London is an amazing city and location to visit. It's rich with history, fashion, dining, and unique attractions. In fact, there are so many options that you may end up a little overwhelmed when trying to decide how to spend your time and leave without having seen all that you had hoped to. Even though my trip was well planned and scheduled - I spent one day feeling under the weather and didn't make it to several locations on my list. Careful planning helped to rearrange my remaining days in London so that I could see the historical sites and attractions that were at the top of my list. Here are a few tips for planning your trip to London.
Decide where to stay
You've decided to go to London - but you need to decide what part of the city will best fit your plans. Will your hotel be close to or make travel to your choice of attractions easy or difficult? I hadn't yet been to London but loved listening to Dan's grandfather's stories of Piccadilly. So The Shaftesbury Premier London Piccadilly was an easy choice. I also loved that it fit another hotel bonus that I like to find - a free meal! Book your reservations directly through their website or by calling Central Reservations and receive Free Full English Breakfast during your stay. Each booking reserved directly also features a lovely fresh fruit platter waiting to welcome you when you arrive to your room.
Arrival and transportation
Now that you know where you'll be staying - you need to plan for your arrival into London and your transportation around the city. Your location will dictate how you arrive. For me, being in the US, it was obviously by air travel. So I had to plan for the appropriate documents and the transportation from the airport to the city.
You'll need to map out routes and transportation options. Your options are the Underground, bus, and taxi. We chose the Underground for most of our transportation. How can you visit London and not use the Underground? Mind the gap and no busking! (Oh it was so much fun!) Between all of your options - you'll be able to navigate your way around the city fairly easily.
You'll find no shortage of eating options in London. I set out to sample as much of the local cuisine as I could. For me, it seemed as a once in a lifetime trip - and my only chance to truly enjoy what London had to offer. From fish n chips to takeaway - we tried it all. We, of course, also stopped by the Hard Rock Cafe. Harden's London Restaurants is a great place to find restaurants and reviews.
Places to see
I hate to say, but I backed out of one of the top attractions on my list. So, for me, please check out the London Eye. It's the world's tallest observation wheel. From it, you can find a great view of the city and skyline. I also suggest you visit the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Shakespeare's Globe. You can also schedule bus and river tours. I also suggest that you take a day trip outside of London to visit nearby castles and the countryside.