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First time in London

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Key West, Florida
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First time in London


I am super excited to go to London for the first time. I will be there for three nights, so I have two full days. And I have quite a few questions :)

I know I want to see the Tower Bridge, Big Ben and the Buckingham Palace with the change of the guards. What are other things that I really shouldn't miss as far as sightseeing goes?

I don't want to go shopping in London, but if there is a really cool store I shouldn't miss, please let me know.

I do want to watch a Musical and I narrowed it down to Wicked, Billy Elliott and the Book of Mormon. Which one would you choose and why? Should I buy those tickets in advance or are those shows very likely to end up at the discounted place on Leicester Square?

I rented a flat in Soho, do I only need Travelcard zone 1-2 or more zones? I will be flying out of Heathrow, but I can get that ticket separate, right?

That's it for now, but I will probably come up with other things ;)

Thank you so much for your time


Dallas, Texas
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11. Re: First time in London

You should try to get in a walk along the south bank. You could either start it or end it at Tower Bridge, depending on what else you were seeing that day and where you were starting out from.

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12. Re: First time in London

The London Eye is only important if you think it is! The walk along the South Bank from Westminster Bridge and the Eye to Tower Bridge is far more interesting IMO but you could make a decision on the day depending on weather and the length of the line.

And if you haven't already, then please invest in a guide book with map. It will really help your planning.

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13. Re: First time in London

The London Eye isn't important at all. It's a big wheel/observation gallery. You might be better going up the Shard (pricier) but more architecturally interesting and important, or going up to the viewing gallery at westminster Cathedral for about £5.

Personally I would do the South Bank (between Westminster and Tower Bridges, roughly) as it's free(!) and there aren't many places in the world where you can walk through nearly 1000 years of history in an hour or so.

You could also (pay) for a riverboat cruise along the same stretch which encapsulates much of London past and present (and future, given the number of cranes....)

If you haven't done yet so I would strongly advise getting a guide book which will give you a better idea of the sites and their potential interest value, and perhaps read some of the trip reports on the sticky which will give you further suggestions.

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14. Re: First time in London

I'd suggest taking a boat to the Tower visitlondon.com/traveller-information/gettin… - after all it's the way prisoners arrived.....

Tower is a must but personally I found the London Eye over-rated. Good views but....

Why visit London and see a musical? I'd go and see War Horse, that is real theatre.

Vancouver, Canada
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15. Re: First time in London

Since you've booked a flat in Soho (on what street or road, please) you need not make a specific trip to 'see' Piccadilly Circus (a traffic roundabout) as it is almost on your doorstep. You may find, again depending on where you've booked to stay, that travelling by bus will be easier for some journeys than taking the Underground, so let us know more.

Rather than buy one day Travelcards you may wish to consider using PAYG on Oyster. Doing so will give you the lowest fares for your journeys, including travelling from and to Heathrow.

Birmingham, Alabama
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16. Re: First time in London

I love Billy Elliott but it is worth noting that much of it is difficult to understand (accents, as was mentioned) BUT if you read up on it before you go you will get it, and the kids are fantastic. To be fair I have seen it in London and Alabama and I couldn't understand the miners in either place :)

Wicked is very interesting...have seen it three times and loved the first two (NY with original cast and London.)

Book of Mormon is a little off colour for my taste.

Once is very good and a bit different from your typical musical. I think it is worth seeing, especially if you are a romantic.

If you are at all a fan of Queen, I found We Will Rock You both fun and clever but it may already be gone, as I remember reading that it was closing.

London, United...
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17. Re: First time in London

When I have visitors I suggest they get tube to Tower Hill look at the Tower of London from outside if they don't want to go in (expensive but worth it) then walk across Tower Bridge along the Southbank via Borough Market for a snack, then passed The Globe to Tate Modern - pop in if they are interested in architecture and/or art - it is free and the turbine hall is worth a glimpse although I think it is being done up at the moment, cross the Millenium Bridge to St Pauls or just for photo opportunity, back to southbank, walk along passed London Eye and keep going to Westminster, cross bridge for Parliament and Big Ben then maybe walk in park to Buckingham Palace and finally across Green Park to Fortnums . It is a lot for one day, you could hire a Boris bike and do part by bike which most visitors enjoy.

Agree that Libertys is worth a visit.

Birmingham, Alabama
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18. Re: First time in London

Linda I did a very similar walk a couple of weeks ago, starting from the south side and borough market. I logged about 25,000 steps on my pedometer that day! I am not a big proponent of Americans and Boris bikes...crossing the street on foot is difficult enough!

Vasteras, Sweden
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19. Re: First time in London

Instead of the London Eye, you could get a nice view from The Monument or from the roof of One New Change:

The Monument: http://www.themonument.info/

One New Change: www.onenewchange.com/11the-roof-terrace.aspx

20. Re: First time in London

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