This was one of those cities that completely surprised me. It was our first stop on our extensive Europe tour and I’ll be honest, I was not all that excited about this particular stop. However, that all changed as soon as we landed!
First off, the accent! It’s charming. Second, the city is CLASSY. We first arrived off the plane in sweatpants (see left picture) and immediately felt out of place. Pro tip- Bring nice clothes to London. Third, the people were extremely helpful and pleasant (except for one random bus driver who did not take a liking to Steve). Fourth, fifth, sixth…I could go on and on about the reasons that I loved London but suffice to say it has turned into one of my FAV cities in Europe.
If you only have a day or two in London (like we did) then we HIGHLY recommend using Hop on and Hop off Tours. We repeat- HIGHLY recommend. Why? You will get so much more out of your limited time, listen to a knowledge tour guide while aboard the bus, AND (maybe most importantly) NOT have to go back to your hotel at the end of the day wanting to cry because your feet hurt so badly (we’ve done that).
SO, there are a lot of different tours to choose from. We choose to go with the Original Tour because they had great reviews and an even better price! We ended up spending 58 pounds.. WORTH IT!
Some of the tour highlights for us included:
-Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Whitehall (If you are then passing by the horse guards parade at the Whitehall stop around 11:00 stop at watch them change guards), Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Covent Gardens, etc. If you go to their website they include a map showing all of their stops. My one advice about the tour though is that it’s not a “gotta catch them all” Pokemon game. With limited time, focus on the MUST SEE items in your opinion.
Our tour also included a river cruise! Get off at Westminster Pier and walk down to the dock and you’ll easily be able to find the Original Tour boat to get on. The boat ride will last about an hour and you’ll get up close and personal to Tower Bridge, the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. SO AWESOME!
While we were in London we stayed at an amazing AirBnb. This route is the best to go with if you are looking to save a little money. London is EXPENSIVE. So do anything you can do to cut down on costs.
Some things we did to save a little money was..
- Use Airbnb
- Go to a local bakery/grocery store in the morning to get breakfast and snacks while you are exploring throughout the day
- We “splurged” and went out to dinner the night we were leaving to Paris and found a cute outdoor restaurant that served fish and chips (must get while you’re in England.) I say we splurged but it actually came out to be around $20. However, beware most restaurants will not charge that little.
- We mostly did sightseeing and did not buy passes to enter any museums. (But if we did it over we would pay to get into the Tower or London).
- We opted out of buying a lot of souvenirs and just bought a postcard instead.
Transportation to/from airport-
Cheapest way was buying online ahead of time an Easybus ticket. We flew in using Norwegian Airlines and landed in the South Terminal. From there we jumped on the shuttle headed to the Victoria Coach Station via National Express. The trip took about an hour and a half (great time for a nap).
Last tip- We visited in October. One of the best unintentional decisions that we made. First, plane tickets drop the month of October. We ended up saving $300+ just by waiting a little longer. Also, the weather was PERFECT. No joke. We were able to walk around and not get hot and sweaty.
Food Tip- Go to the Bubble Wrap shop in London…it will not disappoint!
If you have any questions about your trip to London, please comment below or email me and I would be happy to help!