Although I’m sure it’s wonderful to spend more time exploring London, when you’re backpacking through 11 European cities in 22 days, I found 3 days to be sufficient to see the necessary London-esque sites.
First, if you’re a Harry Potter fanatic, which I am…
You’ll want to be sure to see King’s Cross Station. My backpacking buddy, A, and I were lucky enough to get dropped off in King’s Cross Station from Lille, France. Apparently, Platform 9 3/4 is now marked for touristy folks like myself, but the train station in itself is worth a see- even for muggles.
Next, in order to get around London easily, you’ll need an Oyster pass. You can purchase this at King’s Cross or whatever train station you happen to be near. In obtaining and utilizing an Oyster pass, you’ll quickly learn to admire the sweet British accents telling you about the stops available on the “tube” or “underground.” Also, if you don’t quickly learn to “mind the gap” you might end up under the train… or something like that.
London is full of globally acclaimed “must-see” monuments and historical sites. 3 days is plenty of time to visit them all and snap beautiful pictures…
The London Eye. This site was a mile from the hostel I will now give a brief plug for- The Steam Engine Hostel, on Cosser Street, was a wonderful place for young backpackers to stay in London. The rooms are above a bar and full of young travel-minded Americans and Canadians. A and I were able to team up with two girls from Texas and together risk our lives getting a great “Abbey Road” photograph. More on this later.
Piccadilly Circus. This photo is just one example of the interesting monuments that fill the Piccadilly Square in London.
Big Ben. No explanation needed- how long have you been wanting to see this big guy in person?
Buckingham Palace. The changing of the guards is apparently a “seasonal” activity, so no matter how long you stand there- if it’s not the right season… it won’t happen.
If you’re lucky, you might get a glimpse of this pervy hot dog truck.
We came across it when we were eyeing the historical Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Or this hilarious sign. A good sense of humor is pivotal to enjoying a trip abroad.
The Tower of London. Any Goosebumps readers out there? The book that takes place at the Tower of London was pretty much the only thing I could think of while visiting this gorgeous bridge.
Last, but definitely not least, Abbey Road. Abbey Road is in the suburbs of London and a bloody pain to visit! Also, Abbey Road has a lot of traffic, hence the whole “risking our lives” to get a cute “Abbey Road” album cover shot. Shout out to Chelsea Alsup (Fanchier) and Megan McCleskey for being A and I’s 2nd half!
Seeing Abbey Road Studio and thousands of inspirational graffitis by visitors just like us was definitely worth the pain in the arse trip out to the ‘burbs.
All of the above London sites were seen in just 3 days – by tube and on foot. Enjoy, and feel free to ask for suggestions or tips if traveling that direction!
Thanks for reading! Until next time, adios, ciao, sayonara, good bye!
Published September 2013.