12 Things You Have To See If It’s Your First Time In London
Travelling to London – much like busting a plugger or sleeping on a goon sack pillow – is pretty much an Aussie rite of passage. There are many things fuelling the allure of The Motherland and its capital, aside from our unhealthy obsession with The Crown. It’s a destination chock full of culture, history, food and attractions.
Plus you’re likely to know more than a few expats willing to put you up for a few days. Here are some of the must-not-miss spots to see when you inevitably make it to London.
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1. The Tower Bridge
If Fergie’s “London Bridge” was an anthem of your tween years then you’d have been misled into thinking the attraction she references is the one you see on all the postcards. However, it’s the Tower Bridge you’re after if it’s Instagram gold you’re chasing – London’s oldest river crossing and one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. You can explore this iconic structure and see some pretty phenom views from its walkways, 45 metres above the Thames.
2. Big Ben
You’ve probably seen this bloody big clock in many a British-based movie/TV show and it’s essential you see it IRL. It’s located at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, i.e. the stunning gothic structure home to parliamentary democracy, which is worth checking out too.
3. Buckingham Palace
Make like Meghan Markle and scope out the finest purveyors of eligible princes. Head to the official home of the royal fam to catch the changing of the guard, nosey around The Queen’s Gallery and, throughout August and September, you can even see the fancy AF State Rooms.
4. London Eye
It’ll cost you a pretty pound but for one of the best views of the city you can’t go past the London Eye. This giant ferris wheel offers a 360 degree panorama of London and a whole lotta solid options for selfies.
5. Trafalgar Square
Head to this spot for giant bronze lions, picturesque fountains and big red buses on every corner.
6. Natural History Museum
Get your Ross Geller on and froth over the priceless artefacts in one of the world’s most iconic museums.
7. The Tate Modern
With the Tate Modern you’ve witnessed a work of art before you’ve even walked in the door. The space alone – a cathedral-like converted power station – is worth seeing an (undoubtedly stellar) exhibition for.
8. Borough Market
This is the best spot to get your foodie kicks and fill up on a huge range of cuisine, from fresh oysters to goat curry. BYO loose fitting pants.
9. Brick Lane
Say hello to hipster paradise complete with eye catching street art, vintage stores, eclectic boutiques and street food stalls.
10. Kew Gardens
While the iconic Hyde Park is defs worth a stroll, Kew Gardens and its stunning temperate house trumps it, offering the largest and most diverse botanical collection in the world.
11. Platform 9¾ at King's Cross Station
It’d be a stretch to recommend the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour (it’s in Leavesden, not London) but fans of the book series (i.e. everyone) can relive their magical fantasies of Hogwarts acceptance by visiting the “actual” platform 9¾ at King's Cross Station. For the record we do not recommend flinging yourself through the brick wall at high velocity.
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