Last March I traveled to London for 4 days. Although I visited London before, this time I traveled together with my parents and it was their first visit. Because of that and because of the short time, we limited our trip to the basic touristic spots and things to do in the city.
For the first night, we stayed at the H10 London Waterloo Hotel. The location was very central and Waterloo Station or the famous London Eye were reachable within walking distance. We then switched hotels and stayed the remaining days at the Novotel London Waterloo Hotel. The walking distance to major attractions like London Eye or Big Ben was similar, which is why I can recommend both hotels. In general, make sure to stay at a hotel in a central location so that you can explore everything by walking.
#1: London Eye
The London Eye is one of the most touristic spots in London. The giant Ferris wheel is located directly at the Westminster Bridge and the River Thames. Before this London trip, I never went on top of the London Eye because I thought it will not be worth the money and waiting time. Just to mention, I do not like queuing at all and if I see the line in front of the London Eye my interest already fades.
Thank god they offer different kinds of tickets and experiences that can be purchased online in advance. My parents and I decided to book the VIP Eye Lounge and Champagne Experience. One ticket costs around 45£ and includes one glass of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne on top of the London Eye, access to the exclusive Eye Lounge with one complimentary drink, a personal host, and an easy check-in. Although this was one of the more expensive ticket categories, I highly recommend this experience! You do not feel stressed at all or have to wait in long queues because the entire process runs smoothly. On top of that you get free champagne and an incredible view – who can say no to that?
Hint: After our London Eye experience, we were looking for a place to get dinner nearby. Make sure to check out Locale Southbank on Belvedere Rd for some nice Italian food and wine. The restaurant is located in the street behind the London Eye and offers great food.
#2: Sky Garden
Sky Garden is the place you should visit if you are looking for a place to see London from above. The best thing about it – it’s free! However, due to the limited capacity on top people need to reserve a time slot on their desired day of visit online. Once on top, visitors can stay as long as they want and enjoy the view or grab a drink at the bar. As Sky Garden becomes more and more famous and some days tend to sell out quickly, make sure to reserve your time slot a few days ahead.
#3: Boat Cruise and Tower Bridge
Since London and many of its sights are located directly at the River Thames, taking a boat cruise seemed to be a good idea. We took a one-way cruise from Westminster Pier to the Tower Bridge with St. Katharine’s Cruise and enjoyed seeing London from the water. On its way, the cruise passes many beautiful bridges, buildings, and the HMS Belfast. After the cruise, we walked across the Tower Bridge which in my opinion is a must do for visitors traveling to London. If you are looking for a place to grab food afterwards, make sure to check out Côte Brasserie at Hay’s Gallery for some traditional French bites.
Sadly, Big Ben was under construction during our visit to London and the weather got really bad in the last two days. Because of that, we had to cut down our list of things to do and places to visit.
If you are planning to visit London and have time for some more sights, make sure to add the Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Chinatown, and Trafalgar Square to your sightseeing list. London itself is a beautiful city with amazing architecture and pubs! Two pubs I can recommend are Adam & Eve close to Westminster Abbey or The Churchill Arms in Kensington. If you don’t feel like walking home after your pub visit, take on of the iconic double-decker buses to get the real British feeling.
Let me know your thoughts about things to do and your favorite places to visit in London!