London | England : A Quick Guide to Planning Your Adventure

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[ Buckingham Palace – London, England ]

Don’t miss it

There are dozens of unique neighborhoods in London, but an afternoon in Camden is not to be missed! Catch a late lunch or early dinner at one of the many fantastic restaurants in this hip neighborhood. Then, pick up a bottle of wine and watch the sun set over the capital city from Primrose Hill in Regent’s Park.

Pretty cool

The Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour is an inexpensive and efficient way to access all of the major sites [Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral, etc.]. Do the tour on the first full day of your trip to get your bearings of the city. If you enjoy learning the history of areas and sites, the audio guide you listen to on the bus is extremely educational.

Although I find these kinds of tours to be a bit cheesy [it screams “look at me, I am a tourist!”], the buses are an affordable and reliable form of transportation around a HUGE city [and my huge, I really mean one of the 10 largest cities in the world].

Must try food/drink

English tea mid-afternoon. And fish and chips, of course!

I also enjoyed some of the best cheese and charcuterie trays, ciders, desserts [like yummy scones] and even some delicious Chinese food in London. The city is a melting pot for international cuisine.

Here’s a hint

As expected, London was overwhelmingly crowded in July. I’d recommend visiting in the offseason [before June or after September], if possible.

There are also a ton of renowned museums. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy a few of them. I loved bopping around the Natural History Museum on one of the rainiest days of our trip.

Wish I had more time for

On the way to Bath [from London], I wish I had visited Stonehenge or Brighton Beach. These can easily be done as day trips from London.

Accommodation

St Christopher’s Inn  [two nights] and Gallery Hyde Park [two nights], both affordable hostels but located in separate neighborhoods. Our experience was so wonderful at St Christopher’s Inn that we stayed at the mega hostel chain again in Berlin and Barcelona.

For Gallery Hyde Park, I’d recommend checking out the reviews on Hostelworld. While the staff was extremely friendly, the actual hostel [room, bed, bathroom and overall cleanliness] didn’t meet my personal expectations. We could have caught them on a bad week — read the reviews!

Next stop

Purchased a round trip train ticket to charming UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bath, England

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[ Big Ben – London, England ]
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Tower Bridge
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When in London … you have to!
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Big Ben
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St Paul’s Cathedral
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Buckingham Palace
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Westminster Abbey

Do you have other suggestions for London? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Looking for more capital cities to visit in Europe? Check out five less-traveled capital cities worth exploring.

Next Up: Follow the adventure to Bath, England.

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Planning a trip to London, England? Start here.
Planning a trip to London, England? Start here.

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