London is a vast city; there’s so much to do there. But there are some things that everyone should do while in the city.
Visit Both Tates
The Tate Britain and the Tate Modern are very different galleries, but they are both worth visiting for art lovers. Tate Britain looks at British art through the ages, while the Tate Modern (as the name suggests) focuses on contemporary art from all over the world. You can see them both in a day, so why not do it?
These are two of my own favourite galleries in London, but there are literally hundreds of others for you to explore too. There are more galleries in London than you’ll have time to visit. The National Portrait Gallery is another favourite for a lot of people. Just do your research and find out which ones appeal to you.
Catch a West End Musical
The West End is one of the most famous and prodigious theatre districts in the world. There are all kinds of shows that get put on there. There are dramas, comedies, Shakespearean tragedies and, of course, musicals. This is what the West End’s most famous for, so you can’t leave the city without seeing one of them.
There will be no shortage of options to choose from, so don’t be afraid to scout around the theatres and see what productions are on during your stay. If you no nothing about the theatre, just read some reviews and see what’s getting people talking at the moment.
Stroll Through Highgate Cemetery
Walking through a graveyard might not seem like your idea of fun, but it’s something you should consider! Highgate Cemetery is one of the most beautiful areas you’ll find in all of London. It’s like an overgrown wilderness, with graves of people famous and not famous scattered throughout it. It’s somewhere to go if you want to slow down and get away from the pace of the city.
You can walk around spotting the graves of famous people if you want to make an afternoon of it! People buried in Highgate Cemetery include Karl Marx, Carl Mayer, Douglas Adams and George Eliot to name but a few. It costs £3 to get in, but it’s more than worth the small price tag.
Visit the Tower of London
There’s over 1000 years of history to be uncovered at the Tower of London. It’s one of the most famous historical sites in London, and the UK as a whole. It was built in 1066 during the Norman conquest of England. Since then, it’s been used as a prison for some of the most notorious prisoners in the country.
Among the final prisoners to be kept there before it was closed as a prison in 1952 was the Kray Twins. But nowadays, the castle is open for the public to visit and look around. It’s much better as a tourist attraction than as a prison! You can get Tower of London tickets at low prices if you shop around too.
See a Film Under the Night Sky
London is a wonderful city of film lovers and cinephiles. There are more cinemas than it’s possible to keep track of, and there seems to be a film festival taking place virtually every weekend. But the best thing about film culture in London is the outdoor screenings that take place every year in the city.
They usually happen in the summer months, but you can find them throughout the year if you look hard enough. There’s honestly nothing better than watching a film under the stars on a warm summer’s evening. There’s the Dalston Roof Park or the Rooftop Film Club, as well as lots of others, so give it a try.
Take a Ride on the London Eye
Yes, it’s pretty expensive, and it is only a big ferris wheel. But you don’t understand how great the London Eye is until you’re taking a ride on it. You can see the city from way up high, and it’s like no view you’ll ever get anywhere else. The vast city looks small from all the way up there. It’s definitely worth the money if you ask me.
It has also become one of the most iconic things in the city. It’s based on the side of the Thames, making it ideal for seeing the river in its whole as well as the Houses of Parliament. If you can’t be bothered walking the streets to see all of London’s sights, you can take them all in from the London Eye instead.
Visit the Imperial War Museum
The Great War, also known as the First World War, is often overshadowed in terms of museums and coverage by the Second World War. But it’s important to remember the devastation caused during the Great War. So, if you’re a bit of a history buff, you have to visit the Imperial War Museum when you’re in London.
It doesn’t take a dry or dull approach to its subject matter though. The museum offers engaging and interesting exhibits that do their best to give visitors an idea of what it was like at the time. One of the most fascinating things that the museum does is examine what day to day life in the trenches was like for soldiers.
There’s no city in the world that’s better for shoppers than London. If you ask me, it’s even better than New York. As long as you can put up with the manic crowds of people that fill Oxford Street each and every day, you’ll be in retail heaven. There’s every major brand and chain store you can imagine on Oxford Street, and that’s before you explore all the independent places and boutiques.
All that shopping can get a little tiring after a while though. So, it’s a good job that London is home to so many great cafes for you to sit and relax in. Don’t stick to the chain cafes though. Explore some of the little independent places that you find down the city’s many back alleys. You’ll be surprised at what you find.
Make sure you do each of these things next time you visit London.