London has always been one of the favorite tourist destinations for Spaniards and many of them even choose it to spend the best years of their lives. What is it about London that you like so much? María, Luis, Cris, Isabel and Andrea have told us their impressions and favorite places to visit the city in one day and take advantage of it like a true Londoner. Will you join us?
In the morning
Start the day in the “City”, the financial area where the large companies and banks of the London capital are located, where the father of the children in the Mary Poppins movie worked.
Near the “city” is Saint Paul Cathedral, built 300 years ago and one of the largest Christian cathedrals in the world. This cathedral has hosted major English events such as the wedding of Prince Charles with Diana of Wales.
After contemplating the immense dome of the cathedral, walk 20 minutes until you reach the Tower of London from where you will also see the Tower Bridge, London Tower Bridge, which hosts various exhibitions throughout the year. The Tower of London has been the scene of the most dramatic and exciting history of Great Britain and is visited by around two million people every year.
London is not Spain, and as such, we do not have the same schedules. Keep in mind that you must eat at noon because otherwise you will not have anything to put in your mouth at two in the afternoon. Since we know that our schedules are difficult to break, we invite you to try the latest European fashion: the brunch.
In one of the CocoMomo stores you will feel like authentic Englishmen
In the Marylebone neighborhood you will find the most charming colonial buildings and shops in London, as well as the restaurant Providers, perfect for a midday brunch without having to leave a fortune along the way.
If what you want is to indulge yourself, you can go to the Sushisamba, a Japanese place located in none other than the Tower of London from where you can enjoy the city in all its splendor. Of course, you will have to pay for it! But if you don't want to spend a fortune and you want to try a Japanese restaurant, go to Sushinho in the South Kensington area.
Have a brunch in the sky at Renzo Piano's Shard tower
That's where the restaurant is located. Duck&Wafle, worth! But if what you really want is to snack on something, we recommend trying one of the “fish and chips” that you will find in this area next to the river where you can eat well and cheaply or go to Borough Market, a gourmet food market where you will find oysters at a very good price.
With a full stomach, get going again and take one of the boats that crosses the Thames, it will cost you around 8 euros but it will be worth it since you will save yourself a long walk enjoying the best of views. You will reach the emblematic London Eye, where we recommend you go up even if the prices are a little exorbitant (19 euros).
Walk along the river bank Thames, a favorite place for street artists who will not leave you indifferent. Cross the bridge and take thousands of photos in front of the English parliament, the Big Ben.
Don't forget to send us photos of your #funplans!
Leaving the Clock behind you will have reached the heart of London if you see the Westmister Abbey, another symbol of the capital, 700 years old and visited by a million people a year. You will find it open to the public in the summer months from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Return to Big Ben and head north along Parliament Street until you reach Trafalgar Square. During the tour you will pass by Prime Minister David Cameron's House at number 10 Downing Street on the left, which you can only admire from the outside.
Trafalgar Square is the center of celebrations such as St. Patrick's Day
The square is presided over by the National Gallery, one of the largest museums in the city and totally free. Don't leave without seeing at least the painting “The Sunflowers” by Vang Gogh and the paintings by the Impressionist artists. The museum is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Fridays until 9:00 p.m. The perfect #funplan for a rainy day in London since it will take you several hours to visit.
In the afternoon
Remember that the sun sets earlier in the British capital, so if you want to take advantage of the day, you better get up early and leave little time for rest. At this point in the afternoon, depending on the speed at which the sun sets, you can plan in the afternoon or at night.
If the weather gives you a break, take advantage and visit the largest park in London, Hyde Park. From Trafalgar Square you can get there by taking a bus at Charing Cross.
Hyde Park is also one of the eight royal parks in the city
Walk around the lake, have a snack on the grass and don't miss any of the speeches at Speaker's Corner and the fountain built in memory of Princess Diana of Wales. Now in summer you can also take a bath, ride a bike, play tennis or even go for a horseback ride. If you want to have a drink, stop by the bar. “Serpentine Pavilion” although go early because it is usually full ;)
Other highly recommended royal parks are also Regent's Park and Green's Park. The first houses an open-air theater and is also home to the largest sports facilities in London. Green Park is the smallest among the eight parks that make up London.
Green Park is perfect for a swim and picnic in summer
It is located next to the Royal Palace, Buckingham Palace. Don't wait to see the changing of the guard as it only takes place until July. If you prefer to go shopping, be sure to go Oxford Street and Regent's Street, the shopping area of London where the most exclusive brands are found. They are 5 minutes away by taking the brown line tube at Charing Cross from Trafalgar Square and 3 tube stops from Hyde Park taking the red line from Lancaster Gate.
Although if you really like shopping, London has a wide range of markets and areas for different tastes and colors. Here are some of them:
Camden Market: Mandatory stop for fashion lovers where you will come across people dressed in the most diverse clothes you can imagine. Cross the bridge that goes over the canal and get lost among the labyrinthine streets of the market with second-hand food, music, clothing and accessories stalls. It is located north of London so the easiest thing is to use public transport to get there.
Open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Portobello Road Market: Located in the Notting Hill neighborhood, you will recognize it from the film that bears the same name. One of the most distinguished neighborhoods in London, characterized by the colored doors that dominate the street and where you will find one of the largest antique markets in the world, fruit and vegetable stalls, second-hand accessories and fashion items. If you go in August (August 25 and 26) don't miss their carnivals, considered one of the most important in the world.
Open every day from 9:00 a.m.
3 Spanish establishments in the neighborhood: “La Bodega”, “La Plaza” and “R García and Sons”
Harrods: The luxury shopping center par excellence. Jewelry and branded items dominate the shop windows, perfect for a treat but only available to a lucky few. It is worth visiting and stopping by the ground floor dedicated exclusively to chocolate;)
Spitafields market: a more alternative market located in old factory buildings occupied by a range of food, second-hand clothing and craft stalls. All markets are open from Monday to Friday all day and some of them also on weekends.
You can't leave without seeing some of the musicals like Mary Poppins, highly recommended!
London is the cradle of artists. You will find the musicals in the area of the soho, where you can also take advantage of it for dinner. You will arrive in 20 minutes walking from Oxford Street or taking the blue metro line at Warren Street. If you are in Hyde Park you will arrive by taking the red metro line at Lancaster Gate.
Don't forget to stop by Picadilly Circus to see the large screens that give a touch of modernism to the style of New York's Fifth Avenue.
In this area you can have international food at your fingertips, with china town just a stone's throw away or try the restaurant's English-style “tapas” “The Polpo” at an affordable price.
Bill's restaurants have delicious pork bills at a good price
If you like Thai food you should go to 'Busaba eathai', a Thai chain at a very good price and very popular with Londoners. If what you are looking for is a takeaway we recommend you “Itsu”, a Japanese fast food with healthy food, something difficult to find in European cities, and that you will find on every corner.
If opinions about London agree on something, it is that it is a city to which you can always return, because there is always something to discover. Now it's your turn, what are your #funplans for London?