London Big Ben and traffic on Westminster Bridge

London, another great city of the world.  It seems that many of us love this city, every time I’m in London I see just as many tourists as I do Londoners.  And why not?  London is a beautiful city and Great Britain a gorgeous country! When asked what I love so much about the city my first answer is always that it’s clean, very clean.  You don’t see streets littered with garbage nor do you see building scribbled with graffiti.

But that’s not all I love about London!  There’s so much to see and do there no matter what your interests are, London has it all.  From history to art, concerts to theater, shopping to dining; whatever you want I’m sure you’ll find it in London.  But don’t spend your holiday rushing from landmark to landmark, of course you must see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, but take some time to slow down and Experience London!  Here are 6 great ways to Experience London.  You don’t have to to it all in one trip, it’s a good incentive to go back!

  1.  LondonBook a 30 minute rotation on the London Eye for a bird’s eye view of the city.

    You can book a standard ticket for £21.20 per person or splurge on a private capsule, prices start at £380 for the Cupid’s Capsule and comes with champagne and chocolates.    Save a few pounds and book online.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

  2. experience londonI’m sure you’ve heard of the Hop On Hop Off buses, they’re those double decker buses you see in most tourist destinations.  You’ll find them in London of course, but you’ll also find a Hop On Hop Off boat that sails the Thames all day long.

    I love this alternative.  There are several cruises to choose from including lunch and dinner cruises.  I like the Hop On Hop Off cruise, only I refuse to Hop Off.  I think it’s a great way to see the city and beyond, you’ll see all the iconic landmarks from the river and sail under the London Bridge. I hop on, find a great comfy seat, and relax.  The boats have a counter that sells snacks and light lunches.   Last time I did this it was on the Queen’s Official Birthday which is always in early June.  We were fortunate enough to see the canon salute at the Tower of London, we saw it from the boat!  No crowds!

    A one day pass gives you unlimited rides for the day.  You can buy tickets at the dock or online.

  3. Experience LondonSpend an afternoon at the British Museum.

    On my first trip to London we hired a private car and driver/guide, he pointed out statues that are scattered through out the city, and many of his descriptions began with him saying “we stole it from”.  At the end of the day he jokingly told us that many of their “treasures” they stole during their rule around the world, he also told us that if we want to see more then we needed to go over to the British Museum.  And right he was!

    At this museum you will see works by many of the world’s great artists as well as artifacts from around the world including giant Moai, those heads from Easter Island, the Parthenon pediments and statues from the Acropolis is Athens aka the Elgin Collection,  mummies from Egypt, the Rosetta Stone, and even one of the mysterious Crystal Skulls! (it’s right across from the giant Moai).  You can spend hours gazing at the Monet or channeling the skull (yes last time I was there I watched this lady and her “guru” meditating next to the skull) and no one will bother you.  Best of all it’s free!

  4. Experience LondonIndulge yourself and spend the day at Harrod’s.  Yes it will take a day just to navigate the department store much less shop. (I get a big kick out of the doormen who open the doors for you!)

    You can gawk at the  £25,000 silverware or the Roll Royce golf cart then wander over the the Harrod’s shop and pick up a tote bag, teddy bear, or other souvenir bearing the store’s logo, those are much more affordable!  You can wander the Food Halls, that’s one of my favorite departments, then stop for lunch or dinner at one of the “fast food” counters down there, or sit down for tea or a gourmet meal at of the restaurants in the store.   And don’t forget to ride the Egyptian Escalator, it’s pretty cool.  For Diana fans have a look at the Diana and Dodi memorial in the store, it’s a small tribute and not really worth a special trip, but if you’re already there it’s worth a stop.

    If you’re really lucky you might catch a sale, but be prepared for the crush.  I’m not sure how often Harrod’s runs a big sale, but when they do the prices drop, I got an Alexander McQueen clutch for a very reasonable price at  their late summer sale.  For more reasonable shopping step out and head across the street to Topshop, it’s fun and inexpensive.

  5. Experience londonDate night – dinner and theater!  Have dinner at one of the fine restaurants around Piccadilly Circus then walk over to see a West End production.

    The West End is like NYC’s Times Square.  There are many shows to choose from.  Last time we were there we saw the Hitchcock classic 39 Steps at the Palladium.  It was great!  Or if you like you can go and see Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, it’s been on for 60 years making it the longest running show in the world!  It’s best to book your tickets online to get the date and time you want.    Before or after the show you can wander Piccadilly Circus.  Lots of shops and fun stuff going on there!

  6. Have a meal and a pint at the local pub.  Pick one, they’re every where or ask the hotel concierge where he goes.  Better yet do a pub crawl! 

Whatever you decide to do have a great time!