Looking for the best things to do in London in October? You’re in plenty of time to book tickets to the best events in London, from theatre shows to art exhibitions, and there are always pop-ups opening across the city, but our handy guide features the best of what’s on in London in October so you won’t miss a thing. Autumn is in full swing in October – yes that means pumpkin spice aplenty – but there’s way more on the calendar to get excited about before Halloween swings around, including Black History Month and Diwali. It’s a big month for art lovers with Frieze returning to town and big exhibitions like Monet: The Immersive Experience and World in Common running. Film fans are in luck too with the London Film Festival running in October – the perfect excuse to get out to your local indie cinema. And with London Cocktail Week and UK Coffee Week both happening in October, you’ll have no problem staying hydrated either. 

roast chicken at Chez Rowley

1. Dine at Rowley Leigh’s New Pop-Up

Rowley Leigh is getting back into the London restaurant game with Chez Rowley, which’ll be in residence at Notting Hill’s Laylow this autumn. As head chef at Kensington Place and then running Cafe Anglais (which closed in 2014), Leigh built a rep as one of the leading lights in modern British cookery, and his cooking has been much missed over the last decade. Chez Rowley will have an Italian-leaning bistro menu that showcases classic dishes and techniques, with dishes like raw bavette with cep toast & gribiche dressing; cuttlefish & clams on toast; seared mackerel with bread sauce & pickled gooseberries; and a signature dish of whole roast chicken with anchovies, black olives, onion, garlic, thyme & white wine, served with hispi cabbage & pangrattato, with the offering evolving as the seasons change.

Sun 1st – Sun 29th October 2023 (excluding Mondays & Tuesdays)
Laylow, 10 Golborne Rd, London W10 5PE

Oktoberfest at German Gymnasium

2. Celebrate Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest may be a German holiday, but given the British affinity for beer, it’s a big thing over here too so there are plenty of ways to celebrate in the city. Ready to trade your tinnies for steins? Get your lederhosen on and head to one of the best spots to celebrate Oktoberfest in London.

Sun 1st – Tues 31st October 2023
Various locations across London

View over London from Horizon 22

3. See London From Europe’s Highest Free Public Viewing Gallery

The tallest building in the City of London, 22 Bishopsgate, is opening up what will be London’s, and indeed Europe’s, highest free public viewing gallery. Located on level 58 of the skyscraper at 254 metres above the ground, Horizon 22 will be accessible by two high-speed lifts that’ll take you all the way up in 41 seconds. The gallery will feature an 8.4-metre high ceiling and triple-glazed windows so you can really soak in the panoramic views (aka snap them for socials), including landmarks like the Cheesegrater, the Walkie Talkie, the Gherkin, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Shard.

Sun 1st – Tues 31st October 2023
22 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4BQ

NASA space station exhibition

4. Take a Trip to Space

See the wonders of space without having to leave London, let alone Earth, by heading to this immersive NASA exhibition at Outernet. The free show features real footage of the galaxy sourced from NASA, as well as other space agencies, which you’ll be able to watch on the four-storey high, 16K wraparound screens from a space station specially created for the experience. If you’ve always fancied being Tim Peake or Neil Armstrong, you won’t wanna miss this.

Sun 1st – Tues 31st October 2023
Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 8LH

Rumble in the Jungle

5. Experience This Historic Boxing Match

Immersive sports experience company Rematch (who last took on the 1980 Wimbledon match between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe) is bringing the iconic Rumble in the Jungle boxing match to life this autumn. As of September, Canada Water’s Dock X will be transformed into 1974 Kinshasa, complete with music from the Zaire 74 festival (where the likes of James Brown, BB King, Bill Withers, and Sister Sledge performed), actors, food and drink, to set the scene for the bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

Sun 1st – Sun 29th October 2023 (excluding Mondays)
Dock X, Retail Park, Unit 1 Canada Water, Surrey Quays Rd, London SE16 2XU

As You Like It at Shakespeare's Globe

6. See ‘As You Like It’ at the Globe Before it Closes

Ellen McDougall is directing the final play in the Globe’s 2023 summer season with an all-singing, all-dancing version of As You Like It. One of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, As You Like It is a tale of romance and redemption, following Rosalind and Celia, who are in disguise and on the run, as encounter many different kinds of love in the Forest of Arden.

Sun 1st – Sun 29th October 2023 (excluding Mondays)
The Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT

Cally Munchy food

7. Eat Afro-Fusion at Cally Munchy

Afro-fusion street food biz Cally Munchy, run by Ebenezer Sogunro, which has been popping up at markets and at festivals across London as well as running a catering operation is taking up residence at The Africa Centre in Southwark for six months. The regular Cally Munchy offering includes dishes like suya steak, spiced chicken, kelewele (Ghanaian seasoned plantain), and jollof ‘n’ peas and the brand’s signature Shi-Tuan chilli sauce, and these will be appearing on the Cally Munchy Lounge menu.

Tues 3rd – Tues 31st October 2023 (excluding Mondays & Sundays)
The Africa Centre, 66 Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0BL

Contemporary African Photography at Tate Modern

8. See This Exhibition of Contemporary African Photography

The Tate Modern is celebrating contemporary African photography with the A World in Common exhibition. Works from a range of African artists across different generations are on show, touching on themes like urbanism, spirituality, identity and climate change. The exhibition explores how photographs have been able to travel across geographies and histories and how the medium has allowed the past and the future to co-exist.

Sun 1st – Tues 31st October 2023
Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG


9. Eat at This Brand New Thai Restaurant

Kolae, opening this October, will be based out of foodie hub Borough Market and the focus will be on grilled dishes and kolae (also known as GolaeGalae and Gaw Lae), a cooking technique found in the south of Thailand where ingredients are soaked in a curry-like coconut marinade before hitting the grill. A highlight from the menu – and one of the new spot’s signatures – will be the half kolae chicken marinated in a lemongrass, turmeric and black pepper sauce. There’ll also be seasonal fish, seafood and vegetarian dishes cooked using a similar technique; Thai pounded salads; and larger grilled dishes served alongside nam phrik relishes.

October 2023
Borough Market, London SE1 9AL

10. Hang Out in an Immersive World of Monet

Monet: The Immersive Experience will feature 360-degree projections of Monet’s masterpieces across a two-storey space, so you’ll really be able to get up close to those brushstrokes, as well as re-creations of his creative atelier and his gardens at Giverny; bridges dripping in flowers that allow you to step inside (and over) his famous ‘Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies’ painting; a VR experience where you can dive into the inspo and explore the landscapes behind some of his most iconic works, like ‘Poppies’ and ‘Haystack at the end of summer’; a space where you can learn all about Monet’s life; and even a chance for you to have a go at creating your very own artwork to be projected onto the walls.

Sun 1st – Mon 30th October 2023 (excluding Tuesdays)
Boiler House, 152 Brick Ln, London E1 6RU