I love going to London. There is just SO much to do and see, and tons of good food (ya’ll know that’s what I’m all about!). I’ve been to London several times, and I’m fortunate that I have some friends there so it has allowed me to experience different things around the city that I might otherwise not. I’ll break this guide down by neighborhood so that when you’re planning your travels it will be easier to create a little roadmap 🙂
City of London/London Bridge:
- Madison Rooftop- faces St Paul’s Cathedral & is great place to have happy hour/sunset drinks. There is a big vibe around that time. You can also dine at the restaurant.
- Museum of London (for my history nerds!)
- London Bridge/London Tower: If you’re really in to tourist attractions feel free to check out the Tower. If you’re not, skip it, but be sure to talk a walk across the bridge!
- Acqua at The Shard: The Shard is the tallest building in the UK, and has amaaaazing views of the city day or night. For a little taste of both, go close to sunset 🙂
- Duck & Waffle, also housed in the Shard, is a restaurant that’s impossible to get a reservation at, but you can give it a try!
- Borough Market- I personally cannot go here when it’s open because I don’t love crowds, BUT if they don’t bother you then definitely check this place out. There are tons and tons of stands selling breads, cheese, produce, you name it. They’re closed on Sundays if you want to check it out minus the hysteria 🙂
- fish! is located in Borough Market & has excellent fish and chips. Doesn’t hurt that it’s a super cute restaurant!
- London Eye- honestly I think this is a must for anyone who visits London. I gives you a chance to see the whole city, and if you purchase the Champagne tickets you can have a little drinky while you ride
- London Aquarium- I will go to an aquarium in any country and any city, so if you’re like me then you’ll want to go here. It’s right near the Eye so could hit up both!
- Waterloo bridge– not to be confused with the London Bridge. This bridge is just to the North of the Eye. If you cross it and take a left, you can take a peaceful walk down Embankment on your way to the next few places. There’s also a little floating pub you can pop in to.
- Parliament/Big Ben: I think you know why you need to see these!
- Westminister Abbey: this is where Will & Kate had their wedding, so if you’re a royal fan I’m sure you’ll want to check this out. Even if you aren’t, I HIGHLY recommend. There’s a lot of really cool British history around this church.
- St James’ Park- great place to relax, take a walk and have a little lunch.
- Buckingham Palace- you can’t go to London and not see Buckingham. You just can’t.
- The Ritz- not many people know this, but every Ritz Carlton in the world has their own signature bloody mary. If you like this, then definitely go by!
Soho is a very busy, bustling area of London. There’s a reason the tube station there is called Piccadilly Circus. It’s filled with TONS of touristy type places (i.e. M&M world), but there are also some theaters and a lotttt of good bars and restaurants. A few suggestions below!
- Ippudo- BEST ramen in the world
- Burger & Lobster- get the lobster burger. You won’t be sorry.
- Dishoom- Indian
- Barrafina- Spanish tapas
- Polpo- italian tapas
- Byron- burgers
- Flat Iron- steaks
Also, again, if you love HP like me you can *currently* see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theater.
- The Dorchester- another must in London is to have high tea. This is my favorite place because it’s very traditional & also the tea room is quite beautiful.
- Hyde Park- the biggest park in London. You can actually take a stroll through it straight from Kensington if you want to work your way back and do some shopping at..
- Harrods (a London must!); they also have a terrace that’s quite nice to sit and have a drink
- Shopping (Zara and H&M are good here)
- Natural History Museum- another one for my history nerds! (aka me)
- Kensington Palace- where Will & Kate, Harry & Meghan, and other members of the royal family live. You can look up a map online if you want to see just what parts they’re all in. There’s a tour as well if you’re in to that sort of thing.
If you happen to find yourself in the Fulham area (south of Kensington) it’s very local and has some great places to eat. A few of my faves:
- Thaiphoon- Thai food… duh
- The White Horse- standard English pub
- Duke on the Green- fancy AF pub with amazing food
Notting Hill is a neighborhood some people like to visit because a certain movie starring a very famous actor and actress. However, there’s also a place there called Portobello Market that’s got a ton of little shops and stands with unique food and trinkets.
- Madam Tussauds
- Sherlock Holmes Museum
- Regent’s Park- another nice little park to have a picnic lunch
- London Zoo
Saint Pancras (for my HP nerds!):
- Harry Potter Shop
- Kings Cross underground
Wimbledon (only recommend if you’re a big tennis fan)
Greenwich Village (this is at minimum a half day trip due to travel):
I love Greenwich Village because it’s so cute, and has a ton of little shops to check out. However, if you’re a super nerd like me you can also walk through the park up to the Prime Meridian where you can stand in both the Eastern and Western Hemisphere at the same time. Up there you’ll also find the Royal Observatory as well as some really unique views of the city! Afterwards you can walk back through the park and browse through Greenwich Market, and check out a local pub.
This is basically also a minimum half day trip (too bad it’s not en route to Greenwich!). It takes about an hour to an hour and a half to get there via the London Bus, depending on the time of day that you leave. However, it’s worth a visit if you’re interested in botanical gardens. Not only do you get to see some really beautiful gardens, but also houses (no pun intended) a lot of English history. Be sure to wear your walking shoes… you’ll need em!
Don’t be worried about utilizing public transportation in London. The tube/Underground is very easy to navigate, and so is the bus system. If you purchase an Oyster card you can get it for both. They do have Uber in London, but you’ll find yourself spending a lot more money on this ride because traffic isn’t usually all that favorable in the city.
What are your favorite spots in London?? Anything I should add?