Its the the city you cannot describe in one word, I guess you need a whole dictionary. Yes, everyone has different experiences in London, everyone sees things differently in London, but what is common is, everyone loves the city London!
The culture of London is basically more or less like Mumbai but cleaner. You will find people from everywhere in London, that's what makes it unique and super interesting. Apart from roaming in this most interesting city and taking in the basic culture, there is a lot to see as well. So here in this blog I have compiled for you the places to definitely see, how to go around, where to shop and what to eat!
PLACES TO SEE IN LONDON:
Buckingham Palace: This may sound a bit cheesy that the first place on my list is the obvious, but its because you have to visit this place no matter what! On my first day in London, I spent a good 2 hours going around the palace. If you are lucky you can attend the guard change ceremony as well, its unique and something to see once in a lifetime.
City Tour, Hop on Hop Off Bus: Basically when you take this tour it takes you around all the major attractions in London. You are given a written guide and also for your convenience there are audio tapes which you can listen to when the bus goes around the city, stating all the major attractions and their history. Why is it convenient? You get to see all the major attractions, like literally all in half a day, you can get off at any stop, you don't have to worry even if your bus leaves you know there is a bus coming every ten minutes, lastly their last stop need not be you last stop, get off at any place and you can continue your tour on foot.
London's Tower Bridge: It is the most iconic bridge and everybody knows about it. You can walk on the bridge, under it whatever pleases you. We got off from the bus tour at the Tower Bridge at around Lunch time. Under the bridge on the sidewalks of River Thames was a food flee market which is only mostly on the weekends with amazing and the most reasonable food.
River Thames Cruise: This a boat ride on the River Thames, a beautiful ride with some water splashing on your face if you are sitting in the front row. London Eye: A mighty giant wheel beyond the reach of your eyes! This ride is a must if you want a birds-eye view of the the ravishing London! The ride is thrilling but the lines are more thrilling..... a tip coming your way.. make sure you pre-book the tickets to your ride of London Eye because when you reach there you really don't want to get stuck in the long queues. Also make sure your tickets are fast-track they are much easy to get and there is no hassle. Don't look down though if you have height issues, just enjoy the ride!
Westminster Abbey: Where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate Middleton) got married. The Church is exceptional and it should definitely be on your list if you are visiting London. Also I would advise to attend the service. Trust me it is worth it!
Harrods: Its a huge mall, its very beautiful! You can definitely go to visit, but DO NOT SHOP. Its crazy expensive! You can buy if you can afford it!
National Art Gallery: Yes, also a must visit destination. The entry is free and you can go around the Gallery admiring the works of some great artists, including Van Gogh's Sunflower painting, 2 of Michelangelo's unfinished work, though no one knows why they are not completed and many more such great artists. Buy a map of around 2 pounds, and you will know where to go because it can get a little confusing, if the map is not clear as well ask around, the people working there are very helpful.
Trafalghar Square: If you are visiting the National Art Gallery you automatically are on the Trafalghar Square. It is one the most iconic places in London, and you just can not miss it. Trafalghar Square is a must see place and you can easily spend your evening there because its entertaining as well. You can just sit and observe the London culture and look at people go by. Its lovely to sit and contemplate.
Piccadilly Circus- Oxford Circus- Covent Garden-China Town: If you really want to see the weekend culture pay a visit to these 3 streets. They are very close to each other. You can just literally walk from one street to another and you won't even need a guide. Piccadilly Street and Oxford Street are one of a kind you can see people dancing on the streets, shows happening on the streets, people singing, playing different instruments and much more. Its the typical city culture on the streets. When you visit the Covent Garden, its not actually a garden its a street, go to Somerset Palace. Unfortunately I couldn't go there, but apparently it has water fountains coming out of the ground so.. you should pay a visit.
Broadway Show: For art and music lovers, its a once in a lifetime experience. Actually my message to everybody, you should attend a Broadway show, if you are in London or New York! Its absolutely amazing. We visited Mamma Mia musical show and it was a scene I can never forget!
PLACES TO SHOP IN, WHEN IN LONDON:
If your not earning in pounds, its quite expensive to shop in London.
But if you really want to shop for some good products shop at airports.. hahaha..
So, there are 4 shopping streets which you have to visit is you are a shopaholic.
Oxford Circus and Piccadilly are on of the most expensive street but to visit them once does one no harm. Camden street on the other hand is reasonable and you get good stuff there. And last but the not the least Covent Garden, good stuff some ate expensive, some are reasonable.
I am no shopper so this is the best advice I could give you. (sorry)
HOW TO GET AROUND ON LONDON:
Trains are hands down the best way to get around London. The train connects you to most of the place, if not exact then to a walk able distance. There is not much hassle in the trains, the only confusion thing is the usage of oyster cards and which line to take. The trains lines are denoted by colours. You will find a map on the station, pick-up the map and you are good to go, else the people in London are quite helpful, ask anybody and they will point you in the right direction.
Disclaimer: this is my preference, you may find other transport easy as well
Buses are also quite simple once you get to know the system. I personally found the bus system very complicated, yes there are direct buses form point A to point B but that depends on what bus stop you are on etc etc.. frankly I never warned up to the system of the buses so I did not even understand how to exactly make use of them.
Taxi and walking are another 2 options. Walking is great to explore if the places you want to go to are close by.
So now this is very important. If you are in a group, don't order one dish per person, its a waste if money and waste of your appetite. The food is great every where. Whatever you order you will enjoy it, but don't order too much because each portion is quite huge and expensive as well.