London is the most famous capital city in the world and attracts millions of visitors each year. There are so many famous sights to see like Buckingham Palace with the Changing of the Guard, St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and more contemporary attractions like the Tate Modern and the London Eye. London covers over 607 square miles and is home to more than 8 million people. Taking a holiday or long weekend in the city can be challenging. So, with this in mind, it is a good idea to make a few plans to ensure that you don't miss any of the important places you really want to see. Finding a place to stay is a simple matter of deciding what kind of accommodation you need. There are plenty of hotels ranging from simple modest en suite rooms with basic amenities to the luxury end of the market.
If you prefer a home from home experience you can choose a self catering apartment or a bed and breakfast room. Excellent transport links mean that wherever you choose to stay you will not be far from the bus or tube. Many families choose self catering so that they can travel with their pet and there is plenty of pet friendly accommodation available in the 'Big Smoke'. Choosing self catering does not mean being a slave to cooking as there are lots of places to eat for modest costs.
Casual eating is becoming very popular in London and Azulejo Street Food is a good example of this trend. Based in Acklam Village Market, they provide Portuguese street food with options of lunch, dinner and drinks. Made from fresh ingredients (and love) this is a chance to try traditional Portuguese sandwiches or a tasty seafood stew. Azulejo is open from 11am to 5pm every day.
Eating out in London is a treat for everyone with a huge amount of choice. Local taverns offer pub food but you can easily find more exotic dishes. One of the most popular family businesses is Khon Thai, a street food stall that prepares Thai food just how you like it. The stall is open on Saturdays at the Acklam Village Market just off the famous Portobello Road and you can try new dishes while you listen to live music.
If you prefer a more traditional culinary experience and want to see the city at the same time, try the B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour. The vintage routemaster bus travels around some of the most famous London sights while you enjoy tasty pastries, sandwiches and cakes. A classic afternoon tea is on offer with options of gluten free and vegetarian food. The trip lasts round an hour and a half and is a fantastic way to experience London.
Sightseeing can be exhausting if you do it all yourself but fortunately there are alternatives. City of London Tour Guides was formed in 1983 and members organise guided walks with experts who will delight you with their local knowledge. Daily walks cost just GBP10 per person while some are subsidised by the City of London Corporation and are free. Taking in art, architecture and history this is a great way to see some of the hidden treasures of the city.
As one of the culture capitals of the world, London is awash with things to do. A trip on the London Eye or a day at Madam Tussuad's are excellent choices for a family day out. If you love artifacts you can go to the Natural History Museum which is always a favourite and it's free.
Private tours of London can also be arranged with Visites Guidees De Londres. The tours are available in both the French and English language and can be arranged for as few as two people. Lasting between one and a half hours and two hours, the tours cover monuments, museums and churches as well as other places of interest.
With so much on offer London might seem overwhelming so why not take a break in one of the Royal London Parks. In Hyde Park you can sit by the Serpentine or dangle your feet in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Regents Park is full of wildlife, peace and tranquility. You can relax by the bandstand or go to the open air theatre which puts on events through May until September.
Spending a week in London allows you to take advantage of the many museums situated in the city. The Museum of Brands in Notting Hill is something different. It provides a fascinating look at consumer brands over a period of 200 years. Covering diverse items such as toys, magazines, technology and travel, there is also a garden cafe and shop where you can buy a souvenir. Awarded a Certificate of Excellence, the museum offers a unique and thought provoking trip into the past.
Music lovers coming to London should not miss a trip to the Royal Academy of Music Museum at Marylebone. This superb little museum has manuscripts, unusual instruments from the past, musical events, lectures and exhibitions. Children can take part in a trail hunt with quizzes and puzzles to solve along the way. And, like many of the other London museums this one is completely free of charge. A fascinating way to spend some time and highly recommended.
It really doesn't matter what season you pay a visit to London, events go on throughout the year. This vibrant city has everything you could want for a holiday or short break and you will leave full of memories of a fantastic trip.
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