You know that London trip you have always been dreaming about? All those dollars and cents saved for a roundtrip ticket to London despite the crazy long hours in-flight (at least from where I’m from). There are just too many things to do in London town, but with these must-go places as a first-timer, you will have plenty of stories about your British adventure to tell your family and friends.
P.S. To help you get around these attractions and food places, we’ve mapped them out on Google maps! Just scroll to the end of the article and you can start planning your trip based on the map.
1. Westminster Abbey
The Westminster Abbey is one of the most notable religious buildings in the United Kingdom. I think it is a great way to start exploring London with a UNESCO Heritage Site!
House of Parliament & Big Ben
The House of Parliament not only holds serious government meetings, it also hosts the iconic Big Ben clock. A picture with Big Ben is definitely a must if you’re visiting London!
Horse Guard Parade
You know those cute British guard figurines you tend to get as a souvenir? Well, here’s your chance to see a real one right before your eyes. At the Horse Guards Parade, you will be able to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony that happens every morning, on all days of the week.
Address: The Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX, UK.
Ceremony of Changing of the Guard Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11.00AM, Sunday 10.00AM
By Diliff (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Trafalgar square is known to be a vibrant space for Londoners and tourists alike as museums, galleries, cultural spots and historic buildings surround it. I totally can imagine myself just hanging out at the Square, sipping a hot cuppa latte, reading or simply enjoying the surroundings.
I’m sure you have heard a lot about the Buckingham Palace! The very least you could do without an official royal invitation from the Queen herself is to attempt to absorb the royal ambiance! 😛 The palace is only open for visitors during Summer (Aug to Sept). You should definitely pop in the palace if you’re travelling to London during summer for only £20.50 and below. Find out more here
Otherwise, you can always take a picture outside the palace and with the always so serious guards! Challenge yourself if you are confident you are able to make them smile. 😉
Alternatively, if you are a history buff and are keen to know the stories behind the above places, you should opt for the MP3 audio tour. From just £5.10, you can discover London’s majestic Palace trail in depth. This tour allows you to walk from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace at your own leisure with historical inputs.
You can purchase the tour and find out more here.
It is just about 2.0 – 3.0 km walk and may take in between 30 to 120 minutes (as the tour suggests).
If you are not in it for a ride on London Eye and its magnificent view it has to offer; you should at the very least swing by here to take a picture with it! Because trust us, even just in front of it, it’s spectacular!
If you are keen to take a ride on the London Eye, advanced online purchase is best.
Opening hours: 10.00AM – 8.30PM, daily
Nearest Underground Station: Waterloo Station (Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern, Waterloo & City lines)
Stroll along South Bank
Once you have covered the above attractions, strolling along South Bank will allow you to enjoy a magnificent view of Big Ben, House of Parliament etc. It will also boost your sense of bearing around London. A walk from West to East along South Bank not only gives you spectacular view, but also will leave you with more places to explore!
It can be quite a long walk but it is worth it! You will come across attractions like the Millennium Bridge and Shakespeare Globe Theatre (if you are a fan of English literature like me!) You can either start from Westminster Underground Station and cross the Westminster Bridge, or you can start from Waterloo Underground Station just near the London Eye.
The Islamic Cultural Centre & The London Central Mosque
I think it is always great to check out the local mosque once you’re in that particular city as the experiences differ from one country to the other. The London Central Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre is situated at Regent’s Park. You can just pop in to perform your solat, linger and mingle around. It’s always a great way to embrace the feeling of being abroad as a Muslim.
Nearest Underground Station: Baker Street or Marylebone.
Don’t worry, we won’t leave you to find food on your own. Here are a couple of recommendations that are pretty near the attractions above!
When I am in or not in London, I (still) think of Tinseltown, an American diner in the heart of London. Not only it is Halal certified, but also their menu selection is widespread – from its flame grills, burgers to sandwiches.
But the main highlight at Tinseltown? Their VIP shakes. Totally put a spell on me, even until today.
Address: Tinseltown Bayswater, 57, Westbourne Grove, London W2 4UA
Contact: 020 7727 3042
Opening Hours: Sunday, 11.00AM to Midnight, Monday – Friday, Midday – 1.30AM, Saturday, 11.00AM – 1.30AM
Nearest Underground Station: Bayswater, Royal Oak, Queensway.
The Pie Factory
The Pie Factory is situated at Whitechapel and serve from Breakfast to Dinner with its freshly baked Halal pies! Their menu range from traditional pies to speciality pies as well as other main dishes like Beriyani, if you are Asian like that and need rice to survive (like me!). 😛
Address: 103, Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JE (Opposite London Muslim Centre)
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 8.00AM – 10.00PM
Nearest Underground Station: Aldgate East Station
Nearest Overground Station: Whitechapel
To cover London in this one article is nearly impossible. But these above attractions will help you to grasp that initial British excitement to perk you up to explore further if you are clueless on where to begin. Once you have kick-started your British adventure, there are many other attractions that may suit your liking. Always, always discover this city at your own pace! You’d be surprised at how you would view London in a much fresher perspective.
P.S. Don’t worry, there’ll definitely be more London travel guides to come soon 😉 Let us know in the comments below what you would love to read about!