London is a city full of life, there is always something happening somewhere in the city, from street artists, dancers, bands, actors, from cyclists meetings, people gathering etc. It is a super cosmopolitan city, it is amazing to see the diversity, you literally meet people from everywhere, what makes you feel that London has a bit of the whole world in it.
Every capital deserves a good amount of time to actually see everything, or at least half of it. As I always say in other guides, 3 days are not enough to fully explore the city, especially London, I do recommend for you to stay longer. Of course we not always have as much time as we wish we had to visit cities, but in case you manage to have more days in the city, you can check the guide for 5 days in London.
It is true that London is an expensive city, the fact that the currency is pound already makes our wallet cry a little bit, besides the currency, hotels tend to be kind of expensive too. But of course, there are always ways to save some money while you are in the city.
3 Days In London As A Beginner
The most central station in London is the Victoria Station, and it is where we gonna start the day. From there it is really easy to get to the Buckingham Palace. The Palace by itself is already beautiful but besides admiring it you can also watch the Guard Changing, which is a free attraction yaaaay!! But you should check their site to see the dates as the Guard Changing doesn’t happen every day.
In front of Buckingham Palace, you can take a walk in the St James Park It has a nice view to both the Buckingham Palace and the Big Ben if you wish to take pics. Following the park or the avenues in front of the Palace, you will be taken directly to the Westminster Palace and the beloved Big Ben! Big Ben is actually the name of the bell inside the tower, by the way, the tower itself is known as Elizabeth Tower. Next to the Westminster Palace is the Westminster Abbey, the famous church where the coronation takes place. The lines to get inside are always long and during Sundays, the church is closed for visitors.
Back to the Big Ben, on the other side of the river is the London Eye, the tickets can be bought in the place, but you can get a discount buying on their site and you can skip the line. In this side of the river is where you get the best pictures of the Westminster Palace.
Crossing the river again, take the Parliament St, in front of the Parliament Square and follow straight till the Trafalgar Square, to see its beautiful Nelson’s Column and the famous lion statues under it. In the square you also find the National Gallery, it is the house of one of the most important collections of the world and its entrance is completely free!
There are many buses that pass close to the British Museum, one of them is the Bus 73. British Museum is another free attraction of London and worths a visit, it is the most visited museum in the world and with good reason, its collection includes from mummies to samurai armors, it also houses the Rosetta Stone. You can then take the underground and go straight to the St Paul Cathedral, first built in 1256, the building was destroyed during the Great Fire and then rebuilt in 1675. St Paul Cathedral has the second biggest dome in the world, you need to pay to visit the cathedral inside though. From the dome you can get a panoramic view from London.
Front there you can easily pick the bus 15 for the next spot, there is a bus stop right in front of the cathedral and you will need to get out of it in the very last stop, which is right in front of Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. Tower of London was built in 1066 as a castle, then later turned into a prison than a zoo and now it is a museum, home of the Crown Jewels of England. It is necessary to buy tickets to visit it inside.
The Tower Bridge can also be visited from inside for a small fee, you can get a nice view of the city and the Thames River from there although I don’t really find it necessary, you can have better views from other parts of the city is you really want to. Nothing stops you from crossing the bridge and admiring it’s architecture for free though. As this is an old part of the city of London, you will see a nice mix of old and new buildings as it is also the economic heart of the city. From the new buildings that are worth noting are the Shard, the Gherkin 20 Fenchurch Street, and London’s City Hall.
Taking the underground to Knightsbridge you will be in one of the most famous shopping streets of London, following the Brompton Road you will find among other famous brand shops, the Harrods department shop. Unfortunately everything there is really expensive, but worth a visit, from outside to inside Harrods is so well decorated, very rich in details and there is nothing liked their Christmas decor!
Following the Brompton Road straight, you will find some museums, Victoria & Albert (art & design collection), Natural History Museum (natural world collection) and Science Museum (its collection includes Apollo 10 command capsule). All of them is completely free to visit.
Back to Harrods, let’s go to the biggest park in London, the Hyde Park. During November and December, you will find the biggest Christmas market, the Winter Wonderland, here that includes even a theme park. In the upper corner of the park is located the Mable Arch, at the junction of Oxford St and Park Lane. The Mable Arch was designed in the beginning to be the entrance gate for the Buckingham Palace, but it was later relocated to the Hyde Park. Traditionally only the Royal Family and its troops could pass through it. Nowadays it only happens during special ceremonies.
If you like shopping or at least is curious to see the famous commerce of the city, Oxford St is the most famous shopping street, here you will find brands like Primark, River Island, H&M, Marks and Spencer, Zara, Michael Kors etc. It is an alive part of the city, concentrating a huge crowd every day. There is always street artist alongside the street. Walking alongside the street, you will get to the Oxford Circus, a junction between Oxford Street and Regent Street, another shopping street, this street will lead you to the Picadilly Circus, the famous street full of outdoors and lights. This is the perfect place to spend your night in. There are many places where you can buy food, enjoy your time and people watch.