Home to the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, and of course the Royal Family, London is one of the most popular travel destinations in the entire world. Today I’ll be running through 13 things that you must do if you’re in London, from shopping at the Europe’s biggest department store to touring the historic Globe Theatre.
Ride the London Underground
London is a big city covering over 600 square miles. So unless you like to walk a lot, the first thing that you must do in London is purchase an Oyster Card! These cards will help you get in and out of the London Underground (also know as the Tube) which is the public transport system, and are an essential if you want to go anywhere in London. You can purchase one at any Underground stop. Find more information on it here.
Visit Big Ben & the Parliament Buildings
Did you know that Big Ben is actually the bell, not the clock tower? Big Ben and the Parliament Buildings are a symbol of London, and you have to see them if you visit London. The best way to see the clocktower for the first time is to come out of the Westminster Tube Station and see it towering above you.
Shop at Harrods
As the biggest department store in Europe, you must visit Harrods if you’re in London. Harrods is well known for its food hall, which is full of many many chocolates, pastries, cakes, and more. Beware that the prices here are very high!
Visit Buckingham Palace (and try to catch the Changing Of The Guard!)
Buckingham Palace is the official home of the Royal Family and is another symbol of the city. It’s easy to lose yourself in the beauty and splendor of the grounds that surround the Palace. and it is definitely a must-see destination for any London tourists. When planning your visit to the Palace, try to coordinate it so that you are there to see the Changing Of The Guard (daily at 11:30 AM from April to July).
Tour the Tower Of London
One of the best experiences I had in London was visiting the Tower Of London. The history of the Tower is very fascinating and spans over 1000 years. For instance, did you know that the tower went from a prison to it being the home to the Royal Family? If ycou’d like to get the full experience, be sure to take a tour of the Tower from a Beefeater!
Visit Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is pretty much the Times Square of London. It is a great place for a selfie, and a great place to sit down, rest, and people-watch.
Have a picnic lunch in one of London’s parks
London is a fast-paced and hectic city, but there are many opportunities to enjoy a slower pace of life. Since there are eight royal parks in London, you have to visit one during your stay. My personal favourite park in London would have to be St. James park, as the scenery there is amazing, and it is not far at all from Buckingham Palace. Grab a sandwich and a drink from one of the local restaurant (I recommend Pret a Manger, they’re all over London), find a shady spot and spend a relaxing afternoon people-watching.
Visit St. Pauls Cathedral
St Pauls Cathedral is arguably one of the most well designed and admired structures in all of London, and its dome and facade are easily recognizable. The inside of the Cathedral is just as remarkable, as it is decorated with mosaics and metalwork.
Eat Fish & Chips
What would a trip to London be without Fish and Chips? Whether you get them from a pub or to ‘take away’, Fish and Chips are a quintessential meal if you’re in London. It’s hard to resist the delicious batter that coats the fish and the crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on- the-inside ‘chips’ (which are what the English call french fries).
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater is a must see attraction in London, and it has a very interesting history. The theatre itself is a modern reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre, because the original theatre was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1613. Visitors will learn about England’s most famous playwright and what life was like during that time. I would recommend booking a tour of the theatre to get the full experience!
Walk across one of London’s bridges
London is home to many famous bridges, including the Tower Bridge, Millennium Bridge, and of course the London bridge. Cross over one of the bridges to see an amazing view of the Thames River. My favourite bridge in London is the Tower Bridge, it’s so pretty!
Visit Trafalgar Square & the National Gallery
Yet another icon of London is Trafalgar square, which is also home to London’s National Gallery. I’m not much into art, but I actually found the National Gallery very interesting to visit. The collection includes quite a few well known paintings, such as Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Monet’s Water-Lily Pond. Admission to the museum is free, so you may want to visit more than once if you have time!
Take a ride on the London Eye
Despite being built just under twenty years ago, the London Eye quickly became an icon of London. You should definitely take a ride on the wheel to get the best views of London, but make sure to book your tickets in advance (you can do that here!).
Bonus: Ride a Red Double Becker Bus
See a show in London’s West End
Thank you for reading my post today. If you’ve been to London, what is your favourite thing you did there? If you haven’t been to London, what would you most like to do there? Let me know in the comments section 🙂