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Are you a geek? If so, you’ll love the vast variety of nerdy things to do in London.
There are free museums for history nerds to enjoy, while gaming geeks are well catered for, and sci-fi lovers can explore the Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes museums or step back to the 90s in the Crystal Maze Experience. Harry Potter fans are spoiled for choice, and book nerds – well, London is a paradise for bookworms!
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The Best Nerdy Things to do in London
I’m a total history nerd, passionate about poking around old bookstores, castles and quirky museums. When I lived and worked in London for four years, I visited all the top tourist attractions and discovered lots of geeky spots and hidden gems.
Whatever type of geek you are, these (now approved by my teenager) nerdy things to do in London are here to inspire you to explore London – the way you want!
Nerdy Things to do in London for Gamers
If you’re an avid gamer, there are fantastic geeky things to do in London. Here are some of the best things to do in London for nerds who love gaming:
Get your game on at London’s best gaming and e-sports venues
You may also enjoy cutting-edge technology at the Microsoft Experience Centre, which is centrally located in Oxford Circus.
Hunker down in a Nerdy Pub
London has an incredible variety of pubs and bars, and some have outstanding geeky credentials!
- Gaming Geeks: Try the Meltdown Bar in Caledonia Road or the Loading Bar in Dalston
- History Nerds: Visit the last surviving gin palace in London at The Viaduct Tavern
Get competitive at a board game café
If you prefer old-school board games like Monopoly and Cluedo, London’s best board game cafes are fantastic places to escape the frenetic city. Draughts in Hackney has a podcast studio and more than 1,000 board games in its collection, so you’re sure to find a game you like at a very reasonable price!
Best tube station: Dalston Kingsland. 2 minute’s walk
Unique Experiences in London for Harry Potter Fans
Visit Platform 9 3/4
If you love the Harry Potter films and books, why not check out the famous Harry Potter platform at King’s Cross station, between platforms 9 and 10?
PRO TIP: Don’t be fooled if you want a photo of the iconic platform sign – it’s located in the nearby supremely nerdy Harry Potter shop. The staff will happily take your photo if you’re prepared to queue up for it!
The House of Mina Lima
This quirky Harry Potter gift shop in Soho (central London) is tucked beneath a lurid pink house, so you can’t miss it! The staff are real Potterheads and go out of their way to help you 🙂
Venture in to discover Harry Potter posters and billboards, flying envelopes the mean Dursleys hid from Harry and a large floor painting of the Marauder’s Map, which you can step on. You’ll also find many books on witchcraft, wizardry, and the Dark Arts.
Don’t Miss: The exhibition downstairs! I won’t spoil the surprise!
Nearest tube station: Leicester Square
Harry Potter Studio Tour
If you have time, the Warner Bros studio tour is rather fabulous – whatever your age! You’ll can spend hours exploring behind-the-film sets used in the Harry Potter films, visit Gringott’s Bank and see props and costumes.
Looking to take the hassle out of visiting the Harry Potter Studios? Book yourself onto Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour! The tour includes easy pick up Victoria Coach Station, a professional guide and studio tour entrance charges.
Attend Comic Con
Comic-Cons are a great way to get together with other folks who love comic books, anime, film, science fiction and fantasy genres and to cosplay or meet celebrities. London Comic Con will run from May 26 – 28, 2023, in East London’s ExCel Centre.
Geeky Doctor Who Experiences in London
Explore the Dr Who shop and museum
The Dr Who Museum and shop in the East End is undoubtedly one of the best sci-fi things to do in London. Dedicated Dr Who fans or ‘Whovians’ love all of the Doctor Who memorabilia and collectables, signed pictures, t-shirts and figurines, plus costumes from Doctor Who dating back to 1963!
Buy your ticket at the desk in the store and step through the TARDIS to enter the museum.
PRO TIP: Don’t forget to grab a photo with the lifesize Dalek!
Nearest tube station: Upton Park.
Snap a Photo of a TARDIS
For more Doctor Who fun you’ll find an old-fashioned blue police box outside the exit to Earl’s Court tube station! The box is known to millions as the TARDIS – Doctor Who’s spaceship, which he/she uses to travel through time and space.
Of course, you won’t get to see the Doctor, but the queue of people waiting to take a selfie with the TARDIS will tell you that this is one of the nerdiest things to see in London!
(If you’ve not seen the long-running BBC TV show Doctor Who bug yet, it might be time to catch up!)
Geeky things to do in London’s museums
London has an incredible choice of fabulous museums, many of which are free to visit. Here’s my pick of the best geeky spots:
The Science Museum
Perhaps the geekiest of all the London museums – the Science Museum has fascinating exhibits to enthrall tech nerds, history buffs, space lovers, sci-fi fans and more!
I’ve brought my son here since he was five and he’s loved every single visit!
Don’t Miss: The tiny but fantastic Clockmakers Museum on the second floor of the Science Museum – it’s the world’s oldest clock and watch collection.
Nearest tube station: South Kensington
The Natural History Museum
This sprawling Victorian museum is one of the most visited museums in Europe. Some of the most popular exhibits are the dinosaurs, a full-size blue whale in the incredible Hinze Hall, the fossil collection, and the vast statue of Charles Darwin. My science-geek son loves the massive minerals gallery.
As there’s no entry charge for the museum, this is one of the best free nerdy things to do in London!
PRO TIP: Arrive early to avoid the masses!
Nearest tube station: South Kensington
Try the Crystal Maze live experience.
Do you remember the cult show from the 90s? Well, now you can try the Crystal Maze experience in London! All you need is a group of friends and a few hours to spare.
You’ll run around four different zones, test your skills, solve mysteries, and face mental and physical challenges against the clock while wearing an iconic Crystal Maze satin bomber jacket!
Best tube station: Picadilly Circus
Visit the Royal Observatory
If you like space and astronomy, the Royal Observatory at Greenwich is the perfect nerdy place to visit. From the Great Equatorial Telescope and standing on the historic Prime Meridian line where the east meets the western hemisphere to seeing the world-famous Harrison Clocks that helped to make measuring longitude possible, there’s so much geeky stuff to see.
PRO TIP: Remember to take in the view from the top of ‘One Tree Hill’ – it’s the best view in London!
Best station: Greenwich rail station (DLR) 17 minutes walk
Go Star Gazing
London has plenty of places to go stargazing, despite the problem of light pollution. Numerous astronomy groups offer talks and opportunities to see stars, planets and deep-sky objects, like galaxies and nebulae.
Check out the Sherlock Holmes Museum
Walking into 221B Baker Street, the legendary home of the famous fictional detective and his friend Dr Watson, is like stepping back into the Victorian era!
While Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – the creator of Sherlock Holmes – never lived at this address, it’s a stunning museum and a must-see for die-hard Sherlock fans.
Best tube station: Baker Street – a 3-minute walk.
Delve into the British Museum
One of London’s top tourist attractions, the immense British Museum is home to more than eight million objects collected from around the world during the years of the British Empire. While controversial today, the museum is fascinating and meticulously presented, but don’t underestimate how big it is!
I’d recommend booking a British Museum Tour to get the most out of your visit. With a knowledgeable guide, you’ll be expertly navigated around the museum’s highlights and can stay afterwards to browse at your leisure.
Want to experience the best of the British Museum? Book yourself onto a private British Museum Tour! The 2 1/2 hour tour with a professional guide will help you to discover artefacts from around the world, including the Rosetta Stone, the Sutton Hoo Burial Treasures and Egyptian Mummies.
Bookish Things to Do in London
Browse London’s top bookshops
If (like me) you’re a bookworm who can easily waste hours browsing bookstores, you will love London’s wide variety of bookshops.
- Daunt Books in Marylebone has an Edwardian interior and stained glass windows – everything you would expect from a traditional bookshop.
- Hatchards in Piccadilly (London’s oldest bookstore) is atmospheric and has the most amazing collection of rare books.
- The Forbidden Planet Megastore is regarded as one of the best geek shops in London, with its treasure trove of comics, graphic novels, toys, memorabilia, DVDs, Manga, and so much more!
Get Reading Together
Check out the latest Silent Reading Parties in London to treat yourself to a little time devoted to reading in companionable silence. It’s a great way to get new book recommendations, drink a glass of wine, and curl up with a good book.
The Ultimate Nerdy Afternoon Teas
There are loads of places in London to enjoy the very British tradition of afternoon tea, but some establishments have taken it one step further and offer afternoon tea with the perfect nerdy twist!
- Cutler & Squidge offer tea and cakes in the Potion Room!
- At the Wizard Exploratorium, you can pick from the Wizard Afternoon Tea, a Potion Class (a great fun cocktail-making class), and, if you have small people with you, the fabulous new interactive Magic Wand Building Experience.
Wrap up – Nerdy Things to do in London in the United Kingdom
So, there you have it! A list of travel tips for the best geeky things to do in London to add to your itinerary.
You may also enjoy: Thinking Bob – a social community in London for geeks, culturists and intellectuals, with 60+ social events every month, from geeky pub quizzes, smart-talking, debates and puzzles.