What to see in London?
London is not just the capital of England, one of the most developed countries in the world. London is also a world capital, one of those cities that so many people have passed through and through which so many people long to go. A city with capital letters. In this guide about London I explain everything you can see in the British capital .
I take this moment to remind you that my visit to London was not just a tourist issue, but there I was doing an English course with the Sprachcaffe school . Although I will dedicate a space to this experience later, I will tell you that studying English in such a place is a very stimulating opportunity . But, truly, it does not matter the reason that takes you there: I am sure that you are going to enjoy it a lot.
Before launching myself with my list of recommendations of places to see in London, I would like to share some basic notions about this destination here. Above all, tell you that we are talking about a city of 8 million inhabitants, 13 counting the metropolitan area, with an area of 1500 square kilometers. With figures like this you can get an idea of what we have in hand.
It goes without saying that London is the capital of England and therefore maintains all the peculiarities of the country to which it belongs . So now you know, English is the reigning language (although there are many Spanish speakers settled there), the pound is the currency to use, the plugs are three-phase and the steering wheel is on the right. These are only the most visible peculiarities of the UK, but not the only ones. At the expense of what happens with Brexit to tell you that, for now, if you are Spanish, you will not need any type of visa to enter England, so take advantage of the last minute offers to travel to London.
Is London an expensive city?
I could tell you that life in London isn’t as expensive as you’ve been told or imagined, but I’d be lying to you. Now, we are talking about a huge city with a lot of offer, so, looking a little, you can make the trip more bearable for your pocket. If we talk about accommodation, any option near the center is practically untouchable, although thanks to the very powerful transport system of the British capital, you can allow yourself to get away from the classics to find a bed and thus save a bit in costs . Here are some recommendations:
- London offers beds in shared rooms for less than 20 euros a night. Sign up for the Meininger, in the Hyde Park area.
- If you are looking for something private to go with your partner and not too far, you will need about 60 euros per night. The Palmers Lodge in the Camden area is highly recommended.
- If your budget exceeds 100 euros a night, stop by the Ibis London City. Close to the center and well valued on Booking.
In terms of food, I will tell you that it is not that difficult to find provisions in London at affordable prices . Despite the fact that British food does not have a good reputation, in this metropolis there are restaurants from all over the world, so you can find the quality-price balance you want. Remember that luxury is paid here, so keep that in mind if you want to indulge yourself.
In cultural matters, there is a notable difference in ticket prices for monuments and places of interest in the city. A help in this regard is the London Pass, a card that allows you to visit many of its attractions at a more affordable price . Apart from this, the good thing about London is that, given so much offer, it is not difficult to find free options or at a great price, and there are even a few museums with free admission. So if you don’t want to spend a lot on cultural issues, you can too.
How to get around London
Changing the third but without neglecting the above, a point that deserves a separate comment is the issue of transport: one of the jewels of London . The metro + urban bus system is wonderful and, even if you are staying in the last London neighborhood, you will find a way to get anywhere without complicating yourself too much. But this is paid. If something was extremely expensive for me in England in general and in London in particular, it is moving, especially if your residence is outside the central area. The price of the tickets varies a lot depending on the distance you have to do.
One way to control (a little) spending is to get the Oyster Card , the city’s transport card, at (almost) any metro station . With it you will be able to travel at a slightly better price (half that of an individual ticket) and you will have a daily spending limit. If you also plan to stay for several days, you can hire flat rates that allow you to use it as many times as you want during a certain period: weekly, biweekly, monthly … This flat rate will depend on the areas of London through which you plan to move. For one thing or another, it seems essential to me. In this blog you have very detailed information about the prices and possibilities of the card.
One last note regarding transport is to tell you that in London there are up to three main airports , and some are ostensibly far from the movement zone. Take this into account in order to organize your trip and find out where you are going and how you can get out of there.
What to see in London
Putting all this information on the table, we are going with my string of recommendations to see in the English capital:
Although there is a lot to see in London, no tourist trip around here should ignore the route for its classics, most of them located in the central Westminster neighborhood . Although there are a few that are worth it, here are some of their essentials.
Book your free tour of LondonPARLIAMENT AND BIG BEN
What can I say about two of the city’s crown jewels, two of its most sought-after monuments. Two buildings of unbeatable beauty, but which were under construction during my visit in May 2019. Except for unforeseen events, in 2021 they will be completely restored .
Very close to those mentioned above is Westminster Abbey, a religious building that has already accumulated almost 1000 years! to his credit . Since its inception, all monarchs have been crowned in this abbey, and even this was the scene of Prince William of Wales’s wedding to Kate Middleton . An emblem for the English.
THE LONDON EYE
In the same area, but on the other side of the Thames is the London Eye , the highest Ferris wheel in Europe (135 meters) . It is curious to think that this attraction was placed in the year 2000 with the intention of removing it 5 years later, something that obviously did not happen. It will be because today it is the most popular tourist attraction in the whole of the United Kingdom.
You only have to take a walk around Buckingham Palace to get an idea of the weight that the monarchy continues to have in England. Originally, this palace was a house completed in the 18th century, which would pass into the hands of King George III in the middle of that same century, and which would be renovated as a palace at the beginning of the following by order of King George IV. It is currently the residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the center of numerous celebrations and events of all kinds . If you are around in summer, every day at 10:30 in the morning you can attend the photogenic changing of the guard. If you travel at another time of year, check the dates because it varies.
SOHO AND COVENT GARDEN
Although they are not the same places, it is difficult for me to separate one from the other since they are two neighboring neighborhoods with a similar aesthetic and offer. Without a doubt, one of the areas of central London with more movement and things to do . A perfect space to go shopping, see cultural shows, eat or just go for a walk.
By the way, there are Chinatown, another classic, and Piccadilly Circus , the most famous square in London.
The most famous with permission from Trafalgar, another of the nerve centers of the capital. This square is a tribute to the Battle of Trafalgar , a naval combat in which the English rose with victory to the detriment of the French and Spanish army. There is also the National Gallery, one of the most recognized museums in London.
ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
I admit that I did not do much religious tourism in London, but without having done so I dare to say that St. Paul’s Cathedral will be one of the most beautiful churches in the city . I confess that this 17th century temple had me dazzled for a while with its beauty, photogenicity and imposing size. It doesn’t surprise me that from its inception until 1962, its 111 meters made it the tallest building in the city.
THE TOWER OF LONDON
You don’t even have to go inside to realize the weight and historical significance of the London Tower. Raised about 1000 years ago, this building has served as both a fortress and a residence or prison . Today it is one of those places that must be seen, yes or yes, in London.
LONDON TOWER BRIDGE
I end this review of the London classics with my favorite, the London Tower Bridge (misnamed London Bridge). This work of engineering (and art) is beautiful from any angle and at any time of day. If you hang around for a while, you can surely see how it gets up to let the boats pass.
Leaving aside the classics, I now go with a collection of neighborhoods to see in London. As I said at the time, one of the things that I liked the most about this city is that any of its neighborhoods, at any given moment, has something to offer , and in some cases a lot. Here are some of the ones you should see, yes or yes, on your way there.
Her beauty and charm came from before, but it was the powerful smiles of Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts that ended up making this “monadic” fashionable. This glamorous neighborhood is not only home to mansions and luxury cars, it is also a perfect corner to stroll and do some shopping . Be sure to visit the Portobello market, which is open every day although it offers more content during the weekend.
From market to market and I shoot because it’s my turn. And is that the alternative neighborhood of Camden Town is also the headquarters of another of the most famous markets in London, although it only works on weekends. Shopping on the sidelines, Camden Town is perfect for those looking for different plans. The “modern” is assured.
THE “CITY” OF LONDON
City (city in English) is the name of the most important financial district… in the world! It is estimated that a third of global money moves daily in this central London area. On a tourist level, the City is a set of mega-buildings and skyscrapers where you can go up to see everything from above or enjoy what you have above from below. Stop by around 5 or 6 in the afternoon and you will find a good parade of business people closing deals between pints.
A neighborhood named after a meridian cannot be anything. Although it is located almost at one end of the city, it is worth going there and enjoying this green and quiet district on the banks of the river. I recommend you return from there to the center by boat during sunset: the photos will escape you
Next to Greenwich is Canary Wharf, another London financial district built, in this case, in what was the warehouse of one of the most important ports in Europe. Today is another good place to do business.
OTHER LONDON NEIGHBORHOODS
There are actually many more neighborhoods to see in London, but this post would never end if I started to develop each one. If all of the above is not enough, then add Hammersmith, Chelsea, Paddington … or almost any other to the list. Well, or skip the route and discover one of us.
You missed it, right? Surely if you have already collected some information about London you will know that the parks and gardens of the city are a delight . As with almost everything in the British capital, there are also plenty of parks in terms of parks, but I am going to choose some of the ones that impressed me the most.
What to say about the most popular park in London. Where Notting Hill ends, Hyde Park begins, a huge and beautiful garden where you can enjoy a very pleasant walk at any time of day . Squirrels are insured.
“Tree with tree” with Hyde Park are the Royal Gardens of Kensington , so almost any walk through the first one will end in the second and vice versa. Being two neighboring parks, hopefully the beauty is shared.
ST. JAMES PARK
It may not be the most spectacular park in London, but it is surprising to see an enclosure of this beauty and size in the heart of the city . Beautiful and next to many of the classics, ideal to take a break between monument and monument.
Between Camden and Westminster, is another of the parks preferred by Londoners and tourists. Another huge green space in the middle of a city that values fresh air like few others.
Among all the parks there is to see in London, with its more than 1000 hectares Richmond Park is the largest . Although it is an urban park, you should know that it is located very on the outskirts of the city, which is why it is a more popular destination among locals than tourists. Just to see deer in the wild is worth going there.
OTHER PARKS IN LONDON
Although I have recommended you some of the most beautiful, I insist that in London there are many interesting green spaces: some larger, some smaller, some more famous, some more unknown … but they all demonstrate the attraction that the British have for gardens and the good taste they have to make them. Battersea, Bushy, Hampstead are other must-haves, but not the only ones. Get lost and find your favorites.
A route along the Thames
You cannot understand London without its river, nor the Thames without its city . The British capital is built by and for this immense river , and traveling any of its sections is a plan of 10. And it is that, on one side or the other, the entire bank of the Thames is accessible on foot. Also try to catch a boat at sunset and enjoy the Thames from within.
It cannot be denied that in England they defend and support culture, and the immense offer that London brings together proves it . Even if you go out looking for nothing, you will end up finding it.
If I neglected something in my first time in London, it was visiting its museums, but due to the hours of my classes it was impossible for me (almost all museums close at 5 or before). Now, by the time I get back to London, which I will, I have a long list of museums to visit: the National Gallery, the British Museum, the Tate, the Natural History museum, the Science museum … and whatever else it gives me. weather.
OTHER CULTURAL PLANS
Beyond museums, London can consume culture in many ways . Theater, dance, concerts, urban art … Whatever your interests, it will be easy for you to satisfy your artistic concerns.
STUDY ENGLISH IN LONDON
And what is more cultural than learning a language? How could it be otherwise, this world capital offers English courses everywhere . Without a doubt, it is a very stimulating place for it as you can read in my experience studying English with Sprachcaffe . In case you are interested, here is a discount code of 25 euros per week (up to 400 euros) if you hire accommodation and a course is them.
Itineraries for London
Now that you know (in part) what you can do in London, it is time to adjust your route to the time you have. All the proposals I’m going to make to you now are as generic as possible, based mainly on the time you have to dedicate to the city . It will be your job to adapt it to your tastes:
What to see on a weekend in London
If you’re planning a weekend break, focus on the London classics . A route through the Westminster area and Tower Bridge, combined with the banks of the Thames will suffice.
Four days in the British capital
If you escape to London on a long bridge, take the opportunity to see the essentials and some of the most famous museums, parks and neighborhoods in London. Four days go a long way.
What to see in London in a week
A week in London is enough time to give an in-depth overview of the city , including its classics, neighborhoods, parks and museums. Things will remain in the pipeline, but you will have seen enough of everything.
What to see in London in more than a week
If you are lucky enough to be able to dedicate more than a week to London, then relax, enjoy, and get the most out of every corner of this city . And then come over here and tell me about it.
And the surroundings?
If you are going to spend a few days in London, don’t miss the opportunity to get to know beyond the British capital. Closer than you think you will find cities such as Brighton , Salisbury, Bath, Oxford, Cambridge and many others that offer high level plans.