“If you are a curious person who loves adventures then London is your city.”
A London trip you never forget! Have you ever visited London? If not you definitely should book a trip even if it is just for a weekend and if you are in love with culture, art, adventures and fun. London is, without doubt, one of the largest and most fascinating cities and travel destinations in the world. It can be daunting to plan for a trip in this big city if you have never been there but don’t let yourself distract. It is for this reason why I have come up with this London trip article based on my experience in visiting the city’s most popular attractions and spending time doing different activities from just having fun to some “serious stuff”.
With its popular attractions, pubs or even mystical inspirational places, royal palaces, beautiful parks, theatres, fantastic museums and historical sites, London has a lot to offer to every traveler than you will imagine. All you need to do is to be open minded.
Depending on what you love to visit or what you expect my itinerary is detailed and will have you visit the well-known attractions in London and make the most out of your trip. When it comes to parties and getting drunk, I think this is article is not for you. Let me provide you tips on how to get around London, where to stay, the best walking tour companies, how to save money during the sight-seeing but also what you should care about when if comes to safety.
London trip advise & How to safe money
Believe it or not but you can save some bucks during your visit to London with a London pass. Be sure to get your London pass at the official site. I love the this pass because it is easy to use and comes in a wide range of options to suit various lengths of trips. What else… you can get more convenience if you pre-order an Oyster travel card.
Don’t nail me down but I guess for my weekend London trip, I could opt for a two-day London pass. With this London pass, you will be able to visit the attractions mentioned in this article and other sites for 99 Euros “only” and enjoy the Hop on Hop off bus tour of London.
I know that 99 Euros isn’t that cheap but this way I think I’ve saved about 60 Euros and got the full program as the pass provides free entry to over 60 museums and attractions such as the Tower of London, the Shard and the Westminster Abbey. My 2-3 days felt like 2 weeks with all of the stuff I experienced and don’t forget this article doesn’t include the entire nightlife which would be worth another article haha.
By the way, if you don’t have a Revolut card, then a London trip is a pretty good chance to get one. It is important to ensure that the credit or debit card has the correct currency conversion rate and does not charge foreign exchange fees, so make sure you get a Revolut card.
You never know what ATMs around the corner charge you and as soon as you enter the UK, the Revolut card will automatically treat you like a UK customer with the best currency exchange rates and fees. A Revolut card is not only a great opportunity for your London trip but for any other trip as you can quite save some good money and use it very easy for the London subway and buses. Read the Revolut Review here. However, it is wise to have some pounds with you.
What’s more, the London Pass covers discounts on tours, souvenirs, restaurants and theatre tickets. Aside from saving you money, it will also save you time and you will be able to gain fast entry into various busy locations. I highly recommend all visitors, especially those who are going for sightseeing in London for the first time, to check out the London pass and safe a good amount of money.
“The City is a world within itself. Centred in the heart of the metropolis, with its innumerable capacities for commercial pursuits, it presents at first sight, to a stranger, a most mysterious and unfathomable labyrinth of lanes and alleys, streets and courts, of lanes thronged with bustling multitude whose various occupations, though uniting in one grand whole, seem to have no direct association with each other.” – D. Morrier Evans, The City, 1852
The Tower Bridge
For sure you have seen it on so many photos so there is definitely no way around to walk through London’s famous bridge, the Tower Bridge. There is a permanent exhibition that allows visitors to explore the history of the bridge.
The entrance to the Tower Bridge Exhibition is free when you have a London Pass. Better yet, there is a glass floor exhibit that is 42-meter high that will give you a unique and beautiful view of the river and the people below the bridge.
More excitingly, you can wait to observe the drawbridge being raised up so as to allow the ships to pass. I agree there might be more exciting things to see in London but I would recommend visiting the Tower Bridge as it is an exciting piece of culture.
The Tower of London
I pretty enjoyed visiting the Tower of London while visiting the city. It was built by William the Conqueror as a royal castle as well as a defence tower as far as I understood. Today, it is known for holding the Crown Jewels and serving as an execution site for legendary individuals like Lady Jane Grey.
Some of the favourite attractions in the Tower of London include the Crown of Jewels, the Tower Green and the White Tower as well as guided tours and the infamous Tower ravens. Experience history where it happened. Check the prices and opening time here.
Tourists can also get entertainment tours by the Beefeaters and learn more about this historic place, there is a lot to see here and you are likely to spend an hour or two I guess. Because of its popularity and the fact it is one of the most visited attractions in the capital, try to bet there around 9-10 AM and stopping over at the Crown Jewels first before it gets overcrowded.
TOWER OF LONDON PHOTO
The Shard & An Amazing Evening
“The bar of the Shard is just amazing and worth to visit at evenings”.
One thing you need to know is, I am scared of heights but even that couldn’t bring me away from the plan to enjoy a late evening in the bar of this fantastic but also pricey building (check out their prices and opening times here.). The Shard is London’s tallest building that was opened in 2012 that gives visitors a stunning 360-degree view of London which is especially amazing when you hang out there in the evening enjoying a drink.
Now worries, the building offers very good views both during the day and the evening. You will also get to take amazing photos from two floors at the Shard which are great photography locations. It is free to visit the Shard if you have a London pass but I am not sure if you can enter the bar so easy. In my case we had a friend who had pretty easy access there as a well known guest.
For a “simple” view or tour through the building here is a quick tip: Visit the Shard around 10:00 AM -12 AM when it is not overcrowded.
“London rewards urban adventurers with its rich history, theatricality, and cultural diversity.“
The Buckingham Palace
Seriously, like it or don’t but you can’t visit London without having at least a look at the Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s London residence. I know that this might not be your cup of tee and maybe you might find it a bit boring when you read this article but let me tell you it is definitely worth to see. Visitors are coupled with a number of options for visiting this palace based on the time of year. For summer months, you can book tours to the palace that take about 2 hours I guess.
If you want to watch the Change of Guard ceremony, I suggest that you adjust your itinerary. This may mean skipping one attraction so that you can arrive at the palace before 11 AM. The ceremony takes 40 minutes. You can check their schedule online in order to plan in advance.
PS: I hope you will never make the experience seeing a guard scream and raise his weapon in front of some of the tourists. When I have been to the Buckingham Palace the last time I had some pretty nasty teenagers in front of me, screaming at the guards and even starting to throw some kind of empty lemonade plastic bottles. It was an impressing experience since one of the guards first shouted “step back now” and afterwards raised his weapon and got even louder.
I guess they get some special training in case serious circumstances occur but I have to say it was impressing and the nasty teenagers shut up immediately.
However, if you are in London visit the Buckingham Palace!OPEN GALLERY
Don’t rent a car for your London trip / vacation
I definitely do not suggest driving a car in the city as it can be hectic and finding a parking area can be a nightmare. This is unless you are planning to stay in the outskirts of London. If you need to drive to London, find appropriate parking and use public transport to explore the city as it is quite simple and you keep your flexibility.
A filled London trip is a life experience regardless if business, culture or f*cked up places, London is always a worthy lesson. – Thorsten Burger
Most visitors love to use the public transport network for their London trip which includes rail services, public bus and tram. If you opt for public transport, I recommend getting either an Oyster Card which is a prepaid card available in most tube stations and online, a Revolut card as mentioned already or you just use your credit card the best way with a contactless pay option.
The Oyster card makes it easy to move around London since it is quite cheaper compared to buying individual tickets. It can also save you time. You can also use it for riverboats and London buses BUT you of course have to deposit some money to make use of the card.
Below are a few suggestions of properties that are centrally located and are across budgets. I got some recommendations keeping the budget in mind. I can also do some articles and reviews about heavy weight luxury hotels but this article will concentrate more on the affordable “good priced” locations.
If you plan a London trip – Check out following links and reviews on Booking.com:
- London Marriott Hotel Canary Wharf – Let me take at least one high class hotel, just in case 😉
- The Nadler Victoria Hotel– This 4-star hotel offers excellent value and is located near Buckingham Palace.
- The Walrus Bar and Hostel– Well reviewed and is fairly central.
- The Z Hotel– Located in Shoreditch, this hotel is lively and offers great dining options.
- The Savoy – This is another 5-star luxury hotel that is located in central London. It is much bigger and is less than a 10-minute walk to the National Gallery and the Trafalgar Square.
- Westminster Borough – Not much to comment on. This one is high priced but is one of the best-rated locations in London!
- Point A Hotel– 15 minutes of walk to the Parliament Square, small but clean rooms.. The Point A hotel is well priced in my opinion and located in Westminster.
- Lord Milner B&B– This is a 5-star old school luxury hotel with uniquely designed rooms and historic furnishings. We have stayed here and we love the freshly cooked breakfast.
There is a lot more I could write about this London trip / vacation but I guess that would increase the article dramatically so I decided to split it up in parts. I didn’t tell you my club and bar stories and about how cool the nights can be in London if you know where to go. Stay tuned for my upcoming stories, share this article if you liked it and feel free to leave me some comments or suggestions…