The Entire London Guide

By spending three months in London, I learned a lot about the city, but there is still so much more to learn. So to reminiscence I’ve complied a list of my favorite places to eat, things to do and see, and some more general advice.

TO EAT…

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To see my recommendations on where to eat, read my London Food Guide . 

TO DO…

V&A

IMG_3425.jpgThis is my favorite place in London. On whole, it is gorgeous: the building, the exhibits, the gift shops. I found myself coming back multiple times just to wander around and take in all the eye-pleasing items.

British Museum

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The British museum is more focused on the archaeological and historical artifacts than the V&A. Do not miss: The Elgin Marbles (aka Parthenon Marbles) and the Rosetta stone.

Shakespeare’s Globe

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Rebuilt as a tourist attraction after the original burnt down due to a rogue cannon during a performance, the Globe was a must-see for me. Wander around the indoor exhibit until it’s time to head into the theatre itself with your humorous guide. And if you’re lucky enough to be in London during their season, definitely stop back to see a show.

National Gallery

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Proudly overlooking Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery is huge. You could wander inside for an entire day and still not see it all. If you’re a fan of classical art, head here. But if you’re more into Modern Art, the Tate Modern is for you.

Buckingham Palace

The Royal Residence only opens its gates two visitors to months out of the year so if you’re there when they’re open go take a peak. The free audio guide gives insight into the way the Royals live and have lived.

Kew Gardens

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A little ways out of the center of the city, these Gardens are gorgeous. We spent a day walking around the art instillation, greenhouses, and historical residence.

Tower of London

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The Tower of London has something for everyone: armory, castles, and the crown jewels. Take the time to wait for a free guided tour from the Yeoman Warders.

Westminster Abbey 

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The audio guide will take you through this magnificent church. See if you can find the tributes/graves to your favorite British authors.

TO SEE…

Big Ben

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It’s under construction right now, but you can’t leave London without seeing this famous landmark.

London Eye

Another staple of the London skyline. I didn’t bother to ride it since it’s pretty expensive.

A show at the Globe 

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I was lucky enough to see two shows here during my time in London: Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much as I did during Much Ado. King Lear on the other hand… I stood for three hours in the rain to watch it and I still loved every minute. You can of course pay a little bit more for a seat, but I wanted the full experience.

A show in the West End

Theatre is so much cheaper in London than in New York! Use a site like TodayTix to get discount tickets the day of.

Football (aka soccer)

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I am not a sports person, but it was still fun to go cheer England on in a soccer, ahem, football game.

TO SHOP…

There are a few big streets to shop on if you’re looking for brand name stores (like Primark and Topshop): Oxford Street and Regent Street. The Covent Garden area also has a good selection of shops. Caranaby Street, which is just off Oxford street, is great for a few more boutique-y shops that are still pretty big and well known.

Daunt Books is a great book store with an emphasis on travel books. They have books from all over the world. And the staff is super friendly.

POSSIBLE DAYTRIPS

Oxford and Harry Potter Studios

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Bath and Stonehenge

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White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury

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Stratford-upon-Avon

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LOGISTICS

Transportation

Getting around London is super simple, if you have the right tools. First, an Oyster card and second, citymapper. Oyster cards and can be bought at any tube station at the self-serve kiosks. Each person will need their own card.

When using the tube, you will need to tap in and out with your oyster card so have it ready when you enter the station and get off the train.

Citymapper is a great app that tells you the best way to get somewhere factoring in buses and the tube. It was a lifesaver.

Hannah Reads (1)

I hope you enjoy London! Let me know in the comments if there’s anyplace you think I should try next time I’m in the city.

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