Top 12 Things To Do in Greenwich

The view from the top of Greenwich Park
The view from the top of Greenwich Park | © Ferruccio / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Angie Quinn
20 May 2019

The Royal Borough of Greenwich, south of the River Thames, is home to royal residences, beautiful skyline vistas and the sprawling Greenwich Park. Here’s what to see and do in this idyllic, historic part of London.

Navigate the seas at the Royal Observatory

Building, Museum
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The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London
Trace the development of time zones at the Royal Observatory | © Chris Dorney / Alamy Stock Photo
Home of the Prime Meridian, a planetarium and the Great Equatorial Telescope, the world-renowned Royal Observatory is a must-visit for fans of astrophysics and engineering. You can trace the development of time zones, find out how ships determined longitude and touch a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite.

Tuck into the finest pub grub at the Old Brewery

Gastropub, Pub, Pub Grub, British, $$$
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Situated in the stunning grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, The Old Brewery is a historic working microbrewery as well as a restaurant, café and bar. Visitors can choose to indulge in rustic homemade dishes, cakes and pastries and modern British cooking. The Old Brewery is just one of many pubs and bars Greenwich has to offer.

Catch a film at Greenwich Picturehouse

Movie Theater
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Greenwich Picturehouse, London
Watch everything from the latest blockbusters to arty independents at Greenwich Picturehouse | © Greg Balfour Evans / Alamy Stock Photo
Screening the latest blockbusters, foreign films, arty independents, live theatre show streamings, popular classics and special animations for children, the Greenwich Picturehouse offers something for everyone. The independent cinema boasts two restaurants and a bar, and, of course, comfy seats to sink into in front of the big screen.

Discover the history of fans at the Fan Museum

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The only one of its kind in the UK, the Fan Museum is uniquely dedicated to honouring the craft and history of fans, with some fans in the collection dating back to the 11th century. There are Art Deco fans, lace fans, French fans and everything in between. Within the enchanting garden room of the museum, the Orangery offers an idyllic space to enjoy afternoon tea.

Have a picnic in Greenwich Park

Park, Museum
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Canary Wharf and the Docklands seen from Greenwich Park
Canary Wharf and the Docklands seen from Greenwich Park | © Piero Cruciatti / Alamy Stock Photo
Dating back to Roman times, Greenwich Park is the oldest Royal Park in London. The park boasts a wilderness deer park, an enchanting rose garden, cafés and incredible views from the General Wolfe statue across the River Thames to the capital. It is part of the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site.

Enjoy top-notch entertainment at Up the Creek Comedy

Bar, Beer
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The quirky comedy club that is Up The Creek offers an intimate setting for an evening of stand-up hilarity followed by a late-night disco, making it a perfect nightspot in Greenwich. Acts that have appeared at the venue include Russell Brand, Russell Howard, Michael McIntyre and Sarah Millican.

Take a tour of the Cutty Sark

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The Cutty Sark, Greenwich, London
The Cutty Sark is a 19th-century tea clipper | © Linda Mckie / imageBROKER / REX

Located in the heart of Greenwich, the Cutty Sark is a 19th-century tea clipper ship that now welcomes visitors to hop onboard and tour the ship. Shows and events are held regularly below deck in the studio theatre, along with family activities on deck that are held throughout the year.

Watch up-and-coming acts at Greenwich Theatre

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The Greenwich Theatre, London
The Greenwich Theatre supports new talent | © Gordon Scammell / Alamy Stock Photo

A quality Off-West End theatre, Greenwich Theatre puts on a truly diverse range of productions and shows, encompassing everything from stand-up comedy and lectures to children’s plays and opera. It has an ethos of supporting theatre production at grassroots level, from casting new talent in its shows to offering guidance and rehearsal space to emerging theatre companies. Check out their website to find out what’s on for your visit.

Explore the house and gardens at Eltham Palace

Building, Monastery
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Once occupied by a youthful Henry VIII, Eltham Palace and Gardens is an old, unused royal residence that is now open to the public. In the early 20th century, a pair of eccentric millionaires transformed the medieval building into a sumptuous Art Deco playground, complete with a map room, a grand walk-in wardrobe and a golden bathroom. There are also huge gardens to explore, including a rose garden, rock pools and fountains. A café and play area are also on offer, and there are events running throughout the year.

Grab a bite to eat at Greenwich Market

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Established in 1737, Greenwich Market is one of London’s most historic markets, selling crafts, antiques, food, fashion, jewellery, art and more. Head here to pick up art prints and home decor, and make sure you stop at one of the many food stalls to sample cuisine from all over the world.

Admire the art collection at the Queen's House

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Queens House, Greenwich, London
Queen's House is home to an impressive art collection | © Christopher Holt / Alamy Stock Photo
Another of Greenwich’s royal residences, this grand building houses an impressive art collection and some splendid interior design. Check out the Great Hall ceiling, the majestic portrait of Queen Elizabeth I and the elegant tulip stairs.

Rediscover the universe at the Peter Harrison Planetarium

Museum, Park, Theater
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The Peter Harrison Planetarium, Greenwich, London
Rediscover the universe at the Peter Harrison Planetarium | © Adina Tovy / Robertharding / REX
Part of the National Maritime Museum, this 120-seat planetarium immerses visitors in the wonders of the universe, with shows exploring everything from dark matter to the stars at night. For a more absorbing (and kid-free) experience, visit at night.

Grace Beard contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on May 20, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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