Visiting London

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missvain

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Hi there fellow geeks :D I am hoping to save enough $$ so that I can visit London and Paris early 2008.

I was wondering - how many days do you think I need to explore London? And if there are any interesting places not usually found in tourist guide books, I'd love to know too.

Thank you!!
 

beautyseeker

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London is massive there are so many paces to see that you could be there for a month and still not see everything. I worked in London for 13 years and there is always new stuff to see and do.

I suggest you get a GOOD UP-TO-DATE guide book.

Go to your local library and see what they have and talk to the librarians there, they may be able to reccomend other books.

Then go through them and decide what is most imortant to you.

The same goes for Paris, I've been for three long weekends and there is always something new to see or do.

Hope you have lots of fun. :hug:
 

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missvain

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heheh, I can't wait to go..

If i had only 10 days to spare, what are the absolutely absolutely *MUST SEE & DO* places & activities? Oh dear, I hope this question isn't too tough to answer! :)
 

beautyseeker

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The London Eye, Buck House, The Mall, Regents Park, Tower of London and Tower Bridge (not London Bridge thats boring), London Zoo, Harrods, Oxford Street, Hamleys Toy Shop on Regent Street, St Pauls, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey. Not Carnaby St its a rip off, full of rubbish shops. Covent Garden and Market has lots of quirky shops as does Neils Yard. London Transport Museum on a wet day same goes for science museum and natural history (dinosaurs). Madame Tusauds and Planetarium is OK but expensive (bit of a rip off actually). Camden is quite a bit of fun with cute little shops and market stalls. There is a lovely Italian restaurant/ice cream parlour called Marine Ices just up the road which we always go to, I think its just over the road from Chalk Farm tube. The icecream sundays are to die for well it all is really; another restaurant nearby is Belgo, a belgian one which sells muscles in different sauces and chips (yum yum), there is also another larger Belgo just off Neils Yard.

I will have to see if my hub can remember a (realy real) chinese restaurant that only takes cash and is on about 4 floors and they only talk to you in chinese. Its an experience a real hoot.

God there are loads of restaurants, shops, places to visit.

This is making me hungry. :hug:
 

beautyseeker

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Belgo also has a fab selection of belgian beers which come in lovely different shaped glasses. The fruit ones are just lovely.:green:
 

weezie

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Top things to do for me, and I live there and still do them:

:)Buckingham Palace (free-as you can't go in! make sure you go at the right time to see the changing of the guard Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, London)

:)The Natural History Museum (free-fun anamatronic dinosaurs Natural History Museum)

:)The Science Museum (free-science stuff you can interact with Science Museum)

:)V&A Museum (free-Art and design, check what they have on as they sometimes have showings of famous clothes e.g Kylie's Victoria and Albert Museum)

:)The three museums above are within walking distance of each other and when you have had enough culture Harrods (Home Page - Home - www.Harrods.com) is also within walking distance, buy something small and have a carrier bag to show off to you friends!

:)I also love the British Museum good if you like looking at mummies! (free- British Museum - Welcome to the British Museum)

:)Tower of London (pricey but entertaining plus you get to see the crown jewels, the restaurant inside is amazingly very nice and reasonably priced, I had a lovely cream tea there last time Historic Royal Palaces > Home)

:)The Tate modern (free-even if you don't like art in a serious heigh brow way this is fun Tate Online: British and international modern and contemporary art)

:)London Zoo is cool on a nice day and they have recently put in gorilla kingdom (relatively pricey but so worth it, just take your own packed lunch as it is expensive to eat there and not that nice ZSL London Zoo - ZSL)
 

missvain

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The close up image of the gorilla on London zoo homepage gave me a shock! hee hee..

How late do the shops and restaurants stay open until? And where do you think would be a good bustling lively area to stay in?

Sorry to ask so many questions!
 

weezie

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Central london is open until very late shops can shut as late as 8pm in the center of town (Oxford Street | London W1 | Information - Opening Times).

Most restaurants will be open till at least 11pm.

Clubs and bars open past 1am most nights and much later on the weekends. Further out things tend to wind up at about 6.30pm for the shops and 10pm for the restaurants. You will however be able to find some dodgy takeaways open all hours!

Where to stay exactly I can't help you with and it will depend on budget. Any areas central on the tube map within zone 1 if you sort of drew a line down from covent garden and chose somewhere out to the west of it (east of this imaginary line is mainly the city so it shuts down when the business people go home) will be vibrant. BBC - London - Travel - London Underground Map

The further out from zone 1 you go however the cheaper the hotels will be. Out to the west is thought to be the nicer areas (not saying the other areas aren't lovely too!)
 

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