Things to Do for a Tourist in London
London is always a good idea! It’s such a beautiful, cosmopolitan city, always in action. It is the place that will always offer you something new, no matter how many times you have visited it.
Something will always surprise you, you will always say that you have not visited everything, you will always want to come back and discover it sooner. It is the city that brings together millions of people, coming from all over the world, every man with his story. Tourists, businessmen, locals, young people, old people and children, all give the city life that seems to never sleep.
One thing is for certain, London is a must see at least once in a lifetime. As I said, you have no way to visit and discover the city in the true sense of the word if you intend to stay only a few days.
London is not a cheap destination. The accommodation tends to be quite expensive, as is the food. The high prices are more due to the national currency. But as the pound is declining, a vacation in London becomes more financially accessible.
However, the prices for some tourist attractions are quite high. For example, the entrance to Madame Tussauds varies between 29 and 35 pounds, at Westminster Abbey, the entrance is 22 pounds, at the Tower of London the entrance costs somewhere around 20 pounds, and so on.
Today I would not like to talk about how much each tourist attraction costs, but rather I would like to talk about what you can do and see in the beautiful city of the Thames.
First, we will talk about the places that are not free of cost to visit.
Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace
Hyde Park, one of the best-known parks in the city and one of the closest places to Buckingham Palace. We recommend starting the visit before 10:00 am at the Marble Arch subway stop and take a walk through the park to its southern end, in Wellington Arch.
Through the adjoining park, Green Park, you will arrive at Buckingham Palace, in front of which you will have to wait patiently until 11:30 am for the beginning of the well-known Guard Change ceremony (before attending, do not forget to check the days in which is celebrated).
After the Changing of the Guard – or when you have had enough -, crossing another of the lungs of central London, St James Park, you will reach the Westminster Abbey. The visit to the abbey will take you quietly for more than two hours, but it is the most important tourist visit to the city.
Big Ben, London Eye, Harrods
Leaving the abbey and moving towards the river, you will find the main symbols of the city, Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.
Crossing the Westminster Bridge, you will reach the London Eye Ferris Wheel, from where you get the best views of London. Before climbing, you can take the opportunity to eat something fast around. You will have time to dine quietly at night.
After climbing the Ferris wheel, it will be late enough to make it impossible to enter more attractions. Taking the subway to Knightsbridge, you will reach Harrods, one of the most famous department stores in the world and an ideal place to spend a couple of hours.
Tower of London
For more than 900 years the Tower of London was synonymous with terror because it was the place where all those who offended the monarch were locked up. The majority of the prisoners badly lived in frightful conditions and did not leave alive, or were tortured before being executed in the nearby Tower Hill.
What to see in the Tower of London
- The Jewels of the Crown (Crown Jewels): Composed of crowns, swords, and sceptres of incalculable value both material, as historical and religious, the collection of the Jewels of the Crown is one of the attractions preferred by visitors.
- The White Tower: Known as the Tower of London, it is the central and oldest building of the Tower of London, in addition to the one that gives its name to the fortification. The White Tower has functioned as a royal residence, armoury, and prison built between 1078 and 1100.
- Ravens: The most famous residents of the Tower of London are Ravens. The legend said if the crows disappeared the tower would collapse and with it the kingdom. To avoid such a catastrophe, one of the guards who protect the tower, known as Raven master (Raven master), takes care of the crows and cuts off the ends of one of the wings to prevent them from escaping.
- Medieval castle (Medieval Palace): Besides being an imposing fortress, the tower was also a comfortable home for royals. In the area of the Medieval Palace, there are still some remains of the furniture that show the luxury and opulence that once reigned in the tower.
- Royal Chapel of St. Peter and Link (Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Link): Built-in 1520, the tower chapel is the place where the remains of the most famous prisoners that were executed in the tower are preserved. Today the chapel continues to be the place of prayer for the more than 150 people living in the tower.
Some free tourist attractions in London
A visit to the British Museum must necessarily be on the list of activities. British Museum is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world and is also the first public museum in the world. It was founded in 1753 and comprises about 100 galleries. The selection of the exhibited objects is temporary because space does not allow them to be exposed at the same time.
The museum contains numerous collections from the oldest times and from all over the world. Thus, his galleries include Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, Great Britain, Japan, coins and medals, as well as prints and drawings.
China Town in London
A visit to China Town: The landmark of the Chinese community. When you get there you will be overwhelmed by the smell of specific spices, the traditional decor of restaurants and shops, people dressed in specific clothes, etc. I’m not a fan of Chinese food, but I’m pretty sure that you can eat real delicacies there.
This is the oldest market in London with origins in the 13th century. It is a real pleasure to walk among the stalls with vegetables, fruits, sweets, fish or seafood. The market is also famous for street food. We ate a delicious burger there.
A visit to the British Library
the largest bookstore in the world. It has an entire gallery dedicated to the original Magna Carta, a Gutenberg bible, one of Newton’s first essays on gravitational force, Alexander Fleming’s notes, and a few notes by Leonardo da Vinci. The book section includes 15 million volumes, with 600,000 new copies added each year.
Other museums with free admission: Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Tate Modern, Imperial War Museum, Museum of London, etc.
One morning in Notting Hill – it’s the neighborhood that became famous because of the movie “Notting Hill,” which featured Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Moreover, you can even take a real tour of the locations featured in the movie, from William’s bookstore “The Travel Book Shop,” to the famous blue door at his apartment.
However, Notting Hill is also famous for its pastel-coloured houses, which, to us, brought us to Miami. Later, I learned that Notting Hill was the neighborhood of immigrants from the Caribbean in the early 1950s.
Notting Hill also means Portobello Market. You can’t miss it! Portobello Market is an open-air market, on the main street of the neighborhood. There you will find all kinds of antics, souvenirs, fruits, street food or other goodies.
Window-shopping on Regent and Oxford Streets
London’s most famous boulevards – A trip to the city of the Thames cannot be complete without a stroll on Regent Street and Oxford Street.
Regent Street was named after King George IV, and the most important intersection points are Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus. These two streets are perfect for a little shopping, either he and “from the window.”
Walk along the Thames – it’s always welcome. If you’re feeling fit, I recommend going for a longer walk, from Big Ben to Tower Bridge. You will enjoy the magnificent architecture of London, you will be able to take a selfie with the London Eye, you will reach the Tower of London, and you will be able to admire “Foster’s transparencies” and Tower Bridge. Although it is a few miles, I guarantee it will be worth it.
New York has Times Square, London has Trafalgar Square. If in Times Square you can rest in the red stairs, in Trafalgar Square you can do the same, on the steps in front of the National Art Gallery.
It seems that Trafalgar Square is the meeting place for Londoners, tourists, everyone. It is the perfect place to rest, drink a coffee or have a snack, all after a long day on the streets of London. However, I prefer Piccadilly Circus, which in turn takes me to the lights of Times Square.
The Natural History Museum
It is one of the most interesting museums so far,
The resistance piece of the museum is the skeleton of a Stegosaurus, this being the most complete skeleton ever found. Most of all, I liked the section dedicated to the planets and the Universe, because I could find out more about the planets in our solar system, how the earth formed or how the human species evolved.
Admission to the museum is completely free! And I encourage you to put it on the list!
Camden’s famous street markets stretch along Chalk Farm Road and Camden High Street and the best day to browse through it stops is Sunday, when all the stalls are open. We highlight two markets: Camden Canal Market, which has been recently renovated and offers unique products from independent designers, and the Electric Ballroom Market where, in addition to finding all kinds of second-hand items and clothing, attention is paid to the strange and bizarre. Without a doubt, one of the things to do in London if you like shopping.
Stratford Olympic Park
The Stratford Olympic Park is in what the old industrial zone of the city. Remodeled following the most sophisticated avant-garde taste, this complex stands out for its modern Olympic village, the stadium, the exquisite building of the aquatic centre of Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid with its wave-shaped roof, and the Orbit Tower, the inspired steel tower in the DNA helix. In a short time, it has become a must to see in London.
Among the things to do in London, you must leave for the end to enjoy the views of the city from the perspective offered by its great river artery, the Thames. Whether with a meal or with a traditional afternoon tea, during the sunset or enjoying dinner, choose the formula you choose, take a boat for a brief cruise whose tickets you can buy at the specialized companies that border the Thames.
The famous 17th-century Anglican church, the largest in London and the second largest in the country, dominates the view of Ludgate Hill, that is exactly where its first variant was erected in the sixth century. The cathedral impresses you with its architecture in the English Baroque style and, although it costs quite a lot to enter, can be visited for free during the services, which take place in the morning at 7:30 and 8:00, at noon (12:30) and afternoon (5 pm).
If you are a tourist then London should be on your list to travel because these places are a must to visit. However some places are costly to visit in London but there are some free places also to visit for low-budget travellers.
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