So I have been watching a lot of Sherlock lately, which partly inspired me to work on this blog post. London is just one of those incredible places that you should visit at least once in your life. For me, this was actually my second trip to the city, however the first time I was pretty young so I do not remember a lot.
For this adventure, we decided to buy a three day bus pass, mostly because we were a bit tired of walking. However, if you are willing to walk a bit more and rely more heavily on the tube and other public transport options, it would be cheaper. Another thing that I tend to do, which I mentioned in my Ballin' on a Budget post, is that buying food at grocery stores which can save a lot of money.
In any case, I have some favorite things that we did that were very inexpensive or free.
Visit Big Ben and the Parliament Building
This may seem like an obvious one, but Big Ben (which fun fact is actually referring to the bell inside the tower, not the tower itself) is a magnificent sight to see. We went by it one day at sunset and it was a beautiful sight to see across the river. If you are in this area, you should also check out Westminster Abbey, its truly breathtaking.
Go to Buckingham Palace
Watching the changing of the guard is another event that one should do when visiting London. It is free to watch and they really make a show of it at 11:30 am. Watching all of the guards come through in all of their colors and horns blasting is a really fun event to take part of. The exterior of Buckingham Palace is also really amazing, and outside this royal palace are beautiful flowers and the garden right next door has beautiful gates.
Go to the Tate Modern Art Museum
This was one of my favorite things that I did in London. The Tate Modern Art Museum is FREE to enter, with a suggested donation if you would like to get a brochure. This blew my mind because there are so many famous works of art in this museum. I spent an entire morning just wandering through the museum looking at works by Rothko, Pollock, Monet, Picasso, Braque and many many others. Just by chance I happened to walk outside of the museum to find that one of my favorite artists, Passenger was playing on the Queens walk. Also if you are a Harry Potter fan the Millennium bridge that the Death eaters attack in the Half-Blood Prince is right outside the Tate Modern.
The Queens Walk
This is another place that is very beautiful and perfect for am afternoon stroll. I personally did it when I was headed from the Tate Modern to Piccadilly Circus. The Queens Walk goes along the South Bank and has incredible views across the water of many of London's famous sights.
Visit the Tower Bridge
This is another one of those famous London landmarks. It really is pretty imposing and incredible, and while it is not free to get in, it is free to walk around and check it out.
Check out Covent Garden
While Covent Garden is technically more a of place to do shopping, it is also a really cool area to explore. I personally was on a hunt for a painting of London, which this was a great place to find that. I love exploring different markets in different countries, so this is something I make a point to do.
Visit Kensington Palace and the Gardens
Kensington Palace is a bit further outside the greater London area, but there are some pretty beautiful sites to see out there. Outside the palace there is a huge pond that attracts vast amount of swans, which I love seeing. To the left of the palace there is even a little hidden garden area that contains a sunken garden, which is truly beautiful.
Portobello Road in Notting Hill
This road is lined with little shops and boutiques, which made for a fun afternoon. There are also a bunch of little tents that lined the road selling antique goods, which are my favorite kind of goods. Notting Hill is a great place to check out for the afternoon if you have a little bit of time to step outside downtown London.
Have you been to London? What are your favorite sites to see?