I was so exited to see London for the first time this past spring! Unfortunately I only had 24 hours to see it all! I was limited on time but was determined to squeeze as much sightseeing as possible- even if that meant loosing sleep. This is my ‘London in 24 Hours’ Travel Diary on what I did to take in as much as I could see!
London in 24 Hours | First Hours
Arriving into London
I took a red eye flight from NYC to London’s Gatwick Airport and arrived around 10am in the morning. Once landed, I figured out the most cost effective way to get to Central London and took the Local Southern Train into Victoria’s Station. From there I took the Tube (incorrectly… a lot different than the subway in NYC) to my Air B&B in London’s Soho District. I absolutely loved the location and recommend any first time London visitors to stay there as well. Soho has plenty of shops, pubs and restaurants all within walking distance! It is definitely a lively and upbeat neighborhood!
Big Bus Tour
To see as much as possible, I pre-booked a 2 day pass on the Big Bus Sightseeing Tour. This is as touristy as it gets, but with only 24 hours in London it was the perfect way to see everything without having to walk everywhere. The tour has two different routes that covers the west and east side of London. The first day we took the Red Tour hit everything that I wanted to see in the eastern side including Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, and the London Eye. After about an hour or two on the bus, I decided to hop off take the perfect photo-op near Big Ben and the London Eye.
After this point, around 5PM it was time to head back to the Air B&B and get ready for Dinner. Our friend recommended Chotto Matte and it did not disappoint!
Dinner & Nightlife
Dinner at Chotto Matte
Just a few steps from our Air B&B we arrived at Chotto Matte, a trendy Japanese-Peruvian restaurant. I was so impressed with the decor, food and drinks! This was the perfect place to have a fun & upbeat dinner. We ordered a few things on the menu, but my favorite was the Barriguita de chanchito (Pork Belly) & Guacamole. Desert was also amazing. We shared the Peruvian chocolate crema.
Just One More Drink
After dinner we somehow had the energy to explore the neighborhood of Soho. We went to a few casual pubs and had a few drinks before heading out to a nightclub called Toy Room. I loved the decor of this space, including catchy neon signs and the heads of famous rappers on the walls. We stayed here almost until the sun came up and headed back to our Air B&B for some much needed sleep.
Last Hours In London
The Next Day…
The next morning, still tired from sightseeing and going out, we managed to get up to do it all again! First thing was breakfast at Pret A Manger. Even though we have so many of this chain in NYC, we needed something quick and familiar before we went back onto the Big Bus Tour again. This time on the tour, we took the blue route and saw sights like Buckingham Palace, Green Park & Harrods.
Headed to St. Pancras
After 2 hours on the bus, it was time to head to St. Pancras Station on the tube. The tube was super convenient to get around London quickly. The station was beautiful with so many shops and re
staurants. We stopped to grab a cheese plate and a carafe of wine and got a little carried away with time. After h
earing over the loud speaker that our train was calling it’s final boarding, we started running blindly towards the Eurostar Entrance. We failed in so many ways because we didn’t even know where the Eurostar Entrance was. We learned our lesson for the next time to get past ticketing early before the train departs! Even with missing out train and having to buy new tickets, we still had a great time!
Overview of London
After seeing London in 24 hours, I feel that I saw and accomplished as much as I could. Next time I would stay much longer to really experience the culture of London! Besides, I didn’t have an afternoon tea! Let me know what you did your first time in London! Would love to hear from you all!
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