16 Things to do in London in May 2023

Head outdoors to explore London in May, join cultural celebrations and marvel at vibrant flower shows across the city.
People walking, admiring the floral displays of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Discover what’s on in London in May. Snap away at the flower displays at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Credit: RHS/Georgi Mabee. Image courtesy of RHS.

In May, spring is well under way with warm weather and some delightful sunshine, but you may still need a light coat and a brolly, in case of a light drizzle.

Schools across the UK usually break up for a half-term holiday at the end of May, bringing a packed programme of family-friendly activities and events at some of London’s top attractions.

There's also two public holidays (bank holidays) this month: the Early May Bank Holiday and Spring Bank Holiday, so keep an eye out for what’s on in London in May to make the most of the long weekends.

Unmissable London events May 2023

A woman looking at the colourful flowers during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

  1. Marvel at stunning horticultural displays at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show: Pick up the latest gardening trends and rehome a plant or two.
  2. Join the Eid Festival celebrations in Trafalgar Square: Enjoy family activities and feast on street food from around the world.
  3. Admire vibrant floral displays at Chelsea in Bloom: See the streets of Chelsea burst with colour at London's largest free flower festival.
  4. Get a ticket for the Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley stadium: Or join football fans in pubs all over London to cheer on your favourite team. 14 May

London theatre in May

The good witch glenda and wicked with elphaba from london musical Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.  
  1. Be spellbound by Wicked at the Apollo Victoria: Experience magic as you watch the witches in the Wizard of Oz.

Check back nearer the time for confirmation of more theatre shows in London this May.

Family activities in May

The Dumbledore office set, including stairs, pictures on the wall and Dumbledore costume, at Warner Bros. Studio Tour - London

  1. Plan a Harry Potter-themed day outHave a magical adventure at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, where the iconic films were made.
  2. Make the most of a whole week for May half-term: Check out London's top attractions and the capital's popular kids attractions
  3. Spend special moments together and see multiple attractions in one go: Pick up a sightseeing pass, such as the London Pass, the Go City London Explorer Pass or the Merlin London Attractions Pass.
  4. Head outdoors and explore London: Tour the city on an open-top or hop-on hop-off bus tour, or take to the river on a special Thames tour or cruise.
  5. Explore the Cutty Sark: Bring out your inner adventurer as you discover London's iconic ship.

London exhibitions in May

Purpley and white lights refelct in the mirrors within Yayoi Kusama's mirror rooms at Tate Modern.

  1. Don't miss Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern: Be mesmerised by endless reflections as you step into the immersive installations
  2. Marvel at Magdalena Abakanowicz's famous Abakans at Tate Modern: See the ambiguous woven fibre sculptures in a towering forest-like display, Until 21 May
  3. Climb onboard a spaceship for Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination at the Science Museum: Travel through the cosmos for a once in a lifetime immersive adventure. Until 4 May
  4. Explore Hallyu! The Korean Wave at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of South Korea.

What else is on in May?

Red and yellow tulips planted on the grass in a circle around the fountain at Hampton Court Palace on a sunny day.

  1. Start your spring at the annual Tulip Festival at Hampton Court Palace: Admire spectacular displays of rare and historic flowers all across the gardens.
  2. Watch ABBA Voyage at the ABBA Area, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: Sing along to your favourite ABBA hits in this state-of-the-art digital concert. Until 28 May

For more things to do in London in May, take a look at this events calendar and guide to what's on in London. And catch the best of the London stage with this London theatre guide. For on-the-go adventure ideas, download the Visit London app.

WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see our London Weather page.