A delicious blend of tradition and modernity, London is a living lesson in the virtues of diversity… eminently British, yet the most cosmopolitan city in Europe.
So bring your British power adapter, score a fistful of pounds, load up your electronic underground pass, mind the gap, look both ways before crossing the street, and prepare to be blown away. London’s not cheap, but packs more historical and cultural interest per square meter than any place in the world.
A recommended to-do list for your consideration:
- Climb the dome of Saint Paul’s and enjoy the view.
- Stroll throught enormous Hyde Park, which is always full of surprises.
- Ride the London Eye, slowly, smoothly, and silently four hundred forty feet above the city.
- Marvel at the Parthenon Marbles and Rosetta Stone at the British Museum (entry is free!)
- Enjoy a leisurely, civilized afternoon tea.
- Enjoy some fish and chips with a pint or two of English ale at Ye Olde Chesire Cheese. Cheers!
- Eat Italian, Greek, or Polish and greet your hosts with a heartfelt “Good evening” in their mother tongue.
- Cross Abbey Road, #10 Downing Street, home of the prime minister.
- Cross Tower Bridge on foot (It’s bigger than you think!)
- Cruise the Thames to Greenwich Observatory where you can marvel at the Cutty Sark, straddling the Prime Meridian, and see John Harrison’s famous “Sea Watch”, also known as H4, the very first clock with sufficient accuracy (~3 seconds per day) to solve the longitude problem for trans-oceanic.
- Pay homage to the pantheon of heroes interred at Westminster Abbey ( Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, David Livingstone, to name but a few).
- See the Churchill War Rooms preserved exactly as they were during the war. You can even see the thousands of push pin holes marking the battle lines as the war progressed.
- Stroll the South Bank from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge, come what may.
- Visit the Tate Modern, then cross the Millenium Bridge to Saint Paul’s. There’s always something interesting happening on and around the bridge!
- Cross Westminster Bridge and be thrilled by the distinctive chiming of Big Ben.
- See top-notch theater and soak in the night life in Soho.
- Be amazed by the world class street performers in Covent Garden.
And while London is bursting at the seams with iconic sights and historic landmarks, you will not appreciate her fully until you’ve shared a laugh or a pint with some of her many delightful and colorful characters. Let’s go!