Street Food at Camden Market It’s funky, it’s bohemian and it’s crowded, welcome to Camden Market! This bustling street market is one of London’s most visited tourist attractions. Selling, everything from funky clothes, shoes, souvenirs, street jewellery, “bongs” and of course food! (Oww, the food!) Camden Market is simply a DO NOT miss kind of attraction. Spend a few hours of your London trip there or forever regret it. Keep in mind that weekends can get extremely crowded, to the point of you being literally herded by the moving crowds. So keep your valuables safe.
Afternoon Tea at a fancy hotel My choice was Park Tower Knightsbridge Luxury Hotel, London, Even if you are not staying at the hotel you have the option to visit them for an Afternoon Tea daily from 3pm to 6pm. Their summer Afternoon Tea is inspired by the gardens of Hyde Park and includes delights such as London smoked salmon with dill mustard or roast Norwich farm chicken sandwiches and scones with homemade British strawberry jam or lemon posset créme. The assortment of pastries also features an iconic swan choux pastry that mimics those found on the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Afternoon tea is priced at £37 per person or Champagne afternoon tea, with a glass of Moët & Chandon, is £49 per person.
Hop On Hop Off Bus (and Thames River Cruise) The quickest way to get around in London is undoubtedly the Underground. But the best way, that’s above ground! And if you want to be sure you don’t miss anything, why not use the “Hop-On Hop-Off” bus tour. Simply get your full day tickets (at the ticket office by Trafalgar Sq. or from a ticket officer by one of the many bus stops) for the most extensive sightseeing tour London has to offer. For a little extra you can include a river cruise on the Thames to your day trip.
Tate Modern As one of the world’s most famous museums, it stands on the south bank the river Thames, proudly overlooking its city. The Tate Modern (one of the 4 Tates, and undoubtedly the most renowned of them) offers some of the world’s most celebrated exhibitions of contemporary art, mostly free of charge (visiting exhibitions are not free though). While you’re there don’t forget to snap a few selfies with spectacular views of London in the background from its ‘viewing level’.
Don’t Miss Eating at Dishoom Dishoom, Dishoom! Don’t worry, nobody was hurt! Dishoom has quickly become a favourite amongst the city’s foodies. This is London’s take on the old Irani cafés of Bombay. With an extensive offering of aromatic and mouth-watering Indian food, ranging from street food to proper dinners (and yes there’s even a bar), this charming chain of 4 restaurants is meant to transport you back in time. If the décor alone doesn’t do it, the food definitely will. Keep in mind that given Dishoom’s popularity, they don’t take reservations. Being asked to wait for an hour is not unheard of if you go on a Friday or Saturday evening, so plan your visit accordingly.
Convent Garden Entertainment If ever there was place deserving of the phrase “Oldie but Goodie” it’s Covent Garden. As one of London’s oldest and most charming squares, Covent Garden still offers a street market alongside cute boutiques and high-end shops. Whether you shop or browse or simply watch the street performers, you’ll be left with a charming experience.
Oxford Street Shopping Be aware, this will ruin other shopping streets for you, permanently! Shopping on the world’s most famous shopping street can be a pleasure or pain depending on your patience. Battling crowds inside and outside the shops along this very long shopping street is only part of the experience. Budget or High End, there’s very few brands you won’t find here. Oxford street is also the home to several famous department stores, notably Selfridges, Debenhams and John Lewis.
Westfield Mall Believe it or not, but up until recently, London, one of the world’s great shopping cities, offered a High Street only shopping experience. At some point, someone figured that given London’s notoriously gloomy weather, perhaps an indoor mall would be a good idea. Worried that one wouldn’t be enough, London didn’t just build the largest but instead the two largest shopping malls in Europe to satisfy the needs of shoppers, one in the East and one in the West.
Stroll around South Bank Spending a day or evening strolling along the South Bank will leave you with one of the most memorable evenings of your London visit. Walking along the Thames, passing iconic buildings on both sides of the river will give you a view of London you won’t forget soon. The restaurants, bars, beer gardens, attractions, exhibitions, markets, musicians and street performers are just welcome additions to the stroll.
Visit Brick Lane Craving for late night curry after the pub? Make your way to Brick lane in London’s East End for a vast selection of decently priced Indian restaurants, literally wall to wall from one another. Take a stroll up and down the lane and just listen to the ‘free add-on offers’ the proprietors shout at you, hoping you’ll decide on their restaurant.
London Eye You’ve probably been on a Ferris wheel as a kid at a carnival. But I can guarantee the view it offered was nothing like this. Placed in the middle of London on the south bank of the Thames and towering 135m (443 feet), you’re guaranteed to get a magical view of London from this iconic landmark. The wheel is running daily, morning to evening in case you prefer a sparkling night view of London. (Plan your day though, as the queues are can get notoriously long.)
Walk the Millennium Bridge This is the youngster amongst London’s many old bridges. Completed in the year 2000, this pedestrian only, steel bridge has quickly become a favourite amongst tourist and locals alike. Stretching across the Thames, connecting the grand St Paul’s Cathedral to the world famous Tate Modern. Make sure you don’t miss this short but no doubt scenic stroll.
Have a picnic lunch in Hyde Park Ever wondered why Hyde Park is one the world’s most renowned parks? Take a walk in it and you’ll soon find out. The share size of this park almost makes you forget it’s an ‘urban park’, placed in the middle of Europe’s largest city. With vast spaces of grass and wooden areas, man-made lakes, this is an all year favourite for many Londoners. Take a walk, jog, play ball, row a boat or have a picnic, you’ll quickly notice that you’re not the only one with that idea. While the summers offer concerts and music festivals the winters counter with the famous ‘Winter Wonderland’.
Visit Platform 9 ¾ Any Potter Head’s out there? Of course, there is! Don’t miss out on this very easily missed gem! Inside Kings Cross station, you’ll see two crowds. One looking up at the train information board, trying to figure out which platform their train is departing. The other, waiting to get their photos taken, walking on to London’s only ‘magical’ platform taking them Hogwarts. Yes, there actually is a Platform 9 ¾.
Visit Primrose Hill This is the sun lovers peak. Only a short walk from Camden Market, this hill offers unobstructed views of the London Skyline, at no cost! On a sunny weekend, this hill is guaranteed to be packed with tourists and locals alike, all savouring the view.
Try the Pasta at Jamie’s The home of “The Naked Chef”. A visit to this chain of Italian restaurants by renowned celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, is a must for anyone with Italian food in their heart. The food is good, the prices are decent and the pasta is always ‘al dente’.
Take a day trip to Oxford & Warwick Need a break from London? Leave! But don’t go too far! Why not take a day trip to Oxford, home to one of the world’s most premier universities. The city is old, walkable and no-doubt charming. Take a stroll along the city squares and many campuses that city has to offer. Or perhaps Warwick, home to the venerable thousand-year-old ‘Warwick Castle’.
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