London is a great destination for those interested in nerdy things, with many museums, galleries, and tech-focused events and activities available to explore and enjoy.
There’s no place in the world quite like London. Famous for its art, food, fashion, and architecture, it has earned its status as one of the premier cosmopolitan cities on the planet. From exploring its many museums and galleries to indulging in its vibrant tech scene, there are plenty of nerdy things to do in London for those who love science, technology, and all things geeky.
Whether you are looking to spot some of the world’s most famous landmarks or immerse yourself in the culture, London is an ideal destination for nerds of all stripes.
Geeks and genres come to London to nerd out in the city’s rich history and hub of brainiacs. It ties with Mexico City for having the most museums in the world, coming with a wide range of interests and topics. Expand your mind with a variety of historical landmarks, discussion events, bookstores, and quirky attractions relating to anything from Harry Potter to Sigmund Freud. If you are looking for a bar full of board games or a hidden world of comics and anime, there’s a nerdy treasure hidden around every corner of this historic metropolis.
To best explore the geek culture of London and make the most out of your nerdy and weird adventure, be sure to check out some of these top sights and attractions for geeks and nerds in the UK’s capital city.
The Natural History Museum is one of the most iconic museums in the world and a must-see destination for geeks adventuring around the city. The Museum houses a vast collection of over 80 million natural history specimens and artefacts covering a wide range of subjects, including geology, palaeontology, botany, zoology, and evolutionary biology.
One of its most popular exhibits is the Dinosaurs gallery, which features a range of fossilized skeletons and replica models of some of the most famous dinosaurs that ever lived. The museum also have a dedicated space for minerals and rocks, as well as an extensive collection of botanical specimens, including a beautiful butterfly house.
It’s nearly impossible for nerds to visit London and not take part in something related to Harry Potter. For the best experience possible, take a walking tour around the city designed specifically for Potter fans. The tour will lead you around London for 2.5 hours, visiting filming spots like platform 9 ¾ otherwise known as King’s Cross Station, which was used as the location for the Hogwarts Express; the studio, the Ministry of Magic; as well as the real-life inspiration for Diagon Alley and other Harry Potter landmarks that featured in the movies.
The tour is led by knowledgeable guides who will share behind-the-scenes stories and trivia, and nerd out with you in the world of black magic. You’ll also get to try some traditional British food and drinks along the way, including a butterbeer at the Leaky Cauldron pub.
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If the walking tour doesn’t quite cut it for you, the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour might just be what you are looking for. Located just outside of London in Leavesden, this immersive experience allows you to explore authentic sets, costumes, and props from the film series. From the Great Hall and Dumbledore’s office to the Hogwarts Express and the Forbidden Forest, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported right into the world of Harry Potter.
You’ll even have the chance to try your hand at wand combat and taste some of the delicious treats served at Hogwarts, with special exhibitions featuring costumes and props from the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Don’t forget to snap a selfie with a life-size model of Hagrid or sit in the driver’s seat of the Knight Bus. This tour is a must-see for any self-proclaimed Potterhead.
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If you are a fan of cult films, sci-fi, fantasy, and horror fiction, The Forbidden Plant is the ultimate escape for nerds and geeks of all ages. The mega-store in Tottenham, North London specializes in collectable memorabilia and merchandise, housing precious items such as comic books, graphic novels, and games. The store also regularly hosts events and signings with famous authors, artists, and other personalities from the geek and nerd world.
It is easy to spend hours wandering through the aisles and flipping through the pages of some of the most beloved fantasy classics, or tuning up your skills and techniques while playing Dungeons & Dragons.
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If you like astronomy, then you will love the Royal Observatory in Greenwhich Park. Home to the Prime Meridian line and Greenwich Mean Time, this famed landmark boasts the Astronomy Centre, Flamsteed House, and the Peter Harrison Planetarium, as well as the Meridian Courtyard.
The observatory dates back to 1675 and was commissioned by King Charles II, eventually becoming the hub of contemporary astronomy with the addition of a massive 28-inch refracting telescope. Don’t miss out on the chance to see the red time ball and Tompion’s tall pendulum clocks, or visit Flamsteed’s well in the garden. Adult tickets to the observatory cost £8, while children’s tickets are £4. The opening hours are 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Sunday.
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Speakers’ Corner is a world renowned section of Hyde Park used for public speaking and debate, where anyone can show up and speak on any lawful subject, and with Marble Arch station nearby, there is often a large crowd to listen. The tradition of Speakers’ Corner dates back to the mid-19th century when riots broke out in the area in response to the Sunday Trading Bill.
The Parks Regulation Act of 1872 granted Park Authorities the right to permit public meetings within park boundaries, leading to the establishment of Speakers’ Corner. Many famous orators and self-proclaimed nerds have spoken at the location including Karl Marx, William Morris, and Vladimir Lenin, and it remains a hub for protests and discussions to this day.
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The British Museum is a paradise for anyone interested in history and art. Housing a vast collection of over eight million objects from around the globe, this institution is a treasure trove of nerdy things to do in London. Its permanent galleries are filled with ancient Egyptian mummies, Greek sculptures, and British medieval treasures, while its temporary exhibitions showcase special collections and touring shows. Visitors can dive into the rich history and culture of civilizations from every corner of the world or take a stroll through the museum’s beautiful gardens.
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Calling all Dr. Who fans! Without a doubt one of the best geek shops in London and an absolute must visit when in the city is the Doctor Who Shop. It is one of the best places in the capital for a photo op if you’re a fan of the TV show.
Products being sold there include, t-shirts, hats, posters, and other souvenirs featuring the show’s popular characters and imagery. If you are really wanting to immerse yourself in the franchise, visit the Doctor Who museum nearby, with lifesize galek, dozens of trinkets and souvenirs, and Doctor Who costumes dating all the way back to 1963.
Tickets for the museum can be purchased at the desk inside the Who Store for as little as 4 GBP for adults and 2 GBP for children , from there you can access the museum via the shop’s instore TARDIS. Fondly named after the iconic time-traveling spaceship that the main character, known simply as the Doctor, uses to explore the universe.
Geeks will love exploring the home of the illustrious Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson. The museum is dedicated to the fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and can be found at 221B Baker Street in London, which is the address of Sherlock Holmes’s fictional home in the stories.
The museum is small in size but is well set up to look like Holmes’s Victorian-era dwelling. It features his study and bedroom, life-sized wax figurines in familiar scenes, and a gift shop packed with trinkets and souvenirs to bring home. Whether you are a fan of the inspiring stories or not, it’s a superb place in London for nerds and geeks.
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No doubt one of the best nerdy things to do in London is a visit to the British Library. The library houses over 170 million items, including some of the most famous and important documents in human history. From original copies of the Magna Carta and Shakespeare’s First Folio, to Leonard da Vinci’s notebooks and the world’s earliest dated printed book, the Diamond Sutra.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – the library also holds a vast collection of manuscripts, maps, music, patents, newspapers, and much more. General entry to the building is free, making it one of the best free attractions in the city for locals and tourists alike.
Experience Shakespeare’s work at its most authentic by visiting the Globe Theatre. Standing just 160 meters from its original location on Park Street – the current Globe was reconstructed to resemble the original as closely as possible, with materials including 600 oak pegs, Tudor-style bricks, and thatch from Norfolk. Along with the open-air “wooden O,” the theatre also includes the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and an indoor Jacobean-style theater similar to what Shakespeare would have used in winter.
Join a guided tour to learn more about the theater, Shakespeare, and life in 17th-century London, or catch a play during the April to October season. Tickets start at just £5. The Globe also offers pre-performance talks so if watching one of Shakespear’s famous shows isn’t drama geek enough for you, you can always coincide your visit with an in-depth discussion.
Photo: The Royal Parks
The Prime Meridian is a historic spot that marks the starting point for all longitude measurements. This line of brass on the ground at the Royal Observatory, is marked by a plaque that reads “Longitude 0° 0′ 0”. Established as the Prime Meridian in 1884, this spot has been used as the reference point for all time zones around the world.
Visitors to the Royal Observatory can stand with one foot in the eastern hemisphere and another foot in the western hemisphere, take a selfie with the iconic red Time Ball, and learn about the history of timekeeping.
Photo: South Bank London
Tucked under the Waterloos bridge is the fabulous outdoor market devoted only to books – the Southbank Central Book Market. Book works and nerds are bound to find storybooks and novels suitable for their liking.
Wandering around the markets allows you to immerse yourself into a world of adventure and mystery, flipping the pages of hardback and paperback creativities.
The market is open Monday through Sunday and features a variety of stalls set up by independent booksellers, collectors, and other literary enthusiasts. Irrespective of your interest in fiction, nonfiction, comics, romance, or horror, you are bound to find a cover that sparks your interests.
Video Credit: The Crystal Maze
If you’ve ever dreamed of testing your skill inside the Crystal Maze, you are in luck! This live experience in London’s West End, brings the iconic TV show to life with a three-times-larger maze, 32 new games, and a stylish bar.
Led by a professional Maze Master, teams of eight will navigate through four themed zones – Aztec, Medieval, Futuristic, and Industrial – filled with puzzles, crossbows, and more.
Along the way, the Maze Master will be there to offer support, sarcastic quips, and madcap energy. At the end, the crystals you’ve earned will buy you time in the Crystal Dome where you’ll face off against rival teams in a quest for glittering tokens. The Crystal Maze Experience is very popular so booking in advance is essential, the minimum age to partake is 13, and groups smaller than 8 will usually be combined with others.
Photo: Freud Museum
The Freud Museum is a quirky and fascinating destination for anyone interested in the life and work of the famous Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. The museum is located in the house where Freud and his family lived during their exile in London and was opened to the public in 1986. The museum features a wide range of exhibits and artifacts related to his life and career.
Nerds will love touring through the rooms preserved exactly how Freud left them, complete with his original furniture, books, and personal belongings, providing a unique and intimate look into the life of the man who revolutionized our understanding of the human psyche.
Explore the consultation room, library, and study, rummaging through his notes and artifacts, and most famous, the couch his patients laid on during their sessions.
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The Cartoon Museum is a unique and vibrant destination that celebrates British cartoon art. Situated in the heart of Bloomsbury, it is the only one of its kind in the UK and houses a collection of original artwork ranging from the 1800s to the present day.
The museum’s three main galleries showcase original artwork from British cartoons and comics, past and present, with a focus on political and social cartooning.
Upstairs, the Comics gallery displays work by some of the pioneers of British comics, as well as leading graphic novelists. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions featuring famous cartoonists and has a library with over 6,000 books on all things comics and cartoons. A visit to the Cartoon Museum will make you feel like you’re in a comic strip.
Sitting in the trendy neighborhood of Camden Town, Cyberdog is a hot-spot location for nerds and geeks looking for weird and wonderful apparel and accessories.
Much of the clothing is perfect for festivals and conventions, with bright and flashy components in a futuristic style. Rave music blasts from the speakers as soon as you step through the door, and go-go dancers perform on the platforms for live in-store entertainment.
Photo: London Bookshop
Like most big cities, London is home to a variety of comic book retailers, but 30th Century Comics stands out as a go-to store for collectors.
The store has been operating since 1994 and specializes in vintage American and British comics from the 1900s to the 1970s. Alongside their extensive selection of vintage comics, 30th Century Comics also have a wide range of more recent releases from the 1980s to the present day.
With two floors and a basement stocked with over 100,000 back issues from all publishers and genres, as well as a section of around 3,000 vintage books, the store is a paradise for comic nerds. All of their vintage American, British, and book offerings are listed in their website catalog.
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Located in the East London neighborhood of Dalston, The Loading Bar is the ideal hangout spot for gamers and geeks looking to relax and unwind. The bar has plenty of lounge areas with board games and big tables for friendly memories to be made or an intense game of D&D to be played.
You will especially love the basement, full of classic and modern-day video games and various consul selections. The best part? As long as you’re playing games and ordering drinks from the bar, you’re are welcome to bring your own snacks and treats without fear of being asked to leave the premises.
Photo: Conway Hall
London Thinks, is an excellent way to finish off a day of nerding out in London. The event is organised regularly by London’s home of freethought – Conway Hall, believed to be the world’s oldest surviving freethought organisation and the only remaining ethical society in the UK.
London Thinks brings together intellectuals and scholars from around the world each year to discuss ideas and issues covering a wide spectrum of topics, from biology to the big bang and Doctor Who.
A list of upcoming London Thinks events can be found on the Conway Hall website. Make sure to arrive with your thinking caps on, ready for a night of entertaining education in the heart of London.