How to Plan your Perfect London City Break
London is an enormous and vibrant city, jam-packed with attractions and activities. As the cultural hub of the UK and full of iconic British architecture, it is the perfect place for a London city break or day trip to the Capital.
With so many things to do in London, a little planning can go a long way to ensuring you have a fabulous holiday or visit. To make sure you get your fill of London attractions take it one area at a time. The perfect place to start your visit is in central London which is bursting with galleries, museums and historic buildings. Drop into the Houses of Parliament and watch a debate for free and don't forget to listen out for the chime of Big Ben! Look over the city vista with a spin on the London Eye (£26.96 Online) or go below ground for a scare in the London Dungeon (£20.50 Online), surely one of the most exciting London attractions you can visit. If yo are only on a day trip to London, then the centre might be enough and you can finish your day with a stroll around the sights of Soho where there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Mildreds, an independent Soho restaurant serves extremely good international and organic food and is well worth a visit. After dinner, one of the best things to do in London is to catch a show at one of the many theatres in central London. Les Miserables, currently running at the Queen's Theatre, is always a popular choice and will be a memorable end for your day trip to London. If you are on a longer London city break, then there are plenty more London attractions on offer in all directions!
There are many things to do in London on the East side, where you can explore the regenerated area that was originally home to shipyard industries and docks. On the first Thursday of the month many museums and galleries in East London stay open late until 9pm and there is usually a lively atmosphere at these times. The Brick Lane market on Sundays is definitely worth seeing for its atmosphere and unusual wares for sale along with some tasty street food. Another interesting attraction is the Emirates Air Line which is a cable car ride which allows you to cross the river giving you a unique view of the city (£1.70 Oyster Card).
In the North you can refresh yourself in The Camden Town Brewery which makes its own craft beers or the Holly Bush pub near Hampstead Village which will transport you back to the Victorian era. For something even cooler, try one of the more unusual things to do in London - a dip in the Hampstead Heath swimming pools. These pools are the only life-guarded freshwater swimming in the UK.
If you are a football fan why not visit the home of football Wembley Stadium (£19 Guided Tour), it is situation in the North West London and is a sight to see better still it is easily accessible on the tube. If you want to explore a little further if you head to West London you will find plenty to and see for the great Hampton Court Palace to the World Famous Kew Gardens (£15 Entry) the panoramic views of the Thames are surreal from Richmond and lets not forget London's endless shopping centres. If you are with the kid or a thrill seeker you can head a little further out and head over to Chessington World of Adventures and/or Thorpe Park for a fun filled day out.
As you would expect in a city of its size, it has a huge and sometimes baffling number of transport options. As a tourist you can easily cut down on your confusion by opting for an Oyster Card for a £5 deposit that is partially of fully refundable. This allows you access to nearly all forms of transport including buses, tubes, trams, rail, DLR, the London gondola and some river services making it much easier to see all the London attractions that you want. It can give you significant savings over paying in cash. If you have your own plan for your London city break or day trip to London you can use the Oyster card to essentially create your own hop on hop off London tour. You can download a free printable TFL Tube Map. If you go with this option you can always choose one of the Blue Badge guides who are trained and qualified specialists that can accompany you on your London city break. However, there are bus companies that do offer some good hop on hop off London tour options. Golden Tours offer a hop on hop off London service that includes a walking tour and river cruise for £29. Hop on hop off London tickets are usually valid for 24 hours and allow you to take your time in exploring many London attractions before rejoining you hop on hop off London tour at a later point.
So whether you are looking for a longer London city break or just a day trip to London you won't find yourself short of things to do in London city!