I think I could go to London every year and still have a ton of things left to see. And I bet that’s not just me. The first time we visited London I was so excited to see all the landmarks. And I saw close to none, lol. I just never imagined how big the city is. And how long it would take us to go from one place to another.
However, on our second trip to London, we were prepared with a plan and a list of things to see. And since we managed to pack a lot in a couple of days, we’re sharing with you our list of things to see.
1. Natural History Museum
If you like this kind of museums, you are going to love the Natural History Museum in London. We saw the one in New York as well, but this one is far better. I am not sure if it’s because of the gorgeous architecture. But I think it’s also because of the way it’s organized. And it just has a lot more cool stuff to see.
It even has a replica of a T-Rex that moves and growls and of course, everyone was trying to get a photo or a video with it. And all the small kids were crying. But we were so impressed and the whole time I secretly hoped we would bump into Sir David Attenborough. But sadly we didn’t.
2. The British Museum
I read a lot of good things about the British Museum and I really wanted to see at least a part of it, if not the whole thing. Plus when I was little I had a fascination with archeology so this was pretty high on my list.
When we got there it was quite crowded, but you didn’t really felt it since the museum is so big. Sadly, we didn’t have a lot of time to spend there but got to wander around for an hour or so. I especially loved the Assyrian part with huge ornate sculptures that looked so impressive. I really wished we could have spent more time there.
It’s good to remember that this museum too is free (except for special exhibitions) and is opened until later on Fridays.
3. Tate Britain
With our time being limited in London, we had to choose between Tate Britain and Tate Modern. This time we chose Tate because it has different types of art exposed. I like modern art too, but my boyfriend is not that crazy about it. We loved it! It was a sunny morning and the light poured beautifully through the museum’s windows. Plus there weren’t many people around, so it was such an intimate and chill visit.
This museum too is free – except for special exhibitions and is opened until later on Fridays and Saturdays. Take your time while your there and enjoy all the wonderful art. I still regret not getting a print when we left, bet there’s always next time.
4. Trafalgar Square
We only got to Trafalgar Square by accident, going from our Airbnb to a Chinese restaurant recommended by our host. But the vibe was so cool. There were people drawing with chalk on the pavement and there were a couple of guys singing. A lot of people eating or just taking in the sun – we loved it. We would have stayed there the whole afternoon!
As a bonus, we passed right by Westminster Abbey and the Parliament and took some pretty decent photos from our seats in a double-decker.
5. ZSL London Zoo
We’re not usually big fans of the zoo. The idea of wild animals kept in small spaces instead of roaming free seems wrong to us. However, we do love animals and it was such a beautiful and sunny afternoon. We had already seen the Botanical Garden, so the Zoo seemed like a good option.
And it really was. We had so much fun and the animals looked happy and taken care of. And I just loved how they had this center to teach people about insects. And the aquarium part had a lot of information on keeping our oceans clean. It gives you a lot of hope for future generations.
It would be too hard to choose one favorite section, but I think I was most excited about the lemurs. Walking among them was surreal. Same goes for the Rainforest section where monkeys pass you by. I wasn’t crazy about the fruit bats, but everything looked amazing! And of course, I couldn’t skip on the flamingos. My friends know how obsessed I am with them so seeing them was a dream come true.
6. Notting Hill – Sort Of
I really made a priority of seeing Notting Hill this time around. I am in love with the movie, so Portobello Market was high on my list. Yet I missed it again. I only got a glimpse of the colorful houses on our way to a Thai dinner at Churchill’s Arms. And I was so sure I would get to the market on Saturday or Sunday morning. But we just went for Tate and the British Museum instead.
Funny story: when I saw the first pastel-colored houses I started photographing them like I hadn’t seen a house before. And one lady stopped and asked what was going on. I told her I just loved the architecture and how I wanted to see Notting Hill ever since the movie. And she replied: “Oh, I thought a movie star lives here or something. Does it? Tell me if it does!!”. Lol, she was so funny!
7. Imperial War Museum
My boyfriend is really passionate about history and knows everything about wars and historical figures. So I really thought I would hit the mark when I chose this museum. It sadly disappointed both of us, though if you knew less history than him and were more interested than I was, it might be more interesting. And I bet that kids love it.
Like most museums, this one is also free. And it looks very cool with a great display of tanks, airplanes, and objects from all the wars in which British or Commonwealth forces were involved. I especially thought that the Holocaust section was so touching and hard to see. But important to remember. I was so impressed by a display made of shoes that belonged to people killed during the Holocaust. It was heart-wrenching to think of the lost lives and hear the testimonials of those that survived it.
8. Saint Paul’s Cathedral
We visited Saint Paul’s Cathedral the first time we were in London, two years ago. We actually went because we thought we had a good voucher for 2 tickets at the price of 1. It turned out we didn’t and that we didn’t want to pay full price, lol. So we walked around, admired the beautiful architecture and fed some squirrels in the green space nearby.
I thought the whole area was so beautiful. And I would have loved to visit the Cathedral as well. But we were on a very tight budget and decided to put it on our next-time list.
9. The Science Museum
It’s not necessarily a must see, but it’s free, it’s right next to Albert and Victoria Museum – so you can check them both off the list. Plus it’s free and it’s open until later on Fridays! There’s a lot of cool stuff in there to see, especially if you’re visiting with kids.
We chose it because I usually try to choose some museums that match my interests and some for my boyfriend. And this one seemed more his type. However, we both ended up liking it a lot so if you’re in the area make sure don’t shy away.
10. Oxford Street
Everyone says that if you want to shop in London you should go to Oxford street. Are they right? Maybe. Did I love it? Not as much as other people do probably.
There are so many options to shop from on Oxford Street. From Primark to H&M, Zara or Mango, &Other Stories and River Island, there’s something for every budget and taste. Not to mention Harrods where you can spend probably a whole a day splurging on luxurious stuff.
And with that my list of things to see in London concludes – for now! It’s not necessarily the best list, but we loved everything we saw. I think I would have liked to pack more landmarks – we still haven’t seen Buckingham or Kensington. But there’s always the next time, especially when it comes to London for which we have a soft spot.