I have been going to London on different kinds of trips for an embarassingly long time. So here are my tips on the top of my head how to enjoy your visit and I’ll update it if I remember more.
In London I try and make sure I see a play or a musical. My first choice is The Globe. Who can resist a Shakespearian play in the original theatre? Especially when you can get a yard ticket for under £10! With the yard ticket you have to stand for the whole performance, but I don’t mind, because it is cheap and the performances are so captivating. Make sure you buy the tickets in advance as many shows are sold out. On a sunny day it is nice to just chill out on Bankside before the show. There are cafes and restaurants for a quick pre-show snack and it is nice to just sit and watch the boats go along the Thames.
I have seen Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Spamalot, The Crucible and Romeo & Juliet in London. I usually get my tickets in advance from Theatre People. Some shows are ridiculously pricey. What I usually do is, that I book well in advance when you can get restricted view tickets that are cheper. It depends on the theatre, but I’ve never had a problem seeing the stage from a restricted view seat.
Do try and experience afternoon tea. It doesn’t have to be at the Ritz, but I think it is a wonderful British tradition to enjoy. There are number of places offering afternoon tea from £10 upwards so pick a spot and enjoy a cup of tea.
I usually want to do as much as possible duringthe day so as lovely as it is to stroll the the streets in London, I usually hop on the Tube. I buy the off-peak day ticket (valid from 9.30 onwards) for the required zones. When I want to shop, I take the tube to Marble Arch and hit the shops on Oxford Street. I’m still looking for a good bookstore in London, so if you have any suggestions where to go, I would love to hear them.
Make sure you have time to enjoy the parks. Hyde Park, Green Park and Holland Park are my go-to-parks in London. I usually go to Boots and buy their meal deal, walk to the park and enjoy a quick picnic.
The weather in the UK can be fickle. If it is raining, go to the free museums. My absolutely favourite thing in London is that the museums are free (eventhough they ask for donations quite aggressively at the door) and they are so good. The exibitions are well organized and so big. The British Museum, V&A, the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, National Gallery and Tate Modern are all good options to spend some time indoors and learn new things.