There’s so much to do in London that you could quickly feel spoilt for choice. So, it would make sense for you to — at least initially — limit your stay in the UK capital to the Central London area. That way, you shouldn’t have to spend too much time simply travelling and not enough time actually sightseeing.
Here are a few examples of especially exciting things you could do in Central London.
See Elizabethan-style theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe
At this recreation of a Shakespearean theatre, audiences stand up throughout the on-stage performances. Why? Well, because that’s how theatregoers did it in Shakespeare’s day.
This theatre is located on the South Bank and releases 700 standing tickets for each performance — with each ticket costing just £5 and, for all but very short people, offering a great view of the show.
Visit London’s biggest independent bookshop
You might remember when this shop — Foyles — consisted of what Time Out describes as “cluttered warrens of rooms”. However, in 2014, the shop uprooted itself from its original building on Charing Cross Road and moved just a few doors down for a more spacious setting.
Now, Foyles contains over 200,000 books — which, due to the ready availability of an interactive search tool, you can peruse more easily than you perhaps would have expected.
See both Tates on the same day
Yes, it is practically possible to visit both Tate Modern and Tate Britain within the space of a day — by taking the Tate Boat, which runs between the two. That Tate Boat makes a journey every 40 minutes during gallery opening hours every day except December 24-26.
Also, when it comes to accommodation, what about a hotel in the City? Tate Modern is within walking distance of the Dorsett City hotel.
Browse Chinatown in the West End
If you are fascinated by Chinese culture, you will be especially enthralled by this particular Chinatown area, where grand red-and-gold gates will welcome you to a haven of bilingual street signs and colourful pagodas.
This landmark situated between Leicester Square and Shaftesbury Avenue is also lined with Asian-themed restaurants and shops.
Check out the British Museum’s ‘merman mummy’
While it seems unlikely that mermaids or mermen actually exist, that hasn’t stopped someone from attaching a monkey’s head and torso to a fish’s tail to create a purported ‘merman’.
You’ll find it in the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum, itself located in the Bloomsbury area. The made-up story is that this merman was caught in Japan during the eighteenth century — but the dark practice of taxidermy is the true origin of this fake specimen.
Visit Buckingham Palace
Here, you can watch the age-old ritual the Changing the Guard, which starts at 11am — though Lonely Planet insists that “it’s recommended to get there for 10:15, unless you happen to be very tall”.
However, this ceremony actually takes place just outside the palace. If you want a good look inside the building, you could join one of the tours of it that run in August and September.