London is one of my favourite Cities to visit and I have been fortunate enough to be able to study there for the past three years. Therefore, I like to think that I know London fairly well. This Travel Guide will go through my recommendations for a tourist visiting London for the first time and will list the most popular tourist attractions. I would recommend booking most attractions in advance when visiting London as often there is a discounted price online as well as multi-attraction deals if you plan do to several attractions during your visit. One of these multi-attraction deals is The London Pass which is worth checking out if you intend to visit multiple attractions.
Day 1: Bus Tour
Whenever I travel somewhere new for the first time, one of my favourite things to do on the first day there is to take either a hop-on, hop-off boat or bus tour of the city. This enables me to get to know the area better and helps me plan the rest of my days there, as often sightseeing tours visit the most popular tourist attractions. London offers both of these options but I would personally recommend the bus tour. A bus tour of London will cost approximately £26 per person depending on the sightseeing tour company and can be picked up from a number of major train stations including London Victoria, Waterloo, Leicester Square and Paddington. Depending on how many days you are spending in London depends on what stops you should get off at, but the main highlights include: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, The London Eye, The Shard, Tower Bridge and The Tower of London.
Day 2: Waterloo, London Bridge and Tower Bridge
One of my favourite things to do whilst living and studying in Central London was to get the Tube to Waterloo and walk along the South Bank from Waterloo to Tower Bridge. The South Bank is named as it runs along the south bank of the River Thames. It is not only a beautiful walk, but there are also various food and drink stalls and restaurants along the way and even a little book market under one of the bridges. I would recommend stopping off in Borough Market for lunch as there are a variety of different cultural foods available here, before continuing along the South Bank to Tower Bridge. Here, there is a Museum which tells the stories behind the engineering and architecture of Tower Bridge as well as offering the opportunity to take a photograph on the Glass Walkway which looks down to the River from the bridge itself. The Museum is self-guided but I would allow minimum of an hour in order to see everything. I would also recommend looking up the Bridge Lift times beforehand so you can witness the Bridge opening to let boats through. Often these times are in the evening but there is a Riverside Bar at the moment beside Tower Bridge where you can grab a drink whilst you wait.
From here, I would recommend walking across London Bridge to Monument where the Sky Garden is located. The Sky Garden is a free indoor garden on the top-floor of a skyscraper, which offers incredible views over London as well as a Café, bar and restaurant. Due to its popularity, I would recommend booking in advance although they do accept walk-ins.
If you have time to spare, I would recommend The London Bridge Experience, although be warned it is not for the faint-hearted. The Experience is a guided tour and immersive theatre experience which tells the story behind London Bridge and should take between an hour and an hour and a half. Included in The London Bridge Experience are The London Tombs, a horror maze known as the UK’s scariest attraction. There is the option to either skip the maze or if you are under the age of 16, take what is known as The Guardian Angel Tour where you can walk through the Tombs but none of the actors will scare or chase you.
For dinner I would recommend Bill’s on Clink Street, down the road from Borough Market. Bill’s is a British Café chain selling a range of foods from burgers to pasta dishes to salads, offering both vegetarian and vegan options. I would recommend Bill’s Hamburger which is honestly one of the best burgers I have ever had.
Day 3: Buckingham Palace and Westminster
Dominique Ansel is a sweet and savoury Bakery which is a 5 minute walk from London Victoria Station and where I would recommend having breakfast. Originally created in New York, Dominique Ansel is the creator of The Cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid, whose flavour changes every month. September’s flavour is Quince and Orange Blossom: the Cronut is filled with a homemade quince jam and creamy orange blossom ganache with star anise sugar.
From here, I would recommend walking to Buckingham Palace, the London residency of the English Monarchy, for 10:45 am to see the Changing of the Guard. Otherwise known as Guard Mounting, this is the handover of the Guards outside Buckingham Palace.
From Buckingham Palace, you can walk to Westminster to see Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Over Westminster Bridge is the London Eye which you can ride for £27 which offers panoramic views over London.
For the evening, I would recommend getting the Tube along the Northern Line to Leicester Square where there are a number of theatres showing a variety of performances from Wicked to Mamma Mia to Les Mis. There are often discounted tickets available on the day for evening performances. There are also various food places around here – one of my favourites is Mod Pizza, a pizza restaurant offering a wide variety of pizza toppings.
If you have enjoyed reading this Travel Guide, you should check out my blog: justhannahhere.wordpress.com as I have uploaded a number of Travel Guides from various places I have visited in Europe.
Hannah : justhannahhere.wordpress.com
London Lifestyle Blogger who loves travelling, coffee and Social Media.