“You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No Sir! When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London, all that life can afford” says a quote outside a tube station in South London.
London is one of our favorite cities in the world. It can be full of tourists thronging all its attractions, yet you could find parks to relax, pubs to unwind yourself, sporting events to mingle with passionate locals and celebrate a winter Christmas like you always wanted. We have been to London at least a dozen times and yet we feel there is more to do! There is something for everyone to do in London, so we decided to list down the top things to do based on one’s likes :
1. For the Explorers
London has a lot of attractions. Visit London has a free app which can help you plan a itinerary for you but some of these are the must things to do – Taking a customary pic in front of the Tower Bridge, watching the Change of Guards at the Buckingham Palace, admiring the architectural beauty of Westminster Abbey or hopping into the London Eye for a 360 degree view of the city.
2. For those who seek Magic
If you like Harry Potter, the city offers a lot. You can do a Harry Potter Walking Tour which is about £20 and takes you through the various locations where the movies were shot. The King’s Cross station has a Harry Potter merchandise store that is well worth going to. It also has the wall which Harry runs into to take the Hogwarts Express which you will spot without any trouble as there will be tons of fans queuing up to take a photo. The Harry Potter & the Cursed Child play at the Palace Theatre is also a must visit (tickets can be quite difficult to get) but our favorite of the lot is the Warner Bros studios , where all the movies were shot. The tour takes the best part of the day and is actually about an hour and half away from the centre of the city so plan your travels accordingly.
3. For the night crawlers
London is a city transformed at night. Swing by SOHO and drop by one of the pubs (Milroys is our favorite), book a table for dinner at the Shard (we recommend Oblix but the Aqua Shard is also a good shout), shop late at night at Oxford Street or Drury Lane, see the evening lights at Piccadilly Circus or just take a black taxi tour and explore the city.
4. For the theatre lovers
London is home to some of the best theatre artists in the world and arguably some of the best plays that we have come to know. The ones we would recommend are Wicked (based on the Wizard of Oz), Les Miserables (French Revolution), The Lion King (great for kids but everyone would love it), Hamilton (Broadway anyone), The Mousetrap (based on Agatha Christie’s book, also the oldest running play in the world)
5. For the Art & Museum lovers
London has so many museums! Some of them are free to visit and are a great way to spend your day. The ones we would recommend are British History Museum, Museum of London (history of London and exhibits of the great fire that destroyed the city) , the Tate Modern (contemporary art gallery), The Victoria & Albert Museum (another great art gallery)
6. For the sport lovers
Londoners love their sports. Football is the most followed sport but Cricket & Tennis are popular as well. Some of the best stadium in the world are built in London. We would definitely recommend paying a visit to Wembley (and watch a match when fans are allowed back in) but The Emirates & the new Tottenham Hotspur stadiums are also great stadiums to visit. Check our blog from earlier for the football stadiums we have been to!
Some of the other stadiums we loved going to are Lord’s (the Mecca of Cricket) & Wimbledon (for all the Tennis lovers)
7. For those who love Parks
You wouldn’t find many cities in the world which are so modern, yet have so many parks & gardens to offer. Some of favorite parks for a stroll are St James’ Park , Green Park , Hyde Park & Regent’s Park
8. For the adventure lovers
London offers a lot for adventure seekers. Some of the ones we love are Arcelormittal Orbit (slide through or abseil off a 115m high structure), go zorbing, go for wake-boarding at Wakeup Docklands, go kayaking in the Thames, dare to skywalk at the top of the Spurs stadium or go for white water rafting (it’s a lot of fun)
9. For those who love Christmas
London becomes a fairytale during Christmas. Visit some amazing markets (Leicester Square, Greenwich Christmas Market are some of the best ones in our opinion), go to Hyde Park for the Winter Wonderland. Oxford Street is always a good place to go to during Christmas or if you are feeling in the mood to splurge, head over to Harrods.
10. For those who want more
London offers some great options of day trips. We would recommend taking a trip to the Stonehenge – the oldest man-made structure in the world (arrive before 10 to avoid the crowds), Bath (famous for its hot springs), Oxford & Cambridge (some of the oldest universities in the world and really marvelous architecture)
London has a lot to offer depending on what one is seeking. Yes, London may not be the prettiest city in the world (it is certainly in the top 10 though), yes the weather may be sh***, the food may not be appealing, but there is something about London that draws you towards it and makes you want to keep going back for more! The best way to describe our feelings towards London is through this quote (again seen at a tube station) – “A bad day in London is better than a good day anywhere else”