9 things to see when visiting London for the first time

So, you’ve booked your trip and packed your bags – you’re ready to come to London. With a whole City of sights to see and things to do, how do you choose where to go first?

Let us help you decide with our top nine things to see, plus you can travel to all of them with our new 2 Day or 3 Day Visitor Pass. 👏

1. Buckingham Palace

Ok, so you won’t be having tea with the Queen 👑 but you will be living like a royal for the day.

changing-the-guard-ceremony

If you visit Buckingham Palace, you’ll see golden staircases, thrones, works of art, grand State Rooms where the Royals entertain guests, and a 39-acre garden where you can relax and drink tea until your heart’s content in the Garden Café.

It’s open for visitors from July to September and if you get there before 11am, you might even see the Changing the Guard ceremony (and those fluffy hats 💂)!

The nearest Tube is Victoria, or Green Park.

2. Emirates Air Line

Is it a plane? No! It’s a cable car. On the Emirates Air Line, you’ll be suspended 295 feet in the air (yikes!), admiring the miles of London skyline and famous sights all around you. 👀

london-from-emirates-air-line

Follow the twists and curves of the River Thames, see the O2, Shard and Gherkin and get some amazing photos of your ride 📷.

You can even go on a champagne flight and watch the sun go down over London with some bubbly, all from the comfort of your very own cable car.

The nearest Tube is North Greenwich or Royal Victoria.

3. Hyde Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the City’s busy streets for some peace and quiet in Hyde Park, one of London’s eight Royal Parks.

Get lost in 350 acres of beautiful parkland, thousands of trees🌳 and flowers, and see if you can spot the wildlife.

squirrel-in-hyde-park

If you fancy some activities, you can also go boating, play tennis 🎾 or ride horses, and there’s a great playground for kids! Or, on Sunday’s you can listen to lively open air debates in the Speakers’ Corner.

The nearest Tube is Hyde Park Corner.

4. Columbia Road flower market

“Come and get your lovely roses!” 🌹 Pick up a beautiful bunch of flowers, a plant or maybe even a banana tree 🍌 for a great price at the famous Columbia Road flower market. With lots of flowers from all over the world, you’ll be amazed at what you can find.

flowers-at-a-market

Experience the buzz of this busy market every Sunday, with music, food stalls and 60 unique shops selling everything from art, to cupcakes, cushions and clothes in beautiful old houses along the side of the road.

The nearest London Overground is Hoxton.

5. Natural History Museum

Meet Hope, the 25.2-metre-long blue whale, and one of the largest creatures to have ever lived. She’s on display when you walk into the Natural History Museum where you’ll step back in time.

whale-600x400

If you love a bit of history, this is the place to be. As you walk around, you’ll not only admire the beautiful architecture of the museum, you’ll see dinosaurs 🦖, diamonds, fossils, creepy crawlies, meteorites and mammals, and experience what it’s like to be in an earthquake, plus much, much more. And, you can do all of this for free! 👍

The nearest Tube is South Kensington.

6. Shakespeare’s Globe

“To be or not to be, that is the question?” You can witness the works of Shakespeare in front of your eyes at Shakepeare’s Globe. 🎭

production-at-shakespeares-globe

From renowned productions like Hamlet, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to brand new ones, you can take part in workshops, lectures and readings at the Globe Theatre which dates back to 1599.

The nearest tube is Southwark or London Bridge.

7. Madame Tussauds

Do you want to meet Harry and Meghan? Rub shoulders with Adele, Rhianna or Elton John? Or see Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker? 🤩 Well, at Madame Tussauds you can, or at least, meet them in wax.

So, have your camera at the ready for plenty of selfies!🤳

The nearest Tube is Baker Street.

8. Afternoon tea

Freshly baked fruit scones with jam and clotted cream, toffee caramel cake 🍰, organic salmon and cream cheese served on homemade granary bread…are you feeling hungry yet?

afternoon-tea-cake

Traditionally created to ease your hunger between lunch and dinner, you can choose from a whole range of delicious afternoon teas ☕ at luxury hotels across London.

So, tantalise your taste buds and treat yourself to sweet and savoury delights with teas from around the world.

9. Harrods

Indulge in some retail therapy 🛍 in luxury department store, Harrods. Now 184 years old, Harrods is known for designer clothes and luxury gifts and with so much to see, you’ll get lost in its endless departments.

outside-harrods-department-store

You can also get treatments at The Wellness Clinic, have your hair cut, hire a personal stylist, or choose from 23 restaurants to dine in, serving a range of foods from fish and chips, to Chinese cuisine, and Parisian sweet treats 😋.

The nearest Tube is Knightsbridge.

Your pass to experience London

Our new Visitor Pass gives you unlimited off-peak travel across Zones 1-6 in London (no need to top up!). You can choose either a 2 Day or 3 Day pass to suit your trip and buy it from a number of tube stations and Visitor Centres when you get here.

Now you’re all set, get ready to do something extraordinary in London.

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