Visiting Central London
London has always made the list of the top tourist cities in the world and reasons why are quite simple. The number of attractions available in the centre of the city combined with its easy, efficient transportation system, make it a dream city for tourists. Central London can be loosely defined by everything that is encompassed by Zone 1, according to the Transport for London tube map. Within these boundaries are Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Covent Garden, the West End and a laundry list of world-class museums. The only problem tourists run into in the city, is how to visit so much in a small amount of time.
There are a few planning tips that will make a visit to London easier and more convenient. First of all, find a London hotel that is located towards the centre of town and close to a tube station. It is helpful if the station is connected to more than one line, as this will make moving around the city easier. Stations such as Bank, Baker Street, Paddington and Green Park are all good options. Secondly, book tickets to transportation and shows ahead of time. West End theatre tickets can sell out fast, so it’s best to book early. There are also more discounts available on when booking theatre tickets and packaged deals online. Also look into purchasing tube passes and any London tours ahead of time to ensure your place.
Begin your stay in London by getting your bearings. Try taking either a boat or bus tour of the city to view and get a handle on all of its great landmarks. Most tours take visitors past Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and more. In the mornings, take advantage of the smaller crowds and visit museums such as the Tate Modern and the British Museum. More open spaces such as Hyde Park, the London Zoo and Kensington Gardens can be experienced during the day. At night, the city’s West End is where all the action is. Covent Garden buzzes with shoppers and Leicester Square is lit up with theatre lights. The evenings are the best times to visit West End shows, and even if you haven’t purchased tickets, London theatre tickets are sometimes available direct from the box office. Those with greater interest in London’s theatre scene can also purchase theatre tickets for matinee shows, or look for theatres outside the West End. The city is full of excellent plays and musicals ranging from the Lion King to War Horse.
England may not have the best reputation when it comes to cuisine, but London is certainly the exception. The city is full of fine dining, but if that doesn’t strike your fancy there are also many reasonably-priced restaurants to choose from. If there’s one thing visitors shouldn’t miss it is afternoon tea. Whether indulging at the Hyatt Regency, or at the local bakery or cafe, it’s the must-have meal in London.