Visiting London for the first time? Wondering what to see in London in a few days? I’ve got you covered! I’ve visited this amazing city 5 times already and counting. London is absolutely one of the most treasured cities in the world to me. I’m always surprised at the endless adventuring opportunities it seems to offer.
1. BIG BEN AND THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT
If you’re visiting London for the first time, chances are visions of Big Ben come to mind. A visit to London is not complete without a trip to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Make sure to be there on the hour, when the legendary bell chimes.
2. SNAP A RED TELEPHONE BOOTH PIC
The UK is known for its charming red telephone booths! So of course no trip to London would be complete without snapping at least one quick picture with one. You gotta! While the iconic phone booths can be found throughout the city, some of the most iconic locations for them can be found around the Houses of Parliament.
3. SEE THE LONDON EYE
While in the area of Big Ben head over to view the London Eye. I don’t really recommend actually going on the London Eye because of the very long wait times, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t see it at least once! It can be conveniently found in the same area as the Houses of Parliament.
4. PICCADILLY CIRCUS
Piccadilly Circus has to be one of the most famous road intersections in the world. It’s iconic for several reasons. The unique architecture surrounding it, the iconic advertisements on the buildings that light up at night and the statue of Eros in the middle. It’s a place that’s known all over the world. Many many tourists flock there year in and year out to have their picture taken here.
5. BUCKINGHAM PALACE
The home of the queen & the royal family. While in the Westminster area, don’t forget to stop by! If you arrive around 11 am, you can watch the changing of the guard ceremony. The changing of the guard is an iconic thing to see in London for sure! If you are lucky enough maybe you can catch a glimpse of the queen like I did. (Psst, if the Royal Standard flag is flying, then you know the Queen is in Buckingham Palace!)
6. TAKE A STROLL AROUND NOTTING HILL
An Instagram lover’s paradise, this romantic neighborhood is filled with cute pastel houses, trendy shops, and charming pubs that look like they’re straight out of a movie set. And in fact they have been, more than once! Notting Hill is certainly one of the most posh areas of the city. It’s Surrounded by dozens of cozy cafes, restaurants, charming shops and of course the world famous Portobello Market. Notting Hill is the perfect sunny afternoon stroll when visiting London town.
7. PEGGY PORSCHEN
To continue with the pastel theme head over to the cutest pink bake shop I’ve ever seen with the most delicious treats, too. I was lucky enough to visit during my favorite holiday: Halloween! The storefront is constantly changing each season with different flower themed decorations, along with their stenciled coffee’s. How amazing is this one below?
8. AFTERNOON TEA AT SAINT AYMES
While in London, you must go to an afternoon tea! The Afternoon Tea at Saint Aymes a great choice. Can you tell I am obsessed with cafes with floral storefronts?! We ordered the English Tea, Glitter Waffles & a Unicorn Llate. I don’t think our morning could have gotten any more magical than this!
9. SHOPPING ON OXFORD, REGENT AND CARNABY STREETS
These are four of the most major shopping streets in the entire city but their close proximity to each other means you can cruise all of them in the same day, if walking doesn’t bother you!
Oxford Street is busy with high street fashion like Topshop and Gap in addition to Selfridges (highly recommend) while Bond and Regent Street tend to have more high-end designer shops. Carnaby Street is home to more independent brands.
Right before the holidays is my favorite time of the year for shopping, especially when London is all dressed up for Christmas!
10. LIBERTY LONDON
While in this main shopping area end your shopping excursion at Liberty, the most beautiful department store in London. Located in a Tudor-style house, the upscale Liberty is as charming as it is expensive. The unique atmosphere and gorgeous goods are worth the visit itself though.
Shopping at the famous department store Harrods is a must! Harrod’s is a luxurious department store home to designer fashion and lavish gifts and accessories. Take the escalator up to the second floor to find the Harrod’s gift shop as well as an Ice Cream parlor, Tea Room, and other eateries.
12. COVENT GARDEN
London’s famous covered market now houses shops and restaurants too. There are many restaurants and cafes here where you can pick up a snack or lunch. Enjoy the atmosphere at Covent Garden. I love watching the street performances by the many talented buskers that draw huge crowds.
13. CHINATOWN & SOHO
London’s Chinatown may not be as big as New York’s or as overwhelming as Bangkok’s, but it’s certainly worthy of a visit. Soho is London’s most famous nightlife district as well. The area is home to world-class restaurants and some of the best bars and clubs in the UK capital. I recommend heading over to the Experimental Cocktail Club! It’s a speakeasy style basement club, hidden behind a random Chinatown door. The drinks are superb!
14. BREAKFAST AT THE BREAKFAST CLUB
Soho’s trendy diner The Breakfast Club, will treat you to a delicious American-style breakfast in one of London’s most quirky cafes. Don’t be discouraged if you see a long line. It’s worth the wait!! If you get there early enough you will spend only a minimal amount of time outside the famous bright yellow diner before a table opens up. I ordered the pancakes. They were seriously the best pancakes of my life & I am not just saying that. I am still dreaming of that delicious buttercream & fresh fruit topping!
15. SKY HIGH COCKTAILS AT THE SHARD
The Shard is the tallest building in the United Kingdom, and the view definitely does not disappoint! My recommendation is to get drinks at the lounge at night. There is no fee to get up there and you can relax and take in the view of London at night while enjoying a refreshing cocktail.
16. NIGHTIME STROLL OVER THE TOWER BRIDGE
This is one of my favorite night activities & has become a London tradition of mine. It’s so beautiful walking along the water with the city lights, and the Tower Bridge has such pretty views of London at night.
17. TOWER OF LONDON
The Crown Jewels of Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family are kept in the Tower of London. This royal fortress also holds many secrets and stories and is a must-visit stop on your first trip to London. Apart from viewing the royal jewels you can meet the famous Beef Eater guards and take a stroll around the castle walls.
18. DINNER AT SKETCH
You may have seen Sketch London on your Instagram and Pinterest feeds as the super cute pink place to eat in London. Between the chevron tiles, pink velvety chairs, and shimmering bar, everything is just so pretty and pink!
Not to mention those bathrooms. You may have seen these on instagram, but seeing is believing. Those egg shaped things are the toilet stalls.I don’t know how, or why, or who came up with this concept, but give them a round of applause, because they managed to make the restroom a really fun experience. Never have I ever spent so much time in a bathroom taking photos than at Sketch London. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time as they fill up fast. This pretty in pink room is called the Gallery Room (pictured above).
19. DALLOWAY TERRACE
For those beautiful instagrammable photos, Dalloway Terrace hits the top spot! The interior of this place is what you call #interiorgoals! The terrace was so dreamy with foliage covering the brick walls. This was one of the coziest cafés I have ever been to. There were even neatly folded blankets placed on chairs for those chilly days. We started with some coffee and assorted pastries. I enjoyed the acai bowl.
20. BOB BOB RICARD
It could have been their famous Press For Champagne buzzer that brought me to this restaurant, or the fact that the restaurant has pink everywhere and is a beyond glamorous spot for an evening out. I am so obsessed with this Press For Champagne buzzer I think I need one next my bed at home! Don’t leave without trying the crème brulè that is lit on fire right before your eyes.
There are so many fun things to do in London and you will constantly be adding to your London Bucket list, just like I am. London is an incredible, diverse and ever evolving city, and to me it is one of the greatest on earth
LIKE IT? PIN IT!