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Old 04-23-2009, 11:08 PM
Location: South Strip, NV --> Philly (Fall 2009)
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I will be in England for about 8 days, but will be spending Memorial Day weekend, at least 2 or 3 days in London...

I am stumped on what to do in London...This will be my first time there and I'm not sure when I'll ever be able to go back...I have been checking out some sites, but I really can't figure out what I'm interested in...I only really want to see stuff that you wouldn't normally see in the USA, especially DC, NYC, and Philly, and I believe we will be traveling by public transportation/underground when in London...

I know I would like to see the changing of the guards and I'd like to go on a double decker tour or maybe a walking tour...I know that a dinner cruise on the Thames is also in order, any recommendations on cruise and tour companies? What is the best way to spend 2 or 3 days in London? Are tours of the Globe Theater worth it, is it worth it to visit, I dont know if I'll have time to see any shows...

Thank you in advance!
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:44 PM
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It's been a long time since I did my study abroad there, but here are some of my suggestions

on the hop on/hop off site seeing bus, try to get a few people together (even if strangers) and negotiate ...... we often got on with child tickets for a fraction of the price that those riding with passes bought through TAs or their hotels

london also has spectacular neighborhoods, try to get out and explore ..... one of my favorite parts of the city was primrose hill

don't be afraid to do the touristy stuff, but try to get a local feel ...... get into the neighborhoods, grab a pub lunch, head to brick lane for some curry, etc

the tower of london was by far my favorite tourist attraction and it can eat up some time

i also made a couple of trips to greenwich - it's an interesting train ride over to that section then you walk a tunnel under the Thames ...... there are some good pubs if you walk left of the tunnel down the river as well as some neat areas in the area itself (as well as a chance to view the Cutty Sark, the observatory, the meridian line, etc) - from there I enjoyed the 1 way cruise on the Thames back into London, snacks and drinks and about 30 minutes on the boat

you can also catch boat rides through the canals by the zoo

there is a weekly newspaper that comes out (i think it's call What's On) which can be a good guide to entertainment, etc for the specific period you are there ....... try to see if you can find a market or festival going on

all in all just make sure you enjoy it - london is an incredible city - it can be pricey and you may run into a couple people who aren't american friendly ...... but all up the people there were great so don't let a couple bad apples or the congestion of the city ruin a good time
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:49 AM
Location: SW France
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Go to any of our museums and art galleries in London.

They're free.

Major ones include the British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum, Natural History Museum etc etc etc.

Or try some of the open air markets.

Go to a pub.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:40 PM
Location: Aurora, Colorado
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I love London and visited there as a tourist 4 times. My absolute favorite city tour is on the Big Brown Bus. You can hop on and off all day and the best thing of all is the Changing of the Guard tour. Double check that you are there on a day when they do the ceremony (it doesn't take place every day) and it won't go on during bad weather. If you are there during a ceremony, the Big Brown Bus guide will take you to where the Scottish bagpipers begin playing and you literally walk with them down the street towards Buckingham Palace. Once they get there, you can either decide to stay and watch (which in hindsight is no big deal...the pomp and circumstance happens on the way to Buckingham Palace) or you can just get back on the bus and see another site. There are tons of tour buses in London...get on the Big Brown Bus tour.

Also, get Rick Steves' book on London. We followed his advice to the letter and could not have had a better time. He breaks down everything for you...great walking tours, best route to take when going to see the Tower of London, best places for a pint and fish and chips, etc. Also in Leicester Square, there is a discount booth for theater tickets. Sometimes the line is outrageous. Perhaps we just got lucky, but we only stood in line for about 20 minutes and got front row orchestra seats to an awesome comedy Shakespeare show.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:42 PM
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,607,090 times
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Originally Posted by lvkewlkid View Post
Are tours of the Globe Theater worth it, is it worth it to visit, I dont know if I'll have time to see any shows...Thank you in advance!
I go to the Globe every time I'm in London. I have seen 3 shows there (standing right in the middle with the crowd...it's wonderful). The only time I didn't get to see a show was in the summer and it was sold out. I took the tour but found it to be kind of disappointing. You can at least go to the gift shop which allows you to walk around and see it for yourself, just without the tour guide.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:03 PM
Location: Ballwin, MO
366 posts, read 1,582,775 times
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Everyone of the above suggestions are fantastic and I wouldn't add anything with the exception of taking the underground. I would never do that unless you have to get somewhere farther out like Hampton Court or Abbey Road where you could also walk to Madam Trusaud's Wax Museum. At Victoria Station you can get busses that go everywhere in the city, and it's a great way to see London, when you're on the tube you see walls. Actually, London is very walkable. You can walk from Westminster to Picadilly Circus and see Big Ben, #10 Downing Street, the stables and Churchill's War Room along the way. It's an easy walk from Picadilly to so many things. Hop on a bus and go to Kensington area and see Notting Hill and walk to Harrods. I guess I thought of a few things. You will love London and all of England.
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