Guest Post: 10 Things You MUST Do When In London

 

OK, so we know 10 things doesn´t sound like very many for a hustling and bustling city like London, but if you´re planning a trip to the ´Big Smoke´ and are finding it just a tad difficult deciding what to do and what to give a miss, then look no further. No matter what your budget or whether you´re a couple, family with kids or travelling solo, we´re sure this list has something for every type of tourist.

 

1. Take A Sightseeing Tour

For those of you visiting for the first time, this is an absolute must. What better way to take in the awesome sights of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge and more from the comfort of London´s iconic open-topped red double-decker bus? With a number of different operators offering various routes, we´re sure you´ll find a tour that takes your fancy. Prices generally range from £25-35 per adult, with discounts available for purchases made online and group/family bookings.

 

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Typical Sightseeing Tour

 

 

2. Visit Hyde Park

The great British weather permitting (not likely I hear some say); a trip to central London´s largest area of green space is very much worth a visit. Covering over 350 acres, and home to many famous landmarks including Speaker´s Corner and the Serpentine Lake, this park is the perfect place to take a break from the hustle of its surrounding areas. Hyde Park is most busy during Spring/Summer; however events take place all year round. Click here for a list of upcoming events.

 

3. Learn English

If you´re planning a slightly longer stay than some, why not brush up on your language skills in one of London´s English schools ? As you would expect, London offers some of the best English teaching institutions in the world. Learning in a relaxed environment in one of the most vibrant English speaking cities in the world, this is a great activity for those of you who like to keep the brain active and learn some local ‘lingo’.

 

4. Hit The Shops

In terms of variety, London is one of the best cities in the world for a spot of retail therapy. From the high street shops of Oxford Street, to the quirky stalls at Camden Market, the luxury stores of Harrods and Selfridges, to massive shopping centres such as Westfield; you really will shop ´til you drop!

 

5. Ride The Tube

It wouldn´t be a trip to London without catching a ride on the Tube, also known as the London Underground. Although it may not seem like everyone´s cup of tea, London´s underground rail system is packed with history and is easily the fastest way to get around the city. 2013 sees it mark its 150th year in operation, with a number of events planned to mark the milestone. The most efficient way to use the Tube is to purchase a pre-pay travel card called the Oyster Card. If you´re fortunate enough to be spending New Years Eve in London, all London transport is usually free to ride in the few hours prior to and after midnight.

 

6. Tour The Museums

The majority of London´s main museums are free to visit (who said exploring London had to break the bank?) Some of the most popular ones include the British Museum, which is home to various art and artefacts, the Tate Modern with its collection of modern art and the Science Museum. A full list and other free London attractions can be viewed here.

 

7. A Trip On The London Eye

Since opening in 1999 in time for the turn of the millennium, the London Eye has since become the most iconic ‘wheel’ in the world. Standing at 135m, it is possible to see for up to 25 miles when at the summit and offers truly breathtaking views of the vast London landscape. One whole rotation takes approximately 30 minutes, and tickets can be booked here at a discounted online price.

 

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The London Eye

 

8. Feeling Peckish? Take Your Pick!

With London now regarded as being home to some of the finest restaurants, you really will be spoilt for choice. Culinary hotspots seem to constantly change in London; however we would strongly recommend a visit to Covent Garden and its host of markets and eateries, perfect for any meal of the day. If Asian food is your thing, head to China Town, located close to Leicester Square. For food on the go or some special treats, check out Harrods food hall in Kensington. You won´t be disappointed!

 

9. Check Out Soho

Soho is quite unlike anywhere else in the city. Located at the heart of central London, it is within walking distance of many other tourist attractions and easily accessible by public transport. Home to a diverse range of bars, cafes and other venues, it attracts an exciting mix of people which makes for a unique and warm atmosphere. Kick off your night in style here.

And last but not least…

 

10. See A West End Show

After a busy few days exploring the city, you could be forgiven for feeling a little weary. Never worry; sit back, relax and enjoy one of many fantastic West End shows on offer. Prices can be a little expensive; however we would recommend visiting the TKTS kiosk located at Leicester Square. Tickets for shows that day can be purchased for up to half their original price, for roughly £30-40. The kiosk opens at 9am (11am Sunday), so get down early to avoid disappointment.

 

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TKTS, Leicester Square

 

 

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