Explore London

15 Wonderful Things To Do In Waterloo

Central to London on the South Bank, Waterloo is where the incredible city offers many of its top attractions, making it one of the hot spots for tourists and those who want to experience things they may only have read about when planning their trip. 

If you’re still in the throes of planning your dream London trip and want to add Waterloo to your list of places to go, here are some highly recommended attractions and activities for you to check out while you’re there. 


See the city through the London Eye

As one of the top tourist attractions in London, the London Eye is a must-visit if you are in and around the Waterloo area. It’s one of the defining landmarks of the London skyline, and it’s worth visiting even if you just go and see the brilliance behind its structural design. If you choose to hop on board one of the London Eye’s capsules, you’ll get to see incredible views of the city while getting the opportunity to snap some memorable pictures. 


Take an artistic stroll through Leake Street 

For anyone who has an appreciation for street and modern art, the Leake Street walk is famous for showcasing some of the best local street art talent. There are constantly new pieces being added to the walls of this famous art street, encompassing works with political statements, perspective pieces and, of course, social commentary. The street also provides tourists with the perfect backdrop for photos to mark a memorable London trip. 


Watch a show at the Old Vic Theatre

The Old Vic Theatre is home to a stunning art deco-style proscenium arch stage, where top-class performers put on outstanding world-renowned quality productions. The theatre now specialises in showcasing up-and-coming actors, musicians and theatrical works before they make it to the West End stages. It’s a great way to experience theatre from a new, modern angle and is one of the best venues in London to watch a live performance. 

The theatre is also home to a super trendy bar and restaurant, which is perfect for you to catch a drink and some snacks before the show. 


Get fantastic rooftop views with a drink at Bar Elba

Bar Elba is one of those places that quickly became a go-to for summer evening drinks and is one of the most Instagrammable watering holes in London. As one of the top bars in Waterloo, it would be remiss of anyone to forgo an opportunity to see the London skyline while sipping on a delicious cocktail. It’s a wonderful place to go with a group of friends on a special night out in the city. Bookings typically fill up quite quickly, so you may have to do some pre-planning before adding this to your itinerary of things to do in Waterloo. 


Have an out-of-this-world dining experience at Skylon

Ever wondered what it’s like to have a dining experience in the clouds? Well, Skylon restaurant can give you a pretty close experience. The bar is decorated with cloud-like decor, and they serve some of the finest drinks and food in the city. Tables are arranged along a massive window that looks out onto the River Thames from the South Bank side, offering you views of the Jubilee walkways. With the city lights of the North Bank reflecting on the water, diners enjoy an exclusive atmosphere and a dining experience that’s truly unique to the London nightlife scene. 


Enjoy pure luxury at The Shard

Just walking distance away from Waterloo Station, the Shard is one of the iconic buildings that undeniably mark London’s cityscape. Inside the Shard, there is everything from some of the most exclusive apartments in the world to magnificent restaurants and bars, and of course, spas. If you’re looking for a break from wandering around Waterloo, then you should book yourself into Shangri-La London. 

The pools and treatment facilities are run by trained professionals who are highly skilled in everything from massage therapies to beauty and care treatments. The pools, saunas, and hot tubs also give you incredible views of London from above. 


Snap a selfie under the clock at Waterloo Station

Waterloo Station is a famous meeting point for friends and lovers. Its historic architecture is something to marvel at in its respects, and most of the original development is still visible and utilised today. Several famous movie scenes have taken place under the Waterloo Station Clock, and it’s one of those pieces that keep many Londoners on track timewise throughout their busy day. 

If you plan on meeting someone in Waterloo, why not have a classic London moment and meet under the famous clock? Don’t forget to take a photo of this experience when you do. 


Experience an aspect of London’s culture at the Vaults 

Have a flair for something a little different? Then you certainly cannot afford to miss out on a trip to The Vaults. Located in the heart of Waterloo, this venue puts on some of the best immersive theatre pieces and alternative art displays. For dinner before a show, you can also book into the Vaulty Towers, the bar and restaurant associated with the establishment. The Vaults is famous for its grungy atmosphere, with the outside of the main venue awash with trendy graffiti and street-style art displays. 


Spend a couple of hours at the Imperial War Museum

A short walk from Waterloo Station is the perfect activity for history lovers. England, and even London specifically, have rich war histories. The UK’s war past is famed for British involvement in the First and Second World Wars, however, the Imperial War Museum looks into other great battles too. 

Even for the little ones who may not be keen on the history itself, the museum also has several interesting displays from life-sized battle planes suspended from the ceiling, tanks and artillery displays, and interactive exhibits. Entry to the museum is free of charge, so it’s the perfect place to go and spend a few hours on a rainy day.   


Take the kids to the Sea Life London Aquarium

Whether you’re a marine life enthusiast or looking for something fun while travelling with little ones, London’s Sea Life Aquarium is the perfect activity. The impressive displays and massive fish tanks will keep you entertained for hours while you learn about the mysteries of underwater life. Sea Life is in the heart of Waterloo, right next to the London Eye, so it’s perfect if you want to spend a day exploring that particular area of the London borough. 


Test your nerves at the London Dungeon

If there’s one thing that couldn’t be more true about London, it’s that there are certain things to do and see for anyone, no matter what their idea of fun is. If you want to learn more about London’s dark history in a terrifying immersive experience, then the London Dungeon is certainly for you. 

Although not recommended for young children, it’s an attraction for those who want to put their nerves to the test or who get a kick out of scary encounters. 


Catch a glimpse into London’s medical history at the Florence Nightingale Museum

Florence Nightingale is a celebrated figure in British Medical history, recognised for her influential contributions to modern nursing. Famed for looking after wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, Nightingale made a name for herself by improving hygiene standards and bedside manners of nurses, which was seen as a big reason for reducing the number of deaths in hospital wards across the UK. 

For those who want to learn more about a celebrated British female icon, and, indeed, the progression of British medical care, a trip to the Florence Nightingale Museum in Waterloo is certainly worth it. 


Take a tour around Lambeth Palace

If you want to see more of the Royal properties dotted around London, Lambeth Palace is well worth the visit and is a short walk from Waterloo. The Palace remains the main residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury and has been so for the past 800 years. 

Although some new buildings have been built on the estate, Lambeth Palace’s Morton’s Tower has served as the main entrance to the Royal Estate since 1490. There are tours offered around the property, where visitors will get to see exquisite libraries, dining rooms, galleries, and other elements of the Palace’s grandeur. 


Stroll along the South Bank

Although you’ll probably end up walking along the South Bank in between exploring all the things to do in Waterloo, the walk itself should be enjoyed. London’s South Bank has become a popular area for street food, outdoor dining, and popup bars in relatively recent years, so when you’re in the area, take the time to enjoy the exciting atmosphere and give yourself the chance to discover something new. 

There are also wonderful spots to take photos along the South Bank, so you can tell your friends and family back home about the fantastic time you had in Waterloo. 

Experience Wonderful Waterloo

Waterloo is a great place to visit on your city trip to London. There are so many activities and things to do in the area, there’s no way you’ll struggle to fill up your itinerary. If you are looking for even more inspiration for things to do in Waterloo, head to our discovery website, Love To Visit, where you’ll find loads more fun and interesting activities to enjoy over your trip.