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Tips for Your First Trip to London

London is an iconic city that every girl dreams of visiting. It’s historical, beautiful, and of course royal. Obviously you’ll be the lucky girl who catches the prince’s eye, falls madly in love, and you’ll be the next princess. … Yeah. Why can’t we all be Meghan Markle?! So I can’t make that happen for you, but I can help make your trip to London a little smoother with these tips from my recent trip.

Be Prepared

  • Need data? They converted some of the old red telephone booths into wifi hot spots!
  • Do your research. We missed Big Ben because of it’s renovation and I was devastated.  Be prepared for construction and other major city events.

 

To Do

  • Palace tours are worth it. Seeing the royal jewels was an experience in its own and obviously one that we don’t get to have here in the U.S.
  • Piccadilly Circus is like Times Square in NYC– it’s worth seeing and shopping around.
  • Try new things, like an Immersive Theater experience. There are always immersive theater’s popping up so do some research and book it asap! Most immersive theaters sell out quickly (even months in advance) and run only a few weeks or months before concluding and refocusing efforts into a new program.
    • We visited Somnai’s Sleep With Us which was a VR (virtual realty) experience mixed with immersive theater. We were put into small groups and journeyed through the experience lasting about 1-1.5 hours. Upon completion, we got to enjoy the 3D cocktails and a décor scene change every 30 minutes.
  • If you’re looking for Hogwarts, it’s platform 9 3/4 in the Kings Cross train station (next door to St Pancras!)
  • Afternoon Tea or Champagne Tea is a must. Even if you aren’t a tea lover, it’s an experience. It comes with mini sandwiches, biscuit/cookies, and mini desserts. You’re in London, so indulge in this British pastime. Be sure to make reservations and dress appropriately.
  • There are pubs everywhere, but don’t expect to order a martini in many of them. Even though they have Gin (London is home to some of the best Gin in the world), they serve it straight up or with tonic. Most pubs don’t carry many mixers including vermouth. I learned this the hard way.
  • The NightJar is one of the coolest speakeasys I’ve been to in the U.S. and Europe. They serve delicious handcrafted cocktails in creative ways (and you can purchase some of them!
  • Looking for a bottle of liquor or wine for the hotel room? Hedonism Wines is a must see!
    • PRO TIP: you can only buy Blanton’s Gold in the UK. Yes, it’s made in the US but can’t buy in the US! I’m kicking myself for now buying multiple bottles.

       

Transportation

  • Walk the city and enjoy your surroundings. The history of the city is so intriguing and they have some of the most beautiful buildings.
  • They DO drive on the opposite side of the road so be sure to LOOK RIGHT when you’re used to looking left while crossing the street. We’re accustomed to look left as traffic flows on the right but in London it’s the opposite. So look right. Seriously, don’t be that American.
  • For when you can’t walk, know that they do have Uber. We found it to be a lot easier to request an Uber and pay via the app rather than going through a taxi company that may or may not accept credit cards. Make your life easier and pay via phone/app/credit cards rather than going through the currency exchange often.

   

And here’s the big tip. The best advice I can give!
  • The double decker tour bus is well worth the money. You can purchase 24- or 48- hour hop-on/hop-off tickets and it will take you through the city to view all the iconic landmarks in about 2-3 hours. It’s likely the main few you want to see are spread out and may be too far to walk to each. Sit on the top of bus in the open air, even if it’s chilly, the view is so much better.
    • PRO TIP: Consider buying the 48-hour pass and use it as general transportation to get to (or close to) your destination. You already paid for it, might as well use it as a taxi!

Happy traveling!

The lifestyle loop blogger

Traveling elsewhere? Let’s see if we have tips for that destination, too!

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