The best things to do in London this summer, updated

There is so much to do in London – too much, at times. A Google search will render planning any sort of itinerary overwhelming, so we picked nine of the most exciting things you shouldn’t miss this summer. Make the most of that heatwave while you can!

Read also: The most photogenic places in London

#1 When life is ruff, make friends with Frenchies

French bulldog cafe London
We’re so here for this Frenchie café! Photo: Pug Café

What: French Bulldog Pop-Up Café

When: 9 September 2018, 10am to 7.20pm

Where: The Lounge, The Happenstance, 10 Paternoster Sq.

French bulldog lovers, you’re going to want to book out your entire day for this. The people behind the successful Pug Café pop-up events are bringing a Frenchie edition to London, and it’s going to be nothing short of amazing. There’ll be treats for both humans and doggos, too. Booking for the 70-minute time slots opens on 18 August at 10am London time. Walk-ins will not be entertained. Even if you don’t have your own Frenchie, there are allocated spaces for Frenchie lovers.

#2 See the best photos of Michael Jackson in one place

What: Michael Jackson: On The Wall

When: Until 21 October 2018

Where: National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place

Did you know, Michael Jackson would have celebrated his 60th birthday this 29 August? To coincide with this, the National Portrait Gallery brought together photographs and artwork featuring the King of Pop by over forty artists including Andy Warhol, David LaChapelle and Mark Ryden. So what do you say? Will you be there?

#3 Brunch so hard

What: London Brunch Festival

When: 1 – 2 September 2018

Where: Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane

To be honest, the mere thought of brunch sends us running towards food, but then the London Brunch Festival website had this kicker: “more awesome brunch food than you can shake a sausage at.” Find some of the best brunch menus in London, as well as booze, music, talks and masterclasses (in case you have a bone to pick about the strangest brunch trends). Buy tickets here once you stop drooling.

#4 Watch a movie on the Thames

Time out Movie on the Thames

What: Time Out presents Movies on the River

When: 9pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays until 15 September 2018

Where: Boat departs from Tower Millennium Pier, Lower Thames St

It’s (relatively) warm enough to be outdoors without having to be a human burrito, so take advantage of it and watch a movie on the Thames – a cool upgrade from your ordinary outdoor cinemas. The line-up includes old favourites like Shakespeare in Love and newer releases like Black Panther. Buy tickets here.

#5 Zip-wire from 35m above ground

Zip wire London

What: Zip Now

When: Until 9 September 2018

Where: Archbishops Park, Carlisle Lane, Lambeth

The world’s longest and fastest city-centre zip wire is here to thrill daredevils, and give them a unique view of London – that’s if you even have the mind to look around you as you speed down the line 50km/h. Buy tickets here.

#6 Take on Regent Street

Regent Street Summer Streets

What: Summer Streets

When: First four Sundays in July 2018

Where: The length of Regent Street from Oxford Circus Station to Piccadilly Circus station

For the first four Sundays in July, the busy stretch between Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus is pedestrian-only and there’s a lot to see and do besides shopping and eating. There will be live music performances, T-shirt printing at Weekday, Anthropologie’s paper flower workshops, and workouts with lululemon. Definitely bring the kids for this!

Read also: Luxe stay: The May Fair Hotel

#7 Listen to the best of London’s orchestras

BBC Proms 2018

What: BBC Proms

When: 13 July – 8 September 2018

Where: Royal Albert Hall and various other locations across London

The annual BBC Proms comprises eight weeks of concerts and workshops, held primarily in the beautiful Royal Albert Hall. Among this year’s highlights: an orchestral performance of music from Leonard Bernstein’s Broadway hit West Side Story and a BBC Young Musician all-stars concert (be sure to spot Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the cellist who played at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding). Buy tickets here.

#8 Watch all the musicals on West End

Wicked West End

Where: Across London

If you’re in London with a big budget, you should consider ticking off a handful of the top musicals ever from your thespian bucket list. We recommend The Book of Mormon, Wicked: The Musical (pictured above), 42nd Street, The Lion King, Les Miserables: The Musical, and The King and I to start. Check the box office for tickets.

#9 Have tacos and beer outside the Tate Modern

When: Until 16 July 2018

Where: Outside the Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

South West Social Club Tacos brought its 1975 vintage Airstream van to the grounds outside Tate Modern to serve great tacos to hungry museum-goers. SWSC is owned by Mumford & Sons lead singer Marcus Mumford and head chef Gill Meller. Wash it all down with a cold one from Wild Beer Co.

Read also: Don’t miss this Frida Kahlo exhibition

#10 Join a supper club

What: Mini’s Supper Club: The Series

When: 26 July, 23 August, 27 September 2018

Where: Blueprint Café, Butlers Wharf, 28 Shad Thames

Go on a gastronomic tour of the best British ingredients with Blueprint Cafe’s Chef Patron Mini Patel at his supper club, which started early July. The next one on the series will involve expert pairing of wine with various dishes. Buy tickets here.

#11 Have fun in the sun with your family

Lambeth Country Show

When: 21 – 22 July 2018, 12pm to 8pm

Where: Brockwell Park, Norwood Road

One of the UK’s biggest family festivals is back with a larger show layout and all the traditional country shows it is known and loved for. There’s going to be music, horticultural shows, farm animals, craft stalls, and vegetable competitions – it’s all very British, if you’re looking for some educational and kid-friendly entertainment. Entrance is free.

#12 Go full Shakespeare

What: Othello

When: 20 July – 13 October 2018

Where: The Globe Theatre, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside

Nothing beats watching a Shakespearean play in the iconic theatre that is the modern reconstruction of the one used by the Bard’s playing company (the original building was destroyed in a fire). It’s the 16th century vibe, you understand. Moonlight star André Holland plays the titular character in the upcoming staging of Othello, with Academy Award winner Mark Rylance as the treacherous Iago.

Andrea Tim

Andrea is a serial kopi peng drinker (for fun, not for the caffeine; coffee doesn't wake her up) and believer in keyboard shortcuts. She sees The Dress as blue and black, and hears both Yanny and Laurel. Make of that what you will.

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