London is a city that basically has it all, but for many it’s often hard to know where to begin, it has great shopping, beautiful architecture, awesome nightlife, parks, markets and lots of things to look at! There are many free child friendly things to do in London as well.
A weekend in London will be packed with stuff to do – here is my guide to a great weekend trip to London:
Many of the places of interest are concentrated in one area so you can walk between them, however, the public transport in London is quite good and by using the subway you save a lot of time.
A day pass is a good idea to get, it costs 6£ and is valid from 9.30 am and lasts all the day until 4.30 am the next morning – you can use the pass both on subways as well as buses.
What To Do In London
Parks And Speakers Chair
London is full of beautiful parks to hang out in on a nice day or stroll along the green alleys, so take some time to slow down the pace in the parks between shopping.
St James park and Hyde park are two big parks located right in town which are both very nice.
In Hyde park they have something called ”speakers chair” every Sunday, where people stand on a stage and talk about whatever they want in a microphone for whoever wants to listen.
If you have the guts, you’re welcome to get up there yourself!
St James park is a beautiful park to check out after or before a visit to the Buckingham palace.
Changing of the Guard
The changing of the guard at Buckingham palace at 11.30 every morning is a big tourist attraction. Don’t hold any high expectations on the actual ”show”, especially not in bad weather (which isn’t too rare here), but it’s worth a look just to experience the crazy crowds.
The London eye actually gives a great view over London, and it’s especially beautiful at night. But even the area itself is worth a tour, there is a pretty cool area full of Graffiti art right nearby.
The best view of Big Ben is from the Westminister bridge going between the London eye and Big Ben, and who doesn’t want that iconic photo shot?
Oxford street is the place for shopping. There is something for everyone here, and for most budgets.
But for an actual experience, head to Harrods. Perhaps buy something really small as a souvenir from this place, or just window shop around this historic, exclusive shopping complex.
London has HEAPS of markets; Small, big, famous and unknown. Camden market is one of the more popular ones, and it’s a fun place to buy things from local unknown designers.
Covent garden also has a market, and after some shopping you’re likely to see some awesome street performers on the square.
This is the square where famous street performers do their acts.
For a beer at a cosy pub with good atmosphere and intimacy, The Cittie of York on High Holbourn is a good choice. The pub has a very traditional design, and you sit in little wooden booths.
For the cheapest beer in town, Ye Olde Cheesire pub on Fleet street is the place to go. The pub is the oldest in London, and they brew their own beer out of town.
For a real club experience, Cafe 1001 is a cafe and DJ bar on a side street in Brick Lane which we got a tip about from a local guy. Many tourists don’t know about the place, but it’s a huge hits among the people living in London.
Where And What To Eat:
It’s almost more “typical” to eat international food than the traditional British food in London.
Cuisine from all corners of the world can be found here, so make the most of it!
Restaurants that are located a bit out of the central areas are of course a lot cheaper. The smaller streets around Kings Cross have some good deals, but chances are that you will be in the center for lunch.
There are a lot of “all you can eat” buffets spread around the city center in London, especially Chinese cuisine, but also a lot of Indian restaurants.
For good Mexican food, Chilango is a great Mexican eatery located at five different places across the city. We ate at the one in chancery lane 6, and the burritos and nachos were awesome.
Where To Sleep:
We recommend Clink 78 hostel, a hostel right next to Kings Cross. It’s located in a nice area with a village feel to it, with small streets and cozy cafes and pubs.
The staff at the hostel are very helpful and informative, and more than happy to share their local tips and favorite spots around the city. Ask them anything and they will know, if not they will check it up for you.
You get a big breakfast buffet included in the stay, and they also have a pub downstairs which is very popular with the guests. If you want to cook your own food there is a big kitchen there as well.
A pretty cool detail about the hostel is that it’s actually a restored 200 year old Courthouse with a few authentic prison cells. and a courtroom used as an internet room.
Get out: Take the scenic train to Wales, and experience the Welsh culture only a few hours away. And since London is, well, London, cheap flights leave the airport every minute!
Best Nightclubs In London
photo credit: GordonsPictures
Far from the stuffy establishment brush that this town is often painted with, this grand city on the Thames by contrast offers a world of gritty and exciting capers to be had!
London’s nightlife is a playground waiting to happen for all and sundry, so if you’re up for one heck of a wild time away, sort your flights to London and get amongst it!
Clubs, and more clubs.
There’ no shortage of clubs in London – many of which be found in the most unlikely of places, such as former theatres, warehouses and railway arches.
In fact, many of the most famous clubs here started their life out as illegal party venues, over timing growing into some of the world’s most popular (and now legal, obviously) party spots.
There’s a massive music scene in London, needless to say, and the real drawcard for partygoers is the all-nighters for which London clubs are most renowned.
Locals and tourists alike pack the dance floors early in the evening, partying all night at spots both glaring and secluded.
London’s posh club Fabric is located on the former site of a Victorian meat cellar. This diverse nightclub on Charterhouse Street sets itself apart from many of the others by putting on music rather than the traditional DJs that typify the club scene.
Their eclectic line-ups of talent include new artists as well as established musicians. The floor fills up early, with the night kicking off talent early evening.
It’s not until late, though, that the real action starts, with the best acts usually coming on around 3:00am!
photo credit: masochismtango
If you’re keen to take in a bit of London’s rich history while partying, you could do worse than to make a stop at KoKo.
This club, located in an old theatre in Camden Town and originally built in 1900, is famous for hosting live bands.
Guests from decades past have included the Sex Pistols, The Eurythmics and Madonna. Need we say more?
The deep red decor and old-theatre feel of KoKo add to the throwback ambience that makes this club great for those feeling slightly nostalgic or wishing to experience a retro setting while being privy to some of the best live music of today.
If you’re up for a glamorous adventure while out hitting the pavement, you can’t go past Pacha. Located behind the industrial Victoria Station, this club oozes glitz and sophistication.
The club’s 1920s building features a stunning stained glass ceiling, and opulence is reflected in its numerous elegant chandeliers – attendees here are expected to match their surroundings by dressing in vogue fashion…so, this is no place for dowdy duds!
Back in Camden Town, this hard-to-find gem of London’s nightlife is packed to the rafters by locals. After sundown, this art gallery transforms into club that attracts a crowd of thirsty bohemians! This 200-year-old building located in Camden Stables Market has been meticulously restored, and you can often see band on the cutting edge of London’s music scene.
If you’re into partying into the wee hours of Sunday morning, Egg is where it’s at. Egg, in King’s Cross, is a club that was prepared in anticipation of the smoking ban years in advance, with a gorgeous garden and terrace that will happily host you until the sun comes up.
Indoors, the three-story building features different atmospheres on each floor, with the ground floor giving a much more industrial vibe than its counterpoint – a posh loft bar that might feel more at home to those sporting a velvet jacked!
This dance-music Mecca is at its wildest on Sunday mornings when North Londoners welcome the sunrise over an after-party breakfast.
London is renowned for being one of the best cultural hotspots that sometimes borderlines dingy, but in that very cool, understated manner. Pick one of the best flights available and get on board for a low-down tour of one of the most fun places to party on the planet. Go on!
(photo credit: 1)