Travel Guides & Tips

10 festivals in London you shouldn’t miss this summer


Summer is the festival season in London. The gray and rainy weather goes away for sunny, blue skies, so it’s perfect for outdoor activities. The days are also longer, which means you get to spend time exploring the city as much as possible. In other words, there is no better time to be in a city famous for its arts and culture scene than right now!

From the Queen’s birthday celebration to free music festivals, we’ve compiled a list of must-dos if you have a chance to visit this world-class city at this time of the year. Let’s check them out!

Spot a royal at the Trooping the Color

British GuardsTrooping the Color marks Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday celebration. Even though the Queen was born on 21 April, British monarchs are typically given two birthdays, just in case they were not born in the summer (the best season to hold an outdoor event!). Well, if you’re lucky, you might spot the Queen herself as she, and other royal family members would be viewing the celebration from the Buckingham Palace balcony. Park yourself along The Mall (the tree-lined royal road leading from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace) for the best view of the Royal Air Force flypast show. The annual event also features hundreds of officers, horses and musicians from the Household Division in ceremonial uniform. It’s a true royal spectacle, and certainly an event not to be missed!

Entrance fee: Free

When: 8 June 2019

Time: 10.00am – 1.00pm

Where: The Mall or St James’s Park


Tour the Buckingham Palace

Buckingham PalaceThe Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain’s kings and queens since 1837, and it’s currently home to reigning Queen Elizabeth II. It’s only opened to the public during the summer, between July and September. If you’re on a budget, you can get the ticket that allows you to access the State Rooms and Buckingham Palace, or if you want to splurge, you can get the slightly more expensive ticket, which includes a visit to the Royal Mews and the Queen’s Gallery. For more details and tickets, visit the Buckingham Palace website.

While you’re there, make sure to catch the Changing of the Guard that usually takes place at 11am daily, except on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Can’t get enough with the palace tour? Tour the Kensington Garden and who knows, you might bump into the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge themselves!

Entrance fee: Starts from £24.00

When: July to September 2019

Where: Buckingham Palace


Have a Taste of London

Close up of huge selection of pastries and bread on bakery stall at food marketFoodies, unite! Head over to the Taste of London for a bite of London’s best restaurants in Regent’s Park. For five days every year in the summer, London’s best 40 restaurants would gather in the park in central London to showcase the best dishes from their extensive menus. Here’s your chance to meet your favorite British chefs, sign up for a masterclass and enjoy sampling delicious food at more than 200 food and drink stalls. For more details, visit the Taste website.

Entrance fee: £20.00

When: 19 – 23 June 2019

Time: 10.00am – 1.00pm

Where: St James’s Park


Explore rooftop paradises during the Open Garden Squares Weekend

For one weekend only, the beautiful private gardens around London will be opened to the public. This is the best time to explore rooftop paradises, city centre oases, and the gardens of the rich and famous. In previous years, participating green spaces have included the garden of the Prime Minister’s official residence at 10 Downing Street, the gated community garden at Tate Modern, as well as the Royal College of Physicians’ Medicinal Garden. If you’re into flowers and lush greeneries, make sure to check this event out! For details, visit the Open Squares.

Entrance fee: £20.00

When: 8 – 9 June 2019

Where: Various spots around London


Enjoy the sunset at the Sky Garden

skygardenWe promise that this is the last garden-related post in this article. But who can blame us? London is best known for its gardens, and they are especially pretty in the summer! Visit London’s highest garden and book a spot (spaces are limited and so, reservation is required prior to visitation) to see fantastic views of the city. The Sky Garden sits atop the 20 Fenchurch a.k.a the “Walkie Talkie” building and it’s a three-storey exquisitely landscaped public garden, complete with observation decks and an open air terrace. Enjoy the sunset view with your loved ones here! Did we say the entrance is free?

Price: Free, with advance booking

When: All year long

Where: 20 Fenchurch


Dance to your favorite tunes at the West End Festival

west endLondon’s arts scene is not to be missed, so watch at least one of London’s leading musicals at West End LIVE in Trafalgar Square. The best part is? It’s free! Dance and sing along to your favorite tunes in Disney’s The Lion King, The Tina Turner Musical, Mamma Mia! and many more! For schedule and line-up, visit the West End LIVE website.

Entrance fee: Free

When: 22 – 23 June 2019

Where: Trafalgar Square


Enjoy a free ballet show at the Royal Opera House

balletMake this one of the must-dos on your list to London! The Royal Opera House will be hosting their annual BP Big Screens. The Romeo and Juliet performed by the Royal Ballet will impress even the least of ballet fans. Find out where the live screening venues are and the schedule at the Royal Opera House website. This event is free for all and it’s also a great outdoor activity once the sun goes down!

Entrance fee: Free

When: June to August 2019

Time: 7.00pm

Where: Various locations across London


Watch an opera at Holland Park

operaWant to enjoy a fancy night out? Catch an opera show inside a canopied auditorium at the Holland Park. There will be two operas during the month of June — performances of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, followed by Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, with other operas following throughout the summer. Tip: Guests under the age of 18 get in free! For details, visit the Opera Holland Park website.

Price: £20.00

When: 4 June – 3 August 2019

Time: 7.30pm

Where: Holland Park


Check out the London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat RaceThe London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is a celebration of London’s diverse culture. This free event is a true sports spectacle as more than 40 different teams will compete in various races throughout the day. Enjoy some Asian street food sold there, while you’re at it! For details, visit the festival’s website.

Price: Free

When: 30 June 2019

Where: London Regatta Center


Spend the evening at the zoo

zooHave you ever wanted to spend the evening at the zoo? Every Friday in June, the London Zoo hosts Zoo Nights, where you can see nocturnal animals become active. You can take part in special tours, learn more about the creatures with quizzes, and enjoy street food at the food market. For a special treat, book yourself a VIP Zoo Nights Stays, which includes access to Zoo Nights, an overnight stay in the on-site Gir Lion Lodges, and a private tour at London Zoo. While it’s not cheap (£378 for two people), it’s a special treat for animal lovers!

Price:  £19.95, book in advance

When: 7, 14, 21 and 28 June 2019

Time: 6.00pm

Where: ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park


Wondering what else you can do in London? As a major tourist destination, there is never a shortage of things to do and places to explore here. Check out what else is happening on Traveloka!

Are you ready for some action and adventure in London? Map out your London trip with Traveloka. Don’t forget to share your cool, fun moments by tagging us @TravelokaMY on your Instagram shots. We’d love to see them!

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