TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON
We feel that it is safe to say that London is on just about every traveler's #BucketList. The most visited city in Europe, with over 90 countries represented among its residents, the British capital is bursting with beauty, history, and charm like nowhere else. Whether you’ve visited the wonderful city before or have never been, London is a place that stays with you. And, in a city as massive as London, it can be difficult trying to decide what to do, where to go, and what to see. We have boiled down a list of our top ten favorite experiences in London (yet there are WAY more than ten!)
#1. Tower of London
Dating back to 1066, this historic landmark was used as a prison, royal residence, and is now the home of the Crown Jewels. Beefeater Tours of the Tower are available every day and it is a great educational, if not slightly gory, experience into London’s darker past.
#2. Afternoon Tea
An iconic British experience, having at least one cup of proper English Tea may seem cliche, but it is an existential experience you will not want to miss. Dine on scones and finger sandwiches in one of the many hotels around London that offer afternoon tea. You will feel as if you are sitting in the lap of luxury!
#3. Harry Potter Walking Tour
Whether you are a mega-fan or not, there are several iconic spots around London that played big roles in the films. You can opt for an organized tour or plan one yourself. Did someone say Platform 9 ¾? For those that want to get a bit more behind-the-scenes experience, book a tour of the Warner Bros Studio in London and see how the making of Harry Potter came to be.
#4. Borough Market
For all the foodies out there, Borough Market is the place for you! Open 10-5 Wednesdays through Sundays, travelers and locals alike can peruse the stands and sample fresh and local cuisine. With London being one giant melting pot, partakers will taste unique and delicious food all over the world. Other markets are also open throughout the city for those looking to sample some of London’s finest cuisine.
#5. Westminster Abbey
One of the most iconic landmarks around the globe and one of the most stunning churches in the world, only seeing the intricate exterior is not enough. We highly recommend going inside and getting a tour of this deeply-rich historic building. People such as Charles Darwin and Mary Queen of Scots are buried here as well as several other kings and queens. History and architecture lovers will not want to skip seeing this beautiful church.
#6. Get a Bird’s Eye View
The best view of London is from above, and there are several places around the city that offer such a view. The most popular is the London Eye, where you get 30 minutes of Instagram-worthy shots of the city. Less expensive options include the Shangri-La Hotel bar, the Shard, and the Sky Garden. Some of these locations are free but still require a ticket, so be sure to choose the best option for you when you are traveling. Trust us, the views are worth it!
During you trip, plan to visit at least one of the many museums around London. The British Museum has countless artifacts dating back to ancient Greece and Rome. The Natural History Museum offers several impressive exhibits that the whole family will enjoy. The best part is most of the museums are free. A few other museums we love are listed in our blog for history buffs.
#8. Go on a Street Art Tour
While London is deeply rich in history, it is also overflowing with culture and artists that seem to grow every day. The most popular location is Shoreditch where famous artist Banksy got his fame. But, you will not want to miss the the Graffiti Tour as well. It takes you all over East London to some of the best and most fashionable spots. If you choose, you can attend a street art workshop and create your own spray paint art.
#9. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace
Right next door to Westminster Abbey is London’s most famous landmark, Big Ben. Sure, it may be touristy but for first-time visitors it is a must. Be sure to take some amazing photos and maybe do a Parliament tour while your in town.
Right down the road (well, through the park) is another iconic feature: Buckingham Palace. During the summer months, the changing of the guard occurs frequently at the palace and is a really cool experience to watch. If you happen to miss it, the architecture and details of the Queen’s residence are reason enough to stop by for a photo or two. Going at dusk is even more magical.
While this one is not family-friendly, it is a fun experience for the adults. What’s a visit to London without enjoying a pint or two? Countless Pubs are located all over the city, each one having its own unique story. The Churchill Arms allows visitors to drink a pint while browsing Churchill memorabilia. A few other famous pubs include Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, which has been hosting guests like Mark Twain since 1538, and The Mayflower Pub, which is located close to where the Mayflower set sail for the new world (hence the name.)
While this is just a short list full of numerous activities, it is only a fraction of what travelers can experience in the British capital. Though you may not be able to see everything on your first trip to London, it gives you an excuse to return and see something new. Do you need help planning your London itinerary? Want more information on London? Please contact us. One of our travel advisors would be more than happy to chat with you!