London is by no means a hidden gem in terms of travel. Millions of visitors head to the English capital every year to take in the historic sites and welcoming atmosphere. But when you only have a weekend in a city as big as London, it’s hard to know what to prioritize.
I’ve been on weekend trips to London numerous times, but I must say: I think I perfected it on my most recent trip. Two friends and I went from Friday morning to Monday evening, and we fit as much as we could into our mini-break.
We arrived early on Friday morning. We couldn’t check into our accommodation, but left our bags there and headed out. After a nice brunch in a local cafe, we got a Tube more central, to spend the afternoon strolling through Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, and Soho. We stopped into some shops and, as I’m a big book lover, I obviously had to pay a visit to Foyles Bookshop.
Later, we decided to head out to Shoreditch; a great area in London for nightlife. We went to Swift Bars for cocktails and ended the night dancing in The Blues Kitchen, which came highly recommended by friends. All in all, it was a good first day!
We booked afternoon tea for Saturday. This is a staple for me (and many others!) when visiting London, and there are so many options to choose from. This time, we tried Swan at the Globe, Shakespeare’s theatre. Normally, we would have taken a tour of the theatre (or at least visited the gift shop), but unfortunately for us, it was closed during these dates. It's most definitely on the to-do list for a future visit.
We were in the city for November 5th - Guy Fawkes Night - so we went to the firework and bonfire festival in Alexandra Palace. It was as fun as it sounds; a great night with friends, complete with delicious mulled wine from one of the food stalls, and an amazing firework show. If you’re not lucky enough to be in London on November 5th, never fear; there are loads of festival and event options in the city all year round!
As far as I’m concerned, it should be illegal to visit London without seeing a show on the West End! There are countless options to suit any taste, and even those not into musical theatre are sure to be impressed. We saw Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new Cinderella, a fun new comedy with great music and brilliant performers.
On Sunday night, it was all about that rooftop experience. London has countless rooftop bars and restaurants, where you can put your glad rags on and view the whole city from up high. This time, we had a delicious Mexican meal in Madera while taking in the views of the city.
Having been to London numerous times, we didn’t feel the need to visit any museums on this trip. But if we had, this would have been the day for it. Instead, we visited some of London’s best sites: Buckingham Palace, Kensington Gardens, Harrods, The London Eye, and more. London is BIG, so we had to get the Tube between all of these places, but it’s a quick and affordable way to travel. We of course stopped for lunch and a couple of coffees along the way!
On Monday night, we flew home, exhausted but delighted with a weekend well spent.