Top 10 romantic things to do in London

Discover the most romantic things to do in London, a city that not only offers enchanting experiences but also a variety of cheap hotels in London, making your romantic getaway both memorable and affordable. Whether you're planning a surprise evening or a weekend retreat, you don't need to spend a fortune to find the perfect backdrop for love.

From tranquil strolls in historic parks to cozy candlelit dinners with a stunning city skyline view, our guide is perfect for your next London city break, offering romantic and affordable adventures. Coupled with a stay in one of London's budget-friendly hotels, your romantic city break will be as charming as it is cost-effective. Let's delve into the heart of London, where romance and affordability blend seamlessly, making your London city break an unforgettable experience filled with love and enchantment.

Our capital city date ideas for every couple

While being in London can be all about the hustle and bustle, flitting from one event to the next and soaking up the atmosphere, sometimes it’s nice to slow down. We’ve picked out our favourite things to do in London for couples seeking some quality time.

  1. Catch a show in the West End or at Shakespeare’s Globe
  2. Kew Gardens
  3. Visit a sky bar
  4. Ensconce yourselves in a hotel with a jacuzzi
  5. Swim in an open-air pool
  6. Art galleries and museums
  7. Royal Opera House
  8. Get a bird’s-eye view from the London Eye
  9. Perambulate around Primrose Hill
  10. Greenwich Observatory at night

Whether you’re here for a day or a weekend or you’re a proud permanent resident, our romantic things to do in London will help you fall head over heels for this city (and each other). Embrace the staycation and plan a thoroughly different date with plenty of spark.

1. Catch a show in the West End or at Shakespeare’s Globe

For any musical couples out there, a West End show is definitely one of the most romantic things to do in London. The West End is teeming with theatres showing everything from modern, immersive pieces to classic plays and award-winning musicals.

Part of the romance is getting to step inside these iconic buildings, a relic of a bygone era, with their beautifully adorned interiors. There are few pastimes more romantic than watching Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream or one of Shakespeare’s other great works in their original setting at the Globe. You can experience a unique atmosphere watching either from the “yard” or one of the upper galleries.

Date type: Magical and musical

Prices: The Globe starts at around £25, other theatres vary

2. Kew Gardens

For flora fans, there are few places more stunning than Kew Gardens. It’s home to a romantic rose garden, the iconic Palm House, and other glass houses with their charmingly old-fashioned exteriors. The various themed gardens, such as the Japanese Garden and Mediterranean Garden, will transport you to another world, and there’s no end of photo opportunities here.

If you have time (or if you make a weekend of it), you’ll want to wander around Richmond too – it’s one of the prettiest and most romantic districts in London. Stroll along the banks of the Thames, picnic on Richmond Green, or pop into one of the terrace bars fringing the park.

Date type: Slow-down day date with plenty of pics

Price: Peak £15pp, off-peak £11pp (advance booking)

3. Visit a sky bar

Nothing says “elegant date” quite like a cocktail in a sky bar, and thankfully, London’s teeming with them. Radio Rooftop on the edge of Covent Garden has a prime location for viewing London’s iconic skyline, while the Shoreditch Sky Terrace is a stylish setting for soaking up the sunset.

The ultimate place to experience these epic views, great cocktails and romantic moments is the Sky Garden. You can enjoy the vista and the jungle-like interior of this glass masterpiece for free during the day by simply booking a timed ticket. But why not make an evening of it at the chic City Garden Bar or Sky Pod Bar?

Date type: Elegant evening of sunset cocktails

Price: Entry to Sky Garden is free if you’re not eating or drinking

4. Ensconce yourselves in a hotel with a jacuzzi

There are many phenomenal places to stay in London, but luxury weekend breaks don’t get much better than staying somewhere with a jacuzzi or spa. Some of the finest hotels in this category include the Conservatory Suite at Hotel 41 on Buckingham Palace Road (yes, you’re literally rubbing shoulders with royalty).

This indulgent paradise is home to a double jacuzzi and tons of other luxury amenities. The Café Royal has some equally high-class suites, and the Bermondsey Square’s Lucy in the Sky Suite boasts a roof terrace hot tub to die for. Of course, there are plenty of glorious spa hotels and day spa options in the city to suit all budgets.

Date type: Luxurious weekend

Price: Bermondsey Square Lucy in the Sky Suite approx. £500/night

5. Swim in an open-air pool

One of the top things to do in London for couples in summer is to escape the city heat at an open-air pool. Perhaps surprisingly, London has tons of al fresco swimming opportunities, including the Oasis Sports Centre, tucked away behind an unassuming façade off Tottenham Court Road, and London Fields Lido in Hackney.

Residents of trendy Brixton flock to Brockwell Lido on sultry days, while those near Camden head to Parliament Hill Fields. If you like something closer to nature, head to the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park or one of the quaint bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath, surrounded by a woody grove and frequented by ducks as well as humans.

Date type: Fun and adventurous summer’s day

Price: Serpentine £7.00 all day, Hampstead Heath £4.25, Brockwell Lido £8.00

6. Art galleries and museums

It’s no secret that London is packed to the brim with galleries and museums. Stroll hand in hand around well-known galleries like the Tate Modern or capture the classic museum experience at the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert or the British Museum.

Sir John Soane's Museum is a lesser-known attraction bursting with curiosities, sculptures and paintings, while the Garden Museum will capture the hearts of green-fingered couples, and the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is sure to awaken nostalgia. The Saatchi Gallery is free to enter and houses some stunning exhibitions, while the Barbican Centre and the Serpentine Gallery are both fabulous walk-in galleries for a relaxed date.

Date type: A slow day of intellectual musings

Prices: Many London museums offer free entry

7. Royal Opera House

Visiting the Royal Opera House has to be one of the fanciest and most romantic things to do in London. You can’t miss the grand building at the heart of Covent Garden – already a prime location for a romantic stroll and dinner – with its glass arches and colonnaded façade.

The building is open to the public during the day, and there are guided tours too, allowing you to marvel at the interior and soak up the atmosphere. To get the full experience, though, why not book a ticket for an enthralling performance? After all, lots of operas revolve around an enchanting love story.

Date type: High-class evening of high-brow entertainment

Prices: Tickets vary from £15–£200+, tours are £16

8. Get a bird’s-eye view from the London Eye

Especially if this is your first visit to London as a couple, the London Eye is an iconic experience. Soaring up into the sky and admiring the city from a whole new perspective is thoroughly romantic – and a great opportunity for some cute photos against the iconic skyline.

To make it extra special, why not book a champagne experience? You’ll be served a crisp glass of bubbly by a host as your pod ascends on its 30-minute tour, or you could book a private pod for just the two of you. For a truly special occasion, there’s also a private Cupid’s Pod, complete with champagne and luxury chocolates.

Date type: Big romantic gesture

Prices: Standard £32.50, Cupid’s Pod £470

9. Perambulate around Primrose Hill

One of the cutest parts of the capital also has one of the prettiest names: Primrose Hill. A stroll here is a totally free romantic thing to do in London, allowing you to elongate your date for as long as you like. Perhaps take a picnic and admire the view atop the hill or catch a sunset – it’s as pretty with a sprinkling of snow as it is in vibrant spring or on sunny summer and autumn days.

The leafy surrounding streets offer endless possibilities for wandering and gaping at the grand homes (Chalcot Square is particularly colourful and picturesque), and Regent’s Park Road is lined with adorable bakeries and coffee shops.

Date type: Sunny picnic, autumnal stroll, wintry wander – it’s up to you

Prices: Totally free

10. Greenwich Observatory at night

Stargazing with your lover is one of the oldest date ideas in the book. Of course, you can head out to your local park and see what’s up there, but one of the most romantic things to do in London has to be the nighttime events at the Greenwich Observatory: Evening with the Stars.

It’s also pretty romantic during the day, with a photo op on the Prime Meridian timeline, the historical Octagon Room, a planetarium, and great city skyline views. However, the nighttime planetarium shows followed by telescope stargazing with an astronomer are something quite special and a memory you’re sure to treasure.

Date type: Unique, romantic and just a little nerdy

Prices: Around £24/adult (prices released when tickets go on sale)

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