On my trip to London, I had some suggestions on where to go during my visit. I did most of it (I think) and couldn’t do some. I also decided not to do some things because it wasn’t interesting for me. So, I made a list of places I visited (and not) in London during my stay.
1. The Lion King Show
I’ve never been to a musical before and London is famous for its musical, somehow. When I did my research on things to do, I stumbled upon Lion King Show. I watched their preview and I was hooked. The tickets are expensive but I really wanted to see it. I bought the tickets online because this is a popular show and I didn’t want to miss it since I would only be in London for a short time. There are several ticket box online for this. I bought from the official visitlondon website. I could order dinner as well if I wanted. They have dinner package before the show or after the show.
I picked the night show. On the day of the show, we went to ticket office at Lyceum Theatre and exchanged our online booking email with the tickets. It was a really beautiful show. I teared up when it started because of the beauty.
In case you are wondering (like I was), the dress code for the show is ‘comfort but polite’. You can wear anything as long as you are comfortable in it and doesn’t wear hotpants or flip flop. At least that was what I saw there.
2. Borough Market
This is my favorite place in London as well. It is a foodie heaven. There are a lot of vendors selling all kind of food and fresh one. They are open from 9am so it is possible to have breakfast or brunch there. I tried several foods there and most of them are delicious! Sausage butty, pork pie, sausage roll, strawberry, and dolset scallops! Sausage butty needs sauce to eat. If you buy this, make sure to add ketchup or chili. For Pork Pie it is better if you can reheat it before you eat. The strawberries are sweet and huge! Only for £1. Dolset scallops are to die for. 3 pieces of king scallop with veggie and crispy bacon for £6.5.
3. The Shard
It is the highest building in London where you can enjoy city view. We didn’t go there simply because it is too expensive and we did this kind of thing before in another country. If I remember correctly the ticket to go in is £25 for advance booking and £30 for on-the-day. I put this on the list because it is recommended on most of travel sites 😅 and it is also nearby from Borough Market.
4. Southwark Cathedral
Located next to Borough Market, Southwark Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in London. It is for Catholic Anglican. I visited it and saw some children were doing rehearsal for Easter show. Their park (church playground) was nice for sitting and enjoying the weather. And if you re lucky, you could meet the church cat. I met her. She didn’t like to be on camera 😒 but she was very friendly off camera.
5. Somerset House
I included this because it is close to Lyceum Theater and sometime they have event going on there. If not, you still can enjoy the architectural building. There was a game exhibition when we were there but we didn’t have a chance to check it out.
6. Coca Cola London Eye
This iconic structure / attraction is always crowded with people. It is a nice way to enjoy the city view from above (other than the Shard). I didn’t take a ride and just took some pictures of surrounding.
7. Westminster Bridge – Big Ben – House of Parliament
Next to London Eye (walking a little bit) is Westminster Bridge. It is a good location to enjoy the view of Thames River with London eye on one side and Big Ben and House of Parliament at the other side. There was an incident not long before my arrival that killed some people. I found a lot of flower bouquet on the bridge for the death. This bridge is very crowded with people and cars, just be careful on the way.
Big Ben is very stunning. I’ve seen it many times on picture but seeing it there by myself was an awesome experience. Along with the house of parliament across the river.
8. Westminster Abbey
This church is sooo majestic. I love it very much. Too bad I couldn’t go in ( I don’t know if it’s allowed or not ). I stopped by here 3 times unintentionally.. and each time amazed by this building.
9. Buckingham Palace (The Changing Guard of Palace)
I tried to reach Buckingham Palace by walking from Westminster Abbey and it was quite far.. It is recommended if you can rent a bike or use Uber taxi. Although.. the traffic is pretty bad in that area. The Buckingham Palace is only a palace (well doh!). Yes it is magnificent. Visitors are not allowed to enter the palace, so mostly just hanging out outside. I would suggest if you want to come and see this palace, it is better if you do it on the time of changing guard of palace. Then you will have another thing to see than just the building and taking selfie outside. I missed the chance to see it. To check for the schedule, visit the website.
10. Natural History Museum
This museum is gigantic! It takes hours to really see all in the inside. The best part is it is free admission! There is some areas that need to be a member to enter (special exhibition), but the normal exhibition also very interesting. This attraction also good for family with children. If you like animals, dinosaurs, biology, and everything related to it then you will love this place.
11. Hyde Park
This park is located next to Buckingham Palace. I passed by it when I went to subway station from the palace. The area is vast and nice to sit around. I saw many people relaxing, so I stopped for a while and enjoying the nice weather that day.
12. Sherlock Holmes Museum
221B Baker Street. The house of Sherlock Holmes the famous fictional detective. I wanted to go in but there was a queue line and I didn’t have the ticket as well. I went in into the shop next door instead. For a hardcore Sherlock Holmes fans, this place is amazing. They sell a lot of merchandise that tempted me to buy! But luckily I could strain myself. Ha!
13. Madame Tussauds
I’ve been to many madame tussauds and this one is the best so far. I only took a few photos of myself with the wax statue, and mostly took photos of my husband and the figure itself. If you want to visit this place, it is better to come in the morning. You can buy the tickets online but still you have to come on certain time slot (chosen when you buy the ticket online). Or another option is buying the VIP ticket (also online), the price is double though. Normal ticket is £35, and VIP one is £70. VIP ticket give you access to some attractions without queuing but I don’t think it is worth it. Just get a normal ticket and come early.
14. Camden Market
This is a shopping heaven. I didn’t see branded high-end store (which is good for me). There are stores along the way in Camden Lock. Soooo many stuff for sell there. It is a must visit in London for shopping (including for souvenir). They have comic book store, clothes, shoes, watched, underwear, accessories, home decoration, and many more! You can enjoy food and drink as well in Camden Market, but not as many as in Borough Market.
15. Trafalgar Square
This famous landmark is always busy with people. You can take a picture with a ” statue” (a person dressed like statue), or watch musicians singing / playing instruments, or just sit and enjoy the weather. The surrounding area is very pretty as well. At one side, the bustling city traffic can be seen, at the other side a majestic national gallery and other statues. A very nice view to take a photo.
16. The National Gallery
What amazed me about London is most of the museums are free, including this one. National Gallery is a place to exhibit paintings from famous artist, such as Van Gogh, Monet, and many more. Even if you are not familiar with paintings, you will still be able to enjoy it (or just for taking a break from a long walk you done for the day).
Soho is the trendy side of the city. This is the area if you want to hang out with friends for a drink or two. There are a lot of bars, cafes and restaurant in the area. Busy on most nights especially on weekend. I went there on Friday night and most of the places are fully booked. There is a street that was appear in Oasis’s cover album. You can “play a game” by trying to find that street 😀
I didn’t have a chance to look around in Chinatown. There should be some interesting places or attraction or stuff you can see in Chinatown. I only passed by late night on the way to tube station when most of the shops were closed already.
19. Piccadilly Circus
Another hip area in London is Piccadilly Circus. It is not a circus that you thought about. On Piccadilly Square, there is a cupid statue (which somehow always full of people sitting around it). There are some shops and restaurant in the area, and it is next to the shopping area on Regent Street. There are some shopping arcades as well on Piccadilly Street.
20. Regent Street -Oxford Street
The famous shopping street in London. You can find any brand in this area. This street is similar to Champs-Elysees in Paris (but smaller street). It is cheaper to buy branded stuff in UK than in Asia, so if you are looking for new bag or shoes or clothes (or anything), don’t miss out this street.
21. Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a shopping area as well. There was always a show (street attraction) on its piazza. I found a good sunglasses with reasonable price at sunglasses hut. There are also Laduree macaroon, Ritual body care, shake shack burger, l’occitane, and many more! There are some local shops as well selling shoes, jewelry, shirt, etc just like at flea market. Covent Garden is good for shopping and eating as well. The area surround it also very tidy and comfy to walk (it is like a city center in most city in Netherlands). Don’t forget to try Monmouth Coffee as well there.
22. King’s Cross platform 9 3/4
If you are a fan of Harry Potter, you would want to visit this platform at King’s Cross Station. It is not a real platform (well doh!) but just and additional area on ground floor with a sign of “Platform 9 3/4” and a half trolley to take photos with. When I was there, the queue was very long. It took me 1 hour to reach the trolley and get the staff took my photo. You can take a photo with your own camera as well. After taking photo, you will ushered inside the shop and there you can choose whether you want the photo they took or not. The shop is amazing for Harry Potter fans. You will love it there. I do. The only thing I don’t like is the price haha.
23. Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge looks really nice in the afternoon. When the sun at the other side and shine on it. I didn’t go closer to the bridge, just took some pictures from afar.
24. Tower of London
Tower of London is very famous among visitors. Whenever I went there, there were always many people queuing to enter. Especially in the morning. I didn’t go inside, was not interested to see. It looks amazing from outside though, so I only took some photos outside.
25. Holland Park
This park is really quiet and nice for a morning walk alone or with family or with dog. I met a lot of dogs here. There are a lot of tulip flowers when I visited it. There is a Kyoto Garden as well inside and it is very beautiful and ‘zen’. It is really nice to sit around enjoying breakfast or reading or anything! Visitors are not allowed to make loud noise in Kyoto Garden. We need to keep its tranquility. The downside about this park is it is far from other attraction. I visited it because I like park and I was interested in Kyoto Garden, which didn’t disappoint me. It is quiet a while to reach from tube station or from bus station.
26. Spitalfield Market
Spitalfield is one of the famous market in London. I read about this place before I came and decided not to visit it because it is not close to any of other places I wanted to go. But on my way to eat lunch at poppy’s fish and chip, we passed by this market and looked around. It has some good items for sale and huge range as well. You should visit this market when you have time. I didn’t buy anything because our luggage was already full haha.
27. Regent Park
Regent Park is located very close from Madame Tussauds and Sherlock Holmes Museum. It is a nice park to chill out and enjoy the day, or just for rest after your long walk 🙂
For other places you need to visit, you can check their official site. What is your favorite place in London? Let me know in comment.