London is one of the most bustling cities in the world. For those who have had a taste of New York, London is the New York of Europe, except it is a little calmer and truly a world of its own. For those going to London, there are 10 things that you must do while there:
Paddington Station – the famous Paddington is one of the largest train stations I have ever seen. It is also famous for its plush toy bears and grandeur.
Ride a Taxi – taxis in London are typically black with a hatch back (station wagon type) with no trunk. So where does the luggage go? By your feet. Try it out. It is a fun ride and you should do it at least once.
Take the Tube – if you plan to be in London for a few days, it is best to buy an Oyster card and load it with pre-paid currency, which saves you the trouble of paying for tickets everytime you ride the tube. It is also much, much cheaper than paying for a ticket individually. It is also how the locals travel, much like New York.
Double Decker – I took a city tour in London once and enjoyed the views from the roof of a double-decker. However, you will need to pick a day when its not raining, and that will be a hard thing to do.
Food and Drink
Fish and Chips – while most Londoners eat ethnic food, fish and chips is staple food for the Brits. It is also available at every street corner in the UK, much like Starbucks in the US.
High Tea and Scones – Ok you don’t have to do this together, but scones in London (or anywhere else in the UK I imagine) are fantastic. Put plenty of butter on these babies. As for high tea, the finger food and choice of flavors, along with exquisite service (I recently did the whole high tea experience with my wife at Hotel Mandarin) make for a lovely afternoon.
Buckingham Palace – while the changing of the guard is not as it is hyped up to be, a nice stroll along the outer walls of the palace and through St. James park is highly recommended. The fountains outside the palace make for a relaxing sitting area and from there you can watch most of the hustle and bustle on the other side of the gates.
Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey – Within close proximity to each other, these three landmarks of London define this beautiful city.
St. Paul’s Cathedral – St. Pauls cathedral boasts the second largest dome in Europe (after St. Peters Basilica at the Vatican). Get there before 3p if you want to climb to the top of the dome.
Edgware Road – Edgware Road in London defines the melting pot of culture that is London. Here you will find mostly Arab Muslim immigrants with mini-grocery stores, shopping strips and most importantly, some fine middle-eastern food. If you are hungry, stroll along Edgware Road and take your pick of the many Lebanese restaurants in the area. I particularly like Beirut Express.
Now, one blog post is hardly enough to cover this great city, but hopefully, it gives you a glimpse of some of the things you must do. If you are repeat visitors and have done most of the above, you could perhaps consider the London Bridge, River Thames (an evening cruise is recommended) and Nandos for some delicious chicken.
For more on things to do in London, check out the offer below.