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Stopover in London. What You Can Do in One Day

Stopover in London – the city that is considered the largest, most exciting and also the most expensive city in Western Europe. But what if you only have a few hours between flights?

From Boston to Munich. I deliberately chose a flight that has a slightly longer layover in London. 8 hours was the actual stopover. With train ride, change of terminal, ticket purchase, backpacking for the time I was in London, moving and freshening up and of course the 2 hours I had to spend at the airport before the new flight, it was only 4 hours I could spend directly in London.

Getting Around London

With the Gatwick Express Train or  Southern Railway it is best to go directly from the airport to the city. 
Gatwick Express: no stop, 30 minutes, round-trip about Β£ 37. Online – about
Β£ 33   https://ticket.gatwickexpress.com/.
Southern Railway: 2-3 stops, 35-40 minutes, round trip from Β£ 17 to Β£ 25. (off-peak / peak) https://ticket.southernrailway.com/search

Major London Tourist Attractions

The first stop on foot was Buckingham Palace. I had no idea about the Change of Guard and just happened to get there. Which was super cool, of course. The Change of Guard will begin at 11:00 am in front of Buckingham Palace and will take about 30 minutes. From April to July, the royal ceremony takes place daily, from August to March every other day (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun). Attention! Many people.

Buckingham Palace after the Guard Change

Through St. James’s Park I walked on to Westminster Abbey & St Margaret’s Church. Unfortunately, I only had the opportunity to marvel at the sights from the outside, since the crowds were always too long and I had no time to wait in line. From there you can already see Big Ben and the Westminster Palace. However, it is shrouded until 2021 because they renovate it, so you don’t see much. Actually, you see nothing. The Houses of Parliament, which is adjacent to the Big Ben, is beautiful though.

Over the Westminster Bridge (turn around – here you have a great view of the Big Ben and the Westminster Palace) I walked towards the London Eye presented by Coca Cola. Price Β£30 – you can save Β£3 when you book online.  https://www.londoneye.com/

“As one of London’s greatest attractions, you should definitely visit the London Eye if you have the chance, it may take a while to get started, but it’s well worth the wait for a beautiful view. For the experience, it’s worth the money. ” 

Visitor Review Google

Eating on Your Stopover in London

I had lunch directly opposite the Ferris wheel. The restaurant ” Enough to Feed an Elephant” is definitely not worth the visit and your money. Food is totally overpriced. There have been problems with my food, the service was friendly but the food was not good and tasted like nothing at all. A few steps further you will definitely find something better and worth your money. But they definitely have a pretty good view of the London Eye.

View from the Restaurant “Enough to Feed an Elephant”

Then I walked towards the  Tate Modern.  On the way from the Ferris wheel to the museum, I walked past a super “instagrammable” street. Each front door had a different bright color and looked super sweet, you feel like someone has turned the clock back. Red, pink, blue, green, yellow, … Roupell St.

I personally went to the Tate Modern only because I knew that you’re supposed to have a great view from the 10th floor. And since the museum has free admission and I love viewing platforms, it was on my list. 

“The Tate Modern Gallery of Surrealist Art in London with free admission offers exhibitions of international modern and contemporary art”  

https://www.tate.org.uk/

The afternoon tea. When you hear that, you may be thinking of an old custom from a long time ago that was “reawakened”. But that’s wrong – the tradition is just beginning to thrive and it’s the best way to snack on an afternoon snack and fight away the growling of the stomach. For the afternoon tea, not only the classic black tea with milk is served but also a selection of cakes and sandwiches. You can celebrate the afternoon tea in the National Theater, but also in some hotels and of course tea houses. Afternoon tea at the National Theater costs Β£ 29.50 per person. The English Teahouse is a slightly cheaper alternative where you can enjoy the tradition of high tea in your favor and is priced at Β£ 15 (Β£ 28 for 2 people).

 If you still have time, you can make a short stop, on the way back to the train station, at the Cabinet War Rooms / Churchill War Rooms and take a photo from the outside. The museum otherwise should be pretty great, the audio guides very informative and best you buy the tickets (about Β£ 22) in advance, otherwise, you have to expect very long waits. And who has time to wait? 

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Written by Katharina

Just like a shark, Katharina was born swimming. Until one morning when a local villager fished her out of the river and sent her off in a handbasket. After being rejected by a dozen homes, she decided to use her Shakesperian prose and handwrite a personal letter that she placed on her belly... The rest, as they say, is history and she's been writing ever since.

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