posted on: 22 March, 2019
London, our home and a fantastic cosmopolitan city by the Thames. Diverse, culturally rich, it oozes with history from ancient to modern times. Innovative, creative, energetic, buzzing, modern, calm the list is endless. And trust us, you’ll find everything and anything you want! But visiting for the first time London can be overwhelming.
Therefore, we’ve compelled this simple list ticking off all major sites on your first, but definitely not last trip to the capital of the world.
First, London is very walkable! You’ll be surprise how close together many of the major attractions are. So, get your walking boots on and let’s start at Victoria Station.
From there it’s a short walk to Buckingham Palace. See the iconic palace and watch the famous Changing of the Guards. Take a quick detour to Harrods for some exquisite shopping or head straight down the Mall to Trafalgar Square.
See Nelson’s column and visit the National Gallery. Like many other museums the entry is free!
Take a break at the fantastic and well-hidden café in the crypt of the St Martins on the Fields church next to Trafalgar Square. A first time visitor can still find some less known spots.
Then head down Whitehall passing Old Scotland Yard and Downing Street No 10. Booh the prime minister! Shortly afterwards you spot Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and right next door, Westminster Abbey where most Royals got married.
Cross the Thames for the first time and there’s the London Eye! We recommend a ride at dusk when London’s skyline is lit up. The view will be amazing.
If you are into street art, take another short detour to Leak Street. It’s a graffiti tunnel leading towards Waterloo station. The artworks are mind blowing and constantly changing. At the end of tunnel is Lower Marsh Market, a great street food market.
Then it’s time to head back to the Thames, to the South Bank. Musicians and street artists line up at the river walk and give it a very lively and artistic atmosphere. Enjoy and keep walking until you reach the Tate Modern Gallery. The Tate is also free and showcases an impressive modern art collection.
Right next to it is the Millennium Bridge. This slightly wobbly looking bridge leads you straight to St Paul’s Cathedral. Otherwise continue your journey along the Thames until you reach the Borough Market. A food market like no other with delicatessens from around the world. But watch out, it ain’t cheap! Have a break in one of the many historic pubs around there. We can give you some pub recommendations. Then it’s time for your last stop, Tower Bridge and the Tower. Two iconic landmarks no visitor can afford to miss! That should do for your first day.
On the next day we put some shopping on the agenda. Oxford Street, Regent Street, Carnaby Street give you the full shopping hit and are again, all very walkable. Seen enough shops? Then check out the Wallace Collection for some classic art set in a stunning location. Their cafe is a great spot for lunch or afternoon tea. If the weather is nice relax on a deck chair in Hyde Park.
Afterwards just stroll around Soho and Chinatown. Pick a place for dinner and choose one of the musicals for the evening. Day two is all about soaking up the atmosphere on your first trip to London.
On day three you can go into more detail.
See the unique Camden Town with its market for some post punk subculture. Plenty of quirky gifts for your friends back home can be found here. Also, the food market is nothing short of amazing.
Or pay the trendiest part of London, Shoreditch, a visit. Alternative but fine fashion, ar
t galleries, the trendiest bars, the famous curry mile Brick Lane, vintage stores and street art are what Shoreditch nowadays is known for.
Alternatively, it’s time for more museums! All for free and well worth a visit. First and foremost, the British Museum. You can easily spend a full day in there wandering around the halls seeing artefacts from around the world!
Discover a new part of town, Kensington. Home to the rich and famous it boasts of many fine restaurants, shops and museums. The Victoria and Albert museum in Kensington is the world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects! The Natural History Museum is fantastic too and not just for the little ones.
Weather permitting take a boat ride from the London Eye to Greenwich. Home of the observatory and the restored Cutty Sark. Relax with a pick nick in Greenwich park. The views over London are amazing.
When it comes to nightlife, London is the most diverse city in the world. Take it easy in one of the many traditional pubs. Check out some fancy cocktail bar and club and Soho. See a rock gig in lively Camden. Go to a musical or play in central London. Be hip and trendy and party all night in Shoreditch. The options are endless and with some tubes running 24h on the weekend, the nights are long.
Needless to say, that there are many other things to do and to see in London.
Here’s a small list of alternatives you could see and do.
Harry Potter Walking Tour & Studios
Richmond Park and Kew Gardens
London Dungeon & Madame Tussauds
London Orbital & Olympic Park
O2 Arena Climb
Thames Speed Boat Cruise
London Post Museum & Underground Train
The Shard Viewing Platform
And many more.
And if you’re into sport especially football, you should experience the
unique atmosphere of an English football match. With more than 10 clubs based in London it won’t be hard to find a match to watch. Whatever you choose to do and at whatever speed you chose to do it, London will amaze you.
And you will want to come back again and again!
If you got some spare time on your hands why not spend a by the seaside?! Brighton is only an hour’s train ride away.
For your first time visit we recommend spending 3 full days in London.
But honestly you can spend a week and still haven’t see it all.
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We are happy to arrange your accommodation and cater also for small budgets: https://ato-tours.com/special-offer/special-offer-london/
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