3 days in London

Jan 11th, 2001, 05:18 AM
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3 days in London

My buddy and I (two college students) are taking a European spring break. It is the first trip to Europe for both of us. We are flying into London and spending three days there before moving on to Amsterdam. Just wondering if anybody had any recommendations about things we "must see" in our short time there. Also, any advice regarding budget hotels would be appreciated. Thanks.
Jan 11th, 2001, 08:04 AM
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Hard to know where to start. I've lived in London for 5 years and there's still stacks I haven't seen. It really depends on what you're interested in. Go on the London Eye (you'll need to pre-book before you go), visit Tate Modern, the newest and possibly best Modern Art Gallery in the world (knocks spots off the MOMA in NY), the British Museum is packed with world treasures which we've managed to steal from our previous rampages across the globe (there's a rumour that in the vaults they've got the missing nose off the Sphinx in Egypt, but keep it quiet, the Egyptians would get a bit upset), cruise the bars in Soho at night, and if you want to visit the coolest bars, go to shoreditch and Farringdon to places like Smiths of Smithfields and the Light bar. These areas are a little like the East Village in NY - old industrial warehouses now comverted into design studios, loft apartments and cool bars and clubs. I suggest you read up on it.

I'm afraid it's not good news for budget travellers, London is possibly the most expensive city you may ever visit. But most museums and galleries are free, and you'll see much more just wandering the streets (Camden market, Covent Garden etc).

I know you'll love it. You're visiting London at perhaps it's most exciting time since the sixties.

A thousand times better than Amsterdam, by the way, which is a bit grubby, and is fine if you just want to sit in bars smoking dope, where's its legal. For this reason it attracts a real scruffy crowd from around the world, which is partly why it's a bit of a dump. The very obvious sex industry doesn't help much either. But the bars probably stay open later than London.
Jan 11th, 2001, 10:42 AM
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To Kate's excellent post, I'd add the Tower of London, a long walk (either one suggested by one of the many London walks books available or an organized "London Walk"--see http://london.walks.com/), and theater and more theater. If you like art, I'd suggest the National Gallery for more classical pieces. And the National Portrait Gallery right next door is like walking through English history. If you go to the British Museum (which seems a must), don't miss having a pub lunch at the Museum Tavern across the street. And at some point stand on Waterloo Bridge and look one way to St. Paul's and the other way to the Houses of Parliament. Which reminds me of St. Paul's, and of Westminster Abbey . . . .
Jan 11th, 2001, 06:13 PM
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Without a doubt, the Tower of London, Greenwich is pretty... take the train to it - and don't worry about the short time - the "Tube" can get you anywhere you want to go and IN a hurry - excellent underground transportation!!!
Don't know if this was budget, but we stayed at the Swiss House B&B in South Kensington.. in 1995, the rooms went for L39 - L72. Very nice, extremely small bathrooms but clean, neat and european flair. I would stay there again, and I know it was cheaper than many.
You all should love London - my husband and I had a blast. The pubs were fun too - and had good "pub grub" and beers
Jan 12th, 2001, 01:50 AM
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Hey Mate,
Once you arrive at Victoria Train Station go to to Thomas Cooke Reservations Shop It is behind the Escalators (Red and White Sign) They are hotel and hostel brokers as well as travel agents and can get you a good deal. The Tour buses are a good option for seeing the entire city with commentary when you are on a tight schedule and an all day tube pass is 4.80. Have a good time and watch you pocketbook. Cheers Mate
Jan 12th, 2001, 02:43 AM
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For cheap hotels, try www.smoothhound.co.uk They claim to be the best online directory for cheap accommodation in the UK. If hostels are more your thing, try www.hostellondon.com which enables you to book a hostel bed online
Jan 12th, 2001, 11:02 AM
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There are a lot of budget hotels right around the British Museum, just off of Russell Square on Bedford Street. Breakfast is included in a few of them.

You should also call Carr-Saunders; it's a London School of Economics dormitory. They sometimes rent out rooms in the dorm for very cheap rates during breaks. Check on the LSE website for details.
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