If you are backpacking around Europe, London will definitely come up on your list of cities to visit – if it doesn’t, it should! I know is a big city and you must be wondering what it’s the big fuss about it; but London does have its peculiarities.
On today’s post I’ll give you ideas of what to do on a long weekend in the Big Smoke. Greg and I have been there couple of times and can definitely bring insights for your trip.
Where to stay:
Central London can be very expensive, but there are few neighbourhoods that you can get pretty good deals and still stay central. You can find a room for two people from £51 at Whitechapel and the Tower of London is only around 20 minutes walking from there; in this area Ibis Budget has excellent deals throughout the year. Another good place to stay is Paddington, very close to Hyde Park and B&Bs start from £59 a double room with private bathroom.
How long to stay:
There are plenty of things to see around London and if you want to maximise your trip I would say 4 to 5 days would cover the most. But, if you are only looking for the popular attractions you should be fine with 3 days.
What to see:
I’m a crazy Harry Potter fan, so on my London “to do list” will definitely have some point of interest for the wizard fans. But if you are not into the whole J.K Rowling thing, don’t worry; there are still loads to see. I will highlight the attractions around London and make some comments about it so you can decide if that suits you or not:
Camden Town is known as Amy Winehouse neighbourhood; is a very alternative part of the city, full of colours and nice characters. There is a flea market with food stalls from around the world; you can have great Spanish paella to delicious Brazilian churros. Also, if you are looking for souvenirs, that’s the place! 3 key chains for £5 and believe me, you won’t find cheaper than that.
King Cross Station
Oh well, here are my Harry Potter instincts yelling! If you are a big fun, that’s a must do, get in the (sometimes) very long queue to take a good picture crossing the platform 9¾.
I need to be very honest with you guys, I would for sure skip London Eye as is quite expensive (£24) just to see the city from the top in a very crowded cabin, but it is still one of London “post cards” and it would be unfair not to put on the list, you have to experience it!
Very close to the London Eye, here is where you will really feel you’re in London, have a little walk on the Westminster Bridge and contemplate the beautiful view this place offers.
This is a very cool place during the night, full of lights, shops, bars and restaurants. We went to an Ice Bar close by that worth visiting and another spot for the Harry Potter fans – Check it out
It´s really nice to see where all the royalties live; absolutely packed place as you can imagine, but still great to walk around the gardens and the square. You can watch changing of guard in the mornings at 10:45, which lasts 45 minutes. I particularly loved it!
Trafalgar Square can be considered the heart of the city as is a stage for different events such as concerts, celebrations and protests. During the summer you can see few amazing street performances as well.
Abbey Road Crossing
Even if you are not into Beatles, please go walk around it, there is nothing else than that but you will for sure have fun seeing people stopping the traffic for great pics.
OK, that’s totally Harry Potter spot; this is the bridge that collapses at the beginning of Half-Blood Prince. It does have a pretty view though.
Tower of London
I find this structure very charming and after Camden and the Big Ben it is my favourite place in London, its architecture is a little different than what you normally see in London, so maybe that’s why gets my attention.
St Pancras International
This huge station looks more like a palace than anything else; from the Victorian age St Pancras is a stunning attraction in London. It also has longest champagne bar in Europe and as you expect, another Harry Potter spot.
Well, these are my favourite places in London, but you can dig deeper and find many other attractions as the city is huge! For those who have been to the USA before and can’t live without Chipotle, London is the only place in the UK that has it, so make sure you enjoy it!