Situated at the heart of London, Kensington is one of the most affluence districts in the British capital. From the quiet streets lined with stunning mansions owned by politicians and millionaires to the full of tourists Exhibition Road, this is one of the must-see places in London. Get ready for lively, vibrant and colorful streets, which will surprise you with its laid-back and relaxing atmosphere. Keep reading and find the 10 best things to do in Kensington.
Cool Places To Visit In Kensington
Explore palaces, museums, parks, gardens and in between a packed itinerary dip in and out of cool cafes and restaurants. For those on a tight budget note that there are also plenty of free things to do in Kensington and nearby areas of London.
One of the must-visit places is the Kensington Palace. Located within Hyde Park, the palace was once the British Royal’s Family official residence. Constructed during the 17th Century, the mansion was also Queen Victoria’s childhood home. A large sculpture of the queen will greet you at the palace’s entrance, before starting your walk through the impressive suits once used by the British royalties.
From antique furniture to the queen’s and princess’s wardrobes, visitors can explore the massive collection of memorabilia, some of which dates back to the 18th Century. The mansion is also surrounded by a small colorful garden with a pond and fountains, so make sure to enjoy the peaceful walk there. Keep in mind that the adult ticket prices to Kensington Palace is £17.00. Once you are done exploring the palaces there are plenty more things to do near Kensington Palace.
Address: Kensington Gardens, Kensington, London W8 4PX, United Kingdom
Known as the largest market in London, Portobello Market offers everything from vintage clothes to delicious street food. Depending which day of the week you decide to visit, you will find different stalls at the bazaar. If you want to fully experience the hustle and bustle of Portobello Market, though, you should visit on a Saturday when more than 1000 dealers come together selling different types of antiques, clothes, souvenirs and yummy snack foods. The streets performers create an even more lively and vibrant atmosphere, which is worth experiencing when in Kensignton.
Address: 306 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TA, United Kingdom
Victoria And Albert Museum
As one of the most interesting, yet a bit unusual places to visit in Kensington, Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s leading museum of art and design. Opened back in the 1850s, the museum is named after Queen Victoria and her husband Price Albert. Visitors can admire the massive collection of more than 2 million items, such as silver, ironwork, furniture, photography, glass and ceramic pieces.
If you are a fan of the Italian Renaissance you will find it interesting that the museum is also home to the second biggest exhibit of sculptures from this period. There is no entrance fee, so you might want to stop by what is considered the world’s biggest museum.
Address: Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL, United Kingdom
High Street Kensington Shopping
Kensington is one of the most affluent and expensive London districts. The streets are lined with department stores by well-known fashion brands, luxurious boutiques and high street retailers. So if you have decided to go on a shopping spree, Kensington area is perfect for you. Start at the world-famous Harrods store, which has been receiving a large number of customers since 1849.
Across the floors you can find high-class home furnishing section, top branded clothing and premier cosmetics. The second most popular department store in Kensington is Harvey Nichols, which also offers designer fashion clothes. If you have a particular brand in mind and you would like to visit their store, head to Sloane Street. Situated at the Chelsea area it is home to the most luxurious and popular designer brands in the world.
Explore Notting Hill
With its colorful houses, Notting Hill is one of the most charming and vibrant neighborhoods in London. If you are looking forward to strolling down the streets, taking pictures in front of the pastel painted houses and enjoying the cheerful atmosphere, you should head to Lancaster Road. What a lot of tourists, do not realize, though, is that this lively district offers so much more.
From the busy Portobello Market to the quaint small cafes, you can easily spend an entire day exploring and admiring this part of London. If you are a book lover, you will certainly enjoy the numerous bookshops lined along the streets. Make sure top stop by the Notting Hill Bookshop, widely known for some of the scenes of the popular Notting Hill movie being filmed there. Later in the afternoon you should grab a refreshing cocktail or cider in one of the traditional English pubs. For a detailed look at things to do in Notting Hill, check out our linked guide.
Royal Albert Hall
As the most iconic venue center in London, Royal Albert Hall is one of the must-see places in Kensington area. The building was opened in 1871 by Queen Victoria and can accommodate up to 5272 people at once. Throughout the years it has hosted hundreds of concerts, film screenings, ballet performances and even sport events. With its ellipse shape and glass dome, the building is easily recognizable.
As you can imagine, the best way to experience this impressive hall is by attending a concert or event, so make sure to check the show schedule before heading to London. If you are not lucky enough and nothing is on, while you are visiting the country, you can book a guided tour for around £15.
Address: Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP, United Kingdom
Explore Cafe Culture
Among cool best things to do in South Kensington is checking out the cafes and sitting down to a little people watching as you dine. The vibrant streets of Kensington are packed with numerous quaint small cafes offering delicious French pastries and yummy Italian coffee.
After you have spent an entire day exploring ancient artifacts at the Natural History Museum or interesting art and design items at the Victoria and Albert Museum, you should treat yourself with some mouth-watering cakes combined with a refreshing cup of coffee. Fait Maison is one of the most popular coffee shops in the area with its beautifully decorated exterior.
Despite being heavily influenced by the French style it offers traditional English afternoon tea, as well as unusual Mediterranean lunch meals. You cannot go wrong with anything from the menu list. Most of the cafes also have small tables and chairs outside, which allows you to fully explore the cafe culture of the Kensington area. Just take your time and enjoy the laid-back vibe of the district.
If you want to dive into the fields of science and maths, you should pay a visit to the Science Museum. Situated on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. Widely-known as the home to the Apollo 10 command module and some of the first steam engines, the museum is a real gem if you want your children to learn more about the Science field.
The best part is that everything was designed to keep the little ones occupied through various interactive exhibits. The IMAX 3D Cinema and the Wonderlab are some of the latest additions to the museum, which make it easy for the kids to understand and learn more about different science phenomena. With its free entrance, it is compulsory to add the Science Museum to your London travel itinerary.
Address: Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD, United Kingdom
Natural History Museum
Known for the largest collection of dinosaur skeletons, the Natural History Museum is one of the places you should not skip when visiting London. The exterior of the impressive building will certainly inspire you to take a step in and dive into the 80 million objects divided across five main exhibits – zoology, paleontology, mineralogy, entomology and botany.
The museum was opened approximately 140 years ago and was once part of the British Museum. There are a number of more interactive exhibits, perfect if you are visiting with your children. The Red Zone of the museum, which is devoted to the continuously changing history of the planet, is designed in such an interesting way, that it has become favorite among both adults and kids. If you wake up on a rainy day in London, the Natural History Museum is a fantastic place to spend your time. A nice added bonus, is the free entrance.
Address: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom
Hyde Park Gardens / Serpentine Gallery
Situated at the heart of London, Hyde Park is a must-visit spot while in the English capital. As the largest park in the city, it spreads on a territory of more than 350 acres. The park consists of the Serpentine and the Long Water lakes, Kensington Palace and Gardens as well as numerous fountains and pavilions.
It is literally impossible to see everything in one day, so it is a good idea to plan in advance which areas of the park would you like to explore. If you are looking for something unusual and intriguing, we strongly suggest stopping by the Serpentine Gallery, which is not so well-known among tourists. Known as one of the most interesting contemporary museums in London, the gallery with free entrance is certainly worth the visit.
Where To Stay In In Kensington
While exploring this beautiful area of London, staying in the area also gives you easy access to cool and fun things to do in Kensington and nearby attractions in Kensington and Chelsea. When it comes to where to stay in Kensington, you have options for cool and amazing Airbnbs in Kensington as well as those in Notting Hill, hostels in Kensington allow you to save on accommodation in this expensive area. We have also covered amazing hotels in Kensington here.
From the most popular museums in London to some quaint small cafes, Kensington area has so much to offer to its visitors. The streets are vibrant and colorful and always packed with people. If you want to become part of the hustle and bustle of the English capital, you should certainly pay a visit to the district. Let us know which of these 10 things to do in Kensington inspired you to pack your bags immediately.