Traveler's Test

One Week in London: How to Plan

One Week in London: How to Plan

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You’ve got a week to spend in London, one of the world’s biggest and most exciting cities. Where do you begin? The key is to narrow down the possibilities because there’s an endless array of things to do. The tips below can help you plan your dream trip.

Paying for It

Although you can find bargains, London isn’t cheap. If your travel fund is looking a little low, you might want to consider selling a few things, picking up a second job or taking out a personal loan to pay for your trip. You can quickly get matched with loan options online, and interest rates may be much lower than if you used your credit card. This can also be a great way to pay down high-interest debts so you can better afford your trip.

Pick Your Passion

If you ask a group of people what the best thing to do in London is, you will probably get different answers. A city that is nearly 2000 years old truly does have something for everyone. The trick here is to follow your passion, whether it’s history, theater, fine dining or pub crawls. You can’t possibly see everything, so try instead focusing on just one or two areas of interest. If it’s modern art that you love, you won’t want to miss the Tate Modern. If you love bookstores, take a walk along Charing Cross Road, home of many used and antiquarian booksellers. Foodies should not pass up a wander through the stalls of Borough Market while sports fans should visit one of the city’s great soccer stadiums even if you can’t get tickets to a match.

What Not to Miss

If you’re traveling all the way to London, there are a few experiences no one should miss. Even if you’re a committed teetotaler, slip into a traditional London pub, preferably one that still retains its Victorian fixtures. Take a walk along the South Bank of the Thames, taking in such views as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Book a West End show and take a stroll through this vibrant district of the city.

Eating and Drinking

The reputation of British food as bland and tasteless is long out of date, and you’ll find plenty of great cuisine in this capital city. However, there are a few traditional must-haves. British people don’t stop for an afternoon high tea daily, but you should have one. You’ll never look at breakfast the same way again after you’ve had a traditional English fry-up. And England is widely renowned for having the best Indian food outside of India, not all of it authentic but every bit of it tasty.

Get Out

London is at the center of train lines that go all over the country. Take a day trip or an overnight trip to see a little more of the country. Brighton is one of the best day trips from London if you love the seaside, or if history is your thing you might want to head east to Canterbury and the cathedral made famous by the writer Geoffrey Chaucer. For an overnight trip, your options expand. York is an ancient and charming city just about three hours north by train while Beatles fans may want to check out Liverpool.