London is on the bucket list of many travelers and is packed with iconic things to see and do. Between rushing to see Big Ben, Hyde Park, and Buckingham Palace, tourists hardly get a minute to breathe in the English capital! But London is filled with so many more landmarks and attractions than most people realize.

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Though some of the touristy things might be worth doing in London too, you should add a few non-cliché activities to your list if you ever find yourself in the famous city. Forget the London Eye and the red telephone boxes, and opt for highlights that few other people even know about instead.

10 Stroll Up The Thames Path

Taking a walk up the Thames Path is one of the most relaxing and scenic things you can do in London, and many tourists don’t even know about all of it. Some parts are always busy, but there are still areas along the iconic river that you can stroll through in total privacy.

Along the path, you might pass The Prospect of Whitby, which was one of Charles Dickens’ favorite pubs. Many people choose to walk the path, but you can also hire a bicycle and ride by the river until your heart is content.

9 Try World Cuisine At The Sunday Upmarket

When in London, most tourists rush to sample British classics like fish and chips or Sunday roast. While you’ll want to make time for those dishes too, a fun thing to do in London is visiting the Sunday Upmarket in Brick Lane and sampling cuisine from around the globe. London is, after all, a melting pot of cultures, and there are so many international chefs located in the city.

You can head to the market between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, and try food from just about every cuisine under the sun. In the mood for African? No problem. Indian? You got it.

8 Skip The Eye And Head To The Shard

The London Eye is on the top of just about every tourist’s bucket list. While the famous landmark does boast some sublime views of the city, the truth is there are better alternatives available. To avoid long waiting times and sharing a capsule with a bunch of tourists with selfie sticks, check out the Shard instead.

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Not only does the Shard—one of the world’s most recognizable skyscrapers—offer a great view, but there’s also the Ting restaurant located inside. Hit two birds with one stone by dining in style and checking out the view!

7 Check Out The Kyoto Gardens In Holland Park

One of the best things about London is that, although it’s a busy and action-packed city, there are still plenty of opportunities to kick back and relax. If you want to do so without all the tourists, then head to the Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park, which is located in the suburb of Kensington.

A fine alternative to Hyde Park, Holland Park features many other highlights besides the tranquil gardens. You’ll also find an opera house inside, as well as an orangery, and a few peacocks roaming around the grounds.

6 Take A Dip In The Ponds Of Hampstead Heath

Forget the hotel pool if you’re in London during the warmer months, and head to Hampstead Heath to take a dip in one of the famous ponds. This hidden gem offers both female and male ponds, as well as a mixed one, so you can swim in total comfort.

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The heath offers some picturesque scenery, so this is a good place to bring a picnic basket loaded with yummy snacks and a few drinks. After your swim in the ponds, you’ll definitely have worked up a bit of an appetite!

5 Visit A Local Pub

If there’s one thing you need to do in London, it’s visiting one of the city’s many iconic pubs. This should be a rite of passage, and yet many tourists forget all about it in between rushing to see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Make a local by heading down to the pub for a few pints or some delicious pub grub and soak up the atmosphere.

There are plenty of pubs to choose from in London. One of the most iconic is the Ship n’ Shovel, the only pub in the city that stretches over an entire street.

4 Swap Buckingham Palace For Eltham Palace

Everybody wants to see Buckingham Palace while in London. Though it’s certainly a sight worth seeing, it might not be worth it to spend time lining up to get inside for a tour, when there are other historic buildings to see that are far less touristy.

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Eltham Palace isn’t as famous as Buckingham, but it’s still shrouded in history and doesn’t have nearly the amount of crowds outside its gates. It is well known for being a favorite hunting spot of Henry VIII and is now said to be haunted by ghosts.

3 Grab Dessert At Chin Chin Labs

London is a foodie’s dream and there are so many options if you’re looking to satisfy your taste buds. For dessert, check out Chin Chin Labs in Camden. Most tourists aren’t even aware of this ice cream parlor, which boasts some truly unique sweet treats.

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While dining at Chin Chin Labs, you’ll get the chance to sample delicious flavors of ice cream, such as red velvet. Interestingly, the freezing process here is carried out using liquid nitrogen, so it’s guaranteed that the experience will be a first for many!

2 Pay A Visit To Highgate Cemetery

If you’re looking for something more peaceful and serene to do in London, you might like to pay a visit to Highgate Cemetery. The old Victorian cemetery might sound creepy, but is actually packed with history, and is one of the best ways to learn more about the city’s past without paying huge fees and battling crowds.

Some 170,000 people are buried at Highgate Cemeteries. Among them are a few famous faces, such as German philosopher Karl Marx. The landscape is beautiful in its own way, so be sure to check out the cemetery on your visit!

1 Check Out The Golborne Road Market

Everybody talks about the Portobello Road Market, but the truth is, London is filled with other markets that aren’t nearly as famous (or packed with tourists). If you’re in the area, the Golborne Road Market is located just north of Portobello Road and offers plenty to buy, see, and of course, eat.

Here you’ll get a chance to rummage through furniture, vintage clothes, and designer accessories. After all that shopping, check in to one of the food outlets, whether it be Pizza East or George’s Portobello Fish Bar, for a satisfying meal.

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