London. The name itself immediately awakens the senses with images of red double deckers, that one scene from the Spice Girls movie (maybe that’s just me), and cups on cups of perfectly milky earl grey during the most exotic British High Tea session (there just isn’t an equivalent for us Americans – maybe Taco Tuesday?).
Aside from a snarky customs officer who was jealous of my non-desk job and wouldn’t let me through until I answered 101 of his 5 rephrased questions, oh yeah and the hostel mate who pissed in my backpack, London was amazing. I know that could come off as sarcastic but seriously London is so amazing that someone pissing in my backpack doesn’t even bother me.
In the midst of Brexit, now is definitely the time for all of us with weaker currencies to pack our bags, head to the UK and take advantage of the struggling Sterling.
All of London’s timeless sights can be pretty much seen in one day. You can even walk to all of them.
- Arrive at The Eye
- Walk along South Bank past all the daily festivities towards Westminster Bridge
- Admire Big Ben
- Check out the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey
- Stroll through St James Park
- Arrive at Buckingham Palace
- See the Queen’s Beefeaters and if you’re lucky the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace (you can also plan it here)
- Take the Underground or one of those red double deckers to Piccadilly Circus
- Explore SOHO and get that photo in the classic British red phone booth
- Hop on public transport back SouthBank to Tate Modern
- Take a boat down the Thames or stroll along South Bank until you reach the majestic Tower Bridge
After all that sightseeing, that’s probably a day.
Being on a strict budget, we usually went for Chinese food or falafals.
This place however, caught my eye: The Circus.
Day 2 – The rest of London sights and living like a local
- Eat a traditional English breakfast with beans or a warm bowl of porridge. Time for that milky earl grey.
- Enjoying the shops, libraries, cafes of London
- High Tea
- And if you’re a die hard Harry Potter fan go to Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross
- Ask a local where the best fish and chips are
- Get an Airbnb or Hostel if you’re alone. Don’t be afraid to stay out of the central part of London because the trains are super fast! Distance isn’t really an issue. I stayed at lovely Airbnb for around $45 a night and I also stayed in a hostel for around $18 a night. Just use booking.com or hostelbookers. Get $35 off your first Airbnb stay with my invite!
- Oyster card – get one first thing at the airport and top up with 3 days worth of travel. If you fly into Heathrow, you can put a deposit down on the card and get it back when you return it on your way out.
- Download City Mapper to help you get around
- Bring a coat and a sweater… and an umbrella (yup, even in summer!)
- Clotted cream. Order it, try it. You have to. With a scone.
- Have a proper English breakfast with eggs, toast and baked beans.
- High Tea is a must!
What was the highlight of your trip to London? Never been? What are you looking forward to?