The United Kingdom's capital is a thriving multicultural metropolis. Spectacular historic sites, the hustle and bustle of a big city, and the vibrant cultural and foodie scene makes London an interesting and exciting destination. Explore St. James Park, Westminster Abbey, the streets of Shoreditch, and take a boat ride up the River Thames. London's incredible shopping, endless sights, friendly locals, and vibrant nightlife cater to all types of visitors.
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What not to miss?
Whatever your plans for London may be, we highly recommend booking one of the tours from City Unscripted. They offer a wide variety of tours which are tailored to your interests and guided by charming locals. Don't forget to check out their Instagram page as well!
The walking-distance tourist sights
Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster, and Tower Bridge are all must-see attractions in London. St. James Park, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben are all within walking distance of Buckingham Palace for a quick self-guided walking tour, and the entire area is very tourist-friendly.
Museums + The British Library
Many free museums highlight London's cultural highlights. The British Museum hosts world-renowned exhibitions, whereas the Tate Modern displays the best of British and international modern art. The British Library houses massive book collections in a series of reading rooms. Our personal favorite is the Natural History Museum! With a constantly changing series of exhibitions, there is always something new to discover. Bonus: For those on a tight budget, the majority of London's museums are free!
Shoreditch, which has established a reputation as the home of London's vintage boutiques, is now attracting its fair share of trendy coffee shops, thrift stores, and quirky fashion designers to supplement the shopping scene. The majority of tourists visit Oxford Street in search of souvenirs! Also experience the world peek of luxury shopping at Harrod’s.
The food markets in London are incredible. The Borough Market, which has been in London for over 400 years and has tons of great foodie options, is the most well-known market. Other great markets include Notting Hill's Portobello Market and East London's Old Spitalfields Market, where you can find everything from food to antiques to clothing. They're also great for souvenirs!
What else to visit?
Thames Clipper along the river
The Thames is an important part of the city's identity, and these Clipper boats take visitors past the Tower Bridge, historic sites, and down to Canary Wharf, the city's iconic business district.
Harry Potter Studio tour
This tour, a must for any Harry Potter fan, takes visitors through some of the most iconic locations seen in the film series, from Dumbledore's office to the shops of Diagon Alley.
How to travel there?
London has 6 airports, each of which is incredibly well connected to the city. When in London, use the metro (locals call it 'the tube') or the famous London busses.
When to travel there?
The months of March through May are ideal for visiting London because the weather is mild and the city's parks are green and blooming. However, late spring and summer are also peak tourist seasons, and hotel and flight prices reflect this.
As with every world metropolis - you will have a lot of opportunity to empty your wallet. However for the average traveller - you should budget around £145 per day for your vacation in London, as this is the average daily price based on other visitors' expenses. Previous visitors spent an average of £30 on meals for one day and £20 on local transportation.
Where to eat?
Fish & Chips
Londoners have been eating Fish & Chips for centuries. This London food favorite is as popular today as it was more than a century ago as a cheap lunch or late-night snack.
Full English Breakfast
A Full English Breakfast is a great way to start the day in London. The traditional breakfast meal, which includes bacon, fried eggs, fried mushrooms, baked beans, and black pudding, is not suitable for vegetarians or calorie counters.
Notting Hill Carneval
The Notting Hill Carnival, which began as a way to highlight the poor social conditions faced by London's West Indian community, has grown into a major event on the calendar. It celebrates the diversity that makes London so unique.
Chelsea Flower Show
The Chelsea Flower Show, held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, is the world's most prestigious flower show. It began in 1913 and has since grown into a hugely popular show with garden designs that inspire the masses.
Nobody does bonfire night quite like London. Throughout the city, there will be a variety of spectacular firework displays and bonfires. Blackheath has a free fireworks display on the common, as well as food stalls, if you want to add to the atmosphere. Alexandra Palace is hosting a two-day celebration that includes a bonfire, fireworks, ice skating, a German beer festival, and a fun fair.
Hope you enjoyed the London guide! We believe that you got inspired to travel and this article will help you to plan your trip there. We also have other places for you to explore, see our guides to Vienna, Zurich, or Monte Carlo. Do not forget to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on the new releases.