Over 30 million tourists visit London every year. 30 million. That’s nearly half the UK population (and doesn’t even take in to account the residents). One city with so many people? Somehow it works.
As a Brit, I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the city, and after brief breaks to the place I’ve always been happy to retreat back to ‘normal’ England. Now, though, I was seeing it through tour guide eyes, showing D-man around and trying to pack in as much as possible within a short amount of time.
So here is a list of what you could do in a day. More realistically, you will probably want to spread the activities out over a couple of days. I’ve not even included museums or galleries, gardens or markets or shops. The Science Museum, Tate Modern, Kew Gardens, Brick Lane, and more and more and more. So much more. Ah, another time, another list.
For now though, let’s run with this very standard tourist list of things to get the London experience started:
1. Start your day by swinging by some famous streets, sights and places
2. Squish in amongst the crowds to watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace
3. Boat trip down the River Thames
4. Watch the sun set over the city from high on board the London Eye
5. Wind down in one of London’s many theatres
And then you could finish the day and party on until daybreak at Fabric or one of London’s many clubs or squat parties. We didn’t. Wiped out from a day of flights and now a day in London, D-man, me and my mum headed back to our comfy airbnb find.
My guess is that at the end of the day you too will be tired. Your feet will hurt. You may decide that you don’t like the shuffling crowds, that this city of 8 million people and hoards of tourists is too chaotic and the depths of London’s underground belly too claustrophobic. You may groan about high prices, about sold out shows, about the fact that this city doesn’t seem to sleep.
But stop. Take a breath. You can’t really deny that London is a bold, beautiful city, alive with diversity and culture, can you?