In September 2017, we took a short trip to London. This was my first time to this city and to the UK as such but Raga had traveled to London almost 10 years back. While the city has definitely changed a lot in all these years but somethings are evergreen. We wanted to keep it a good mix of both touristy and non-touristy stuff while in London. There is just so much to do and see that it can get a bit overwhelming. Do take a look at our list on how to explore London in 4 days.
Explore London in 4 days and the things we absolutely loved:
- Visiting Buckingham Palace.. The tour was not even in our plan and the palace is usually closed for public. But it so happened that while we were in London, the State Rooms were open for the public. They are open only for 2.5 months from mid July to end of September and trust us, it is one of the most beautiful palaces we have seen in Europe. The decorations, the delicate art work and the rich interiors just left us awe struck. As we glided from room to room we could not help but fall more in love with the palace. If you are in London during this duration, make sure that this is on top of your list. Ticket price is a bit steep – £24 per person, but well worth it. Obviously, you are not allowed to take photographs inside.
- Harry Potter Experience.. Warner Bro studio tour had always been on my top things to do in London list and it was amazing. I might not be the biggest Harry Potter fan on this earth but the experience just made my heart happy. I drank butterbeer, explored the forbidden forest, ran into platform 9 3/4, shopped in Diagon Alley, and went inside the Hogwarts express. Raga probably wasn’t as excited but I had the time of my life.. If you are planning a trip to Warner Bro studio, do keep almost half a day for just this. There is no direct connectivity to the studio and you might have to change 3-4 connections which could take up to 2 hours each way. The tour itself will take about 3 hours. The ticket price is £41 per person, so again a bit expensive.
- Seeing Kohinoor Diamond.. You can see the Kohinoor Diamond inside the Tower of London. We took a free tour inside which runs every hour and you get to hear stories about how the kings lived. The tour was definitely worth it. Kohinoor Diamond now sits inside The Crown Jewels room which is also a house for 23,577 other gemstones. Wow! Send you time walking around the Tower of London and don’t miss out the view from the Tower walls.
- Notting Hill.. Ever since I saw Hugh Grant’s Notting Hill, I always had a fantasy about it. So, it was a no brainer to definitely visit the area. We spent an afternoon walking around colourful houses, eating ice cream and exploring Portobello Road Market. We took a lot of photographs as it would probably be a crime to come back without them. It’s a nice locality with some really fancy houses.
- London Bus Tour.. We took a two day pass for the Big Bus because Raga’s mom was travelling with us and she couldn’t walk much. While doing a bus tour you can pick and choose the areas you want to get down and explore more. The bus tour is really handy while travelling with small kids or elders. As a part of the pass we did a night tour of the city and London looked spectacular. The bus goes through the same route as of during the day tour but it was kind of fun sitting on the top deck in freezing cold temperatures and seeing the city sparkle. Online price of two day tour is £39 per person.
- Indian Food.. London has some amazing Indian restaurants and we had the time of our lives eating our hearts out as we don’t get good Indian food in Dublin. Some of the restaurants we particularly liked was Mala Restaurant in St. Katherine Docks for North Indian food and Taste of India for South Indian food.
- Piccadilly circus.. One of the stops on the tour is Piccadilly circus and it is an nice place to spend an evening walking around and doing nothing. While walking around, we spotted this really huge store called Fortnum and Mason, which was filled with delicate cookies, tea, cakes, chocolate and what not. We probably got lost in the store and shopped till we dropped.
- Day Trips.. We highly recommend taking a day trip to a small English village as it has a charm that you can never see in a big city like London. Castle Combe, which is also voted as the prettiest village in England, is just 2 hours drive away from the city and will take you back in time. The village itself is very small and the main street gets over in about 250 meters. Spend a relaxed day doing nothing, walk along the quaint village, taste some traditional English Ales and go back in time.
We did a lot of touristy things but London felt just like Dublin – only 100 times bigger… Raga and I both felt that we liked Dublin better in many aspects but somethings in London were just too good. Like the connectivity is top class and there are so many modes of transportation and connections that you can never get stuck. Uber was super cheap mode of transportation as well. We suggest using Uber instead of London black cabs which is 3 times more expensive.
Leaving you with some photos from our collection..