Big Ben with the Eye of London in the Background
Language and Currency
What is London Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?
No visa is required for stays of less than 6 months, but a medical exam (including an AIDS test may be required)
The official language of England is English and the currency is the English pound. While dollars are accepted on a limited basis, you are better off converting your currency to pounds as many taxis, stores and other services and products you may transact may only accept pounds.
London is a large, cosmopolitan city with lots of history and culture. One could spend months exploring London and its surrounding towns and villages. Spending just one day in London is kind of like visiting Disneyland for just one hour. You can get an overview and small taste of the pleasures London offers.
For the most part, London can be cool and moist. I think everyone has heard of "London fog" and there is a reason for it. London only averages 2-3 hours of sunshine per day with the exception of June, July and August, which averages about 7 hours per day. Even during these months, London can experience wet weather. Be sure to bring your umbrella.
Tower Bridge from Where the Ship Docks
Smaller ships make their way up the river Thames (pronounced "Tims") and dock just above the Tower Bridge, the official entrance to London. The arrival process is something to experience as it is always an event.
London’s streets are full of department stores, shops, boutiques and shopping arcades. The highest concentration of shopping can be found on London’s shopping streets that have evolved over the centuries. Some pf the finest stores can be found on Piccadilly around the area where
Bond Street Shopping Arcade
Bond Street intersects it. Bond Street (and newer Bond Street) offers some of the finest shopping in London. Several department stores are located on Oxford Street along with a good number of smaller shops and boutiques (follow New Bond Street north from Piccadilly until you hit Oxford Street). Also intersecting Oxford Street with excellent shopping are Baker Street, Marylebone High, Regent Street and Charing Cross Road. Another excellent shopping area is found just south of Hyde Park along Fulham Road and Knightbridge as well as Sloan Street that intersects it. Another fabulous shopping center is the Burlington Arcade located next to Piccadilly. Finally, no visit to London would be complete without a shopping visit to Harrods Department Store in the Knightbridge area.
Stores, boutiques, restaurants and bars and souvenir shops line just about every street in London making shopping something one could pursue on a never-ending basis.
London is an international shopping treat as goods and products from all over the world can be found and purchased. I you are looking for fine jewelry, formal and designer clothing, head straight for London’s two designer areas. First, Harrod’s Department store and Fortnum and Mason's are world famous for their superb selection of luxury items. The streets around Harrods are full of designer boutiques, shops and unique shopping opportunities. Sloan Street is where you are likely to see Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces and Mercedes Limos. Bond Street and is surroundings also offer upscale shopping for everything under the sun. There is even a caviar store located on Piccadilly Street just east of the park where one can spend thousands for a tin of fine caviar. The store even features a small lounge where one can sample the caviar, vodka or wine before they buy (at a price, of course)
Men's and women's clothing is widely available and there are some bargains. You will also find antiques plentiful in the Kensington area and on King's Road in Chelsea. You will find everything you could possibly want in London.
Oxford Street Shopping
Oh boy! First, go on a shopping spree. Visit the streets and areas mentioned above for a memorable shopping experience. Just visiting Harrods alone would be the highlight for anyone interested in shopping. Beyond shopping London has numerous sights that can be visited on the big yellow double-decker buses that that make a two hour loop of all of London's major sights. You can jump on and off the bus at each stop to explore the sights and shopping in the area it stops at and then hop on the next bus when you are ready to move on. Also, the normal buses (red double-decker) offer tourist passes that allow on and off again usage that is quite reasonably priced. Check with the bus company to see the various packages. Also, if you like to walk, it is quite easy to walk to the main attractions and the take the tube back to where you started or simply grab a taxi. If you are enjoying good weather in London this is an excellent choice.
London offers many tourist sights. London Bridge marks the entry to London on the Thames and the Tower of London is located close by.
Dating back almost 1,000 years, part of the Tower of London can be visited by taking an escorted tour of the buildings and grounds.
St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul's Cathedral is another wonderful structure that was spared in WWII. Admission is a nominal amount and is well worth exploring.
Westminster Abbey is another excellent cathedral worth taking a look at and the House of Parliament and Big Ben are right across the street.
Buckingham Palace, London, England
If you then traverse the length of St. James Park (located across the street from Westminster Abby) you will be delivered to Buckingham Palace and if you time your arrival at 11:30 AM, you can take in the changing of the guards ceremony.
The Lake at St. James Park
Certainly, walking in Hyde Park, St. James Park, The Green Park and Regent's Park should rank high on your list of things to do. Hyde Park is to London what Central Park is to New York and is great fun to explore. Also, if you want some great aerial photos of London, take a ride on the London Eye, a huge Ferris Wheel that takes an hour to rotate. There are so many things to do in London that it is hard to think of leaving for a day, but there are several day train trips from London that are wonderful. Brighton is a simply to-die-for village with its own seaside flavor and many folks find a day trip to Bath an outstanding adventure. You can see London from the water by taking on of the river cruises that leave almost every five minutes from several bustling wharfs. Wandering through the Theatre District is another treat that you should take advantage of.
Yes, without question you should visit Harrods Department Store and the stores and boutiques on Knightsbridge, Sloane Street and Beauchamp Place.
Thousands! Don't hesitate to try any of the thousands of sidewalk cafes all over London. The food is excellent and the prices reasonable.