London is well known for being a multifaceted city. That’s why over 30 million tourists flock to the city each year. It’s all well and good if you have a week or two to explore the city, but if you are visiting for a work conference or a stop over, it can be a lot more difficult to fit everything in. Whilst your room at the Montcalm London will undoubtedly tempt you with its room service and ultra comfy beds, there is something special in a jam packed 24 hours in the city. Below are our tips for spending a day in London, getting a hearty balance of tourist sites, unexplored gems and a real sense of the city. There are plenty of ways you can utilise your one day, and spoiler alert, none of them include sleeping!
Spend in a morning in Hyde Park
Waking up early and taking a trip to Hyde Park is the perfect way to start your London day. Beat the rush hour crowd and spend your morning in this beautiful park, exploring the many hidden nooks and crannies. If you have time, rent a pedalo on the Serpentine Lake and take a quick look in the Serpentine Gallery’s two exhibition spaces.
Walk past Buckingham Palace
On your way out of Hyde Park, take the South Eastern Hyde Park Corner exit and walk through St james Park to Buckingham Palace. Here you will be able to appreciate the grand royal residence, and if you’re lucky, see the changing of the royal guard.
Soho for lunch
After your walk past Buckingham Palace, either take the tube up to Oxford Circus or walk through the grand townhouses of Green Park. Taking a detour past Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, you’ll see the glittering lights of London’s West End, giving you the chance to appreciate the hustle and bustle that attracts so many entertainers to the area. After this, traverse the winding lanes of Soho to find some of the most vibrant pubs, West End bars and cafes in Central London.
An afternoon on the South Bank
Either walk or take the tube to Waterloo and head on down to the South Bank. Here you’ll find some of the top chain West End restaurants alongside the BFI, Southbank Centre and National Theatre, giving you a heady slice of all things arty in London. Whether it’s a free exhibition at the Southbank Centre or a matinee performance at the National Theatre, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. If the arts aren’t your thing or you simply don’t have time, then take a trip on the nearby London Eye and see the London skyline.
Dip into the Tate Modern
Walking along the South Bank, you’ll find yourself passing the Tate Modern. If you have a moment, nip into this absorbing and free art space to experience the atmospheric converted powerstation for yourself.
Borough Market for dinner
Walk further along the Southbank and head to Borough Market and its adjoining restaurants for dinner. This artisan food market has a history dating back to the medieval era and a fine selection of international cuisines.
An East London evening in Shoreditch
Last but not least, take the Northern Line down to Shoreditch to experience East London at its best. With a fantastic array of bars, clubs, curry houses and boutique shopping, you won’t regret an evening walk through the hustle and bustle of Brick Lane.