Why is London the most visited city on Earth?
Have you ever walked passed an ice cream parlor and seen a queue full of people waiting to buy ice cream from there? It almost certainly made you want to join the back of the queue yourself, just to see what all of the fuss was about.
Well, if travel agents were ice cream parlors, and cities were ice cream’s; London would be the one that crowds of people come from far and wide to experience.
That’s because the English capital has it all. It combines modern luxury with historical intrigue, and, it does that without even requiring you to change streets. Home to Jack the Ripper stories, the world’s biggest toy store, and tea and scones, London has everything to satisfy the tastes of even the fussiest of holiday makers.
In fact, perhaps it has too much. Landmarks such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Olympic Park, Buckingham Palace, and Oxford Street are all such interesting visits that too much time can be spent viewing them, leaving little for elsewhere.
That’s why it’s essential to prioritize. The city has almost 9 million people living in it, and homes 33 boroughs. Only the most prepared tourists get the most out of a vacation there.
So what things should you see and do when in London?
Assuming you’re there for a week (which is the average time for a vacation), here’s our list of the top five things to do while in the Capital:
Visit Covent Garden – Covent Garden is a free area, but it’s filled with quaint little shops, coffee outlets and restaurants. Live music plays while you walk along cobbled streets, and various performers litter the area, displaying skills such as juggling fireballs and unicycle riding.
Have tea at the Ritz – If you’re on a budget, this may or may not be something you’d enjoy. While the Ritz is synonymous with expense, a cup of English tea and a cake for the family shouldn’t set you back more than £30 or $50. While it is a lot to pay for refreshments, it’s not a lot to pay for an experience, and an experience is most certainly what tea at the Ritz will be.
Get a look at Buckingham Palace – After tea at the Ritz, you’ll probably want to do something that keeps your money in your wallet for a little longer. Luckily, London has the perfect solution. Buckingham Palace is a site to behold. It’s the traditional home of the Royal Family and is luxury personified. If you arrive on the right day, you may see the queen give you a wave from the balcony. If not, watching the changing of the guards is exciting enough.
Visit Oxford Street – When your friends and family know you’re going to London, they’re thinking one thing: souvenirs. Oxford Street is the worlds largest shopping site, catering for the smallest budgets right up to the largest. It’s full of coffee shops, retail outlets and places to buy memorabilia. If you can’t be trusted with your spending, hand your credit card over to a friend, as number 4 on our list is temptation, temptation, temptation!
Go on the London Eye – There are many tourist destinations in the capital. Far more than any list could accommodate. Thankfully, London’s tourist board are well aware of this, and have made things easier for both list makers and travelers alike. The London Eye is a giant observation wheel, that allows sight-seers to get a good look at the city from the comfort of their pod.
A ride on the Eye will allow tourists to see the Houses of Parliament, the South Bank, and all of the attractions lined up along the River Thames (of which there are many). Tickets cost around £55 for a family of four, which is around $90, making a ride on it a cost-effective (and energy effective) way of seeing the city. Just make sure you go on a clear day!