Chelsea is known to be one of the most expensive and most desirable districts in London with high property prices. Well, no wonder- it is a picturesque, quiet neighbourhood with cosy restaurants, full of exciting galleries. It is famous as the art district in London, gathered some of the best modern and contemporary art shows and exhibitions.
So if you’re not buying a house, but you’re heading to Chelsea just to take a look around, learn what you can see, eat and do for one day in Chelsea.
Walk Around the District – Chelsea Landmarks
Duke of York Square
Chelsea is not such a large area you will walk it from border to border for less than an hour. The Duke of York Square is the perfect spot to start your tour with a morning coffee. It is known as a shopping area, full of restaurants and cafés offering brunch and breakfast.
Where: 80 Duke of York Square, Chelsea, London SW3 4LY, UK
Depending on your starting point you can choose Albert Bridge to begin your day trip. On the south side of the district and right next to Battersea Park, Albert Bridge will take you directly to the heart of the neighbourhood. It offers a beautiful view of river Thames. The colourful bridge painted in three colours is one of the most impressive bridges in London.
Where: Chelsea, London SW3, UK
Oscar Wilde’s House
Chelsea hides many picturesque alleys and streets, yet if you’re looking for something with history you can visit Oscar Wilde’s house on the famous Tite Street. The building has an elegant and discreet design and although it cannot be visited inside it is still worth to see.
Where: 34 Tite St, London SW3 4JA, UK
Take a Rest In Chelsea’s Gardens
Physic Garden, nestled right on the north bank of the river is a gorgeous botanical garden in Chelsea. You can go for a calming walk to observe their stunning collection of nearly 5000 plants. There are ongoing outdoor events almost all the time in the garden, in case you’re searching for an educational break.
Where: 66 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4HS, UK
When: Open daily from 11 AM to 6 PM, closed Saturday
In 15 minutes walking, you will find another inspiring nature area. The Ranelagh Royal Hospital and Gardens is scenic green area spreading on 21 hectares of land. Once a pleasure garden, today the Ranelagh fields are a perfect spot for leisure, walks in nature and resting. Known to the locals as “The Convent” the gardens reveal their hidden charms of green fields, water basins, and pedestrian alleys. Every year the Flower Show takes place there in the spring, with garden designs, flower exhibitions, and installations.
Where: Chelsea Bridge Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4SR, UK
Your Art Tour – Galleries in Chelsea
How, when you’ve gathered some impressions of Chelsea’s cityscape you can continue with an art tour around the district’s galleries within only half an hour walking to the most distant point.
If you’re an art lover, you have probably heard of Saatchi Gallery, one of the cornerstones of contemporary art in the world. Saatchi Gallery features amazing collections of contemporary artists on a rolling principle, changing its displays every couple of months. Besides world famous names such as Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Ai Weiwei you can see young, intriguing artists, still unknown to the public.
Where: Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY, UK
When: Open daily from 11 AM to 6 PM.
The Design Centre is on the south-west side of the district, a little far from the main sights, but it surely deserves your attention. It is “The Mecca of interior design” featuring over 600 brands from all over the world. Find displays of fabrics, furniture, and home decor in more than 120 showrooms.
Where: 411/412 Design Centre East, Chelsea Harbour, London SW10 0XF, United Kingdom
When: Open Monday to Friday from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
Very close to the Design Centre is the Gagliardi Gallery– a modern art zone with a fantastic mixture of all kinds of art genres. It is an amazing space with regularly updated displays of contemporary shows, offering artworks for sale. The gallery is one of the most established spots in the art scene in London.
Where: 509 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW10 0TX, UK
When: Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 AM to 7 PM, Sunday- 11 AM to 5 PM, Monday closed.
Learn more about London’s most famous museums and galleries.
Shopping in Chelsea
From the Gagliardi Gallery, the best thing to do is to hit for a shopping tour on King’s Road, stretched down to the heart of the district. Back in the crowded part of the neighbourhood, you can find a colourful cocktail of trendy shops and department stores, designer labels or unique boutiques. All of this with the compliment of cosy cafés and restaurants.
Where: King’s Rd, London, UK
The Furniture & Art Building
Just 300ft from the Gagliardi Gallery another incredible place in hidden – The Furniture & Arts building, or more widely known as The Furniture Cave. The massive three-floor shopping area has been meeting antique lovers for more than 40 years. Today is one of the biggest departments for vintage design furniture, designer jewellery and 20th century home decoration.
Where: 533 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW10 0TZ, UK
When: Open Monday to Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM, Sunday- from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Walking down on King’s Road you will reach the Farmers Market, which despite its name will meet you with home-grown delicious food and products. You can stop at the open-air square for a tasty snack of organic seasonal dishes. The Farmers Market is known for its tiny, but spacious restaurants and food shops. The Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from May to October, from 8 AM to 1 PM.
Where: 125 Sydney Street, London, SW3 6NR
When: Every Saturday from May to October, from 8 AM to 1 PM.
Where to Eat and Drink in Chelsea
Since Chelsea is full of attractive places to eat of grab a drink, let us tell you more about the most popular and best-rated eateries and pubs.
Gordon Ramsey Restaurant
If you bet on fame and want to visit one of the best-rated places in Chelsea, then this is it – Gordon Ramsey’s. The restaurant offers rich menu, which includes lunch, seasonal and vegetarian suggestions, plated in an extravagant and artistic way. Space is bright, kind of luxury and quite visited, so you should book your table in advance.
Where: 68 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4HP, UK
When: Open Monday to Friday 12–2:15 PM, 6:30–10:15 PM.
Price range: $$$$
At the northern end of King’s Road, you will find finely prepared dishes with home-grown farmer ingredients. The atmosphere in the Rabbit is intimate and informal with the rustic decoration of the interior. The menu will surprise you with Rabbit’s well-known English tapas. You will probably need to book your table if you want to relax at one of their window tables with a view towards the busy King’s Road.
Where: 172 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4UP, UK
When: Open Tuesday to Saturday from 12 PM to 11 PM, Monday, 6 PM to 11 PM, Sunday 12PM-6PM.
Price range: $$, $$$
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
Another extraordinary spot on King’s Road just in minutes from the Rabbit is The Ivy Chelsea Garden, undoubtedly the greener restaurant in the neighbourhood. You should sit in the open air space, surrounded by flowers and fountains. The exceptional atmosphere and the excellent service is what makes the restaurant so desirable, not really the food. In the menu, you can choose from delicious cocktails and British and European dishes. Our suggestion for must have is the chocolate bomb.
Where: 195 -197 King’s Road, London SW3 5EQ, United Kingdom
When: Open Monday to Saturday 8 AM to 11 PM, Sunday from 9 AM to 10 PM.
Price range: $$, $$$
If you’re dying for a beer in a typical local pub, then Chelsea Potter is your place. Been there since the 60’s the stories tell Jimmy Hendrix and Stones were regular customers. Today is a large inside area with a classic old school wooden interior. The food menu is pretty basic, but you can find cold craft beers at a reasonable price for Chelsea.
Where: 119 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4PL, UK
When: Open Monday to Wednesday from 11 AM to 11 PM, Thursday to Saturday 11 AM to 12 PM, Sunday – 12 PM to 10:30PM.
Price range: $$, $$$
Just around the corner is The Phene, a nice lighted space with simple modernistic design and an open-air garden. You can visit the Phene for its large drinks menu, starting with local bottled and tapped beers to a wide choice of wines, sparkling wines, and champagne. The Phene offers a la carte, brunch and breakfast menu, but be prepared to wait for your food order.
Where: 9 Phene St, Chelsea, London SW3 5NY, UK
When: Open Monday to Friday from 12 PM to 11 PM, Saturday from10AM to 11 PM, Sunday from 10 AM to 10 PM.
Price range: $$, $$$
Near to the Chelsea Hospital is hidden one of Chelsea’s treasures- The Hollywood Arms gastropub. Stop there for a refreshing cocktail served in a bright, tasteful atmosphere of delicately decorated walls and comfy furniture. The menu you will find classic cocktails and quite long wine list. The place is usually busy, so you might need to wait in case you order food.
Where: 45 Hollywood Rd, Kensington, London SW10 9HX, UK
When: Open Monday to Friday from 11 AM to 11:30 PM, Thursday to Saturday from 11 AM to 12 PM, Sunday from 11 AM to 11 PM
Price range: $$, $$$
Too much information? Don’t worry, see our suggested route we planned for you.
Suggested route for one day trip to Chelsea
- If you still can’t decide how to plan your day in Chelsea take a look at our suggested route, which includes the must see sights and sports in the district.
- Take the Underground to Sloane Square Station and walk for a couple of minutes to Duke of York Square.
- Then you can visit Saatchi Gallery for an artistic inspiration in the morning and continue south passing Burton Court- a small, but beautiful park.
- You will soon reach Chelsea’s Physic Garden to observe over 5000 different plants and flowers in the botanical garden.
- Since you’re near to the river, you can continue walking on Chelsea Embankment – a gorgeous scenic walkway on the river shore. It is a perfect place for photos and rest. Walking west you will pass another landmark of our list – Albert Bridge.
- Turn right on Beaufort street to reach King’s Road and spend most of your day in leisure, shopping and walks around the district.
- If you feel hungry, most of the listed eateries and pubs are either located on King’s Road or just around the corner in no more than 10 minutes walking or a minute with Chelsea minicabs.
After you have finished exploring Chelsea, you can take a look at our guide – How To Spend One Day in London.