The 20 Most-Read Londonist Articles Of All Time

Last Updated 26 April 2024

The 20 Most-Read Londonist Articles Of All Time

Psst! Join Londonist for a party in a brewery this June — to celebrate our 20th!

Londonist turns 20 years old in 2024. Here, we down tools for a couple of moments, pour ourselves a flute of Bolly mug of prosecco, and look back on our 20 most popular articles of all time. How many of these did you read? Click the headline or image for each one to read the full article.

20. London's Parakeets: Everything You Need To Know

A green parakeet flies towards an outstretched hand
Image: Matt Brown/Londonist

Pigeons be damned. There is no bird in London that can spark as much excitement (or indeed consternation) as the cheeky green parakeet. But what are they? Where did they come from? Where's the best place to see them? Have they got anything to do with Jimi Hendrix? We answered all this and more in our incredibly popular FAQ.

19. London's New Tube Trains Have Been Spotted In Action

A futuristic looking Piccadilly line train
Image: TfL

Judging from the comments on social when we first posted this, some of you read this as "spotted in ACTON" — all the more confusing, as the Picc does indeed go to Acton. Nonetheless, you are hungry for the Siemens Mobility Ltd New Tube For London trains alright — but you'll have to wait until Londonist turns 21 for these to be in action (and indeed Acton).

18. Where To Play Arcade Games In London

Someone playing a first player shooter game
Image: Four Quarters

No matter how impressive the latest video games get, our nostalgia for Point Blank, MarioKart and Pac-Man will never die. (In fact, like a powered up Street Fighter II character, it only seems to get stronger.) That particularly seems to be the case if you toss craft beer and cocktails into the mix. Londonist readers have used their trigger fingers so many times to click on this article, some of you must have blisters by now.

17. The Secret Tube Map That's Only Meant For TfL Employees

A specially coloured tube map
Image: TfL

Quelle surprise! An article called The Secret Tube Map That's Only Meant For TfL Employees proved popular with Londonist readers! The colours on the map denote the various fare zones for passengers — although tbf it's fine if you just sit back and admire the incandesce of it all. Believe it or not, this may not be the last tube map you see on this list...

16. Where (And When) To See Cherry Blossom In London

Cherry blossom in London: A photograph of Tower Bridge, with a cherry blossom branch photoshopped in
Image: Shutterstock

Speaking of beautifully-coloured things... cherry blossom! That fleeting springtime fling when London's trees transform into giant candy floss can't be beat for petalled popularity. Though you go daft for daffs, flip for tulips and have severe wisteria hysteria — cherry blossom is the only flower that makes it into our all-time top 20. We're sure it's tickled pink.

15. Things To Do This Week In London

An aerial view of canary wharf at dawn with the sun streaming between towers
Image: Jason Hawkes

Doing fun stuff in London is what we're all about — and from Monday through to Sunday, you trust us to sniff out the best of what's going on in the city, handpick it fresh and dish it up as the tasty platter that is our Things To Do This Week in London roundup. We hope you've found some great markets, gigs, shows, circuses, book groups, wine tastings, bungee jumps et al along the way. When a man is tired of... etc.

14. The Elizabeth Line Has Been Added To The New Tube Map

A central section of the tube map, now with the purple of the Elizabeth line on it too
Image: TfL

It really was all going on with transport back in 2022 — indeed we named May 2022 the most exciting month in London transport history. On 19 May, a new tube map was released — for the first time, showing the aubergine-coloured streak of the Elizabeth line running through central London. It was a mouth-watering trailer, and Londoners didn't have to wait long — less than a week later, the central portion of the Elizabeth line opened. More of which in a bit...

13. The Best Pubs And Bars For Watching Football In London

Best pubs to watch football in London: Two guys have a drink under a row of Spurs shirts
Image: The Beehive

There's no lack of pubs with Sky/BT Sports in London, but all-too-often that means settling for inferior beer/ having your fellow sports fans stare at you like they're definitely going to flush your head down the bog at half time. Not so with our guide to the finest footy boozers: this is all top league stuff — friendly community bars, real ale havens, beer halls with a raucous atmos — even joints where they'll fix you up with a martini.

12. Could This Be The End Of 'Mind The Gap?'

Platform screen doors
Image: Shutterstock

Here's a sobering thought: over the course of a decade, almost 650 people might attempt suicide at London's tube station. Not to mention the various accidents that play out on the edge of the platforms. Platform screen doors (PSDs), then, are a game-changer, and we're seeing more and more of them. But how practical is it to have them at all stations across the TfL network? That's what we asked back in 2018.

11. 12 Must-See London Exhibitions To Look Forward To In 2022

Dali's lobster telephone.
© Salvador Dali, Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation/DACS, London 2021

At the dawn of 2022, as the world slowly came gasping out of a protracted nightmare of lockdowns and closures, we were famished for all sorts of things in our lives — not least, culture. Fortunately, it was a diamond year for art exhibitions in London: Van Gogh at the Courtauld, Louise Bourgeois at the Hayward, surrealism in spades at Tate Modern. Judging by how popular this article was, by the end of 2022, you were so stuffed to the gills with art, you couldn't have ogled a single piece of Bacon more.

10. In Search Of London's Secret Cannabis Cafes

someone with blue finger nails fires up a joint
Image: Shutterstock

Some well-performing articles can leave you wondering just why so many people decided to click on it. Others, not so much. Let's just say that while we're sure a good deal of you were in the market for what is, after all, an insightful piece of investigative journalism, others might — MIGHT — have stumbled across this one while punching in certain search terms...

9. Are The King's Guards' 'Bearskin' Hats Really Made Of Bearskin?

Trooping the colour soldiers in bearskins
Image: Jon via creative commons

Every time the pomp and pageantry of some royal function is broadcast on the TV, the question on everyone's lips is will Big Suze from Peep Show be there are the King's Guards' Marge Simpson-esque hats really made from bearskin? We're not above fishing for a few more hits on this one: Click here for the answer.

8. 25 Ideas For Days Out With Teenagers In London

Colourful Camden shops
Image: Shutterstock

The most difficult job in the world, as many of us know, isn't being a brain surgeon or Gregg Wallace's PR, but being the parent/guardian of teenagers. We like to think we made the gig that tiny bit easier for you with our suggestions for how to keep your teens occupied in London — escape rooms, graffiti tunnels, speedboats, trampolines — you name it.

7. Where To Watch Fireworks On Bonfire Night

A crowd watching a firework display
Image: Battersea Park Fireworks.

Ohhh! and indeed ahhhh! Either you feel very strongly that we're right to continue celebrating the horrific execution of a bloke who tried to blow up a king — or otherwise you like watching colourful explosions in the sky while the theme from Harry Potter/Star Wars/E.T. is blasted out of a tannoy.

6. Train Strike: Updates On Line And Station Closures, And What's Running In London

GWR trains
Image: Tomek Baginski/Unsplash

It's not a huuuge surprise that we find this one well inside the top 10 — after all, in recent years it feels like we've had more strikes than we've had hot dinners cold M&S sandwiches. You could say this article is the gift that keeps on giving, although if we had our way it would never have existed in the first place.

5. When Are London's Christmas Lights Switched On?

Angel Christmas lights over Regent Street
Image: Shutterstock

We should really make a note of the first click this article gets once the Christmas lights have been put away in early January. Of course, in reality we don't even start receiving any Christmas press releases until at least, ohh I don't know, early Feb? Everyone needs a little break from it, after all.

4. We Just Went For A Ride On The Elizabeth Line, And It's Time To Get Excited

Cabin view from a train in a tunnel
Image: Paige Kahn

That headline was a bit braggy now we look back on it, but then again, London was waiting A LONG TIME for the central section of the Purp to open up, and when we got to ride a section a couple of months before its public launch we were hardly going to keep schtum about it. And anyway, it turns out you were pretty, pretty interested in this one.

3. The No Trousers Tube Ride Returns To London This Weekend

A woman standing outside Canary Wharf station in a jumper, coat, socks, shoes and pants - but no trousers
Image: Samantha Rea/Londonist

How do you trump a story about the tube? Add people in their undercrackers to the equation is how. The fact that the No Trousers Tube Ride takes place each January may mean it's the first thing that pulls you out of your post-Xmas funk. Thinking about it, though, the stats don't lie: officially you like the No Trousers Tube Ride MORE than Christmas.

2. Just A London Underground Map Translated Into Welsh

Welsh tube map central section

Daioni fi! Of all the tube maps we've covered over the years, who'd have thought a translation of the map in Welsh would be the most-liked of all? In fact, according to our calculations, a very decent percentage of Wales's population has read this article (not that we're saying everyone who read it was from Wales). It does, to be fair, make a fascinating read — although some of the language is impenetrable. I mean, what on Earth is the English for Eliffant & Castell?!

1. Things To Do This Weekend In London

The Albert Hall illuminated at night
Image: Jason Hawkes

Just like in that slightly naff landfill indie song by Hard-Fi, you folks are living for the weekend. Your Saturdays, Sundays (and occasional bank holiday bonuses) are sacred days indeed — so we're properly chuffed that so many of you come to us for tips on how to spend them. THANK YOU!