Seeing London once should be on the to do list of any person who likes to see the world. The question that gets asked a lot by the first-time visitors is what are the best places to stay in London. Hotels in central London can be expensive, yet while it might be very tempting to choose cheaper accommodation outside the city centre, it’s a choice that you’ll quickly regret. First, commuting into the city every day will cost a lot of money and time. Precious time, that you could otherwise use for sightseeing. Visiting London for the first time? Stay in central London! By staying in central London you can see much more in less time. Ultimately this will save money not just on transportation, but also on your overall trip budget, because you’ll need less days in order to see just as much.
The market halls of Covent Garden are only the beginning of the neighborhood, which encompasses the shops and restaurants of Long Acre and other adjacent streets, those of Neal’s Yard and Seven Dials, as well as the Central Square with its street performers. The halls and arcades of Covent Garden Market are lined with specialty shops and kiosks selling everything from fine handcrafts to tacky souvenirs. Housed in the former flower market, you’ll find the London Transport Museum, filled with historic buses, trolleys, and trams. This area is also where you’ll find the Royal Opera House.
Camden is a well-known cultural neighborhood in north London. Known for its alternative culture, the crowds here are filled with goths, punks, rockabillies and tourists alike. Camden has a vibrant body mod community and you will find a number of piercing and tattoo shops in this part of town. Camden Market is eclectic and diverse, featuring street food from international cuisines, and lots of stalls selling trinkets and unique artwork to take home. Rummage through vintage clothing racks, find a used book to take on your travels, or visit one of the city’s best vegan bakeries at Cookies And Scream.
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Trafalgar Square is situated in Westminster and is considered one of the biggest in London. The square was named after the battle of Trafalgar, a victory over the French fleet by Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson. Today, the square features some of the most popular attractions in London and has been a place for many protests, demonstrations, and large-scale events. Wander around the square to find the famous Trafalgar Square lions or snap a selfie with one of the bronze statues in each corner. The North-East part of the square is home to the fabulous St Martin-in-the-Fields church. Cost: Entry to Trafalgar Square is free.
The Shard, also referred to as the “Shard of Glass”, is the tallest skyscraper in London and Western Europe. It stands out from any other building in the London metropolis, soaring 310 metres into the sky and made up of 72 outstanding storeys (with the spire at the top it reaches for 95 storeys). The Shard is home to apartments, a hotel, offices, a retail arcade, and restaurants and bars. The topmost floor of this magnificent building gives you a truly unforgettable panoramic view of the city below. From across the river at night, tourists can get a different view of The Shard as it glows with beauty.
Buckingham Palace is Queen Elizabeth II’s official residence and has been the official London residence of Britain’s sovereign since 1837. It was once a townhouse owned by the Dukes of Buckingham back in the eighteenth century. George III bought Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte to use as a family home near to St James’s Palace, where many court functions were held. The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace have been opened to the public for the Annual Summer opening, in August and September, since 1993, after the fire at Windsor Castle in November 1992. Initially, the Summer Opening was considered a way to pay for the damage at Windsor Castle, but it became so popular that The Queen has continued to allow visitors every summer. The Queen is not at Buckingham Palace when it is open to the public–she goes to one of her country residences.