Guest post by Sierra
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
We arrived in London in the afternoon, and spent the rest of the evening orienting ourselves and buying food. We had a private (4 person for just the two of us) room which was quite nice for a budget accommodation. The YHA London Central Hostel also had a kitchen we could use, so we bought breakfast supplies to equip ourselves each morning.
- Tower of London
- British Museum
We thoroughly enjoyed the Tower of London because we were the first tourists there – literally. We had bought our tickets in advance (you can purchase through their website) and could walk right in as they opened with no lines at all. (A few hours later, the lines stretched amazingly long). You must see the crown jewels immediately, when there’s no lines, and then tour the other exhibits in whatever order you fancy. I loved this site and could have stayed longer if I had thought to bring some food.
The British museum was also amazing. Instead of buying the museum’s audioguides, download the free ones from Rick Steve’s app – so you actually know what you’re looking at without having to spend anything extra.
- Oxford Street
- Portobello Road Market
Oxford Street is a must to see, and if you want cheap (but fun) London-themed tourist items for your friends back home it’s a great place to shop – but the crowds are extreme! Only go with an easy-going attitude to people watch, because it was absolutely packed. Portobello Road Market was a must as well of course, and the variety and quality of street food available was a pleasant surprise. Even if you’re not into antiques, it’s still amazing to wander.
- Churchill War Rooms
- Imperial War Museum
Again, the main factor we so enjoyed the Churchill War Rooms was that we arrived bright and early – just before the museum opened! We were literally the first ones inside, and had the place almost all to ourselves. This was extremely relaxing and a lovely way to spend the first half of the day. The War Rooms are my favorite museum in London, by far. The Imperial War Museum was also fascinating – though we stayed until closing time because there was just so much to see! If you have a longer trip, I would recommend breaking up the museums onto separate days, because seeing both information-heavy, fascinating sites in one day was quite tiring. (We sure slept well that night!)
Traveled in May 2015