London is a city that tops many tourists’ lists of places to go, and it’s easy to see why. Featured in countless films and television shows and home to many of the world’s most iconic monuments, it’s a place many of us have grown up longing to explore. This summer I was privileged once again to visit London, along with Madison, to do some of the things we missed upon our last visit.
Now that you may be in a position to make the trip, it can be tough to finalize your itinerary and figure out how you’re actually going to spend your time while you’re there. With so many options, it can be hard to decide what takes priority. However, there are definitely some things that rise to the top of the list as things you can only do – or things simply best experienced – in London.
Here are five things you must add to your London bucket list:
1 – RIDE THE LONDON EYE.
If you want to experience breathtaking views of London and enjoy one of the city’s most well-known attractions, take a ride on the London Eye. This towering Ferris Wheel is a true icon along the city’s skyline. Riders travel in capsules made almost entirely of glass, giving a real bird’s-eye view of some of London’s most well-known attractions. Madison and I did this on our first trip to London, and I have to say that it was definitely worth the experience.
2 – INDULGE IN AFTERNOON TEA.
If you’ve ever seen a play or read a book that’s taken place in London, odds are afternoon tea has made an appearance. This fun British tradition is a great way to treat yourself on your trip. Do your research before you go and make reservations at your hotel or restaurant of choice. Some well-loved options include the classic afternoon tea at the Ritz and the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea, inspired by Alice in Wonderland or an Afternoon Tea at the Shard.
3 – ENJOY A PICNIC IN HYDE PARK.
Hyde Park is a prime spot for people-watching and picnicking, as long as the weather’s nice! Stop by a local grocer or cafe, grab a sandwich and some snacks, and spend an hour lounging in the park, enjoying the atmosphere. When you’re finished eating, stretch your legs and settle your stomach with a stroll before resuming your afternoon plans!
4 – ADMIRE WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
One of the most stunning buildings in the city, Westminster Abbey is worth a visit – even if you aren’t particularly religious. Incredible care and craftsmanship went into the design of this cathedral, which dates back to the 13th century. Home to numerous important events and historical moments over the last several hundred years, it’s an excellent opportunity to slow down on your tour of the city and soak up some history.
5 – CHECK OUT AT LEAST ONE CULTURAL INSTITUTION.
London is known as the birthplace of some of the world’s greatest musical and theater acts, not to mention novelists and all other manner of artists. Find time to visit at least one cultural attraction that speaks to you. Love Shakespeare? Stop by Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Big fan of the Beatles? Recreate the quintessential Abbey Road photo – you know the one. And if you love Harry Potter, you can’t miss the Making of Harry Potter studio tour or Harry Potter and the Cursed Child currently playing.
By taking advantage of things you can truly only do while you’re exploring a new destination, you’ll make amazing memories and make the most of your vacation. Add these five items to your London bucket list for a truly memorable experience!