Our recommendations for the top things to see and do on a visit to Greenwich, London including the best photo opportunities, art, architecture, food and shopping.
Historic Greenwich is one of the jewels of London. In just one square kilometre you can find charming streets, traditional pubs, great places to eat, a covered market, one of the best views of London, the Thames, a beautiful park - and, of course, world-class museums.
Royal history in Greenwich
Its location on the Thames has put Greenwich at the heart of English maritime life for hundreds of years. The area also has impeccable royal connections, as the birthplace of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and as a favourite destination with Tudor and Stuart monarchs. It is now decreed one of the Royal Boroughs of London and is home to the beautifully conserved tea clipper Cutty Sark, who was the fastest ship of her time, and the National Maritime Museum, which features the biggest naval history collection anywhere in the world.
Art & culture in Greenwich
There is plenty to see for the culturally inclined, from works of art by some of Britain’s greatest masters including Gainsborough, Reynolds and Turner, to great examples of architecture by Sir Christopher Wren at the Royal Observatory and Inigo Jones at the Queen’s House.
The area also gives its name to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), as the site of the Prime Meridian of the World where you can stand with a foot in the western and eastern hemispheres of the Earth. And while you’re at the Royal Observatory, discover the quest to measure longitude, touch a 4.5 billion year old meteorite and visit London’s only planetarium.
Once night falls, the area comes alive with buzzing bars and restaurants, cinemas, comedy and theatre. And it only takes 25 minutes to get here from central London.
Tips for a great day out in Greenwich
If you've only got one day to spend in Greenwich, here are our top ten things to do on your visit:
You can’t come to Greenwich without grabbing a selfie standing on the Prime Meridian of the World at Royal Observatory - the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Don’t miss this award-winning 19th-century sailing ship, raised over three metres allowing you the jaw-dropping experience of walking directly underneath.
Think of a planetarium as a tour bus of the universe taking you on amazing journeys to explore and experience the wonders of the night sky – what’s more there’s commentary by expert astronomers from the Royal Observatory.
Bring your camera to capture the best natural view of the city there is. See the famous curve of the River Thames, the glistening towers of Canary Wharf, St Pauls Cathedral, the London Eye and much more.
Completed by famous architect Christopher Wren in 1696 for Charles II. If you love architecture you’ll admire the stunning symmetry and beauty of these unique buildings. Pop into the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre to find out more about the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.
Yes that's right, a whole museum devoted to fans! And not just any fans - a world-renowned collection of fans with examples from all over the world from the 12th century to the present day. The collection is particularly strong in 18th and 19th century European fans. It’s quite literally fan-tastic and definitely worth a look!
Widely regarded as one of London’s finest markets, there are over 120 arts, craft and antique stalls so you can browsing everything from handcrafted toys and boutique fashion and jewellery before you reward yourself with some delicious international food from the continental food stalls.
Greenwich Park is said to be the most historic of all London’s Royal Parks. Formerly a hunting park the stunning grounds date back to Roman times and cover 183 acres. There’s a boating lake and a Deer Par as well as some hidden treasures!
Everyone’s talking about craft beer these days, and Greenwich is home to the award-winning Meantime brewery where you can take in a brewery tour, visit the tasting rooms and do a beer appreciation course!
Did you know the River Thames is 215 miles long? Well it is, so you probably won’t be able to cruise down the full length in a day but could certainly take in some of the most stunning sites. Cruises depart every 30 minutes from Westminster Pier, London Eye Pier, Tower Pier and Greenwich Pier every day of the year.
Royal Museums Greenwich, along with the historic Greenwich town centre, the Old Royal Naval College and Greenwich Park, was given World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1997, under the name Maritime Greenwich. This recognises its architectural significance, its royal history and its importance as a centre for science and the arts. World Heritage Sites are designated to encourage people to visit them and to ensure they are preserved for generations to come.
Places to stay in Greenwich
Novotel London Greenwich
Discover the stylish elegance of the Novotel London Greenwich hotel, conveniently located for the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.
Accor and Novotel offer for corporate supporters and Patrons
Our Corporate Members, Sponsors and Patrons can now enjoy 10% off the hotel best available rate at the Novotel London Greenwich, as well as 10% off standard rate in all Accor Hotels properties in over 90 countries.
To become a supporter or to obtain your preferential booking rate code, contact the development team on +44 (0)20 8312 6603 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Greenwich accommodation
For more accommodation options in Greenwich see the Visit Greenwich page: