We’re feeling pretty smug right now, in London!
It’s the time of year when we’re looking ahead and making holiday plans for 2024 – but you don’t need to go far for the trip of a lifetime.
TripAdvisor have revealed their reviewers most beloved travel destinations for 2024, and coming out on top in Europe is our very own London.
The UK’s capital was crowned the travellers’ favourite spot in Europe, and claimed a very respectable third place in the world overall.
The city beat out the likes of Rome (second), and Paris (third), to claim the first place – the same top three as last year.
On a global scale, London came third after Dubai and Bali.
And it seems visitors to London are big history buffs, as the top rated attraction is the Tower of London, home to the Crown Jewels and those oh-so-spooky ravens. Legend has it that when the ravens leave the tower, the kingdom will fall.
TripAdvisor’s top holiday destinations in Europe
1. London, UK
2. Rome, Italy
3. Paris, France
4. Crete, Greece
5. Istanbul, Türkiye
6. Barcelona, Spain
7. Madrid, Spain
8. Lisbon, Portugal
9. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
10. Florence, Italy
The British Museum is next on travellers’ hit lists, no doubt keen to admire the Rosetta Stone and Elgin Marbles. While other visitors are heading over the Southbank to take in the views from the top of the London Eye.
While you can’t deny there is lots to see and do in the capital, London doesn’t always get the best reviews. In fact, back in 2023, social media users had declared the city was in its ‘flop era’
‘Ok don’t yell at me because as you know I love London but: we are so obviously flopping at the moment’, wrote X user and journalist Marie Le Conte. ‘So many friends have gone to live elsewhere, people who used to visit quite often don’t anymore, so many big cities have better vibes than us right now, it’s just not our decade.’
But despite what Londoners might think, the world has spoken – and 30 million visitors per year surely can’t be wrong.
TripAdvisor’s top global holiday destinations
1. Dubai, UAE
2. Bali, Indonesia
3. London, UK
4. Hanoi, Vietnam
5. Rome, Italy
6. Paris, France
7. Cancun, Mexico
8. Marrakech, Morocco
9. Crete, Greece
10. Hoi An, Vietnam
London’s most underrated tourist attractions
Sure, if you’re coming to London for the first time, Big Ben is a must and you’ve got to swing by Buckingham Palace to say ‘hello’ to the King.
But there is so much to do in our city that might not make your average travel guide…
No, it’s not Halloween.
While we can understand why a graveyard might not be to everyone’s tastes, Highgate Cemetery in North London is well worth a visit.
Dating back to 1839, the Victorian burial site is steeped in history, and is the final resting place of some of the city’s most famous residents, including Karl Marx, George Michael and George Elliot.
Home to an abundance of birds and wildlife, it’s also a great place to walk around, for a slice of calm and tranquil amongst the hustle and bustle.
From the Serpentine to the River Thames itself, if you fancy a waterside stroll, London has lots of options – but Little Venice is often overlooked.
Situated near Paddington, where the Grand Union and the Regent’s canals meet, the district is a hidden gem full of picturesque scenery, quirky cafes, boats, greenery – and even the UKs only floating puppet show.
If you like the idea of taking to the water but don’t want to go for a guided tour, rent yourself a GoBoat, grab some friends and enjoy a trip down the Regent’s Canal towards Camden Lock. You can even take snacks onboard.
You’re also just a canal side walk away from some other must-visit spots, including Primrose Hill, Camden Town, and Granary Square.
The Thames Clippers
Yes, we’re still on the water. While you might see lots of ‘hop on hop off’ tour buses making the rounds around the city, few think about taking to the Thames for a whistle stop tour of the capital.
The boats offer services from all major London piers every 10-20 minutes, daily. Our favourite route goes from Greenwich, north along the river to Bankside Pier. You’ll spot the likes of the Tower of London, the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe en route, and even pass under Tower Bridge.
It’s cheap too, children four and under go free, and single tickets for adults start from just £3.95.
Off-West End shows
If you’re heading to London, a trip to the theatre is a must, but Shaftesbury Avenue isn’t the only place where you can take in a world-class show.
If you’re in London this summer, Regent’s Park Open Air theatre is a perfect place to spend a long, light evening. Big name musicals such as Legally Blonde and Jesus Christ Superstar have graced the stage.
Elsewhere in the city, Southwark Playhouse offers world class shows for smaller audiences. Award-winning musical Operation Mincemeat had a run here before making it’s West End debut.
Other smaller venues to check out include Soho Theatre, The Bush Theatre and The Young Vic.
St Christopher’s Place
As you attempt to dodge the crowds along Oxford Street, it’s easy to miss the old-fashioned clock and sign that points towards St Christopher’s Place.
But if you walk through the narrow alleyway, you’ll find yourself in a quaint square of shops and restaurants that feels more like you’re in a Mediterranean city than in the heart of the West End.
From high end stores like Mulberry and Maya Magal, to independent eateries and chain restaurants like Pizza Express and Nando’s, there’s something for everyone in this tucked away piazza.