Making Your First Visit To London A Magical One

As capital cities go, London is up there as one of the best in the world. It currently ranks as number three on the ‘most visited cities in the world’ list, beaten only by Hong Kong and Bangkok. 

It’s easy to see why London is such a popular spot for visitors. There’s a lot of history to be enjoyed, great shopping and nightlife, and simply just a constant flurry of things to do. It’s one of those places where you’ll never forget your first visit, and the feeling of excitement as you arrive.

For those who live in London or are regular visitors, it’s easy to forget how exciting that first visit can be, so if you’re experiencing it for the first time, be sure to make the most of it. If you’re planning a visit to London, this handy guide will help you plan a magical first visit, so that you can make some incredible memories during your first trip.

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Stay central if you can

London is huge, and beyond the city, there are plenty of surrounding boroughs that are easily connected to Central London where accommodation may be a little cheaper. But for your first time, try to stay central – it will help save you some time and ensure you can get around easily while helping you experience life in the heart of London. 

Beyond hotels, you can find some great places to stay on Airbnb and, and you can find plenty of good deals for hotels and boutique accommodation if you look hard enough.

Experience the Tube, but make time to walk too

The London Underground is the oldest metro system in the world, and you have to experience it during your time in the city. It’s easy to navigate, fast and reliable and will help you get to different parts of the city quickly. But despite the convenience of the Tube, you’ll also want to make plenty of time for walking. There are some incredible London walks you can take that will help you take in the city and witness some of its best sights – including walking through the famous Hyde Park.

In addition to the Tube and on-foot transport, you could also make the most of open-top buses to help you see some of London’s most famous sights, and enjoy an Uber Boat to see the skyline from the water.

Tick some of the must-visit places off your list

London is packed with attractions, which can make it difficult to fit in everything in one visit. It’s a good idea to make a list of the things you really want to see and plan them into your visit. Some of the top things to see and do in London include:

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Trafalgar Square
  • The Tower of London
  • Houses of Parliament (including Big Ben)
  • Hyde Park
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Leicester Square
  • Westminster Abbey
  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • The Shard
  • Tower Bridge
  • St Paul’s Cathedral 
  • Kensington Palace
  • The Natural History Museum

Granted, that’s a long list already, but many of these attractions you can simply pass by instead of having to go in and visit. Many are also located close together, so you can see a lot of them in a short amount of time. If there are any museums and art galleries you want to visit during your time, get to them earlier in the day to make sure you make the time for them.

Join in the atmosphere

London is home to a never-ending programme of events from sport to music. The atmosphere is incredible and you should try to be a part of it as much as you can. Search what’s on to give you some ideas for things you can do during your visit.

Depending on the time of year you go, there will also be seasonal events you can take part in. Winter is when the Winter Wonderland festival is in full swing, which is popular with both tourists and Londoners each year. Meanwhile, you’ll find plenty of things to do in London in the summer, which will be sure to pique your interest.

A West End show is a must

The West End is one of the most bustling parts of London – the atmosphere is simply electric. You should get to experience the magic of the West End at least once in your lifetime, so be sure to check out which West End shows are on during your stay. There are a lot of different ticket types, so you could get some affordable seats that will still give you a fantastic view of the stage. Some of the current most popular shows include Matilda, Six, Mamma Mia, Frozen and Jersey Boys.

Make some time for shopping

London is home to some of the best shopping areas in the world. On Oxford Street, you’ll find plenty of well-known brands in some of their biggest locations, while Knightsbridge is home to epic department stores like Harrods which are worth a visit even if you don’t buy anything! Meanwhile, Covent Garden is a place to enjoy smaller boutiques and the famous market, while Kensington High Street and White City are worth a visit if you’re a serious shopper. 

Embrace different foodie experiences

The UK has always had a bad reputation for food in the past, but that has certainly changed now. If you’re from outside the UK, make time to try some British classics such as afternoon tea or Sunday lunch – you won’t regret it. Otherwise, London boasts a very international food scene, with restaurants inspired by cuisine from all over the world. Be warned, the most popular spots get booked up months in advance, so be sure to get those reservations in place.

Beyond traditional restaurant settings, there are also plenty of other food experiences to try. Head to Borough Market, Berwick Street in Soho and Camden for street food and other tasty treats.

@jennnabrown Trying tiktok famous food at the Borough Market in London! 😋 #broroughmarket #blackpig #humblecrumble #thingstodoinlondon #chocolatestrawberries #london #travellondon #foodtour ♬ original sound – Jenna Brown 🌎

@janeoutdoors Camden Market has lots of great food options and clothes stores. Don’t forget to check out the area outside the market itself. It got really busy though so be prepared! #camdenmarket #camdentown #regentscanal #camdenstreet #explorelondon #holiday #holidayinlondon #londonfood #londonhotspots #londontiktok #foodreview #londonfood #londonfoodie #londonmarket #londonfoodreview #londonplacestogo #londonplacestoeat #travellondon ♬ Little Things – Adrian Berenguer

Whether it’s your first time or you’re a regular visitor, there’s something incredible about London and everything it has to offer. Make your first visit a magical one and enjoy new and thrilling experiences each time you visit. New York may be the city that never sleeps, but it’s London that will continue to surprise you with its old and new delights.

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