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London is one of the most important cities in Europe. The city is so rich with history and culture that you can easily get lost in several different epics while exploring its charming streets and fascinating architecture.
The center of London seems to have something for everyone, no matter what your interests or hobbies are. A famous quote from Samuel Johnson emphasized that if you become tired of London it is because you are tired of life. Even today most people who are familiar with the city will say the same thing. In fact if you only have a few days to see London you will probably feel very overwhelmed with all of the choices before you.
What should you see and what should you do on your visit? This article was written in order to help you decide. We hope to give you some ideas to help guide you to really enjoying your trip to London.
An essential part of any visitors trip to London should be to understand its history. The city is full of intriguing history that goes all the way from its Roman beginnings through the dark ages, the renaissance, the Victorian era, and up until our day.
As you indulge in the history of the city you will be delighted by the beauty and elegance of the cities’ architecture. The city life of down town London contrasted with the presence of many classic English gardens. You will be delighted by the presence of both exotic and traditional restaurants that are all along the narrow windy streets of the historic section of downtown London.
If you enjoy nightlife you will not be let down. The night is filled with vibrant and modern bars that will keep you entertained until the sunrise if you wish. This city literally does not sleep which can be really nice if you are coming from the States and have not gotten use to the time change yet.
These three things — history, sightseeing, and nightlife — form a complete part of any visit to London. So let us examine them one by one.
Exploring the history of London
As we mentioned earlier the history of the city will intrigue you, even if you do not consider yourself a fan of history. Londoners are well aware of the fact that the Romans founded the city, however, they certainty do not feel any family ties to the Italians. In fact you will notice a prestigious statue of Boudicca near the British Parliament. Boudicca was the British queen that fought against the Romans and rebuilt London after having cast out the Romans and burnt the city to the ground.
The history of London is full of such strong — or violent — female figures. As you will see when you visit the Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, or the London Dungeon. No trip to London is complete without a trip to the famous tower of London. This tower housed many important prisoners over the centuries. Today, however, it guards the famous crown jewels of the royal family.
The National Portrait Gallery is also very interesting, in it you will find great works of art that portray some of the most famous figures throughout London’s history.
You will not be let down by a visit to the British Museum which is renowned as having one of the best and largest archeological collections of artifacts. Some famous pieces of its collection are the Lindow Man and the Rosetta stone.
In these museums you will be able to “live” the battles, plagues, and fires that have plagued London through the centuries without having to feel the bad effects of them personally.
Visit world famous landmarks
The beauty of London is surprising to many. It is a beauty that can not be captured by photos. I had seen the Tower Bridge, the Parliament, and Big Ben many times in photographs and on television. However, the first time I saw them in real life took my breath away! The same goes for the charming narrow streets of downtown London.
As you walk down Oxford Street you will be tempted by all of the shops that are lined up on it. Afterwards you will probably enjoy a relaxing stroll in Hyde Park which will make you feel like you have instantly been transported to the English country side. If you are interested in antiques from the old world you might enjoy the Portobello Market.
A nice way to orientate yourself downtown is to get a birds eye view of the city. There are two easy ways for you to do this. A trip around the London Eye will give you a birds eye view in its unique ferris wheel fashion. The other option — which is free — is to visit the small park on Primrose Hill which will provide a romantic view of the city.
A highlight to my visits to London has always been my visits to the traditional English Pubs. These traditional Pubs are more restaurants than bars nowadays. They are the best place to spend your lunch break. You will be able to enjoy traditional English cuisine — like fish and chips — accompanied by a refreshing beer in a traditional and often historic setting. Of course you will also find a huge mixture of great and exotic international cuisine in this diverse city. Sometimes you will even find Pubs that mix English cuisine with international themes.
Enjoy the nightlife
As the day winds down you may want to enjoy the nightlife. You can choose between a huge array of restaurants or clubs to entertain you before getting some rest. The nightlife is diverse and you will be able to choose between several pubs or dance clubs with any kind of music you want to choose from.
One thing is for sure — even if you only stay a few days — London will be a place that you never forget!