Every year thousands of people flock to England’s capital city london.
Tourists gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace, fill Trafalgar Square, swam over Piccadilly Circus taking pictures and selfie at these landmarks.
From the shopping to the bars, the theatres to the museums and gallery’s there is something for everyone.
But aside from its world famous landmarks and attractions London has plenty of other enjoyment to offer, the problem is it can be quite overwhelming.
Bars and restaurants line the streets many above or below street level making it hard to know they are even there. Everywhere you turn advertisements for shows look back at you from posters. Then theres the cost, its not cheap to visit a lot of these places and if you are a family it can soon clock up.
Below is a few places and cost saving ides of fun things to in London, the list is by no means exhaustive but that might just mean you’ll have to visit again.
Two for One
Everyone loves a bargain and two for one on some of London’s biggest attractions is always a winner.
There are over 150 two for one offers available when you travel by train to london.
You will need to download the voucher from the promotional website and present a vail train ticket but them you gain two for one adult entry at some of London’s most popular attractions. Tears and conditions are explained on the website.
Some attractions included are the London Eye, Tower of London, London Bridge, Madame Tussaud’s (fast track) boat trips and river cruises.
Up at the O2
The O2 likely makes you think of concerts, exhibitions and sporting events but did you know you can actually climb up the O2?
Experience a unique view of london from the top of one of London’s iconic landmarks.
You can book a normal climb or a celebration climb which means you can enjoy a glass of bubbles at the top.
Wearing trousers is a good idea as the harness goes between your legs but don’t worry about footwear as they provide shoes.
Everything has been thought of to make your climb as enjoyable as possible
Large boxes are provided to store your shoes, bags and belongings in safely while you are on the climb and are waiting for you at the return point.
Our guide, Shaahid was super friendly and very well informed.
The hardest part is running the clip of the harness through the junctions on the guide wire but our guide patently showed us how and never let anyone get left behind.
The walkway has been been specially designed to imitate the bouncy feel of the O2.
Before you start the climb a photo is taken for you which you can buy later if you wish too.
Once you reach the top you can unclip from the harness and wonder about to take as many photos as you want and if you’ve book the celebration climb, enjoy your glass of champagne.
The viewing deck at the top has boards explaining what you can see and giving you a brief history of the view
Up at the O2 is great experience and defiantly worth putting on the to do list for london.
The walkway and viewing platform crossing over the O2 at Up at the O2
You can either just skate or add skate extras like mulled wine etc when you book.
Booking is definitely recommended and after dark is prime time meaning you experience the true beauty as Somerset House is lit up in changing colours.
Enjoy a Taste of Luxury for Less
London is full of of top luxury hotels, for many though staying in these hotels is just a dream but there is a way to have a taste of luxury without taking out a bank loan.
While Afternoon tea will set you back 50 plus a glass of wine or champagne can be as little 11.
Most of the top hotels will have some dress code although its not very strict The Ritz just doesn’t allow trainers.
The Ritz, Savoy and Claridges will all welcome you in to the bar for a glass of something and some complimentary nibbles. Enjoy perfect services in luxurious settings at some the finest hotels for a fraction of the cost of actually staying there.
If afternoon tea at a some of London’s top hotels is something that takes your fancy then groupon have some exceptional offers.
Enjoy a delicious afternoon tea surrounded by Victorian elegance in this majestic hotel for as little as 25 per person.
Bars with a View
To visit the Sky Gardens you will need to make a reservation but be warned this does not mean that you will be let in at that time.
We arrived 10 minutes before our reservation and still queued for over an hour to get in.
So be advised when you’re planning your itinerary allow a good hour for queuing even if you do have a reservation
It’s definitely not a simple place to visit, make sure you read their security section on the website that tells you what you can and can’t take in and be prepared for airport style security.
Once you are in it is beautiful. The bar is naturally ventilated to so it has a fresh, clean feel even if it can be a little chilly in the winter.
With panoramic views of the city and peaceful relaxing atmosphere, if you can deal with the hassle of getting in, it really is worth a visit.
The Shard stands proudly on the south bank skyline as London’s tallest building.
On the 31st floor is the Aqua bar and restaurant and the Obelix bar and restaurant is on the 32nd.
Obelix has two section East and West, giving you views up and down the river. West is a modern restaurant with an open kitchen while East Offers a launch with delicious cocktails and light food.
Hutong is on the 33rd floor and showcases cuisines of Northern China.
Entry is free if you want to go to the Aqua,Obelix or Hutong.
Both Obelix and Aqua take booking and walk ins, if you go at quiet times you can usually walk in for a drink, if you want to eat or visit at prime time, ie evening, booking is advised.
The View from the Shard is over floors 68-72 and entry here is 30 per person. Here you can enjoy a drink in London’s tallest building.
Sip champagne while you take in a 360 degree view of the city, whatch as the river Thames winds it way past London’s famous landmarks.
The Level 72 open sky deck means you really do feel on top of the world.
Unlike the sky gardens entry to the shard is a lot easier, there is airport style security but depending when you go very little or no queue.
London Bridge station is the closest station, from there the Shard is clearly sign posted, head around to the back of Shard for entry to Aqua, Obelix and Hutong.
The nicest way to get to the Shard however is by boat. Take a Thames clipper to London Bridge Pier.
Depending on your journey this is one of the easiest and nicest ways to get around London, more on this later.
Over the years secret bars have become more and more popular, so much so that a lot aren’t even secret anymore.
There are several over london but Opium in Chinatown is a gem.
Look for an old battered jade door, next to it is a small sign with Opium written on it but to be honest its easy to miss, what’s not easy to miss is the large bouncer guarding the door. Once inside you climb the narrow dark staircase to three different bars serving several small and intimate rooms.
Decorated in a dark Middle Eastern style expect to feel like you have stepped into a secret den with James Bond sat beside you.
The bar is full of herbs, spices and mysterious ingredients to make each cocktail as unique as the place itself.
The British museum is home to some of the greatest discoveries and artefacts, entry is free although a donation is asked.
The British museum is huge and can be quite daunting to navigate, to get the best out of a visit book a tour or make use of the headset tours.
The Science Museum is a place Kids will never forget, packed full of interactive activity’s and exhibitions its something that should be seen.
The Natural History Museum is something that will stay with kids and adults a like, experience the awe inspiring dinosaurs and don’t forget to check out the latest exhibitions on their website.
The V&A is the leading museum of Art and Design check the website to see what the latest exhibitions is
Travelling around london is incredibly easy with a tube station on every corner and contactless now taken on all public transport it couldn’t be easier.
But aside from the tube and buses there is another way to get about and see some of the sites.
ThamesClipper offer frequent services to locations along the river.
So for example to get to the O2 from central london, avoid the traffic and cramped tube and enjoy a ride along the river.
Another easy travel provision is the Emirates Air cable car this crosses from near the O2 to the Excel and back of course.
Use your contactless card to easily top on and off and enjoy a beautiful river view as you cross the famous River Thames
If you’re heading to the Excel try taking the river option.
London is a city with a rich heritage, it has much to offer in the way of history, beautiful architecture and culture.
Whether you a lapping the luxury sipping champagne at the finest bars, shopping till you drop soaking up the culture or enjoying a stroll through its beautiful parks, once you experience london at its best one visit isn’t enough.