First time in London – Must-see tourist destinations
London remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with almost 38 million inbound visits in 2018 alone making up 50% of all UK visits. It is a city of great culture, history and atmosphere and it has so much to offer that it’s unlikely you’ll get everything in during just one visit. However, if you are visiting for the first time and want to get a handle on the ‘must visit’ locations then look no further.
Harrods – No trip to London can be complete without a couple of hours spent in the world’s most famous luxury department store. Even if you don’t want to buy anything (and with the prices, we certainly wouldn’t blame you) it’s worth a visit just to marvel at the decor, the decadence and the iconic Egyptian escalator. Not to mention the food court!
The Museums – London perhaps rivals even New York as the city with the most to offer in terms of astonishing museums. Within walking distance of one another you’ll find the National History Museum, the V&A, the TATE Modern and the British Museum. That’s before we even begin to mention the more esoteric selections such as the Sherlock Holmes Museum. You could spend a week in London just doing a museum tour, but if you’re only planning a flying visit then you might want to consider your interests and research beforehand, planning your available time accordingly.
Camden Market – Very much the yin to the yang of Harrods and Oxford Street, Camden Market is a hive of activity and is home to some of the best bargains in the city. It’s also a hipster’s paradise surrounded by bars and restaurants offering everything from artisanal street food to gourmet cuisine. The area is also legendary for its live music scene. Placed alongside the lock, it’s the market that remains the real draw, however. For those of you with a little more cash to flash, meanwhile, Notting Hill Market offers a similar atmosphere only with a far more exclusive price tag.
Kings Cross – If you’re travelling to London by rail, then chances are you’re catching a train to King’s Cross station. The station is a legitimate tourist attraction in and of itself, particularly if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books and movies. Indeed, ‘platform 9 and 3/4’ has become one of the most iconic photo opportunities in the city in recent years.
Tower of London – A London day out like no other, this is the big one. Experience the 900-year-old former old royal palace, prison and zoo (really) and sink into the history of the place, which also happens to contain the world’s most famous jewellery – the crown jewels. Not only one of the most famous building’s in the world but one of the most well-kept historical relics in Europe, if you only have time to do one thing in London, this should probably be up there.