As global cities go, London ranks at the top of the culture, history, entertainment, and commerce. It’s the city where a majority of international flights touchdown to refuel. However, if you make the pond crossing and don’t get off in London, then you’re missing out on a wonderful experience. As a first time traveler to London, you’ll go through a crash course of idioms. Crisps are potato chips; chips are French fries and biscuits are cookies. If you need a bathroom break, ask for the nearest loo. You’ll “fancy” something as opposed to “want” it. You’ll take the “tube” instead of the subway. If you need a break from the fun, then just tell folks you’re “knackered.” There will be plenty more to pick up on as you make your way to this amazing town.
In London, the Royals are big business and the number one tourist attraction. Oddly enough, you might see where they live and play, but you might never actually see them out and about, unless it’s a holiday or that a wedding. If you only had to see one Royal attraction in London, then it should be the Tower of London. Part prison, part jewel house, part zoo and all London. If you’re lucky, then you might bump into a ghost or two because legend has it that this place is crawling with specters.
The West End
This is where you’ll probably end up the most often. It’s kind of the London version of Times Square but with fish and chips instead of pretzels. It’s the hub of London that is chock full of museums, galleries, shopping, pubs, and theatres. Speaking of theatre, no trip to London will be complete without taking in a play at the Globe. This is not the actually Globe Theatre where Shakespeare premiered all his plays. The Puritans tore that down in 1644. However, this is as close to the original as you’ll find complete with a standing room pit for the “groundlings.” That would be you if you chose to watch a play on your feet.
The London Eye
Yes, it’s a giant Ferris wheel, but it’s a giant Ferris wheel that takes a half-hour to ride and will give you amazing views of London. Feeling romantic? Wait until the sun sets for a champagne flight. You can even book a private capsule for your spin.
The British Museum
If you’re going to London, then you’re going to a museum or twenty. Take your pick, but the British Museum probably has the most of everything from mummies to prehistoric trinkets to the Rosetta Stone. Plus it’s free. Can’t beat that.
221B Baker Street
How can you call a trip to London complete without a stop to 221B Baker Street? Yes, this isn’t the official address (it was changed for the tourists). And yes, Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character but is there anything more London than imagining Sherlock Holmes prowling the streets on the hunt for Moriarty? Add in a Charles Dickens tour, a pub-crawl and a trip to Harrods, and you’ve experienced the quintessential London.