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Going to LONDON for 3 days~what MUST I do there

Going to LONDON for 3 days~what MUST I do there

Old Aug 18th, 2001, 04:34 PM
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Going to LONDON for 3 days~what MUST I do there

25 y/o going to London in the Spring, interested in Art, Music, History. Any suggestions on how to spend my 3 day solo vacation?
Old Aug 18th, 2001, 05:36 PM
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St. Martin's of the Field at Trafalgar Square has concerts which are very affordable and very well done. Check the board just outside the church for performance dates. Treat yourself to a meal in their basement restaurant!

If you're into WWII history, don't miss The Cabinet War Rooms Museum. I found this exhibit fascinating.

Hope you enjoy London as much as I did!
Old Aug 18th, 2001, 06:12 PM
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= Tower of London / Crown Jewels
= Take a walking tour, w/Original London Walks
= St. Paul's Cathedral
= Westminster Abbey
= THEATRE ! In Leicester Sq. go to half-price ticket booth for day of perf. tickets
Old Aug 18th, 2001, 06:33 PM
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Without a doubt we loved the British Museum the best. Also loved St. Pauls and Westminster Abbey. But the British museum has the Rosetta stone, more Mummys than you could ever imagine- The Mausoleum from which the name comes, the carvings from the Parthenon, Sections of Temples from Assyria. It was just amazing! Keep in mind that almost everything except resturants closes at 6:00 pm.
Old Aug 18th, 2001, 06:47 PM
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Go to the half-price ticket booth in Leicester Square in the morning and buy theatre tickets for that night. Then walk down a couple of blocks to Trafalgar Square, passing St. Martins-in-the-Field (mentioned in the first response) on your left as you go. The British Art Gallery faces the side of Traf. Square toward Leicester Square--you'd enjoy a couple of hours there.

Other top sights: British Museum
Tower of London
Westminster Abbey
St. Paul's Cathedral
Hampton Court (a short
train ride away)
Old Aug 19th, 2001, 06:31 AM
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Well since you mentioned art, music, history as your interests. At the top of the Art lists, IMO are National Gallery, Tate Modern, Tate Britian, Sommerset House (Courtauld and Hermitage exhibits).
Old Aug 19th, 2001, 07:48 AM
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You really should make a trip to the British museum. It would be easy to spend an entire day there.
Old Aug 19th, 2001, 08:15 AM
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We happened upon the British National Library (might not be exact title) one day while killing time before a flight from Heathrow. It was terrfic and we only wished we'd discovered earlier when we had more time. If you like history and literature, they have fascinating exhibits.
Old Aug 19th, 2001, 08:44 AM
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Three days? Mark's suggestions are great. Try this:

Take the "Hop-on, Hop-off" bus tour from Victoria Station on your first day. This will give you an overview of the main sights in London and you can "hop off" at one or two historical sites, like Westminster Abbey.

Do the British Museum on the second day - you'll need a whole day. (There are some good restaurants nearby for lunch.)

Then visit the Courtauld Gallery at Sommerset House the next morning. They have some old stuff and some of all the big-name impressionists in an intimate atmosphere.

Have lunch at the Thai restaurant or the Indian one, just around the corner. (Turn left out of the Courtauld Gallery, then immediately left again up the main sidewalk and they're both on your left, a little way up).

Then get on the Tube at Temple station and go to Black Friars station (one stop) for the Tate Modern. Spend the rest of the day there. It's huge and fascinating.

(The Tate Britain and the Nat'l Gallery are good, but the Courtauld and Tate Modern are much more unusual.)

Do some concerts at night for music, but do try to get onto the London Eye, too (near Waterloo station). If you aim to be there by 8:00 P.M., you should be able to avoid a long "queue" (line) and you'll see the city at dusk and, by the time you're at the top of the eye, it will be in the dark, unless it's too late in the Spring when you're here. But daylight, sunset or after dark - it's a treat!

For concert and other info about what's on on the days you'll be in town, go to:

Other links:

Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour -

British Museum

Sommerset House -

Courtauld Gallery -

Tate Modern -

Classical music concerts (incl. ticket sales):

Plays & Musicals (incl. ticket sales):

Restaurants (incl. some reservations):

Hope this helps. Have fun!

Old Aug 19th, 2001, 09:57 AM
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Two points I'd like to add to Simons excellent itinerary. Tate Galleries are open until 10 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. The full Westminster Abbey tour is excellent.
Old Aug 20th, 2001, 12:36 AM
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I think most things have been mentioned, but I have one other suggestion, which can be combined with a trip on the London Eye. On a sunny day in the late afternoon/evening, walk along the South Bank of the Thames from Tower Bridge to the London Eye (and just a bit further for a good view of the Houses of Parliament). There is a path all the way along the river, except for a few bits where you have to go just inland to get round the buildings built right on the river edge. It's a great stretch of the river with lots to see, including views across to the Tower and St Paul's, and you go past the Globe Theatre and Tate Modern, among other things.
Old Aug 20th, 2001, 11:08 AM
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HIGHLY recommend the bus tour. (We use Big Bus, but they are pretty much all the same.) Yes, the British Museum is a must see. But, with only three days, I'd recommend limiting your time there. You can easily spend the entire day, but, with a little bit of study in advance, you can whittle that down to 1/2 day, spending the time seeing exhibits you are really interested in. Any good guidebook will give you a good floor plan. You'll come back to London sometime (believe me, it will be calling out your name forever) and you can catch the rest of it then. Also recommend a short stint in the Victoria and Albert, again seeing only things you are really interested in.
Old Aug 22nd, 2001, 12:23 AM
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Let's see art, music, history. Funny thing, I met a man in AA's Admirals club on my way to London. We talked, I told him it was my first time to London, and he gave me his favorite things to do in London. He told me the theater is a must. So, glance through and see what appeals to you. Ask your conceirge for tickets or just show up at the theater before showtime. I saw Momma Mia, second row, no advance tickets. Great advice! Then he said, skip the Tower of London, but see the British Museum. So I went to the British museum, and saw the mummy's which are great, but then I was kinda bored. So I went to the Tower of London, and loved it. Went to Westminster Abby, it was closed. Went again another day, 3:00, they where selling tickets for 6:00 admission. Had to be somewhere else at 6:00 so I never got to see it. Saw St. Paul's cathedral. But, I have been to the cathedrals in Barcelona, and it didn't compare. We arrived in London on a rainy Saturday, did alot of exploring on public double decker busses on Sunday, but during the week the traffic was awful. Everyone on this board advised taking the underground, but I wanted to see things, or I leaned towards busses, bad mistake. So, my advise is to get a travlers pass, and take the bus on weekends and during the midday. But, during rush hour, take the underground, (which is still overcrowded), but, at least you're moving. Go, through the suggestions on this board and find out about advance tickets, so you don't waste time. It's funny here, you don't need advance tickets for the theater, but the London Eye, Buckingham Palce, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, will sell you tickets for a two hour delayed entry.
I visited Covent Garden during the day, but at night was totally disappointed.
Plan ahead, avoid rush hour, read about and choose those things that are important to you, or skip the whole idea and go to Paris.
Old Sep 26th, 2001, 11:55 PM
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Old Sep 27th, 2001, 04:57 AM
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Whatever you decide to do, you must get a good current source of the attractions' opening hours. I prefer to check the sites' own web pages. Some are closed on Mondays, others on Tuesdays! Some are open one or two evenings a week. Most open at 10 AM, but others open earlier and have long waiting lines by 10 (e.g., Tower). With only 3 days, you don't want to waste time in lines or trekking to a place that's closed.
Old Sep 27th, 2001, 06:52 AM
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Perhaps the most impressive museum I have ever been to was the British Library. It is simply unbelieveable--they have taken all of the major manuscripts, documents, diaries, historic scraps of paper (a lot from the Brit Museum) and put them all in one room "The Treasure Room". It literally as if they took all of Western Civ and put it in one room. Where else can you see the only piece of paper Shakespeare wrote, the Magna Carta, Lennon/McCartney's "i want to hold your hand" on a napkin, Ghandi's letter to the British from jail, original copy of Beowulf, original illustrated Alice and Wonderland, Sforza diaries, in one place. The place is mindboggling and the facility itself is beautiful.
Old Sep 27th, 2001, 07:18 AM
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There was a GREAT thread a few months ago (I printed it out to keep in my personal files) something like "Please help with Itinerary for London" It offered a specific itinerary and great info about best days to go to each, costs, times, etc. I will try to top it for you. Basicall I think it was a 5 or 6 day itinerary but not at a fast pace. You could leave soem things out if you wanted or move at a faster pace to get it all in!
Old Sep 27th, 2001, 08:55 AM
Nigel Doran
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Whatever you do, get up early and go to bed late. Take vitamins for stamina and eat well!

Buy a Travelcard every day after 9 30 to help you get around for relatively little money on the trains, tubes and buses.

Eat on the hoof at Pret a Manger or with sandwiches from Boots or Marks and Spencer.

Visit the British Museum and take a trip on the London Eye. It is free, as is the National Portrait Gallery. Walk as much as you can.

Get out of town by going to Hampton Court or Windsor. Try to fit in the Tower by going early as you can. (Your travelcard will not work before 9 30 but it is only about $2 to get there.)

For cheap eats, consult the Evening Standard or log onto www.toptable.co.uk and look for Pizza Express, Zizzi and Strada. Stay away from Cafe Rouge and Dome, in my opinion.

Old Sep 27th, 2001, 09:15 AM
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Quite a few have mentioned the National Gallery but don't forget the National Portrait Gallery next door. Start at the top and work your way down, see the portraits of all the famous people in art, history, literature, etc. Also don't miss the gift shop, is quite wonderful. Also you might find the Old Bailey interesting, particularly if you like real human drama and English mysteries. You can actually watch a trial in progress. Also the Queens Gallery is attached to Buckingham Palace and often has fascinating exhibits from the Queen's private collections. And I'm not sure what kind of music you like but if you like jazz will love Ronnie Scott's. Globe Theatre if you want to watch Shakespeare performed in setting it was written for. Museum of Garden History if you love gardening. And Covent Gardens for great people-watching (same can be said for Harrod's). Also support vote for Cabinet War Rooms and Courtauld Institute. Have fun, it's a great city.
Old Sep 27th, 2001, 09:32 AM
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I wanted to second Chris' recommendation of the British Library's Treasure room. Other treasures include sme of the oldest known Bibles.

One clarificaiton on Nigel's post -- the British Museum and the National Gallery and Portrait galleries are free, but the Eye is not -- I believe it's 9 pounds, with timed tickets you can by in advance.

Also, the daily travelcards are good after 9:30 on weekdays, but all day on weekends, and as I recall you can get a further discount o an all-weekend card.

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