Wandering through The Big Smoke for the first time is a glorious, daunting, marvelous experience. With so much to see and do, you struggle to pack everything into one itinerary. However, we’ve been to the Thames many times and are here to convey the best attractions and sights to visit on your first trip over the pond.
1. Jack the Ripper Tour
If you’re a big true crime person, check out the Jack The Ripper Tours. The hilarious tour guides devote their jobs to their passion for solving the unsolved case of Jack the Ripper’s identity. They lead you through twelve notorious spots related to the infamous serial killer. At the end of the tour, the tour guides unveil their own theories about the nefarious murderer(s).
2. Spitalfields Market
Spitalfields is an excellent warm-up for the best market in London, Camden Market. Spitalfields features independent vendors talented in soap-making, weaving, next-level design, jewelry, fashion, and meshing art styles for unique projects. This market also offers a variety of delicious food, attracting worldwide visitors.
3. The British Library
For those literature lovers, this is the place to be. “Handwritten Beatles lyrics, Don Quixote manuscript, DaVinci notebooks, Jane Austen’s desk, the Magna Carta, and on and on and on. Went there on a lark, ended up bawling like a baby because I was so totally overwhelmed by the magnitude and importance of the artifacts they have on display,” a bibliophile shares.
4. Sky Garden
Purchase your tickets in advance to avoid a lengthy line and uncertain entry. The Sky Garden is London’s highest public garden at a whopping 525 feet. The building features plants, flowers, greenery, and a wondrous 360 view of London. The Sky Garden also has the best orange juice in London.
5. A Show at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
Step back in time and watch a show at The Globe where you stand the whole time. “Not free, but a standing ticket at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater is super cheap! Even though you have to stand the entire show, the actors are interactive and go through the audience throughout the play, so it’s more fun than the seats, in my opinion,” one tourist recalls.
“Greenwich Park is free, gigantic, and beautiful. It has so many spaces that you could spend an entire day exploring it. The meridian is at the top of a hill with an observatory and a great view. Outstanding children’s park too. The Docklands museum is free and a brief tube ride from Greenwich Park. London has some of the best Indian food in the world, and I also always get Thai and Lebanese food when I’m there and skip most of the typical English foods,” a globe-trotter reports.
7. Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus
If you go to London, you must experience a hop-on, hop-off bus. A daily pass costs around $50, and you can hop on and off wherever and whenever you please. It is the perfect way to acclimate to the new city and explore areas you didn’t know existed. And the buses have stops all over London, meaning you will only walk a short time before hopping back on.
8. Harry Potter Tour
I traveled to London with my best friend last year, and we had two definitive things on our itinerary, touring Warner Bros. Studio, where they filmed Harry Potter, and seeing a concert at the O2 arena. The Harry Potter tour costs around $50 per person, allowing fanatics and new fans to walk through the set on their own time, drink butterbeer, and ride on Quidditch sticks.
9. The London Eye
The London Eye is the best way to see an aerial view of London. The Ferris wheel suspends over the River Thames. It raises passengers 443 feet in the air, providing an unparalleled view of one of the best cities in the world. The London Eye sits near Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, making it a great starting place for exploring the city.
10. St. Paul’s Cathedral
Some notable events that occurred at St. Paul are Winston Churchill’s funeral and the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Inside the gorgeous Anglican cathedral, you’ll find Neoclassical Baroque architecture, such as one of the largest domes in the world, and theological art. Following a crawl up narrow staircases, you’ll step outside for a majestic view over London.
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