Royals, double-decker buses, fish and chips, The Beatles, hard cider, Big Ben, the Globe Theatre and Prince George; must I say more?
Where to stay?
As with all my bookings, I only use booking.com. You can select the price range per night, and they offer many hotels with free cancelation and a pay later options. During my stay in London, I booked the European Hotel, a modest hotel in Argyle Square only a few blocks from King’s Cross Station and the London Underground. The rooms are modest, clean and comfortable bed, hot shower and free breakfast.
How to get around?
The London Underground is the best way to get around. There is a station at all the major tourist spots. I recommend purchasing an Oyster Card at any Underground Station. This card can be returned before you depart London and any remaining balance will be refunded.
Tip: The United Kingdom currency is the Pound, so before you leave, if you’re going anywhere else in Europe, make sure you convert any leftover currency or spend it on a pint of beer.
Buckingham Palace, lets be honest, you’re dying to see it. Throw on your your trench coat, pull out your umbrella, get on the Tube and head to the Palace. You won’t want to miss the changing of the guards.
This part of London is well connected and you can walk to all the sites in the area. Take a walk down St. James Park and arrive at your next desired destination.
Westminster Abbey – site of Royal weddings and coronations, and yes, it is as beautiful as they show on TV.
Westminster Abbey is only a short walk away from the Palace of Westminster, commonly known as Houses of Parliament, and of course Big Ben. Because you have been dying to take iconic pictures, pull out your camera and take as many as you can of this majestic building.
Stay in this area, purchase tickets to visit the Abbey, take a tour of houses of Parliament, get some hot chocolate, and take in amazing and exciting London.
After all the walking and sightseeing, it is never cliche to stop and get some fish and chips. Don’t forget the pint of hard cider.
I recommend taking a side street, reading some of the menus and then decide on where to eat.
London Eye and Cruise can be booked in advance through the website to get a much better deal. Be prepared to wait in line for the London Eye, unless you want to drop 10 pounds for a fast pass. The Eye offers breathtaking views of London. The river cruise, will be an educational tour, where you will learn lots of fun facts about the city, but make sure to arrive early if you want to get a good seat on the boat.
Enjoy a light breakfast while you seat outside a cafe near Piccadilly Circus.
Visit the National Gallery, and if you love art as much as I do, when you see some of the paintings your heart will skip a beat.
Located in Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings. And like all of the government ran museums in London, The National Gallery is free to the public.
Get a great view of the Thames River from Tower Bridge. And this iconic bridge also has a glass floor.
Hyde Park is huge, huge, so be prepared to take many breaks, it has ponds, statues, secret pathways, and if you visit in the summer, perfect place to have a picnic.
Kensington Palace has beautiful gardens, Afternoon Tea, and it is home to William and Kate.
Tower of London, back in the day, if you were charged with treason you’d go into the tower and never come out. Today, you have the option of just taking a tour. Go see the place where countless heads rolled, wild animals lived, and the current exhibition of the crown jewels.
King’s Cross St. Pancras Station because who doesn’t remember seeing Ron’s flying car in Harry Potter.
Platform 9 3/4
Because time went by and you never received your admittance letter to Hogwarts, and so many times you pictured what it would be like to cross that platform. When in London, you can’t miss the opportunity to take a pic at Platform 9 3/4.
48 hours in London are not enough, but if you’re only planning a short stay these are the must-see places. I plan a longer visit in the near future. London has so much to offer, hundreds of years of history, culture, and yet it is a futuristic city. If you do decide to take a trip to London make sure to fly Virgin Atlantic.