The world has been fascinated by London for centuries—perhaps this intrigue began when William Shakespeare graced the world with his dreamy prose, or when The Beatles famously recorded at Abbey Road Studios in the capital city. Regardless of when the international community began pondering about life across the pond, London’s history of welcoming visitors in to its hallowed streets dates back longer than the monarchy. After slipping into your favorite jacket in one of the many cheap hotels in London and wandering the streets of Londontown, you too will heed the call of the UK. Boarding double decker buses to tour famed sites that frequently don postcards, such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, and making conversation in a pub over a pint with locals is all part of the sumptuous experience. But of course, with so much to discover in the metropolis, you’ll need to book one of the best places to stay in London such as one of the spectacular 5 star hotels in London. Just because you live somewhere where monarchy isn’t the norm, doesn’t mean you can’t be treated royally while you’re in England.
Things to Do in London
It’s possible that weekends in London have become the dreamy subject of speculation for so many wanderers because it caters to all types of travelers. Those looking to indulge in opulence in jolly old England will delight in its cultured arts scene. Your leather loafers will lightly pad down the corridors of the National Gallery, smiling and nodding at the great works of Van Gogh, da Vinci, and Rembrandt. Afterward, spend a dazzling evening traipsing through the city’s famed fog to enjoy a performance at the Globe Theatre; offering modern twists on old English classics, the night will surely end in cries for an encore.
However, there are plenty of things to do in London that will allow you to follow your own feet, instead of artistic corridors. Let the anticipation build as you settle into your seat atop the London Eye. The iconic Ferris wheel provides a bird’s eye view of the city that will cause you to lose yourself for a moment. Could you really be here—in England—gazing out over the River Thames and sipping a glass of prosecco? Life works in mysterious ways, but you’re astonished to find that your path has led you to London, and you couldn’t be happier for it. After de-boarding the rotating capsules, head to a local pub in Covent Garden. Boutiques and restaurants abound, but when you notice a bar that’s playing a rugby game on the television, which has attracted a plethora of enthused locals, you step inside and exchange names and cheers over a cold glass of cider before heading back to one of the London hotels.
Eating and Drinking
But before you get too wrapped up thinking about pints of stouts and ciders, you’re going to want to replenish yourself with some local fare. Fish and chips are a must while you’re in town. Although you’ve had them before and enjoyed them, you haven’t really experienced the dish until you’ve tried it in London. Beer battered or breaded strips of fresh cod are deep-fried and emerge golden, flaky, and piping hot. Although that in itself is enough to occupy hungry Londoners, the fish is served alongside homemade french fries, and if you’re lucky, a side of mushy peas.
Although we could try to persuade you to try the many English offerings that are sure to make your mouth water, such as Yorkshire pudding and bangers and mash, the true star of the London food scene is chicken tikka masala. Although the dish might hail from India originally, the city offers a variety of curry houses that will have you feeling as if you’ve been transported to Mumbai. Head to Brick Lane in the Eastern section of the city for some of the best curries in the UK; the popularity of the dish is telling of the city itself, as London is known around the world as a destination that celebrates multiculturalism.
Gray might be the color most often associated with London—from its steely skies to the staggering high-rises that dominate its skyline—but in actuality, the city’s name should bring to mind the color green. In fact, there are an abundance of parks and botanical gardens that would take weeks to properly explore. Start with the basics during your sojourn: Hyde Park is the quintessential outdoor experience to witness during your stay and those who traverse there are sure to leave with fond memories of London. Stroll through the park and gaze out at people happily powering pedal boats across Serpentine River, and snap a picture or two in the park’s sprawling rose garden. The many stretches of greenery throughout the park will call to mind images from the pen of your favorite English authors. Indeed, you wonder if Emily Bronte would have altered the setting of Wuthering Heights had she seen Hyde Park before its publication.
Day trips from London
Like the frequent Changing the Guard ceremony that takes place outside Buckingham Palace, you often find yourself itching to experience new destinations at the drop of a hat. Not yet willing to renounce your stay at one of the top hotels in London, choose to travel 54 miles south to the seaside city of Brighton. The rushing sound of the ocean and the quaint simplicity of the city’s pier will entrance you. After dining on a dinner of fresh fish and a crisp glass of white wine, dust the sand off your shoes and return to London—the city’s glittering lights will feel all the more enticing after spending the day along the coast.
When you’re looking for where to stay in London, there’s no wrong answer, especially if you go the money-saving route and book a London vacation package. Whether you find yourself longing to overlook the River Thames or in close proximity to Hyde Park, you’ll find all the best hotels in London on Travelocity. And perhaps feeling newly inspired by your trip, you’ll join the likes of so many innovators before you who loved London enough to pen a poem or write a song as tribute. Because even though Shakespeare may be long gone, but the rush of activity that fed his creativity is still ever-present in the city.