London receives around 30 million tourists each year. In addition to all these visitors, there are close to 9 million inhabitants in the city. Therefore, organizing a trip in this huge and vibrant city can be a little complex. But do not worry, here are the top 7 tourist attractions in London with some tips, as well as some useful general advice!
General tips to visit London
There are many things you should know to optimize your visit to London. Indeed, in a city of this size and with that many places to visit, it is best to be well organized. Here are a few general tips that will be useful to plan your trip. A first tip is to remember to buy advance tickets for the most popular attractions in London. It will allow you to skip queues or pay less depending on the place. You can also buy the London Pass to have access to more than 80 attractions in the city. This pass is quite expensive: £79 for a One-Day Pass for an adult. But if you visit quite a lot of places, it will be worth it.
Regarding transportation, you can get an Oyster Card and save some money on that front. As you may have guessed, this city is very crowded due to the high number of tourists. You might want to avoid visiting the most popular sites on the weekend. Something that is incredible in London is the fact that most of the museums are free! So while you are there, take the opportunity to visit as many as you can. Finally, you should absolutely take a free walking tour while you are in London. There is a wide array to choose from, and it is a great way to discover parts of the city with a guide without going broke. But bear in mind that you should always think about tipping your guide.
Top 7 places to visit and more tips
The first piece of advice I’m going to give you is to get there just before the opening time, preferably on a weekday. A smart thing to do would be to head to the Crown Jewels collection first. Indeed, there is a lot to see in the Tower but this is the most popular section, so you should go and see it as soon as you get inside the Tower. That way, you will avoid the long queues later in the day.
#2 Tourist attractions in London: British Museum
The second piece of advice is to avoid peak times to visit the British Museum. It is more enjoyable to admire the art when there aren’t too many people there, so the best time would be on a weekday morning. You can buy some paper guides or audio guides if you want to get more information on the items that you see. However, if you do not want or need those guides, you will not have to spend anything as the entrance to the museum is free. But you can always make a donation to help maintain this beautiful place.
#3 Covent Garden
Covent Garden is in Central London and is an iconic area of the city. By visiting museums and other places in the mornings, you get the opportunity to go for a stroll in lively areas of the city, such as Covent Garden, in the afternoon. You can do some shopping, go to a restaurant, pub or bar. You even find hotels in Covent Garden, perfect if you want to stay in the heart of London. In the area, you will be able to see multiple street performers, the market, and more. The Covent Garden Market and its surroundings are a fascinating spot especially during Christmastime.
#4 Tourist attractions in London: Hyde Park
Hyde Park is another great choice regarding how to spend your afternoon if the main sites are over-crowded or if you simply need a break. Throughout the year, various events take place in Hyde Park such as exhibitions, concerts, or festivals. So if you just want to relax or take a walk to see the lake, fountains, and statues, you should check the events schedule to make sure you’re not heading there when one of these gigs takes place.
The main tip to visit the Natural History Museum is to have a game plan. Indeed, you should check out a map online and decide beforehand what you are most interested in. That way, you will be able to head to your preferred areas as soon as you get inside the museum. It will be easier to enjoy them before tourists arrive. You should also think of wearing comfortable shoes the day you plan on visiting this museum because you will be on your feet for many hours!
#6 Tourist attractions in London: Tate Modern
The recommended amount of time to spend at Tate Modern is 3 to 4 hours. So if you are interested in visiting this art museum, you should choose a half-day to dedicate to it, and as usual, you should do that during the week. Entry is free, but you might have to book a timed ticket, and to view certain exhibitions, you will have to pay.
These studios, dedicated to Harry Potter, are a very popular attraction in London. You will be able to admire elements of the sets, items that appear in the movies, as well as costumes, and more! The main tips for this experience are to take your time to observe all the details and to get there as early as possible. A good thing is that if you get there by car, you will be able to park for free. However, you can also get there easily with public transportation by taking a train and then a shuttle bus.
To discover more about the main attractions around the world, click here to read about the most visited monuments worldwide!