab your camera and take the rare opportunity to take some great images in the Cathedral and crypt.

You can also visit the new exhibition Out of the Fire which can be found in the Crypt.

Website and Twitter

When: Friday, September 2 to Saturday, September 3
Opening times: 6pm to 9pm (last entrance at 10pm)
Getting there: St Paul’s Cathedral – St Paul’s Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AD
Nearest Tube: St Paul’s
Price: £10 – concessions apply – book your tickets here

Best for: Festivals in London

Thames River Festival

On the beach at the Thames Festival. Photo Credit Steve Stills

On the beach at the Thames Festival. Photo Credit Steve Stills

The vibe:

Nautical events happening along the 42 mile-stretch of river in London

Need to know:

The river that helped make our capital one of the greatest in the world is celebrated in a month-long festival of talks, walks, events, activities and loads more.

This weekend, Saturday morning early birds can go on the Gabriel’s Wharf Foreshore Archaeological Walk (£10 book here) or you can get great views of the city as part of The Great Fire anniversary weekend at The Monument.

Go see Floating Dreams in the middle of the River Thames by Millennium Bridge – this installation, made from 500 drawings is best seen at night when it is illuminated.

Check out the website programme to find out what is happening near your stretch of the river.

Website and Twitter

Thames Festival 2013. Zatorski + Zatorski

Thames Festival 2013. Zatorski + Zatorski

When: Thursday, September 1 to Friday, September 30
Opening times: Vary per event – see website for details
Price: Many are free

Zee London MELA

MELA London

Zee London MELA

The vibe:

A free festival showcasing the best of British Asian culture

Need to know:

Zee London Mela gets bigger and better each year and they’re taking over Wembley Park this Saturday.

Over the last 14 years they’ve brought you South Asian food, dance and music – and now the event also includes street theatre, circus and comedy.

They’ve also got some major international artists appearing, including The Ska Vengers, Imran Khan and Panjabi Hit Squad.

Don’t miss the Tastes of Asia Food Market, which will also feature The Urban Rajah doing some cooking demonstrations.

Website and Twitter

MELA

When: Saturday, September 3
Opening times: 12pm to 7pm
Getting there: Wembley Park, London, HA9 0FA
Nearest Tube: Wembley Park, Wembley Central and Wembley Stadium
Price: Free

Africa Utopia

Mandela Trilogy credit Cape Town Opera. John Snelling

Mandela Trilogy credit Cape Town Opera. John Snelling

The vibe:

Come and discover more about a continents culture

Need to know:

There’s loads going on at the Southbank this week, with talks, workshops, music and performances by cutting-edge and traditional African performers taking place.

One highlight is the Mandela Trilogy, which is an operatic tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela.

The African Food and Drink Takeover 2016 can be found in Southbank Centre Square where the street market is.

There will be 35 stalls selling authentic African cuisine along with cooking demos.

Website and Twitter

Mandela Trilogy Watch and Listen

Mandela Trilogy Watch and Listen

When: Wednesday, August 31 to Sunday, September 4
Opening times: Times vary – see programme on the website
Getting there: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
Nearest Tube: Waterloo or Embankment
Price: Prices vary – from free events to ticketed events

Best for: Eating and drinking in London

Meatopia

MEATOPIA (c) Tom Gold

MEATOPIA (c) Tom Gold

The vibe:

Vegetarians might want to make alternative plans

Need to know:

Eat meat cooked over a real fire by passionate chefs showcasing the variety of meat and dishes you can get from an entire carcass.

They even had an official charcoal partner – so you know they’re taking the preparation of the ethically-sourced meat seriously.

There’s also live bands and street theatre, as well as plenty of workshops and talks to keep things interesting between feeding your face.

Drinks wise you’ve got craft beer, spirits and wine on offer.

Website and Twitter

MEATOPIA (c) Tom Gold

MEATOPIA (c) Tom Gold

When: Friday, September 2 to Sunday, September 4
Opening times: Fri: 5pm to 11pm, Sun: 11am to 7pm
Getting there: Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, London, E1W 2SF
Nearest Tube: Shadwell or Wapping
Price: Fri: £23.85, Sun: £31.80 – Sat sold out. You can also buy meat tokens in advance here

Chambord Chapter Eight Games

Chambord_croquet-lawn-shot

The vibe:

A drop of French sophistication with your croquet

Need to know:

This pop-up event, with it’s flamingo croquet lawn, returns for another weekend of summer fun.

Grab a partner and challenge two other pairs to a game of croquet as teams of six will tee off every 10 minutes.

Head to the Chambord Black Raspberry liqueur bar for a cocktail, including the Chambord Royale and the specially created Chapter Eight Cocktail.

According to legend, Chambord was inspired by a luxurious raspberry liqueur produced for King Louis XIV. He received the drink when at the Chateau Chambord.

You can eat French-American burgers by Le Bun and Chambord Royale Crones from Dum Dum Donutterie.

Website and Facebook

When: Thursday, September 1 to Sunday, September 4
Opening times: Thur-Fri: 5pm to 11pm, Sat: 3pm to 12am, Sun: 3pm to 10pm
Getting there: Chambord Chapter Eight Games, Dalston Roof Park, 18 Ashwin Street,
London, E8 3DL

Nearest Tube: Dalston Junction
Price: Free entry but croquet tickets from £7.50 – and you can get a complimentary cocktail with your ticket. Buy here

Best for: Opera in London

Out Loud

All Together Opera

All Together Opera

The vibe:

Channel your inner Pavarotti in the open air

Need to know:

The Royal Opera Chorus will be singing out loud in Covent Garden on Sunday – and you’re positively encouraged to join in.

This interactive Big Sing will also feature Joseph Calleja – the Maltese lead star will be appearing at the Royal Opera House this season.

Super singers from up and down the country will also be taking part, in this rare chance to say you’ve sung with some of the best.

Website and Twitter

When: Sunday, September 4
Opening times: 12pm to 5.30pm – see programme for exact performance times
Getting there: Covent Garden Piazza, Cranbourn Street, London, WC2H 7AR
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden or Leicester Square
Price: Free

Garsington Youth Opera

Garsington Youth Opera

Essential weekend information

Find more inspiration for things to do in London here.

We also have our 50 things to do this summer in London guide to give you more ideas.

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.