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Four days in London! What are some must-see sights?

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My husband and I are taking a three week trip to Europe in March 2017! We are planning this all on our own, so I am seeking advice now to get a headstart. Our first week will be spent in Ireland, we will then travel to London for four days and then to Italy for the remainder of our trip. Since my husband and I have never been anywhere in London, much less Europe, I have a few questions that will hopefully aid me in my planning process!

1) What are some key sights that shouldn't be missed? I know Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, etc. are all popular tourist sights, but are there any other London gems I should know about and not pass up while we are there? I know we can't do it all in four days but I really would like to see as much as possible and get a good feel of what London is like!

2) I also realize that London is massive and is comprised of many surrounding neighborhoods. Is there a particular neighborhood we should focus on looking to stay in that will put us close to most of the sights? We would like to be somewhat centrally located or at the very least, have easy access to rail or bus systems.

3)Tying into the rail/bus system question, would we be better off buying a rail pass for the duration of our stay or just paying for tickets whenever there is something we want to do or see?

4)Since this will be our first time traveling abroad, does anyone have any advice about accomodations? Would we be better off staying in a hotels vs. BnB's? A friend of mine recommended the website airbnb.com but I am not sure if that is the way to go since we have never been to London before.

Any other ideas or suggestions are welcome! We want to make this trip go as smoothly and enjoyable as possible! Thanks!

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