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11 greatest issues to do in Greenwich, London – carry-on solely

Greenwich is perhaps one of the best areas in London! We’re a bit biased, of course, but there are tons of the best things to do in Greenwich that are scattered around the neighborhood that are really not to be missed.

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As one of the three Royal Boroughs in London (alongside Chelsea and Kensington and Kingston-upon-Thames) it has made a name for itself due to its centuries of history, some of the most famous London palaces and London markets.

It’s also just a stone’s throw from central London. So what is there not to love?

To me, what makes Greenwich so great (after all the historic locations) is that it’s completely walkable and very easy to walk around in a day or two. This is great if you fancy seeing a different side of London, especially since it is different from other areas like Camden or Covent Garden.

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With that in mind, I’ve visited some of my favorite places and best things to do in Greenwich while visiting. Have the best time!

1.) The painted hall

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As part of the Royal Navy College, the Painted Hall is absolutely impressive to see.

Recently refurbished to its former glory, it has some of the finest baroque interiors in London that are easy to visit.

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In fact, the Painted Hall is often referred to as London’s Sistine Chapel (and it’s easy to see why). This 18th century masterpiece is just beautiful.

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Now even though you won’t have all the crowds at once if you want to avoid the majority of the other visitors coming by the first time you open it.

We visited at 10am and had the whole hall to ourselves for about 10 minutes. It was epic!

Read more: Best areas to visit in London

2.) Queen’s house

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It is said that the Queen’s house was given to Anne of Denmark after her husband (then King James I) verbally abused her (or around her) for accidentally killing his favorite dog while hunting.

I mean, a real house as an excuse seems like a cute deal doesn’t it?

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It was built in the 17th century and is very easy to visit after visiting the Painted Hall as it is only about a 10 minute walk (door to door).

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Today you can enter the Queen’s House (free) and stroll through the stunning art galleries, which also feature Gainsborough and Turner pieces.

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It’s totally beautiful and one of the best things to do in Greenwich if you love art and history.

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Oh, and be sure to stop by the tulip staircase that still stands proudly in the queen’s house.

Read more: Best Palaces in London

3.) Greenwich Market

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Almost 300 years later, a stroll through the market began one of the best things to do in Greenwich when you’re feeling spicy.

The market is right in the heart of Greenwich (relatively close to the Cutty Sark) and has some of the tastiest food stalls in London. With local suppliers, artists and gourmet restaurants, you are spoiled for choice.

Not only that, on a Thursday you can visit the antique market that takes over the hall! It’s great to shop for some vintage jewelry.

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On the foodie side only, if you’re in the mood for a proper London pie and mash then go to Goddard’s, which has been running since the 19th century. They have the most delicious homemade cakes, creamy porridge and brandy!

Oh, and if you love your beers, get out of the historic center of Greenwich and head to the Meantime Brewery. They have an on-site bar where they serve their seasonal batches. We loved it, but it’s a little removed from the “main attractions”. So be prepared for a long walk or a short taxi ride. It’s a great stop if you’re driving from the Cutty Sark to the peninsula to the O2.

Read more: Best Markets in London

4) Cutty Sark

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Located right in the center of Greenwich (near the Old Navy College), the Cutty Sark is the only surviving tea cutter in the world.

Long ago the Cutty Sark blazed over the oceans but now it stands proud for you to jump aboard and explore. It’s one of the best things to do in Greenwich if you’re interested in maritime history, especially since this Greenwich sea area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Oh, and don’t forget to spot the figureheads kept beneath the Cutty Sark by a number of historic ships. It’s the largest collection in the world!

5.) Maritime Museum

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Strolling through the Maritime Museum is one of the best things to do in Greenwich, especially on a wetter day. As part of the Royal Museum Greenwich, entry is completely free and you can easily wander the exhibitions for hours.

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Be sure to spot Admiral Nelson’s uniform, which he wore in the Battle of Trafalgar. You can even spot the bullet hole that fatally wounded Nelson (see left shoulder).

6.) Eltham Palace

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Eltham Palace is a former royal residence that can be reached in around 20 minutes by taxi (or 40 minutes by train and a walk).

You see, Eltham Palace began life in the 13th century and has gone through many changes over the years. With its medieval hall and Art Deco wing, you can stroll the rooms and explore how the palace has changed over the centuries.

The Tudor Courts often used Eltham Palace for all of their Christmas parties and where Henry VIII grew up! It’s beautiful and well worth a visit for an afternoon outing.

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For me, it’s one of the best things to do in Greenwich and an often-missed palace to visit in London.

Read more: Best Palaces in London

7.) Junk Shop

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One of the best things to do in Greenwich is to explore the independent shops, vintage stalls and cute cafes. For vintage treasures, head to the Junk Shop, a rabbit warren with small bays and floors for you to explore.

It has everything from vintage tableware, antiques, and even a cute little tea room in the background.

You’ll always find something quirky and sweet here!

8.) Royal Observatory

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The observatory and meridian line are right in Greenwich Park (to the right of the picture above) and are a great place to explore if you love astronomy.

Take a tour of the observatory here, see the historical telescopes and stand right on the prime meridian line. Oh, and at night you can spot the laser following the prime meridian line from the observatory and over the East London skyline.

Read more: Best areas to visit in London

9.) The O2

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Once known as the Millennium Dome, the O2 is a colossal dome structure on the Greenwich Peninsular. It’s a place full of outlets, branded restaurants, arenas, and event venues. Here you can watch world class artists from Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Adele for an evening to name a few!

Before you visit, be sure to check out who’s performing and make it a night out!

If you feel like it, climb the O2 on the “Up at the O2” sidewalks, which are particularly beautiful at sunset. Oh, and take the cable car if you want to cross the Thames as well.

10.) Old Royal Navy College

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Including the Painted Hall (which I mentioned earlier), the Old Royal Naval College is absolutely stunning and right in the heart of historic Greenwich.

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Take some time to stroll the grounds, admire the beautiful buildings, and see the magnificent chapel, which is centuries old.

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It’s totally beautiful and you really can’t miss it.

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You might even recognize it from the scenes from the film Les Misérables, Thor: The Dark World and the Pirates of the Caribbean.

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Have the best time!

Read more: Best Palaces in London

11.) Greenwich Park

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With thousands of years of history (from Roman times) to centuries-old landscape, the park has been part of Greenwich for ages!

Once you get here, be sure to see the view over London (just across from the Royal Observatory), visit the rose garden and take a stroll on the walking routes. It is wonderful.

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Depending on when you visit us, you might even come across the cherry blossom!

Read more: Best areas to visit in London

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