A London Travel Guide
So your next stop is London, United Kingdom.
You have some time on your hands, but you are not quite sure how to theme your itinerary for those few days because you don’t want to do anything too touristy, and would very much prefer to wander about free-and-easy outside of shopping.
Look no further. Here are six ways to explore London aimlessly and still look cool if you want to not stick out like a sore thumb tourist.
If you are just a fan of food and touristy things, then scroll straight to the bottom of this blog post.
1.Go Hyde in the Park
Hyde Park London is one of four Royal Parks, and the largest of them, to connect the Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace.
If you are a fan of flora and fauna and enjoy going on walks, or if you like to have picnics or just want to find a nice corner outdoors to read a book, then making the trip to Hyde Park isn’t a bad idea.
The park also boasts of easy running routes for joggers, with distances ranging from 5km to 7km, depending on which route you take around the perimeter.
It’s also a nice go to place to go and kill some time while waiting for your hotel room to be ready for check-in, which was what I did.
2.When you feel depresso, have an espresso
Okay so I didn’t order an espresso because I wasn’t depresso, but why not make coffee hunting one of the themes of your stay in London?
Whether you are just looking for a spot of caffeine, or a place to rest those weary legs and take five from all that walking, London is certainly one of the best cities for coffee.
I was told prior to my trip earlier this year that Monmouth Coffee Company was a must-try, and I certainly didn’t come away disappointed.
I had my cup of Cappucino for £3.10. If you really are depresso, you can have the Espresso at £6.75. The cappucino I had was not overly thick or creamy, just the way I like it, and one of the best I ever had.
Workshop Coffee London is also another brilliant place to checkout just off Regent street. The Flat White is a must try! I’m also told they have five outlets now, with The Pilgrim being just a stone’s throw away from Paddington station.
For a list of other great coffee place ideas in London, you may wish to check-out this listicle by TimeOut.
3.Bucking up your idea
I did mention this wasn’t going to be too touristy of a London blog post, but I couldn’t help myself from swinging by Buckingham Palace to witness the change of palace guards.
I didn’t take the Palace tour of course, but with it being 17 years since my last visit to London, this trip would have felt a lot less representative of London if I didn’t at least visit Buckingham Palace!
It is also one of the more Instagram worthy places for those who are avid social media users like myself.
Timing for the change of guard is available here.
4.Football Stadiums Tour
Who doesn’t know the English Premier League?
But if you are a football fan, then there are plenty of iconic football stadiums in London that you will want to pay visits to.
Being a Manchester United fan, it was probably the worst possible time to be in London, with United hosting Arsenal at Old Trafford those few days.
But with ticket prices sky-rocketing and me being unwilling to pay beyond my budget cap, I opted for a tour of Wembley Stadium and catch a Premier League game at London Stadium instead – West Ham United hosting champions Manchester City.
Don’t make the mistake I did. After buying your tickets online, you’ll still need to collect a physical ticket at the stadium, so do factor in a bit of extra time before kick-off!
5.Potterland for Potter Fans
I am not the biggest Harry Potter fan around for sure. Probably more of a Lord of the Rings fan than HP.
I’ve never read the books, only watched the movies, and been reprimanded by countless friends who are Potterheads for not doing so.
But even then paying a visit to the Harry Potter: Warner Bros Studios London Tour moved up quickly on my priority list, when I heard that some hard-core fans who reside in UK even made repeat visits of up to twice a month!
Which made me curious to find out what the hype was all about.
If you do intend to visit the Warner Bros Studios London Tour, do take note it is 20 miles north-west of London, and it will definitely take up a good half to three quarters of your day.
More details on how to get there and booking tour tickets are available here.
6.That Belongs in a Museum
London is also known for its Museums. No surprise there, with all that history.
The better known ones of which are the Natural History Museum, British Museum, Tate Modern (Museum of Modern Art), Museum of London, and Victoria and Albert Museum.
Being the poor planner that I often can be, I missed out because I failed to check on the Natural History Museum’s Opening Hours. So do check before you visit!
But the British Museum isn’t too bad an alternative, and hey, it’s showcases some of the most significant global finds, and was the first ever national museum to open to public!
To learn more about the best museums to visit in London, visit this listicle here.
When in London, do as the tourists do
If the list of suggestions above are a tad too boring for your tastes, here are some alternatives you may find useful, which includes tips from writer Nicolette Mok, whom I personally refer to as a London expert.
Thanks for sharing your experience and research material with me pre-trip, which is way beyond whatever is listed here!
Food Ideas for Makan fans
Visit Blacklock for quality meat, though this is on the pricier side so it would be better to go in a group to maximise value. There is also London Shell Co, Duck and Waffle, Burger and Lobster (which I am told is a Singaporean favourite simply because it is deemed as value for money!), Granger and Co, and Barrafina.
How could I neglect to list down Borough market? If you’re a fan of Fish and Chips, then Fish! is a must visit place – though you will want to choose the stall over the sit-down restaurant, which is a lot pricier than the stall).
For fans of hot chocolate, you don’t want to miss out on a visit to Dark Sugars, located on Brick Lane. There are also great bagels at Beigel Bake, and doughnuts at Crosstown Doughnuts.
I really shouldn’t be promoting this last one, as I am one for healthy and active living!
There are also countless food options that include Asian food from Covent Garden to Leceister Square, Tottenham Court Road, Piccadilly, Bond Street, and Oxford Circus.
Sight-seeing & Lifestyle
If you are one for the sights, then St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is directly across the River Thames via Millennium Bridge, If you would rather see me cross the Millenium Bridge like a boss and you can visit my Instagram.
I find that the beauty of London is that most places are all conveniently walk-able, although there is also the Tube, which is a slightly more expensive option.
Last but certainly not the least, visit West End for the Theatres! Still probably the best place in the world to catch the widest range of musicals from Les Miserables, to the Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Mama Mia, and the Lion King just to name a few!