For some reason, I always find myself including the phrase ‘I love traveling’ in my introduction. As a person who travels a lot for both business and leisure, I guess the phrase would rightfully fit a description of me. Initially, I used to plan business and leisure trips separately, but in recent years I have discovered I can combine the two quite well.
Business takes you where you have to go; leisure takes you where you want to go. I discovered, however, that most of my business trips often end up with a day wasted. I arrive in most destinations a day or two before business commences or leave a day after its closure. This is why I decided to make one-day leisure trips to pad the free hours of my business trips.
I have done it in several cities now and enjoyed it immensely. However, I have also learned that you need to have a meticulous itinerary and a good knowledge of the things to do and places to go if you want to enjoy a great city in such a short span. In this article, I share with you how to best enjoy London in 24 hours.
The administrative seat of the United Kingdom has been in existence since around 43AD. It has retained a lot of its different phases of progress and is today a beautiful mesh of traditionalism and modernity. There’s a lot to see here, from the great architecture to the awesome public transport and the great River Thames. I honestly didn’t feel sated by just a day of visiting here, but I am glad I had a feel of some of its best offerings. I still have it on my bucket list for a longer visit though.
Things to do and Places to Visit in London
On a 24 hour visit, I’d recommend starting out on foot. Close by and within a walking distance are the Big Ben, The National Gallery, the Trafalgar Square, and the London Eye, all of which are sites you should pay a visit to.
The Big Ben is a bell, but not just any bell. Built in 1959, it represents part of London’s history. And it is as magnificent today as it was 100 years ago. With a 12 sq. meter (39 ft.) base and 96 m (315) tall tower, it was for some time the largest clock in the world. The clock’s bell which rings for times each hour weighs 13.7 tonnes. The clock is now 161 years old.
The National Gallery found in Trafalgar Square hosts over 2300 ancient paintings that you will love. The London Eye, popularly known as the Millennium Wheel, is Europe’s tallest observation wheel and UK’s most popular paid attraction for tourists. I would not miss out on this one even on a return trip!
The Queen’s home is a spectacular building in London. It is open to the public between 22nd July and 31st August each year. If you happen to be around during this time like I did, this is a lovely place to visit. You will need to observe the 9:30 am-7:30 pm visitor window though. Though I did not get to visit it, I hear the Palace of Westminster is just as popular, without the July/August visitor window. See you there on my next trip there maybe?
This is the largest Grade-I listed park in the city. It is part of London’s history too, having been used as a hunting ground by King Henry III. It has been open to the public since 1637
visit a Football Stadium
Although this is dependent on the day of the week you are in London, football stadiums are usually a heated atmosphere that you will love if they happen on you while you are in London.
Sample the London Nightlife
After a day of getting around London, you might want to wind up with a sample of its nightlife. The city has many amazing Nightclubs like the Mayfair, Fabric, Heaven, Cargo, and the Ministry of Sound.
London has many great offerings and, as I said, it is difficult to exhaust them on a single day’s visit. The above would be a good sample if you have a short period like I do when traveling for business. It is important to map your sites to visit so that you do not waste time going back on forth. I am trying to perfect the art of one-day visits and will be sharing more and more as we go on. Keep it here!