What To See In London: The Essentials

London, the European city that welcomes over 19 million tourists every year. You might know it for its iconic monuments: London Eye and Big Ben. We moved together to this macro city in the summer of 2017, although I (Alba) had previously lived here for a year – So we have had enough time to explore. But London is so big there is always somewhere new to discover!

If it’s your first time visiting London or are coming to the city for only a couple of days, there are a few places that you cannot miss. So you don’t miss out, we have put together a list of the top touristic spots in London. You should be able to see everything in this list in only about 2 days! 

Hyde Park and Green Park

Start your day at Hyde Park, the largest park in central London. If you visit in summer this place is full of life! From here, walk your way down into Green Park, the royal park. This route will take you smoothly into the next stop.

Buckingham Palace

Right next to Green Park is one of the most famous spots in London: The Buckingham Palace. This place is well known for its ‘Changing of the guard’ act, which happens every day at 11AM. There is also a long street named ‘The Mall’ that links the palace and Trafalgar Square and is lovely to walk through. Another route is to head from here to Westminster, which you can do through St. James’s park, where you can see some great animals including squirrels and swans.

Travel Tip: Buckingham Palace is usually extremely busy at the time of change of guard, so if this is something you want to see properly make sure to arrive at the spot early! If you don’t care about it at all, try to avoid visiting this stop at 11AM.

Trafalgar Square and National Gallery

Trafalgar Square commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, a British victory during the Napoleonic Wars. Here you can find the National Gallery, which is of free entry to the standard exhibitions. 

Westminster: London Eye, Big Ben and London Parliament

From Trafalgar Square walk down Parliament Street to get to Westminster, the heart of touristic London. On the way, you will walk past the famous 10 Downing Street, the official Prime Minister residency. This is a great picture spot as there are guards at the entrance wearing traditional outfits and with horses.

When you reach Westminster, you can explore the most famous London monuments: Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and so on. From here, cross the bridge to get to the queue for London Eye.

Covent Garden 

This has to be one of my favorite touristic areas in London. It is located in the West End of the city, close to all the theatres and surrounded by many popular restaurants. It is one of the liveliest areas of the city to eat, shop and go for a drink! 

Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and China Town

And of course, you cannot visit London without walking through the screen-covered square of Piccadilly Circus. It is well known for all the digital advertising screens that surround the square. 

Only a couple of meters away is Leicester Square and China Town – which are compulsory spots to walk through! While you are there, don’t forget to visit the famous M&M’s world and Lego Store; and take the opportunity to eat at one of the cheap but authentic Chinese restaurants in China Town.

Oxford Street and Regent Street

If you are a ‘shopaholic’ like me, then you can’t miss these two streets. Regent Street hosts a large range of fancy and expensive stores, while in Oxford Street you can find all the high street shops you can think of. Some of favorites include Nike, which usually have a DJ in-store, and Topshop – which is the biggest clothing store I have ever shopped at!

British Museum 

Don’t forget to pay a visit to the famous British Museum since it is free entry. It is one of the most important and visited museums in the world. It hosts a large range of collections from art to ancient history and archeology.

Camden Town

Last but not least is the famous Camden Town. mainly known for its markets and underground vibes. Here you can find a large range of shops and curiosities, but my favorite part is the food market! Camden is situated at the North of the city but is easily accessible by tube or bus. 

Thank you for reading! Let us know in the comments if there is anything else you would like to know about London.

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