Rich in history, nightlife, art, and things to do, London is the perfect destination for your European adventure. With walking tours, day trips to the countryside, specialty museums, cultural landmarks, famous parks, bustling markets, and bus tours, London is sure to have an adventure for just about anyone. It can often be hard to know where to start if you’re only in London for a day or so. How you prioritize the spots you see is also completely dependent on what you’re interests are. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of what to see in London for the history buff, foodie, and nature lover alike.
- What to see in London if you’re a sightseer: Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Abbey Road, and Baker Street are some great places to visit if you want to hit the famous landmarks of London and walk away with some great photos.
- What to see in London if you’re an art lover: V&A Victoria and Albert Museum, National Gallery, The British Museum, Brick Lane, and the Wallace Collection are wonderful places to start if you love gallivanting through galleries and staring into works of art of present and past.
- What to see in London if you’re a shopper: Borough Market, Liberty London, Convent Market, Camden Market, Brick Lane Market, and Harrod’s are a few places to stop if you’re wanting to come home with some mementos, souvenirs, and gifts.
- What to see in London if you’re a history buff: Tower of London, Churchhill War Rooms, Cutty Sark, The Old Operating Theater Museum and Herb Garret, and Somerset House are some unique spots to stop that is rich in history and a little off the beaten path compared to the more classic London landmarks.
- What to see in London if you’re a nature lover: Hyde Park, St. James Park, Sky Garden, and Regent’s Park are some wonderful places to spend the afternoon waltzing through flowers and gardens or taking a stroll hand in hand with a companion.
- What to see in London for entertainment: Chelsea FC Stadium, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, The London Eye, the British Film Insitute, Thames Cruise, and Brixton Academy are some great spots to look into to spend a fun evening.
Finding the best spots to make the most of your trip is the fun part, but make sure you do a little reading on things you should know about traveling to London before you get there! Whether you’re a travel newbie or connoisseur, every country is different, and it’s important to know a few things ahead of time! So, where do you start? Here are a few tips to make the most of your London adventure.
- Maximize your time. Often travel days can mean downtime in which you are waiting for your hotel check-in time or trying to figure out how to spend your last day after you’ve checked out. An excellent way to make the most of your time is to use luggage storage spots which can be found all over the city. It is common to relieve yourself of lugging around suitcases by using luggage storage in Paddington Station so you can enjoy the rest of your travel day and hit a few more spots.
- Use a travel adaptor. Remember that the UK uses Type G plugs, so make sure you snag one online before you embark on your travels! This plus is different than what is used in the US or other European countries. There’s nothing worse than an uncharged phone in a city you’re unfamiliar with.
- Know your payment options. Paying by credit card is possible almost everywhere, but it can always be helpful to keep some cash on hand. London does not take USD or Euro, so make sure you grab some GBP which is the abbreviation for British Pound Sterling. Additionally, you should know you are not expected to tip at restaurants. If anything, 10-15% will already be included in your bill.
- Book as much ahead of time as possible. Skip waiting in lines, have more choice options, and pursue better prices, by booking almost everything on your trip ahead of time! Most sightseeing tours, museums, and lodging locations have websites that will allow you to book with them or purchase a ticket. Not only will this alleviate some stress, but it will help you pack more into a day since it won’t be left up to fate on whether you’ll get in or not!
Wear good shoes, and look right before crossing the road! London is a very easily walkable city, so make sure you wear good shoes. Walking from place to place is a great way to save money, and get some extra sightseeing in. If you’re American, remember to look right before crossing the street as they drive on the other side of the road in the UK.