If you have just one day in London, or if you visit London for the first time and want to see the highlight about what London is all about, my suggestion is to walking down the River Thames. It is the largest river in England and flows through London with bunch of London’s iconic landmarks along the river. So you’ll see quite a lot and apparently it’s super cheap! I did that on my first day in London, more than a year ago and never regret it.
I took the Tube (London Underground) and exit at Tower Hill (Circle or District Line) and basically just followed the crowd (I didn’t have map and internet connection). The crowd brought me to the first site which is the Tower of London! I didn’t go inside, but if you are historical addict or just interested then go in there. The normal ticket price for adult is £22.50 which in my opinion is quite expensive!
I still followed the crowd and there it is! One of the most recognisable bridges in the world. The Tower Bridge! It’s so blue and beautiful! You also have a sight to Gherkin Tower and The Shard (what a bonus!).
After took a generous amount of selfies, I crossed the River Thames by the Tower Bridge and arrived at the other side of the river and followed the river to the west. I accidentally found the Borough Market and explored it. Borough market is a huge market with more than 100 stalls selling meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, flower, cheese, bread, coffee, cake, patisserie, etc.
After a brief visit to Borough Market, I went back to the riverside and followed the river again. Next stop is The Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Went through half of the bridge for the sake of photography.
Keep walking and you’ll arrived at Southbank area. There’s a lot of street performance and you can enjoy some of their show before arrived to the finish line which are London Eye and the glorious Big Ben!
London Eye is currently the Europe’s tallest ferris wheel with 135 meters high. You can see London from above which is absolutely stunning! The line is usually long but gone pretty quick in my opinion. One capsule can carry around 20 people for approximately 30 minutes and ticket price for adult is £21.2. If riding a ferris wheel is not a kind of your activity then just skip it and later go across the river by the Westminster Bridge to take a good picture of the wheel.
Across London Eye is the famous parliament building (a.k.a Big Ben). Big Ben is beautiful both day and night. To get the best picture of that gigantic clock, after passing London Eye, go straight and cross the street, take a look and you’ll find stairs that lead you to the riverside just in front of Big Ben and that’s the best place to take picture of/with Big Ben in my opinion. That place is quite open but I didn’t find much people in that area. Most of the crowd go straight to the Westminster Bridge and cross the river to see Big Ben even closer.
If you still have much energy after walking all day, then cross the river and you’ll arrive at Westminster area. In that area you can find a very photogenic red telephone box with Big Ben in the background. There’s usually a long line to take a picture there. Go further down the street and you’ll find Westminster Abbey as well.
You’ll find Westminster Tube Station in that area so you can go back to your hotel or somewhere else.
It took me 6-7 hours to do it all just because I stopped so much to take pictures and resting my tired feet. But it cost me absolutely nothing because I didn’t go inside the sites (I did try the London Eye the next day, apparently!) or buy anything.
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