The Real London Experience Watch

AliciaJ703
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#1
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I recently joined TSR this month to gain a perspective on what I might expect as a American traveling to London as a postgraduate student. I've read many posts on TSR regarding the weather, food, transportation, and the diversity of the people in London. Next week, I will finally arrive in London along with my sister and I am interesting in gathering ideas on which sights and areas are best to explore during our first five days in "the city?"

This is my first trip to the UK and I hope not the last :).

Also, PM me if you want.

Thanks
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WoWZa
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The Science Museum!
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Aphotic Cosmos
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Things you have to do in London:
- The Houses of Parliament
- The London Eye
- A West End show [pick up cheap tickets in Leicester Square]
- At least one Museum [they're all free] - my recommendation is either the Science Museum or the British Museum
- The Tower of London [tourist season is winding down so it shouldn't be too bad] & Tower Bridge
- St. Paul's Cathedral [I still think it's incredibly beautiful]
- Monument to the Great Fire of London [everyone just calls it Monument]

Things you should do if you can find time/money:
- Matinee performance at Covent Garden opera house - it's quite an experience even if you think you won't like it [as I thought]
- Other museums [Victoria & Albert, Natural History, Imperial War, etc.]
- Markets - London has some superb markets, go take a look around and see what you can find

Enjoy your time here in the UK, IMHO London is a jewel of a city and you'll have an amazing trip!
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Nora-FNE
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#4
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^^^The above is excellent!

Markets: Camden Market and Covent Garden Market well worth the visit. Borough Market for fresh food produce is lovely.
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xhelen1989x
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#5
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I've been to london three times this year and went in august for 4 days with a friend, theres soo much to do!
The things which I would recommend doing are the london eye, the jack the ripper walking tour (surprisingly good! ), have a look round harrods, see a westend show (i've been to see oliver! twice and its amazing so i'd definately recommend that), take a river cruise on the thames, go see the street performer in covent garden (its really nice there in the evening), the london dungeon is really good and i just love leicester square (when you go you may be lucky enough to catch a premiere, the second time i went 'public enemies' was on and i saw johnny depp! ). We did all that and more in the space of 4 days-probably packed abit too much in but it was soo good!
Have fun! x
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hebe001
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If you're going to be around on a Sunday morning, check out Speakers' Corner at Hyde Park!
And check out Regents Park as well, the inner circle there is home to one of the most beautiful sights you will ever see (I won't tell you what it is, you'll just have to find out!)

Depending on your ethnicity, there's certain area you might wanna check out. If you're african/carribean, check out the Notting Hill area in west London or Green Street in east London. If you're from the indian subcontinent, check out Brick Lane (also in east London). Alternatively if you fancy checking out arguably London's poshest area, go to Kensington (in west London), which is home to the world-famous Harrods department store.

If you wanna do some shopping, you'll definitely wanna check out Oxford Street!

There's sooooooo much to see/do in London, you'll have an awesome time! :-D
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kat2pult
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#7
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All the above, plus:

Portobello Road
Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace (it's where Princess Diana lived, it's next to Hyde Park and has lots of cute squirrels everywhere!)
Windsor (just outside London, but it's beautiful and where the queen spends most of her time)
Buckingham Palace
Little Venice (Warwick Avenue, ish)
Leicester Square (for China Town too. Try and get a seat in the Haagen Dazs place)
Westfield shopping centre (Shepherd's Bush)
Thorpe Park (go to Staines, there's a direct bus link. It's a great theme park)
A walk along the south bank is always nice. Go to Embankment, cross the river and keep going left. You'll end up in the older part of London.
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Jarexi
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Ok just so you know, i dislike London BUT the things i grudgingly admit are amazing -

West end shows. Seriously, you HAVE to see a play or something.
I think Warhorse is still showing - it has amazing ratings, and its literally the best thing ive seen in my life (standing ovation!), So try that. Oliver is also on atm, so that could be pretty good.

London Dungeons are always cool, specially when your with friends because its just hilarious watching everyone get freaked out =p. Deffo check it out i'd say.

Covent gardens. I went and it was such a nice atmosphere, so diff from the rest of london, lots of perfomers and such.

Apart from that have a good look around, maybe go on the london eye or something.

Have fun!
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Poyekhali
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#9
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I am shocked no one has suggested the Tate Modern! Or indeed any art gallery. They are all free, and The National Portrait Gallery is good if you know nothing about art, or The Courtauld Institute if you want to see some famous pieces by Van Gogh or Manet. But mind you, The Courtauld is only free on Monday mornings... You have to pay other days.
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Joy Division
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(Original post by Poyekhali)
I am shocked no one has suggested the Tate Modern! Or indeed any art gallery. They are all free, and The National Portrait Gallery is good if you know nothing about art, or The Courtauld Institute if you want to see some famous pieces by Van Gogh or Manet. But mind you, The Courtauld is only free on Monday mornings... You have to pay other days.
Yeah the art galleries in London are great, and free! :party:
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beefmaster
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#11
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shoreditch house
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Holly Hiskey
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#12
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Natural History Museum. I love it!
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TheConfuddledOne
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#13
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Definitely go visit the new £75m Darwin Centre soon to open at the Natural History Museum.

Borough Market is great for fresh food, if a bit small.

Check out New Bond Street etc for some of the more expensive clothing; check out Canarby Street and Liberty for more independent/interesting fashion designers.
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alexclayton18
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#14
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I just got back from London last night, we had a great time I recommend taking a walk down the embankment, from there you can get to the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Downing Street, The Senitaf and Trafalgar Square. When we went there was also the Thames Festival on the night which was good. I dont know whether that was a one off or not or whether theres other entertainment on other nights but its worth taking a look just for the Lights. Also, you can get boat rides down the Thames, which is nice, especially at night time.
You could also go to St. Pauls Cathedral - dont buy an ice cream from the van there though, the prices are extortionate (£6 for a cone :eek:).
Covent Garden is worth a look too. Theres market stalls, shops and street entertainment. You can easily get to Leicester Square (if youre lucky you might see a premiere), China Town and The West End from there.
Theres also Hyde Park which is very nice, and you can visit the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain there and have boat rides. You can get to Knightsbrige from there and visit Harrods and the more expensive shops.
You should visit some museums (Tate Modern etc) and some other places like The Dungeons, London Bridge Experience, Madam Tussauds or The Tower. We didnt get time to visit any museums this time but we're definitely going to try next time.
Finally, I would definitely recommend a West End Show. I went to see Jersey Boys on Saturday night and I went to see Grease two Years ago - both were excellent. Theres an awful lot of shows on atm but book early to avoid dissapointment (we couldnt get tickets for Mamma Mia! ). Its very expensive but worth it.
Make sure you check that the underground lines you are using are actually working as well because we didnt plan ahead enough and it really messed up our Sunday Morning (loads of the lines were having maintenance done) - losing 3 hours in London is not good, if you want to make the most of your trip.
Have fun!
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simcard2007
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get mugged on the underground
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Kreuzuerk
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#16
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(Original post by simcard2007)
get mugged on the underground
No-one gets mugged on the underground. Well, unless you're actively pursuing a mugger.
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Aphotic Cosmos
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(Original post by simcard2007)
get mugged on the underground
Doesn't happen. If someone is stupid enough to mug you on the underground, then there's witnesses and cameras everywhere, and a security barrier with staff at the top in most stations.

Muggers aren't bright, but they'd have to sink to a new low for this.
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JohnnytheFox
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#18
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(Original post by AliciaJ703)
I recently joined TSR this month to gain a perspective on what I might expect as a American traveling to London as a postgraduate student. I've read many posts on TSR regarding the weather, food, transportation, and the diversity of the people in London. Next week, I will finally arrive in London along with my sister and I am interesting in gathering ideas on which sights and areas are best to explore during our first five days in "the city?"

This is my first trip to the UK and I hope not the last .

Also, PM me if you want.

Thanks
Just stick to zone 1, nothing worth seeing is outside of the centre.

EDIT: Apart from Camden. Camden is a must-see. Only go during the week though, when it's less busy.
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Harriet Bea-Hampton
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#19
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UCL - This is where you should end up studying one day.
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username196545
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#20
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(Original post by kat2pult)
All the above, plus:

Portobello Road
Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace (it's where Princess Diana lived, it's next to Hyde Park and has lots of cute squirrels everywhere!)
Windsor (just outside London, but it's beautiful and where the queen spends most of her time)
Buckingham Palace
Little Venice (Warwick Avenue, ish)
Leicester Square (for China Town too. Try and get a seat in the Haagen Dazs place)
Westfield shopping centre (Shepherd's Bush)
Thorpe Park (go to Staines, there's a direct bus link. It's a great theme park)
A walk along the south bank is always nice. Go to Embankment, cross the river and keep going left. You'll end up in the older part of London.

Lol there's nothing to do in Little Venice - it's just a few houses, a garden centre, my sister's school and a canal you can see in Camden.

And Portobello Rd is only worth it on a Saturday.
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