PSA: All Covid-19 necessities in London have been scrapped as of March 2022 — which means it’s enterprise as standard, no pre-departure exams, quarantine or arrival kinds! 🥳 Here are one of the best issues to do in London, plus journey suggestions on the finish.
Photo credit score: @bendavisual by way of Unsplash
Buckingham Palace, Borough Market, the British Museum — that’s all I might match into my first London itinerary. It was ample, provided that it was simply two days earlier than hitting different cities like Bristol, Bath, and Brighton.
Four years later, I acquired the prospect to revisit London. This time for a month! It allowed me to decelerate and actually get to know the town higher.
A month later and I nonetheless really feel like I’ve solely scratched the floor. There are numerous weekend markets, musicals operating on a regular basis, free museums… after my second go to, I can verify that London is likely one of the most full of life cities I’ve ever been to.
If it’s your first time in London — listed below are a few of my favorite suggestions:
1) Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Despite being about an hour out of London, metropolis — the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London needed to be primary on the checklist. (particularly for the Potterhead who can recite a number of scenes from reminiscence — a.okay.a me)
The common go to lasts 3.5hrs, however I spent double the period of time there. There’s a lot to soak up — precise film units, authentic costumes and props, and behind-the-scenes footage!
From the enduring Great Hall the place Harry and gang acquired sorted into their homes to Diagon Alley the place they picked up college provides, the tour is certainly well worth the cash in case you’re a fan.
*Pro-tip: Book your tickets method prematurely — entry is by way of time slots and we’d advocate selecting the earliest for ample time to discover!
Cost: From £49.95 (~S$91)
Opening hours: 9:30AM – 8PM (Weekdays), 8:30AM – 10PM (Weekends)
How to get there: Take the West Coast Main Line to Watford Junction station, then a 15min shuttle bus (incl. in ticket)
2) Thrift Shopping at Brick Lane
Brick Lane is an edgy, youthful neighbourhood in East London. We visited on a Saturday and had been greeted by streets lined with murals and graffiti; buskers beatboxing and meals carts meting out scorching meals.
Besides the principle road, there are a number of markets to take a look at — you can simply spend a full day right here and nonetheless not cowl every little thing.
There are quite a lot of classic and thrift outlets in Brick Lane — and the costs vary fairly a bit too! Some outlets offered secondhand sweaters for £10, and a few supplied extra distinctive items for £150. The Brick Lane Vintage Market is one such place that’s a little bit extra upmarket, however nonetheless actually enjoyable to discover!
Food-wise, there’s loads to be enthusiastic about. Like the well-known Beigel Bake salt beef beigel (£5.50) that’s been round 1974! For extra choices, head to Upmarket (above Brick Lane Vintage Market) and the Old Spitalfields Market.
Opening hours: Different markets have completely different opening hours, however most open from 10AM – 5PM
How to get there: Take the District, Hammersmith or City line to Aldgate East station, stroll 11min
3) Catch a Musical at West End
Photo credit score: Wicked
When in London, you’ve acquired to look at a musical. London’s West End is dwelling to dozens of award-winning musicals, with exhibits enjoying each evening.
Popular musicals embody Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Mamma Mia! and The Phantom of the Opera. I managed to catch three musicals throughout our month-long keep in London — and The Book of Mormon is my favorite! It’s satirical, witty, and simply insanely entertaining.
*Pro-tip: Afternoon and weekday exhibits are usually cheaper!
4) Panoramic Views from Sky Garden
Photo credit score: @hellolightbulb by way of Unsplash
Several associates really helpful a visit to the Sky Garden for one of the best views of London. This 38-storey constructing is dwelling to London’s highest public backyard, and the doorway is free!
View from the Sky Garden. Photo credit score: @thechrisbatch by way of Instagram
Tickets are launched each Monday and get snatched up actually shortly, so e-book as early as potential (three weeks prematurely!).
Entrance charge: Free
Opening hours: 10AM – 6PM (Mon – Fri), 11AM – 9PM (Sat – Sun)
How to get there: Take the District or Circle Line to Monument station, stroll 3min
5) Camden Market and Primrose Hill
Photo credit score: @hertwashere by way of Unsplash
Camden Market is a bustling space of over 1,000 shops promoting every little thing from road meals to classic style.
The outside part sees primarily road meals stalls providing extra than simply British favourites. I had a tricky time deciding what to have for lunch — decisions embody Hawaiian poke bowls, recent Italian pasta, and American hotdogs.
Photo credit score: @iermartinez by way of Unsplash
Indoors is the place the outlets are at! Local artisans are promoting handmade leather-based items and jewellery, associates are rummaging by means of thrift outlets; there’s even reside music at a couple of bars.
*Pro-tip: Camden Market will get actually crowded throughout mealtimes. Order takeaway and stroll 9min to Primrose Hill in Regent’s Park to take pleasure in your meals! It’s probably the greatest viewpoints in London, with unobstructed views of the town skyline.
Opening hours: 10AM – 6PM
How to get there: Take the Northern line to Camden Town, stroll 5min
Photo credit score: @nico86 by way of Unsplash
One of one of the best issues to do in London is to go to a museum. And in case you want one more reason: Entrance is FREE for many museums. You simply gotta pre-book a slot on-line!
The British Museum was first on my checklist because it was featured in Night on the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. The fashionable inside structure was an attraction in itself, and the principle displays embody the Egyptian sculpture gallery and Roman empire show.
Step into the Natural History Museum and be greeted by a 25.2m-long blue whale skeleton!
Another museum price testing is the Natural History Museum. The focus right here is on the pure world and evolution — all the best way again to the time of dinosaurs.
7) Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park
Photo credit score: @francaisalondres by way of Unsplash
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the royal household and is certainly one of London’s most recognised landmarks. This palace advanced has been round 1703 and now has virtually 800 rooms.
One of one of the best (free!) issues to do right here is watching the altering of guards exterior Buckingham Palace. It occurs at 10:45AM each Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday — I’d counsel coming early to order a great spot because it will get crowded.
Entrance charge: £30 (~S$55)
Opening hours: 9:30AM – 7:30PM, Last entry at 5:15PM (Jul – Aug), 9:30AM – 6:30PM, Last entry at 4:15PM (Sep – Oct)
How to get there: Take the Circle or District line to Victoria or St. Jame’s Park station then stroll 11min
8) Notting Hill and Portobello Market
This upscale neighbourhood in West London homes iconic filming areas together with the colorful homes alongside Lancaster Road, The Notting Hill Bookshop, and the Blue Door.
*Pro-tip: The finest day to go to is Saturday — when all the road stalls are open. The market isn’t open on Sundays.
Notting Hill can also be dwelling to Portobello Market, certainly one of liveliest markets in London. It stretches alongside Portobello Road, and also you’ll discover stalls promoting every little thing from antiques to secondhand clothes to books.
At the top, there’s a road meals part good for a lunch break. International delicacies is aplenty — Korean fried rooster, Spanish paella and North African dishes are only a few choices!
Don’t ignore the everlasting shops whenever you go to; there are a number of gems price testing. Like the various charity outlets (Oxfam, Fara and British Red Cross), espresso homes and different small companies.
Opening hours: 9AM – 6PM (Mon – Wed), 9AM – 1PM (Thu), 9AM – 7PM (Fri), 9AM – 7PM (Sat), Closed on Sun
How to get there: Take the Circle line to Ladbroke Grove, stroll 5min
9) Shop at Oxford Street
Whether it’s your first or fifth time visiting, probably the greatest issues to do in London is to stroll down Oxford Street. It’s Europe’s busiest purchasing road, with round 300 outlets — Primark, Zara, Marks & Spencer amongst them.
Even in case you’re not trying to purchase something, the realm is a unbelievable place to soak within the full of life metropolis ambiance, with buskets and performers, and the enduring crimson buses that periodically drive by!
Opening hours: Most outlets shut by 9PM
How to get there: Take the Victoria line to Oxford Circus Underground Station. Oxford Street is situated proper on the exit
10) Grab a Bite at Borough Market
Borough Market is London’s most well-known market. It’s been round since 1756 and is cut up into three areas — Three Crown Square, Green Market, and Borough Market Kitchen.
The first two are the place you’ll discover recent produce, whereas Borough Market Kitchen is the road meals space.
*Pro-tip: Borough Market is situated inside strolling distance of the River Thames! Grab a chunk and stroll alongside the river, and cross the well-known Millennium Bridge that results in St Paul’s Cathedral.
Opening hours: 10AM – 5PM (Mon – Fri), 8AM – 5PM (Sat), 10AM – 3PM (Sun)
How to get there: Take the Jubilee or Northern line to London Underground station, Borough Market is situated proper beside it
11) Dine Out at Chinatown
Photo credit score: @brunus by way of Unsplash
One of the preferred issues to do in London is visiting Chinatown, situated proper subsequent to West End! The iconic crimson lanterns and grand gate are clear indicators you’ve arrived on this full of life neighbourhood.
There’s a number of Chinese eating places, however you’ll discover different Asian cuisines too! Some really helpful eateries embody Golden Dragon (dim sum), Dumplings’ Legend and BaoziInn Romilly Street.
Opening hours: Generally 12PM – 12AM
How to get there: Take the Piccadilly or Northern Line to Leicester Square station, stroll 3min
12) Catch Street Performances at Covent Garden
Photo credit score: @brunus by way of Unsplash
Hanging out at Covent Garden is likely one of the hottest issues to do in London. It’s a scorching spot for eating and purchasing (largely upscale manufacturers like TAG Heuer and Ray-Ban), with occasional road performers as effectively.
Here you’ll discover the well-loved Flat Iron steak home — a must-try when visiting London for the primary time!
Opening hours: 24 hours, however outlets are normally open from 10AM – 8PM
How to get there: Take the Piccadilly line to Covent Garden station, stroll 2min
Photo credit score: @tombag by way of Unsplash
Located on the coronary heart of West End, Soho is London’s nightlife and leisure district! It’s additionally a scorching spot for the town’s LGBT neighborhood with a number of homosexual bars within the space.
Photo credit score: @pooorliza by way of Unsplash
Check out Carnaby Street — situated behind Oxford Street — for Instagrammable streets, plus an countless quantity of purchasing and eating choices.
Opening hours: 24 hours
How to get there: Take the Bakerloo, Central or Victoria line to Oxford Circus, stroll 1min
Located additional South throughout the River Thames is the charming, cultural neighbourhood of Greenwich. This space is understood for its naval and navy previous, with landmarks just like the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House — each free entry!
Right beside the prepare station is Greenwich Market. It’s not huge, however there are some fascinating meals choices out there.
*Pro-tip: There aren’t any seats at Greenwich Market. Buy road meals and stroll over to the Thames Foreshore for views of the river!
One of one of the best issues to do in Greenwich is hanging out at Greenwich Park, London’s oldest Royal Park. Climb to the highest of the hill the place The Royal Observatory sits for one of the best views of the town.
Fun truth: The Prime Meridian Line is situated there too. It’s the precise spot that divides the jap and western hemispheres — which means longitude zero!
After chilling at Greenwich Park, head all the way down to Old Royal Naval College! The closing struggle scene from Thor: The Dark World was filmed right here! You’ll be strolling on the identical grounds because the God of Thunder 🤩.
Opening hours: 24 hours
How to get there: Take the Jubilee line to North Greenwich station
15) Tower Bridge
If there’s a blockbuster movie that includes London, you may guess that Tower Bridge might be in it. Opened in 1894, Tower Bridge has been a key landmark in London’s cityscape.
Entrance charge: £11.40 (~S$18.40)
Opening hours: 9:30AM – 6PM, Last entry 5PM
How to get there: Take the District or Circle line to Tower Hill station, stroll 7min
Pre-trip Essentials and Tips for Your Next Trip to London
Entry necessities: As of 18 Mar 2022, guests to the UK now not want to finish a passenger locator type or take any pre-departure or on-arrival Covid-19 exams.
Connectivity: Vodafone UK SIM card prices £30 for 25GB of information, which could be discovered at Heathrow Airport.
Transport inside London: The best option to get round London is by way of prepare or bus. There are a couple of completely different prepare providers, and the principle one is the London Underground (or the Tube, as locals name it).
London is split up into 9 journey zones and most points of interest are situated in Central London (Zone 1). There are peak fares (Mon – Fri) from 6:30AM – 9:30AM and 4PM – 7PM.
You can both buy an Oyster Card (£5) or use a contactless fee card (like Apple Pay!). A single-tube journey in Zone 1 prices £2.40 (S$4.38) whereas a bus experience is £1.55.
Where to remain in London: We’d advocate staying in Zone 1, the place many of the foremost points of interest are situated! One of one of the best locations to remain in London for first-time guests is Covent Garden, because it’s inside strolling distance to West End and Oxford Street
Tips for planning your subsequent journey to London:
1) You can just about go cashless (we did, for a full month) — most road meals stalls additionally settle for card!
2) Book tickets early prematurely. Slots for the Warner Bros Studio Tour, The Shard, and museum tickets run out shortly — I attempted reserving tickets for The Shard two weeks prematurely and there have been none left.
3) Transport (even public) can add up in a short time — save on transport prices by planning your London itinerary to cowl points of interest inside strolling distance of one another on the identical day. Walking can also be a good way to see the town — right here’s a Google Maps hyperlink with all of the points of interest pinned!
What are your favorite issues to do in London? Share with us within the feedback!