The best way to experience London is by foot and the subway or the “Tube” as they refer to it in the city. Your best option is to purchase an Oyster Card at the entrance of any subway system. You really do not need to pay for a rental car or taxi. If you are driving to London, you might as well park your car and save more by using the public transportation system.
My beautiful mother, a.k.a Travel Partner and I counted our steps daily! We barely even used the Tube because the weather was breezy in the month of April and the buildings were so stunning. We just wanted to see it all! Each day we happily walked 30,000 steps or more.
My stay was for 3 days at the Park Plaza, just behind the London Eye, with the best view of the Big Ben! Honestly, I don’t think 3 days was enough time to enjoy all of the attractions that London has to offer. If you are planning to stay for a short period of time and want to do as much as possible, here’s the route we took! Hopefully you can keep up!
Where the monarchs reside, looks almost as if it were built yesterday! I swear when I first saw this beautiful building I fell in love with London immediately. I had to ask myself a few times if I was still... dreaming?
You don’t want to miss The Changing of the Queen’s Guard ceremony, make sure to get to the palace before 11am, the whole event is about 1 hour long.
ST. JAMES PARK
Why not take the scenic route? The wildlife and ambiance is everythingggg. A great way to make London feel like home. I suggest stopping at the St. James Cafe inside the park and grab a bite then head towards Westminster.
The historical royal coronation church and one of the main attractions in the center of London was closed off to visitors at the time of my trip, due to a recent attack on London. I will most definitely have to make another trip! However, just walking in the presence of the building was awe-inspiring.
Entry Times vary by day! Make sure to check the site to stay updated.
BIG BEN (Free)
Sadly, under construction until roughly 2021. All I can really say at this time is that you can see the clock face and it’s a lot smaller than I thought!
You just CAN’T miss it! It’s huge! If you walk down Victoria Embankment street, you can take a photo right in front of the London Eye.
When you cross over the River Thames, you can simply purchase the tickets at the ticket office, if you are not sure about purchasing the London Pass.* The whole ride around lasts about 15 minutes and gives you the best view of the city!
Usually Open from 10am to 8:30 pm daily
(roughly 1 hour) A lot less than 1 hour if there is no long line for the tickets, line moves very quickly.
If you are looking to try local favorite bites, I suggest Fish and Chips! Just around the London Eye there are several places to stop for a bite. Especially if you walk towards the Golden Jubilee Bridge (another architectural beauty).
If you have crossed over the Golden Jubilee bridge from the London Eye you are not far from…
TRAFALGAR SQUARE & NATIONAL GALLERY (Free)
Home of some of the best art by Claude Monet, Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gogh and much more. I love museums, but after seeing a couple hundred paintings, it can become a little tiresome.
Nevertheless, the entire area is unreal! I could stay outside admiring the architecture all day! Grab a coffee, sit by the fountains and soak it all in.
Open daily from 10am to 6pm.
PICADILLY CIRCUS (Free)
The Time Square of London. If it’s getting a little dark this is a fun place to be, full of lights, restaurants and places to shop. Timing here really depends on what you want to see while you are walking around. We didn’t spend too much time here before we came across the China Town of London. Who knew they had that?
CHINA TOWN (Free)
The millions of lanterns hanging over the streets of London’s China Town are beautiful! The streets go on and on forever. Don’t get lost out here!
ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL**
Even if you don’t go to church its ok. But make sure to stop at this one! You can see this 1,400 year old beautiful cathedral from miles away!
Open Mon-Sat. 8:30 am to 4pm
LONDON BRIDGE & TOWER BRIDGE
Guess which one is the most iconic?
From the Tower Bridge you can clearly see some attractions you might be interested in visiting:
1- 20 Fenchurch- a famous skyscraper shaped just like a Walkie Talkie, known for the sky garden.
2- The Shard - another skyscraper shaped like a shard of Glass. It looks unfinished.
3- London’s City Hall- or "The Armadillo" as the locals like to call it!
I’m sure this would have been really interesting to see, but it wasn't on the top of my list. We just passed by the building, it was nice. Lol. Sorry!
Open Daily: 9:30am to 5pm
TATE MODERN (Free)
A well known UK Modern Contemporary Art Museum, we passed by on our way to other attractions. Also not on the top of my list. If we visited every museum in London, there was no way we were going to be able to see it all or mostly all of London in 3 days! Some tough decisions had to be made.
Entry Times: Sunday -Thursday 10am to 6pm & Friday-Saturday 10 am to 10pm
BOROUGH MARKET (Free)
This is a great place to stop and grab a bite. The market has been in the area since the year 1014!
After this we took the Tube all the way to the St. Pancras Station and walked down to the KINGS CROSS STATION to see what all the commotion was over the Harry Potter 9 and 3/4 Platform. And as much as I love the Harry Potter series. It was NOT a big deal! Lol.
The surrounding areas, in and outs of the Tube are pretty interesting and the architecture is a mix between old and new which really made me appreciate the location even more. You can have the best of both worlds in London.
COVENT GARDEN (Free)
If you are interested in visiting some of the prettiest decorated shops with great Photo Ops! This is the place for you! Regardless it’s a nice area to pass by.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM (Free)
Noooot gonna lie. If there are dinosaur bones, it’s already my favorite museum. But the London Museum of Natural History was by far the best one I visited the entire trip because of the jaw dropping staircase at the entrance. Like wow. If I lived in London, that’s exactly where you would find me every weekend.
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM (Free)
I wish I had more time for this! Sooo many museums, so little time!
Open daily from 10am to 6pm
ROYAL ALBERT HALL
We walked right by this beauty on our way to the Kensington Castle. If you didn’t know, this was built for the Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.
KENSINGTON PALACE AND GARDENS
Can you believe the royal fam just a few feet away... past these walls? Well supposedly right? You can walk right through the gardens and enjoy the rest of the evening crossing over to… HYDE PARK. Have some coffee, croissants, sit on the grass, watch the pups and take a breath of fresh air! The sunsets here are amazing.
This is the route I took. There is really sooo much to do and I tried to do the most in the least amount of time. I hope this is helpful to you!
I’m working on making these more informative but I’m not sure if I am giving too much or too little info. I can probably go on and on.
Help me out here! Let me know in the comments what you loved about this post and what YOU look for when you are doing research about a place you have never been to (in the comments below)!