J and I are traveling to Europe in just a few weeks. I can’t believe it’s almost here!
We have been planning and dreaming about this trip since my grandmother died three years ago and left us some money to start our savings fund (read more about that here).
We are spending three nights in London, four nights in Paris, and three nights in St. Wendel, Germany with our friends that moved there a couple of years ago.
Half of the fun of traveling for us is the planning. Since our friends are going to plan most of our trip while we’re in Germany, we decided to split London and Paris — J’s in charge of planning London, and I’m in charge of Paris. Neither of us have been to London before, so we want to visit all of the classic London hot spots in three days, plus a few fun things thrown in (ex: show, Harry Potter tour, etc.).
Here’s our London bucket list so far!
London Bucket List:
- Go on a Thames River Cruise
- Visit Tower of London
- Visit Westminster Abbey and Big Ben
- See a musical that originated in London (we are going to Billy Elliot)
- Drink a beer at a pub
- Find Baker Street (and, you know, solve a mystery if we have time)
- Ride the London Eye
- Take a double-decker bus tour
- Walk over the Tower Bridge
- Go on the Harry Potter tour
- See the Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station (What can I say? We are harry nerds.)
- Eat fish and chips
- Visit the British Museum
Obviously our list includes pretty big touristy things (why go to London and not go on a double decker bus?), but we also would love any recommendations on what the locals do.
Readers who have been to London:
What are we missing from this list? Do you have any other recommendations on what to see, do or where to eat? Greatly appreciate any suggestions! :)
I loved London when I visited a few years ago, and I think you will, too (esp if you loved Boston)! Try a ‘full breakfast,’ the traditional English breakfast – when I had some, they served it with ‘bubble & squeak’ (fried veggie hash) which totally made me think of something you’d get in Harry Potter. I loved it. Walk across Millennium Bridge (in one of the scenes in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I’m a HP nerd as well! :) ). And, although I didn’t make it here on my trip, you should also try to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral. It’s supposed to be beautiful and full of history. Have a great time!
Thank you for the suggestions! A “full breakfast” sounds delicious! :)
The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace is pretty touristy but neat to see if the weather is nice and if you get there early enough to get a good spot at the gate. The British Library has tons of cool stuff and has the added bonus of being free (though they do have a suggested donation). Have you guys checked out the London Pass? Depending on what you want to see it might not be worth the cost, but it allows you to skip lines which made it totally worth it for us since the line for Westminster Abbey was soo long (we were there in April). There’s also one for Paris (and all major cities I think).
I haven’t been to London in years, but as I remember there is actually a small but interesting Sherlock Museum located at 221 Baker. Definitely worth checking out. If you like vintage clothes, the flea markets at Camden Lock are fun for browsing! And of course make sure you have at least one high tea – best part of the day!
Harrods is definitely worth seeing and the Changing of the Guard I’d definitely recommend! The Absolute Ice Bar is pretty cool too if you’ve never been before. Have a great time! xo
London is full of wonderful places to visit and see and I wish I was going! Some of my favourite places to take
visitors whilst living there are:
Tea Shop on the strand (only really if you like tea), it’s such a sweet
building as well as full of wonderful teas, including many souvenir tins which
are my thing
Pubs – there’s so many it’s hard to go wrong. I
wouldn’t necessarily venture out to these but if you’re in the area, they’re
worth a look
– the old Cheshire
Cheese is really old and full of small rooms, on Fleet Street (which is just an
extension of the Strand)
George Inn, Southwark. South of the river but one of the old coaching inns
Blackfriar – incredible interiors although in a not so convenient location or
Market – depending on what day you’re there this can be great for food (fresh
and prepared etc)
tea – not as formal as high tea at one of the hotels, Fortnum & Mason’s has
a wonderful café, it’s just down from Picadily Circus, towards the Ritz
Change is a newish (maybe 5 years old?) shopping centre near St Pauls. For
shopping, it’s distinctly average but there’s a rooftop terrace (free although
there is also a bar up top) with sweet views of St Pauls and over to the Thames
worth a climb at dusk (use to be 4pounds) with great views over the thames and
around although the Shard has now opened which would probably trump everything!
whilst it’s a wonderful way of getting around, make sure you have a look at the
stations on a streemap because often it really is quicker to walk between them.
Take Charring Cross and Embankment for example. Their entrances are not more
than about 100m apart.
If you like
coffee, I can recommend a lot of places as well.
thing I use to do with guests was take the Thames Clipper out to Greenwich for
a bit. Cheaper than the tourist boats but without the guides so it really
depends on what you’re after.
Wow, thank you so much for such a comprehensive list!! I wish we were in London more than three days! xo
Oooh yes, I forgot about Harrods! And we really wanted to see the changing of the guard but it won’t work out with our travel and tour schedule. Guess we’ll have to come back. ;)
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