Each of London’s neighborhoods has a distinct style and unique vibe – and Greenwich is both charming and engaging. Although quite quaint, the district is packed with intriguing attractions. With a fascinating history that includes royals, sea navigators and astronomy, there are an incredible number of things to do in Greenwich.
Day Trip to Greenwich or London Base
Whether planning a day out in Greenwich or choosing it as a base for a longer London trip, there are plenty of things to do and see.
The riverside location and expansive green space leave plenty of outdoor options for one day in Greenwich, London. Meanwhile, the indoor attractions in Greenwich are ideal for a rainy day.
Greenwich, London FAQs
Before we jump into our list of what to see in Greenwich, we are answering a few of the most frequently asked questions.
How Do I Get from London to Greenwich?
Getting to Greenwich from central London is easy! Visitors can take a bus, the DLR or a boat ride to Greenwich. We cover how to get there in more detail at the end of the post.
What Can You Do in Greenwich For Free?
Lots! In fact, there are enough free things to do in Greenwich to fill an entire day. For each of the Greenwich sights on our list, we indicate if it is a free or ticketed attraction.
What is Greenwich Famous For?
Greenwich has long been known for its maritime past and royal residences. However, most people know of it for Greenwich Mean Time and as the location of the Prime Meridian. The 0 Longitude Line cuts right through the borough…actually, it’s one of the things to ‘see’ in Greenwich!
The Best Things To Do in Greenwich, London
We are highlighting the best things to do in Greenwich, London. We include information about each sight, top tips for visiting, a useful map link and a handy Greenwich tourist map at the end of the post.
Peruse the Goods at the Greenwich Market
MAP. If you are searching for the best food in Greenwich, look no further than the Greenwich Market. The amazing aromas wafting from the Greenwich Market help to draw in customers (like us!). There are 47 food stalls serving an array of cuisine – an even more vendors selling antiques, jewelry and fashionable clothing.
Although we had just finished lunch, we were wide-eyed and drooling over the fragrant plates of gourmet burgers, fresh trays of sushi and steaming bowls of Thai and Indian food. Once we made our way through the food stalls, we perused the many aisles of art and crafts, some of which flowed down small alleys.
Pro Tip: The Greenwich Market is open Tuesday through Sunday and on Bank Holidays from 10am until 5:30pm. And, while the goods and food obviously cost money, it is completely free to go in and look around.
Learn about Naval Navigation at the National Maritime Museum
MAP. The free, interactive Maritime Museum is a fun place to learn about the region’s nautical past. With designated educational play areas for young kids and interesting visual displays for adults, the museum is entertaining for people of all ages.
The modern museum displays historic boats that were used in the area. Walls are covered with old wooden figureheads (which were used as decoration for the front of ships) and fascinating maps of the world. The accompanying information provides interesting facts and info.
Pro Tip: Do you plan to visit Greenwich, London as a family? The Maritime Museum is one of the top free things to do in Greenwich for kids.
Enjoy the Green Expanse of Greenwich Park
MAP. Adjacent to the Maritime Museum is Greenwich Park, a wide park with open lawns, shady trees, benches and crisscrossing paths that lead up the hillside. The expansive green space is open to the public and free to visit.
The community park is an inviting place to play and rest – for both tourists and locals. However, one of the to things to do in Greenwich Park is to trek to the top of the hill. From the summit, we had views that stretched all the way to London city center.
Pro Tip: Wondering what to do in Greenwich, London for lunch? Pick up some delicious fare from the market and have a picnic in the park!
Head for the Stars at the Royal Observatory
MAP. The Royal Observatory is one of the top places to visit in Greenwich. The entire complex is dedicated to astronomy and the navigational Prime Meridian, which marks the 0 Longitude Line that runs north-south and symbolically divides the world into two hemispheres.
Tickets are required to enter the Royal Observatory and can be purchased in advance.
While there is a charge to enter the planetarium and to get into the courtyard to snap a picture of yourself straddling the East and West Hemispheres, the Greenwich Astronomy Center is free.
Inside the Astronomy Center, there are games and telescopes that provide both an engaging and entertaining learning experience. We also watched the excellent, short film on the Big Bang that explains just how far-reaching outer space is.
Pro Tip: It is a popular activity at the Royal Observatory to stand at 0 Meridian London, Greenwich…but there is some discrepancy about this Greenwich tourist attraction. The true location may be about 300 feet away, which you can read more about here.
Take a Stroll in the Royal Borough of Greenwich
While many visitors limit their Greenwich sightseeing to museums, we highly recommend spending some time discovering the neighborhood on foot.
The formal name – The Royal Borough of Greenwich – is a bit too stuffy for the casual neighborhood, but the district cannot deny its royal roots. In the 15th century, it was home to the royal palace, which then became the Royal Naval Hospital and then the Royal Naval College, which is now the University of Greenwich (MAP). Walking around Greenwich, we were captivated by the classic and charming community.
Pro Tip: Rather than following a routed plan or plot out Greenwich places to visit, let your instincts guide the way to your neighborhood discovery!
Have a Pint at One of the Best Bars in Greenwich
After a long day of sightseeing, having a pint of beer might be one of the best Greenwich, London things to do!
There are popular bars near the Greenwich Pier – like The Gypsy Moth and The Old Brewery – but we think the best pubs in Greenwich are on the riverside.
We enjoyed a beer at the lively Trafalgar Tavern (MAP), which sits right on the water and features a bright nautical theme.
Pro Tip: The Trafalgar Tavern is one of 8 of our recommended Pubs on the Thames River London Bar Crawl.
More Things To Do Greenwich, London
Need more tips of what to do in Greenwich? Although we have yet to partake in these Greenwich activities, they come highly rated by fellow travelers.
Step Aboard the Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark is a British clipper ship which was built in 1869 to be used on the tea trade route. The historic ship is now preserved as a museum near the Greenwich Pier. Visitors can board the ship to learn about its past, but it does require a ticket. It is highly rated as one of the top things to do with kids in Greenwich.
Pro Tip: Buy a combo ticket to two top activities in Greenwich: Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory! Buy it now!
Visit the Queen’s House
Built in the classical style in the early 1600s, the Queen’s House was modern and posh in its time. In the 1700s, the house was converted into a naval hospital and then used by the Old Royal Naval College in the 1900s. Today, it serves as a museum to display a collection of maritime portraits and artworks.
Pro Tip: Even though it is one of the top places to go in Greenwich, entry into the museum remains free of charge!
Afternoon Tea in Greenwich
A Greenwich afternoon tea experience is a fantastic idea; the royal borough is full of idyllic places for tea, scones and sandwiches. Some of the top picks for a spot of tea in Greenwich are The Pavilion Cafe, The Fan Museum and the Mulberry Tea Rooms. However, one of the most iconic places for afternoon tea in Greenwich is underneath the hull of the Cutty Sark.
Pro Tip: Another unique place for London afternoon tea is on the Thames River. Take a sightseeing river cruise while sipping tea, cakes and scones…and maybe some bubbly, too. Get the details!
Meantime Brewing Company
One of the first craft brewers in London, the Meantime Brewing Company was established in Greenwich in 1999. Beer is still brewed in Greenwich – and, in addition to brewing beer, there is an onsite bar tasting room and restaurant. One of the fun things to do in Greenwich is to tour the facility – which includes samples, too! Find out more and Book it!
The state-of-the-art O2 Arena sits on the Greenwich Peninsula and is one of the largest and busiest arenas in the UK. The modern dome building was completed in 2007 and hosts an array of entertainment acts – from musical performances to sporting events. The complex also hosts stores, an indoor trampoline park, a bowling alley, movie theater and several restaurants.
Pro Tip: One of the ‘top’ attractions in Greenwich, London is the thrilling O2 Climb. Adventure seekers – clad in climbing suites and harnesses – can climb to the top of the O2 for breathtaking 360-degree views. Reserve your spot now!
Attractions Near Greenwich
Make it a full day of fun east of London with these thing to do around Greenwich!
Cable Car in Greenwich
The Emirates Air Line Cable Car is one of the best things to do in North Greenwich. Although it is part of some people’s daily commute (and officially part of the London transportation system), the cable car is also an outstanding tourist attraction. Straddling the Thames River, the cable car ride takes just 10 minutes, but provides stunning city views.
Pro Tip: Buy a combination cable car and Thames Clipper River Roamer ticket for the best price!
Greenwich Foot Tunnel
Opened in 1902, the Greenwich Foot Tunnel connects Greenwich to Millwall – underneath the River Thames. The cast-iron tunnel is 1,215-feet-long and is 50 feet underground. The tunnel is part of the National Cycle Route 1 and the National Thames Path Trail; 4,000 people use the tunnel every day to get from one side of the river to the other.
Mudchute Park and Farm
The Mudchute Farm is a 32-acre park is a community project farm, which is located on the Isle of Dogs, just on the north side of the River Thames from Greenwich. With more than 100 farm animals on site, it is one of the largest inner-city farms in Europe. Best of all, it is open to the public for free!
Canary Wharf is London’s second central business district, comprised mostly of skyscrapers housing office and retail space. For entertainment, there are stores, parks, cinemas and outdoor events. Two must-see places in Canary Wharf are the Crossrail Place Roof Garden and the Museum of London Docklands – both of which are free!
Bermondsey Beer Mile
The Bermondsey Beer Mile is everything we love about craft brewing. Small, individual craft brewers have taken up residence in the arches below the elevated train tracks to the west of Greenwich – and on weekends, they share their crafty deliciousness with beer-loving fans. Read more about the Bermondsey Beer Mile.
How To Get to Greenwich
There are numerous ways to get to Greenwich from London using public transportation. We took a boat trip to Greenwich, which was a fabulous way to add a Thames River Cruise to our day trip. However, it is also possible to get there via bus or DLR.
Boat To Greenwich
Boats depart regularly from central London to Greenwich. The best boats include an open deck – and some even have commentary. The boat from Westminster to Greenwich is an ideal cruise. Buy tickets in advance!
Pro Tip: Discover the best Westminster sights using our Self-Guided London Walking Tour!
DLR or Bus to Greenwich
A DLR line transports passengers to Greenwich – and the best stop for Greenwich attractions is the Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich. Station Map.
There are several buses to Greenwich, too. The most popular routes are the 188 from Russell Square or the 199 from Canada Water.
Pro Tip: If you are still wondering Where is Greenwich in London? Use this map!
Greenwich Attractions Tourist Map
Use this link to Google Maps for our Greenwich Tourist Map online.
Where To Stay in Greenwich
Visitors who want to be based in Greenwich will find that there are plenty of options for accommodations. We have not stayed in Greenwich, but have stayed nearby on the north side of the river at The Good Hotel.
What we loved about The Good Hotel was the unique location – literally floating on the water! The boutique hotel is stylishly designed with industrial decor, yet offers rooms at an affordable price. Even better, the hotel is dedicated to helping the community and beyond. Check rates and availability!
Guests who want to stay in the heart of the borough can choose one of the centrally located hotels in Greenwich that are nearby top attractions.
The Innkeepers Lodge London Greenwich
A highly rated hotel just steps from Greenwich Park and the Maritime Museum, The Innkeepers Lodge is ideal for people who want to be conveniently located near best things to do in Greenwich. Check rates!
De Vere Devonport House
A Georgian-style hotel, the De Vere Devonport House gets rave reviews for its comfortable beds and excellent breakfast. Sitting next to the Maritime Museum, the location is tough to beat! Check rates!
Intercontinental London The O2
Guests who want to stay close to The O2 should consider the top-rated Intercontinental London O2. With an onsite spa and luxury amenities, it is easy to see why fellow travelers give it rave reviews. Check rates!
St. Christopher’s Greenwich Hostel
Budget travelers might find that the St. Christopher’s Greenwich Hostel is a more affordable option that hotels. Located near the Greenwich DLR station, they offer both dorm and private rooms. Check availability!
What You Will Need To Tour Greenwich London
Now that you know where to stay and what to see in Greenwich London, we have a few more tips for your trip!
You will want to make sure to wear comfortable shoes for exploring Greenwich Park, trekking up to the Observatory and going aboard the Cutty Sark. I like wearing Columbia shoes – and Kris likes his Merrell shoes.
Greenwich is incredibly photogenic! Make sure you have a camera that can adequately capture the sights. We travel with a Canon Rebel and use an everyday 18-135mm lens. It is easy to use and takes phenomenal photos!
Day Pack and Water Bottle
If you are taking a day trip to Greenwich, we recommend using a day pack that will fit everything that you will need. I carry a Timbuk2 Messenger Bag, which I love because it has tons of zippered pockets. However, Travelon makes a line of stylish anti-theft bags that are specifically designed for travelers.
And, don’t forget a water bottle! There collapsible water bottles are perfect for travelers.
We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.
Like what you’re reading? Join the journey!
Subscribe to JetSetting Fools and get new blog posts and our quarterly newsletter direct to your inbox:
We want to know: How would you spend one day in Greenwich, London? What things would you add to our list?
Pin it! See all of our travel pins on our JetSetting Fools Pinterest Board.