I’m so excited and grateful to have Lia De Biasi is on my blog as a guest blogger. We met at TBEX in Lloret de Mar last year and connected instantly. Lia is from New York City (NYC) and was delighted to share her experience about London with me. One concern we both shared was the fact that not all Londoners took advantage of their city.i Not all travelled to events and attractions! It must be the daily rituals of working and being cosy in our comfort zones. Here’s what she discovered in London: A City For Everyone:
It is a bountiful city that can be enjoyed by young and old, regardless of budget. If you have only a short amount of time in London and are seeking the most immersive 24 hours, you are in luck!
My first time I visited this timeless city was in April of 2015. Before arriving, I did extensive research on all of the ins and outs, sights, and tastes of the city. I am one of ‘those’ people that creates an extensive map, knowing full well I won’t be able to complete it in my allotted time. I do this for a few reasons. First, I love to know EVERYTHING there is to do in a city that I am visiting before I get there. That way I don’t return home and have someone ask me if I saw XY and Z. I would hate to be disappointed that I not only missed it but I did not even know it was there! If I know it is there and I miss it I won’t feel as bad because it means that I knew it was there but I selected a different option. I enjoy mapping out all of the sites, so once I am there I can pick and choose what I like to do. This allows me to know my options and to be flexible.
There are many times I think I want to do one thing but once I’m there, I decide against it based on what the locals tell me. Also, you never know when a location or sight is going to be shut down or closed due to a strike action or other circumstances. Secondly, I like reading blogs like Bola’s to learn where the locals eat. I often map out notable bakeries, cafes and mom and pop restaurants that are always much cheaper and tastier than touristy locations. Lastly, I do my research on modes of transportation and what is the best value for my time. If I am in a city for only a short period of time I may opt for a quick cab ride to take me to my next destination before it closes in an hour or if it is only an 8 minute Tube ride then the Tube wins!
I should disclose before you read a day in the life of my travel to please keep in mind that I did travel solo and I am a hustler when it comes to fitting as much as possible into a working day. So this exact itinerary may not be for you but I still highly recommend you visit as many on the list as you can in the time you are allotted in London.
Okay, let’s do it! If you have a full 24 hours in London this would be my ideal day…
I’m a sucker for ordering the same thing. If Eggs Benedict are on the menu, Eggs Benedict is what I will order!
The Monument of The Great Fire
Forget the long lines and price of the London Eye and get some midday exercise by climbing up 311 stairs to the top of The Monument of the Great Fire for a magnificent view of the City of London for a fraction of the cost plus entrance to the Tower Bridge!
Tower Bridge was completed after 8 years in 1894. Surprisingly, only ten men died during the construction. I don’t know why I found this so shocking but I did. Prior to being let loose in the Tower Bridge a short movie is played to give you an overview of the history in case you don’t want to read any of the informational signs they have throughout. Also, there is a section that is seen through so you are able to look down at the River Thames! Known as the Glass panel.
Tower of London
Grab a bite at Borough Market! The market has a variety of food stands, coffee/tea stands and dessert! It is the perfect place to have a quick delicious meal! I tried a little bit from a few stands, purchased tea bags for later and walked around the corner to grab fruit for a snack later!
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Due to time and mostly because my dad said, ‘You’ve seen the Vatican. That’s enough.’ I did not visit the inside of St. Paul’s Cathedral but I did walk around the cathedral’s grounds and sit on the grand stairs in front for people watching. Even without going inside, one is able to see how grand the cathedral truly is. The cathedral stands on the highest point of the city and was completed in 1710. If you have time or are just dying to see the inside I recommend saving some time and money by purchasing a ticket online.
Houses of Parliament
I did not go inside the abbey but I did have the privilege to listen to a 1-hour free concert inside St. Margaret’s Church. The church was consecrated in 1523 and is still used for worship and music recitals today. Pictures are not allowed inside the church but it was gorgeous and worth the stop!
The Jewel Tower
The Jewel Tower was built in 1365 by King Edward III to store his personal treasure. The tower is the only surviving building of the great royal palace in Westminster and well worth visiting. The tower is small and won’t take much time but has a wealth of information and displays that will provide you with an overview of it’s history at Westminster.
Thankfully, the weather was gorgeous and I was able to wind down from a busy day of adventures by strolling around Hyde Park. I started by the Marble Arch Underground Station and admired the Marble Arch. If you managed to have time to spare stop in at the Tyburn Convent about a block away from the arch! From there I strolled through the bark to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain then to the Serpentine Gallery. The Serpentine Gallery is traditionally opened late but isn’t for everyone.
The Albert Memorial
When you are walking out of the park towards the road, I am sure you will notice an enormous 180-foot bronze statue. This statue is The Albert Memorial. It was constructed following the death of Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert. It was completed in 1876 and unveiled by Queen Victoria. After walking around the memorial and taking in all the detail work, I took a short stroll to the nearest Tube and off to dinner I went!
Enjoy a refreshing beer and a hearty meal! You deserve it!