With a history as rich as its reputation, London is one of the most popular destinations in all of Europe. Visitors can enjoy stopping by numerous iconic sights such as the “Big Ben” clock tower and Westminster Abbey and take a ride on the London Eye for an incomparable view of the entire city. If you’re planning on visiting London in the near future but you’re not sure what to do, don’t worry. Our guide has all the bases covered.

Some handy advice

Just like any vacation, you’ll need to plan ahead. London is busy all year long, so be mentally prepared to deal with the crowds. Make a list of all the places you want to go during your getaway and start making a plan of action. If you’d like to visit a few museums, you can actually go to some for free. The Natural History Museum, Tate Modern and The British Museum – to name a few – charge no admission. Be sure to check out their websites or call ahead to see if you need to go on specific dates to avoid paying an entrance fee.

Beat the crowds

Although London is busy no matter when you visit, there is definitely a high season. If you can, try to avoid going in May through September. Since the weather is warm and the kids are out of school, it makes sense that this is when most people travel. But during this busy time, you should expect peak airline prices, lots of booked hotels and very long lines at every attraction. If you can, consider going to London during spring break if you’ll be traveling when kids are out of school.

See the sights

If you’re planning on spending a week in and around London, you will have plenty of time to see and visit most everything on your list. If you only have a few days, you should consider taking a Big Bus Tour. With this option, you can enjoy a ride all through the city while seeing and hearing about each specific attraction. You even have the option to hop off at any location and can catch another bus at any time during the day. This is especially handy if you don’t have much time to go into each museum or shop but still want to see all of London.

If a trip to the London Eye is on your bucket list, start your adventure at Borough Market. You can get a taste of the local cuisine in one of the market stalls, and you can get an incredible view of the Tower Bridge as you walk along the river. You can also check out the Globe Theatre and Tate Modern on your way to the London Eye.

From there, you can easily get to Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, which is known as the Queen’s official London residence. Plus, you can catch the intriguing Changing of the Guards. Check their website for specific times and dates, because you won’t want to miss this tradition. It’s a truly fascinating experience.

Take a river cruise across the Thames and stop by the Tower of London. Operating hours may vary, but you can always buy a ticket at the gate if you don’t have time to get them online. If you’re visiting in the winter, they have an ice rink that provides a truly unique and unforgettable experience. You can see the Crown Jewels here, or test your courage by booking a twilight tour. Close to the tower, you can visit several museums including the Natural History Museum.

Refreshments, please

There is no shortage of amazing restaurants in London. While you’re visiting, be sure to treat your taste buds to some iconic fish and chips at Poppie’s. And no London vacation would be complete without afternoon tea and biscuits. Make reservations at The Ritz London for decadence you never knew existed.

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