London is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world – it is home to the famous red double-decker busses, the Queen, and Big Ben. Considering how much there is to see, it might be too overwhelming with a single trip. That is why we have these tips and tr4icks to make your stay in London more enjoyable.
Pick and choose – there is too much to see!
One of the mistakes that first-time travelers to London tend to make is that they try to do and see everything. Remember that there is so much to do, so much to see in London – Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, and that is just a quick selection.
Keep in mind that unless you plan to vacation in London for a month, it is impossible to see everything. Make sure that you do your research beforehand, find out what is current in the city at that time, make a list of the things that you absolutely HAVE to see, and go from there. Considering that London is a massive city, it is important to prioritize.
Go outside the tourist zone
Most people have a relatively narrow sighted idea of what London actually is. Once you venture into what most people would consider unknown territory, you are getting into the truly spectacular sights of London. Once you begin to explore the neighborhoods, you can see just how much London has changed over the course of its history.
Do not ignore the South Bank of the Thames
After a long day of exploring London, do you want to capture the iconic sights (the Thames, Big Ben) with the magical sunset as your backdrop? If so, head to the Southbank of the Thames, just across the bridge. If you try to take a picture near Westminster for example, chances are that you are constantly interrupted by the many tourists passing by.
Most of the museums are free – and they are amazing
The majority of museums that you are going to find across London are 100 percent free to enter and have enough to see to last you an entire day. Make sure that you visit two of the best – the Natural History Museum and the British Museum. Expect crowds and lines, because these are two of London’s most popular museums (and with good cause).
Need a great way to get around? Red Double Decker Bus Tours
Even though other places might suggest they are nothing more than tourist traps (and everyone is entitled to their own opinion), these tourist busses where you ‘hop on – hop off’ are great ways to get an introduction to a city. They have guided information, they are fun, and they make getting to the top tourist attractions ridiculously easy. Because London is absolutely massive, this is a great way to get around.
Mind the gap – the underground
If you prefer traditional methods of public transportation, make sure that you look into buying an Oyster Card. You can use this on the underground, the red double decker buses, and you can even ride the regional trains. You visit the sites in a single day for a relatively good price, because there is a daily maximum of £8.50 on the Oyster Card.
Make sure to savor your breakfast
Even though Brits often get a lot of flak for having mediocre cuisine, there is certainly no denying that they can make an awesome breakfast. The ol’ English breakfast is something that you do not want to miss out on. If you go into a restaurant and get the full English breakfast, chances are that you will not be hungry until the afternoon. The traditional English breakfast comes with a baked tomato, baked beans, toast, bacon, and two eggs.
You can skip the changing of the guards
Again, this is up to the individual. However, most people we have talked to really did not enjoy the changing of the guards that much. Every day, thousands of tourists gather around, nudging against one another for a better view. As a result, it has become almost impossible to catch anything of what is going on. If you are keen on seeing it, by all means, go there. However, if you really just want to do it because it is ‘something to do’, you might as well just skip out.
Enjoy a free walking tour
If you want to kick things off on the right foot (literally) and it is your first visit to London, make sure to join a free city walking tour. Even though it does not go into too much depth, you do get characteristically British guides and it is a popular choice for most tourists. You should get a chance to see some of the major hot spots, including Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, and Buckingham Palace.