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 sunset over the capital city from Primrose Hill in Regent’s Park.
The Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour is an inexpensive and efficient way to access all of the major sites like Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and St. Paul’s Cathedral. 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 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.
There are several Hop-On, Hop-Off operators, including Big Bus Tours, The Original London Bus Tour and the City Sightseeing Bus. They are all essentially the same tour, and a few of the companies share they same bus stop.
Must try food/drink
It’s London, so you must dedicate an afternoon to High Tea. It’s a quintessential London experience! Although you can find a few venues that are informal, you likely want to dress up a bit for High Tea.
I also enjoyed some of the best cheese and charcuterie trays, ciders, fish and chips, desserts (like yummy scones), and even some delicious Chinese food while 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.
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!
Purchased a round trip train ticket to charming UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bath, England.
Do you have other suggestions for London? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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