Looking for things to do when it's raining in London? When the weather takes a turn for the worse, your plans may need to change quite suddenly. But not to worry, backpackers. There’s a million and one things to do indoors in fun-packed London. We’ve picked out the best places to head to on a rainy day in the Big Smoke, mainly near to our St Christopher’s hostels. Think indoor mini golf, cheap eats, quirky cafes, old school cinemas and way more....
Just don’t forget your umbrella!
Looking for hostels in London? Check out across the city
1. EXPLORE OLD SPITALFIELDS MARKET
This famous market in Shoreditch (East London) is weather proof, shielded by a glass canopy so it kind of feels like you're outside (except you won't get rained on). Old Spitalfields Market is famous for its street food offering cuisines from all over the world as well as vintage fashion, accessories, vinyls and art. Definitely worth a visit.
2. Watch a last minute show at Camden Roundhouse
If you love music, then find shelter at the Roundhouse in Camden. This famous live music venue always has some cool gigs on where you can catch the latest up-and-coming British and international talent. See if there are any shows on when you're in the city and pop into Belushi’s just down the road for Happy Hour drinks before doors open.
3. Try London’s best vegan food
London is a paradise for vegans. Whether it’s street food, market stalls, vegan cafes or restaurants that specialise in 100% plant-based menus, explore the vegan options in London on a rainy day. Check out our articles on where to get the (although not every market on the list is covered) and .
4. Putt a whole in one at Swingers crazy golf
Eat pizza and drink cocktails while golfing under disco lights and amazing music! Can you think of anything more fun? Swinger's is one of our favourite places to go when the weather sucks. There are two Swingers branches you can head to putt a hole in one, one in London’s West End (just off Oxford Street) and the other at the foot of the city’s iconic Gherkin skyscraper. Just make sure you book a slot in advance.
5. Visit the BODY WORLDS exhibition
If you’re stuck in Piccadilly Circus looking to escape the rain, why not head somewhere a little bit quirky? Body Worlds is a wacky exhibition home to real human bodies… And it's like nothing else you've seen before. Entry for adults is £24.50.
6. Catch a movie at the Electric Cinema
Nothing beats watching a movie on a cold, rainy day. Rather than going to an old cinema, get cosy in the Electric Cinema and watch one of the new film releases amongst an old school cinema set-up. Grab a drink (cocktails included) from the bar before the movie starts, then sit back in your plush velvet seat and try not to doze off. There's one branch in Portobello and another in White City.
7. Visit museums around London
The Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth, the British Museum in Bloomsbury… There are so many museums in London that it's so hard to choose which one to visit. Whether you like art, British history, space or science, there's no better way to spend a rainy day than feeding your mind in a fascinating museum. Check out the to visit when you’re on a budget.
8. VISIT BOROUGH MARKET NEAR LONDON BRIDGE
Another fantastic market to visit in London. If you're around London Bridge, get away from the rain and head to Borough Market, the oldest food market in the city. Half of the market is indoors so it’s a perfect stop to keep you occupied until the rain stops. See how much food you can sample until your belly hurts! Check out the .
9. Go to a Ping Pong bar
Fancy a game of ping pong? Bounce in Farringdon and Old Street is the perfect place to get a bit competitive on a rainy day. Book a ping pong slot and sip some fine cocktails while you take on your pals with your epic table tennis skills.
10. Get last minute tickets to a West End show
Whether you fancy a comedy, a musical or a tragedy, you can count on the West End to have some absolutely incredible performances showing. One of the best ways to nab cheap theatre tickets in London is to buy them on the day, although they’re not always guaranteed. Try using the Today Tix app to purchase their ‘rush tickets’ where you’re entered in for a draw to buy cheap tickets when you share the app on your social media.
Check out the
11. Visit Europe’s biggest shopping centre
There are two Westfield shopping centres in London, the biggest being in Shepherd’s Bush and the other in Stratford. Whether you fancy a bit of shopping, some food or a film, there is so much to do in this giant shopping centre that your rainy day can easily be filled. There’s even a crazy golf course at the Shepherd’s Bush branch now.
12. Dine on cereal at the Cereal Killer Cafe
A major hipster joint in two edgy London locations, Camden and Brick Lane, where you can go cereal crazy. Here, you'll find a HUGE selection of fun cereals and coloured milks. You'll feel like a kid again.
13. Visit a cat cafe
For all you cat lovers. Sip some tea while petting a furry friend at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in Bethnal Green. Befriend the gorgeous rescue cats and indulge in anything from a high tea or a cocktail down to a simple cuppa.
14. Try the best buns in Chinatown
For a taste of hot, freshly made Chinese buns, visit the Bun House in Chinatown for the perfect pick me up on a foul day. If you're exploring central London and the heavens decide to open, this is the perfect escape.
15. Have a pint in a proper British pub
There are real British pubs around every corner of London. Want a dose of history? Ye Old Mitre is a charming 16th century pub that survived the Great Fire of London. It has several traditional ales on tap and is full of cosy pub character. Another of our favourite British pubs in London is St Christopher’s Pub on Borough High Street.
16. Get your sushi fix
You might be surprised at just how many affordable sushi joints there are in London. Get your fill of tasty tuna rolls, salmon sashimi and nigiri at our favourite sushi spots in the city.
17. Don’t like sushi? How about pancakes instead?
London is packed with stacks upon stacks of some seriously tasty pancakes. Whether it’s paper thin crepes topped with strawberries and cream, fluffy American pancakes drenched in maple syrup and bacon or tiny puffs of pancake heaven Dutch-style. Check out these which will be sure to lift your spirits on a rainy day.
18. Cosy up in a cafe or book store
Pack your book and a pair of headphones and head to one of the cosiest spots in London for a rainy day. These lovely little spots are tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city and are perfect for a bit of peace and quiet. Cafes, book shops, libraries, pubs… Check out these great to escape the rain.
19. Get chills and thrills at the London Bridge Experience
London's scariest attraction. Just a short walk away from St Christopher’s London Bridge, this is not one for the fainthearted. Set deep underground, learn about the history of London Bridge and then walk through a scare maze where you will face your darkest fears.
20. Happy Hour at Belushi’s Bars
When you’re a guest at St Christopher’s hostels, make use of the daily drink deals and food discounts. Order 100 chicken wings, scoff a badass burger and then make friends and party with cheap drinks and beer pong. There are Belushi’s Bars all over London in London Bridge, Camden, Shepherd’s Bush, Hammersmith and Greenwich.