Greenwich might just be one of the best areas in London to visit! Of course, we’re a little bit biased but there’s a heap of the best things to do in Greenwich that are dotted all across the neighbourhood, which you really can’t miss.
Being one of the three Royal Boroughs in London (alongside Chelsea and Kensington and Kingston-Upon-Thames), it’s made quite a name for itself for its centuries of history, some of the most iconic London palaces and London markets.
Plus, it’s only a stone’s throw from the very centre of London so what’s not to love!
Now, for me, the thing that makes Greenwich so great (after all the historical spots) is that it’s totally walkable and really easy to stroll around in a day or two. This is great if you fancy seeing a different side of London, especially as it’s so different from other areas like Camden or Covent Garden.
With this in mind, I’ve popped over a few of my favourite spots and best things to do in Greenwich for your visit. Have the best time!
1.) The Painted Hall
Part of the Royal Navy College, the Painted Hall is totally awe-inspiring to see.
Recently renovated to its former glory, its got some of London’s most beautiful Baroque interiors which are totally easy to visit.
In fact, the Painted Hall is often nicknamed London’s Sistine Chapel (and it’s easy to see why). This masterpiece, from the 1700s, is just beautiful.
Now, although you won’t have mass crowds entering all at once, if you do want to avoid the majority of other visitors head across when it first opens.
We visited at 10 am and we had the whole hall to ourselves for around 10-minutes. It was epic!
2.) Queen’s House
It’s said, the Queen’s House was gifted to Anne of Denmark after her husband (then, King James I) swore at (or around) her for accidentally killing his favourite dog whilst hunting.
I mean, an actual house as an apology seems like a sweet deal, no?
Built back in the 1600s, it’s really easy to visit after heading to the Painted Hall as it’s only around a 10-minute stroll (door-to-door).
Today, you can enter inside the Queen’s House (for free) and wander around the stunning art galleries which house Gainsborough and Turner pieces, too.
It’s totally lovely and one of the best things to do in Greenwich if you love art and history.
Oh, and be sure to stop by the Tulip Stairs which still stands proudly inside the Queen’s House.
3.) Greenwich Market
Started almost 300 years go, strolling through the Market is one of the best things to do in Greenwich If you’re feeling peckish.
Perched right in the heart of Greenwich (relatively close to the Cutty Sark), the market has some of the tastiest food stalls in all of London. With local suppliers, artists and foodie joints, you’ll be totally spoilt for choice.
Not only that, on a Thursday, you’ll get to visit the Antique Market that takes over the hall! It’s great to grab a few vintage trinkets.
Also, just on the foodie side of things, if you fancy a proper London “pie and mash” then head to Goddard’s that’s been going since the 1800s. They have the tastiest homemade pies, creamy mash and liquor!
Oh, and if you love your brews, head away from the historic centre of Greenwich and visit Meantime Brewery. They have an onsite bar where they serve up their seasonal batches. We loved it, but it is a little away from the “main sights” so be prepared for a longer stroll or short taxi ride. It’s a great stopping point if you’re heading from the Cutty Sark and going up the Peninsular to the O2.
4) Cutty Sark
Perched right in the centre of Greenwich (near the Old Navy College) the Cutty Sark is the world’s only surviving tea clipper.
Way back when, the Cutty Sark was blazing across the oceans but now stands proudly for you to hop on board and explore. It’s one of the best things to do in Greenwich if you’re interested in maritime history, especially as this maritime area of Greenwich is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Oh, and don’t forget to spot the figureheads that are kept below the Cutty Sark from a range of historical vessels. It’s the world’s biggest collection!
5.) Maritime Museum
Strolling through the Maritime Museum is one of the best things to do in Greenwich, especially on a wetter day. Part of the Royal Museums Greenwich, it’s totally free to enter and you can easily spend hours wandering the exhibitions.
Be sure to spot Admiral Nelson’s uniform that he was wearing at the Battle of Trafalgar. You can even spot the bullet hole that fatally injured Nelson (look at the left shoulder).
6.) Eltham Palace
Around 20-minutes by taxi (or 40-minutes by train and a stroll), Eltham Palace is a former royal residence that’s totally unique.
You see, starting life in the 1300s, Eltham Palace has gone through many transformations over the years. With its medieval hall and art deco wing, you’ll be able to stroll the rooms and explore how the palace changed over the centuries.
The Tudor Courts would often use Eltham Palace for all their Christmas Celebrations and where Henry VIII grew up! It’s totally gorgeous and well worth visiting for an afternoon trip.
For me, it’s one of the best things to do in Greenwich and an often-missed palace to visit in London.
7.) Junk Shop
One of the best things to do in Greenwich is to explore its independent shops, vintage stalls and cute cafes. If you’re looking for some vintage treasures, pop over to the Junk Shop that is a rabbit warren of little coves and floors to explore.
It’s got everything from vintage crockery, antiques and even a cute little tea room in the back.
You’ll always find something quirky and cute here!
8.) Royal Observatory
Perched right within Greenwich Park (to the right of the above pic), the Observatory and the Meridian Line is a great place to explore if you love astronomy.
Once here, take a tour of the observatory, see the historic telescopes and stand right on the Prime Meridian Line. Oh, and in the night you might spot the laser that follows the Prime Meridian Line from the Observatory area and over the skyline of East London.
9.) The O2
Once known as the Millennium Dome, the O2 is a colossal dome structure within the Greenwich Peninsular. Filled with a mountain of outlets, branded restaurants, arena and venues, it’s the kind of place you can go for an evening watching world-class artists from Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Adele to name just a few!
Be sure to check who’s performing before you visit and make a night of it!
Also, if you’re feeling up to it, climb on top of the O2 on the “Up at the O2” walkways which is especially beautiful around sunset. Oh, and take the cable car if you fancy heading across the Thames, too.
10.) Old Royal Navy College
Including the Painted Hall (that I mentioned earlier), the Old Royal Naval College is totally stunning and right in the heart of historic Greenwich.
Be sure to spend some time walking the grounds, taking in the beautiful buildings and seeing the magnificent chapel that’s centuries old.
It’s totally beautiful and you really can’t miss it.
You might even recognise it from scenes used in the film, Les Misérables, Thor: The Dark World and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Have the best time!
11.) Greenwich Park
With thousands of years of history (from Roman times), to the centuries-old landscape, the Park has been a part of Greenwich since forever!
Once here, be sure to see the view across London (just across from the Royal Observatory), visit the Rose Garden and stroll the walking routes. It’s beautiful.
Depending on when you visit, you might even come across the cherry blossom!