Things to do in London
Samuel Johnson famously said "if you are tired of London, you are tired of life", and his words still ring true today. The UK's capital is full of energy and life, with activities for young, old, night-owls, history buffs and football fanatics. Here are some essential activities to experience during your stay:
Watch a Premier League Football Match
The English Premier League has a global following and the capital city has five major teams to pick from (Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and West Ham). Even if you aren't a fan of one of those teams, it's worth attending a match for the atmosphere alone.
Visit Borough Market for a Gourmet Treat
These days the British capital is going through a culinary revolution, and nowhere epitomises this shift more clearly than Borough Market. Located just south of the River Thames, the market sells fresh produce, wines, beers, cheeses, olive oil and cakes, along with a dizzying variety of street food. From the vegetarian Indian creations of Gujarat Rasoi to the French menu at Le Marché du Quartier, Borough Market is the place to head between sights.
Spend a Day Exploring the British Museum
London is packed with museums, including the Victoria and Albert design museum, the Natural History Museum and the Imperial War Museum. However, the jewel in the city's crown is the British Museum. This treasure chest of art and historical objects includes exhibits from every continent and stages a superb program of events. Whether you are fascinated by the Pharoahs or obsessed with Japanese art, you can easily lose yourself in its maze of galleries.
See the Masterpieces of the Tate and Tate Modern
Art draws millions of visitors to the city every year, and with galleries like the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery it's easy to see why. But it's the Tate Modern that really impresses. Built on the site of a power station on the South Bank, it's a hub for painting, sculpture and performance art and hosts thousands of works by masters like Braque, Picasso and Klee.
If you cannot get tickets for one of those, why not try a West End show. Many reduced tickets are on sale on the day at the ticket booth in Leicester Square. It is advisable to first book your flights London will wait.
One of the most famous places in London is Trafalgar Square with Nelson’s Column in the centre, having stood there proudly since 1843. The pigeons are notorious scavengers but with a ban on feeding them, they are not so prevalent nowadays.
This means a better view of the surrounding buildings including the National Gallery that houses Caravaggio masterpieces, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the parish church for Buckingham Palace, and Admiralty Arch erected for Queen Victoria.
Relax in a park
With so many flights London could be overrun but it is surprisingly easy in this populated capital to find some peace and quiet as the place is littered with open spaces. Finding an area not bustling with throngs of people is as it is. Some of the Royal Parks are St James’s, Green Park, Richmond Park and Hyde Park, each having their own unique selling points.
Hyde Park is popular because of the Serpentine, the lake where you can swim and boat. Richmond Park has herds of red and fallow deer roaming freely across the heath, and Regent’s Park is home to London Zoo and an open air theatre for summer plays.
Take a Stroll on Hampstead Heath
A couple of miles north of the city centre, you'll come to Hampstead Heath, one of the world's biggest inner-city parks. It's where Londoners come to cycle, run, picnic and play, and in the summer there's no more enjoyable place to spend some time. Be sure to climb Parliament Hill when you visit, as the views across the city are sublime. It's also not far from the city's Zoo, which is a great way to spend a morning before a walk on the Heath.
No trip to London is complete without a visit to The London Eye, the world famous Ferris wheel. Tip: go in the evening and enjoy beautifully lit views of London. Especially during the holidays it is highly recommended, when the city is decorated with thousands of lights. The London Eye is open until 20:30 pm.
The 'retreat' of the royal family. Buckingham Palace was built in 1703 and is open to the public. Try not to get lost in the 775 rooms! Wondering if the queen is present? You can see if she is by looking at the royal flag, which flies over Buckingham Palace whenever she is around.
This bridge runs over the River Thames and links central London with the banks and is next to the Tower of London. In the evening the two towers of the Tower Bridge are beautifully lit and the bridge is a nice addition to the London skyline.
Go Shopping in London
London: the place to be for true shopaholics among us! Nowhere else do you have such a wide range of shops. Whether you're looking for vintage clothing or want to visit Topshop, London has it. The best shopping can be found in West End. Walk anywhere on Oxford Street, Regent Street, Belgravia and Sloane Street and you will be sure to find something. Lovers of vintage clothing can contact Blitz (on Hanbury Street in Shoreditch) or even just head on over to Camden Market. What you can do is have lunch in Camden Market and then go shopping in Oxford street.