London > ideas for enjoying the city

what to do in London

Nice things I brought with me from London

+ Buying food in supermarkets (as the Waitrose) is a good idea for a quick lunch while wandering the city (like chicken and bacon rolls, or cold sandwichs), or hot meals like rice or pasta with gravy, for a microwaved dinner at the hotel. It’s a time saver after an intense tourism day. Often they offer discounts (such as 3×2 or because the expire date is near), so you end up with a good and cheap meal.
+ For catching some fast food is also a good idea to go to one of the food trucks on the street, or markets like the Borough Market.
+ The city is gorgeous to visit by foot, but it’s as big as beautiful, so you’ll have to take the subway sometimes (also is wise saving some energies). And besides, knowing the tube is knowing an important and classic part of London. So it’s VERY convenient, for the subway and other transports, getting a transport card:
⇒ The Oyster Card (similar to the SUBE card of Buenos Aires), allows you to charge the card with the amount of money you want, and the value of each ticket ends up costing less. If at the end of the trip, there’s still money in the card and you won’t use it, you can ask for a devolution.
⇒ or the Travelcard, which gives you unlimited travels in many transports, for a period of a day or seven. Each simple tickets ends up as well costing less, if you use it properly. You can combine the Travelcard (of certain types) with 2×1 discounts that you can download from the internet, how awesome is that? I bought the travelcards (one for each person), and used a lots of discounts!
+ The tube is a huge world itself, so don’t get desperate trying to learn the stations and routes and stuff. Just have in mind, especially if you’re not used to this kind of subway, that more than one line passes for each platform, and that every line could have different destinations. Knowing that, and having a map or a mobile app, there won’t be a problem. But anyway, getting lost in London can’t be that bad (and someone will help you getting back on track).
+ I was surprised to find lots of free museums, and not even the less popular ones. The British Museum, Tate Modern, the National Gallery, Victoria and Albert, Natural History… and so on. Those things, and the free walking tours (totally recommended) make London a not that impossible place to visit.
+ Speaking of free tours: taking a walk by the Southbank, from the Big Ben until the Tower Bridge, following the Thames, and enjoying the street shows, is priceless.
+ And for a guided free walking tour you should take the Sandemans Tour. We took those tours in other cities, and they all were the best experience.
+ If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then you need to go to King’s Cross Station and find the Platform 9 3/4! You’d probably also find a line of people who also want to take their picture. You can take yours with some luggage and stuff, as you go through the wall 😉 If you have the time and patience, don’t miss it! And yeah, it’s free.
+ By train you can visit for a day, or stay, in some nearby cities, such as Oxford, Bath, Windsor, Cardiff (Wales), Stratford-upon-Avon. And in 2 hs you could be in continental Europe! Direct trains to Paris and Brussels. Oh, and don’t forget about Scotland! You could take a bus, a day or night train right to Edinburgh.


While I prepared the trip

+ I looked up and marked places in the map of the Tripadvisor app, so I won’t forget them. You can find opinions, recommended tours and suggestions, and the best of all is that it works offline.
+ The must read on line guide of Civitatis, in spanish, with some history and ¡plenty! of info but well organized.
+ Seeing the immensity of the London subway, I searched a mobile app of the tube so it will indicate me which line to take to go everywhere. Works offline, so if you won’t get an european sim, you’ll be oriented either way.


And happily we stayed several days in London

Day 12: Exchanging euros to pounds again.
Day 13: The Tower and its Bridge.
Day 14: Gaining confidence with the city and the subway.
Day 15: The parks are impossible to believe.
Day 16: A (movie) day in Oxford.
Day 17: The photogenic wax figures.
Day 18: St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Day 19: Culture by day, London Eye by night.
Day 20: One last triple tour.
Day 21: Last but not least, Westminster Abbey.

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