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Solo Trip to London – Ultimate Solo Travel Guide to London

Today I want to share my guide to planning a solo trip to London with you. There are lots of great things to do alone in London for visitors. Whatever you’re into, the city offers plenty of ways to have fun on your own. Read on for my travel tips.

Solo Trip to London

Solo Trip to London

One of my favorite things about London is that there’s so much to do. I’ve spent years living here and I still feel like I haven’t done and seen all there is to experience. Whether I’m with others or on my own, the UK capital has a lot to offer.

As a visitor, there are plenty of ways to enjoy London alone, and London is good for solo travelers. I’m an introvert and I spend a lot of time exploring the city solo, so I know this from years of firsthand experience. I’ve also traveled solo all over the world.

From the main attractions and the best museums to famous landmarks and fun markets, there’s plenty for you to discover by yourself in London.

Trafalgar Square, London

Where to Stay in London as a Solo Traveler

One of the questions I get asked most often is “where is the best neighborhood to stay in London as a solo traveler?”

The good news is that there’s no right or wrong answer to that. There are plenty of places you can stay in the city on your own, from central London neighborhoods to local areas outside Zone 1.

When I’ve planned trips for clients who are traveling solo, I’ve recommended everything from apartments in Hampstead to hotels in Victoria.

Kings Cross Hotel in London

My go-to hotel recommendation for solo travelers in London is The Resident. If you prefer the social atmosphere of a hostel, Wombat’s City Hostel London is a winner. You can take a look at my guide to the best area to stay in London for more ideas.

The bottom line is that it’s really up to you and your travel style. If you feel more comfortable staying in a hotel, that’s great. If you want your own place or somewhere that you’ll be staying with others, that’s fine too.

Most places in London are as safe as they are in any big city, and if you stay central or in a good local area, you should be fine. You can see a range of options and book a place to stay here. My guide to quirky hotels in London has fun ideas, too.

Browns Hotel Afternoon Tea Room

Things to Do Alone in London

As far as planning for what to do while you’re visiting, there are plenty of things to do in London on your own. Whether you’re into markets, walks, museums, music, food, or something else, the city offers plenty of ways to have fun alone.

If you want to explore the city on foot, you can check out my free self-guided London walking tours. They’ll show you the high streets and hidden corners of many areas of the city, and they’ll help you get your bearings.

If you’re into meeting people or you want a guided tour, there are plenty of options as well. Taking a hop-on, hop-off bus tour is a great way to get a feel for the city and interact with fellow travelers. You can book one here.

London Eye

The same goes for Thames cruises. They’re fun ways to take in the city’s major landmarks on the river and meet people while you do. You can book one here.

Depending on your interests, you can also take a food tour, a street art tour, or another guided tour that fits your passions. You can see a range of options and book one that appeals to you here.

If you’re planning to take any side trips while you’re here, I recommend going with Rabbie’s Tours. I’ve done a number of day trips and multi-day tours with them, and I’ve always met other solo travelers.

Covent Garden, London pub

In fact, on one trip I did with Rabbie’s there were only solo female travelers, which made it a lot of fun for all of us. You can see options and book a tour here.

If you want more ideas, you can take a look at my blog post about 51 things to do alone in London. It has loads of ideas for your trip.

Where to Eat and Drink Solo in London

One of the biggest challenges for me when I travel alone is finding places to eat where I don’t feel conspicuously solo. Over the years I’ve gotten wise to ways to feel comfortable eating alone when I travel.

The Ship and Shovell pub, London

The same is true for London, where I often eat alone if I’m walking around the city by myself all day.

The UK capital’s many food markets are my top picks for places to eat solo in London. From Borough Market to Camden Market, there are a lot of places you can enjoy a quick meal on your own in London.

Pubs are also good choice. They’re great whether you want to settle in for a solo meal or get social with others around you.

Pub in Greenwich, London

If you’re after a quick meal, there are plenty of places in London you can eat on the go. From Leon to Pret, they offer order-at-the-counter service.

If the weather is nice, you can get your meal to take away and eat in a local park or on one of the benches along the Thames. In the summer, there are great picnic spots in London as well.

Dinner can be trickier for solo travelers, especially if you want to enjoy a sit-down meal. But London has plenty of restaurants where you can eat at a bar top or counter and feel less conspicuous than if you were at a table for one.

Artist Residence Restaurant in London

From the famous Padella in Borough Market to Lina Stores and Kiln in Soho, there are plenty of places you can go. I love the communal tables at Ottolenghi, too.

Cost of a Solo Trip to London

A lot of people wonder how to budget for a solo trip to London. The truth is that costs can vary depending on your travel style.

If you stay in a 5-star hotel in Knightsbridge and eat at Michelin-starred restaurants every day, you’re going to spend a lot more than if you stay in a hostel in east London and buy groceries.

OXO Tower Restaurant

While London can be more expensive than many other places, there are also a lot of free things to do in London. From museums to parks and walks, you can easily spend all day in the city and only pay for food.

Speaking of food, that can range in price as well. Groceries can be surprisingly reasonable in London compared to places like the United States. Eating at casual restaurants like ICCO in Fitzrovia or Roti King doesn’t have to break the bank, either.

My overall recommendation is to take a look at what you think you’ll be able to spend on the entire trip, how much each activity you want to do costs, and which kind of accommodation you’re interested in. Then you can back into a budget.

Buckingham Palace, London

Once you’ve allotted money for sightseeing, tours, and other activities, you can see what there is left per day for accommodation and food. That will help you stay within your plan.

Safety for Solo Travelers

Another question I get asked all the time is whether London is safe for solo travelers, especially solo female travelers.

While it’s impossible to guarantee safety, I’ve always felt comfortable in London (and I’ve walked down a lot of streets alone at night over the years).

Soho, London at night

If you use good judgement and common sense, you’ll likely be fine. I always try to avoid areas that are empty or have reputations for being rough, especially after dark. But in central London there are few of those.

It’s also a good idea to keep your wits about you and stay sober if you’re alone. While that might not sound fun, it will probably allow you to make better decisions and stay safer.

I also recommend watching your coats and bags at casual restaurants and pubs. Instead of hanging your bag off the back of your chair, put it in your lap or at your feet. Try to make sure your coat is secure while you’re sitting down, too.

Soho, London

Above all, don’t let fear prevent you from visiting London (or hinder your enjoyment while you’re here). I’ve lived and traveled in cities all over Europe, and I’ve felt safer here than in most other major urban centers.

How to Meet People in London

If you’re interested in meeting fellow travelers or locals on your solo trip to London, there are a number of ways you can do so.

As I mentioned before, going on tours can be a great way to meet other people. Local pubs are always a good bet, too, especially if you sit at the bar in the evening.

Holly Bush, Hampstead pub

In addition, there are plenty of apps you can use to meet people. From dating apps to Bumble BFF and Facebook groups, they can be great ways to connect with others.

There are also lots of meetups and events going on in London for all kinds of interests. You can use the Meetup website or join global networks like InterNations to find ones that appeal to you.

If you’re part of a university alumni network, there are plenty of opportunities, too. For example, many American alumni groups have active chapters in London.

Aerial View of a pub in Victoria, London

They host regular events and happy hours, and they’re fun ways to connect with fellow alums when you travel. If you’re curious, you can look online to see whether yours has a presence in the UK capital.

Above all, when meeting people, keep in mind that it’s somewhat taboo to talk to strangers on the tube, bus, or in the street in London.

People aren’t unfriendly or rude, it’s just not the done thing to approach people randomly and strike up a conversation. Using the other methods I suggested will likely yield better results.

Covent Garden Piazza

Solo Trip to London

I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to planning a solo trip to London, and that it’s made you feel both comfortable and excited about visiting the UK capital by yourself.

There’s a lot you can do and see here on your own, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy exploring the city as much as I do. Happy travels!

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