City trip London – London is the ideal destination for a city trip. It is easy to get there via the Eurotunnel or by taking a low-cost flight to one of London’s airports. There is so much to see and do in London that it is almost impossible to visit all attraction during one single city trip. This means that you will have to make a choice because London is vast and the sights and attractions are scattered throughout the city.
That is why it is very convenient to have a public transport pass. London transport and in particular the tube is fast, reliable and comfortable. Purchase online the London Pass including an Oyster Card to be used on public transport. This means you will enjoy all the benefits of this City Pass and the Oyster Card which allows free transport around London and also to Windsor and Hampton where you can visit Windsor Castle and Hampton Court.
City Passes for London
Purchase one of the London city passes for a hassle-free visit to London. These city passes allow you free entry to the most important sights and museums in London. You will also save time and money because these city passes are often cheaper than buying single tickets, moreover you do not have to wait in the queue for hours, but you can go straight to the skip-the-line entrance of popular attractions. Many passes also include public transport or the hop-on hop-off bus. Go for either the London Pass, the London City Pass or the London Digital Pass. It is very easy to purchase your city pass online.
- The London City Pass is the most flexible city card and can be tailored to your needs. The City Pass is available for 1 to 7 days. The Card offers free entrance at several attractions and museums. Free use of the Hop-on Hop-off Thames cruise and a Hop-on Hop-off bus tour are also included. It also functions as a discount card for many other attractions and museums in London.
- The London Pass is the most comprehensive city pass. It allows you free entry to more than 60 attractions and museums in London and you will get discounts at various restaurants and shops. You can purchase a ticket for public transport together with this city pass.
- The London Tourist Card is ideal for London visitors who need not see all the museums and attractions. It offers free and fast-track entry to attractions such as the London Tower and the London Eye. Included is a free tour on the Hop-on Hop-off cruise on the Thames.
Compare the London passes:
London City Pass
- Tower of London
- Kensington Palace
- Hampton Court Palace
- Queen’s Gallery
- Royal Mews
- Hop on hop off bus
- Boat tour on Thames
- Valid for 1 to 7 days
- 60 attractions and museums
- Skip-the-line entry
- Oyster Travel Card (optional)
- Hop-on Hop-off bus (24 hours)
- Information booklet
- Valid for 1, 2, 3, 6 or 10 days
London City Card
- London Tower
- London Eye
- Hop-on hop-off cruise
- App with audioguide
- No time pressure
Flights to London
London is a busy air hub and has six airports. Pay attention to which airport you are flying because some are far away from the centre and the additional transport costs (and travel time) can be considerable although the price of the flights may be cheaper. The London airports are: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, London City and Southend. London City Airport seems to be a good choice as far as distance to London is concerned but low-cost airlines do not go to this airport. Heathrow is on the London underground network. KLM, Britsh Airways and Brussels Airlines go to Heathrow but most budget airlines do not fly to Heathrow. Ryanair, Easyjet and Vueling have cheap flight to Gatwick, Luton and Stansted.
Airport to London Centre
Public transport from the airports to the centre of London is convenient. Take from London Heathrow the tube (underground), the Heathrow Express (express train) or the ordinary train to get to the centre. From Gatwick Airport you travel on the Gatwick Express (30 minutes to London Victoria station), by the ordinary train or by coach. The Stansted Express bus and express train are the most convenient and cheapest option to travel from Stansted Airport to the city centre. Buses and trains connect Luton Airport with London. Especially when travelling with a larger group it is often convenient to book a taxi or private transfer by taxi bus.
Hotel or B&B in London
Hotel rooms in the centre of London are small and relatively expensive. The price of an overnight stay depends on the neighbourhood. The most expensive hotels are in the Mayfair and Knightsbridge districts. B&B and hostel accommodation is often much cheaper than hotels. Many B&Bs, hotels and hostel are in the districts of Kensington and Chelsea, south of Hyde Park and many hotels here have surprisingly spacious rooms. Hotels in the Bayswater and Paddington districts are relatively inexpensive yet close to Oxford Street and Piccadilly. These neighbourhoods brim with pubs and restaurants. If you want the luxury of a five-star hotel, go to The Ritz, The Savoy or The Dorchester. You will find more affordable accommodation in the Fielding Hotel in Broad Court Bow Street in the Covent Garden district and the Columbus Hotel at Sussex Garden.
Things to do in London
London is a city full of famous sights and interesting museums: Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard, Piccadilly Circus, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Big Ben. Be sure to go to a pub for a pint and fish ‘n chips, a typically English pub meal or you may prefer afternoon tea in The Ritz or Harrods. Even if shopping is not your passion, you should visit Harrods Department Store. London offer lots of entertainment in the evening: go to a musical in the Westend, the theater district in Soho, or spend the evening in the pub. But, pubs close quite early and after midnight you go to one of the many clubs that stay open until the early hours.
TIP: A good start of your city trip to London is a ride on a Hop-on Hop-off bus. Lean back in comfort while you see most of the highlights of the British capital. You decide where to get off, which attraction or museum you are going to visit and when you hop on again to see even more highlights.
Big Ben and Westminster Palace
How to get there
Big Ben is right next to Westminster Bridge and is easily accessible by public transport. Another landmark in London is the Ferries wheel, opposite the Palace of Westminster on the other side of the River Thames.
Take the Jubilee Line and get off at Westminster station.
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament, sits on the banks of the Thames in London’s Westminster district. This palace is the seat of the British Parliament, which consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Palace of Westminster has more than 1100 rooms, 100 staircases and about 3 kilometres of corridors. The 97-metres tall clock tower is also part of Westminster Palace. In 2012 the tower got a new name: Elizabeth Tower. Big Ben is the chiming bell of the clock in the Elizabeth Tower of Westminster Palace, London’s hallmark and probably the world’s most famous clock. It started ticking on 31 May 1859 and still does. Synchronize your watches as Big Ben gives the exact time. Big Ben is an impressive sight by day, but in the evening when it is illuminated it even more impressive.
Buckingham Palace (changing of the guard)
How to get there
Buckingham Palace is located in Westminster, west of Trafalgar Square in central London.
Three metro stations are nearby: St. James’s Park, Victoria Station and Green Park. It is about a 5 to 10 minute walk to Buckingham Palace from these tube stations.
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II. When the royal standard flutters on top of the roof, the Queen is at home, but that is not often. Although the British royal family is very rich, they do not like to waste money. In order to ‘earn a penny’ a number of state rooms can be visited in the palace during a guided tour.
Every morning at half past twelve you can watch the changing of the guard ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace. This ancient tradition is a must-see during your city trip to London. The spectacle takes places behind the fence in the forecourt of the palace. The captain of the old guard hands over the keys of the palace to the captain of the new guard. This is accompanied by a ceremony and marching music.
How to get there
Tower Bridge is located near the Tower of London, once a prison now museum.
The nearest underground stations are Tower Hill on the Circle and District Line and London Bridge on the Jubilee and Northern Line.
Tower Bridge, together with Big Ben, is London’s most recognizable landmark. It is not only one of London’s most popular attractions it is also a technical wonder. The bridge consists of two drawbridges that can be opened in 90 seconds. In the past, the bridge went up regularly, but the shipping traffic on the Thames has declined and Tower Bridge only opens on special occasions. The bridge straddles the River Thames and is a busy thoroughfare: 40.000 people a day cross the bridge. Your city trip to London is only complete when you have followed in the footsteps of the Londoners and have walked across Tower Bridge. The bridge is very photogenic. The best photos are taken from the Embankment. At night the bridge is illuminated and a wonderful sight.
Tower of London
How to get there
The Tower of London is located in the Tower Hamlets district and close to the City, the business district.
The nearest underground station is Tower Hill on the District and Circle Line. It is about a 5-minute walk to the Tower from there. You can also take the DLR, get off at Tower Gate and then walk for 5 minutes.
Londen heeft alleen maar highlights! De Tower of London is één van de meest bezochte attracties en zit vol met verhalen en mythes. Hier werden koningen en koninginnen ter dood veroordeeld want de Tower was een beruchte gevangenis. De Tower of London was behalve gevangenis ook koninklijk paleis, fort, wapenmagazijn, schatkamer en een astronomisch observatorium. Nu is het een museum waar niet alleen de kroonjuwelen worden bewaard, maar waar je ook de polohelm van Prins Charles kunt bewonderen. Het kostbaarste voorwerp uit de collectie is de kroon die Koningin Elizabeth draagt wanneer zij de troonrede leest bij de opening van het parlement. De kroon is met bijna 3000 diamanten, 17 saffieren, 11 smaragden en duizenden parels belegd en is heel zwaar. Zo zwaar dat de koningin tijdens het voorlezen van de troonrede niet naar beneden moet kijken omdat ze dan haar nek zou kunnen breken. De Tower ligt aan de noordelijke oever van de Theems en is waarschijnlijk het mooiste middeleeuwse kasteel in Europa, een indrukwekkend gebouw met een 1000-jarige geschiedenis.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
How to get there
St Paul’s Cathedral is located on Ludgate Hill in The City, London’s business district.
Take the central line to St Paul’s station from here it is a 2-minute walk.
St Paul’s Cathedral sits in the middle of The City, the business district of London. The impressive 108 m-tall dome no longer dominates the skyline as skyscrapers have taken over. The cathedral is not only a museum but also a church with daily religious services. It is the cathedral for official ceremonies such as the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965 and the marriage of Charles and Diana in 1981. The Duke of Wellington, Lord Nelson, Florence Nightingale and other celebrities are buried in the crypt. Go up 259 steps to the ‘whispering gallery’ where you can hear soft whispers across the gallery: an acoustic wonder. After the organ of Liverpool Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral has the largest church organ in England. Organ concerts are regularly performed in the cathedral.
How to get there
The British Museum is in Bloomsbury and not far from Oxford Street, the busiest shopping street in London.
Address: Great Russel Street, London WC1. Admission is free, opening hours from 10 am to 5:30 pm
Underground stations close to the British Museum: Tottenham Court Road (6-minute walk), Holborn (7-minute walk), Russel Square (10-minute walk and Goodge Street (12-minute walk).
The collection of the British Museum is one of the largest in the world. Room after room with the most spectacular exhibits, even if you stay here for a whole day, you will only see a very small part of the entire collection. The entrance fee is free, so you can go back as often as you like. The museum has more than 13 million objects, most of which are in museum depot. The collection highlights more than a million years of history. Some of the most valuable objects are the statues of the Easter Island, mummies from Egypt, the Rosetta stone, the Elgin Marbles, the Magna Carta and the Codex Alexandrinus. Admire the world’s largest stamp collection and be sure to visit the ‘Greece and Rome’ exhibitions with Hellenistic, Etruscan and Roman antiquities. The large, covered square in the middle of the complex is the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court. In 2000, this square was roofed over. Here you will find a restaurant, a café and the museum shop. The British Library Reading Room overlooks the covered courtyard. The British Library and the reading room, which until 2000 was housed in the British Museum, moved to premises near St Pancras. The old Reading Room in the British Museum was kept and is now rather a museum than a room where books are read and reference works are consulted.
How to get there
The London Eye is located on the River Thames north of Westminster Bridge
The underground stations Waterloo, Embankment, Westminster and Charing Cross are within walking distance of the Ferris wheel. Waterloo station is the closest, a 5-minute walk away.
London Eye is an eye-catcher. This giant Ferries wheel stands opposite the Palace of Westminster on the banks of the Thames. When opened in 1999, this 135 m tall Ferries wheel was the largest in the world. Since then other Ferries wheels have appeared. Today, the London Eye is the second largest Ferris wheel in the world. The Singapore Flyer is just a little higher with 165 m. The London Eye is one of the most visited attractions in London. That is no wonder because the view is spectacular. On a clear day, you can see 40 km in the distance. Look down and you will see Tower Bridge and the 36 other bridges spanning the Thames. All the other famous London sights look slightly different from the top than when you are in the street. A Ferris wheel ride will take 30 minutes. Tip: Purchase your tickets for a the London Eye in advance online!
Harrods Department Store
How to get there
Harrods is located on the Brompton Road in the Knightsbridge district (Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London, SW1.)
Take the Piccadilly Line to Knightsbridge underground Station.
Chic, luxurious and expensive, that’s Harrods in three words. Harrods is London’s most famous department store and also a tourist attraction. Join the 35,000 visitors who visit the department store every day. Buy something (you’ll be pleasantly surprised because Harrods also sells things anyone can afford) so that you can show off your Harrods carrying bag. Harrods sells almost anything, from flip-flops to a helicopter and from sewing thread to grand pianos. Harrods is huge and wandering about the store may take up a full afternoon. Bring your credit card, if you want to do serious shopping. The Food Hall is a real treat for the eye – fish, meat, cheese, bread, sushi, pastries, everything beautifully displayed. The Food Hall is tiled with beautiful mosaics and has impressive marble floors and is certainly worth a visit. Afternoon tea in Harrods is popular but book a table if you do not want to be in the long queue.
Restaurants and bars in London
London has an abundance of restaurants, pubs and coffee bars ranging from very chic and pricey, like the top chefs Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, to most affordable. The thumb of rule is the more touristy the area is, the more expensive the restaurants are. Away from the tourist centre and in side streets you will find some secret gems. London is a multi-cultural city which is reflected in its cuisine. You will find ethnic food all over London. Are you an Indian food lover? Be sure to go to restaurant Salaam Nameste just off Guilford Street in Bloomsbury. It received an award for London’s best curry restaurant.
For good, decent and affordable pub food you go to The Sun in Splendor, one of the oldest pubs in London, in Portobello Road in the Nothing Hill district, or to The Salisbury in St Martin’s Lane in the heart of Covent Garden. When you have the iVenture Card or the London Pass in your pocket you get generous discounts in various London restaurants!
Afternoon tea at The Ritz
Splash out and go for afternoon tea to The Ritz. The tea room of the Ritz hotel. Mingle with the rich and famous while you drink, or rather eat your tea because your tea is served savoury and sweet delicacies. Traditionally, there are cucumber sandwiches and scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream from Devonshire. And the tea? That is a mixture of Assam and Ceylon and, of course, no tea bags. Drink it with a dash of milk because the tea is strong.
How to get there
The Ritz is close to Green Park. Take the Piccadilly, Victoria or Jubilee Line to tube station Green Park at 2 minutes walking distance from the Ritz. You can also take the Bakerloo or Piccadilly Line to Piccadilly Circus tube station, in 10 minutes you walk via Piccadilly to the Ritz. Address: The Ritz Hotel, 150 Piccadilly, London W1.
Shopping in London
Shopping in London is a pleasure as almost every street is a shopping street. You will find shops, boutiques, department stores and shopping malls scattered all over the centre. Oxford Street is a must-visit shopping street, but it is crowded. Go to Marylebone High Street for less crowded shopping experience. Brick Lane is the domain of vintage shops and at weekends this shopping street turns into one big flea market. Bond Street and Mayfair is the shopping realm of the rich. Camden High Street or Spitalfields Market are best for affordable vintage fashion. Harrods is a famous department store where you can buy everything except exotic animals. If you are in need of a crocodile or an elephant you will have to shop elsewhere.
Markets in London
Be sure to visit at least one of the London markets. The Camden Market is located in and around Camden High Street and one of the busiest markets in London. The Covent Garden Market and the Portobello Road Market in the Notting Hill district are other famous markets in the London.
Oxford Street is the shopping mecca for the not so rich and famous. This two-kilometer long shopping street is a succession of shops and department stores. Spend an hour or so in Selfridges, not as big and chic as Harrods but much more affordable! The cheap fashion chains Primark and Marks & Spencer also have branches here. Oxford Street with over 300 stores keeps you shopping for an entire afternoon. You will find flagship stores of many famous brands in Regents Street, close to Oxford Street. Be sure to visit Hamley’s toy store, even if you do not have children. The store is huge and there are always demonstrations of new toys and gadgets.