The Ultimate Guide to Things to Do in Mayfair, London
Mayfair is one of London’s most exclusive and luxurious neighborhoods. Located in the heart of the West End. It is known for its upscale shopping, 5-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, art galleries, members clubs and also historic architecture. If you are looking to experience the finest that London has to offer, Mayfair is the place to be.
This ultimate guide covers everything you need to know about the best tings to do in Mayfair and what to visit. It includes top attractions, best places to shop, recommended tours, hidden gems, and more. We will provide an in-depth look at how to make the most out of your time in this posh London area.
In just 50 words: Explore exclusive shops, Michelin-starred restaurants, historic architecture, and cultural attractions in Mayfair, one of London’s most upscale neighborhoods known for its luxury hotels, designer boutiques, nigthclubs and also fine dining.
Top 10 Things to Do in Mayfair
With so many options for places to visit, it can be hard to narrow down what to see and do first when visiting Mayfair. To help you maximize your time, here are our picks for the top 10 attractions and activities in Mayfair that you won’t want to miss:
1. Shop on Bond Street
Bond Street is Mayfair’s premier shopping destination, lined with numerous luxury retailers and designer boutiques. Brands like the Burlington Arcade. The architecture alone makes it worth a visit.
3. See Art at the Royal Academy of Arts
Housed in a majestic building on Piccadilly, the Royal Academy of Arts has an expansive permanent collection and rotating exhibitions from some of the biggest names in art. The annual Summer Exhibition is a highlight.
4. Enjoy Afternoon Tea
Mayfair’s 5-star hotels such as The Ned London offer some of London’s most luxurious and memorable afternoon teas. Our favorites are The Ritz, Claridge’s, The Connaught, and The Dorchester. Just make reservations far in advance, as they book up quickly.
5. Marvel at Historic Architecture
As you walk around Mayfair’s streets, be sure to gaze up and take in the architectural spectacle. You’ll spot Victorian terraced mansions, regal stone buildings, and other impressive sights at every turn.
6. Walk Through Green Park
Green Park offers a pleasant respite from the bustle of Mayfair. Have a picnic, go for a stroll, or simply relax on a bench surrounded by mature trees. You can even see Buckingham Palace in the distance.
7. Dine at a Michelin-Star Restaurant
Mayfair has one of the world’s highest concentrations of Michelin-starred restaurants such as Novikov Restuarant, Gaucho London and also Inca London. For a truly indulgent meal, we suggest also to book a table at Le Gavroche, The Ritz Restaurant, Sketch Lecture Room & Library or any spot on Michelin’s esteemed list.
8. Grab a Drink at a Historic Pub
Unwind after a day of exploring at one of Mayfair’s storied pubs, such as The Punchbowl, The Guinea Grill, or The Red Lion. Sip a pint surrounded by decades (or centuries!) of history.
9. See the Eros Fountain in Piccadilly Circus
No visit to this part of London is complete without seeing the iconic statue of Eros at Piccadilly Circus. The #4 spot on our list is just a 5 minute walk from many Mayfair attractions.
10. London Nightlife
Mayfair is famous also for having a vibrant and very exclusive nightlife. In fact, we can count at least ten of the best clubs in Mayfair area. These are reservation-only venues which offers the ultimate and VIP clubbing experience. Among them we can mention Cuckoo Club, Cirque Le Soir and also Tape London.
Where to Go Shopping in Mayfair
As one of the top shopping destinations in London, Mayfair is paradise for shopaholics. Here are some of the best areas and stores:
The premier luxury shopping street in Mayfair. Home to flagship stores of brands like Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Rolex, Tiffany & Co., Versace, and more. Window shopping is a must even if you can’t afford to buy.
More exclusive designer boutiques can be found along Mount Street, including stores like Christian Louboutin, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Christopher Kane, Roksanda, and Balenciaga.
This historic glass-roofed shopping arcade is home to several luxury retailers like Boucheron, Chloé, Church’s, and more. Don’t miss the traditional Beadles in their Victorian-era uniforms.
Home to the Brown’s Hotel and Royal Institution, Albemarle Street also has luxury boutiques for brands like Richard Mille, Piaget, Chantecaille, and more.
The global center of bespoke men’s tailoring, Savile Row is home to some of the world’s best and most renowned tailors. Stop by for custom-made suits and accessories at places like Gieves & Hawkes, Huntsman & Sons, Henry Poole & Co., and more.
This charming village-like enclave within Mayfair has a good selection of boutiques, galleries, jewelry stores, and other shops amid its pubs and restaurants.
Top 8 Hidden Gems in Mayfair
While popular landmarks and attractions get most of the hype, Mayfair also has some under-the-radar spots that deserve just as much fanfare. Check out these hidden gems:
1. Down Street Station
One of London’s abandoned ‘ghost stations’ that was used as a bomb shelter during WWII. Take a tour to explore its forgotten platforms and passageways.
2. Stanhope Gate
This majestic gate is an oft overlooked entrance to Hyde Park just southwest of Mayfair. Flanked by grand lanterns and topped with a artistic relief.
3. Pickering Place
Tucked away off St James’s Street, this adorable alley is one of the smallest public squares in London and home to a few restaurants.
4. St George’s Gardens
A quiet garden square with a church at its center. Picturesque benches line the paths, making it a nice spot for a relaxing break.
5. The Royal Institution
Founded in 1799 to advance science, this institution’s building has exhibits on past discoveries and a Faraday Museum to explore for free.
6. Farm Street Church
Notable for its Baroque Italian architecture, this ornate Catholic church on Farm Street dates back to 1849.
7. Spencer House
Vast private palatial mansion near Green Park. Has intricate 18th century interiors behind its grand façade.
8. Audley Square
One of Mayfair’s garden squares, providing a tranquil green space lined with 18th century townhouses.
The Best Museums & Galleries in Mayfair
In addition to being a shopping mecca, Mayfair is also home to some fascinating museums and galleries. Here are the top ones to visit:
Royal Academy of Arts
With elaborate 19th century architecture and a vast collection inside, the Royal Academy is one of London’s eminent art institutions. Don’t miss the annual Summer Exhibition.
Handel & Hendrix Museum
Set in the former Mayfair homes of classical composer Handel and rock guitarist Hendrix. Offers an intriguing juxtaposition of their contrasting lives.
Showcases diverse contemporary and modern art in a sleek space. Represents artists like Bob Dylan, Damien Hirst, HR Giger, and more.
This global gallery chain has a Mayfair location exhibiting modern and contemporary heavy-hitters like Tracey Emin, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Richard Prince.
Historic auction house frequently holding viewings of rare artworks, jewelry, books, and other precious objects up for bidding.
Another eminent auction house, Phillips has contemporary art auctions along with watches, jewelry, photographs, and design objects.
Top Mayfair Food & Drink Experiences
While taking in the sights, shopping, and more, you’ll need to stop for sustenance too. Here are the best places to eat, drink, and dine in Mayfair:
Mayfair hotels like The Ritz, Claridge’s, The Dorchester, and The Connaught offer world-famous afternoon teas that frequently top lists of London’s best. Just reserve well in advance.
Experience unforgettable meals at Mayfair’s numerous Michelin-starred establishments like Le Gavroche, Sketch Lecture Room, The Greenhouse, and Masala Zone.
The Punchbowl Pub
Historic pub dating back to 1750, with a traditional interior and courtyard. Makes for an iconic place to grab a pint.
Said to be Mayfair’s oldest restaurant, having opened in the 17th century. Come for a grilled steak in vintage British surroundings.
This ultra-hip outpost of chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Japanese fusion empire makes for a memorable splurge meal.
Elegant seafood-focused Italian restaurant inside the uber-luxe Mandarin Oriental hotel. Superb service and cuisine.
Sleek rooftop restaurant and cocktail bar atop the luxe hotel providing panoramic London views and imaginative cocktails.
The Connaught Bar
Considered one of the world’s best hotel bars for its avant garde cocktails and swanky atmosphere.
Tips for Visiting Mayfair
To help you make the most of your Mayfair visit, here are some handy tips:
- Plan your visit on a weekday if possible, as weekends can get quite crowded.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes, as you’ll likely be on your feet most of the time.
- Make reservations for afternoon tea or Michelin dining several weeks in advance to secure a spot.
- Consider booking a shopping tour or expert guide to maximize your retail therapy time (and find the hidden boutiques).
- Stop into a cafe or pub when you need a shopping break. Don’t try to pack in too much at once.
- Mayfair is rather compact, making it walkable. But taxis are plentiful if needed.
- Dress the part – Mayfair is a refined, cultured neighborhood, so avoid looking too much like an obvious tourist.
- Bring your appetite! You’ll find endless temptations for indulgent meals and afternoon snacks.
Mayfair Tours to Book
To dig deeper into Mayfair’s history, culture, food, and attractions, a guided tour is highly recommended. These are some top Mayfair tour options to consider:
Mayfair Secret Food Tour
Taste your way through Mayfair’s culinary scene, enjoying food tastings at 5 restaurants and shops paired with champagne and wine.
Mayfair Architectural Walking Tour
2 hour walking tour covering Mayfair’s architectural history, standout buildings, unique stories, and more.
Mayfair Luxury Shopping Tour
Expert guide takes you to the area’s most exclusive boutiques, sharing unique insight into Mayfair shopping you can’t get anywhere else.
Mayfair Chocolate and Coffee Tour
Indulgent walking tour stopping at various artisan chocolate shops and cafes for tastings of gourmet sweets and bespoke coffee drinks.
Mayfair Photography Tour
Led by a professional photographer, this tour provides tips and the best spots to photograph Mayfair landmarks and hidden gems.
Mayfair offers an unparalleled luxury experience, making it a must-visit London neighborhood for those who enjoy indulgence, culture, shopping, history, and more. Use this guide to help plan your own adventures exploring all that Mayfair has to offer.
With its concentration of high-end hotels, restaurants, shops, galleries, and historic landmarks, Mayfair provides ample things to do. Stroll along Bond Street for luxury shopping, marvel at historic arcades, view world-class art at the Royal Academy, see musical history at the Handel & Hendrix Museum, enjoy exquisite afternoon teas, and so much more. Just allow plenty of time (and budget) to soak it all in!