Ahh day dreaming of London while sipping on tea and nibbling down shortbread. It had always been a dream of mine to visit this English city. Explore the culture, see the sights, talk to some locals, and get the full London experience. But where do you start, how do you go about immersing yourself into such a place with only a few days time? On my first trip to London I scoured for the best sights, used our local friends as recourses for what to do, and came up with my top ten must have London experiences. Half of your planning for your own first London adventure will be covered just by reading this! Get out your itinerary and prepare to fill it up!
SEE BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Number 1 one the list…visit the Queen! Ok she might not be available for afternoon tea with her schedule but a must have experience in London is to see Buckingham Palace where she and all the previous royalty of England have resided. A tour inside to see the Royal Collection will cost £10.00 or you can just view from the outside with all the other admirers for free. However, if you are planning your trip for this summer, 2017, the Palace is being opened for a special exhibition full tour for £23 per person. Details here!
SEE BIG BEN AND WESTMINSTER ABBEY
Get your cameras and selfie sticks out! Time to get your prime shot of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. It’s hard not to find them, they are enormous. But no matter how many photos you take, it won’t do justice to what you’ll see and experience in person. I don’t think I have to convince anyone that this is not to be missed!
VISIT A TRADITIONAL PUB
My favorite part about all of the London Pubs is all of the flowers that deck the outsides. No other city comes close to creating such an atmosphere that the pubs here achieve. Step inside and you’ll feel the tradition and elegance that has been a part of this city for hundreds of years. The Red Lion is known for its award winning traditional London meat and potato pies which is also a must when deciding what to eat when in London.
EAT FISH AND CHIPS
And speaking of what to eat, when in London, eat fish and chips. For anyone who doesn’t know, chips is the word for fries in the UK. Get yourself to a pub and try some delicious fried fish with crispy hot chips. Looking for a pub? I’ve got you covered. Here is a list of restaurants in all different areas of London all with delicious fish and chips:
Near the Highbury and Islington Underground station in this hip neighborhood is a fresh and yummy Fish and chips choice:
Sea Fish Restaurant
Not too far from London Tower and the Liverpool street station is this classic choice:
Poppies Fish and Chips
Near the Generator Hostel and Harry Potters King Cross Station is this sophisticated and nautical choice for fish and chips:
North Sea Fish
In the shopping Mayfair district you’ll find this nice Fish and Chips restaurant:
Right in the heart of all the biggest London attractions, this fun diner style Fish and chips restaurant is right next to the London Eye:
Great British Fish and Chips
WALK THROUGH CHINA TOWN
I must admit, before I went to London, I did not even know it had a China Town. We suddenly turned a corner and came to this view. the entire street is filled with Asian supermarkets and restaurants. If you are in London for a few days and have already tried the traditional foods, I highly recommend getting a meal here. We were so stuffed after our lunch, it was a good thing we planned to keep walking the rest of the day. The great part about the asian restaurants is that the food is served communally at your table so everyone can try a bit of everything. Try this restaurant out if you are not sure which one to choose: Gerrard’s Corner Restaurant
How to find Chinatown? Take the underground to Piccadilly Circus Station and walk down Coventry Street until you reach the M&M store. Turn left and you will see the entrance 🙂
RIDE A DOUBLE DECKER BUS
Whether you decide to go the tour route and get a day ticket to an open top bus or just ride the normal city buses, this is one of the most iconic experiences in London. The big red buses are everywhere and a lot of the normal city buses run along the same paths as the tour buses. Download the Live London Bus Tracker app for your trip to make it easy to find out which bus to take. You can also find bus routes by clicking the photo below:
VISIT CAMDEN MARKET
Camden Market on London’s east side is the best foodie experience. Street food vendors from every ethnicity food you can think of! Go hungry so that you can try a few different dishes. We had a hard time just choosing a few! Its hard to even recommend a few because everything looked and smelled so good. But if I had to choose, get some truffle mac and cheese from The Mac Factory, and a wrap from Roti House Pakistani food stand.
Check out The Ultimate Foodie Markets in London to find out more!
SEE LONDON AT NIGHT
The lights of London at night are a sight not to be missed. The colors alone light up the city with life and reflect off the Thames river. Head over to the Westminster Bridge for the best view of Big Ben and the London Eye.
GET A PHOTO OF THE ICONIC TELEPHONE BOOTHS
One of the most relaxed ways to see all the major sights of London is to hop on board a ship and take river cruise. If you also want to take the hop on hop off bus tour, Big Bus tours offers 24 hour tickets which includes a river cruise for only £30.
If you are looking for a little more like say an afternoon tea cruise or dinner cruise, City Cruises offers lots of options.
Save this post for later when planning your trip to London!
Have more London experiences you absolutely love? Leave a comment below and share this article!
Next week we’re hopping back over to Germany to share a bit about a beautiful region near to me! Check back Monday for more!