HOW TO SPEND 24 HOURS IN LONDON
If you are planning on staying in London for less than 24 hours, for a few hours layover or a very quick visit, here are some great places to visit once you are there.
I flew my boyfriend over to London for our 2 years anniversary and it was the greatest decision after the huge heat wave happening in Paris. I just couldn’t stand the 37 degrees anymore and was looking forward the 21 London degrees. So I planned a quick 1 day trip over to London to enjoy the beautiful city. Our flight back to Paris was at 7 pm the same day, so we only had few hours to enjoy some of the famous places in London. Here are some tips if you are on a tight layover or visit schedule :
Plan some time for bagage Claim and customs exit
I was only traveling with a carry on so no need to wait hours to get my luggage back, but if you are traveling on a long flight and are in London for only few hours until your next flight, you will have to take this into consideration. Luggage Claim and customs take much more time than you might think. I almost choked when I saw the queue for customs and since the latest attacks in London, this is only getting worse.
From Airport to London City Center
There are 3 airports in London being Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton and some require much more transportation time than other. We arrived in Luton, which if you are traveling for a day, I wouldn’t necessary recommend. Luton is 45 minutes train away from London City Center. Exiting the airport, you will need to go toward the Airport Parkway and find the shuttle bus that will drive you to the rail station. Ticket to London is around 18£. There you will arrive at London St Pancras station. And you trip starts here !
1.London St Pancras
Coming out of London St Pancras train station you will be able to admire the beautiful red facade of the station, the beautiful London Architecture, cliché red bus & phone cabins, colorful doors and very nicely decorated pubs. From here we had the option to go for one of the famous tourist tour bus or to discover London by ourselves. We went for option number 2.
2.Breakfast in Camden Town
Head back into the city and grab a bite in one of famous London neighborhood, Camden Town. Situated in the North side of the City, Camden Town is not that far from St Pancras and we decided to continue our visit by walk. However, you will also effortlessly get there by metro or bus. Camden has always been one of my favorite neighborhood and the very busy & original district had me addicted. After few hours of plane it was time to satisfy our starving bellys with some on London delicious Food and we found the cutest little shop for breakfast : 2 salty brioches and pizzas each and my mandatory ESPRESSO.
Food was great, belly was full, so we got back and moved to see the rest or the beautiful city.
3. St Paul’s Cathedral
If you have read my latest article on Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, you will know I am not a fan of Cathedral and churches. However St Paul’s Cathedral is just pure beauty. Completely different in style from Notre-Dame she is not less beautiful, if not the contrary. I couldn’t recommend visiting the beautiful interior enough. Get ready for marvelous domes, amazing spaces, many gold details and beautiful paintings.
4.Strolling along South Bank
After St Paul Cathedral we walked through the unusual Millennium Bridge and crossed the Thames river toward the South Bank. The same bridge who collapse after being destruct by the death Eater in Harry Potter (for all my Harry Potter Fan out there) ! From there we could already admire the impressive Tower Bridge and London Bridge. We then walked along the bankside and enjoyed all the nice restaurants, boutiques and food trucks that made the walk even more enjoyable. *My recommendation : Stop and buy some of the delicious Tacos and tasty cocktails sold on the bankside and walk toward the nice sitting area to enjoy the view on the different famous London bridges & building.
5.London Tower Bridge
6.Oxford & Picadilly Circus
It was almost time for us to head back to the airport but what would be London without a stroll in one of the busiest streets of the city, Oxford street. The impressive area gather all the shops, galleries and outlets you might have hoped for. After stuffing my face with delicious Unicorn Cupcake from Lily’s cupcake we found in the Foodhall of Selfridges (head over to my instagram to see what I am talking about) 🙂 we walked toward Picadilly Circus and its famous ad screens.
Hope you enjoyed my article ! Have you been to London ? If yes, let me know your experience in the comment section below. I would love to read your thoughts.