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What to do in Greenwich

Here are our top 10 things to do in Greenwich

Make a day of it and explore the riches of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, just 8 minutes from London Bridge by train.

For information, maps and tickets pop into the tourist information centre located in our Visitor Centre. There’s also a wealth of information on the Visit Greenwich website.

Visitor Centre North © James Brittain

1. Marvel at the Painted Hall

OK we might be a bit biased, so here’s what the press have said about our epic 18th-century masterpiece, the Painted Hall:

‘Dazzling in execution, epic in scale, breathtaking in its newly restored glory, this is Britain’s Sistine Chapel’ The Daily Mail

‘This is one of our real treasures’ Londonist

‘The masterpiece of English Baroque art’ Financial Times

Tickets allow unlimited re-entry for a year and include a guided tour, a multimedia guide, hands-on exhibits and free kids activities.

Book tickets

© Hugh Fox

2. Hear an exquisite evensong in the Old Royal Naval College Chapel

The Chapel is a dazzling example of neoclassical architecture, with intricate and well-preserved pastel-coloured mouldings, imposing ionic columns and a grandiose altarpiece by Benjamin West.

It is also a great place to hear music, its curved ceiling making for great acoustics. Evensong services are performed here on Mondays at 17:30 by the Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Chapel Choir.

Find out more

3. Browse the famed Greenwich Market

London is well known for its street markets, and Greenwich Market is one of the city’s best. Walk among food stalls serving up delicious dishes from around the world, including vegan treats and coffee. Handmade and vintage clothes, artworks and souvenirs are also for sale. The market is also surrounded by a number of independent clothes shops, pubs and restaurants.

Find out more.

4. Stroll around Greenwich Park

Turner also loved painting from the hill in Greenwich Park, arguably the best view in London. See the domes of the Old Royal Naval College against the monolithic skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, and the Thames as it sweeps into central London.

Find out more.

5. Journey beneath the Thames and see Canaletto’s view of Greenwich

Instead of taking the DLR or the boat, why not cross to the Isle of Dogs on foot? Greenwich foot tunnel allows pedestrians to cross beneath the Thames. When you emerge, you will be rewarded with another iconic view of the Old Royal Naval College, almost unchanged since it was captured by Canaletto in the early 1750s.

6. See Turner’s famous rendition of the Battle of Trafalgar

JMW Turner, one of Britain’s best-loved artists, painted this vast naval battle scene at the height of his career between 1822 and 1824. Commissioned by George IV, it was his only royal commission and the largest painting of his career – as well as his most controversial, for diverging from the strict chronology of the battle in favour of a stunning composition.

See it for free at the National Maritime Museum, alongside relics of the Battle of Trafalgar, including cannonballs, costume, and Nelson’s possessions.

Find out more.

7. Stand on the Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory

Also in Greenwich Park stands the Royal Observatory, another of Sir Christopher Wren’s famed designs in Greenwich. There’s plenty to do at the Royal Observatory, but the must-do experience is to stand over the meridian line, the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). It’s a great place to check the accuracy of your watch. If you’re in Greenwich at night, you’ll notice a laser cutting through the sky – this originates at the Royal Observatory and marks the meridian line. Find out more.

8. Climb aboard the Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark is one of the few surviving tall ships in the country. A state-of-the-art ship in its day, now the Cutty Sark is both a preserved historical artefact and a museum of trade at the height of the British Empire.

Find out more.

9. Hop on a boat from Greenwich Pier

One of the best ways to see London is by boat. Boats run from Greenwich pier to central London and the O2 arena, and are a fantastic way to see the city at any time of the day.

10. Explore the Queen's House

Queen’s House is set back from the river, behind the Old Royal Naval College and has views through the grounds of the College to the river.

Inigo Jones’ architectural masterpiece is the first Classical building in the UK. Queen’s House is home to an internationally renowned art collection.

Find out more.

© Hugh Fox