Introduction to London
Most of the time, a tourist location is targeted at specific human types: sophisticated people like going to places like Dubai, while people who enjoy more traditional architecture and old habits will choose areas like France, Scotland or Ireland. There are very few locations that will please everyone yet London is one of them!
This is not a question that many people ask but we will answer anyway: London is one of those cities that everyone needs to see at least once in a lifetime. It’s one of those few places where you can hear all the languages of the world in one day, meet artists and business people, see sun and rain, museums and clubs and tradition and new sitting right next to each other. Both the most scholarly and the wildest party-goers would be fully satisfied living here. A study of human cultures would not find a better place to be carried out in: there’s no nation in the world that does not have a representative here.
A week in London will most likely be the fullest week of your life – and you’ll still not have time to see everything. The wonderful part is that it’s all pleasing on the eye – as industrial as London was famous for being in the previous century, it has now become one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe.
What to do in London?
The first thing you need to do when planning a trip to London is prioritize. You should accept that it’s very unlikely to see everything that you’d want to see and simply decide what you don’t want to miss while being there.
If you’re someone interested in culture and history, the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery are available for everyone. And that’s literally, because there’s no entry fee. Of course, there’s a donation request, but even that is considerably smaller compared to prices in London. These three museums will take at least one day of your time – and that’s if you’re not the type to stay for minutes at a time to stare at a painting. If you’re willing to pay for your culture, Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London are the top two destinations worth visiting – both at around £15 – £20 per visit. Be prepared to spend at least half a day in the Tower of London – even more if you want to see the crown jewels.
If nature and green grass strike your fancy, there are plenty of parks to go around. Regent Park is probably the best looking one and it has the advantage of being very close to the London Zoo (another recommended destination for nature lovers). If you’re looking for something less quiet and more on the social side, Hyde Park is the place to go.
Madame Tussaud’s is recommended for pop culture lovers. History buffs might be disappointed to see very few figures of the past, but just about anyone who’s anyone nowadays is represented there. The center is full of clubs satisfying all the party-goers, although you might want to check out an online website like the ‘London Club Guide’ so that you can choose a club that plays something you might actually like.
If you don’t want to rent a car, the tube is the most recommended transportation means. But if you don’t want to run out of money soon, do buy an Oyster card – a short calculation will show it to be quite a good investment, even if the £30 price for a week might scare you at first.
Other transport options include the red buses, the hop on and off sightseeing buses (perfect for one day of your holiday), the overhead trains and taxis.