Last Updated on 30 November 2023
As a born and raised Londoner from Islington, I’ve visited Kings Cross countless amount of times. Although most of the area looks like it’s engulfed by Kings Cross Station and St Pancras International, there are tons of things to do in Kings Cross, both inside and around the area. Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan, a bookworm or just love admiring pretty buildings, then this place is worth visiting. Read on to find out more!
1. Head Over to Platform 9 and 3/4
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, this is at the top of the list of things to do in Kings Cross. Platform 9 and 3/4 is the fictional platform where students in the wizarding world board the Hogwarts Express to take them to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Of course, we won’t be able to get on the Platform to go to Hogwarts but we can take a snap in front of the trolley embedded into the Platform wall. And best of all, this is completely free! You can take a picture with a wand and a scarf in your Hogwarts house colour. But there’s always the option to have your photos taken professionally too, which you can purchase at the Harry Potter shop right next door. At the Harry Potter shop, you’ll also find tons of Hogwarts merch, wands, sweeties and all things Harty Potter related!
You may like: How to Visit Platform 9 3/4 From Harry Potter in London
2. Visit the British Library
The British Library is home to around 14 million books including manuscripts, journals, magazines, recordings and even historical items dating back to 2000 BC. Only thing is, you can’t actually take any books out to borrow. Instead, there are 12 reading rooms where you can access the books, which requires a Reader Pass.
The British Library also has various study spaces! When I did my A Levels, I occasionally went here to revise for my biology exams and it was a nice quiet environment. These spaces do get filled up very quickly so try and arrive early for a good seat!
Before arriving, do also keep in mind that, for obvious reasons, the British Library has security! You may be waiting in line for a while before getting in due to the bag checks and body scans.
3. Explore Coal Drops Yard
Coal Drops Yard is the hub for shopping and a great place for foodies. So if you’re wondering “how do I spend a day at Kings Cross?” then exploring Coal Drops Yard will take up a whole lot of that day!
There are over 50 shops, restaurants, cafes and bars at Coal Drops Yard and there’s always something going on! Want to go on a luxury shopping spree? Head over to Paul Smith and Space NK. Or maybe thrift shopping is more your thing. If so, go to Beyond Retro and Boutique by Shelter. And if you just want a coffee, have a cappuccino or latte at Redemption Roasters.
4. Immerse Yourself in Tech at Samsung KX
Also located at Coal Drops Yard is Samsung KX, a 20,000 sqft showcase of all things Samsung products. Exploring Samsung KX is probably one of my favourite things to do in Kings Cross. There are tons of exciting gadgets and tech to try out! There’s a racing car simulator to test your racing abilities, a gaming bus to play PC games and a space to play the latest Xbox games!
Not only does Samsung KX have cool gadgets to try out, but they also have a cafe and a working/study space! So if you’re looking to grab a coffee and do some work in a space with a lot of natural light, then Samsung KX is perfect for you!
5. Admire the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is a luxury historic hotel well known for being London’s most romantic building. But to me, I will always know it for being the backdrop of the Spice Girls music video for Wannabe.
The hotel boasts cool gothic architecture and is also the facade for St Pancras International. When heading towards the upper level of the station via the Eastern Arch, you’ll be met with Eurostar arrivals and London’s longest champagne bar, St Pancras Brasserie by Searcys.
6. Have a Stroll by Regent’s Canal
If you’re looking for more chill things to do at Kings Cross, then having a stroll by Regents Canal is perfect! This is a long canal starting at Little Venice and ending in Docklands. While walking along the canal, you’ll pass by narrowboats, parks and Camden. You can even take a narrowboat or kayak tour on the canal, exploring London from an exciting angle!
7. Have a Delicious Dinner at German Gymnasium
One of the best things to do in Kings Cross is to eat food. There are tons of cafes and restaurants but one great place to have dinner is at the German Gymnasium.
German Gymnasium was built in 1865 and was the UK’s first purpose-built gym funded entirely by London’s German community. It also hosted London’s first indoor Olympic Games in 1866! It closed due to World War 1 then it was used as an office and storage space until 2015 when it was restored into the German-themed restaurant and bar it is today. I love the chicken schnitzel here and the warm apple strudel for dessert!
8. Enjoy Granary Square
Enjoying Granary Square is one of the most versatile things to do in Kings Cross because there’s always something different going on there! Notable by its fountains (that also glow at night!), Granary Square is a hub for cafes, bars and restaurants as well as various events. These events include markets, summer film festivals, Fashion Week shows and more!
9. Explore Canopy Market
Just off Granary Square, you’ll find Canopy Market every Friday to Sunday. Not only will you find fresh produce and food stalls here, but you’ll also find handmade crafts, beer and wine, jewellery, ceramics and more! Shopping at Canopy Market is a great way to support local, independent and ethical businesses!
– Friday: 12 pm-8 pm
– Saturday & Sunday: 11 am-6 pm
10. Go Book Shopping
As a travel and book blog, there’s no way The Novelsphere wouldn’t include book shopping as one of the top things to do in Kings Cross! My favourite books shops in and around Kings Cross are Skoob Books located in Bloomsbury, Word on the Water located by Regent’s Canal and Housmans Bookshop on Caledonian Road.
At first, it might look like the only things to do in Kings Cross is to board trains and eat or have a coffee inside the stations. But now you know there are way more things to Kings Cross than going to Kings Cross station and St Pancras International!
Have you ever visited Kings Cross before? If so, what are your favourite things to do at Kings Cross?
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