London is one of my all-time favorite cities — I consider her to be New York City’s prettier and more charming older sister. There is so much to see there, so I was thrilled when I received this informative sponsored guest post from Londonnights.com about the best things to do in London.
London is one of the most beautifully diverse cities of the world, attracting tens millions of visitors every year. If you’re thinking of adding to that number, then here are a few things you need to put on your ‘to do list’ before you go.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll see enough of London in one day, so I would recommend that you set yourself up in an apartment or hotel somewhere (London Nights has some great deals) to rest and recharge for another day of cultural delights in the English capital.
Walk down the Mall to Buckingham Palace
This is undoubtedly one of London’s best walks. The beautiful tree-lined Mall leads up to the true architectural symbol of Britain and her monarchy: the majestic Buckingham Palace. If you head down the Mall away from the Palace, you will eventually reach the world famous Trafalgar Square.
Witness the Changing of the Guard
This English marvel is actually best seen from Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall and not from Buckingham Palace, where most tourists happen to gather with their cameras. The trumpets set the horses on their way at 11am every day and 10am on Sundays, but take your time; the crowds are usually comfortable in size so there is no need to get there especially early.
Cross Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is another British landmark that you must see before you leave. This remarkable feat of engineering is well over a hundred years old now, but it still stands proud as one of London’s best sights. It sits near to the Tower of London, where the Crown Jewels are housed.
Have a picnic (and a nap) in Hyde Park
If the weather is fine, there is no better place to eat al fresco in the capital than Hyde Park. Put yourself together a picnic, complete with tea and cake (or wine and cheese, if you prefer), pick your spot and bask in the Englishness of it all for a couple of hours. Nobody will bat an eye, either, if you want to catch forty winks afterwards.
Go to the IMAX at the National Science Museum
The National Science Museum, which is free, will blow your mind, but its 3D IMAX theatre is something else. They claim that it is so big that, if it was to be laid flat on the ground, you could park 64 London taxis on it. The spectacular Hubble 3D will send your mind into orbit and the upcoming Born to be Wild 3D will make you feel at one with the planet.
Buy something in Harrods
Harrods is arguably London’s most famous department store – and probably her most expensive. Buying something here makes you feel all posh, even if it is just a cup of tea and a cake (which might set you back about £8, but, hey, it’s London!).
Go to The French House
You might not have heard of The French House, but this tiny pub is hugely popular with writers, actors and bohemians of London. The refreshing charm of this place is that they hate technology and love conversation. Just perfect.
Ride the Tube
A trip to London wouldn’t be complete without a trip on the Tube. At rush hour, it’s certainly not for the claustrophobic, but it’s an experience in itself – even if it is just a bunch of trains.
See Piccadilly Circus by night
These lights by night are a sight to see for sure. Sensory overload is inevitable in this genuinely buzzing London hotspot.
Watch a West End show
The famous West End consistently produces high quality, exciting shows that won’t let you theatre-goers down. It takes a lot to get – and stay – on the West End, so every dollar will definitely be well spent here.
Visit Westminster Abbey
As if it wasn’t famous enough already, Westminster Abbey was recently beamed across the world as the setting for the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. You can take a tour of the Abbey, on any day except Sunday, to retrace the steps of British history.