Tower Bridge is one of the most well-known landmarks in London. Images of it appear in most articles about the top things to see in the UK’s capital city.
However, if you’re planning to visit Tower Bridge, it’s worth making a day of it and including other sights on your itinerary: there are plenty of things to do near Tower Bridge.
From exploring historic sites like St. Paul’s Cathedral and HMS Belfast, to enjoying the views from The Shard or indulging your foodie side at Borough Market, there is something for everyone in this vibrant area in the capital, one of the oldest parts of London.
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Things to do near Tower Bridge
Read on for things to do near Tower Bridge in London.
But before you do, check out the London Pass.
The London Pass gives tourists access to over 90 attractions in London. It also includes a free river cruise and a hop-on, hop-off bus tour to take you around the sights.
The pass is valid for a chosen number of consecutive days, so is perfect if you want to see lots of different sights in a short space of time.
It’s a fantastic way to save money. Many of the activities described below are available with the pass. If you think you’ll visit two or three sights during your stay, buying one is likely to save you money.
Things to do near Tower Bridge
Below are some of the top things to do near Tower Bridge.
Walk across Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is a must-see attraction for any tourist and offers stunning views of the River Thames and the city’s skyline.
It is a suspension and bascule bridge that was completed in the late 19th century. It was designed by Horace Jones to give better access to the East End of London, which had been expanding commercially.
The bridge is 240 m long, with two 65 metre towers connecting to a bridge that rises when ships need to sail through.
It is both striking and beautiful. You can walk across the glass walkways and look 42 metres down to the river.
It’s also possible to visit the engine rooms to learn more about the history and mechanics of the bridge.
Tower Bridge tickets
You can buy tickets from the Tower Bridge website.
Tower Bridge is also one of the London attractions included as part of the London Pass ticket.
You can visit from Monday to Sunday from 9.30 am to 6 pm.
Learn about London’s history in the Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, with almost 3 million visitors in 2019*. It’s one of the key things to do near Tower Bridge.
A visit to this iconic landmark is a real treat. You can experience some fascinating sights and learn about the Tower’s complex history throughout the centuries. It has been a palace, a menagerie, and the home of the Royal Mint and Crown Jewels.
It has also been used to imprison a number of famous figures. They include Elizabeth I before she became queen, Lady Jane Grey, Guy Fawkes, and Sir Walter Raleigh.
When you visit, you can go into The White Tower. This is one of the city’s oldest buildings and was originally intended to be a royal palace.
It now home to the Royal Armouries and contains a range of exhibits related to the history of warfare.
You can also marvel at the Crown Jewels, a collection of regalia and jewels that the monarch of the United Kingdom uses during coronations and state ceremonies. You can also see the spot where Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, was executed.
History lovers will be in their element!
Tower of London tickets
Buying tickets online, in advance, means you can go into the Tower of London as soon as you arrive. This avoids the need to queue at tickets booths.
The Tower is open daily until 5.30 pm. Between Tuesday and Saturday, it opens at 9 am, and an hour later on Sunday and Monday.
Climb onto a warship
HMS Belfast is a Royal Navy light cruiser that was launched in 1938. It saw action in the Second World War, as well as the Korean War.
It is now a museum ship moored on the River Thames and is open to the public.
The ship has nine decks that you can explore, and there are interactive exhibits and displays that tell the story of the ship and its crew. You can see the living quarters, engine room, and gun decks. There’s also the chance to sit in the Captain’s chair.
A visit here is a great way to learn about life on a warship and step on board a ship involved in the D-Day landings.
The ship also has a café and bar so you can enjoy a bite to eat or a drink after your visit.
HMS Belfast entry fee (KW)
HMS Belfast is open every day from 10 am until 6 pm.
Climb up to the galleries in St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built between the late 17th century and early 18th century.
It is a major attraction in the city, and has hosted many famous events, including the wedding in 1981 of Prince Charles and Princess Diana and the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965.
It is on Ludgate Hill, an easy walk along the river from Tower Bridge.
The cathedral is easy to spot when you’re in this part of the city. Just look for its dome on the skyline: this is the highest in the world at over 360 feet high.
The interior of St. Paul’s Cathedral is just as impressive as the exterior. There are artworks and monuments that are worth seeing, as well as the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren himself.
You can visit the crypt and climb to the three galleries (the Stone Gallery, the Whispering Gallery, and the Golden Gallery) for breathtaking views across London.
A visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral is a great way to soak up some history and culture in London.
St Paul’s Cathedral tickets
You can book tickets for St. Paul’s cathedral here. It is also included in the London Pass.
The cathedral is open from every day except Sunday between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm (except for Wednesdays when it opens slightly later at 10 am).
See the city from the river
A cruise on the River Thames is a must-do for any tourist visiting London. It offers wonderful views of the cityscape and some of its most iconic landmarks.
There is a pier near Tower Bridge so it’s really easy to combine a trip here with a cruise.
You can choose from a variety of different cruises, depending on your interests and how much time you have.
This cruise takes you from Westminster to Tower Bridge Quay, so would be an excellent way to see other sights, such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square, at the same time as a trip to the Tower Bridge area.
You can also book this lunch cruise or this afternoon tea cruise.
And for something a bit special, this evening boat trip serves bubbly and canapes and includes a live band.
The London Pass also includes a trip on the River Thames as part of the ticket price.
Climb the Monument to the Great Fire of London
The Monument to the Great Fire of London commemorates the fire which destroyed much of the city in 1666 and that started in nearby Pudding Lane.
It is over 200 feet high, with a spiral staircase inside with 311 steps that lead to an outdoor viewing platform.
From the 360-degree viewing platform, you can get great views of the city, including of Tower Bridge. You’ll also find information about the Great Fire and life in London before it happened.
Tickets for the Monument
The Monument is included in the London Pass.
You can visit from Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 1 pm and then from 2 pm until 6 pm.
View some modern art in the Tate Modern museum
The Tate Modern Museum houses modern art on the banks of the River Thames. The museum was converted into a gallery from a former power station.
It is a must-see for art lovers.
It is one of the most-visited modern art museums in the world. In 2019, it saw just over 6 million visitors come through its doors*.
The museum is home to an impressive collection of art, including work by some of the world’s most famous artists, such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Mark Rothko, and Andy Warhol.
You can wander through the various galleries and take in exhibits from different movements and styles, including abstract expressionism and pop art. There are also sections on new and unusual approaches, film and video art, and mass media.
If you’re looking for things to do near Tower Bridge, visiting the Tate Modern is a great option. It’s just a short walk across the Millennium Bridge from St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Tickets for the Tate Modern Museum
It is free to visit the Tate Modern. There are, however, entry fees associated with specific exhibitions. For more information, see the website.
The museum is open every day from 10 am until 6 pm.
Indulge your foodie self in Borough Market
If you’re looking for a foodie experience while in London, then you need to check out Borough Market. This vibrant market is located just south of the River Thames and is home to over 100 stalls selling fresh fruit and veg, meat, fish, cheeses, and more.
You can find anything from traditional British fare to international cuisine here. There’s something for everyone, so make sure you take your time browsing through all the stalls.
You can also grab some snacks to take away here. Choose from options that include Middle Eastern mezze, bao buns, Taiwanese street food, lobster mac and cheese, French pastries, Italian gelato, and salt beef beigels.
And from Wednesday to Sundays from early May, the market transforms into an outdoor eating space in the evening. So if a stroll through the market has whetted your appetite, stop off for something more substantial for your evening meal.
You’ll find some of the best food in London at Borough Market, making it the perfect place to visit near Tower Bridge.
Other than bank holidays, the market is open every day. It opens at 10 am, except for Saturdays when it opens 2 hours earlier at 8 am.
Sip cocktails in the Shard – or just admire the view
For a luxurious experience while you’re in the area, head to the Shard and enjoy cocktails in the sky.
The Shard is a skyscraper that towers more than 1,000 feet over the city and offers some of the best views across the capital, including of Tower Bridge.
If you want a drink with a view, Aqua Shard is the place to go. This stylish bar on level 31 has an extensive list of cocktails, as well as wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages.
The 52nd-floor Gong cocktail lounge also provides spectacular views from even higher up in the building.
If you just want to enjoy the views, you can go to the viewing platforms at the top of the building: there are two indoor platforms on the 68th and 69th floors and another outdoor Skydeck on the 72nd floor.
Experience some Shakespearean theatre in the Globe
The Globe Theatre in London is a replica of William Shakespeare’s original 16th century Globe Theatre. It is situated on the south bank of the River Thames.
The theatre was built in 1997 and is just a few hundred metres from the original site. You can watch live open-air performances of Shakespeare’s plays in an auditorium that holds over 1,500 people.
The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (named after the actor who established the trust that lobbied to restore the theatre) is also located here.
If you like theatre, this would be the perfect place to end your day of sightseeing in the area.
Tours in the Globe Theatre
If you’d like to learn more about the Globe Theatre and its reconstruction, then you can book a tour. You can get this free as part of the London Pass.
Other things to do in London and short breaks in the UK
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do near Tower Bridge. If you are sightseeing in London, also check out some of my other posts:
- A day trip to Hampton Court Palace
- What to do at Kew Gardens
- Things to do in South West London
- A visit to Kensington Palace
- Things to do in Richmond Park
You may also be interested in other places to visit in the UK:
- Day trips from London by train
- A visit to Windsor
- Days out in Hampshire
- A weekend in Bath
- The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
- Visiting Blenheim Palace
- 3 days in Edinburgh