In the series Take Five I always share 5 cultural travel tips with you. From great record shops to special bookshops, good museums, cool neighbourhoods or best places to sample local cuisine. In this blog post: 5 cultural things to do in Central London!

>5 cultural things to do in Central Londen

1. Get a taste of British culture with an authentic afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason

‘Where’s the best place to go for an authentic afternoon tea?’ I get this question a lot. Although it’s a basic question, it’s quite difficult to answer. Because there are numerous restaurants and cafés in London that offer a tasty afternoon tea spread.

Depending on your preference and budget, you could choose from anything between incredibly decadent to something more playful like an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea. But if you’re after an authentic British experience, I always recommend the classic food department store Fortnum & Mason. You can also buy some great and tasty souvenirs here for friends and family back home (or just to keep for yourself of course).

181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER

Fortnum and Mason is one of the best places for afternoon tea in London

2. Enjoy a unique cinema experience in Prince Charles Cinema

This really is a cinema like no other! Come here to see a good arthouse film, enjoy a few hour-long film marathon or to belt your heart out during one of their spectacular sing-a-long events Prince Charles Cinema is famous for!

7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BY

3. Read your heart out at Waterstones Piccadilly, Europe’s largest bookshop

Waterstones Piccadilly is the biggest bookshop in London. They even claim to be the biggest in Europe! They sell over 200,000 titles here, spread out over 6 floors. Besides their impressive book selection, you’ll also find several reading areas, coffee bars and a restaurant in the shop. So if you’re a bookworm, you can easily spend hours at end here!

203-206 Piccadilly, W1V 9LW

Waterstones Piccadilly is the largest bookshop in London

4. Visit an inspiring photography exhibition in the Photographers’ Gallery

The Photographers’ Gallery right in the heart of vibrant Soho is truly one of my most favourite cultural spots in London. I have a great interest in photography and often come here to be inspired by the topnotch exhibitions.
TIP Free entrance if you arrive after 5pm!

16-18 Ramillies Street, Soho, W1F 7LW

Photographer's Gallery London

5. Music lovers go to Sister Ray Records

The independent record shop Sister Ray first started as a market stall in the alternative area of Camden in the 80s. It’s not surprising the shop is now located in Soho because like Camden, this area also has had a rich musical history. The Sex Pistols and David Bowie are just a few of the musicians that have been associated with Soho. Sister Ray Records Soho consists of two floors and specialises in alternative music, both on CD and vinyl.

75 Berwick Street, Soho, W1F 8RP

– Bonus tip – Go out for cocktails in the ‘secret’ cellar of Freud Bar

In case my list of 5 cultural things to do in Central London wasn’t enough for you, I have one more bonus tip for you here!

If you wouldn’t know it’s there, you would probably walk right past Freud Bar. This cocktail bar is located slightly hidden in a cellar on the super busy Shaftesbury Avenue and is therefore a true insider tip!

Freud Bar is a secret cocktail bar in Central London

> Further reading:

Do you have any tips for cultural things to do in Central Londen you’d like to share with me and other readers? Then leave your suggestion in a comment below! Thanks so much, Zarina xx

5 cultural things to do in Central Londen

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cultural insider tips London from a local


    • zarina rimbaud-kadirbaks

      Thank you! I hope you make it out here one day!

  1. Nice post! I really like that you haven’t just gone for the obvious tourist hotspots. I’ll be looking out for more of your 5 things guides next time I venture anywhere

    • zarina rimbaud-kadirbaks

      Ah, thanks so much! I’m trying to avoid the obvious tourist tips indeed, so happy to hear this lovely feedback from you 🙂

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