Traveling through London on the way to Europe and North America? Why not stop for a couple of days and explore London! Use this convenient guide to plan your perfect London stopover.
Find a Convenient Hotel
If you’re only making a short visit of two to three days, select a centrally located London hotel. Do a little research to find something within your budget in your desired neighborhood. A hotel close to the Tube is always a good choice. Check Paddington, Chelsea, Kensington, Soho, or near Piccadilly Circus.
Visit a Museum
With some of the world’s best museums, deciding which one to visit is tough. Some suggestions include the British Museum, the National Gallery, or the Tate Modern. Check the museums’ websites for opening hours and directions. Admission is free at most museums.
Go to the Theater
Since the opening of Drury Lane in 1663, London’s West End has been the place for live theater. With over 40 performances running, there’s always something for everyone. Organize tickets in advance or buy discounted tickets the day of the show at the TKTS booth in Leicester Square.
You could also visit an iconic piece of history dating back to 1599. Head to Bankside to see one of Shakespeare’s plays at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Stroll Through an English Garden
Make time to visit an English garden while you’re in London. Hyde Park’s central location makes it an easy choice. In early summer, don’t miss the Queen’s Rose Garden in Regent’s Park. Slightly further away but still easy to reach via the Tube is Kew Gardens. For London’s largest park and stunning displays of azaleas in the spring, visit Richmond Park.
Visit Borough Market and a Historic Pub
London has some fantastic markets, but a standout is the centrally located Borough Market. Go hungry, as the hardest part is deciding what to eat next. The aromas from the popular stall holders waft through the air as you wander the market selecting fresh produce and local food.
You can also satisfy your appetite at one of the many local pubs. London provides opportunities to eat a traditional meal in a number of historic pubs, some of which date back to the 1500s.
See the Best View of London
Two options within the City of London offer opportunities to see spectacular aerial view. Check out the London Eye or go to the top of Western Europe’s tallest building, The View from the Shard.
Enjoy a Unique London Experience
The Changing the Guard ceremony happens at 11:30 a.m. daily outside Buckingham Palace. The Tower of London museum provides a historical view of British royalty. Evensong at Westminster Abbey offers an opportunity to sit quietly and listen to the choir while enjoying the historic setting. You can also head to Knightsbridge to explore the excellent food halls at Harrods or Fortnum & Mason.
Perhaps the best advice for the perfect London stopover is to leave time to wander around and make your own fantastic discoveries in London’s historic neighborhoods.
This post is part of our series about great cities for a stopover. The first post in this series has great suggestions for your New York City Stopover. Stay tuned for more great cities to explore.
Great summary of best things to do in London! I love the River Thames City Cruise too can see lovely architectures along the river…
Thanks Alison. There is so much history off the Thames isn’t there? A cruise along the river is a great way to see the major sights and to get your bearings. Thanks for your comment.