I lived in London in the past, I have been over a hundred times as a tourist, and every time I go back I still enjoy it as if it was my first time there! When I have only a short trip to London I make the most of it every single time, and although it would depend in what are your main interests I will tell you what I did the last time we were in London, it was Marsi’s (3years old) 2nd time in London and Mercuri’s (11 months old) first time.
We stayed in the center of London, there are many options to stay in depending on your budget, but I would recommend staying near Trafalgar Square , The Strand , Covent Garden or Waterloo as they are within walking distance to the main attractions.
The first “must see” in London I would say it is the Big Ben, that in the past it was officially called the Clock Tower and in 2012 it changed his official name to Elizabeth Tower in honor of Queen Elizabeth and the 60 years she had been in throne… this 2018 will be her 66th year in throne and whatever his official name is I think everybody will always recognize it as the BIG BEN. I remember since I was a little girl I would synchronize my watch to the Big Ben to be in time!
This time we got to see the Big Ben in a different way, he was been taking care and their will be doing some conservation work during a total of 4 years until 2021, despite this we got to appreciate the Westminster Palace and the walk over Westminster bridge which pathway now is protected with some kind of hard barriers to protect all tourists.
If I had to describe London weather in a word I would say “gray” it does have a sunny days, warm days, beautiful days, but many of those beautiful days have most of the time a touch of gray, rain or clouds, and it is still beautiful because the weather is part of London and this time was not the exception, we had freezing windy gray days!
The Buckingham Palace is also a “must see” , and if you get the chance to see the changing of the guard it is a very good experience, you get to see the horses parade , the bands playing music and the changing of the guard , for this you have to be early enough to get a place next to the gates of the Palace but to see the horses you have to be on the road side… so chose your pick or run from one place to the other and try to squeeze in, don’t forget to take water and snacks if you have little kids because it will be a long wait for them and if you leave to get something you’ll lose your spot.
Trafalgar square commemorates a British naval victory of the Trafalgar battle and to me is also a London must see because it is a very beautiful place and you can spend nice time, you can have a coffee in the stairs, you can visit the National Gallery, you can sit to watch the fountains or you can climb up the famous Lions surrounding Nelson’s column like we did! Actually the Trafalgar Lions are cast in bronze from the cannons of ships defeated in the Battle of Trafalgar, so there is a little bit of history in everything you see!
If you travel with kids you should definitely go on The London Eye, a big wheel where you can do a 30 minutes ride to see London from the sky!
The ride will amaze your kid’s eyes and your own! Depending on the weather you will be able to see as far as the London 2012 Olympic
I’d suggest to buy your tickets in advance to avoid long wait specially with young children but even if you buy it before the last line you will have to do it anyway.
Having a walk in Southbank is something you can do with your family , you will walk next to the Thames, you will enjoy the nature and the artists that are over there entertaining all the tourists trying to make a living out of it. If you are lucky enough you will get a free concert from a very talented musician and who knows what else, so try to appreciate everything you get to see because you a lucky to be alive!
Picadilly Circus is a walk you also have to do, you can have yummy cinnamon rolls to take away and from there you can go up to Oxford Street and back, you can go in Hameley’s if you want to buy the perfect toy, they’ll have everything you want! Then go back to Soho and and then to Leicester Square where you can have take away food and you can buy also tickets to any musical theatre you want to assist.
Very near Leicester Square, just up the street next to the M&M’s world there is a restaurante I like quite much “Burger & Lobster” where you can chose your very own lobster, you chose the wight, size and the way you want it to be cooked, the restaurant has a lot of room and you can even sit with your double stroller next to you to enjoy your meal and let your kids sleep if they are having a nap, they when they wake up you can take them to see the Lobsters swimming and then enjoy it in their tummy! After this I recommend going out for dessert to Bubblewrapwaffle, where you can customize your ice cream, a waffle cone, delicious icecream and a variety of toppings you can chose makes it the perfect dessert!
You can’t leave London without taking a photo in a red telephone box! You can still find them and you can still call your loved ones from them! And now some of them even offer free wifi!
London has so many things to offer, a lot of museums, parks, attractions, even just popping on a red bus is a fun thing to do, you can enjoy everything in London, and once again, don’t hesitate to take your kids with you on holidays! Even the babies enjoy them and appreciate everything, and what they love the most is being with you, so take them with you if you can!
Have a run early morning to enjoy the view of the famous monuments without all the crowd !