The Best Things To Do In London For First-Timers


With London being so huge and bursting at the seams with tourist attractions, planning your first trip there can be overwhelming and knowing where to even start can be difficult. With so much on offer in one of the world's most amazing cities, you'll, naturally, want to see it all. Whilst there is so much you want to do and so little time to do it in, it's a good idea to cherry pick where you want to visit during your stay.
Whilst it would be great to be able to explore every inch of London ground, it just isn't possible, however, there are some things which you just have to do and see. I've compiled a list of things I recommend doing if you're a first time London visitor as these things all made my first London visit enjoyable and provided me with unforgettable memories and indescribable moments of happiness.

Visit the Houses of Parliament (and Big Ben)
The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are located on the bank of the Thames and, well, did you even go to London if you didn't see them? A guided tour around the Houses of Parliament, taking in the Commons and Lords chambers, is fully recommended, as it's both exciting and educational.

Go shopping on Oxford Street

Oxford Street has a habit of stealing all of your life's savings but it's well worth it. London is the place to shop so enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. Shop 'til you drop in some of the world's most famous, biggest stores, (it has over 300 of them) and don't forget to have a nosey round Selfridges! 

Go shopping on Carnaby Street

If you prefer a quieter shopping environment, head to Carnaby Street, the birthplace of the fashion and cultural revolution during the 60's. It's home to more than 100 brands and 60 restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs. If you prefer small, independent boutiques and new designer names, you'll love Carnaby.

Visit Camden markets
As well as visiting the quirky stores packed with alternative clothing in Camden, be sure to visit its market and support those selling things there. Something is bound to catch your eye, whether it's a piece of handmade jewellery, souvenir or some tasty food. Camden is a place bursting with life, individuality and colour.

Walk along the Victoria Embankment

Breathe in the fresh air as you take a stroll along the Victoria Embankment and take in the view. Watch the boats go by and enjoy the pleasant experience of walking along the river and seeing the London Eye on the other side.

See Buckingham Palace
No trip to London would be complete without a trip to see the home of her Majesty. Head to Buckingham Palace and admire its beauty whilst trying not to photobomb every other tourist with their selfie sticks. The palace has 775 furnished and decorated rooms and has been the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since the mid-1800's.

Ride through the city at night on an open top bus
Sitting on an open-top bus, wind blowing through your hair as you drive through London at night is an experience like no other. It's a chance to see the city from a different perspective and gasp in awe at how mesmerising the lights are. 

See a West-End show

Whether you're a theatre person or not, you can't pass up a chance to see a West-End show in London. There's a show out there for everyone so find one which suits you, sit back, relax and allow yourself to be entertained by the talents of the cast. Experiencing a West-End show leaves you feeling uplifted and inspired afterwards.

Head to Madame Tussauds
Visit Madame Tussauds and take snaps with your favourite celebrities. You'll be amazed at the waxy complexions and the uncanny likenesses they resemble to the real people. Hunt down the members of the royal family, your favourite actors, musicians and fictional characters as well as enjoying the immersive experiences, such as Star Wars.

See Westminster Abbey

Once you've seen this 700 year old church in the flesh, pretty much every other view after that seems average. Words could never do the intricacy of the building or the magnitude of it justice. Get up close and personal with it in the heart of London, either by admiring it from the outside or taking an audio guided tour inside. 

Admire the houses in Knightsbridge 

If major house envy is a feeling you crave, head to Knightsbridge. Take a look at the colourful doors and crisp white walls and pick out your future home.

Experience Trafalgar Square

Visit the square in the city of Westminster, one of London's most vibrant places. See the lions and fountains in all their glory. The square is also surrounded by museums, galleries, cultural spaces and historic buildings, so it's impossible to be bored.

Walk through Hyde Park

One of the best things about London is how hectic it is but, despite how chaotic the city can be, there are plenty of places to find peace and quiet, Hyde Park being one of them. It's the perfect place for an aimless walk of reflection or self discovery, plus, it's a great place for people watching.

Go to Harrods

Save a spot in your London itinerary for the world's most famous department store. Even if you can't afford to buy anything in there, it's so fun to wander around, gawking at the fancy frocks, food and furniture, making a mental list of everything you're going to buy when you win the lottery. Plus, there's always the gift shop!

What are your favourite places to visit in London? <3

Love, Emily :) xx

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