first timers guide to london

There is a lot to see in all of the world’s capitals, and London is no exception. There are famous historical, cultural, and spiritual places throughout the city, so you’d better tie your walking shoes and get ready for 20,000 step day. If you’re in town for the week you can do this a bit slower, but if the weekend is all you’ve got, hustle! Here are 10 places you need to visit on your first trip to London.

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things to do in london for first timers

1. Big Ben

It’s the most famous clock in the world, and it’s hard to miss if you’re in town. The clock sits at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, overlooking the River Thames with all its grandeur. The dials on the clock are 23 feet long, so you should be able to tell the time from anywhere in the area!

2. Tower Bridge

tower bridge

Built between 1886 and 1894, Tower Bridge is another iconic landmark in London that you’ll no doubt stumble across without any planning. It crosses the Thames, but don’t make the common first-timer mistake of confusing it with London Bridge. It’s much prettier in our opinion!

3. Piccadilly Circus

London’s a busy city, but on top of that, this is one of the busier parts in town. Piccadilly Circus is where many different parts of London meet. You can easily access the Haymarket, Coventry Street, the theaters on Shaftesbury Avenue, and some serious shopping and entertainment areas in the West End. Get ready for busy streets, lots of lights, and double-decker buses.

4. The London Eye

One of the best views in the city is from the London Eye, but if heights aren’t your thing it’s still very impressive to see from below. You’ll be able to see many of the things on this list from above in one go! You can also save 10% by booking online ahead of time.

5. The Tube

You may not have expected us to recommend the Underground as a place to visit in London. Yes, it’s stuffy, it’s tight, and it’s jam-packed with people – but it’s an absolute must for your first trip to London. If you want to experience a city, do it through the eyes of the locals and hear that famous phrase…mind the gap!

6. Buckingham Palace

Pay a visit to the Queen while you’re in town and stop by Buckingham Palace. If you time it out right, you can see the changing of the guard ceremony.

7. Camden Market

Camden Market is one of our favorite spots in London. There’s amazing food to try, interesting shops of all kinds, and be sure to watch the boats pass through the famous Camden Locks.

8. The British Museum, Natural History Museum, and the National Gallery

museums to see first time in london

It’s hard to pick just one museum to visit in London. We love the Natural History Museum, but if you’re not a history buff, the British Museum is probably the one to pick. You can spend an entire day in these museums, so budget your time wisely.

9. St. Paul’s and Millenium Bridge

You can walk across Millenium Bridge to St. Paul’s and really take in the view. It offers some great photo opportunities if you want to capture the cathedral from afar.

10. Westminster Abbey

It wouldn’t be a trip to England without seeing one of the most important churches in the world. Westminster Abbey is the traditional marriage and burial site for British Monarchs and its Gothic facade is a beautiful sight to admire.